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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 noknife83
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a great beer. I saw it at Bevmo, and the label drew my attention. I saw that it was a rye beer, and couldn't remember ever having a rye beer before. I decided to try something new. I was very pleased with my choice, the beer had a lot of hop flavor, but it didn't beat you over the head with the hops. And i couldn't place the aroma, but it was very nice. I would def get the beer again.

Photo of bound4er
3.66/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Dark amber to ruby with an off-white head. The head sets up nicely and stays with the beer in a skim until the end.

S. Not as expressive as I thought it would be - some grain and grassy hops. The rye pokes through with some coaxing along with some booze.

T. Initial malt flavors (bread and rye) and then a big hit of piney hops. The lingering bitterness from the hops leaves a strong impression on my palate.

M. Well carbonated with a light to medium body. Could use a bit more pizzaz in the mouth.

D. Goes down pretty easily. Though I love most hop-forward beers, the lingering bitterness is a bit too much for me here. I prefer Racer 5 to this by a long shot and if I need a rye fix, I have Founders Red's Rye at the ready.

Photo of bohemiandonut
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A careful pour into a blasphemously chilled glass explodes with the densest, thickest cappuccino foam I've ever seen. The beer is ruby red mahogany with luminescent orange highlights.

I already know Bear Republic for some of the greatest IPA aromas in the world, but this takes the cake. Juicy candy grapefruit and orange dominate a subtle herbal/pine backdrop. As with Racer, sweetness teeters on the novelty with bubblegum, cotton candy, and powdered sugar on fried dough. Just the kindest hint of spicy rye is noticeable on this level.

Rye is more noticeable on the taste, rounding out the bitter hops and sweetness with its distinctive savor. The rye also adds a welcome bit of fullness to the Racer 5 profile, which was prone to the occasional metallic twang. This is a smoooth drinking beer, rich and creamy but not sticky. At $4 a bomber, this makes its way onto my top shelf. A helluva an IPA with as much to ponder as anything oaked, barreled, or double malted. Absolutely worthy of its place. Incredible.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a copper-red, with a 1.5" ivory head that slowly reduces.

Smells of pungent citrus, grapefruit, and orange. Hints of apricot and pear, with sweet malt.

Smooth, with sweet malt, citrus hops, slight spice on the tongue, and a pleasant astringency that eases its way onto the back of the tongue. Some evergreen notes as well toward the top of the mouth help finish off this well balanced IPA.

Mouthfeel is smooth, slightly dry and not too thin.

Highly drinkable, this and Racer 5 are two of my favorite IPA's out there.

Photo of megahurts4
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye Ale

Appearance: Caramel, small head, and a little lacing.

Smell: Rye, slight hops, and citrus.

Taste: Hops, slight rye, and spices such as coriander.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light and smooth.

A very nice brew indeed. It is smooth and flavorful. I think I shall refer to it as a rye-p-a

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

A- Pours a very dark amber, it's nearly black on top. A finger of fizzy white head that vanishes rather quickly. A touch of thin veils of lacing remain on the glass as I drink it.

S- Damn, good hoppy profile to it, but not to be outdone is a slightly sweet and roasted malt background. Very intriguing to say the least.

T- Very similar to the smell although the malts really take a backseat here. Good amounts of citrusy and floral hops take over, simply demolishing my tongue with its bitterness. The rye does play a role here providing a bit of graininess to it. Very tasty.

M- Slightly carbonated, medium body. Very smooth.

D- Easily drinkable. The bomber was no problem to finish off. I still fail to see how this is an IPA. Why is it not considered a rye beer?

Photo of adam42381
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Taphouse Grill at Ghent in Norfolk, VA on Saturday.

Appearance: Pours a deep caramel brown with ruby highlights and a 2 finger foamy off-white head. Excellent head retention and lacing.

Smell: Caramel malt and citrus hops.

Taste: Caramel malt up front followed by citrus hops in the middle and bitter rye at the finish. Nice bitter aftertaste. Absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. You could knock back a few of these over the course of an evening.

Overall: Probably the best IPA I've ever tasted. I just wish we could get it down here in Florida. This would be my go to beer. If you see it, try it.

Note: This review may not be precise as I didn't write down any notes while drinking. This was, however, my first beer of the evening and I think I remember everything correctly.

Photo of mjrod2142
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

I admit I don't know a lot about rye beers, but I expected this to taste like a Black IPA. The color was rich and brown with a thick head. The aroma had lots of citrus and somewhat of a creamy buttery-ness that I enjoyed.

The flavor was of roasted malt and not nearly as bitter on the palate as I assumed it would be based on the aroma. There was some bitterness on the initial taste, but a creaminess washes it away leaving you with a rich, roasted malty flavor that slightly bordered on chocolate.

This beer has an excellent mouth feel and and is very drinkable. I loved it.

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

Deep orange to amber red and hazy with a healthy off-white head that reduces to a steady white cap. Lots of sticky lacings. Big floral, piney hop aroma wiht a hint of orange citrus. Medium body, very smooth feel. A brief sweet malty flavor that is quickly overrun by hop flavor. However, the sett malt remains beneath the hop character throughout. Floral and piney hop flavors take over every available taste bud. Finishes with a nice combination of malty sweetness and hop bitterness and a bit of an alcoholic aftertaste.

Photo of MoreThanWine
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first rye. Poured a big ol' head which took a while to die down to 1". Brown but unlike so many typical browns I'd call this sort of a warm burnt umber. The smell struck me as among the likes of a strong Imperial IPA. Yet the taste was a lot less hoppy than IPAs, more typical average beer. And yes I'd say there are some flavors in common with Rye-based whiskey.

Photo of ballz50401
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark burgundy with a big sticky, soapy looking head. Good carbonation with some sediment present.

Smell: Mostly citric hop aroma. Mango, orange, and fresh fruit with toasty, bready sweet malt.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Starts out with a big citric hop flavor before the rye malts shine through with notes of rye spice and bread crust. The finish of the brew sticks around awhile on the palate. Very well balanced and refreshing. Mouthfeel is smooth as silk, nice carbonation and mild hop bitterness.

Drinkablility: I just love these hoppy rye brews. This one is very tasty and easy to drink. I wish this was available to me locally because Hop Rod Rye and I would have a great relationship.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Fairly clear rufous body with rust and bronze highlights. Two fingers of soapy/rocky beige foam crests above the glass. Lasting retention, sticky tendrils of lace.

Super fresh pineapple, grapefruit, kumquat, and pine in the nose - big C-hops through and through. Light spicy background note as well...

Superbly balanced flavor profile, with a lovely sweet/spicy rye taste offsetting the hop bomb (which has primarily citrus, but also substantial evergreen and maybe a little tropical note) that is full of flavor without being overly bitter. Light caramel and somewhat toasty malt evens the score further. Slightly earthy finish with a touch of pepper and anise (reminiscent of a Sazerac).

Moderately carbonated, medium-light bodied, slightly oily mouthfeel.

Immense flavor without an equal measure of bitterness - not nearly as pine or hemp forward as a lot of NorCal IPAs, this has a superior balance. After many years, this has only been eclipsed by Alpine's Nelson in my opinion as far as rye-IPAs go.

Photo of Yesac
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very dark ruby in color. Medium sized off white head.

S- Brown sugar, grapefruit, pine, malt and bitter hops, alcohol. Smells very balanced.

T- Big caramel, brown sugar, piney bitter hops, toasty malt and definite rye presence.

M- Medium body, medium-high carbonation. Not to dry, great covering on the palate.

D- Great overall, to much bitter ryeness for my liking.

Photo of coalcracker
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Ruby red in appearance with fair head retention.
Smell: Very hoppy aroma, piney in nature. The rye malts aren't too noticeable in here.
Taste: Sharp hoppy bite that builds over a base of deep malts. These malts have a very roasted quality. The rye pulls through towards the middle/end of the tasting. Hop bite is slow to fade and remains through the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with a good deal of hoppy slickness on the tongue.
Drinkability: Not too heavy on the ABV. Hop character may put off the casual drinker.

Great beer for the hopheads seeking a change-up on the malt profile. Good beer.

Photo of climax
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hop Rod pours a deep caramel with ruby highlights. It was very cloudy with a floating haze and some scuba yeast particles. The large head was a very foamy mass which stuck around and had sinkholes in the middle. Lace was good, notching all the way down.

The nose was a fresh refreshing burst of citrus and mint grass hops. Toasty caramel was evident as the malt backbone, but never distracted from the showcase of hops.

The rye, which became evident in the nose as it warmed, was much more distinguishable in the flavor. Cocoa and caramel had a nice sweetness to add on to the roasty malt profile. The juicy grapefruit and floral punch of the hops may have outmatched the malt, but it had an excellent well-balanced enjoyable flavor. Awesome.

The body was medium and had a nice sticky feel. The carbonation was quite generous, giving a solid bite long into the lingering bitter dry/chalky finish. This is a fantastic beer, enough hop kick to be a real good IPA, and a hell of a good malt profile to make it a heavyweight of flavor.

Photo of CascadeConan
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep orange to amber hue with an amazing frothy white head that leaves timeline lacing you could set your watch to.

The smell of this beer is outrageous: citrus peel, honey dew melon rind, mint, pine, flowers, carmel and rye. The best thing about these smells is how distinct they are, you're not going to take a whiff of this beer and just say, "this smells hoppy."

First taste is smooth, crisp, full-of-everything-you-want-in-an-IPA. Really good balance between the bitterness of the hops and the malt, and as it warms the rye character starts to shine lending a spicy flavor to the palate.

Nice full mouth feel and drinks smooth for an 8% ABV beer.

I can't say enough about this brew, it proved to me the style of IPA has some more wiggle room from it's typical hop bomb characteristics and at $4 a bomber there really is no excuse not to drink it.

Photo of StlHopHead77
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

A-Pours a deep,hazy,ruddy brownish-orange with one finger's worth of off-white head and decent, slick ribbons of lace.On the initial pour,tight swirls of moderate carbonation were evident.

S-Big jam and spice on the nose.Apricot preserves,white pepper,crisp,earthy rye and multi-grain toast.Some underlying floral hop notes and tropical fruit also.Very complex but unmuddled nose.

T-Orange marmalade,carraway,pine,marbled rye and caramel malt.Nice floral and citric hop bitterness with a complementary caramel malt base and a perfectly measured rye spiciness.Excellent balance of components.

M-Crisp,tart,sweet and resinous.Toasty,biscuity notes from the malts,that anise-like rye spice and tangy,perfumey hops give this beer an unbelievable structure and range.Medium bodied with appropriate carbonation and nice dry finish.

D-Drinkability is through the roof on this one.I'm ready to have another so that I can see what else I can pull out of it.

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

Presentation: It was poured into from a 1pt 6oz brown bottle into a tulip glass. There is no noticeable ABV or freshness date on the label.

Appearance: From the pour I got a deep ruby red body with some carbonation and a tall light beige head. The head is thick and long lasting which makes for some think clingy lace patterns on the glass.

Smell: The aroma has deep lemon pith and lemon oil like hops with a touch of resiny pine like hops too. I am also getting rye bready and lots of roasted/toasted malt.

Taste/Palate: There is a heavy concentrated hit of resiny pine and citrus hops backed up by a deep solid hit of dark roasted grain, caramelized malt, raison like dark fruit and toasted rye bread. The ABV is fairly well hidden but does add a touch of sweetness and warmth to the overall character which is intense. The finish is long and full of hop bitterness that very slowly fades off the tongue. Under this I also pick up some mellow sweet alcohol and a hint of an almond like toasted note. It has a very deep and complex finish.

Notes: This is absolutely crazy, deep and complexly concentrated beer. Be sure to take your time and sip this one slowly.

Photo of benclimbs
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

amazing beer from bear republic, a simply amazing brewery

pours dark brown amber with a massive head, and tons of lacing that sticks around for ages.

smell is about perfect for a dark, rye based IPA - tons of juicy piney, fruity hops with a strong malt backbone, almost smells like a nice english bitter, but with tons of hops, also smells woody, a bit of vanilla bourbon character, so geared so complex.

taste is also geared and amazing, carries a nice smooth, buttery, buiscuity off-sweet malt character with a bit of warming alcohol and a beautiful bitter hop kick that melds with the woody notes - is this aged in barrels or is this the malts? awesome though.

mouthfeel is nice, not too dry or too slick.

this is a very drinkable ale for 8% though it is a big big massive beer at that gravity, but its still pretty damn awesome.

This may be Bear Republic's best, and this ranks up there with russian river in top nor cal brews period.

Photo of SuperNova777
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanx to AlleyKat King for bringing this back for me from his honeymoon in LA

Notes from 08/25/10

A:Poured a ruby red color with a fingers worth of head that leaves a awesome lacing
down the glass

S:At first you get a nice tone of rye mix in with a floral hop aroma with a little sweetness
as well

T:Just as the smell detects a nice floral flavor as it first hits the palate followed up with tones of rye and malt mix together. The palate is left with a final bite of hops leaving you wanting another sip

M:A nice solid body with just the right amount of carbonation

D:Probably one of the best rye beers I have ever had. Solid flavor with easy drinkability and a great hop profile, wish we could get Bear Republic in Indiana all the time

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

Poured dark brown with a ruby tinge into a Duvel tulip. Around a finger of light tan head that slowly receded to a thin film, leaving some clingy lacing. Fairly big aroma with typical IPA notes of grapefruit and pine with hints of spice.

Moderate carbonation and a full, creamy mouthfeel. Hop presence up front followed by some mildly sweet caramel and a wonderful long finish of spicy rye and tart citrus. Refreshing and well-balanced rye IPA.

Photo of KAP1356
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a DFH pint glass...

A - Pours a hazy amber color and a surprisingly huge 3 finger head formed and stuck around for quite awhile. It is a nice eggshell color.

S - Some nice breadiness mixed with a great deal of hop aromas. Pine, grapefruit, tangerine all meld together in a nice hop explosion in the nose.

T - Piney and fruity hops mixed with some nice rye malts. Taste is bready and light all at the same time with a nice bite to it from the hops. The malts stand up nicely to the hop presence.

M - Medium bodied and smooth with a nice bite from the hops. Nice carbonation mixes well with this one on the tongue. Nice and crisp.

D - Dangerously drinkable for it being 8% ABV. Nicely balanced beer and easy on the palate allowing for more than one to be consumed.

Photo of CampusCrew
3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hd this in Fort Worth Flying Saucer which i heard was the orignal pub to start.

The long awaited sample of this beer finally happened. it did not dissapoint. it poured a dark sopperish color. nice glows. Had a nice creamy head and huge lacing.Light on the nose but did have some citrus aromas, This is a balanced IPA and very hefty on the the body.

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

22oz bomber poured into shaker pint. From notes.

A - Off-white to light tan head with great lacing. Pours a dark copper to wood brown.

S - roasty and malty with the expected citrus hops. Caramel sweetness is hidden in the back.

T - The hops and rye malts battle for dominance. This causes the taste to fluctuate between the delicious citrus/piney hops and the caramel sweetness of the malt.

M - Well balanced with the rye being profiled nicely. The taste stays with you for a while afterwards, but there is no complaint about that!

D - Very smooth for a big beer and very drinkable. Will definitely be picking up more.

Photo of fastsrt
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle in pint glass

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.

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