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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,431 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,431
Reviews: 2,047
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 237
Gots: 245 | FT: 3
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:
Beer added by: Quaffer on 03-27-2002

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,431 | Reviews: 2,047 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky reddish-amber - surprisingly dark for an IPA. The first pour provides 2 inches of frothy foam that lasts a respectably long amount of time.

Smell: Intensely hoppy; notes of pine and bready malts with a touch of citrus.

Taste: Extremely bitter and hoppy from the get-go; a subtle beer this is not. If you want balance, grab a Racer 5. The hops have a strong pine-like quality to them, typical of many of Northern California's best IPAs, but it's harnessed in an unusual way here. The rye provides a hint of spicy, gingerbread-like sweetness, creating a rounded flavor that a lot of bigger IPAs lack. The finish is oily and resiny, leaving a coating bitterness on the palate.

Mouth: Full-bodied and oily; this drinks almost like a stout.

Drinkability: Delicious but extremely potent. Not exactly a quaffable beer, but highly drinkable nonetheless.

Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with a almost creamy-like head that leaves sheets of lace down the glass,the rye really comes thru in the aroma along with a dose of grapefruit these aromas melded very well together I already knew this was gonna be a hoppy brew before even tasting.Like a few of the others who reviewed this one the first few sips hit pretty hard with some bigtime bitterness but mellowed after awhile with that late rye touch making this very refreshing.Glad to get a chance to try this a very nice beer would love to have on tap again sometime.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a reddish-browh body with a pillowy beige head and excellent, long-lasting lacing.

Smell: A truly gorgeous aroma of toasted caramel and sweet brown sugar. Full, gorgeous notes of pine and grapefruit. There's rye in the scent, too, but I expected more. Still, if someone can beat that aroma I'll give them a shiny new quarter.

Taste: Big, rich caramel (and brown sugar) sweetness marked by heavy hop accents of grapefruit and pine and the apparent taste of rye. Also, a little bit of vanilla in there as well. Tangy rye-ish, sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Excellent texture and carbonation.

Drinkability: An expertly crafted, wonderful beer. Marvelous!

Shiny new quarter. Seriously.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

been meaning to get on this one for awhile. this is a monster beer. hands down one of the most hoppy and most complex rye beers ive had. it pours a deep indian brown color with just a bit of haze. looks pretty dense, with some light coming through, but not much. theres about a one inch off white head on it, but it recedes pretty quickly. the nose is very very hoppy. sticky sweet dank hops, oily and aggressive. theres also some spice from the rye, bready and pungent, as well as a darker sweeter malt profile than i expected when i bought it. the flavor is unreal. so much going on. at first sip its a hop trip, high alpha and mean, but that gets interrupted fairly quickly by a really distinct and different peppery rye flavor that comes out of nowhere and lasts the rest of the time. sweeter malt kicks up at the end, and the bitter aspect of the hops finally comes back. the finish is long and complex. this is a gem as far as flavor journey goes, more rye heavy than any ive had i think. mouthfeel is good, big and thick on the body, with enough carbonation to make it dangerously drinkable. there is some hop resin left in the mouth though that is a love it or hate it kind of thing. i think it makes the beer come across a bit heavy, but thats just me. this is a perfect cold weather beer, with all the necessary elements. high abv, big hop, lots of body, and stick to your guts malt. this is worth the hype for sure.

Photo of biboergosum
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a bomber of this during a trip to Austin, Texas a few months ago, and I'm feeling a bit masochistic in my beer craving tonight, so in the interests of serving that, and not letting this IPA get any older, bottoms up...

This beer pours a hazy dark copper brown with an abundance of foamy, frothy white head, that takes its sweet time going away. The smell is grapefruit citrus hops, and sweet caramel malt, with a bit of grainy spiciness. The taste is a wallop of citrus and pine hops, balanced by a decent sweet malt backbone. The grainy spiciness of the rye is quite evident, and a nice addition to the usual suspects. The carbonation is on the moderate side, and there is only a mild warming from the alcohol. This finishes off-dry, with a nice tangy bitterness from some leafy green hoppiness. Once my palate reset itself to Hops, Straight Ahead!, this became very drinkable. Would that i could have this as the base for a session...

Photo of emerge077
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of zeff80
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of dertbert.

A - Poured out a dark amber/burgandy color with a tan, creamy, two-finger head that left behind nice lacing.

S - It smelled of tons of hops and rye! There was a light maltiness detected, too.

T - It tasted bittersweet with the grassy hoppiness. It had an earthy quality and a touch of caramel malt.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - Another great offering from Bear Republic.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

I looked at Barnes and Noble, but I just couldn't find the newest issue of Hop Rod Magazine... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunset amber topped by a finger of off-khaki foam. The nose comprises pine sap, grapefruit zest, rye spice, and a touch of lightly-toasted biscuit. The taste brings in more of the same, with the pine coming through a tad sharper. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a solid, tasty rye-ish IPA, good times despite the relative lack of balance in favor of the hops.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! This beer really knocked me out. Love at first sip! It pours a rich mahogany colored body topped by a densely creamy bone white head that holds quite well. The head eventually drops, but keeps a good collar and light surface covering - as well as leaving some excellent lace. There are some suspended particles of yeast & hop, but it's only slightly hazy beyond that. The aroma offers a light fruitiness, a gently sweet maltiness, and some sweetly citrusy/lightly piney hops. The body is full, oily, and quite creamy as it warms in the mouth, supported by a moderate and very fine carbonation from bottle conditioning. But the flavor is what really caught my attention! Richly malty with a toffee-ish sweetness, boldy fruity, lightly spicy, and well-infused with bold hop flavor and a firm, but balanced, bracing bitterness. It's quite unique. Although there's only a small percentage used, I guess it's the rye that really helps to give it its distinct character. There's certainly some caramel malt going on, but it also has a spicy edge to it. It finishes dry with a short burst of malt sweetness up-front, and then a long lasting mild piney hop flavor and bitterness. A really flavorful and complex beer that pulls no punches and has exceptional drinkability. Absolutely worth seeking out.

Photo of nickfl
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color with a thin but foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is hoppy and very fruity with a little bit of carmelized malt. The citrus sweetness and floral hops are very complimentary.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with a good, strong hops burst, some citrus sweetness, some dry rye breadiness and a good hearty malt character. The after-taste is heavy with hops bitterness.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easy with no hint of the ABV, despite the description on the label (“alcohol burnin’ monster ale”), very good representation of style. I took out the bomber rather quickly. I was a little hesitant because I’ve have both good and bad experiences with beer that have the word “rye” in their names. This beer was certainly a good experience.

Photo of Jason
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Anam Cara, stated that it was 7.7% abv … I have seen people say that it is 7.5%-8.0%.

Superb frothy head with an unyielding retention. Perfect clarity showing a deep reddish mahogany colour. Massive hop aroma, clean and pungent going from piney to grapefruit rind. A hint of spicy rye in the nose as well.

Lush crispness with a creamy back in the full body … I swear it was massaging my tongue. I felt the malt covering the palate but the hops are too much to handle … in a good way. So much hop flavour and the bitterness was spot on, when the beer warmed up a bit the spiciness of the rye came through as well as some caramel maltiness.

By far one of the best west coast beers I have had to date.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: This one pours a copper ruby tone with something floating inside could be yeast could be hop particles and forms a decent thicket of cream toned head with brilliant patches of lacing spread thick and evenly. Aroma: The combonation of piney and floral hops blended with the rye are such a great combonation here, this is one of those classic beers buttery hops in your face but not over done what a great scent I would buy soap that smells like this if it was available. Taste: So much hop flavor yet not too much bitterness it's like they added hop extract or something to make the perfect blend of pine, this isn't all hops the malts make an appearance here they act as sweetened butter coated on lucious steamed hop buds with the rye here to accent all of the flavors this is by far the best rye beer I have ever tasted b/c they didn't try to make the rye the dominant flavor. Mouthfeel is medium in body but the smoothness of this beer going down is impeccable perfect amount of carbonation so easy drinking this one deserves awarded across the board. There is no hype behind this beer and by the quality and great flavor of this beer I am sure that the rest of the Bear Republic lineup in my fridge is going to be just as prosperous. A 22oz. bottle of this goes down effortlessly if this ever made in a keg to the east coast it would be first in line for my newly converted kegerator, awesome brew a hop suspension is going on with specks of hops floating but oh the joy that comes from sampling this beer, thank you to whoever brewed this fine nectar for the beer gods of blessed thee.

Photo of Kegatron
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark amber with a huge poofy head of light tan head. After several minutes, I'm able to get a little more beer into the glass and it eventually settles down into a downright beautiufl creamy retention that left some awesome spirals of thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is absolutely rich with a nice blend of roasted rye malts, some caramel sweetness, citrus notes, and piney hops.

The taste is initially sweet up front with a mix of roasted rye and caramel malts but then gives way to resinous hop bitterness that sticks and lingers on the palette before a final wash of sweetness comes in. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very nice smooth and creamy feel.

I must say that the balance between the rye and piney hops in this beer is almost damn near perfect and is what really makes this great. As for drinkability, I was hard pressed to remember that this thing was 8% at the rate that the 22oz bottle disappeared. This is definitely a top rate beer and one you should seek out.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear dark amber brown with a sizeable dark crème head. Nose is strong with hops of course. But it is not so much that it is overdone. I say it is well balanced and even. Flavor is rich and smooth. Heavy hop influence with a touch of sweet and basically no alcohol seems to be present. Smooth and even are the key words here. Feel is great. Good carbonation and a thick level of ingredients. Very drinkable. Worth trying and trying again.

Photo of jlindros
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to pint glass

A: Big frothy 1.5 finger head that fades dark brown reddish hazy color

N: Nose has lots of noble hops and maybe a touch of sweet malts but not much to it

T: Taste starts with some darker malts and rye taste, it has a strange tangy sour-like flavor that's not really sour probably from the rye, a good hop character dominates the taste with a high spicy hop taste and bitterness and maybe a touch of smoked malts, there is also an interesting juicy fruity center like peach or something similar

M: Mouth is very frothy and medium thickness

F: Finish is pretty dry and has a really strong bitter hop character with more spicey hops and a little alcohol on the finish,

Final Thoughts: with the strong rye and hop character it's tough to drink but has a great taste, this is a great change from a typical DIPA

Photo of Slatetank
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this growler at Cobbblestones in York. Poured chilled into a Guinness tulip.

A - a beautiful garnet color with very good clarity and foamy light tan head .

S - Buttloads of citrus w/ a high amount of grapefruity goodness and a subtle caramel malt sweetness in the nose

M - For an agressively hopped beer there is a nice amount of creamy and sweet texture from the malt.

T - A nice sweet orange rind sour and bitter hop flavor up front that relaxes slowly into a spicy and grapefruit-like flavor. The light caramel and a lovely floral hop layered beneath the citrus and subtle rye edge is splendid

D - The drinkability of this beer is extremely good. I drank several pints from the growler in one sitting. I consider the combination of flavors delightful but the abv is the only thing that keeps it from a '5'

Photo of oline73
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a slightly murky reddish dark amber color with a finger of off white head. The head fades to a layer covering the top of the pour with some really nice lacing.

Smell: Full of wonderful citrusy hops with a sweet malt background. I can definitely smell the spice from the rye.

Taste: Hops are the dominant flavor here, but there is plenty of malt sweetness and rye to keep things interesting. Some mildly sweet bready malt along with the bitterness. The finish is full of rye spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy, tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really nice rye beer. The hops, malt and rye work together very well. I'll definitely have it again at some point.

Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of russpowell
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a impressive amber to red color with superior clarity! Fluffy white head retains well all the way down.

Smell: Hops & More hops, floral and spicy with some maltiness coming through with each pop of the bubbily head.

Taste: Bitterness is best descibed as piney and tart (may be attributible to the rye). Malty swwetness and some smokiness (hickory) sneaks through.

Big fat maltniess and and prickly hopiness provide ideal balance

Despite its strength I could drink this until sleepy! Only had 2 from bear republic ( black bear stout, being the other), but Iam ho(p)ping for more!

Photo of MasterSki
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared this with the family during dinner tonight - my father-in-law loves the bottle. No discernible date on this bad boy - wish all makers of IPAs would give freshness dates.

A - Golden amber color, largely opaque, with generous creamy head that dissipates quickly to a complex lace that lines the sides of the glass.

S - Hops, sweet malt, rye whiskey - I think this is an older bottle because I remember the hops being stronger. The age actually balances this one out quite nicely. There's a nice array of bitterness, sweetness, and sharpness to the smell.

T - Fruity and malty, the hop bitterness only really makes an appearance in the aftertaste. I get lemon most of all out of the citrus notes. Not tasting that much rye - there's just the slightest hint of whiskey and wood at the top of the palate. Not at all boozy - wish this had a little more depth to it.

M - Good density, not overly carbonated, smooth and creamy. Leaves a resinous feeling afterward.

D - Might be a little too sweet for me to have all the time, but it's easy to down a bomber.

Very solid, and the rye and bottle label make it stand out from what is otherwise a very crowded genre (American IPAs).

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of mactrail
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Powerful hoppy mellow ale.

Rich and mouthfilling with a nice touch of sweetness. Wonderful aroma of something like candied hops. Almost a Belgian sugar flavor. I wonder how this would be if they did a "Belgo" version like the Stone barley wine. Hints of smoke, lots of caramel, and the impression of a Scotch Ale with some extra hops. Quite bitter after the malt, but fades to a nice complex mix.

I have liked this beer for a long time. Glad to see it's rated highly by a lot of people. It's my idea of an IPA. I guess I always thought of it as just a unique hoppy brew .

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,431 ratings.