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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

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4,468 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,468
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: 4,468 | Reviews: 2,053
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.

Photo of stakem
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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.

Photo of BeerLover99
4.57/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of sjverla
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Photo of HopHed
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of bisonkron
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of THECPJ
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
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


Photo of livewire78
2.77/5  rDev -34.5%
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.

Photo of cdkrenz
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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.

Photo of DelMontiac
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a New Belgium globe.

Hop Rod Rye (cool label) pours hazy burnt orange creating a gently rising white two finger head of microbubbles that recedes to a thin blanket. Each drink is marked plainly on the glass in a fine lace.

This seems more malty than most IPAs, probably from the rye. The rye does seem to give it a somewhat woody/earthy extra spice (for lack of better terminology). Not near as piney as I would have thought. The citrus character is quite nice and remains from start to finish. Nice and malty with rye breadiness on the finish.

It's also more smooth and creamy than most IPAs. The carbonation is great - the smoothing kind, not the tongue tingling/burning kind. Nice.

All this makes for a very drinkable IPA. Hop Rod Rye is better warmed up a bit than it is straight from the fridge.

I think this brew is very good, but not great as the BA Top 50 would indicate (at this moment).

Photo of FosterJM
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

192nd Review on BA
bottle to pint
12 oz

App- Liquid caramel in a glass. Murky hazy amber red 1/2 in head.

Smell- Hops, spice, and some earthy notes

Taste- A very welcoming spicy note that seems to be a tad different. I will say I am sure its a mix of hop/rye. Something I havent had before.

Mouth- Medium body with high carb levels. Nice spice after note.

Drink- Ive had a couple of Bear Republic. I can see why everyone likes this one best.

Photo of Hopalong29
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber with nice 1/4 in. and lacing that sustains throughtout.
Nice aroma of citus and pine.
Creamy with light carbonation.
Slight bitterness on back end. More drying than I care for.
Definitely on the "won't let you down" list for Hopheads.
With the alc content, not a good idea to imbibe too many.

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

Poured from bomber into tall glass. Comes from one of my favorite American breweries, Bear Republic. Pours a dark murky brown pour with a massive light-tan creamy head. Strong aroma of molasses like malt, dust and citrus hops. Big rye flavor, robust and slightly burnt. Lots of hoppy bitterness that is long lasting. Quite sugary upfront. A touch of pineapple and grapefruit with a good amount of piney resin. Great rye/hop aftertaste. Medium/full body that is a little bit creamy. Drinks down nicely with an interesting rye character that I can enjoy all day long.

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.

Photo of corby112
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
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!

Photo of paulozanello
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of BB1313
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of OneLowChevy
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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.

Photo of gregshead
3.68/5  rDev -13%
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.

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.

Photo of nhindian
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of ADZA
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,468 ratings.