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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,470 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,470
Reviews: 2,054
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 238
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: 4,470 | Reviews: 2,054
Photo of FanofHefe
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the more unusually good beers I've had. Pours a hazy brown color with a small one finger head which dissipates quickly. A little lacing.

Interesting mix or aromas. Hops, malt, yeast, caramel, brown sugar, rye.

Flavor follows the aroma. Tasty mix of hops and sweet malt; good hop bitter finish.

Very drinkable. Highly recommend.

Photo of jmerloni
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown-maroon. Maybe the only beer I've ever seen that's actually maroon. Haha. Surprisingly dark for a rye beer. Medium sticky head with nice uneven lacing.

S - Fresh. West coast IPA hops. Fuckin' awesome. Malt there too.

T - Hops, rye, orange zest. Delicious. Sooo fresh tasting. I'm amazed.

M - Medium bodied. Perfect carbonation. Dry as ever.

D - Drinkable. Oh man. Delicious. Definitely more of an IPA than a rye beer though. So fresh. I can't get over the freshness of the beers that Bear Republic puts out. They and Green Flash really have a rivalry going in that area and it's great for beer. Bear Republic's beers are as young a beer as you'll ever try. Everything put into it wasn't harvested too long ago.

Photo of Chincino
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer for the first time the other day and I really enjoyed it.

It poured to be a dark amber color/mahogany color. It smelled slightly of citrus and you could definitely smell rye as well. Slight bitterness, smooth.

The alcohol was well-hidden in this beer and I could drink more than one in a sitting. Great beer!

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

A: Deep, dark amber. Smallish head that disappeared rather quickly.

S: I could smell the hops big time. Chocolate smell, too.

T: Big malt and hops together. Not super complex, but real tasty . Bitter finish. Sort of a hopped up stout, but the stout aspect was a little thin.

MF: Good, medium body with medium carbonation.

D: Smooth but bitter ending. Fairly easy to drink, especially considering the ABV. A good one to pick up here and there. Curious how it tastes on tap. I think I was definitely getting some bottle type of tastes that may have not been true to its real taste.

Photo of Chaney
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into my gigantic Dogfish Head snifter.

A: The liquid itself (as it was coming out of the bottle) was a dark, almost burnt brown color, but when the glass collected it, it turned into a ruby red delight, with about a 3-4 finger beige head the quickly melded into a sudsy foam.

S: Hop, citrusy bitterness for sure, but the rye added a tinge of licorice to the hop bomb. A bit of candy sweetness came through nicely.

T: Whenever I took a generous drink and held it, I actually got some chocolate notes. Oh, and there's bitter hoppiness.... almost the sort of astringent bitterness I commonly find in a wet-hopped brew. As the marketing-speak on the bottle suggested, there was some sediment in the bottom due to lack of filtering.

M: Profound and gargantuan amount of bitter hops used in this puppy. However, carbonation aided tremendously in slicing and dicing the hops down the size. My glass looked like it went through a car wash without rinsing afterwards.

D: Uhhh... the bitterness stung, so for my tastes, I found this a bit overbearing. However, the brew as a whole was outstanding and definitely deserves its place among the big dog IPAs on the market. Bear Republic doesn't make a bad beer.

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

Poured from a Bottle into standard pint glass

A - Nice rich brown color & creme colored head.

S - Hops, Carmel, & slight rye & sweet malt.

T - Bready, Nice Hop factor. Rye is more prevalent during taste & a good sweetness at the end.

M - Feels great..A bit creamy & good bitterness & hop presence.

D - Great Beer! Alcohol is well hidden at it's 8% abv. Can drink several. Great all around beer.


Serving type: bottle

Photo of dwilson01
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bomber into my arrogant bastard pint glass, the body comes out to a hazy maple sugar brown color topped by a splotchy tan to mocha creamy looking head. Nice fingers of lace are left at the dissipation.

The smell is very hop forward with not much underlying malt contribution. Orange peel, some spices like coriander and cinnamon come in to play a bit. Small amounts of bready grain type scents come out but it's subtle.

The flavors are mingling quite well for me, a citrus hop flavor comes through in the forefront. This is mixed in with a spicier hop flavor that is not super bitter but is just delicious. The malts come out to play in the flavor as well reminding me of a sweet honey pumpernickel rye bread.

The mouthfeel is awesome, I love the rye malt addition which gives it a small amount of dryness in the rear. But it's also full bodied just like the flavor. Great brew all around I highly recommend snagging one if you're into IPA's and want something a bit new.

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

22 oz chug into a large snifter. Color is almost like a barley wine, a deep dark amber. Head is not massive, but is fluffy and plenty. Aroma is fantastic, it has a big hoppy nose like an IPA but with that wonderful rye sharpness. Taste is bitter and sharp...if this wasn't such an incredible beer, I would be tempted to say the hops overbalance the malt, this beer is hoppier than most IPAs and as hoppy as many DIPAs. Alcohol hidden very well. Bear Republic has a big time winner here.

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

A- deep, hazy amber color, Small head with good lacing.

S- Mostly a sweet and bready aroma with a little hop and rye in the nose.

T- This is an unbelievably balanced big beer. It is sweet and bitter at the same time. There is sweet and roasty malts up front and then spicy rye and hops on the back end. What a great flavor!

M- good body, low carbonation. Flavor envelops the palate.


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

Hazy dark copper, with a creamy finger of light tan head that laces wonderfully.

Smell is wonderfully floral and piny hops. Slight malt sweetness comes through along with a bit of breadyness.

Rye and intense hop bitterness, accompanied by a good amount of caramel and malts sweetness.

Smooth, creamy, medium in body with lower carbonation.

Great drinkability. One of my stand-by favorites, always.

Photo of elgiacomo
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, unknown date.

Pours brown/red/copper with a one finger tan head that holds a light cap and leaves a good amount of spotty lacing.

Aroma is features a nice dose of that signature rye malt smell, bready, some caramel, some citrus and pine, good strength.

Flavor starts with resinous hops, some citrus and pine and a whole lotta spicy rye malt along with caramel and dark bread. Some Amber Ale-like qualities. Moderate sweetness, fair bitterness, although it doesn't feel even close to 90 IBU.

Mouthfeel is medium to almost full, somewhat creamy, medium carbonation.

Love the rye malt in this one, one of the better rye beers I've had but was a little disappointed in the level of hopiness, but this may be an older bottle... Still, very glad to get a chance to try this!

Oh, and I have to wonder about the style classification here. This doesn't belong in Rye Beer? Really!?

Photo of Jeriba
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured at almost-room-temperature into a nonic pint.

A - Rich medium brown/mahagony. Thick cream-colored foam that leaves lots of lacing all the way down the glass.

S - Very hop-forward, with lots of rye grain and some dark malt. some alcohol smell with bourbon-vanilla notes.

T - Dark bread grains and toasted malt, with a very nice bitter hop balance. More of that bourbon-vanilla flavor, but not overpoweringly boozy.

M - Bubbly and full, neither overly crisp nor oily and heavy.

D - The bomber is just right for an evening sipper, or to share with a friend. Will definitely pick this one up again.

Photo of mikeborglum
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured 22 oz. bottle in pint glass:
Deep mahogany color; hoppy haze and nice frothy head with good retention. Big hop aroma with all the typcial citric, wildflower and pine smells - very complex with the added rye. Awesome hoppy flavor and great creamy smoothness - it really does massage the tounge! A carmely maltness comes out as it warms up...I love it! No breakdown in the finish, just a fantastic brew!

Photo of spinrsx
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a murky brown colour with a very large frothy beige head. I can't make out much carbonation due to the darkness of the beer and there is some terrific lacing. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - hops, malts, caramel, oranges

Taste & Mouth - wow.. first sip and I'm in love.. this beer is really good. The mouthfeel is full-bodied with an amazing creaminess and the perfect level of carbonation. The most dominant flavours are sweet and sour citrus mixed with malts and lots of hops. There is also a dark fruit flavour, perhaps plums or cherries. Other flavours include caramel, chocolate, and rye. The beer finishes with a bitter sweet caramel hop aftertaste.

Drink - This one is pretty far up there on my list of favorite beers; it is very tasty and highly drinkable. I'll seek this one out again and stock up on it for sure.

Photo of Cheesemoose
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into one of my favorite snifters.

Nice frothy head forms with a solid 3 fingers of head That dissipates slowly. Mahogany to deep amber body with an off white head. Healthy amount of lacing that stays around throughout..

Big hop aroma, citrusy, piney, close to grapefruit. Malt aroma is mildly sweet, though the hop load is rather large, so much it is hard to balance. Rye is a distant subnote, rather indistinguishable to the rest of the smell.

Cold beer results in a big hop bite with a mild malt background. Though as it warms, the malt becomes more of a presence. Citrus hops play off a mild caramel malt base that slides along the tongue. Rye spice notes warm as the beer does. With out a doubt, for a DIPA, one of the more complex.

Creamy, smooth, refreshing mouthfeel. So nice and mellow, it is ridiculous. This has to be my favorite in the style so far. As for the abv, it is high, so stick with oen bomber for the night. Alcohol is nonexistant in the mouth, nose, but not in your head.

Photo of zhanson88
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hop Rod Rye pours a slightly hazy dark ruby color with about 2 fingers of off-white head. Retention is great and the resulting lacing is chunky and fluffy. Very nice.

Smell: Brown sugar, some spiciness, a lot of citrus and some hops. Pretty sweet smelling overall, definitely different than anything than I have smelled to this point.

Taste: A lot of citrus and a bit of spiciness from the rye up front. A good deal of piney and floral hops on the back end. Fairly bitter finish. A pretty sweet taste overall.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer is between light and medium bodied with pretty smooth carbonation. It makes for a nice feel. Pretty drinkable, I can taste a bit of the alcohol. Overall, definitely a nice IPA.

Photo of mlazzaro
3.74/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle

I haven't had this beer is quite some time. I do remeber enjoying it, on draught at the old Linwood in Boston. I think to call this beer an Amerian IPA is why the BJCP doesn't work very well. I rated this beer upon whether I liked it or not, not to the style.

Pours darker brown with a light brown head. Average clarity. not the greatest head retention but nice lacing on the glass.

smells really good. I totally smell rye malt, and notes or caramel as well. And a dash of American hops along with a bitter smell. I feel like I remeber it having more of a hoppy citrusy smell, which may mean this is a older bottle.

good maltiness for an IPA. Heavy handed bitterness and ABV. I do find the smell more appatizing than the flavors. There is a distinct ethinol flavor, I usually don't expect that in IPAs. I really wish I knew the born on date, it would really help me figure this beer out. Flavors more like a rye barley wine.

pretty full mouthfeel. not to syrupy even thought its a high abv malty beer. I think rye beers are growing on me. Decent!

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.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,470 ratings.