Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,066 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: 2,066 | Ratings: 4,638
Photo of Naerhu
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge tan head, brown read body, great lace.
Mostly pine hop aroma.
Cannot tell what makes this a rye. Cannot taste any rye.
Medium body and long lasting elegant finish.
This beer's selling point seems to be its hops, not its rye.
Spicy maltiness that I imagine is attributable to the rye. An elegant light sweetness.

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

Wow, what a beer.

Has a great head that sticks around, with a dark rich colour, and a nice hoppy aroma.

The taste starts off with a large floral attack and finishes with an wonderful bitterness.

I could drink gallons of this stuff even with the high abv.

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Photo of ybnorml
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first taste of a Bear Republic Ale. I will be trying more. The head was marvelously thick almost merienge. Looking thru the glass the ale is a dark amber not quite pristinely clear. The aroma has a great hop floral boquet. A good hop sweetness a the begining of the mouthful and a good hop bite on the swallow.

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

Not knowing what to expect from a rye beer I found this one to be quite a tasty surprise. It pours a clear dark brown color with some ruby hues mixed in. The ivory head quickly dissolved to a ring around the surface leaving a good amount of lace behind. A hoppy aroma of citrus, pine and pepper hovers over the beer.

Each sip is medium bodied and packed with flavor. Hops dominate with grapefruit and pine, but there's a nice caramel malt hidden in the background that balances everything out. It finishes bitter leaving a hoppy flavor behind.

This beer is moderately drinkable and full of flavor. Hopheads will find it tasty and Maltmen will appreciate the balanced flavor.

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Photo of xgrigorix
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Twenty two ounce brown bottle, no dates.

Dark auburn colour, with fast moving lines of carbonation. Dense off white head retains very weel, leaving lace behind as it slowly settles.

Bright grapefruit loaded hop aromas invite a sip.

A great bif IPA, with a sour rye twang that takes it someplace very tasty. Loads of sweetness, & a hoppy finish loaded with pine & grapefruit. Medium bodied, farily brisk carbonation. Highly unique, and quite delicious.

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Photo of ElGuapo
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark brown amber topped in a large coating of off-white head. Huge nose filled with hops. There are floral and citrus aromas as well as some spices in there. There is a little bit of malt sweetness that is detectable as well.

You start off with a blend of citrus and floral flavors that is pretty intense, but not overpowering. It gets a touch of sweetness to balance. It then gets a little toasty, but it doesn't seem to have as much rye character as others. It is all about the hops here. The body is pretty full, and it is smooth all the way down. The 8% is hidden extremely well. It is easy to drink, and even though it is on the thicker side, it doesn't seem like it after a pint. This is a marvelous brew.

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Photo of taez555
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a white head with a dark amber/brown body.

The nose was very inviting. Dark citrus hops. I serious in your face grapefruit peel citrus attack. Any hint of malt is completely overshadowed by this ambrosial smell of hops. It’s quite breathtaking.

The beer was medium bodied with a smooth creamy mouthfeel. A serious citrus hop punch sits atop the malt. Tight cascade/centennial hop taste. Wood, citrus, black pepper, pine needles, sharp sharp sharp citrus peel. A perfect balance of caramel malt against the hops. What’s really interesting is the how you can actually taste the rye malt in this beer and how it’s matches the hops so well. Basically you wouldn’t notice it unless you tasted for it. You’d just assume whoever made the beer did an amazing job with the hops.

Overall just another great beer from Bear Republic, even if it does taste an awful lot like Sierra Nevada Celebration.

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

Appearance – This one is a beautiful cloudy brown in color and just clear enough to view the sediment floating around. The head was absolutely gorgeous! It foamed up quickly, lasted a while, and tried to leave a little lacing.

Smell – The lovely aroma of piney and floral hops are mixed with a bit of citrus and a hint of the promised rye. The fragrance is sharp yet balanced. Nicely done.

Taste – The balancing malt sticks its chest out just enough to balance. The complex hops from the nose come on wonderfully here, mixing with the subtle rye notes to form a symphony of flavors. This one does the almost impossible task of establishing a sharp, crisp, strong hop flavor then bringing it to the drinker’s lips balanced and smooth.

Mouthfeel – Crisp and sharp yet refreshing and smooth. This nearly full-bodied rye-tinted IPA is a mouthful for sure.

Drinkability – When I partake of my occasional whisky indulgence, I usually go for straight Kentucky or Tennessee rye. This ale couples that wonderful flavor with a tremendous IPA offering. Hats off!

Update – Cvschaller brought an ’04 vintage over to my place for a pizza party. I really do love this ADIPA. It’s a unique and fully satisfying take on the style.

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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 PatandDavid
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this rocked in the bottle. I think I liked it even better than when I had it on tap. Pours a nice dark copper, with a very creamy head. Left sheets of lace throughout my glass. The aroma has to have been the piniest seeming beer I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. What I noticed is nice carbonation, actually a real tongue tingler (go ahead, just stick your tongue into the glass). It's almost all hops, but it's riding on a smooth malt base. Great palate cleanser. I liked this one! pat

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

Dark copper body topped by a thick tan head. A few "floaties" in the beer, but not too much. Sweet hoppy aroma, simialr to Stone Ipa or Two Hearted ale. The sweetness is more of a floral aroma. Overall very clean smell. The taste is very crisp. Nice malt backbone, strong bitterness, and sweetness from the malt, alcohol, and a little bit of resiny hop sweetness. Then that rye aftertaste blends very well with the residual hop bitterness. Hop burps start almost immediately. The mouthfeel is solid, very smooth yet not overpowering. Drinkability is very good for a 8% ABV brew. Goes down pretty easily. No need to share this bomber. Another very fine beer from bear Republic.

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Photo of mikeys01
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I sampled my first bottle of Hop Rod Rye purchased on the East Coast (MA) this weekend, from a 22 oz bomber. Appearance is a nice deep amber with flashes of garnet. Aroma is robutly hoppy, but blended with waves of rye malt and a little grapefruity sweetness. Taste is sharply hoppy at first but is very mellowed immediately with very smooth malt and has a very nice dry finish. Leaves just little bit of lingering hop tang in you mouth at the finish....

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Photo of rabidawg
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brilliant ruby with a nice, sticky beige head. Quite carbonated. Left tons of irregular lacing.

Smell: Very clean hop aroma, more evergreen than citrus. Nice rye spiciness in the background. Nary a hint of malt, and what's there is certainly drowned out by the massive hop aroma.

Taste: Initially tastes almost a little salty. Foams in a very uncreamy fashion in the mouth. Rye comes through after the swallow, fighting with and holding up quite well against the huge hop infusion.

Notes: This would be severly unbalanced without the rye, but I don't think balance is what BR was aiming for here. Great beer, possibly the most hopped I've ever had.

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

It pours an old worn leather with a solid beige head and loads of lace. A strong floral hop aroma dominates while strong smells of rye crackers and whiff of alcohol creep up. This potent brew is just bursting with unrestrained flavors. Wild malt (6 row?) and edgy rye flavors are completely separate from sharp grapefruit, zesty orange peel, light lemon and a hint of metallic tanginess. A touch of toffee sweetness does little to counter sharp flavors, but that's ok. All of these sharp edged flavors are accompanied by a constantly noticeable alcohol kick. This beer is unrelenting in its wild character and never mellows or sweetens further, even when it warms. I love this stuff!

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

Pours a deep mahogany, with a huge tan head that lasts, lacing very nicely. Aroma is big fresh hoppiness, slight smokiness, and maybe a hint of rye in the back. Flavor has a tinge of smoke, an even smaller tinge of rye, and a huge wallopping hop attack, very bitter, a little spicey, and lingering on just about forever. Medium to full bodied, lightl hints of alcohol on the 2nd half of the bottle. A tasty and large brew (maybe a RyePA?).

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

Sampled on tap at Redbones.

This beer poured a hazy, red copper color with white foam that settled but left a thin head that coated the glass. The smell was very hoppy: grassy, fruity hops. There was also some malt aroma. The taste was very hoppy (grassy green hops and also floral hops) with a nice balance of sweet malt. There was a hint of oak in the finish. Not much rye flavor could be discerned. The mouthfeel was dry, smooth, and hoppy with medium body and moderate carbonation. The hoppy flavors lingered in the aftertaste. This was a very nice and enjoyable beer -- pretty much an IPA.

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Photo of Jason
4.75/5  rDev +12%
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.

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

I had a couple of these on tap at 'Bones tonight.

Amber in color with a smooth creamy off white head that leaves a great lace. The smell is mostly hops with something sweet coming through. The flavor is actually very balanced for such a big beer. Starts out with apples and pears then the hops come in and stay all the way through to the aftertaste.

Kind of reminded me of a tame Arrogant Bastard? (I think that might be an oxy-moron?) Much more smooth with a creamyier, smoother mouthfeel. I would have this again anytime. I would also love to try the bottle version.

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Photo of LiamStLiam
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

OK, second Bear Republic review of the day (already had the Big Black Bear Stout).

From one favorite style to another, stout to hop-head.

The first thing I thought was, "wow, hops exploding on roof of mouth). The first rush of taste was as good as my favorite, Hop Devil.

After that, other tastes begin to push through, including the rye. Interesting, but not something I would drink a lot of. Didn't seem to sit all that easily.

Very tasty.

I thought the color was an amber, but folks seem to see this one in different ways.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

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

I am not as fond of hoppy beers as I used to be. I will try to be objective. I have decided that these strong hop beers overpower any other flavors that might be evident. This beer looks as good as any beer you will ever see. Pours beautiful 1" head the nicest lace you will ever see. Clear dark bronze/copper color. This beer is hoppy. Either pale or India pale ale. I am ignoring the rye ingredient. Very strong hops some malt slips through. Leaves a velvetty mouth feel. Alcohol is not noticable until you drink this 22 oz bottle. Two Hearted Ale(Kalamazoo/Bell's) is the only one of this class I would rate higher. A fine beer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep amber color, with a cream-tan head. This beer is quite clear from the get go. It has a spicy hoppy aroma to it with notes of lychee and grapefruit. The first thought after taking a sip was that this beer is redolent of a hop syrup. This is all about the American hops. As for the rye, maybe there is a certain fullness/ silkiness fro the rye, but it is not all that evident, the hops overpower any taste that one might get from the rye character as well. This beer is big bodied though, and it is pretty good.

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

22oz. bomber poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep brown color with 2 fingers of head. There is lots of lacing left on the glass. The smell is full of rye, caramel, and hops. A nice full aroma. The taste starts with roasted malt and rye, fairly sweet and good, even though I'm not a huge rye fan. It's surely a lot better in beer than in bread. The finish is big and full of bitter hops, a very nice balance. The mouthfeel is very strong and heavy. The drinkability is also fairly nice for 8%. A very unique and nice brew.

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

Solid brown color (with fairly large pieces of suspended sediment), a nice tan/light brown head, decent carbonation, and big sheets of lace. Big hop and malt aroma. A big huge flavor of malt and hops -- an incredible balancing act. Hops are piney and sprucey. Not sure the Rye really stands out due to the bitterness. Medium-full (leans full) bodied, creamy, and smooth.

More of a big huge American IPA/Strong Ale (a la Stone Arrogant Bastard or Rogue Mogul Ale) -- I prefer the Hop Rod.

Per label: Made with 18% Rye

($5.39 / 22 oz.)

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

I knew this was gonna be a stellar brew as soon as I cracked it open. Familiar PNW hops citrus and pine wafted up in the air but there was also a spicy sweetness, like somebody just took fresh-baked gingerbread cookies from the oven. If you're expecting a wildly different brew you might be disappointed. At its heart, HRR is an IPA...albeit one with a twist. It pours a deep mahogany with a sticky beige head that lasts throughout consumption. I can't help but draw comparisons, and this brew is reminiscent of yet another outstanding beer...Great Divide's Hibernation Ale. Citric, piney hops are assertive in the taste yet there is a mountain of dark crystal malt providing balance. There is a slight spicy-sweet crackle in the finish...again, like sweet gingerbread. It's not too much to be cloying, but just enough to add some welcomed complexity to yet another IPA. This is easily my favorite brew of Bear Republic's respectable lineup.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,066 ratings.