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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

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4,453 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,453
Reviews: 2,051
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 241
Gots: 255 | 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: 4,453 | Reviews: 2,051 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CHickman
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish brown in color with a 2 finger foamy beige/tan head that lasted a while and left great lacing and a creamy ring around the top of the glass; the lacing didn't move unless a sip of beer flowed over it.

Smells of big hops up front, with piney hops, citrus hops, grapefruit, sweet malt, orange peel, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, grass, hay, apple and some wheat; very pungent hop aroma that was surprising to me nice since I was expecting more rye.

Tastes of piney hops, citrus hops, grapefruit, sweet malt, orange peel, coriander, caramel, brown sugar, pepper, cinnamon, grass, hay, tart apple, flowers, rye, spices and what seems like syrup towards the end; really hoppy overall with the rye coating the tongue after the other flavors wash away. This is a different kind of IPA and I like it and its light spicy approach. The sweetness and the sharp rye spice leave a clean yet almost fruity flavor lingering and make for a nice niche IPA.

Mouthfeel is creamy and very smooth, with very light to no carbonation, a medium body and a snappy tart finish that screams of the rye. There are hints of alcohol, but they are so mild that it's not a distraction.

Very tasty and quite drinkable, especially for IPA fans who like a mix of malt and other ingredients like rye with their hops. This is no ordinary IPA and should be enjoyed for the specialty beer that it is. A definite recommendation.

Photo of scoots511
3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a great powerful beer 8%, highly hopped, dark ruby brown color that actually went down really well, I went through 22oz and felt like I had just started the bottle but personally would have enjoyed a little less bitterness but this is a Bear Republic beer so. I would buy again to share again with some friends that enjoy the IPAs for sure.

I purchased this since I have an upcoming homebrew that I'm going to incorporate rye into and was looking to see how the 18% rye level impacted the taste. Definitely has a more intense hop flavor than I hoped for (My fault for not seeing the Rye IPA part when I bought this on a whim). Pretty highly hopped beer so it was difficult to ascertain the impact of the 18% rye vs say 10%. I've had a very successful Irish Red Ale with rye at a much lower level that turned out very well balanced and am moving onto a Belgian specialty ale that I wanted to impart a rye spiciness to.

Photo of claspada
2.69/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

The aromas are of sweet and carmel malts, followed up with nice earthy pine from the hops with a splash of citrus. Defintely some spiciness from the rye as well.

The taste at first is a nice hop expolosion that is mixed wtih the sweetness from the malts, you taste the rye more that what you can smell. The balance is somehow off here though. There too much sticky bitter hops in the finish for my liking. I would rather nave the spicy/bitterness from the rye and hop aroma in my rye ales personally. The mouthfeel is just too abbrasive for my taste. Adequate carbonation.

Overall this may be a good beer but it is just slightly unbalanced for my liking. Defintely bitter, spicy and really hoppy. Not enough malt backbone to be a complete winner for me. I have had many ryes and prefer others.

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

Grabbed a bomber off the shelf, and poured it into a pint glass at home...

appearance: deep, just slightly brownish, red... a little cloudy with a sand colored head that rose to just over a pinky's width, only to recede to fine layer of foam that remained throughout consumption. good lacing all the way down...

smell: lemon at first... a little pine, then rye, and some grapefruitiness. Caramel and some brown sugar or molasses stuff goin' on too...

taste: Mmmm... rye malt and hops. the hops are more hidden than the smell led me to believe, but came through nicely as soon as I had that thought with piney and fruity notes... then some bitterness to even it all out in the end, followed by slight alcohol warming. Mmmm... delicious!

mouthfeel: extremely smooth, and somewhere between thin and thick- a little more on the light-bodied side I guess... carbonation is just right for me.

drinkability: smooth as silk, went down VERY easily... surprisingly so, considering that it's 8%abv.

Great beer that went down easy- beautifully balanced and very tasty! Grab one if you haven't yet!

Photo of Anaz
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark red brown, with a full creamy head that leaves a lot of lacing on the way down.

S- Lots of spice and toasted malt, with a faint sourness underneath.

T-Rich, rye bread with dark fruit/dried fruit flavors. Prunes and dried tart cherries with caramel and touches of candied orange peel, delicious.

M- Full, creamy mouthfeel, with smooth carbonation.

D- Very drinkable despite the alcohol, but a a little rich, so I probably wouldn't knock back more than a bomber, or drink without sharing. Still, a great beer all around, and a knockout value for the price.

Photo of kinged8th
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice cloudy, tannish amber color with a thick head. Nice citrusy and floral hops. Very good mouthfeel with medium carbonation. I love this beer. Its not as bitter as Racer 5, but it has a good hoppy taste. I couple drink many of these in a night.

Photo of PTMcB
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber to brown with a thick malty head and medium high carbonation.

S - Malty rye with caramel notes and a pale ales bitterness.

T - What you would expect from the smell. There is the malty rye with caramel and possibly cinnamon. The bitterness at the end has an interesting sweetness at the end.

M - Good carbonation for the thicker body.

D - Pretty good. I'm not sure of its the 8% but the bomber would be enough. Not that its bad!

Photo of Duff27
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark, dark red. Thick and frothy initial one inch head that stick around until the end. Lacing aplenty on all sides.

S- Sweet smelling. Hoppy. Almost has a cinnamon smell to it.

T-Lots of hops...subtle hints of the 18% rye. Piney. I get a slight sweet taste at the end.

M- Medium mouthfeel, smooth.

D/O- The 8%abv is very hard to grasp, holy cow. What a delicious brew, my first from Bear Republic. The price point is ridic...just saw a bomber for $4.79 tonight. Highly recommended.

Photo of juju7
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sexy beast. Didn't realise this is considered an IPA, interesting. I suppose in that sense if you bought this hoping for an IPA along the lines of Racer 5 you would maybe be disappointed. But not for long. Buckets of intense piney resinous hops gives a rough and ready aroma that leads to a tongue tearing mouth feel. Flavour and character in spades. Finish is loooong and sublime. One tasty mofo. Can only imagine how good this would have been if it was a couple of months fresher.

Photo of pmccallum86
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark red colored body with a large light brown thick bubbly head.

Smell is of bitter hops, caramel malts, and rye.

Taste is like the smell with a rye malt flavor up front followed by a bitter hop kick in the finish. Nice unique IPA.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a bitter finish.

Good drinkability, good beer.

Photo of DJED69
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was an interesting brew to me---let me preface by saying, I really love Bear Republic beers---Racer 5 is a staple. So, Hop Rod Rye---pours a nice reddish-copper color with off white head. Nose is typical IPA hoppiness with an additional nose of spice. Taste follows suit---rich and flavorful with a spicy rye bite. I didn't notice any alcohol on the finish---the abv is 8%, not exactly a lightweight. The brew is very well made, but I found myself not getting past the rye spice flavors. So, not my style and something I couldn't see having more than one of occasionally. I bet it's a nice beer with Asian food or maybe Indian. Its def one to try for yourself---you may love it. I'm glad I got to give it a spin.

Photo of nataku00
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a straight sided glass. Dark brown with a slight haze to it. A little bit of deep scarlet red when you hold the glass up to the light. There was an initial finger of light brown colored head with a fairly aggressive pour, but it recedes quickly, leaving a little bit of light lacing.

Nose is fresh pine, with a nice lemongrass herbal note. A bit of malt detected as well. Floral qualities come out as the beer warmed, though I can't put a name to the flower I think it smells similar to. However, the nose wasn't quite as strong as I expected, especially compared to a Racer 5.

Taste followed the nose initially, with a decent piney and citrus flavor as it hits the tongue. A nice bread malt sweetness midtongue joins the bitterness and finishes fairly dry and clean.

The carbonation is light, but decent, with small bubbles. Medium body results in a slightly syrupy but substantial beer in the mouth.

Alcohol content was hidden very well, and for the price, a good drinking beer for any occasion.

Photo of Buggabeer
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Nice dark red in color. Poured to a nice head which quickly went away as you drank it.

S. Nice hop floral sent with the presence of dough. Picking up some other sent however I do have a cold so i cannot figure it out.

T. Liking this quite a bit. It has a really nice finish to it not over powered by bitterness. That's a plus for me.

M. Nice carbonation but not over done.

D. Drink...may I have another and another...please.

Photo of Torps
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep plum color with a one finger off white head which dissipated to leave a soapy ring of head and carbonation lining the rim. Lots of lacing. Aroma is sweet malts, rye(of course), dark fruits, and a hint of resinous, pine-y hops. Not very hop forward so this may be a touch aged. Tastes like a rye ale with a biting bitter back end. Bit of grapefruit and floral-ness lingers on the back of my tongue. Mouthfeel is great. Not super drinkable as I think the bitterness has ruined my palate after only one and I consider myself fond of hop forward brews.

Photo of Phelps
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep maroon that's dark yet clear, with oodles of floating flakes. A one-finger, thick head of khaki foam quickly becomes a hefty top layer, never really leaving completely. It leaves full, tacky sheets of lace as I drink.

S: Skittles! Citrusy and super-sweet, I'm picking up notes of tangerines, orange juice, strawberry, orange blossom, lilac and lime.

T: Again, lime skittles. Taste the rainbow! Dank hops hit at the start, expanding to bitter notes that linger and grip the sides of the tongue. Mid-palate I get hints of toasted crackers, spicy pepper and rye, while flavors of orange and grapefruit peel linger at the finish. Pretty sweet throughout.

M: medium-high, prickly carbonation tickles the tongue amidst a medium-light and slightly runny body.

D: Hop Rod Rye strikes a lovely balance between sweetness and bitterness. It's very drinkable and interesting enough to keep you pondering while you do.

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

Pours a dark amber, almost brownish color with a white soapy head. Has an aroma of grapefruit and caramel with hints of pine and rye. Sweet and malty, with a nice hop hit and more sweetness on the backend. Just delicious. I do not normally like rye pale ales, but this is perfectly balanced.

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

Drank on 3/14/10
22 oz. In pint glass

A- beautiful 1/4" head was slow to disappiate, leaving a lace of bubbles and foam. Dark copper red/brown translucent ale.

S- hints of sweetness with fruity hop notes mingles with roasted malts.

T- delicous roast malt and rye flavors along with hints of chocolate. Has a great heavy, fruity,dried fruit hop flavor. sweet notes start in the middle and continue through the finish.

MF- nice mouth coating with med. Body. Nice smooth bitterness rounds it out with no dryness.

D- hides its abv well. Another great rye beer with fantastic roast malt and hop flavors. Delicious and possibly my favorite rye ipa.

Photo of jbowers56
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lovely red colour with a cream coloured head that just sits there. Plenty of lacing. Super clear despite being unfiltered.

Nose is good, but I think its a few months old so lacking some pungency. I get grapefruit, pine, some leafiness, and also some slight rye notes.

A little maltier than I expected. First off I get a strong caramel malt presence. This is immediately backed up by grapefruit taking my tongue for a ride. Bitterness is definitely up there. The alcohol content is NOWHERE to be seen. Loving the rye in there. As a rye noob it reminds me of rye whiskey which I love.

Feels great in the mouth. Super creamy but adequate carbonation and a great hop presence clean it up sufficiently.

Drinkability would be higher, i think, if this were a little fresher. Some of the pungency of the hops is missing. Its all still there but a really strong juicy hop flavour would help make this more enticing to sip on. Brewed in april.

Photo of fourplayed
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz glass. 1" light brown/tan head..creamy medium lacing, Dark Brown/Amber w/ red/orange highlights when held up to the light.

Smell is clean, mild hops, Sweet roasted malts, some citrus notes, and herbal presense(rye).

Taste: Big Hops, nice Sweet malts-smooth, rye comes out more, citrus hints still there. hops and malt sweetness linger at end...nice!

Mouthfeel: Full body, smooth maltiness, nice hops bite and dryness. mild carbonation is good. Mild alcohol warmth.

Overall a nice red ale surprise! Rye works well along with mild sweetness, malts and hops. well crafted and balanced. xtra hops and nice sweetness that longers made this work for me.

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

Poured from a bottle into a SAPP

It didn't pick up as great of a head as I'd like, but it was there. same with the lacing. The glass had been through the dishwasher once or twice, so it might not be the beers fault. It has a beautiful color, a deep coper with just a hint of mustyness. It kinda smelled like a typical IPA, but the rye in the taste makes it stand apart. I'm not sure exactly how to describe it but I've already purchased another Rye IPA to try (Founders). The high ABV is hidden well, so I could drink this all night.

Photo of keith712
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber bottle into a 1.5l hefeweizen glass that promotes head retention due to scoring along the sides and bottom to create nucleation points for the CO2.

Appearance: Pours a deep, almost scotch like color. A HUGE head was presented that hung around a bit and stayed a solid 1/2" thick throughout the glass. This is a simply beautiful beer!

Nose: Spicy, pungent, crisp, sharp, powerful. Hops, hops, and some mild grapefruit and pine notes. Typical to me perhaps for a strong IPA, I really don't smell the rye malts.

Flavor: WOW! What can I say, not super complex, but it has EVERYTHING I want in an IPA, the rye malts are noticeably different and add a certain punch that is hard to define. Fairly dry, high carbonation, and crazy crisp.This is a "turbo hops" beer that might be a bit overpowering to an IPA n00b.

Mouth feel: Superb. Medium feel, high carbonation, begs for another mouth full! (easy on the jokes fellas). Crisp on the palate, pungent on the cheeks, and it makes my mouth happy. It thickens a bit as it warms and the flavors do become more pronounced, certainly a sign of a wonderful beer.

Drinkability: Can I have another? The alcohol at 8% is well hidden and I could down these easily in a session with friends, although by the terminology of a "session" beer...you are going to be quite high by the time you drink 3-4 of these. What else to say, it goes down easily and the flavor makes you want more, more, more.

Overall: I give this IPA an easy 9.5 of 10 points. Simply a superb beer.

EDIT: 12-28-10, drank another full bomber of this beer. Simply wonderful. Huge fluffy and creamy head that lasts, nice change of pace for a good IPA, the rye is awesome, the flavor gets better as you go through the glass and smooths nicely as it approaches 55+ degrees. I am going to make this a mainstay.

Photo of Bfarr
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy brown with big tan foamy/frothy head with great retention and good lacing all though it became a little spotty and clumpy. Robust rye and citrus hop aroma. Balanced rye and grapefruit with caramel sweetness in the background and a nice rye bread linger. No alcohol in taste and a mouthfeel that is very smooth and silky with a light stickiness on the lips.

Very simple yet completely engaging with a bit of different flavor in the rye. It has fantastic consistency to make it an easy and pleasureable beer experience.

Photo of ratedz
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 5 ounce sample at a recent tasting party. I've had Hop Rod Rye several times before, but am just now getting around to reviewing it. It pours a deep amber color with a thin off-white head.

Smell is heavy on the citrus (grapefruit and orange), hops, and rye malt.

Taste is of sweet malts as well as the citrus flavors that were also evident in the nose. Overall, an awesome tasting beer that I will buy again.

Medium body and very smooth feel. Light to moderate carbonation. At 8%, a very drinkable beer that I have enjoyed several times before and one that I am sure will cross my path again.

Photo of kreeper
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark amber brown, fluffy head, lacing,

S: bright citrus hops, spicy, smells fresh

T: hops and rye malts blend together for some spice,

M: lighter body, expected a real heavy beer almost like double ipa.

D: easy drinker any time of the year. will drink often.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of Imsothirsty
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice thick tan head.
Overall color is a dark red caramel, fairly clear

Smell is hop forward

Taste is great, hops first a short taste of brown sugar malts, and just a hint of rye sneaks in.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, a little lighter than expected from the color, medium low carbonation

Good drinkability even with a little higher abv.

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,453 ratings.