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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,050 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4050
Reviews: 2021
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%

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

Style | ABV
American IPA |  8.00% ABV

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

(Beer added by: Quaffer on 03-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,050 | Reviews: 2,021 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of onemanarne


4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this several times before within the last 2 years but mainly it was whilst discovering my palate for good beers and more specifically, the glory that is hops. Been regularly drinking Stone IPA/Ruination, GF West Coast, Hop Ottin, Torpedo for many months and now back to my "roots".

A- A gentle pour reveals a fairly dark, opaque, muddy amber with a nice 1 finger head - still hanging in there 2/3 of the way thru. I can see each sip in the nice lacing.

S- I can smell caramelly malts/maybe rye? Not sure. Also definitely detecting the hops.

T- Definitely bitter right off the bat followed by a balanced but strong taste of malts, a little rye, and a lot of really bitter hops. A little alcohol at the end, but not enough to prevent you from wanting another sip. Deliciously bitter and hoppy, with a very strong malt backbone. The rye is subtle yet makes this absolutely not your run of the mill every day IPA.

M- Creamy, but not super heavy.

D- Too high. I remember having a 22 oz. bomber of this before a couple of other 7%+ IPA's (quite some time ago) and receiving a buzz that was more than necessary. Anywho.

I remember thinking of my last few sips as juicy. This beer is delicious. Gonna be my go-to alternative IPA from now on now that I've remembered about it. Glad I have 3 more!

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 05:20:06 | More by onemanarne
Photo of JRG


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

Grabbed a bomber off the shelf, and poured it into a pint glass at home...

appearance: deep, just slightly brownish, red... a little cloudy with a sand colored head that rose to just over a pinky's width, only to recede to fine layer of foam that remained throughout consumption. good lacing all the way down...

smell: lemon at first... a little pine, then rye, and some grapefruitiness. Caramel and some brown sugar or molasses stuff goin' on too...

taste: Mmmm... rye malt and hops. the hops are more hidden than the smell led me to believe, but came through nicely as soon as I had that thought with piney and fruity notes... then some bitterness to even it all out in the end, followed by slight alcohol warming. Mmmm... delicious!

mouthfeel: extremely smooth, and somewhere between thin and thick- a little more on the light-bodied side I guess... carbonation is just right for me.

drinkability: smooth as silk, went down VERY easily... surprisingly so, considering that it's 8%abv.

Great beer that went down easy- beautifully balanced and very tasty! Grab one if you haven't yet!

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 09:20:57 | More by JRG
Photo of AimToCheat


4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark copper color with a medium thick head and lots of lacing.

Smell: Hops, Pine, Sage, Spice

Taste: A very complex IPA. Rye and hops finishing with a nice wave of malt and oily pine.

Mouthfeel: Almost oily for lack of a better word. pine and malt linger.

Drinkability: This is one of my favorite beers. Goes down nice for a 8% beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2009 23:51:08 | More by AimToCheat
Photo of OneLowChevy


4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I originally bought this beer mainly to keep the bottle on my shelf but when i popped it open and tasted it i was blown away by how good it was. I was told i should try this one out if i like beers that are hoppy. Since ive tried it ive have had it several times and buy it just about every time i walk into Bevmo.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 06:38:13 | More by OneLowChevy
Photo of SpaceMadness


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown. Just like a brown ale with creamy head that dissipates from 2 fingers to a trace around the glass. Nice lacing.

S- Hoppy. Slightly spicy. Floral notes.

T- Everything I look for in an DIPA. Bright bitterness, floral tastes, rye spice, sweet malt, carmel undertones.

M- Similar to a brown or amber ale. Silky smooth.

O- Brilliant marriage of hop bitterness, malt sweetness, and rye spice. All the mouthfeel, color, and sweetness of a brown ale; with a bright hop flavor. I imagine I'll be back to the beer store sometime this week to pick up another 4 pack. Worth every penny. Find it; drink it.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 01:37:41 | More by SpaceMadness
Photo of emaciated


4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark brown/red color with a white head.

S: citrus, pine, rye.

T: Hoppy, then sweet caramel and then bitter with some rye flavor.

M: medium-to-full body. A little carbonation.

O: Tasty brew. I haven't had this one for a a while, but will now try to seek this one out more often.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2011 21:03:13 | More by emaciated
Photo of RexlySnipes


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this beer this week for the first time, and i was very pleased by it. I bought it in the bottle and poured it into a pint glass. The appearance was very amber brownish with a nice light brown whitish head on it . It had a nice refined taste to it of barley malts and hops on the front end followed by more hops and a hint of citrus. There was a fair amount of lace left on the glass when i was finished. Overall this beer was one of the best rye's I've had and im looking forward to trying a lot more of the bear republic line!

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 16:16:26 | More by RexlySnipes
Photo of jonstep


4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice caramel color light carbonation and a cloudy appearance.

Smell: a sweet smell with a notice of spiciness.

Taste: A deep sip of the beer is a pleasure for the palate. It has a good tangy taste, but is not overpowering, and is a well balanced blend of flavor and spiciness. The aftertaste is rather pleasant too.

Mouthfeel: The feel was excellent. Not too heavy, but had a smooth feel to it. I think the carbonation was perfect.

Overall: this a good tasting beer, which will be the reason for my next beer purchase.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 02:55:42 | More by jonstep
Photo of GoblueMS


4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sitting in a hotel room in Breaux Bridge, LA after consuming copious amounts of seafood tonight, I pulled a bottle out of my cooler that dutifully accompanies me on my business trips. Mind you this is not my first rodeo with Hop Rod Rye (more on that later). But this is an excellent product.

The appearance of this poured into a glass is caramel colored with excellent lacing down the glass, with a half inch head remaining. Smell is of muted hops with a hint of rye. Taste is outstanding (though in the last 8 years of having this on hand I have had to drain pour a few bottles, probably due to them having been abused in the distribution pipeline. They were spoiled.). I first tasted HRR at a brewfest in Portland in 2005, and it was love at first taste! There is little way to say how good this iteration of a rye IPA is. It is chewy, complex, simple, quenching, enticing, and of course most satisfying all at the same time. Overall I would say that this is a world class brew, and one that anyone who is a hophead should choose.

I won't go into the detail that so many patrons of BA render (not that there is anything wrong with that!), but this is one of the finest IPAs in my mind to ever hit the market. Try one and agree!

If you like a rye style IPA, this one should be on your list. I have it brought in from adjacent states to MS when ever possible. Excellent brew, and now this bottle is gone! Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2013 02:31:54 | More by GoblueMS
Photo of AleEnthusiastSorensen


4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured a dark amber in color. The mouth feel of this beer is slightly chewy in texture but is very refreshing on the pallet. Has a medium to high hoppy flavour to it with good hints of fruity and citrus tastes. The rye added to this beer gives a very unique taste and aroma. The aroma itself has a slightly heavy quality to it and in the pour it had very little head to it. Due to the taste and aroma however I give this brew a two thumbs up and would recommend this to any drinker who wants to experience a good beer that isn't too harsh, it is a very kind and rewarding drink.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2013 17:56:36 | More by AleEnthusiastSorensen
Photo of Wench


4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Deep Caramel with orange lights, half inch of creamy foam after medium pour. Great Citrus and fresh hops in the nose. Rye bread, orange rind and fresh hops on the palate. Seriously round with some decent alcohol heat. Surprisingly drinkable for it's high ABV. Hard to believe it's not really a DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2008 02:27:12 | More by Wench
Photo of beerfanbill


4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: dark, lively. very active, head clings to the glass in rings and stays there the whole time.

smell: very hoppy. truly lives up to its name. i always raise the glass to my nose several times before i begin drinking just to appreciate the distinct, pungent hoppy aroma.

taste: tastes better than it smells. the hops dominate the pallette. they are as strong as any hoppy beer ive ever had and yet not too strong. perhaps the hoppiest beer ive had that didnt over do it.

mouthfeel: smooth, crisp. savor each sip to have the hops coat the tongue.

drinkability: personally i find it to be a great session beer though its 5 dollars per pint at the bar i go to so i only usually can afford one. however, if i had the resource$ i would definitely have several. although hoppy beers are my favor so i am slightly biased in that regard.

(biased note, i love hoppy beers and try as many as i can and i genuinely feel this is the best one ive had)

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2009 02:12:34 | More by beerfanbill
Photo of CrossansWright


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

Had this beer on cask at Fathead's in Pittsburgh. It was served in a dimpled mug. It was a deep copper color with an off-white head that left some, but not much lacing. I picked up some caramel in the nose, but piney hops were far more prevalent.

First, let me say that this is a really, really, tasty beer. The hops come through beautifully and they are balanced by the caramel flavors of the malt. It seems that this beer is sweet, maybe it's the malt? All I know is it is extremely good. The alcohol is incredibly deceptive for 8.0%, making this a brew that goes down smooth but is also potentially very dangerous.

Truly a wonderful IPA.

Serving type: cask

03-24-2009 04:14:36 | More by CrossansWright
Photo of mjaseattle


4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. There's about an inch of creamy, frothy head on top that lingers until you take a sip. Underneath is a deep orange/mahogany beer with a few narrow streams of bubbles running up the sides of the glass. A thin layer of foam sits on top throughout the experience.

Smell: The smell alone won me over. Pine and grapefruit dominate, and something else I can't put my finger on... Something sweet, like maple syrup...

Taste: Just like it smells, but on a higher order of magnitude. There's such a good balance in this beer, an obvious smattering of hops at the start, with a mellow undertone of malts that seem to crescendo slowly through every sip. It ends with a bittersweet caramel aftershock, and a citrusy air.

Mouthfeel: There's a burst of carbonation on contact that mellows quickly to a smooth, almost syrupy feel. Pretty full-bodied for an IPA. For a lighter experience, swish it around a bit-- though this does bring out the alcohol presence, it expands your food pairing options.

Drinkability: This is definitely what I call an "experience" beer, meaning it is best enjoyed in large, attentive sips. There's a lot going on that you don't want to miss. It will pair well with any strong-flavored food, but it really shines on its own.

Notes... I first had this beer (on tap) a couple months ago at the bartender's recommendation, and was very pleasantly surprised. I'm not at all familiar with ryes, but I know my IPAs, and this is top of the line. Easily one of the best (if not THE best) I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 08:21:43 | More by mjaseattle
Photo of Timtac

New Jersey

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a goblet, was not much head and color was much darker than expected for an ale. Smell is a ridiculous caramel and hops aroma is strong as well, creating a smell that might be requested by me on my death bed.

Like other reviews, I agree the 8% abv isn't noticed, but the caramel, hops and citrus, which may or may not be a product of the 18% rye, balance oh so well. As a huge fan of IPA's, I'd put it against any I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 01:03:51 | More by Timtac
Photo of HayesdaHophead


2.85/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't have a lot to say about this beer. The rye character just didn't come through for a beer that brags on the label to have 18% rye in the grain bill.

Nice color and drinkable, but maybe I got an old bottle. It didn't seem to be super hoppy or have a distinct rye character. The bottle art is misleading. Not a bad beer, just not something I would buy again.

The label also seems to have another marketing error. It states the sediment might be there in the bottle due to a "truck-load of hops". It has been my experience that hops settle out pretty well in brewing and it is just yeast sediment in a bottle. Kind of shook my faith in Bear Republic to see that statement.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2010 23:35:26 | More by HayesdaHophead
Photo of therube


3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a solid head and good lacing. Not spectacular looking but problem-free.

Smells like an IPA but you can smell the rye and alcohol, not bad smelling

Very hoppy nose, sweet and complex, with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is balanced and smooth

Drinkable, but slightly too corrosive to drink more than one

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2010 16:28:39 | More by therube
Photo of egy


4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass the beer was a woody maybe oak color, a little copper, dark for an IPA; also a surprisingly small head, tan in color. The head held for a moment and then left behind a sticky lace. The smell is hoppy with a rye not of course. Some say they smell raisins, I don't really get that. I don't think this beer is as fruity as other do. The taste is a bold hoppy taste! Strong, bitter, with a smoother rye and slightly malty finish. The stickiness and some citrus notes stay with you long after the sip and the beer has been enjoyed. I personally like this a great deal. No alcohol notes whats soever. For a strong ~8%abv this beer is very drinkable, dangerous and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2010 15:42:52 | More by egy
Photo of mewanderinghome


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

Note that I do something perhaps a little different and compare each beer I review to a "control" beer of the same type that I am very familiar with, and which I drink at the same time. In this case of American IPAs, my control is Bell's Two Hearted.

Poured from 22oz bomber into standard pint glass. No date on bottle, but purchased within the last 2 weeks (normally I'd sample sooner, but I got a cold right after buying a bunch of brews I'd been wanting to compare).

A: Compared to Two Hearted, Hop Rod Rye is significantly more red- a full mahogany to Two Hearted's amber. It has more clarity (at least until you get to the bottom of the bomber). It has approximately the same amount of carbonation & head & similar lacing characteristics...all of which are typical of first-rate craft IPAs.

S: Significantly sweeter, less 'sharp,' citrusy-floral smell than Two Hearted. Hints of the rye and some sweet earthy breadiness. Excellent.

T: The citrus notes that some of the other reviews of this beer mention are indeed there, but they are not as pronounced as those in Two Hearted. More maltiness despite still reflecting a whole lot of hops (excellent balance). A little nutty even, in comparison to Two Hearted. I have always loved Two Hearted's flavor, from initial taste to aftertaste, but Hop Rod Rye manages to make Two Hearted's aftertaste seem ever so slightly soapy in comparison- something I've never noticed before...in short, Hop Rod Rye tastes awesome.

F: A little lighter mouthfeel, less creamy. The carbonation in both beers is more evident in the feel here, sparkling on the tongue.

D: Yup :) The only thing I can really mention is that I did start feeling quite bloated halfway through the bottle. Could be due to the slightly-higher-than-average carbonation of both beers or some reaction the yeasts were having with each other in my stomach during the taste test :)

P (Price): This is a category I feel is important. At my local store, the 22oz bomber of Hop Rod Rye is a very reasonable $3.79, and a 12oz single of Two Hearted is $1.79. 17 cents per ounce vs 15. Very close & both reasonable.

Overall: Thanks to previous reviews on BeerAdvocate, in only my 2nd official taste test I've found a very worthy competitor to Two Hearted. Maybe it's the newness of the find and my enthusiasm will dull over time, but for now I'd even venture to put it above Two Hearted..ever so slightly. Its characteristics make it seem especially well suited as an American IPA for the winter season.

UPDATE: The 2nd time I had it, I was less impressed. Not bad by any means, but it came off as quite a bit maltier and less balanced. Not going to change any of my numerical ratings because it may have sat longer on the store shelf or my taster might have been off.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 05:40:10 | More by mewanderinghome
Photo of Rodrickor


4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: copper, one finger head dissipates to a foamy floating mass. This left the most beautiful lacing I've ever seen, thus the perfect score here.

S: Floral hops, orange peel, watermelon-like phenolics

T: HOPS! and orange peel, watermelon jolly rancher with a finish of bitter flowery hoppy goodness

M: Crisp, classic IPA with low-medium carbonation, very nice

D: Shows its teeth, but quaffable. Finished a brown bomber without any problem despite the hop bitterness

Overall, wonderful for any hop-head, and a unique taste (my first rye ale). Definitely piqued my interest in the style, and I would get it again. That, and $5 for a bomber is pretty good 'round here.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 17:22:57 | More by Rodrickor
Photo of TMath524

New Hampshire

4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Popped a 12 oz. bottle I picked up down in MA. Bought it based on the rave reviews, but only picked up two single bottles because disgusting design work always makes me skeptical.

Poured it into a Maine Beer Co. Pint glass. Nice one-(fat-)finger head. Color is reddish brown like a maple demi-glace.

Nose is what I'd expect from a good rye beer, but I'm not getting much of the hops, which I expected since I read what the copywriter put on that seriously tacky label.

Taste is really smooth, with the hops and carbonation coming in towards the middle, and hanging out after the rye disappears with the liquid like two strangers who meet half way through a decent party, then have a great conversation and decide to go out for drinks when the host runs out of good liquor and the lame co-workers take over the iPod playlist. Overall, a winner.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 01:49:25 | More by TMath524
Photo of spdrz


4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had walked by this ale repeatedly, passing it over every time. When I saw the rating it received on this site recently, I had to give it a go.

Pours cloudy with browns dominating the color profile. Nice head, almost a light tan. Medium-strong lacing after the head recedes. Clearly unfiltered and a unique hue for this style.

Can you smell the rye? I can in a subtle spiciness that peeks its head through the the citric-floral hop aroma. Malt is present with a grist-y sweetness that piggy-backs the spicy rye.

This is a VERY balanced IPA. I am pleasantly surprised. No overwhelming, cloying, astringent, resinous hop-attack. It is there, but well in equilibrium with the rest of the ale. Some floral-ity that could be hops or rye, and a little peach-pine zip. Again the rye is noticeable with a woody, lemon zest spiciness. 8% abv. is well masked, with just a tinge of alcohol induced sweetness.

Really gentle on the palate. Medium-heavy mouthfeel. 18% rye probably plays a major role in the feel. One of the better characteristics that this ale has going for it. Truly adds to the overall enjoyment.

HIgh marks for the big D-(rinkability). Because of its balance this Rye-PA outshines many of the super-behemoths of this style. It is smoooove.

Marks down for a non-traditional hue and a subdued hop aroma in the nose. Marks up for balance, mouthfeel, flavor, and drinkability. Great ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2007 18:35:04 | More by spdrz
Photo of jwinkleblech


3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First taste of Bear Republic and was not disappointed. Full flavored IPA, dark red, gorgeous head that would not go away. The rye to me "cuts" the hop bitterness without reducing the great aroma and finish. Can't recommend this bear highly enough to hop heads looking for something that will satisfy!

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2008 20:39:31 | More by jwinkleblech
Photo of thisnamestoolong


4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a beautiful orange/amber with a thick white head.

S- I can tell I am really going to enjoy this one right off the bat -- bitter hops, a bit more citrus than pine, balanced very well by sweet caramel.

T- Very similar to the smell, kicks you in the face right off the bat with some pretty killer hops, pine and grapefruit, then mellows to a very sweet caramel. The alcohol is present in the aftertaste, but very well balanced.

M- Very strange, almost sticky feel to it. Extremely smooth, and definitely on the thick side.

D- A 22 oz. bomber went down very easily. Very drinkable for the girth of this beer, I could drink this one all night.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 15:47:50 | More by thisnamestoolong
Photo of warrenc


4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle

pours rich amber, tan head with nice lacing. the aroma is of pine and toasted malt. medium body and rich with sweet malt feel on tongue. nice balanced hops. the rye blends into a wonderful grapefruit finish that just does not quit. cant say anything bad about this beer, a favorite.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2009 06:32:52 | More by warrenc
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,050 ratings.