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Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,071 Reviews
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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
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Reviews: 2,071 | Ratings: 4,668
Photo of garymuchow
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle courtesy of Gueuzedude. Many thanks.
Aroma seemed fairly simple hops quality of grassiness and slight citrus. I didn't pick up much malt.
Dark amber of deep gold, brown and red. Big full steady head that became rocky. Left a great trail of lacey rings. Some setiment on the bottom and that showed in some cloudiness as poured towards the end of the bottle.
Flavor is a hop monster to be sure. Pleasant grassy taste up front that grows in intensity in the middle then bursts to an intense bitterness for the very long finish. The touch of malt is nice, but not outstanding and too quick and incomplete.
Great fullness from high carbonation, but it's largely soft and allows for some smoothness. Nice feel overall.
The excessive bitterness of the finish mellows a little as it warms, plus the malt charater increased simultaneously, but neither is enough to make this exceptional. I never really picked up on the rye qualties.

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

22 oz brown bomber with a nice & informative label. My wife & I split this big boy.

Beer poured a very dark bronze with a fluffy off-white head. Nice lacing.

Nice aroma of pine, fresh citrus and a bit of dinner roll smell. Yummy!

Taste is bitter yet balanced by some sweetness that comes in during the after taste. Lots of pine and grapefruit taste in the forefront. I’m not sure what the rye adds, but the beer is tasty. More caramel and alcohol emerges as you work through the beer.

Nice smooth mouth with a very nice level of carbonation. A little tongue numbing at time. Easy to drink but the high ABV would keep this from being a session beer.

My first beer from this brewery and it is a winner! I will look for more from these artists.

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Photo of clvand0
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Pours a dark amber color with a tall and creamy head that sticks around and leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is ... hops - citrus mostly. The flavor has a caramel malt backbone, but is dominated by the hop flavor. The rye gives it somewhat of a chewy, grainy feel. Interesting.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very unique color. I have called beers muddy and murky before (and likely will again) but this beer's appearance really defines those words. It also poured with an ever so slight head that never quite went away. The aroma is of rye bread (remember, rye?) and makes me want a pastrami sandwich. The flavor is hoppy, but sweet and not bitter. The rye aroma also come through in the taste and it makes me think I am chewing on a piece of rye bread. Very unique and different. The overall flavor is very rich and fragrant--it permeates all the way through the finish.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Show Room Label Lore: Single labeled 22 oz. Brown bomber. Made with 18% rye. “sediment warning.” 8.0 % ABV Seasonal Ale.

Start yer engines! Dark coppery slightly hazy russet pour with delicate beading up the sides of me pint. Some floaty sediment particles floating around topped off by a rock solid craggy, surface of the moon head cap of khaki tan tight bubbles ½” thick that wont go away if you asked it to. Lace paints the inside of the glass. Second yeast pour released a hootnanny of scrod chunkers.

Intake and Exhaust: Blasts of Pine resin oily hop goodness and malt power bordering on nutmeg scents. With an aromatic scent such as this, one needs to be intrepid to taste.

First Spark Plug Sparks: Grounded deep malt back to the overwhelming hops eruption. Deep resinous hops oils and biscuit malt wheat bread backing. Acidic feel is syrupy sweet and tacky. This is a flavor playground. Pez powder and syrupy acidic lemon rind & oranges. Aftertaste is a lingering acidic sizzle and grain. The rye is a beguiling deceptive ingredient that reveals itself only in the most subtle way of graininess.

Handling: Hand me a steak knife and a fork. Thick full body. Quite filling on a chilly nite t’nite. This is a sluggable big powerful beer. Scary Drinkability factor since another bomber (if only to be so lucky) would go back in a 2000 RPM engine rotation.

Cross the finish line: Half 2IPA, half BarleyWine. Big and bold. 8% ABV. Reminds me of Alpha King with more malt towards DFH 90 minute. What an excellent top notch beer. A delight. Obtained in a trade. Must get more. My toungue is D-U-N. Look at my smile. Any enamel left? The IBUs would give Ruination a run. Rev ‘em up. Thanks to JayT for the bottle.

Beer is good. Happy overly hopped 2IPA beering.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out of the bomber a deep brownish read color with a nice creamy head on top. Quite an interesting color for an I2PA. Unique. The nose on this one is upfront with lemon and grapefruit hopiness along with some caramel and grain, which I'm guessin is rye. A bit subdued.

The first swig is a bitter blast of grapefruity citrus hops along with a nice caramel malty backbone that works its magic to keep everything together. The rye imparts a unique flavor that ties in nicely. Finishes with a lingering hop biterness that will kick your palates ass...how many IBU's is this?

Mouthfeel is nice...medium body and smooth velvet creaminess. Drinkability is awesome here...the alcohol is well hidden and it tastes so damn good. Easy to gulp and a great treat for the hophead in all of us. My advice is to find it and try it!

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

This is the darkest IPA I've ever seen. Is that good or bad? Creamy head strays left of white. This smells like hops. Tastes good. Very odd, I'll lend that to the rye. Hop flavor devastates this brew. The high ABV hide nicely behind all that flavors. I've been drinking this for a while now and will continue to.

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Photo of Bruiser81
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color, almost like dark mahagony. Thick creamy head, tan in color.
Lots of hops in the aroma, along with some citrus and carmel.
Taste is very hoppy to start but as it warms a little bit of carmel malt begins to show. Not as much rye in the flavor as I expected but this is the first rye beer I've tried. It's certainly there though. Very tasty beer. Wish it was available here.

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Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of longarm
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with a thick froth. Doesn't appear much like a pale ale.

It initially hits with a stong dose of caramel malts (possibly caravienne???) and a lot of citrus and pine-like hops. Very bold and enticing. After several weeks of drinking pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest brews, I'm ready for something bitter and hoppy. Wow, this is bitter! But I like it. Not for the faint of hop-heart, this brew slammed me with a constant dose of malt flavor, hop flavor and then that hop bitterness kicks-in. The rye is in there, mostly it seems on the finish. Overall, the bitterness seems a little harsh, and my own preferences would tone it down just a bit. Then again, sometimes we just need to get a good kick in the arse, and this brew will do just fine for that.
Mouthfeel is a little slick, but it has a lot of body, which it needs to stand-up to all of the flavors. Overall, this is a good beer, with a lot of complexity. The name is quite fitting. t's also probably only for those who like strong hop bitterness.

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Photo of rastaman
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. This is great. All the hallmarks of an American strong are there, lychee, pine and gapefruit. loads of hops. Dryer than most in its style. Nicely bitter finish, some burnt tea leaves, great balance. A quality beverage. Lots a hops, but it seems more interesting than most hopped up beers.

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Photo of oracle
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle server in a shaker style glass

Pour a deep mahogany, with large creamy tan head that left heavy lacing.

Smelled heavily of hops. Strong acohol present in the nose as well (at 8% this is not surprising).

Complex taste, strong hops, but also a mixture if sweet malt and carmel. Long drawn out finish. A great beer with a steak.

To tell the truth, I find this beer to be remarkably similar to, Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Barleywine, which I also like quite a bit. It's not quite as intensely over-the-top hoppy.


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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a very nice dark and crisp amber colour wuth a giant sticky tan head that looks creamy and inviting. it looks more like a turbo charged red ale than what i'd expect from a double ipa, but certainly no complaints, as it looks great all-around. the smell is a solid bread and rye with hop throughout. this one's a bit dirty and sweet smelling at times as well too. the flavour hits you with a surprising aount of malt and bitterness before moving into hops, dirt and tree bark and then some full on rye flavour at the finish. the hop burps are quite yummy with the rye taste mixed in. this one remains tasty throughout whilst not being overpowering, which is nice. another winner from bear republic, which seems to produce (in my eyes) a consistent string of very good brews, but can't move into the 'blow me away' range...yet.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Foamy white head that has great retention, giving way to some strong lacing after letting it sit for about five or ten minutes. Dark auburn in color with shades of red.

A very strong hop aroma; piney, oily, and some citric aromas. There's also a mellow clove-like spiciness which I attributed to the rye.

A great juicy Double IPA! The flavors are grapefruit, lemon, and hop oils at first that give way to a burnt toffee aftertaste. The rye is almost nut-like and very warming. It balances out the over the top hop flavors well. A medium malty sweetness is also present that provides a great bitterness.

This is a big hop beer and it is thick on the palate. Any Double IPA with this much flavor though is expected to be a bit thick and heavy. At 8%abv this one goes down very smoothly.

A great beer for the style, especially if you're a hophead. This is one of the better Double IPA's out there and it's unique as well. This is something that should be sought after.

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Photo of Denali
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at The Moan and Dove in Amherst, MA.

Brown liquid, almost completely opaque with no head. Aroma was of floral hops and a sweet smell reminiscent of brown sugar (although this could have been the malt).

Taste matched the aroma, with the bitter hop flavor dominating. However, what was interesting was the way in which the flavors emerged. The taste starts off bitter with the brown sugar flavor coming through in the background. Suddenly, the flavors then stop like a caesura, temporarily canceling out one another to nothingness. Then the bitterness and dry finish come back in a rage. Very cool effect.

Drinkability is only limited by the ABV. A nice beer. I have a bottle of this as well and am curious to see how that will taste as compared to on tap.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mahogany hue wth some orange streaks and a massive light tan head with big pillowy sheets of lace on the pint.
Aroma of citrus and resiny hops with caramel underpinnings. Got maybe just a hint of the rye used.
Flavor of caramel malt and spicy rye followed by a barrage of powerful Northwestern hops. So bitter almost has metallic quality.
Mouthfeel is a tease of sweet malt followed by palate destroying, tongue numbing, IBU train wreck of flavor. Wow !, might be the most purely bitter beer I've ever imbibed.
Drinkability is good but begs to be drunk withsome spicy food but still great on a stand alone basis.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Wow! I definitely got my money's worth with this beer. I see its in the American Double IPA category.... wow! Can it be?

It's a rye ale. But the beer is so drinkable! There is definitely a copious amounts of hops in this beer... but you would never know. Beautiful, clean malt taste in the beginning and throughout blanket the hops, but don't subdue them too much.

What balance for such a strong beer. Kudos to the folks at Bear Republic. I will definitely recommend this beer to others!

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Photo of rajendra82
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bomber was received from meathookjones in a trade that took place a little while back, and I am finally getting around to trying it now. The beer had a lovely coppertone hue as I poured it into the goblet, and the head on top was deliciously creamy, and beige with a thickness of about 2 inches at the beginning. The head was a bit short lived, but the copious lacing left on the sides of the glass while departing was a constant reminder of it.

The aroma was primed with piney and citric juicy hops, bready rye malt, and perfumey alcohol. The taste was like buttered rye toast with a touch of honey dunked into tea made of hop leaves. The mouthfeel felt a bit thinner than the alcohol in the aroma first suggested. The aftertaste was peppery and dry, and left me longing for the next sip. This is a very well crafted beer that will be missed due to its local unavailability. But for now I’ll pour me another glass.

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Photo of IceAce
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep sienna coloring with excellent clarity topped by a single finger collar of dense, tan foam. Lacing is of the very best quality

Aroma: While the hops (of course) dominate the nose, one can detect the underlying notes of the high quality malt

Taste: Initial impression...hops. Mid-taste...hops. Finish...hops. As the brew warmed the mid notes of malt and rye were more easily detected.

Mouthfeel: A 'thick' and satisfying mouthfeel with very good body

Drinkability: Well above average as long as you do not need to use your taste buds for anything else in the immediate future

Hop Rod is brewed with 18% flaked rye and is a 'must taste' for self acclaimed hopheads

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

Light brown with a big sudsy head.

Powerful hop aroma, even 1 foot away I'm picking it up. Big grapefruit smell and a light rye smell. A pleasant light sweetness is mixed in as well.

Full bodied, very smooth with a light carbonation. A nice blend of flowery and citrus hops show up first that's combined with a light caramel flavor. The middle loses the floweriness and becomes bitter with an alcohol flavor that isn't especially strong. It finishes off with a delightful dry bitterness.

A delicious IIPA, I didn't really notice the rye flavor, but it's still very good. I like how Bear Republic crafts these very well balanced IPA's, it's nice to be able to drink something afterwards and still taste it.

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Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional IPA grapefruit highly hopped with edge of rye, which made it quite interesting. Amber. Very drinkable to the point of drop off. Hop burps citrus aroma. Malts for balance.Roast tea, bitter aftertaste.
Had this nearly three years later, it was in my basement for half a year or so, Very bitter with some rye, but did not like it as much. Still very drinkable.

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

on tap at Redbone's

Deep coppery red with off-white crema. Strong sweet piney scent. Rich and full bodied malt, with lots of resiny pine hops and lingering sweetness. Reminds me of Arrogant Bastard. Oh yeah, this is delicious stuff, but where's the rye?

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

Pours a nice dark amber with a very spacious, foamy eggshell head. Tons of retention and nice lacing. Smells quite citrusy with a nice amount of biscuit and lemon grass coming through. Tastes like a premium IPA should. Not a huge hop kick in the nuts, but a very balanced, strongly hopped beggining. This is followed by a slight malty reprieve, then turns back to grapefruit, lemon, and rye. Mouhtfeel is rather large and the body is moderately chewy. The alcohol is hitting me hard on this. Grand IPA.

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

Piked up a bomber at TJ's recently. Bear Republic is my 2nd favorite brewery anymore. Look out Stone!

This dark reddish brown brew poured a nice head leaving a nice lacing down my 22 oz glass. Smell is wonderful, of glorius floral hops, grapefruit, and rye. Taste is excellent. I have paired this off with tortilla chips, con queso cheese sauce, and hot salsa. The high alcohol content is masked extremely well by a wonderful blend of rye, sweet malts, and a ton of hops. My tounge feels totally alive as a result of a more than generous share of hops. This is an extremely drinkable beer but as my credo goes, "Beer will always be my friend as long as you don't abuse it"!

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

Gigantor. Robust hops -- the rose of Centennial, the grapefruit and tropicalia of Cascades, the dry lemon of Amarillo, and astringent pine; I have no idea if those are the hops that are actually here, but it makes no difference in the end what the names are.

Hop Rod Rye blooms with flavor. Apparently quite malty, but never aggressive with sweetness. Malts peek in and out as if this beer is being seasoned as I drink it. Loads of fruit from the hops. Dry, pressing bitterness on the finish is intense, but more evocative than anything else. It lingers and, after some time, pains me. Yet it brings more hop flavor -- never washing out. Some grain. Rosemary. Herbal.

Rye berries as it warms. The spicy grain of the rye is a perfect match for the toturous hops, to the point where all of this beer's flavor seems to be coming from the hops. There's an indescribable finesse to these hops -- you taste all that West Coast goodness, but there's something more. To my surprise, this is the rye which, once the beer really warms, comes off as pumpernickle, but is so delicate and such a fantastic complement that I don't think I would have known what it is without the label.

And, oh yes, that bitterness again. Oh, the effort it takes for me to not move the back of my tongue, to not excite it and awaken those raw hops yearning to make me cry. I think it has been destroyed. Think of this beer as an exercise in anatomy. I've read about the four main regions of the tongue; Hop Rod Rye excites them all, makes them each individually recognizable and simultaneously stimulated. This overload of a single sense has forced the rest of my body to shut down to compensate. I can't hear any more and everything I see looks like a hop bud. And my tongue is numb. Really.

The finish goes on for centuries, asymptotically approaching a final, bran-melting bitterness that, in the end, is tamed by tremendous hop flavor. An unnerving balance of extremities. Well, unnerving at least.


Relax, relax.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,071 ratings.