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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.

4,290 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,290
Reviews: 2,035
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 215
Gots: 214 | 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: 4,290 | Reviews: 2,035 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kshankar
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours brown/copper with some red hues. Thick off white foam. Great retention. Looks great. And the foam doesn't go away! Theres just a pillow of it with some of the most intense lacing I've ever seen on a beer.

Citrus hops, pine, malt sweetness dominate the aroma. Everything is there, and you can smell every bit of it.

Tastes like citrusy hops, pine, and a sweet malt balance. That pillowy foam is still there, by the way. Bitterness is done perfectly, and well...wow. Just wow.

Mouthfeel is medium, coats the mouth, a bit creamy.

Drinkability is still good..I'd have another. Easily one of the best IPA's I've ever had.

kshankar, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of cdizinno
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz. bottle with a date of 05 15 0?. The question mark could be an 8 or a 9. I pray that it is 9 and I have to do a better job of finding the dates before buying!

A: Cloudy brownish-amber color witha nice light tan head with moderate lacing.

S: Boozy, tobacco scent probably due to age. Some pine hop aroma and sweet citrus.

T&M: Fairly smooth, medium bodied ale. Slightly rough carbonation. The taste is way better than the smell and I will have to look for a fresher bottle to taste in the future. Spiciness of the rye and hops are fairly well-balanced with a nice malt character. Hop bitterness is not sharp.
Finishes bittersweet.

Decent idea of what this may taste like when fresh.

cdizinno, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of GarrisWH
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very nice looking, deep brownish-amber color with a moderate sized beige head. Good retention and leaves some nice lacing behind.

S - Hop aromas with citric and slight pine qualities. Some spicy character as well, although I'm not sure if its the hops or the rye. There is also some sweet, caramel malt lingering in the background.

T - Big hop flavor with a pronounced, but not overwhelming level of bitterness. The hop flavors mostly conjure up thoughts of grapefruit and resinous pine. There is ample malt backing up the hops, lending some brown sugar and caramel flavors. The rye adds a spicy quality that really blends well with the other flavors.

M - Full bodied with a lighter carbonation. Has a very smooth, chewy, resinous mouthfeel.

D - A very well-made brew from Bear Republic. Great combination of flavors, and the addition of rye added an interesting touch. Quite drinkable for 8%, and at a great price for a 22oz as well. I will definitely revisit this one again.

GarrisWH, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of HayesdaHophead
2.85/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't have a lot to say about this beer. The rye character just didn't come through for a beer that brags on the label to have 18% rye in the grain bill.

Nice color and drinkable, but maybe I got an old bottle. It didn't seem to be super hoppy or have a distinct rye character. The bottle art is misleading. Not a bad beer, just not something I would buy again.

The label also seems to have another marketing error. It states the sediment might be there in the bottle due to a "truck-load of hops". It has been my experience that hops settle out pretty well in brewing and it is just yeast sediment in a bottle. Kind of shook my faith in Bear Republic to see that statement.

HayesdaHophead, Apr 07, 2010
Photo of n0rc41
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this beer in a 22oz bottle, poured it into a pint glass.

First off I love hi-IBU beers. call me crazy? whatever this beer has some serious kick behind it.

A= Great dark mahogany brown, with great off white cream color head! The retention to the glass for the lacing is unreal, I have small mountains growing off the sides of my glass, never seen lacing like this before.

S=you can really smell the hops. and a sweetness in it, entrancing smell.

T=Wow, you can taste the IBU's in it. wonderful taste. Starts off almost sweet and like the racer 5, then at the end its dry and WHAM 100+ IBU's are there. The rye they use is very noticeable first rye beer. great!

M=As i tasted my 22oz my glass got warmer, warmer it got the sweeter it got for some reason maybe the rye?? but mouth feel was what you would expect from racer 5's cousin(sort of)

D= could definitely drink a couple more!

I love the racer 5, for the ibu's. This hop rod rye, is way better. This is a great hoppy beer, with the rye its awesome! i highly recommend it to anyone.

n0rc41, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of lovindahops
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From tap into glass

A- reddish mahogany color with great frothy head. Lacing sticks all over glass. A real hefty brew

S- strong hints of grapefruit and citrus. Followed by spices and sweet malt. Scent is very appealing

T- bitter grapefruit with a spicy follow up. The bitterness reigns supreme throughout consumption. There is some sweetness in between the grape fruits slapping the tongue

M- creamy and carbonated. Really engulfs the mouth with flavor

D- a great ipa from bear republic. The west coast really exemplifies the bitter ipa scene. Great brew that uses some sweetness... A bunch of bitterness... And a ton of flavor.

lovindahops, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again from Shortysdude285 hooking me up. Poured into a pint glass,poured a clear maroonish color. Creamy light brown heading that left little lacing and the heading didn't last the whole ride. Went flat about halfway through.

Smell malts upon malts. Very bready in the nose with a subtle spicey rye finish.

Taste again is very malty.The bready maltiness is there but is dominated by a nice blending hoppiness. A has decent spicey yeastiness to it but where is the rye? It is there but is hidden.

Mouth is mid to full bodied. Smooth with decent carbonation. Nothing really popping here.

All and all a decent drink but I think this is a bit overrated.

TheFightfan1, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of Shumista
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra in a trade, can't get this stuff here in Michigan. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a shaped pint glass.

Murky brown with a small off white head. Smell is hoppy with some bready malt. Taste is a dry bitter hoppiness with rye flavored bready malt. Very clean fresh flavors. Medium bodied and sticky mouthfeel.

I guess I don't really have anything profound to say about this one. It's really good but not mindblowing rye IPA. That's about it.

Shumista, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of spoons
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For 4 bucks a bottle how can you not.

Poured into a tulip and left a really nice sticky white head that lasts to the bottom. Great lacing; each sip and/or gulp is well documented on the side of the glass.

Smells of sweet hops and a hint of malt. Definitely has a load of hops in this beer. A great bitter kick on the tounge with the first sip with a rye twang. Man this beer is nice. Some citrus and spice play very well in this ale.

A bomber of this is the perfect serving size, well maybe two of them would be perfect... Very tasty. Grab one is you can....

spoons, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of jdense
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Horse Brass PDX, 3.30.10.

One finger creamy white head, slow dissipation, big lacing. Dark amber body, clear, no visible carbonation from cask conditioned offering. The nose is sweet, piney, malt forward with noble hops, some citrus, pretty well balanced. Taste features a good dose of caramel malt up front balanced by the rye, not too sweet, with an even hoppy finish, noble bitterness. Good dose of rye and roast for balance. Mouthfeel is medium, given cask condition fairly smooth. Drinkability has the ABV well hidden, farily drinkable once you get used to the rye malt. A nice change of pace, something that I look forward to having again. Highly recommended.

jdense, Apr 01, 2010
Photo of ChrisPro
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at brewpub on 6/29/09. Pours a nice burnt orange with cream head. Rye definitely present in the aroma and hints at what's to come. Touch of malty sweetness, then a nice rye bread flavor with a long bitter finish. Wow, I wish I could describe it better, but seriously, just drink one.

ChrisPro, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of zoolzoo
3.18/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Charlatansin

Delerium snifter

Pours a clear, dark mahogany brown, minimal head. This thing smells floral and earthy. Im not getting a blast of citrus like some people are describing. Really, this smells like a bouquet of flowers with some caramel malts thrown in. Booze is nowhere to be found in the nose. Im not really impressed here

As far as taste, the hops are no longer floral but purely bitter. A tinge of citrus hops are present but bitterness dominates the palate. Caramel malt and rye spiciness appear mid palate, the finish is bone dry, and surprisingly nutty. Texturally, this is pretty good. Creamy, medium carbonation.

For 8% beer I can barely find a hint of alcohol. That has to count for something right? Drinkability is pretty good.

Overall this just isnt one of my favorite rye beers. The most off putting thing for me was the aroma. I have a suspicion that this might be a bad bottle or something, the taste seemed faded compared to other rye IPAs Ive had.

zoolzoo, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of kirkpjr
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a deep, dark, caramel brown. Two full fingers of head. Very little light makes it through. Nice lacing.

S: Grapefruit and piney hops here. Predominantly Cascade I think. Some sweetening caramel malt her rounds out the nose. A sweet alcohol in the finish that strengthens as the beer warms.

T: The grapefruit bitterness follows in the taste. A strong caramelesque malt tones down the hop bite. A touch of dark fruits. A little alcohol is here as well.

M: Moderate carbonation. Creamy presence with resinous hops that linger.

D: A little to sweet to drink many of these. Overall probably the best rye beer I've had. The alcohol also brings down the drinkability.

kirkpjr, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of zoso493
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle with no discernible dating on it into a Guiness tuliped pint glass.

Appearance: This is the most gigantic head that I've ever seen on any beer. A gentle pour along the side of the glass produces a two-thousand-finger head that takes forever to dissipate. It's also an especially thick head and it leaves a huge amount of lacing on the glass. Aside from the massive head, the beer pours a beautiful bronze-amber color that is sufficiently hazy.

Smell: This is easily one of the hopped up IPA's in terms of smell that I've had the pleasure to drink. It's just an immense blast of grapefruit, pine and citrus - every kind of hop goodie you can imagine is present in the smell. Very impressive nose.

Taste: The taste, unfortunately, doesn't live up to the promise of the scent. There is a good amount of hop bitterness and the rye is certainly present, but the beer tastes a bit faded to me, which may very well be the case. The hops are still present and take on a fruity profile in the taste, but they don't blast you like the nose would suggest.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very nice on this brew. It's not the thickest DIPA but it's certainly not lacking in body. It's nicely carbonated and is very smooth and refreshing.

Drinkability: This is a very alcoholic IPA in terms of ABV, but you'd never guess the alcohol was there. As it's not too bitter, this beer is a dreamily drinkable IPA. It's not crisp in the truest sense of the word, but it's definitely on the drier side, leaving you wanting another sip.

Overall, this is a very nice IPA. It's a mind-blowingly flavorful beer like some other West Coast IPA's, but it does everything very well. It's exceedingly drinkable and is one of the better rye beers I've had. All said, this is an excellent IPA and a tremendous value at only $4.49.

zoso493, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of chetripley
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Guinness tulip.

Poured an orange, slightly heavier mixture with a decent off white head that lingered for a while, allowing me to savor the smells of spices and pine and grains.

Taste was unique and flavorful, expecting a ton of hop presence but was surprised by the amazing smoothness, which I attribute to the rye. What a great combination of these different sensations.
Slightly sweet and oddly enough mildly bitter followup that leaves a pleasant presence on my tongue.

Drinkable thanks to the smoothness, and I am trying hard to keep from drinking quickly, due to the higher alcohol content.

This was the beer that I liked the most.

chetripley, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of jmbranum
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(drunk in Oklahoma, brought back from a trip to Junction City, KS where I stocked up on lots of different beers)


This is something special. I've only had one other rye beer that I can recall (Real Ale's Full Moon Pale Rye Ale from Blanco, TX), but I must say I wish more brewers used rye based on these two.

The Hop Rod Ale pours a pretty orange-copper hazy liquid into the glass. The aroma is lush with spices, grain and hops. The flavor is from another planet. Lots of spices from the rye, rich malt, maybe some caramel but matched perfectly by the perfect mix of strong floral and bitter hops. Perfectly balanced. Not too sweet or too dry.

Mouthfeel is perfect, full and smooth. Lots of glorious texture.

Lingering aftertaste that makes me long for more.

Frankly this beer reminds me of making love. After you've had your fill, it isn't long at all before you want more. It is that good.

I am in love. This beer is thing of exquisite wonder.

jmbranum, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of Smixam
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a Sam Adams shaped glass.

A - dark amber color with a stark off-white long lasting single finger head. Clear for an unfiltered beer, with seriously heavy lacing.

S - Hop heavy as expected, but with strong fruity undertones. I've not a lot of experience with rye-style ales, but this seems to be consistent with the others in the category. Very nice note of citrus.

T - Strong pine and citrus hop throughout but with a distinct malt character that does actually work to balance the bitters - a little bit of nuttiness on the front side? I can't really tell for sure. Grapefruit towards the end adds to a dry finish.

M - This is an 8% beer, and while there's no sense of an alcohol burn, you can tell its there on the finish as it warms on its way down. Seems a bit 'thick' too - per the lacing on my glass, the flavors stick around a while. I can't pick up any impurities.

D - This is a strong beer, and not one I'd want to session. that said, I have no problem enjoying a bomber to myself every now and again. This is sure to become one of my stronger, special-occasion staples.

Smixam, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of Flashsp2
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hop Rod Rye bomber into snifter

A soft pour shows a red red, perfectly clear body with golden
highlights and a dense two finger head of light sand color.

Aroma is a great blend with sweet caramel malts, prickly hop leaf,
grapefruit and some resinous pine sap. A bit of spicyness from the rye
as well. Not your typical IPA/DIPA, but it is a rye IPA, so it has its
own thing going on. I swear this reminds me more of an old ale or
english barleywine.

Is this a barleywine? Damn this is tasty. Waves of flavor hit the
palette, leaving you reaching back to pick up more complexity with
each sip. The first flavor is a sweet caramel drizzle, then big hop
style grapefruit, citrus, spicy rye, and a nice oily hop finish that
is pretty clean. Some toasted wheat bread and raisin as it comes up to

Mouthfeel is a great part of this beer. Soft, sticky, heavy but not
oily, with a medium carbonation that keeps it all together.

Now this is a beer that is easy on the mouth. Easy drinking, oh yes.

If you were to hand me this blindly I would almost think I was
drinking a Bigfoot, which is really saying something. This beer warps
my perceptions of what an IPA is, since it has such an interesting
malt base to it. Now this is a hyped beer that has the power to back
it up. I wish this were in NM, because it would get regular rotation
at my house, which doesn't happen with very many beers.

Flashsp2, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of Minkybut
3.1/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

If you like hops baby this brew is for you. The beer was poured into my tumbler at 45 degrees and looked caramel colored pouring a off white head. The lacing with this beer was good. Way to hoppy for me, in fact that is all you can taste. I will not buy again.

Minkybut, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of hardy008
3.03/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Burnt caramel orange color with a 1 1/2 finger off white foamy head which sticks tightly to the sides of the glass. Smells of grapefruit, oranges, pine and some caramel malt.

The taste is very hoppy, with grapefruit, pine, and some orange dominating the flavor profile. I could not smell the rye, but can taste it, and some caramel malt, in the background, but the hops are the star here.

Very dry, and resinous. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Not my favorite IPA.

hardy008, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rudy red/mahogany into an oversized wine glass. A light khaki,1 and 1/2 finger head recedes over the course of a minute to leave a thin retaining film. The lacing is sticky and thin and looks like ancient hieroglyphics.

S: Very intriguing. The combination between the hops and the rye malt produces a cranberry and fig smell that is supported by the expected citrus and floral aromas. Call me crazy, but in a way this smells like a Belgian quad with the figgy-sweetness. It has a unique aroma for an IPA, to be sure.

T: This is a really special meeting of hops, barley malt, and rye in my mouth. The cranberry and fig sweetness that I alluded to in the smell kicks off the flavor on the palate, followed by an exciting collision of the fresh hops and spicy rye malts. The finish is nice and bitter and awfully tasty. This is not your typical American IPA, but its ingenuity and creativity makes it a truly unique and great one.

M: This beer is a dancer; it's a soul's companion; you can feel it everywhere. But seriously, folks. This one really hits all the buttons of my palate. The carbonation is deliciously crisp, the barley and rye malts lend a good, full body, and the bittering hops donate a dry, bitter finish.

D: Would I have another? Yeeeaaash. If you couldn't tell, I really dig this beer. I'm not sure if it's the mood I'm in or what, but this is really striking the right chord with me right now. I read on the Great Lakes group that Bear Republic is moving into Michigan. If that is true, I would be one happy Beer Advocate.

TCHopCraver, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of goatgoat
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. A deep burnished copper that almost, but doesn't quite show brown. A nice thick tan head that leaves wonderful lace.

Aroma is predominately citrus, with a hint of pine. It hits the mouth surprisingly thick. Nicely hopped, a good bitterness that's not harsh and has an odd complexity probably from the rye.

I like the edge that the rye brings, I just enjoy my IPAs a bit drier.

goatgoat, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of Musition12
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Fin Du Monde tulip.

A: Pours a hazy, dark amber-mahogany color with a glorious 3-finger light tan head that leaves moderate lacing down the glass. Head eventually recedes to a 1/4 inch, but retention is good. Beautiful looking beer.

S: Sprightly citrus with accompanying bitterness. Oranges, grapefruits, etc. Hints of spicy maltiness presumably from the rye.

T: Fresh-squeezed grapefruit leaving a considerable bitterness in the dry finish. This is backed by a sturdy malt foundation with an ever-present grainy rye flavor and subdued caramel notes. The spicy rye really balances the bitterness and makes for a marvelous tug-of-war on the palate with the grapefruit hops winning out ever so slightly.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Simultaneously juicy and creamy. Alcohol is barely noticeable.

D: Very drinkable despite the 8% ABV. I would drink this all the time if the alcohol didn't sneak up on me.

One of my favorites. Accessible, yet tenacious flavor profile. Dewy hops tempered by stately rye and caramel malts. The wonderfully executed tension between these flavors has made Hop Rod Rye a perennial in my fridge.

Musition12, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of ABOWMan
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This ale poured a nice mahogany color with a full two fingers worth of of fine bubbled off-white head. The head was long lasting and left prominent lacing on the walls of my pint glass. The clarity of the ale was slightly turbid with a moderate yeast "halo".

The aroma was cirtus, ripe plum, with a grainy note to end.

The flavor was sweet malt, tart rye, hop bitterness. Very refreshing, but slightly heavy.

The drinkability was good given the robust ABV and full rich mouthfeel.

I really like this ale. Normally a IPA fan, but the addition of rye gives this ale an unmistakable crispness that is different than the normal hoppy bitterness.

ABOWMan, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of jminsc76
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a large foamy head atop a reddish/amber body. The head is big and takes a while to dissipate, leaving some nice lacing.

Aromas of pine, citrus, oranges, and roasted rye. Very fruity, almost sweet.

Flavors of hops, a little grapefruit, some maltiness, but devoid of the slightly caramel flavors I taste in Racer X or Green Flash's West Coast I.P.A. Packed with flavor and enjoyable bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thin and the alcohol burns slightly, but nothing overwhelming. Almost exhibits a meaty consistency across the palate.

Overall, while I do enjoy this beer, I prefer the Racer 5 more. This doesn't have the refreshment that other IPAs have, and I cannot figure out why. I like the rye aspect, but when it comes to IPAs I much prefer ones that are less induced with it, and have less of a sour and heavy feel. I can see why it is as highly rated as it is, and I will return again, but it is not among my favorites.

jminsc76, Mar 11, 2010
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,290 ratings.