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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.

4,382 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,382
Reviews: 2,039
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 225
Gots: 231 | 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
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Ratings: 4,382 | Reviews: 2,039 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StaveHooks
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly hazy amber brown. The 2 finger tan head stands strong and holds very tight. A good amount of sticky lace.

S - Large amounts of resiny and pungent grapefruit with a good dose of fruit bread wrapped in. Very hoppy nose on this brew.

T - A fruity toffee malt dominates. Fresh grapefruit, pineapple, and some pine adds lots of flavor with the bitterness sticking to the sides of the tongue. Faint hints of rye but more of a tobacco flavor comes through to add an extra layer of flavor. Great finish. Dry and hoppy. Bitterness lingers.

M - Medium to full bodied smoothly floats over the palate.

The nose is full of hop aroma and the flavors have serious balance. The rye is there but I probably wouldn't have picked it out if I didn't know.

StaveHooks, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of gopens44
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Big generous frothy head that doesn't go anywhere quickly. Color was a hazy dark copper with a pleasant fun time floaty object thing happening.

S - Bright, vibrant piney hops with a very well balanced amount of malt aromas rising up as well.

T - Brilliantly bitter and extremely well crafted. Balance is almost great, yet it seems to be just a little hot, bu tin a very nice "bold drinking experience" kind of way. The piney hops in the nose come across in the taste with just a touch of earthiness to it.

M - Very smooth and again, well balanced in the carbonation and body.

This here beverage is an exceptional beer!

gopens44, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of LukeD23
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber color, with a minimal head. Got some floaters in this one, but not to much.

Aroma, is nice, apricot and caramel stawberry, slight earthy note of pine. Overall aroma is sweet. I do get a strange smell, I think it might be the rye, spicy and tart.

Flavor, I love the finish on the flavor, crisp, slightly spicy and loads of tropical fruit. Up front is nice as well, big sweet hop flavors backed with spicy malt and mango. The flavor on this beer is so wonderfully complex, it rolls from one flavor to the next so nicely.

Mouthfeel is nice, full with a crisp finish.
Drinkability is good but it is a big beer with alot of flavor, I would say one to two at most for me.

Overall this is a wonderful imperial IPA. It kinda bridges a west coast DIPA with an East Coast imperial IPA. I like it, Im sure it would be even bigger on the aroma fresh on the west coast.

LukeD23, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of birderbeerer
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours auburn/amber with an off-white and creamy two-finger head. Thick lacing.

Aroma has a big citrusy hops presence with a solid malt sweetness behind it. Grassy hops as well. Rye toast earthiness.

Hops lead the taste, citrusy, bitter, pine and grass. It has a nice bite to it. Similar to a creamy brown ale with a bit of spice and a solid dose of hops. The flavors blend and complement each other quite well. Earthy/herbal malts with toast and some toffee sweetness.

Leaves a smooth dry aftertaste from the hops. Great beer.

birderbeerer, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of Prospero
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a deep brownish-amber color with a nice foamy almost frothy head. The aroma is hop-filled with a sweet citrusy and floral smell with maybe a small hint of pine. The carbonation is smooth and has an incredible mouthfeel that makes you want to savor this beer on your tongue. The rye malts are a nice spicy touch giving this IPA a bit different flavor that's a welcome change from the norm. The finish is a bit bittersweet both literally and figuratively as you'll want to keep coming back to drink some more.

Prospero, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of JMad
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured a 22 oz bomber of this into my tall beer glass...

The beer is dark copper with reddish hues, there is a huge tan colored, rocky head.

A bouquet of hop scents, pine needles, lemon and a hint of mint.

I tasted mostly pine with some orange marmalade, sweet caramel malt, I couldn't detect any rye.

This beer is medium bodied with soft carbonation that reminded me of pop rocks and it has a long dry finish.

There is absolutely nothing bad to say about this one at all, it drinks easy for such a high abv, and I think the rye kind of starts coming through in the aftertaste.

JMad, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of MrWinky
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was looking for a Rye beer to get inspired for new homebrew and came across this one...I wish it wasn't an IPA cause I was hoping to get a strong rye flavor but still great and especially so at $5.

A. Beautifully clear amber to copper hue. Awesome creamy two-fingered head that left a nice lace.

S. Complex yeasty aroma that turned malty. You definitely notice some spice and then the hops. Wonderful stuff!

T. Big malt flavor...the yeast recedes a bit and you get some mix of baking spice (warmth) and a really nice bitter finish.

M. Lighter than I would've thought...leaves behind a mild syrup-like residue...a slight tackiness.

D. Its maybe good for a couple but the law of diminishing returns does affect this one.

MrWinky, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of crazyjoedivola
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of a bomber into a tulip. Pours deep mahogany with amber around the edges of the glass. One finger of beige head recedes but leaves solid lacing.
Smell is a hoppy dream. Pineapple, pine, with grapefruit acidity.
Creamy smooth flavor leads with the sweetness but then comes the rye notes and finishes with a long resiny hoppy bitterness
Great creamy mouthfeel with dry finish
Drinkability is tricky given this is really a DIPA at 8%. But the bomber really never stood a chance

crazyjoedivola, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of Avantyawn
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep ruby amber red. Beautiful thick creamy head, almost like a stout.

S: Creamy rich rye and slight citric overtures

T: Deliscious. This to me is a fusion of a red ale, an IPA, and an american stout. It fuses the elements masterfully. Smooth creamy initial flavor, then tart slight fruity bitter IPA effect. The rye adds a nice earthy backbone. Extremely flavorful. I've had this on tap and it's blown my mind. I've had this in a bomber and it was almost as good as on tap. In a 12 oz bottle is is still excellent, but it doesn't taste quite as sublime. Maybe it isn't as fresh as my previous tasting. Still, an amazing brew.

M: My favorite part of this beer is how is feels. It has a wonderful balance between bitter and sweet and the carbonation is very understated in an excellent manner.

D: Extremely high. Despite the 8 % APV, it goes down fast and furious. This is not a sipper, but a gulper! And watch out at 8 %!! The only thing holding it back from a 5 is that it is dangerous to drink too much of this! It is so smooth and flavorful!

One of my favorite American beers!

Avantyawn, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of earthboundagain
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Notes

A: Chestnut brown with blood red highlights, two finger head with lacing.

S: If you where lost in a pine forest, and came across a log cabin from which you caught a whiff of freshly baked rye bread cooling on the window seal, you would have this beer.

T: Hops to the front and hops to the rear, with a sweet rye malt in the middle.

M: This beer is sticky on the tongue but the body is medium and the carbonation is ample.

D: Oh so good and oh so dangerous, the abv is so hidden you could drink more then a few, but don't if your driving.

Great beer and a must try for all.

earthboundagain, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of stckhndlr
2.68/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A- Nice dark amber color but there was no head and very sad lacing.

S- Has alot of hops. strong hop smell but there is a hint of what to me smells like kalamata olives. don't get me wrong I like kalamatas but not in my beer.

T- This is like dating a really hot chick that later tells you later that she has turrets. Starts off great but goes down hill fast. great flavor up front with a hint of citrus blueberries. but the aftertaste is horrible. kinda like when you throw up in your mouth and then swallow. has that stomach acid taste.

M- feels great. has a spicy bite with a creamy feel.

D- Drinking it is fine, as long as you keep drinking it. It when you stop that it goes bad.

stckhndlr, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of inlimbo77
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No bottle date present. Purchased in a 4-pack in Wilmington, DE.

A: Pours a deep amber with then off white head that goes away quickly. Some lacing on the glass. OK carbonation. Like other Bear Republic beers, lots of floating sediment in the bottle.

S: I get malts and some piney/earthy hop aroma from this one. It doesn't jump out at you as much as I expected.

T: As some other reviewers mentioned, this has a solid malt base initially that leads to a good crisp hoppy bite at the finish. The hops are earthy. I also get bready yeast....sediment?

M: This is medium bodied with a crisp finish. Not too coating, but some chewiness.

D: 8% was hidden pretty well. I drank this fairly quickly and didn't get destroyed by the ABV. I could drink a few in a sitting.

Overall, another solid brew from BR. Really enjoy their line but wish the floating sediment wasn't there in most of them.

inlimbo77, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of spree92
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A heavy, reddish-amber with a quick dissolving head. The smallest of bubbles are noticed and rise slowly. A citrus peel flavor coupled with a nice, smooth bitterness is a delight. Alcohol at 8% is not very noticeable. I'm on a huge IPA trip now and this one is a treat.

spree92, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of BaronRogue
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have a feeling that the beer was a little old when i got it, and not refrigerated, but i wanted to try it so here we are.

Poured from a bomber into my chalice. Deep clear red, brown-red. Strong head and nice lacing.

Smell was raisins, hops, and alcohol, in that order. Not great but maybe that's its age showing through.

Taste was hoppy and sweet, with a hint of rye and little backbone of malt. Quite tasty.

Felt really good in the mouth, nice and creamy.

Would love to try it on tap, as i feel like i missed out, but this is a great beer nonetheless.

BaronRogue, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of Rayek
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Yard House in Denver, CO. Served in a shaker pint glass.

A: Deep copper with good clarity. A small cream cap is fairly dense and has excellent retention all the way down the glass. Leaves bits of lace.

S: A powerful nose of citrus brings grapefruit and lemon to the forefront. The rye adds a caraway seed like herbal twist to the mix.

T: Quite bitter. Grapefruit and lemon constitute the bitter flavors. The rye adds a slightly sour earthy bite. Toasted bread flavors are along for the ride as well. Finishes with a long lasting citrus bitterness.

M: The medium body is slightly dry.

D: This was the first beer I had after a month long hiatus. I'm really glad I picked it.

Rayek, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of stakem
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a shaped pint glass. This brew appears a clear amber burnt copper color with a finger of yellowish stained head that is composed of large bubbles. A light swirl revives the cap and lacing sticks to the glass is stringy patches and spots.

The aroma of this brew is bold and hoppy with a scent of pine-like resins and some herbal quality that is lightly minty. There is a sweetness present that comes across a bit caramelized, floral and citrusy as well. The alcohol's presence is felt in the nose with a seemingly cooling effect and light astringency. As this brew warms more a citrus aspect of the hops come out.

The taste of this brew is modestly bitter upfront with a flavor of pine, herbs and grass. Through the body is a toasty malt quality that really accents the bitterness of this brew with a short lived type of light sweetness. The alcohol is readily apparent with a lightly solvent quality that pierces the hops and warms the back of the throat with every sip. Long, lingering clingy aftertaste of herbal and pine hops meld well with the toasted malt character inside the mouth. As this brew warms up, it picks up more of a citrus hop component that is lightly rind-like in it's bitterness and flavor somewhat reminiscent of grapefruit.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. The bold alcohol and toasted malt quality really made this brew stand out to me. I feel like an ass for seeing this beer on the shelf for more than 2 years now and always passed it by in favor or something new or different. This is a solid brew that I will be returning to again.

stakem, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of prdstmnky
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ive been wanting to try this one for a while, so threw one in a mixed six to review.

Poured into a pint glass, has a very dark amber body with a finger of light tan head sitting on top. Couple minutes of retention lead to some nice lace spots.

Lots of spicy rye and hops (pine / citrus) in the nose, as well as a nice malt character. Lots of balance throughout in this IPA, certainly a burst of hops and rye right up front, but plenty of bready and sweet malts coming through as well. Fairly bitter and dry finish. Medium bodied with a nice carbonation level and even a bit of creaminess to it.

Im a bit perplexed on this beer. I like it, its quite tasty, but not sure Id consider it an American IPA - I thought it looked and tasted more like an American Amber or Rye. Given the choice, Id take a Racer 5 over this as far as IPAs go, but I will certainly be trying this ale again in the future.

prdstmnky, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: deep chestnut, hint of cardinal red, mild cloudy, beautiful 2 finger head

S: earthy pine, malt, fresh rye bread, slight floral aroma.

T: sweet malt, earthy, full bitter rye and hops in finish.

M: medium body, solid carbonation, hint of sticky body.

D: SUBLIME! What a great little, er, should I say massive ale. This is the best beer for the money I have had in ages. The alcohol is well hidden and this brew is so flavorful. How do they do it?? I would give it a 5 for drinkability, but the 8% would crush you after 2-3 of these. Get this and share it ONLY with truly worthy souls.

Thanks to Kyle (Southern Lights), my Binny's beer guy in Buffalo Grove for suggesting it.

BeerLover99, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of sjverla
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose: Hoppy and spicy. Hints of molasses and alcohol. Faintly biscuity. Smells well-rounded. Nice play between sweet and spice.

Appearance: Super-rich ruby. Very dark, but clear. Not too much cream-colored head, but what rises is tight and looks nice. It does lace some, too.

Taste: Excellent balance. Great complexity. Well-mannered sweetness crossed the palate first. Then washed away by a strong, rich, roasty bitterness. Fades to assertive hop grassiness that lingers on. A slight alcohol tartness, but not much. Something like cinnamon raisin toast with a grass-fed, very sharp cheddar. Effervescent and lively feel compliments the ranging flavors. Peppery flavor lingers nicely.

Overall: Really solid beer. Awesome color, great flavor. Thanks to Weston.

sjverla, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of HopHed
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Clearly, I have failed! I drank this from the bottle, and did not think to pour it to get a look. Two lashings for me...

AROMA: A very noticeable tropical mango note, and a slight pine note as well.

FLAVOR: A definite grapefruit/grapefruit rind taste, with a back note of mango, and a sweet malty flavor, finishing with a piney finish.

PALATE: A medium bodied beer, with some hop bitterness. Not IPA hoppy, but noticeable.

MOUTH FEEL: A medium to moderately carbonated, almost watery beer. But don't let the liquidity of it fool you, this packs a great mouth feel, my guess is from the carbonation.

NOTES: An enjoyable medium carbonated 8.0% ABV beer that is a touch sweet, and very clean.

HopHed, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of bisonkron
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - dark amber color, nice carbonation, poured with 3 fingers of foam that stuck until the last drop.

S - very hoppy as I had expected. great smell, not too over powering.

T - great balance of hops and malts, a truly smooth IPA. a bit of a sour rye after taste. and some citrus notes

M - crisp, fizzy, light. very pleasing.

D - amazing drinkability for 8% ABV. I will definitely put this on the list to buy again.

bisonkron, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 1/23/2011

A; very mild, slight hint of rye, malts shine through, muted hop scents

Ap: orange-brown with a 1 finger off-white head, nice lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, thick, creamy

Af: spicey, rye, slight sourness (most likely because of the age), dry finish

O: might have been better if it were fresher


THECPJ, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of livewire78
2.75/5  rDev -35%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Been looking forward to trying this one for a long time and thanks go out to sdawson for making it happen.

Brown and boring is how I'd describe it. No vibrant colors. Not opaque but bordering on it to a degree. Looks like a brown ale without the pretty brown head. Meh.

Average is the smell here. No overpowering hop aroma, no distinct malt presence, nothing great at all. A little faint spice (from the rye?) on the end but again, meh.

Since I consider myself an IPA guy, this one is below the average for the ones that I've had so hence, the score. The citrusy hops are muted, the malt just seems lazy, and the two in combination don't add up to anything spectacular. The only bright spot is the rye, which adds a spicy finish with sort of a peppery flavor. I wouldn't say it tasted bad, but it's not good. Sorta below average. Not even a meh. More like a blah.

Mouthfeel is nice and full. Carbonation level is right where I like it to be. Slick but not oily. Pretty good.

If this was the only craft at the bar, I'd have another one. But... I wouldn't seek this out again and that's too bad because for the most part I really like Bear Republic. I won't hold it against the brewery, but there are much better IPA's out there. Meh.

livewire78, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of cdkrenz
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Brown more than coppper with a head that would make any gal jelous. Quite mild in the visible carbonantion department. Find one and pour it.

S - Citrusy pine in the hop aroma area. Find one and smell it.

T - Dark, roasted... almost smokey flavor in this hop. A hint of tangerine begs for you to find one and taste it.

M - Very mild coarse feel in this specialty ale. It has a great texture. Very rare in this style and certainly a positive attribute. If I were you, I'd find one and feel it.

~ The drinkability of ths brew ranks high among other IPAs. Mainly due to the character in the texture. You best bet here is to find one and DRINK IT.

cdkrenz, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of Mancer
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a hazy amber with a one finger high off-white head. The head dissipated to a thick and sticky lace that coated the top of the beer and the sides of the glass. Visible in the bottle and at the end of the pour was hop sediment. The initial smell of the beer was really something that I would find on a DIPA, heavy pine and citrus with a slight metallic zang. The initial taste of the beer was that of heavy resin, pine, citrus which lead to the rye notes and finished bitter and dry. The brew had a medium body with light to medium carbonation.

What really surprised me here was how this beer really performed like a DIPA. The flavors were bold and straight to the point. The body was very smooth and dessert like. Overall this was a nice beer and I'll have to check out the rest of the beers that Bear Republic has to offer.

Mancer, Jan 18, 2011
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 4,382 ratings.