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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,469 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,469
Reviews: 2,053
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 239
Gots: 265 | 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: 4,469 | Reviews: 2,053
Photo of dogfishandi
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

picked up a growler of this at the orchard park consumer's for 12-13$, not a bad deal. a little above fridge temp poured into a snifter.

pours out a super beautiful deep bronze, red, almost brown color with a big fluffy, rocky, light tan colored head. amazing retention and lace. looks ideal!

dank, sprucey, woody, pine hops. some citrus. bready, slightly spicy rye malt with a hint of caramel.

lots of woody/ piney and grapefruit citrus hops balanced just perfectly by a bready, slightly caramel malt. some spicy rye is definatly noticable in the finish with lots of good bitterness as well.

sticky, almost a little resiny on the palate. medium bodied, carbonation feels perfect for this beer.

overall, a great drinker. this growler was such an easy kill on a nice summer night, in my backyard next to a fire. ill always come back to this beer, it seems to have just a little more to offer than your average IPA, almost like an amber rye IPA...love it!

Photo of Bennettrox
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huuuge thanks to Optimator13 for this one!

A - Pours a dark deep ruby red, almost brown. An enormous sticky head follows that laces the glass with every sip. Looks gorgeous.

S - All kinds of hops! Mostly citrus, some pine, a good toasty pop-tart smelling malt, and a little caramel.

T - Damn. This is one of the tastiest DIPAs (IPA? I think not) I've ever had. Huge hop presence but it's balance so damn well with the malts and rye. More citrus, pine, toffee, caramel, and the finish is the absolute best - rye, pepper, and almost a gingerbread taste.

M - Medium carbonation, sticks to the mouth all over and goes down oh so smooth.

O - Wow I really enjoyed this one. I mean, really enjoyed it. This is a perfect example of a DIPA with great complexity and a nice rye touch. Not overly boozy like many of the DIPA's I'm seeing these days and I can really appreciate that.

Photo of Yagman3000
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

appears a dark brown with a slight orange tint.

Smells of hops more than the rye. Nice.

Tastes of initial hops and finishes off with a rye carroway goodness.

Mouthfeel is heavier than expected.

Overall a really good beer. I don't know if I'd go all the way with an A rating but it seems b+ish to me.

Photo of Lauthaha
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beer pours an auburn color...almost opaque, but with just a touch of translucence. Head is a beautiful tan color, about two fingers high. Richly foamy, and it recedes leaving a layer of foam on the surface of the beer. Really pretty.

Smell: The malty rye character is boldly challenged by bitter, piney hops. A very earthy smell, very well done.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very creamy upon entrance, and wow...it's bittersweet in all the best ways. Carob or vanilla bean, toasted sweet rye, earthy hops. A nice tangy aftertaste, full of all the great flavors aforementioned and adding none other.

Overall: Just about perfect in every way. The only things for me that could have made it better would have been a heftier head retention and maybe ONE more scent in the nose...but I'm just splitting hairs at this point, a truly good beer.

Photo of kevanb
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This IPA is brewed with rye for a little added kick. It pours a really dark amber color with hints of garnet red as well as mild brown. Lots of bubbles rising to the top of the glass, a thin layer of off white head appears and sticks superbly to the glass throughout the session. It has a really nice citrus hop aroma with a strong malt profile that compliments the rye spicing in the nose. The flavors are really great, lots of bitter coniferous hop with citrus bursts that support and layer wonderfully with with the malt flavors and ample rye spicing. It has a nice medium body, a little carbonated for my tastes but doesn’t detract from the beer really with a nice clean crisp finish that isn’t too bitter or too soft.

Verdict: This is a really phenomenal IPA, the rye spicing adds a nice subtle touch that adds a lot to the beer. It’s really easy to drink and very approachable without compromising the quality and complexity of the beer.

Photo of ReelBigwigFish
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a 4 pack yesterday, and figured I'd have a breakfast beer this morning.

A: Poured into pint glass, it has a very dark red/brown color to it. Much darker than I had imagined. Creamy looking tan colored head with lots of lacing.

S: Lots of hop bitterness from a range of hops and spicy rye.

T: Bitter grapefruit, and piney hop flavors up front followed by a malty rye infused finished. Both the hop and malt characteristics in this beer are VERY pronounced.

M: Creamy, full bodied, almost too much to handle. I don't think I could session this beer, but then again, for the price, I wouldn't want to.

O: This is an intense beer, strong flavors abound. I think it's a great beer for anyone that likes a strong ale. Definitely the best rye ale I've had.

Photo of bbkd3b
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Surprisingly dark in the color, and with plenty of hazy sediment in the center to boot. A small off-white head bubbles out of existence after only a short time, and there isn't any sort of lacing to speak of. Honestly, I don't care because the scent is too pleasant, with its seductive combo of grapefruit citrus and spicy rye leading the charge. Bready malts round off the nose giving a nice, even character and welcoming impression.

Now amplify the nose, and make every aspect of it even stronger. That's what it tastes like. Incredibly well-executed punch of bitter hoppiness, rye, and a kick of bread give this beer a complex, tasty flavor. Sensual body slides against the tongue, with the perfect amount of carbonation satisfying any beer-drinker's palate. Heck, it even goes down smooth and easy, making me wonder where in the world that alcohol disappeared to. Frankly, amazing.

Overall/notes - Well, I like the Racer 5, but this just ran right over it (pun not intended). Much more potent than I generally expect out of an IPA, and with great balance, too! Never would have thought the rye could go such a long way, but Bear Republic apparently was on to something. Well-done.

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter. No bottled date. After taking some tasting notes on Heaven Hills single barrel 25 year Rittenhouse Rye (barrel 57, bottle 33) today, this is fitting.

Appearance: Pours a hazy red amber color with huge chunks of sludge with copper colored single finger tight head. Persistent lacing. The chunks didn't seem to affect the taste.

Nose: Subdued with a bit of spicy rye notes and citrus IPA.

Taste: Alright, very impressive. Big punch of dried fruit and hop bitterness. Malty backbone provides caramel sweetness that balances out the bitter, piney mouth.

Mouth: Sticky mouthful, with a real dry finish. High carbonation supports the bright rye.

Drink and Overall: Okay, good beer. Little disappointed, but I really enjoyed it. First time trying this beer, I will have another go at some point.

Photo of afksports
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the very first beers I had on my little Top100 quest (based on the top American beers from last August), this fine American IPA from Bear Republic in California was a good introduction to the craft beer community. Hop Rod Rye. With a flaming car on the front. Sexy.

Almost red from the tap, the murky amber body has a bit of head that lingers around just enough to keep you drinking. On the nose the head produces fermented rye, malt, and pine hops - with just a touch of citrus and sugar. The taste is composed of the same elements. While enjoying them it's easy to forget about the 8.0% alcohol you're imbibing. HRR leads with pine trees and grassy hops, comes through in the middle and back with rye and bittering hops, and all the while has a malty sweetness to cover it up and push through the alcohol.

Overall the medium bodied brew is a solid IPA, and a solid offering for rye lovers that's available in half the bodegas in New York City. That's a feat to accomplish, and although my rating may be slightly affected by my anti-rye bias, I should still salute Bear Republic for this hot rod of a beer.

Photo of chodinheaven
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost as brown as the bottle it came in, with a beautiful half-inch to inch foamy off-white head that doesn't go anywhere after the pour. Lacing? You betcha. Tons of hop sediment float around at the bottom, and there's even some left in the bottom of the bottle. Gorgeous beer. The smell is pleasant and refreshing. You can tell tons of hops went into the development of this one. Citrus hops? That's what I get but I could be wrong. Whatever they are, they are potent.

Whoa, first sip's reaction is "now that's an interesting and unique take on an IPA". Certainly very hoppy and robustly bitter on the back side of the taste, but also pleasantly balanced out by a certain heartiness that becomes this beer's character. The ultra-crisp mouthfeel and dry finish also help to balance out any and all flavors within. Virtually no alcohol taste at all at 8% ABV. While I can only imagine that the 18% rye malt is giving this beer its uniqueness, it doesn't take away from the overall balance of the beer. That is why this beer shines. It's unique and delicious and will be sure to please any hophead, but it's so delicately balanced that most people would be able to appreciate it. Just one of these has turned it into one of my favorite IPA's, or specialty ales, whatever it is, and it has peaked my interest for some other rye beers. Great beer, congrats and thanks to Bear Republic.

Photo of biggred1
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep cherry tinted chestnut brown with a creamy mocha head that leaves thick rings of sparkling lace on the glass. Citrusy hops, pine sap and caramel rye malt aromas. Big resinous hop flavor with rich caramel maltiness to balance the hop oily bitterness. The rye adds a nice spicy kick to round out the flavors. Medium bodied with perfect cleansing carbonation. Bear Republic makes some fine ales, Hop Rod Rye may be the best one.

Photo of legalpete19340
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark and dull brown with a finger of off-white head. Basic lacing.

S: Nice pale malt and hop presence. Bit of pine but more floral and herbal notes. Grass, apples, white bread.

T: Sweetness upfront with apple quickly replaced by bite of bitterness and hops: mild pine, herbal essence. The bitterness lingers and transitions into a nice pale malt experience highlighted by slight rye bread sourness. Ends crisp.

M: Thinner with good carbonation.

O: Great rye pale ale. Crisp, malted with a kick of rye and hops in the background but noticeable. Will always grab another when Racer 5 isnt biting enough. This is its bad bro.

Photo of Hoptometrist
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a shaker glass at the Bear Republic Brewpub

A- Pours a medium brown color with one finger of creamy head

S- Rye, citrus, pine, and floral aromas. Great balance in the aroma

T- Packs a pretty big hop punch, rye, lots of spice, earthy notes, caramel, and finishes with citrus hops

M- Creamy and smooth, finishes dry

O- A hop monster with a nice malt backbone and lots of spice.

Photo of AmericanGothic
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a medium copper color, clear with one finger of off-white head. Good retention and lace.

S: Good peach/mango aromas, both bright and deep. Quite good.

T: Sweet grapefruit and a hint of leather up front. Thin rye sweetness in the middle with some resiny pine on the finish. Tiny bit of spicy alcohol pokes through. As the beer warms, the sweet middle changes to more of a biscuity quality that persists further into the finish, but still yields to the pine at the end. I do like this.

M: Light/medium mouthfeel with good creaminess and a little oil on the finish. Creaminess grows as the beer warms.

O: Really nice and enjoyable beer, goes down very smooth for 8%. The hops are persistent but without overkill. I liked this a lot and I'm glad there's more at the store (special shipment to Iowa). Did I mention that I really like this?

Photo of codfeast
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle into large tulip.

A: dark cherry, think creamy head, sticky lacing.

S: Hops, pine, rye, malt, and ripe bananna?

T: Sweet caramel, hit right after with hops. A bitter finish that lingers. Picking up more of the rye as the beer warms. No alcohol taste at all.

M: Medium body, medium carbination.

O: really balanced, not nearly as bitter as the smell would indicate. It's a real tasty change of pace west coast IPA.

Photo of pjs234
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark, cloudy, amber, with a near two finger head. A fair amount of lacing as the beer is consumed. There is a very lovely hops aroma. The taste is both sweet and bitter (I’d say bitter sweet, but that implies that some part of this beer is not good). The beer starts off very sweet and then the hops kick in. The hops bite is very good, but not over the top. This is a very balanced rye beer. The mouthfeel is very good too, not to heavy, not too thin. This is a very drinkable IPA, almost dangerously drinkable given the 8% ABV. Too bad I need to travel out of state to get this one.

Photo of DannyDan
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours out to a mahogany body with a thin tan head that maintains some superb lacing and retention. It has a nice aroma of pine and grapefruit along with some sweet caramel. The taste is rye, caramel and a load of hops which the bitterness just bites the tongue and balances out the sweetness. This beer has got to be one of the smoothest, creamiest and best mouth feel I have ever experienced with a beer. A very good beer and just like the other two Bear Republic beers that I have reviewed this also is a must try.

Photo of soughtbygod
3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a great amber colored beer with a light foam. An aggressive pour released a great nose. The smells were Apple, citrus, and papaya. I thought that it might be too sweet for me but upon tasting it I was surprised to find a deep complex piny IPA with strong notes of simcoe hops. This is a very well rounded beer that has a lot of hop characteristic. with just enough malt to balance it out.

Photo of dbmernin83
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very deep, dark amber with lacing you would normally find in a lingerie shop.
Smell of hops, rye and malt
Delicious. This is what beer should taste like. Nice hop front paired nicely with rye, malt sweetness and a lingering rye finish.
Good carbonation. Rich body.
This beer is perfect. A manly beer. Full of flavor, balanced a d highly drinkable.

Photo of bobhits
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade from UCLABrewN84, great extra!

Rye IPAs are the way to do a darker double IPA. The more I have of these the more I like them.

The appearance is a dark amber that’s darker because of a lack of clarity, seems to work for this one. Pours a huge head that’s off white with good lacing.

Caramel malt with lots of hops and a hint of rye (what is the smell it isn’t sour and isn’t really bitter) start off the nose. Toast, and dark burnt malt hints fall into the back ground.

No clue on the age of this one, but the hops are taking a bit of a back seat here. Unlike others were the malt starts to take control the rye here really makes for an enjoyable experience. Caramel, toast, and floral citrus hops. Creates a deeper and darker flavor than most IPAs. Not the most clean tasting but the lingering confusion of flavors is more than welcome here.

Word to brewers, use rye in a black double IPA…really I’m waiting! Racer 5 is still among the best IPA’s I’ve ever had and Hop Rod is another wonderful beer from bear republic. I’m hoping this beer is a hair old and the fresher version has more hops, but either way wonderful beer!

Photo of mulder1010
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bomber poured into a tulip

A-- Poured a deep dark cherry brown. Quite clear and nice cherry red tinges to the sides. Two finger light brown head that quickly receded to film but left very nice web like lacing on the sides of the glass. Good head head retention to this.

S-- Pretty inoffensive nose really. Rye and soft cherry to this. Very faint floral hop smell to this.

T-- Floral hops and a little pungent, mixed with a bit of cherry sweetness. Different sort of interesting with the rye.

M-- Pungent and sweet. Quite unique. Rye adds a lot to this in a good, yet different way. Quite filling, rich and lighter than other IPA's. Lacks the bitterness of others but it is the uniqueness that makes this good.

O-- Grows on me as I drink on with this. Quite interesting and different but very good. Keeps alot of the essence of what an IPA is but the rye adds a new dimension to this with the sweetness and richness of it

Photo of JayAre46
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - poured vigorously into a stone tulip, copper color while flowing in, inside the glass it appears to be a deep maroon that produces an off-white head that recedes to a thin layer of bubbles. this beer always gives me some of the best lacing you can get and i love it.

A - sweet caramel rye malts with hints of artificial cherry, not much of a hop presence.

T - sweet caramel flavors, hints of dark fruits, moderate rye flavors present for a nice change of pace, the beginning reminds me of a gingerbread cookie that is very pleasant again the cherry flavors. Then the hop onslaught that creates such an amazing balance on the estate of gingerbread manor showing its hop cone accents throughout the estate of cookie, nice bitter finish that lingers with spikes or sweet and rye coming though in the back. the alcohol is invisible.

M - perfect carbonation with this brew, the body is medium while i wish it was slightly heavier, creamy transitions. the drinkability is very high for me i could drink the four pack easily and reluctant to share a bomber ha

O - This beer is a great change of pace and i love it for bringing a different depth to the table, brewers should experience more with rye. recommend this to all

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 .

Photo of adman08
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-deep mohogany color with slight head.
S-Obvious citrus hop aroma with a hint of pine.
T-Nice balance of citrus and piney hops with a solid caramel malt flavor.
M-Light carbonation. Good malt body.
Overall, very good, dark IPA. Excellent hop flavor and malt body. Very good representation of an american style IPA with the darker caramel malts. The balance of hops and malt is excellent.

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

Bottled 03/29/11

Poured into Stone IPA glass. Fairly clear ruby colored body. Three finger antique white colored head is perched atop. Retention is impressive, thick moth eaten lacing left clinging as the head recedes.

The is a tremendous amount of balance in the aroma. The bottle is not super fresh and some fading of the hops could lead to this. Pine and citrus hops blend with an earthy rye and soft caramel malt aroma. Very pleasant smelling beer.

The flavor mimics what was picked up by the nose. Slightly resinous pine and citrusy hops blend upfront with a sweet malt flavor. The earthy, almost tobacco rye flavor really compliments the pine flavor while providing a perfect counterpoint to the sweetness.

Medium bodied beer, carbonation clocks in at a low to moderate level. The finish is on the drier side though there is a bit of resinous hop flavor which will finger.

Very good beer, one of the best rye beers out there. I am partial to Founders offering but I believe Hop Rod Rye is every bit as good. Easy to drink, very enjoyable.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,469 ratings.