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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.

4,202 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,202
Reviews: 2,030
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 209
Gots: 200 | 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: 4,202 | Reviews: 2,030 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mcann2pu


3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a- pours into glass an somehat cloudy amber color with someredish hues, I say cloudy because it has some particles susbended in it, about a fingers worth of head,
s- mostly the piney smell of hops, perhaps some of the ryecomes through, but its very faint,
t- good taste, the rye is a good ballance to the piny hops in this one, I really enjoy the taste of this one,
m- good, maybe a little oily from the hops,
d-good , the balance of rye and hops helps out here,

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2009 19:12:00 | More by mcann2pu
Photo of woosterbill


4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Deep, dark, slightly hazy reddish amber body with some floaties; a vigorous pour yields two fingers of light tan head recede fairly quickly, leaving a moderate amount of lace. Solid, but not great.

S: Super-charged hops (I may unconsciously have stolen that from the bottle), some spiciness from the rye, and a rich fruity sweetness as well. Complex and appealing.

T: Hops surprisingly take a back seat here (there I go with another car metaphor), with the grains' spiciness (cinnamon, especially) and sweetness showing up first; moderate alcohol heat after that, and only at the end do the bitter, piney hops show up to apply the brakes of a crisp finish. Quite good overall, but not as intriguing as the nose.

M: Rich, smooth, and fairly viscous with ample, velvety carbonation; this is a great-feeling beer.

D: As much as I'm enjoying this beer, I can't say that I'll be craving another one right away - its combination of spice, heat, and bitterness is great, but only in fairly small doses; I'm glad I opted for the 12oz single rather than a bomber.

Notes: Very good beer, but not quite as appealing as Racer 5 IMO; I'd love to try it on tap someday, and it would be fun to taste side by side with some other imperial reds (Gordon comes to mind). Solid brew to say the least, and one that I wouldn't mind trying again sometime soon.


Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 01:11:15 | More by woosterbill
Photo of Greggy


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

A- Pours a massive billowy creamy white head over a beautiful yeasty-hazed red body. 10 minutes into the beer, the head is still a large fluffy cap.

S- MMmmm.. Grapefruit city here with ample hops. Also loads of the obligatory pine. Not a ton for rye, right off the bat here.. we'll see what develops, later in the glass. As the glass empties, there is a large amount of biscuit malt that also comes through.

T- Hello delicious-nous. Starts off with a nice piny dry malt background with hints of rye. The finish is quite dry with a residual biscuity malt present.

M- 8% gives this a very thick body, which it should. The finish is quite delicious, as well.

D- For an 8% beer, wow, this goes down quick. I'm not sure how extremely fresh this bottle is, but I'm sure I'll be getting this again. Think two hearted, a hair more alcohol, and a bit of rye. YUM!

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 04:17:25 | More by Greggy
Photo of WeedKing4

Ontario (Canada)

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

22oz bomber. Pours a dark ruby brown. Maybe I had a bottle past its prime, but I was pretty disappointed with this. With all that I heard about the Hop Rod Rye, I was looking for a lot more. Its a decent beer and very easy to drink, but nothing stood out to me. Again, maybe I need a fresher bottle, but pretty big disappointment with this one, considering how much I was looking forward to it.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 01:47:32 | More by WeedKing4
Photo of devilben02

North Carolina

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

Deep, burgundy color with a thick, frothy head. The aroma is certainly hop-filled, with notes of pine and citrus, but it is also much sweeter than I would have expected with a big caramel sweetness. The flavor is bigger and bolder than the aroma suggested, with an earthy, grapefruit hop bitterness that is solidly balanced against an underlying caramel malt sweetness. In contrast to this balance, the bitter hops are dominant in the aftertaste, which effectively masks any hint of the 8% alcohol. This "specialty ale" is medium-bodied and nicely (but not overly) carbonated, but despite this solid mouthfeel and largely balanced flavor, it's the overwhelming bitterness in the aftertaste rather than the higher alcohol that makes this one almost more of a sipper than a session beer. That said, I still happily plowed through this bomber in no time.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 00:26:28 | More by devilben02
Photo of AimToCheat


4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark copper color with a medium thick head and lots of lacing.

Smell: Hops, Pine, Sage, Spice

Taste: A very complex IPA. Rye and hops finishing with a nice wave of malt and oily pine.

Mouthfeel: Almost oily for lack of a better word. pine and malt linger.

Drinkability: This is one of my favorite beers. Goes down nice for a 8% beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2009 23:51:08 | More by AimToCheat
Photo of Philabeerphia


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

Badass motherfucker, right? The beer doesn't bow in heavy homage to many other examples of the style - it blazes its own path. The first time I drank HRR a few years back, it was just one of those moments... beer can be so much more!

The beer settles frothily from the bomber into the chalice. Murky hues of brown, crimson - almost violet - and topped with a tanned cap of churned bubbles that lazily dissipate. Thick and soupy, dark and intimidating.

Smells like a trip to the bakery: pumpernickel, rye and sourdough bread are front and center. A bit of wild champagne yeast makes an appearance, backed by some mildly sweet molasses. A zesty citric hoppiness shows up along with pine and earth. An herbal wisp of medicine closes the show in my nostrils. OK, not overpowering, but unique, complex and very pleasant...

Creamy from carbonation on the tip of my tongue. Caramel, orange zest, and ripe tangerines are all playing around towards the front. Surprisingly bright. Deepens into wheat and other whole grains...coats the top of my mouth and is deeper now. I'm tasting sweet notes of cherry and tobacco, combined with plenty of citric hoppiness. Bright again.. I swear I'm chewing on ripe tangerines. I'd put money on it. The hops heat up nicely in the back of my mouth. The resin hangs in bitter coats on my throat.
Great mix of oils, sugars and spreading carbonation. The MF is the character that makes the package.

Grainy, citric, earthy, dark sweet big complex. I really enjoy this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 04:11:17 | More by Philabeerphia
Photo of TheFlern


4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nice amber with plenty of white head that stays. Lacing is decent

Smell: Very muted hop aroma that is sweet.

Taste: Even more muted. Its nice but not nearly enough to leave a good impression.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and finishes nicely. Carbonation is just right.

Drinkability: Its a heavy beer but doesn't pack the taste punch I was hoping for.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2009 22:23:50 | More by TheFlern
Photo of beerwolf77


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

Poured into my imperial pint glass the beer is dark red brown with orange hints around the edges. The head is a full inch of mocha hued creaminess. Gobs of sticky lace cling to the rim.

The aroma is full on hop assult.Plenty of grapefruit and pine sap. The rye is is also very present. Like fresh bake rye bread dipped in sour fruit sauce. Not sure how that would translate litterally but as as beer goes it's heaven.

The flavor is unique for sure. Super charged hops followed by malt and smoothed out by a real nice rye bread tone. I love rye bread and hops so this just makes for a great mix of flavor.

Medium to full body that's very chewy and stout.

Very well put together beer here. I can see why everyone seems to love this stuff. I will keep my eyes open for this one in the future.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2009 18:01:52 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of cudmud


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

Appearance: This brew has a lovely dark carmel color, a thick rocky head, and superior lacing.

Smell: There are wonderful hop accents to this beer. Citrus (lemon?) is the most prominent aroma.

Taste: The flavor is so good that I don't know how to explain it.

Mouthfeel and drinkability: Both are superior. The beer dances accross my tongue. Each sip begs my to drink more.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2009 01:27:51 | More by cudmud
Photo of Lldeegan


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

Poured into my New Belgium globe. Pours a dark brick color, great clarity. Has a nice off white head that sticks around and leaves nice lace, this beer looks like a Dubbel, but one whiff and you will not be mistaken, it is a beautifully smelling IPA. The nice pine and floral notes that Racer 5 has are a bit more subdued in this American IPA from Bear Republic, it has more of a malt presence. Once you taste it, wow it makes it's hop prescence known. The taste is the aroma times a hundred. At first the piney hops take over, but then blend beautifully with a malt character that creeps to the front of the palate as the hops bring their bitter to the sides. Some of the grapefruit I expected is on the backend as the brew leaves the palate with a crisp but lingering bitterness. This is a medium to full bodied beer with a bit of a slick oily mouthfeel. As I continue to drink it, that head still stays, making this a very nice beer to stare at up until the very last drop. The aesthetic enjoyment of this beer is right on pace with the taste. As the beer warms a bit the hops become toned down and the malt is more present, and as it unfolds, it remains a very complex beer. This beer is delicious enough to keep drinking, but I feel this is best suited as a single to be paired with a chicken or meat dinner, it will most certainly add to the sensory experience especially as it develops over the course of the meal. Perhaps grab the 22 oz. bomber and split it with someone over dinner, definitely a good choice for a BYOB spot.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 05:22:57 | More by Lldeegan
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
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,202 ratings.