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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.

4,166 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,166
Reviews: 2,028
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 205
Gots: 192 | FT: 4
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: 4,166 | Reviews: 2,028 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of infi

New York

4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber - poured into a snifter.

Beautifully pours a dark caramel color with hints of red when held towards the light with an initial fat white head sitting atop that slowly falls to a thin layer. Visible carbonation streams and spotty lacing throughout and around the glass respectively. The smell is very malt and hop balanced. Initially, the sticky-ickiness of the hops hits at first but then sweet aromas from the malt emerge. There's slight hints of citrus after some vigorous swirls of the glass, but nothing more. Mostly pine hop and sweet malt.

Taste echoes the aroma as the pineyness from the heavy hops immediately comes into play and transitions beautifully into the caramel malt sweetness. Great balance of flavors and very straight-forward. Bitterness all over the place in the aftertaste, but lingers for just a few seconds, and the alcohol is subdued enough. No palpable taste but the burn as it goes down is definitely felt. Also, the rye is actually more prevalent in the aftertaste along with the citrus than in the initial taste. Very nice overall.

Mouthfeel is extremely creamy. Just about medium-bodied with fairly low carbonation. Very smooth drinking for an IPA. Not much of a crispness to the brew at all, but more like a porter. Admirable in mouthfeel for sure. Drinkability is deserving in that this is a classic template IPA with the pine, malt, citrus and subtle spice. Evenly balanced and each component shines very well in presentation with nothing being too overpowering. I'd recommend this to someone who is trying to get into IPA's. A great West Coast IPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2009 04:09:32 | More by infi
Photo of TommyW


4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Dark amber body with a sticky, off-white head.

S- Lots of citrus and pine hops with some faint spicy malt aroma.

T- Little bit of caramel malts up front. This quickly is blasted away by the citrus and piney hops. There is a little spiciness there as well (I think maybe from the rye).

M- Smooth and slick on the tongue with a medium body.

D- Really an awesome IPA. The spice that the rye adds really makes this one stand out from some other really good IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2009 03:46:24 | More by TommyW
Photo of thekanna


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

A: Nice clear dark amber with a thin but rock-solid head.

S: Great citrus (especially grapefruit) smell with the characteristic aroma of hops; present, but not overpowering like most IPAs.

T: Wow. Huge taste of hops that provide a powerful, bitter bite. Citrus fruits coupled with a strong herbal medicine taste that is, amazingly enough, not off-putting. Rye malt is there and complements, not conflicts with the hop taste.

M: Nice juiciness which provides a full-bodied and refreshing blast.

D: This is excellent; an IPA that is at once very much a highly-hopped ale, but not overpowering in aroma and taste like other domestic IPAs. Glad I picked this one up.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2009 06:24:16 | More by thekanna
Photo of billab914


4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass. Pours a dark copper color with a nice creamy head. Laced nicely down the glass as I drank it. The sweet maltiness hits me at first then followed by the bitter dry hops. Awesome hoppiness flavor in this one. Very smooth for a 8% beer. Will be buying this one again when looking for a hoppy treat.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 22:11:07 | More by billab914
Photo of berley31

New Brunswick (Canada)

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

A: Poured with an average-sized, off-white head that diminished to about 1/2-finger. Good lacing left on the glass. Body is a dark brown color, with a slight haziness to it.

S: Very nice balance of malt and hops... but the hops win out in the end. Interesting.

T: Malt is quite prominent with a good amount of sweetness at the beginning, then, of course, it finishes quite bitter and dry with the hops. The rye is detectable in the background, providing for a different type of taste than I'm used to. I really like it. Long duration.

M: Medium-body with a very creamy texture. Soft carbonation.

D: This is an excellent beer, and very complex. I probably wouldn't drink more than one in one sitting, but I'd damn well enjoy that one that I had.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2009 18:31:10 | More by berley31
Photo of cptierney


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I always seem to neglect Bear Republic, even though I live relatively close to their Healdsburg location. I think it speaks volumes about the quality of beer here in Northern California that a quality operation like Bear Republic can fall through the cracks.
Poured into nonic from a twelve ounce bottle.

I'm immediately taken with this beer's appearance. Looking more like an English IPA, this beer pours a dark amber. The off white foam on the head is fluffy and very retentive, taking minutes to recede to a thin layer across the top of the beer.

I find the nose on this beer a bit light. I am subject to small piney hints of hops along with a most unusual hit of bready malts. I suppose it could be the rye I'm smelling, but I get more of sourdough hit than anything.

Perfect marks for mouthfeel. This beer is viscous enough to provide a solid swilling experience but light enough to not overwhelm. The carb bite is minimal and welcomed at the end of a sip.

This is certainly the best IPA with rye I've ever had, and as far as IPAs are concerned I place it second only to the mighty Furious. The juniper affect of the heavy hopping meets a nice orange/grapefruit citrus note, colluding to make a phenomenal hop profile. The malts aren't weak in this brew either, and the tang of the rye stands as a reminder that a great beer isn't made with bittering alone.

High drinkability. The hop oil isn't too sticky or cumulative and a person could easily enjoy three or four of these in a sitting. Hats off to Bear Republic, this beer is a classic.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2009 22:16:46 | More by cptierney
Photo of fropones


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark reddish brown like a nice rye beer wth a good khaki colored 1 finger pancake head. Great lacing. Smell is very hoppy, with hints of rye and malt, as well. Taste is a nice hoppy assault up front with some malt (caramel?) in the back. And, of course, rye. A good citrusy flavor all around. Nice and unique with its use of rye malt. Really sets it apart from other IPAs. Mouthfeel is pretty creamy, with not too much carbonation. The rye and hops leaves my tongue feeling tingly after a sip. Drinkability is quite good. Will have no problem finishing this bomber, despite the 8% abv.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2009 18:22:24 | More by fropones
Photo of dubinsky


4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bear republic is quickly becoming a one of my go to breweries because of beers like this. I am loving the hoppy flavors/bitterness of their beers.

A- Pours a dark copper color with a two finger head that stays around for what seems like hours. Lacing is very sticky.

S- like others, i like the hops smell more than the rye, but it all works well for me. The smell is very light and underwhelming to me.

T- The taste is well...tasty. Not my favorite IPA, but a formidable contender. The rye is not easy to pick out. I think i found it, but the hops are definitely around. You can taste the alcohol pretty well here.

M- Like the smell, its smooth with light bubbles and a light lingering of alcohol feel in the chest.

D- This beer is very drinkable. Even with this high alcohol content, its not as heavy in taste and feel as others with less potency. I will picking this up again.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2009 03:34:36 | More by dubinsky
Photo of Intimidtor


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bear Republic makes another great beer. Poured into a pint glass and noticed about a finger width of head. Pours a nice amber color and smells inviting. This beer nice with moderate bitterness. Strong lingering flavor that would go great with a steak. Recommended if you get the chance.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2009 13:02:06 | More by Intimidtor
Photo of mtstatebeer

West Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle served in a tulip glass. Pours a hazy copper color with a brownish-red hue, good billowy off-white head, lacing throughout and a good amount of floaties. Aroma is caramel malts, rye, spicy, pine and citrus hops. Flavor is caramel malts up front with a good kick of pine and citrus hops, a touch of spiciness as well. Mouthfeel is creamy, medium bodied and very bitter at the end. Overall a great beer, I really like this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2009 01:00:47 | More by mtstatebeer
Photo of drabmuh


4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. There is no date on the bottle. Beer pours clear, no haze at all. Beer is darkish brown and forms a nice head with medium sized bubbles, really uniform two fingers above the beer, it falls away slightly leaving some lacing on the glass. Carbonation moderate.

Aroma is nice and full of citrus / piney hops. There is some spiciness from the rye as well. No roast or anything else in the head, cannot detect any alcohol.

Beer is interesting. There is not a strong forward flavor but there is a lot of hop bitterness that lingers in the back of the mouth as almost an aftertaste. It is not unpleasant. Body on this beer is medium, which is fine and somewhat expected. Drinkability extremely high. Overall, a very good IPA.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2009 01:47:51 | More by drabmuh
Photo of boogyman


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark amber color with a finger of head that stays around for a few minutes. Stays a bit bubbly through the whole drink. Lacing is fairly sticky.

S- Oh how I love the hops. I personally like the hop presence more then the rye but overall I still like the smell of this beer quite a lot. There is also a nice grapefruit smell that comes with the hops.

T- For a standard IPA the hops are quite strong in this brew which is a big plus. I don't quite have a taste for rye, but I think I can pick it out and it is quite a nice compliment to the hops.

M- Tangy bubbly smooth goodness going down. Only a very slight alcohol burn that is masked by the hops and malt.

D- I most definitely could drink this over and over. I am starting to understand why this is near the top of the ranks of the American IPA. Will be picking this up again.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2009 04:54:20 | More by boogyman
Photo of claykeller


4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving Type: 22 oz bottle poured into 20 oz glass.

Appearance: Thick with Dark Caramel color. Thin sticky lacing down the glass.

Smell: Great balanced aroma with sweetness and pine.

Taste: Nice hops but balanced enough with malt/rye so that it isn't quite as powerful as double.

Mouthfeel: Silky but not too slippery.

Drinkability: Goes down easy, but with enough hops to make you drink it slow enough to enjoy.

Notes: A great find. I hadn't tried this beer yet, but it is probably my favorite AIPA next to Bell's two hearted and Lagunitas hop stupid. A bit more hops and bitterness than Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2009 02:01:39 | More by claykeller
Photo of VikeMan


3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

First, I can definitely see why so many hopheads like this beer. But I'm more of a malt/balance lover, so take this review with a grain of salt.

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Opaque amber/brown color. Thin brownish white head. Some lace, but not a lot.

Smell... piney hops. Something else I couldn't quite place...maybe the rye.

Taste...lots of piney/citrus hop bitterness (too much for me), followed quickly by Alcohol. Tasted like every bit of its 8.0% ABV. This is no stealth beer. I didn't get much in the way of caramely malt presence others have mentioned (again...different perspective probably).

Mouthfeel...medium to heavy body. VERY Silky. Maybe the best feature of this brew. Low/Medium carbonation.

Drinkability...Overall, not my cup of tea, but a good example of the AIPA as I understand it. For my tastes, Bell's Two Hearted is a better choice.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2009 00:47:05 | More by VikeMan
Photo of GregSVT


3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a New Belgium pint glass.

A: Pours a dark amber with a big offwhite head that leaves sticky lacing as it fades.

S: Smell is mix between floral and grapefruit hops and a sweet/fruity malty aroma.

T: Taste is bitter grapefruit hops and a slight tropical fruit flavor with more bitterness on the finish. The rye also adds a spicey kick on the finish. I was expecting more fruity flavors from the nose but the grapefruit really takes over and makes it quite bitter.

M: Mouthfeel is good with a nice amount of carbonation and a slightly oily coating of the mouth but not as big as a DIPA.

D: The bitterness really kills it for me in the drinkability category...I like my IPAs balanced between sweet and bitter.

I'd rather pick up Hopstoopid, Gordon, or DFH 90 for about the same price. I probably won't get it again but I would recommend it if you're a fan of big bitter beers and the rye adds an interesting kick on the finish.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2009 01:45:28 | More by GregSVT
Photo of vdread


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

Hop Rod Rye
bottle to glass

a-hazy dark amber with a thin little white head. left a little lacing.

s- pine hops, spices

t- astringency, very strong alcohol astringency. almost enough to make it unenjoyable, but there's also the tastes of orange, pine, spicyness, rye, and some caramel malt. the hops are strong but taste a bit muted.

m- not bad, thickly satisfying and bitter.

d- very high. picked this up again after enjoying it a few weeks ago. was less enjoyable this time due to the strong alcohol taste, but still really good.

i really liked this beer. especially the spicy bitter flavors of the hops balanced with the rye. Bear Republic is definately on the radar.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2009 22:26:43 | More by vdread
Photo of rebelthrower


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

A- Deep copper in color and a bit of red. Small head is off white.

S- Very fresh hops. A bit of citrus.

T- Very smooth, hops all the way through. As it warms the rye come forward. Citrus at the end too.

M- Medium amount of carbonation. Medium bodied.

D- Very drinkable and a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2009 02:09:38 | More by rebelthrower
Photo of alkemy


4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Darkish brown/amber, although copper and mahogany when held up to light. Thick two finger head with alot of staying power. Lots of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Breadiness in the smell along with hops and a hint of alcohol. Nice piny bite of hops up front. Then sweet malty notes. The rye finish is the real treat for this one. Just a really pleasant finish and aftertaste. Noticed alcohol more in the smell than in the taste, so I'd consider the 8% to be hidden well.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2009 18:13:15 | More by alkemy
Photo of mdale13


3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark red/copper color with a thin white head. Head fades somewhat rapidly. Moderate lacing down the glass.

S- Hops, some malt presence. Very fresh, inviting smell.

T- Tastes like your standard IPA, lots of fresh bitter hops, a slight rye taste. I was hoping for more rye, but this is technically an IPA, not a rye beer.

M- Good amount of carbonation.

D- Pretty drinkable, but I dont think I would have more than 2 in a sitting.

Other- I have mixed feelings about this beer. Dont get me wrong, Its a great beer, and I enjoyed it, I was just hoping for more rye I guess.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2009 17:41:35 | More by mdale13
Photo of GordonQuid


4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

Dark copper with just a a reddish tinge. Rocky one inch head dissapates to a creamy wisp with ample lace.

Smells of amber malts and cascade hops. Appetizing and inviting smell of freshness.

Taste is exceptionally smooth malts and hops blended to perfection and a nice crisp dry finish from the rye.

This stuff is smooth and highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2009 19:16:04 | More by GordonQuid
Photo of natelocc787


4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I appreciated the uniqueness of the rye in this Imperial IPA. Pours dark like a Brown ale/IPA hybrid. Smells of rye, scotch, grapefruit, lemon, and grassy pine. Rye is very noticeable in the taste and brings a dark, spicey quality to a good Double IPA. The appearance and smell was very nice and it's unusual to get these kinds of aromas from a beer this dark. Mouthfeel was close to perfect. Silky, chewy, heavy and nectary with nice tiny-bubble carbonation to make it feel creamy. Even though I found this beer a real treat it was one to be savored.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2009 20:32:31 | More by natelocc787
Photo of bkett01


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

Enjoyed from the tap at the Bear Republic Brewpub in downtown Healdsburg this morning. Hey, it was afternoon on the east coast.

Appearance is a dark amber topped with a one finger creamy head which dissipated after a few minutes. Smell is slightly bready with a big dose of hops.

Taste is pine and grapefruit over a semi-sweet malty backbone that the rye helps make stand up to the hops. Still loses the battle, but it's nice for balance. Well carbonated, this stays lively as you drink it and is drinkable other than the ABV.

Overall, a great rye IPA. A style that I wish more breweries took a shot at. Highly enjoyable & recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2009 01:28:17 | More by bkett01
Photo of TheDeuce

New York

4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye....

Appearance-dark brown to black, decent hazy head foams up, active carbonation gushes through the glass, it's ok.

Smell-bready as expected, a whoosh of alcohol and plenty of hops. Lots of aroma.

Taste/Mouthfeel-hops hit with a flourish, piney taste, bready character to the beer, not really tasting anything that distinct that would make me realize it's a rye, but still a great tasting beer.

Drinkability-I had no trouble finishing mine, strong beer but definitely drinkable.

Overall-once again, I couldn't really determine that it was rye based on the taste alone, but still, this is a great beer from a brewer that I've really come to respect.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2009 04:42:07 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of beernut

New Jersey

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

poured into my duvel glass. pours a dark copper color with a thick white head that lingers for some time (great lacing throughout). aroma is big hops here and some alcohol present. taste is hoppy (alcohol is bodly present) slightly malty and not to forget about the rye taste, not really heavy at all. great blend of hop and rye. aftertaste is bitter( but it is great0 somewhat dry. all around a great beer!

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2009 00:51:06 | More by beernut
Photo of Dspohn


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

22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

A. This is a great looking beer. Beautiful amber color when held up to the sunlight and talk about an awesome head! Big, rocky, sticky, impressive retention with great fluffy rings all the way down.

S. Smells very balanced. Not as much rye really until it warms up some but a big grapefruit citrus hop nose with some well balanced caramel malt.

T. Taste is better than the smell even. Strong ass hops but a great malt backbone and the sour/sweet rye taste in the end is phenomenal! Trust me and let this beer get a little warmer before drinking because the rye really comes out and is truly wonderful to balance the strong hops.

M. Feels awesome, perfect carbonation on a nice medium body.

D. I don't want to find out how many bombers of this I could down in a night but the abv is nowhere to be found and the balance is pretty much perfect if you like a nice hoppy beer that has a few extra dimensions. Easily one of the best IPAs I've tried. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2009 18:07:31 | More by Dspohn
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,166 ratings.