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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,304 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,304
Reviews: 2,036
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 221
Gots: 217 | 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:
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hop Rod Rye Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,304 | Reviews: 2,036 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bbb099
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Half of 22 Oz. bottle poured into a goblet. Shared with a friend.

A - Dark red color, real pretty. One finger, white head that dissipated pretty quickly into a nice looking foam.

S - The smell that hit me first was the sweet malt, molasses, and rye. The aroma of fresh herbal hops quickly followed. Maybe also a tinge of alcohol.

T - The citrusy hops and sweet bready malt comes through first. The bitterness from the hops became more apparent as it goes down. Dry and hoppy finish.

M - Medium bodied, texture was amazing. Could probably use a little more carbonation however.

D - Great drinkability due to the good combination of flavors and appetizing smell.

bbb099, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of corby112
4.4/5  rDev +4%
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!

corby112, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of paulozanello
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown and reddish clear color with a cream colored head that lasted forever leaving amazing spiderweb lacing all over the glass.
Smell is pine and citric hops with a great caramel and malty backbone.
Taste follows nose. Starts with sweet burnt malts and rye, toffee and caramel. Lots of citric and juicy hop flavors follow. Grapefruit, tangerine and mild bitterness that lingers for a while. Nice rye spiceness on this beer.
Body is medium and mouthfeel is sticky, silky and smooth. Carbonation is on the lower end of the spectrum.
Overall an extremely balanced ipa. I could drink and session this everyday.

paulozanello, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of BB1313
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a dark amber with a nice fluffy head anf sticky lacing. Lots of lemon and grapefruit right off the bat. Very floral and pungent. The taste is bittersweet; hoppy, but has a strong malt backbone; slightly spicy. Hints of caramel along w/ a breadiness. Mouthfeel is rich, creamy, and smooth; full-bodied. Drinkability isn't bad, it's a nice beer to savor though.

Great IPA, slightly differnt from alot. Definitely catch this beer fresh! Great use of rye! Recommended.

BB1313, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of OneLowChevy
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

OneLowChevy, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of mckeowbc
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber colored, nice head, good lacing.
S - Nice crisp smell of cascade hops, citrus, pine and a subtle spicy note of rye.
T - Taste reminds me of other American IPAs (Bells and Racer 5 IPA). Citrus, grapefruit hop bite, a little bit of malt. The rye is subtle but seems to mellow the finish.
M - Mouthfeel is a little fuller than other IPAs I've had. Not heavy, but a slight coating of the tongue, more just a smooth velvety feel.
D - Very drinkable, went down so easy I barely knew I was at the bottom of the glass. So easy to drink I'd lose count and end up wondering why I can't stand.

mckeowbc, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of gregshead
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a darker red w/ a finger of foamy white head that dissipates but leaves a little foam around the edge.

S: Sugary malt smell with some grapefruit hops.

T: A red ale taste w/ a grapefruit bitterness. Nice dry aftertaste. Rye is noticeable but not dominate.

M: A little on the syrupy mouthfeel despite carbonation being at a good level.

D: Enjoyable but is not my style of IPA. I'd choose Racer 5 between the two. Nothing wrong with this one, just doesn't fit my love for the crisp clean IPA or the juicy/citrusy IPA.

gregshead, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of jmich24
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Two finger fluffy off white head. Very dark amber almost brown with ruby highlights. Quite a bit of yeast in suspension. Nice sticky lacing.
S: Lots of citrus and a touch of spiciness from the rye.
T: Spicy, earthy and citrus from the hops. Rye comes in a lot more in the taste. Lingering bitterness.
M: Medium mouth feel a bit on the thick side. Great lingering bitter rye finish.
D: Drinkability is good despite the 8% ABV.

This was a nice rye IPA. Would love to drink fresh on draught in the future.

jmich24, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of nhindian
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a globe.

A - Pours a dark caramel with a touch of red, almost like a deep ruby. Builds a finger of a creamy head with a few minutes worth of retention. Multiple levels of lacing around the glass.

S - Smell is fresh grapefruit all of the way. I don't think I've had a beer that had this amount of grapefruit citrus in the nose. Very floral as well with some spicy rye and bread notes. Interesting and unique.

T - Taste is actually much more balanced than the nose. There are ample amounts of the rye and malts that add a nice chewiness to this beer. The hops emerge at the end of the beer with a vengeance though, and it's quite spicy and bitter. In fact, this beer is very damn bitter that grabs on tight with a grip that doesn't let go. Finish is long and bitter as hell.

M - Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation. Creamy smooth but with a hip bite that helps stagger the feel.

D - Drinkability is moderate. The flavors are great and refreshing, but the bitterness is just a bit much. For me personally, if there were a way to keep the smell and flavor but turn down the bitter a few notches, this would be a regular in my fridge.

nhindian, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of ADZA
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another brewery which is a first for me and it pours a nice rich mahogany hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a one finger head and a rim of lacing,i do like the smell of this drop its a mixture of fresh cherries,rye,peaches and piney hops,it has a above medium bodied nicely carbonated mouthfeel to it which is semi sticky on the lips and has tastes of caramelized pears,cane sugar,sticky date pudding,piney hops which take alot of that sweetness first encountered down a couple of notches and i know ive said it before but this finish is a perfect example of 50% bitter and 50% sweet they really do work so well together to leave your palette lingering for the next sip and after tasting this drop for the first time i am impressed and looking forward to trying the rest of their lineup my only gripe is that i only bought one of these.

ADZA, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of AdamBear
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-very dark and cloudy amber with a good amount of light tan head that stays, along with lacing. sediment throughout

S-very hoppy and some sweet citrus. i'm getting a new smell in here that i'm guessing is the rye.

T-comes in with a large bitterness of rye and hops. the bitterness lasts throughout the experience and the after-taste is slightly hoppy.

M-very soft carbonation with a very smooth finish

D-well it goes down so quick and easily, i wouldn't ever guess this to be 8%. it drinks more like 4% to me. I found this glass to be empty really quickly. although i wasn't a great fan of the taste and mouthfeel, this beer is a good one that i wouldn't mind having large amounts of in one sitting

AdamBear, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of simpliciter
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - the head died too quickly, but the color is a stunning deep red
s - grassy? mossy? green.
t - strong bitterness right up front, perfect punch of spice from the rye
m - oiliness from heavy rye use counters lighter body to carry the hop bitterness well
d - why did we share this bottle?

simpliciter, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of mewanderinghome
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

mewanderinghome, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of mbusster88
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours with small tan head. Brown body with red hue on the edges. Low level of carbonation.

S: Smells of west coast IPA. Also get some rye notes and some bread characters.

T/M: Get the grapefruit and citrus flavors right away on this. Good bread notes that compliment the rye very well. The rye flavors are well done here, very good balance to the hop flavors. Mouth feel is medium with good body and presence.

D: Would buy this again and recommend for almost anyone to try. Very inviting beer, with a good abv that is not noticeable at all.

mbusster88, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of ncfrey
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber purchased at DaveCo in Thornton, CO for $4.50, poured into New Belgium globe glass.

a - pours a crystal clear but fairly dark ruby-brown. Gorgeous color, but a fairly aggressive pour yields only a 1/2 finger off-white head with average retention. Leaves a thin, delicate lacing all down the glass.

s - very pleasing. Toffee, caramel, and that rye spiciness. Rather sticky but well-balanced by fruity, floral, spicy hops. This beer seems very fruity to me, with cherry and other dark fruits, citrus, and some other brighter fruitiness I assume is due to yeast esters.

t - possibly even better than the nose. Everything mentioned there is still present, but the rye spiciness is stronger than perceived in the aroma, and there's also strong toasted and faint roasted notes. The black cherry and rye flavors go great together. Hops come on strong throughout, and the finish is long, bitter, and boozy.

m - medium-bodied, fairly bubbly, and slightly astringent. Creamy, but not thick. Normally I like beers that feel a bit more... substantial than this one, but I think that the bright, aggressive palate lends itself well to this feel.

d - great, considering the ABV and the wealth of flavors. My stomach/tongue's tolerance would probably exceed my brain's.

I bought this one a whim, because it was cheap, because Bear Republic doesn't distribute in my home state of New Mexico, and because I tend to like rye beers. I was not expecting much, but I'm blown away. This definitely has me eager to sample more offerings from this brewer when I get the chance.

ncfrey, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of xrdsci
3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Rich amber color with a one-finger, foamy head. Nice retention and lacing. Smells of piney hops and some citrus. Hops (piney and floral) are dominant in the flavor, if not a little overpowering. A bit of citrus and a subtle, spicey rye character can be picked up in the background. Extremely long, bitter hop finish. Medium bodied with fair carbonation. Alcohol is well-hidden.

The rye character definitely takes a backseat to the hops here. Didn't realize it was going to be such a balls-out DIPA when I ordered it, which might account for the comparatively low marks. Might try this again sometime, but my impression was that this is just way over-hopped.

xrdsci, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of Stigs
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, havent had this in awhile and always a favorite

served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with varying levels of intensely frothy and creamy, light tan foam. the beer is a dark shade of ruby/amber, with just a touch of haze. leaves behind a generous amount of wet, thick lace around most of the glass.

S - hops abound, loads of both citrus and wet pine. rye is very present through the middle, carrying over to the end alongside some mildly bready, spicy malts.

T - really explodes from the first sip on. insanely bitter, yet flavorful hops...I'm getting some citrus via orange rind, and massive grapefruit, wet grass, pine, and a light kiss of floral moving to the end. all the long, rye adds another depth of spice and flavor which really comes to fruition at the end. malts are present just for a bit of balance, rich and bready...sweetness actually holds up to the massive hops. nice.

M - very thick, creamy, rich body for the style...helps hoist up the bitterness. because of this, it doesnt finish as dry as a lot of beers with similar profiles.

D - a classic, often underrated and skipped over beer. this will easily cure all levels of hop craving. big and bold, and a wonderfully executed addition of rye make this somewhat unique within its style. drinkability is only effected by a lack of subtlety, to hell with it.

Stigs, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of ramseye4
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful dark amber color with a two finger head that looks nice and fluffy, that has some of the best retention I have ever seen. Excellent lacing as well, with countless bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass and a bit of sediment down at the bottom. One of the best looking beers I have ever seen. Aroma is of mostly floral hops, with grapefruit and some bready malt. Good but not a departure from many other IPA's out there. Tastes of bitter hops, with the bitterness especially coming out in the end. Some bready malt balances very well with the hops, and the rye adds a wonderful spicy taste. Very well balanced. Great carbonation and a full body make the mouthfeel great, and the drinkability is awesome, with the ABV hidden and great, balanced taste making me want more and more

ramseye4, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark amber. Clear. Great head and lacing. Excellent appearance.

Smells piney and citrus/grapefruity with plenty of malts and bread crust on the side. I would say the hops take center stage, followed by malts, with an extra side portion of very bitter hops and plenty of citrus pungency. Garnished with floral aromas, bread crust, and notable alcohol.

The bitterness and malts don't seem to mesh as well as I was expecting. Everyone loves this beer but it didn't quite do it for me. It seems to clash some, as if it can't decide what it's supposed to be. I think there was a pretty darn good rye beer under there somewhere. Halfway through the bomber I was wishing it was just a simple red or rye beer so I could get on with drinking the rest of the bottle without further angst.

Tastes to me like a great red or rye beer that's been over-hopped to the point of being forced to classify it as an IPA or DIPA.

It's rich, medium bodied, slightly sticky on the lips and amply carbonated.

Honestly, I won't seek it out again. I'm not sure what the big deal was on this one. I'll rate it average because I'm sure IPA lovers will like it, but I'm not quite sure why, despite having developed a taste for many IPAs.

AlCaponeJunior, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of Axic10
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Jekyll and Hyde's in Erie, PA

Appearance: Amber with a finger of slightly khaki head.

Smell: Bitter hops, floral citrus, bready malt and some rye on the nose.

Taste: Nice bitter hoppiness and crisp grapefruit mixed with sweet biscuit malt and rye.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crisp.

Drinkability: I often overlook this beer, but it is a very good rye beer. Definitely need to drink more of it.

Axic10, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of SiepJones
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a half inch of soapy head. Leaves a thick lacing of head on the sides of the glass. Beer is a deep brown with some amber traces in it. There is no clarity through the beer. The head dissipates to almost nothing but a few traces and clumps.

S: Bready scents of malt, herbal hop, and rye on the nose.

T: Tastes like I am drinking a glass of rye bread. I can taste the slight hints of floral hops, but the bready malt and rye flavors really dominate this beer.

M: Medium body with light carbonation, a touch of sweetness on the finish.

D: I enjoyed this beer, and Rye beers are generally not in my wheelhouse. I don't think I could drink this beer all night but if someone poured me a glass I would gladly accept it.

SiepJones, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of mondegreen
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle into an Allagash Tulip.

Pours a hazy amber with lots of floaties. Accusing to the label, it's a "truckload of hops."

Sweet, piny hops in the nose. Nicely balanced here.

Taste follows. Everything seems to be in proportion. Bitterness is in place, but equal to sweetness. The hops make an appearance, but don't knock you out.

Medium bodied, well carbonated.

Drinks nicely. I like my IPAs somewhat out of whack, but this one keeps it perspective and really shines for it. A well made, respectable beer.

mondegreen, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of uwmgdman
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a slightly hazy deep amber with a thick, clingy off-white head. The aroma is highly hoppy -- very citrusy, orange and grapefruit with some pine as well as some spicyness. The flavor is highly hoppy, citrus and pine with a firm hop bitterness. In the middle a bittersweet, spicy malt flavor emerges, and finishes with a strong, pleasant hoppy flavor and perfect touch of dryness. The carbonation is moderate and body medium-full. The 8% ABV is completely hidden, dangerously so in fact. Overall this is an excellent beer, tremendous aroma and flavor, and despite the massive amounts of hops it remains smooth.

uwmgdman, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of beagle75
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, medium reddish-brown color with one finger of off-white foam head featuring an interesting assortment of variously-sized bubbles. Heavy lacing remains, leaving visible relief on the inside of the glass.

S: Pungent grapefruit citrus is featured prominently, becoming more floral over time. Caramel notes offer a darker side to the smell, also suggesting sweetness to come. No alcohol is detected in the smell.

T: Begins off-dry, with toffee and bready umami, accompanied by pine and dark citrus hop aromatics. Spicy, drying rye emerges to mark the transition into a middle that remains hops-laden. This beer finishes surprisingly mellow--bitter, but not destructively so. Acidity is pitch-perfect throughout, enhancing the overall experience. No alcohol is detected in the flavor.

M: Medium viscosity, syrupy and sticky on the palate, with low carbonation. Again, the acidity level could not be more appropriate and appealing.

D: Perhaps craft brewing's most famous rye beer, this is truly a delightful and robust DIPA that gets almost everything right. Even small details, like acidity, are executed in such a way as to make this beer more than the sum of its parts. While Bear Republic dabbles with other DIPA recipes (Racer X, for example) there is little point in trying to outshine this beer as it is when served from the bottle. In fact, this is one of those beers that seems to benefit from a little time spent in the bottle. Hop Rod was my draft selection during my sole visit to the company brewpub in Healdsburg and I found it to be be overly spicy--a sensory mix of capsaicin and volatile herbs--due either, or perhaps jointly, to the rye or the eye-watering freshness of the hops. Either way, the imbalance I experienced in the draft pour at the source does not typically carry through to the bottled brew reviewed here.

beagle75, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of alcstradamus
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mahogany color with two fingers of foamy head and webs of lacing.

The aroma is bready, citrusy, and slightly nutty. Subtle and very nice.

The flavor is a stellar blend of pine, citrus, and rye bread.

The body is medium and carbonation is low. Slick mouthfeel rather than sticky.

Overall this beer is a great example of its style, and one that stands out as being well crafted with no flaws. Will it knock your socks off? Probably not, but it will go perfect with some hamburgers and good conversation.

alcstradamus, Dec 30, 2010
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,304 ratings.