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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,062 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,062
Hads: 4,602
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 14.39%
Wants: 270
Gots: 327 | FT: 2
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hop Rod Rye Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,062 | Hads: 4,602
Photo of Duff27
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark, dark red. Thick and frothy initial one inch head that stick around until the end. Lacing aplenty on all sides.

S- Sweet smelling. Hoppy. Almost has a cinnamon smell to it.

T-Lots of hops...subtle hints of the 18% rye. Piney. I get a slight sweet taste at the end.

M- Medium mouthfeel, smooth.

D/O- The 8%abv is very hard to grasp, holy cow. What a delicious brew, my first from Bear Republic. The price point is ridic...just saw a bomber for $4.79 tonight. Highly recommended.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, brownish cherry-red, perfectly clear, with a huge pillowy head of beige foam. Lacing is out of this world, clinging like crazy to the edge of the glass. Little carbonation, and the viscosity looks high. Awesome looking beer.

Amazingly powerful and complex nose - aromas of pineapple, sweet citrus, molasses, rosewater, and tantalising hints of vanilla, resin, wintergreen and cut grass. Oh my. The plethora of flavours presented here is extraordinary. Such a wide swathe, but all intermingling, bouncing off one another, in a seeming anarchy that makes a peaceful whole. What a wonderful smelling beer - possibly the most blissfully aromatic brews I've ever sampled.

Taste is also fantastic. A delicious initial sour character bites the front of the tongue, before a welling up of juicy, luscious hop bitterness cushioned on a base of almost fruit sweetness. Tangy, slightly sour finish that leaves you wanting more, more, MORE. Mouthfeel is very nice, with a very slight effervescence on the tongue which coincides with the crescendo of hops.

Wonderful, wonderful beer - what a top notch drop. This will easily be one of the hardest things I have to leave behind here in the States when I return to Oz.

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

On tap at Max's on Superbowl Sunday....

The beer pours a hazy, orange/amber color with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose the beer is very IPA-like, with lots of floral citrus and lime. On the palate the beer is quite delicious, with the rye flavor quite noticeable. The rye gives the beer a somewhat dry aspect, but also some additional complexity. There is plenty of citrus as well, and the beer is surprisingly light on its feet for such a hoppy beer with 8% abv. The beer comes across as quite drinkable, with a cascade of bitter all through the finish. Just delicios.

Another very fine beer from Bear Republic.

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Photo of plaid75
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep hazy dark amber/ruby hue with two fingers of thick, clumpy and creamy head. There was excellent retention and superb sticky lacing. Very impressive.

The smell was dominated by a citrusy hop aroma. There was a decent grain presence and little touch of spice - perhaps the rye.

The taste was full blown hops. Beautiful oily hop flavor, balanced with a spicy grain and malt element. A nice clean biscuity aftertaste. A bit of an alcohol presence.

The mouthfeel was full and smooth. Excellent carbonation.

Overall a superb IPA. A nice ABV and an excellent body.

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

A - Beautiful maple syrup with a creamy head that holds up well and leaves a crazy lace.

S - Big citrus/west-coast hops.

T - Definitely delivers. This is a rye-IPA if I've ever had one. Bright, green-wood hops. Rye, black pepper, and warming booze. Coriander. Mild molasses-like sweetness.

M - Medium/full body with a pleasant carbonation. Lightly spicy finish with a nice dry/sweet balance.

O - A great rye beer. Probably my second favorite to date after Cane and Ebel.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep ruby red with a firm creamy whipped tan head. Slight haze with some bubble raising in the middle. Lots of pungant citrusy hops win out over some sweet caramel and spicy rye aroma. Again, the hops are the major player, but the rye character is worthy of your attention. Both together create a wonderfully blend of citrus and spice that would please the most disearning hop head. Body may be a bit thin, but that my make this sort of a refreshing beer.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.36/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours with a two-finger bubbly white head that fades slowly leaving a ton of lace. Clear amber color. Medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Medium carbonation. Starts crisp and finishes hoppy, very little malt sweetness. $4.60 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, Ma.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a deep amber slightly hazy body with strong carbonation and a thick creamy light tan head.

S- Nice citrus hop aroma with a bit of grassiness. A hint of spicy malt finishes the smell.

T- Nice creamy maltyness with a powerful bitter grapefruit hoppiness that has some resins and pine notes. Also a nice pepper spiciness that adds to the burst of hop flavor.

M- Creamy mouthfeel with a slight astringency at the finish but very faint. No alcohol warmth noted.

D- This is a big hop monster with a great creaminess and nice spiciness from the rye. It is well balanced malt and rye that gives a backbone to the great hops. I'm glad this comes in a bomber cause a 12 oz would be to small.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark red with a one finger head. Short retention and splotchy lacing.

S: Sort of peculiar... some malty caramel, some floral hops, and ... applesauce? Maybe the spiciness of the rye is doing strange things to my brain.

T: Comes across as more of a Red Ale / Amber than an IPA. Rich bready malts with a touch of caramel. Bitter, but not overly so.

M: Medium-heavy body, but with a clean finish. Lingering malt and floral hops.

O: A little hard to know what to do with this... The brewery calls it an IPA, but it's way out of style guidelines. Seems to be a pleasantly hoppy Amber to me. It's a fine average-plus beer, but I'm not really sure what it's doing on the Top 250.

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

Served at Al's of Hampden.

A: The IPA is very dark, many hues away from the standard copper color. This is more dark caramel, approaching brown ale territory. The pour seemingly lacks nitro, as the head was negligible at best.

S: The nose is hoppy, muted a bit (perhaps a little long in the tooth), but still heavy woth pine and citrus. The muted hops allow the rich carraway and spicy rye to shine though. And man, I love those rye beers.

T: Much like the nose, the hops are bold but not as bold as they could be. Piney citrus, oily and thick, can be avoided. Again, the rye stands out more than normal, adding a rich peppery spiciness that overtakes the hops mid-sip. The dark bread, emboldened, is chewy, with carraway spice livening it up. I really like that the rye is prominent. The bready finish incorporates the resiny hop bitterness that has been lingering throughout.

M: The IPA is spicy, not in the hot way but in a rich, dark bread way. The emphasis on rye presents a stark contrast to the sharp hops, allowing both to play off of each other.

D: A meal in the glass. Bitter hops, chewy malts. The ale can't avoid its booziness though, so strength is an issue (albeit minor).

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

Poured from 22 oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: dark tawny color with hints of ruby; 1-finger tan head which hung in there well.

Smell: nice collection of citrusy and spicy hops.

Taste: not the hop bomb I would have guessed from the name; in my opinion, this is a good thing. There is plenty of malt backbone to give the hops room to shine; it reminds me almost of a strong dark Belgian. The hops are spicy on the front and remain on the tongue that way, but toward the end mellow out into a nice floral flavor. Great stuff!

Mouthfeel: nicely carbonated, medium body, and very creamy. Love it!

Drinkability: dangerously drinkable. Strong but balanced, this could get me into trouble.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a Lagunitas wide mouth glass. no bottling date.

Pours a dark reddish brown with a very light head. Very mild hoppy smell with a hint of rye, but not much to go by. was expecting more from the nose. taste is a tad hoppy, with a good balance of malts. its nothing spectacular but quite alright. good feel...medium bodied with light carbonation. easy to down this one and the 8% isnt detectable.

overall its a solid beer, but nothing worldclass in my eyes. it'd most certainly be better fresh, got this at a local store but with no bottling date im not sure how fresh it is. would like to try this on tap.

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Photo of corby112
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber/chestnut brown color with dark ruby edges and a two finger frothy, pllowy off-white head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the pint with large rings and chunks of soapy lacing.

Sweet hoppy aroma with a nice combination of sweet citrus, earthy pine, rye and caramel malt. Dank oilly fresh hops are bursting through with hints of pine needle, tropical and citrus fruit. Hints of grapefruit, pineapple and citrus peel countered by sweet rye and malt.

Chewy body that is much fuller than expected with a blast of bitter and sweet hop flavor up front that lingers throughout into a dry finish. Bitter earthy pine needle is countered by sweet tropical and citrus fruit notes as well as the sweet rye and malt backbone. Hints of pineapple, grapefruit and citrus peel counter the dry bitter character and are complimented excellently by the sweet rye and malt profile. There's also a creamy presence mid-palate that adds to the complexity and mouthfeel. Excellently balanced with a well masked ABV resulting in an extremely quaffable hop bomb. Excellent!

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a bright, cranberry-amber with a huge, firm rocky beige head that was fully lasting throughout the course of the drink. Visible carbonation was light-medium.

S: a huge fresh citrus and grapefruit aroma as well light pine.

T: a very nice balance of hops and malt with a smooth bitterness of citrus/grapefruit. There was some sweet malt and pine resin that combined with the dry crisp nature of the rye palate. On the finish and fade was a beautiful dry citrusy flower hopping, that was sweet and bitter. Overall incredibly balanced with the dry crisp rye complimenting the flowery hop finish with a well rounded hop bitterness and flavor that was not coarse like many other ipas.

M: medium-full with a nice viscous nature, slightly oily with almost no carbonation detected.

D: Amazing drinking ipa that was well balanced with a refined dry citrusy/grapefruit and flowery hopping that provided an smooth and even bitterness with a great finish.

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Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, some citrus. Taste is the same, very hoppy, some citrus notes, the 8% alcohol is well hidden, as is the rye. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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

22ozer bottle from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige/light tan head above the dark copper brew. Head is airy like bread as the bubbles burst, and laces very nicely. Aroma is hops, citrus, pine, you name it, it's here. Seems like there may be some malt under all of it, but the nose can't find it. Taste is mostly about the hops (see Aroma, above), but there is a body and smoothness over the tongue that defies you to just pigeonhole it as another bottle of hops. Mouthfeel and drinkability excellent for the style, must be that rye making everything work out so well. Stop walking by this one on the shelf, take one home, and enjoy.

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Photo of beertunes
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into bubble pint glass. Poured a bright, clear reddish-mahogany color with about an inch of light khaki colored head that left a medium-heavy amount of lacing. A sharp hop nose that has an underlying earthiness. The expected hop flavors are present but with addition of rye they have a little something extra to hold onto, which in turn allows the hops to better express themselves. The blend of barley and rye gives this beer a distinctive, pleasant and satisfying flavor. The body is full and satisfying, something missing in most IPAs. As with most IPAs, this beer will burn your tastebuds, but unlike most IPAs, there is more flavor to be had. You will be feeling the effects if you have several, but this is as drinkable as an IPA can get. I highly recommend this beer, worth a lot of effort to get.

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Photo of Derek
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Definitely more of a rye beer than Founder's Red's Rye (which should certainly be classified as an IPA). This one could fit comfortably under either category.

Compared to the Racer 5, there's more bitterness, but not as much hop flavour (which is rounded out with the malts).

A: Deep, deep amber/dark-caramel; fluffy, slightly off-white head, some retention, great lace.

S: Pine, floral, citrus, toffee, jaggery, dark rye bread.

T: Pine, citrus & spicy hop flavours are upfront. Dark rye bread and a little caramel balance out the flavour. Bitterness is quite assertive, but not harsh. Warming alcohol in the finish. The EXTREME fusion of flavours is truly exceptional!

M: Moderate to full body, moderate carbonation, slight acidity. Well attenuated with a relatively dry finish.

D: Incredible for its strength, but certainly a hop-heads delight.

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Photo of DrJay
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, toffee/red colour topped by a thick, fluffy, off-tan head. Excellent retention and stickage that leaves a very thick lace on the glass. I could smell hops as soon as I started pouring the beer. Plenty of citrus and floral hop aroma, to the point of being perfumy due to quantity. Malt is in there as well, a little bready, with an almost gingerbread quality that also shows up in the flavour. Complex hop flavours that are in balance with each other and are absolutely amazing. Grapefruit hop flavour is present all the way through, with a bit of pine resin, some hop spice, and orange. Maltiness is slightly grainy and quite drying. Assertive bitterness, just short of aggressive, that balances very well with the malt. Long, dry, bitter finish. Full bodied with medium carbonation and a rich, creamy texture. This is really, really good beer. The combination of rye with the high hopping rate works very well.

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

Poured from 22oz bottle a deep amber gold with a large head of foam that dissipated slowly leaving a nice billowy layer that stayed for the entire session.

The smell is very hoppy with a bunch of grapefruit and spices hitting my nose very nicely.

The taste is big on hops up front. Nice flavours of grapefruit and spiciness hit my palate causing me to make a smacking noise. ;^)
There's also a bit of malt presence that sweetens it up just a tad mid way through and the finish is the closest this brew comes to being balanced but...no matter how you slice it, this is one hella good tasting IPA that really satisfies in every category. Oh yeah, aboot the 8%abv...not a factor!

Bottom line: This is a world class IPA. See it? Buy it.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

Pours a dark copper color with a nice light tan head. The aroma is sweet malt, caramel, hints of rye and a good dose of hops. The taste features a solid malt backbone with a really nice hop profile. Another delicious beer from Bear Republic. Rye beers have quickly become a favorite of mine, and this is one of the better ones. Highly recommended.

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

12oz bottle poured into tulip 14/7/11

A clear dark amber when held to the light, loads of tiny particles upon further inspection, zero visible carbonation...oh wait there's a bubble but somehow a finger of tan head retains rather well leaving lots of random polka dot lacing

S piney with loads of tropical citrus and very faint spicy rye malt, I may not have found it had I not been looking for it

T more spicy rye then I could smell and much more pine, loads of rind on the finish, a little toffee but mostly piney, citric hops and that suits me just fine

M considering I literally saw a single bubble pop up off the bottom of the glass, you can understand my confusion at the creamy feel from the bubbles in my mouth. thick for the color with lingering flavors, pretty nice in this department

O perhaps a little generous with appearance and I may be making up for it here, 4.25 would be useful with this brew

the rye aspect is mild but works well, I'd be drinking this on a regular basis if I could find it in my area, for now I'll need to thank EskimoDave for sending a want my way

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

A: Clear dark red color. Poured a 1 finger tan head with good retention to a thick bubbly skim. Laced in broken rings

S: Floral, earthy hops aroma. Crystal malt and some peppery spice. Alcohol.

T: Crystal malt and citrus. More pronounced floral hops; slightly resiny. Sweet malt lingers ahead of a sharp bitter.

M: Medium to full body. Medium carbonation. Coating ahead of dry and slightly hot finish.

D: Big beer thats easy to drink.

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Photo of rudzud
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at Julio's. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep, dark burnt copper colour with a big almost 3 finger fluffy light brownish white head that leaves massive clumps of side lacing and slips down to leave a quarter inch blanket.

S - Nice clean hop aromas. With just a hint of rye.

T - Kinda like the nose. Good malts and bitter hop notes with a light rye spice at the end.

M - Nice amount of carbonation but its still a sipper thanks to the higher ABV.

O - Yeah, have yet to have a bad Bear Republic beer. Didnt enjoy as much as som eof their other ales though.

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

Pours a clear reddish brown, nice white head forms, plenty of lace, looks excellent. Rye really gives it a nice colour. Smell is floral hops, tempered by a hefty sweet malty base. Taste is sweet rich malts, caramel, huge hoppy floral middle, very clean bitter finish. Finish is dry, smooth, perfect carbonation, insanely good beer. Thanks DrJay!

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,062 ratings.