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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.

4,267 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,267
Reviews: 2,034
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 216
Gots: 213 | 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: 4,267 | Reviews: 2,034 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bundy462


3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

A: Mahogany in color, very dark and cloudy. Frothy tan head that lasts and lasts.

S: Huge spicy hops and pine. Somewhat bready base, hint of rye.

T: Big floral hop up front and all the way through. Spicy and prickly. Very interesting smoothness to this brew, the rye base is so smooth and neutral but well balanced by the hop blast. A very nice brew.

M: Very smooth yet spicy. Goes down nice, very good.

O: Very different and complex brew. Very drinkable.

08-04-2010 01:48:08 | More by bundy462
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%

Served from bottle into Spaten mug. Pours a deep brown with a two finger off-white head that subsides slowly. Maintains excellent lacing throughout. The aroma is comprised of wheat, malt, and hops. The flavor is of wheat, subtle malt, and nice refined hops. It is medium on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this is quite nice and refreshing. The hop character isn't overwhelming and is almost spot on. I have passed by this MANY times in the stores and not looked twice at it. This bottle might have changed that forever...

08-01-2010 20:04:42 | More by thagr81us
Photo of bmwats


3.98/5  rDev -5.9%

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a standard pint.

A: Medium, dark brown. Pours about 2 finger, frothy, brownish-white head. Leaves some dry sticky lacing as the head disintegrates very irregularly and unevenly. Very substantial lacing coats the entire inside of the glass.

S: Malty and very hoppy. Yeast with some floral notes, and a hint of caramel.

T: Bitterly hoppy, but with a bit slightly sweet and robust malted flavor. Has almost an iced tea tone.

M: Bitter throughout. Almost to the extent that it shocks the palette on arrival, and lingers to the end. Dry.

D: A sipping beer. The hops demand it to be so.

Great atmosphere. The appearance is formidable and intimidating, and the nose is not complex but very full. Flavor, also not complex, but does it what it does well. Some different notes with a very slight sweetness to offset the hoppy character. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

08-01-2010 04:08:21 | More by bmwats
Photo of Chizoad


4.35/5  rDev +2.8%

Picked up on a recommendation. I am glad I got the 4 pack, because this stuff is amazing.

Gave it a vigorous pour, and out came a caramel colored cloudy brew with a 2 finger head that left exquisite lacing. The head faded eventually to a thin layer on top.

Very muted smell, possibly because it was too cold at first. As I work my way through the 4 pack this number may be revised. Hop bitterness and quiet malts.

Wow, great hops up front, amazing malt and as it warms they come together perfectly. Many layers of flavor here that change over time. Not good enough to name what's going on, I just know that I love it.

Very low carbonation, and on the heavy side of medium body. I think a little more carbonation would be better, but maybe it would mess up the flavor. Still, it took some coaxing to bring out the bubbles. That said, it's amazingly drinkable and it could easily be sneaky 8% abv bottle after bottle through a session.

**Edit: the rest of the 4-pack was a little more carbonated than the first bottle I had. The mouthfeel improved to what can only be described as perfect, but I do think the flavor actually suffered just a tad. I still love the beer and would be happy to drink it every day for the rest of my life.

07-28-2010 06:33:56 | More by Chizoad
Photo of Soonami


4.38/5  rDev +3.5%

This is a beautiful beer that defies categorization. Hop Rod Rye has the great grapefruit and floral hop aromas of American IPA's, but is made with rye, is darker than the standard, with a fuller mouthfeel and slightly higher alcohol content. The aroma is a very enticing combination of orange flower and grapefruit zest. The beer is a very nice juxtaposition of piney citrusy west coast hops with spicy rye The beer is thick, luxuriously coating the tongue with each swallow. This is a very good beer, but with the sweetness and 8% abv, it might be a bit much to handle

07-28-2010 00:03:47 | More by Soonami
Photo of ianmhall


4.55/5  rDev +7.6%

very excited to drink this one which i netted on a trip up to table and vine in west springfield, ma... i'm drinking this beer out of my trusty stemless bordeaux glass

Appearance- the beer pours with a great thick head creamy white it is very fluffy, very enticing even as it thins out, a beautiful lacing... this nectar is dark brown with orange and red highlights about 10% opacity

Nose- not overwhelming me at first maybe its a bit cold on the first sniff, there is some alcohol here but the nose as this elixer sits becomes quite the more daft. Sweet fruity yet earthy, caramelized pear, some light muddled citrus like a lemon cooking in mollasses, a bit spicy with big fruity esters-- some pecan pie, some stewing plum

Taste- like ayinger celebrator had a cousin who moved to California and became a celebrity after he starred in pineapple express... yes this beer is good, like gets better with each sip good, caramelly, toasty, and chocolaty with lots of spicy, pert hop flourish, every sip is a little different, there is tremendous depth to this beer... as a sit admiring the aftertaste i start to think of orange tootsie pops... seriously

Mouthfeel - balanced, and very pleasing (as long as you like a hop finish) dry, yet sweet the hop bite here unarms the any concern of a sometime cloying malty sweetness in brown ales like this...

Highly drinkable for lovers of big hoppy ales, quite imperial brown rye ale (IBRA) or (DRBA) doppelrye brown ale for me not that it matters overall better than i had thought at first sip this beer really gets better as you go, durn good...

07-26-2010 02:52:23 | More by ianmhall
Photo of PantherLightning


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%

A - Poured a dark brown with hints of red with a one finger very light tan head. Excellent retention, and heavy lacing left in the glass.

S - Very hoppy, slight citrus, and maybe a hint of caramel or some other sweetness

T&M - Lots of crisp hops and dark, malty taste upfront. The rye comes through more heavily towards the finish with another burst of hops. Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp.

D - This beer is excellent. I take a sip and taste slowly, but as soon as i savor the lingering aspects of the beer, I just want more. After the first time I had had it a while ago, I felt guilty drinking it, like I should be saving it for something special...but it's too damn good to do that.

07-23-2010 02:04:25 | More by PantherLightning
Photo of DrDemento456


4.4/5  rDev +4%

Had to try this when I found out it was one of the top 100 beers. Found it for 7 bucks at D's six packs and Dogs.

A - A very nice dark amber with an inch of fluffy white head

S - Wow the rye in this beer is spicy. Also can smell quite a bit of hops which seems to be balanced well.

T - Very smooth. Really expected more hops but the rye really balanced the flavor leaving a malty bready taste. Really good.

M - Medium bodied and full of flavor.

D - Well I may have it again but I really didn't love it. Guess I will let others drink it.

07-17-2010 07:12:06 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Pittsburgh


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Re-review, had this a while ago and am now getting around to it for a second time. Nice bitter flavor, tastes like a red ale/IPA combo, very complex, easy drinking, has a fruity and sticky quality to it, yet it is very smooth and refreshing at the same time. Score stays the same for me, even after all the other beers I have tried in between, this one stand the test of time. All time great.

Overall, a solid beer, right on par with what I was expecting, which is an above average brew, never had a Bear Republic beer, but I am ready to try others.

Pour was very nice with an above average amount of foam that sticks around for a while and then settles down to a thin layer.

Hops, are excellent, nice pop, bitter, gets you in the back of the mouth, has a piney/fruity element as well, tasted fresh, full of flavor. Balanced with a alight bit of malt, to make it a pretty complex beer. Good from start to finish, the last sip with some sediment at the bottom was awesome.

I put this up there to go toe to toe with any IPA I've ever had...very solid. I will be getting this again.

07-16-2010 23:44:31 | More by Pittsburgh
Photo of jsanford


4.58/5  rDev +8.3%

A - Pours a beautiful dark amber/orange with a huge foamy 3 finger head. Nice lacing.

S - I love the smell of this beer, one of my favorites! Very crisp grapefruit hops, slightly bready malts, definite rye "spiciness".

T - Caramel malt backbone with a lovely balance of grapefruit hops. More rye and pepper. Really well put together.

M - Amazingly smooth, crisp, and refreshing. Carbonation is spot-on. Medium bodied.

D - Ummm...where did my growler go?! Very drinkable, absolutely no hint of the 8% ABV. Amazing beer, definitely one of my favorites, and at around $5 a bomber its one of the best deals you can find. Great job, Bear republic!

07-15-2010 15:01:21 | More by jsanford
Photo of Riccymon


4.05/5  rDev -4.3%

Received as a gift.. I've wanted to try Hop Rod Rye for some time, but as a malt-head, I've always found something else to spend my beer dollars on.

Pours from the bomber an orangey-amber color with an assertive three fingers of head. Some lacing remains long after the pour, and a small cap of head never completely recedes. Very good looking beer. As for the aroma, this might be the most IPA-smelling IPA I've had. Right after the pour, the head, straining at the edge of the glass, holds a piney bouquet. I notice increasing citrus as the beer warms, particularly grapefruit.

When the beer was colder, I smelled and tasted some rye spiciness, but it's definitely secondary to the hops. Particularly noticeable is lemon and grapefruit hoppiness, and I really can't pick up the rye after having sipped for half an hour. At first, I couldn't pick out much in the way of malt either, but there's a small pocket of sweetness I observe when initially taking each sip. Unexpectedly, I noticed more alcohol when the beer was colder than I did after it warmed up. Hop Rod Rye presents a bitter mouthfeel in that post-swallow, the bitterness coats the mouth and tongue. While sipping, however, the beer drinks rather smoothly.

Hop Rod Rye was tasty as far as hop bombs go, and it seems well crafted. Although the ABV is on the high side, I didn't find this to be a messy, thrown-together brew. If I was a hop head, I think I'd return to this one.

07-11-2010 20:43:39 | More by Riccymon
Photo of htomsirveaux


3.98/5  rDev -5.9%

12 oz. bottle tried 14 Jan 2008. Courtesy of my brother, thanks!

Large light brown head. Moderate carbonation. Clear, medium brown color. Lots of grapefruit, resin and caramel in the aroma, maybe some rye. Lots of citrus and resin to start. A little more rye in the flavor but not as much as expected. Some spiciness, moderately sweet and caramel. Medium body, ethanol well hidden.

Well balanced, quite drinkable.

07-11-2010 13:40:06 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of eclaycamp


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

22 ounce bomber. Pours a rich copper that reminds me of a new penny. Color aside, the head on this beer is quite impressive, huge and billowing with tons of lace that absolutely sticks to the sides of the glass. Aroma is fantastic, though a bit light. I get lots of pine with some notes of bread, most likely from the rye. Really love the depth that the rye adds to the taste, lending incredible balance to the beer. Caramel and bread up front, followed by a very enjoyable finish of light grapefruit. Little to no alcohol character, which is surprising given the ABV. This beer is pretty incredible.

07-11-2010 00:21:25 | More by eclaycamp
Photo of brewmudgeon


4.18/5  rDev -1.2%

hop rod rye. 6 something a 4-pack at woodmans, also at that place in the nemisis city.

a 4.5 brownish amber, or ambery brown. not much head at first but good retention excellent lacework.

s 4-4.5 big grapefruit hops, bread, those candied citrus things you find in easter bread. it's liquid easter rye bread soaked in ruby red.
[note to self: buy fresh bottles and be sure the last one smelled lousy due to age.]

t 4-4.5 flavor is a little mellower than the nose suggests. there's a bit of bite up front but then the bottom sort of drops out. some grapefruit does manage to linger, and there's a rye essence that subtly pervades the whole deal. subsequent 4-packs convince me there's more to this than at first.

m 4.5-5 about medium body but with nice hop resinousness. the carbonation is soft, incredibly finely bubbled.

d 4.5 bought these with the intention of cellaring some, but i have doubts that aging would do them any good. the flavors are already well integrated and don't need more restraint, and a reduction of the aroma would certainly not help. basically, too good now to justify waiting.

07-10-2010 02:52:47 | More by brewmudgeon
Photo of glazeman


4.2/5  rDev -0.7%

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. This is one of those beers that I've heard is good, and always see sitting on the shelves at the various beer stores around town, but that I have always walked by and thought, "Oh, I'll try that sometime soon" but keep passing up. Well that time has come...

A: pours a dark brown but fairly red when held up to the light. A vigorous pour yields a half finger light tan head that has sub-optimal retention but nice lacing.

S: Rye and nuts, but not a very aromatic beer.

T: As the name implies the rye really comes out in this beer and is quite good! For some reason it reminds me a lot of raison d'extra but without the big alcohol kick. Perhaps this is because this beer has flavors of plums/raisons in addition to the rye. There is a nice hop finish that balances out the sweetness that comes out up front.

M: Pretty good feel. Nice level of carbonation. Medium bodied.

D: Wonderfully drinkable. The alcohol in this beerl is hidden well, it's not overly sweet, and tastes great. I would love to have this more often...luckily it's easy to find.

07-09-2010 21:10:30 | More by glazeman
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.23/5  rDev -23.6%

A - Pours a dark iced tea color with a 1/2 beige head that fades to a film. Very little lacing.

S - Pine hops and slight malt aroma.

T - Bitter pine hops with slight malt taste.

M - Slightly flat. Coats the mouth.

D - Not too good. Hop dominates but tastes off.

07-05-2010 17:52:50 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of PintOHops


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Glass - Tulip

A - About an amber/brown color with an extremely soapy 1-finger head, it dissipated damn fast as well. It left a nice splashy/spotted lacing.

S - Very pungent pine/grapefruit upfront, sap, it's got a fresh soil & earthy quality to it that reminds me of a Winter Warmer. A bit of toast & biscuit underneath the pungent hops, ah there it is, just a touch of a bready rye like quality in there.

T - Very herbal with tons of orange peel and pungent tree sap like flavors everywhere! It finishes with pine & more peel, fresh oily hop flavors, there's a nice bready quality that comes through but nothing that immediately puts my mind to rye bread. Bitterness isn't over the top & makes an appearance as a lingering burnt bitterness on the back of the tongue, and this beer definitely doesn't taste like 8% ABV!

M - Smooth & creamy, soft crispness. Around medium-full bodied.

D - Such a great IPA, fresh herbal hop flavors with somewhat mild bitterness. I could definitely quaff 2-3 pints with some spicy & tangy ribs! I look forward to having this one again, highly recommended. Cheers!

Be careful with this one, because even as my beer warmed it didn't even taste close to 8% ABV!

07-03-2010 23:24:58 | More by PintOHops
Photo of JosiahS


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Glass: Tulip

Color is a dark amber with a soapy, 1-finger head sitting atop. Lots of small splashes line the glass where beer once was.

This beer has an amazing resiny and herbal-like scent. Citrus fruit rind are also present. Beneath the hops, deep sugary, caramel malt is revealed.

Taste is approaching my opinion of a perfect IPA. It has a fresh or wet hop taste that can't be beat. Resiny and herbal hops along with the perfect amount of grapefruit and lemon rind bitterness. Malt is strong but so well-integrated that it's hard to distinguish one from another.

Mouthfeel is light and velvety with low to medium carbonation.

Drinkability is high. Such a fresh punch of hops with a lowered bitterness level always makes any IPA quaff-able. Excellent beer!

07-03-2010 23:18:43 | More by JosiahS
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

A -Pours dark amber into the glass with a good two fingers of head and excellent lacing.

S - Caramel like malts, hops, light citrus and piney notes.

T - Love the caramel malts mixed in with the nice bitter hops, really well balanced. Really coats the mouth and remains on the palate.

M - Creamy and consistent across the board

D - Incredibly drinkable, this is a beer I always find myself happy to come back to!

07-03-2010 17:58:57 | More by StoneBrewFanatic
Photo of scottfrie


4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a very dark ruby color with a large fluffy light brown head that slowly receded into a bubbly film that left ample rings of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Not particularly smelly. Light notes of hops, caramel malt and faint mint.
T: Citrus hops dominate. Notes of grapefruit, black pepper, earthy spices, passion fruit and tangerine rind. This brew is very spicy, presumably from the rye. Hops are bitter in a very pleasant way. Finish is sweet and fruity.
M: Juicy and soft. Carbonation is soft, body is medium and mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.
D: I love the spiciness in this beer. I need to seek out more beers brewed with rye. Pretty heavy for an IPA, borders if not crosses into the DIPA range. Great brewery, great beer.

07-02-2010 03:21:59 | More by scottfrie
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -4.7%

Had this one many times over the years but figured I'd review the sample I had on tap at the Copper Mine Pub in North Arlington NJ last Sunday.

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany with a massive khaki crown that shows good retention and lace.

Smell: Loads of citrus and some faint pine notes from the hops plus plenty of rye goodness.

Taste: Same as nose.

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium bodied with good carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down pretty well despite the massive hopping and the 8% abv. Always a treat.

07-01-2010 00:45:29 | More by koopa
Photo of hopsbreath


2.65/5  rDev -37.4%

Twelve ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. This is my third one in the past week, not because I particularly like it, but because I'm stuck with the four-pack I picked up.

The dark murky mahogany body has a lot of large particulate in suspension with a two finger crown of tan head sitting on top. Spotty lacing shows up throughout the drink.

Smell is the best part but seems like a big hoppy barleywine rather than an IPA. Big tropical fruits would dominate the nose were it not for the heavy malts intertwined throughout.

Tastes similar to a barleywine like I expected. Cloyingly sweet malt base has quite a bit of metallic bitter hops in conjunction. The spice I associate with rye is not really there. Why add the rye if its not going to star here? Not my favorite.

Mouthfeel is thick, syrupy, and sticky. Personal preference alert, but I prefer IPA's to have a thinner body.

Drinkability is on the low end. Big, heavy, and metallic just don't do it for me.

Like I said at the beginning of my review, I bought a whole 4-pack of this stuff and am now trying to drink through it although its taking over a week. This is not on my "must try list" but I do recommend, if you do try it, to simply by a single to determine for yourself if you like it.

06-29-2010 02:07:02 | More by hopsbreath
Photo of onemanarne


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Had this several times before within the last 2 years but mainly it was whilst discovering my palate for good beers and more specifically, the glory that is hops. Been regularly drinking Stone IPA/Ruination, GF West Coast, Hop Ottin, Torpedo for many months and now back to my "roots".

A- A gentle pour reveals a fairly dark, opaque, muddy amber with a nice 1 finger head - still hanging in there 2/3 of the way thru. I can see each sip in the nice lacing.

S- I can smell caramelly malts/maybe rye? Not sure. Also definitely detecting the hops.

T- Definitely bitter right off the bat followed by a balanced but strong taste of malts, a little rye, and a lot of really bitter hops. A little alcohol at the end, but not enough to prevent you from wanting another sip. Deliciously bitter and hoppy, with a very strong malt backbone. The rye is subtle yet makes this absolutely not your run of the mill every day IPA.

M- Creamy, but not super heavy.

D- Too high. I remember having a 22 oz. bomber of this before a couple of other 7%+ IPA's (quite some time ago) and receiving a buzz that was more than necessary. Anywho.

I remember thinking of my last few sips as juicy. This beer is delicious. Gonna be my go-to alternative IPA from now on now that I've remembered about it. Glad I have 3 more!

06-26-2010 05:20:06 | More by onemanarne
Photo of horshack7


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Appearance: Poured into a mug is a dark amber a little on the clear side but has mohagany hues around the edges. On top is a crown of thick off white head that is about two fingers thick. The head rentention is good. Upon thining out a nice display of lacing.

Aroma: Heavy grapefruit notes with underlying piney notes. Carmael malts present themselves in a subtle yet bold way.

Taste: This one has quite the creamy mouthfeel. A caramel sweetness gives it a sticky coating on the pallate. Nice citrus notes with pineyness rounding it out.

Notes: A tasty offering from Bear Republic. For this review I raise my glass to a very wonderful friend it's her birthday June 22nd. Cheers to you Happy Birthday Tigger.

06-23-2010 03:52:57 | More by horshack7
Photo of jonziefle

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%

Appearance: Poured a clear brown amber. Visible carbonation. 2.5 finger light khaki foamy head with very good body/retention. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Strong citrus and pine hops, with a syrupy sweetness. Grapefruit dominates almost everything, with hints of straight hop pellets. No malts in the nose.

Taste: Bitter hop taste, but heavily mixed in with darker caramel malts. Hops have bite, but not the fresh flavor of the nose. The rye malts give it a kick as well. Alcohol is present, but not overwhelming. Long linger.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Tingly to start, with moderate carbonation, and a bit of an alcohol bite to finish.

Drinkability: A very interesting IPA, with the rye malts. Very fresh hoppy nose, with a more balanced taste. The rye gives it an interesting kick, unlike the hops which usually fuel this style. Hops in the taste or more subdued than I would like, but aren't overly harsh like others. A good one to try.

Buy Again? Yes.

06-19-2010 04:04:19 | More by jonziefle
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,267 ratings.