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Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,065 Reviews
For Trade:
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A high gravity IPA brewed with 18% rye malt. Hop Rod Rye has a floral hop aroma and subtle caramel notes with a slightly earthy and spicy rye character.

2009 California State Fair – GOLD
2003 California State Fair – GOLD
2002 Real Ale Festival (Chicago) – GOLD

Added by Quaffer on 03-27-2002

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,065 | Ratings: 4,637
Photo of jph424
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Brown with hints of red

S - Hops, caramel, smells delicious

T - sweetness up front, can definitely taste the rye, strong floral hoppy bitterness on the finish. Bigtime malt backbone to support it.

M - Terrificly thick

D - Very tasty brew. 1 bomber would probably be my limit though as the ABV and powerful flavor would probably be too much to have a few.

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Photo of tgncc
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice aroma, mainly of citrus hops, rye bread, and fruit. The appearance was a reddish brown, off-white head. the head persisted, and there was some lacing. Very attractive. The flavor was citrus hops, sweet malts, dark fruit, raisins, and some rye seeds (not as much as I might have thought). The finish is pure citrus hops, and lingers on the palate. Medium thick mouthfeel. Very drinkable, and enjoyable. Good beer for this season (fall).

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Photo of ironarrow42
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep reddish-amber beer with a short-lived pale beige head. Scattered dots of foam remain on the glass by the end.

S: Crisp, citric hop aroma wafts from the glass with floral & pine notes.

T: Bitter up front, with toasted & deeply caramelized malts, but mostly dry in nature. Some fruity esters. Accent towards the hops, but with great balance. Lengthy finish with lingering bitterness and grapefruit peel. My tongue feels like its coated by hops! Towards the end as it warms, I pick up an almost cocoa-like aromatic undertone.

M: Heavy side of medium bodied with a good mouthfeel and a light carbonation bite.

D: Tasty & substantial beer, I savored this slowly. Not one I'd have several pints of at one go!

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Photo of Hopalong29
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber with nice 1/4 in. and lacing that sustains throughtout.
Nice aroma of citus and pine.
Creamy with light carbonation.
Slight bitterness on back end. More drying than I care for.
Definitely on the "won't let you down" list for Hopheads.
With the alc content, not a good idea to imbibe too many.

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Photo of travelfrog
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at my favorite pizzeria/watering hole. A very impressive looking beer, dark amber in color, with an nice, long-lasting head.

The aroma was striking -- among the best I've ever sampled. My nose was a bit stuffy with the cold weather, but no more after a whiff of this. Fresh hops came through loud and clear, along with enough sweet malt to round out the experience.

The flavor can give even the most jaded taste buds a workout, starting out with a full-spectrum hops flavor, followed by a mellow maple-malt finish.

Mouthfeel was very good. A nice texture to go along with full flavor.

It's tough for such a bold brew to be drinkable, but the brewers did a creditable job. Aside from a slight acidity on the roof of my mouth, I had few complaints.

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Photo of kreeper
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark amber brown, fluffy head, lacing,

S: bright citrus hops, spicy, smells fresh

T: hops and rye malts blend together for some spice,

M: lighter body, expected a real heavy beer almost like double ipa.

D: easy drinker any time of the year. will drink often.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Bcaulin
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into new Sam Adams glass.

Excellent deep mahogany color. Deep reddish brown that looks great when held up to a light. Nice head that had pretty good retention. Great lacing.

Tons of hops in the nose. Much more than I initially expected. Almost smells like a completely straightforward west coast IPA with its citrusy notes. There's definitely a little something extra in there that makes in in its own category.

If you taste it before it warms up (I'm guilty -- I couldn't wait) you really get a great hop flavor, but not a whole lot of depth. The rye flavor really doesn't come out until you let it open up a little. Once it does, it moves into an absolutely great taste. You gotta love hops for this one, but its definitely not a gimmick IPA -- the rye adds a great balance.

Extremely smooth and delicious. I could easily drink a couple of these, and if it wasn't for the 8%, I'd be thrilled to drink more than just a couple.

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Photo of bjacobsen
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip.

Before I review, I have to share that my first real craft brew epiphanies happened at a wedding in Sonoma Co about 2 years ago. I was drinking Russian River (Santa Rosa) and Bear Republic (nearby Healdsburg) at the rehearsal dinner and reception before I knew how lucky I was. I just wanted an interesting beer and these were the local choices. I was so impressed that I have never ordered a BMC since.

A- Pours a deep mahogony. It is almost black with just a faint redness that makes me want to remind it, "You're a hoppy, not a malty ale, OK." Nice off-white head to it with a lace, no doubt from the assertiveness of the hop profile.

S- Floral hops up front with a sweeter, grainier malt scent that was already balancing what was no doubt going to be a tasty beer.

T- Delicious! I knew what it was ( A rye based American IPA) going in to it, but I still love the "this beer tastes so different than it should" effect. Reminds me of one of Stone's anniversary ales (Black IPA) that I found to be equally tasty and beautiful. Hoppy up front with a sweet malty(maybe rye incluenced) middle leading to a dry finish. Maybe, just maybe, a bit of warm alcohol lingering.

M- Hop Oils are present with a complimentary grainy-resiny mouthfeel. This has an easy carbonation to it that lends to its element of surprise.

D- I do love the hops, so I would say that this is quite drinkable. It is a tad high on the ABV spectrum but I could/would honestly open a second bomber, if I had one.

Being from California, I am fortunate that Bear Republic Beers are so tasty and readily available in my area. The full line is always on stock at multiple locations.

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Photo of exparte
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Strong and pleasing aroma of sweet and spicy malt with citrus hops. Very American in both malt and hops. I'm guessing the pineapple and pine aroma comes from the same Columbus and Cascade hops that's featured in their Racer 5 IPA. The rye makes the beer slightly spicy and considerably darker than the IPA. It pours a deep reddish orange with a big fluffy off-white head that lasts long beyond the final drop. The taste is a fine balance between the sweet malt, spicy rye, and citrus hops. No component outshines the other. It's full bodied with a smooth texture and a lingering bittersweet finish. This beer is full and satisfying with a delicately balanced character that allows you to fully enjoy each drop which is remarkable for a style in which so many others punch you in the face with just one element. This is definitely my new favorite Double IPA. Highly recommended.

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Photo of pugdogbeer
4.74/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is a big, dirty beer with attitude to be loved.

Just opening the bottle released an overpowering smell of hops, hops and more hops with a chaser of rye smell.

A dark beer with a load of lace and attitude. After first mouthful I could feel the piney taste of hops stuck to the roof of my mouth.

This is not a beer for sipping as a big mouth will just be a massive hop explosion of taste.

The kicker is the rye. I felt it just complemented the amount of hops to give a big balance.

Amazing beer - but best left to last as anything else will be completely tasteless as Hop Rod Rye will claim your palate for its own!

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Photo of henryd30
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Darker than expected - nice dark ale color, slightly opaque, with a fine-bubbled head that left some stringy lacing.

S: Catch a little rye, as expected - can sense the hops which adds a citrusy element, and can smell a little carmelly roastiness as well.

T: Quite complex - hit with hops, initially, then some sweet maltiness, and finishes with rye/bitters.

M: Smooth warming heat, with some prickly carbonatino.

D: Great complex flavors makes it a joy to drink - high ABV makes it a slight challenge. I'll happily go down trying.

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Photo of at7000
4.99/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First beer I have ever given a perfect score to. This beer will spoil your taste buds, I promise you that. Not sure what they have done here, or how much the rye plays a part, but this is one killer beer, in every respect. If this beer were a little cheaper in cost, it would become my main beer.

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Photo of dweideman
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Anam Cara

Medium white head, mostly lasting. Clowdy orange-red hue. The aroma was mostly of the bittering hops with some sweetness coming through. Sweet beginning taste with the huge hop flavor coming through in the middle and at the end in a big way... Detect a small grapefruit flavor on the palate as it lingered in my mouth. Light to Medium bodied with a dry texture and lively carbonation. Wonderfully hoppy IPA style -- hopped to the extremes.

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Photo of sudsface69
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a beautiful, mahogany brown with a fine, off-white head

Aroma - Complex. Dark fruit, touch of pineapple, brandy-soaked cherries, bold, funky hops, maybe even a little bit like pumpernickel bread - a really nice, deep, intriguing set of smells going on in this one

Taste - not shy on the IBUS or the ABV. This is a pretty big beer. But, oh boy, what a tasty treat! Bold, hoppy, fruity, almost vinous,...this one really fills the mouth with flavor. A little kiss of sweetness and a touch of a floral thing going on as well. Big, expressive, really nice!

Mouthfeel - Pretty much perfect carbonation for me. No complaints here.

Drinkability - I'm on my first one right now. I'll have to see how I progress through this 4-pack, but as I've usually found out the hard way, if it's sold in a 4-pack there's probably a good reason for that. Although right now this is going down pretty darn well!

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Photo of mdale13
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark red/copper color with a thin white head. Head fades somewhat rapidly. Moderate lacing down the glass.

S- Hops, some malt presence. Very fresh, inviting smell.

T- Tastes like your standard IPA, lots of fresh bitter hops, a slight rye taste. I was hoping for more rye, but this is technically an IPA, not a rye beer.

M- Good amount of carbonation.

D- Pretty drinkable, but I dont think I would have more than 2 in a sitting.

Other- I have mixed feelings about this beer. Dont get me wrong, Its a great beer, and I enjoyed it, I was just hoping for more rye I guess.

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Photo of Emerson1310
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just purchased one of these at TW in Alexandria. Drank from a Bells glass, chilled to perfection

A: Deep coppery-red with a light brown 2-finger head. Nice, foamy lacing when glass is tilted.

S: definite hops, grapefruit and malts

T: Grand!! Slightly bitter up front with lots of grapefruit and very little pines or resins. Some malts and a bit of rye (I wonder why the rye??!!) Finish is smooth and dry with no hop build-up.

O: This is a keeper!! Abundantly available here, even in the groceries, It is reasonably priced and a real hop-hog. I like this beer to no end!! At 8% ABV, almost a DIPA and a sessionable on at that!! To the bear I say: RRROOOAAARRR!!!

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Photo of CreamyStoutMan
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sadly, I didn't get a chance to pour this one due to lack of a clean glass. Looking through the tinted bottle, though, I feel that I can still judge its appearance a little. I can see that it is a deep, thick amber and (if I had a clean pint glass) I'm just about positive that it would pour a pretty creamy head.

Smells hoppy in one of the greatest ways that I can remember a beer smelling; reminds me of "hazed and infused", "hop wallop", and (too a much lesser extent) a number of IPA's. As one would expect from the explanation on the bottle, rye is definitely what is dominant on the nostrils.

Rye and intense, organic hops are definitely what dominate the palate as well with this one. I was thinking, at first, that this one was going to lean more to the direction of being an extremely hoppy specialty ale like hazed an infused, but after a few sips, I am convinced that it is definitely an IPA, and to be completely honest, it is probably my favorite of the style that I have sampled thus fur, which is saying a lot because I have tried many an IPA.

The mouthfeel is creamy and thick and wonderful. I really don't think that I could ask for too much more in this department, in regard to an IPA.

I could definitely knock back a few of these. I drank 1 pint 6 fluid oz. a lot faster than I thought I would and it's only eleven in the morning! Note: I have been eating pizza as well (which is somewhat of a common compliment to IPAs) so its slightly possible that it is throwing off my review, but I doubt it. I will definitely purchase this beer again when I am search of something with an extremely high hop and alcohol content.

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Photo of Troegman
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle from Stockertown Bev

The Hop Rod has a cloudy brown-reddish color with a creamy substantial head and nice lacing.

Very different aroma, the malty rye smell is dominant with some hops blended in.

Really like this,the rye and malt make this an IPA type like no other. Substantial body to it. Had a case that went fast at the last party.

Went fast, was even better as it sat for a while.

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Photo of ItMakesMeHappy
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A deep redish/brown with very light coming threw. A nice off white foamy head with rediculous retention.
S- A dominance of spicy hop aroma with a hint of rye and maltiness.
T- The hops control most of the flavor here but rye deffinatley comes threw in the end giving a nice pleasent dry finish. The rye really compliments the heavy hop character well.
M- Alot of carbonation massages the mouth which lightens this medium bodied brew.
D- Pretty good which kinda makes me wish I brought two of these bombers.

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Photo of FallinDeck
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Body has an amber/ruby color to it.
Nice tan head with superb lacing all the way down the glass.
The light hops smell didn't impress me all that much. Maybe my sniffer wasn't up to par this day?
The mouthfeel was rather heavy, with a dry hoppy/spicy taste. It had a Great lasting kickass spice finish taste.
I couldn't do more than 2 pints, so the drinkability suffered there.
Here's a first for me... Yes a burpability factor of 10. HAHA I can't believe I'm writing this... but really a great taste of nothing but some spicy hops.

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Photo of PhiGDeltaBrewman
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- copperish hue with a little murky sediment

S- dark maltyness with a sweet and bitter tone overall, doesnt smell exceptionally hopped

T- delicious! thicker body, prolly cause of the rye, soft and palatable without a heavy hop characteristic. the abv content overall makes for a sweeter and deeper ryePA that i particularly enjoy!

overall i can appreciate this beer, i am HUGE fan of Rogenbier which is a rye-style hef that i prefer to regular weizenboch's and trying it in a commercial aspect is very tasty!

buy it, especially cause its a good price!

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Photo of ncfrey
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber purchased at DaveCo in Thornton, CO for $4.50, poured into New Belgium globe glass.

a - pours a crystal clear but fairly dark ruby-brown. Gorgeous color, but a fairly aggressive pour yields only a 1/2 finger off-white head with average retention. Leaves a thin, delicate lacing all down the glass.

s - very pleasing. Toffee, caramel, and that rye spiciness. Rather sticky but well-balanced by fruity, floral, spicy hops. This beer seems very fruity to me, with cherry and other dark fruits, citrus, and some other brighter fruitiness I assume is due to yeast esters.

t - possibly even better than the nose. Everything mentioned there is still present, but the rye spiciness is stronger than perceived in the aroma, and there's also strong toasted and faint roasted notes. The black cherry and rye flavors go great together. Hops come on strong throughout, and the finish is long, bitter, and boozy.

m - medium-bodied, fairly bubbly, and slightly astringent. Creamy, but not thick. Normally I like beers that feel a bit more... substantial than this one, but I think that the bright, aggressive palate lends itself well to this feel.

d - great, considering the ABV and the wealth of flavors. My stomach/tongue's tolerance would probably exceed my brain's.

I bought this one a whim, because it was cheap, because Bear Republic doesn't distribute in my home state of New Mexico, and because I tend to like rye beers. I was not expecting much, but I'm blown away. This definitely has me eager to sample more offerings from this brewer when I get the chance.

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Photo of Hamsteroceros
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into Sierra Nevada tulip glass.

A- Deep, deep reddish amber color that I wish more IPAs could pull off. Decent head that left moderate lacing.

S- Everything I love about West Coast IPAs is here: grapefruit/citrus, zesty, piney. The rye cuts in nicely as well.

T- Just incredible. Bitter then sweet, bold yet balanced. The malt sneaks in late more as the beer warms. That tangy rye bite I was hoping for balances the rest really, really nicely.

M- In general, I find the major drawback to a good IPA is a lingering astringent/acidic "stripping" in the mouth. It seems like the better a beer tastes, the more pronounced this effect. With all the huge flavors in Hop Rod Rye, I was expecting that here but NO! This beer is so clean and smooth on the finish.

D- I am thrilled that this is a year-round release. I will have many, many more of these.

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Photo of Valley_Town_Sipper
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Despite it's tacky looking label, the inexpensive Hop Rod Rye is a formidable ale that hits both levels of hops and malt and issuing a nice flavor profile. The micro sediment is barely noticeable in its nice amber tone. And even though I was the dumbass who sniffed this one too close and got a nostril full of head to bring some water to my eyes, I am not judging the "smell" because of this. The scent is light, semi-sweet, and gives but a hint of what the flavor really can bring. For the price and the availability, the Hop Rod Rye is definitely worth its merit. . . Just don't snort the damn thing. . .

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Photo of salcedo
4.91/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass
L: Dense amber.
Slightly cloudy.
Lots of stuff floating in there :-)
Rich, cream colored head
S: Caramelized sugar.
T: Sweet and malty at first, but they don't linger.
Finishes clean with a touch of pleasant bitterness.
Trying to learn what flavors rye adds to a beer, and I think the aftertaste of Hop Rod Rye is a good example.
F: In spite of the strong caramel smell and taste, this is a medium bodied beer.
Well carbonated.
O: I really like this beer. Some people may be put off by the floaties in the glass, but it tastes great. And what's more important, how it looks or how it tastes?

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,065 ratings.