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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,329 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,329
Reviews: 2,038
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 225
Gots: 223 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hop Rod Rye Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,329 | Reviews: 2,038 | Display Reviews Only:
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)

Wow!

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
temp.

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
Photo of bcm119
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish-amber, slight haze, with a dense, sticky tan head. Juicy ripe citrus hops in the nose, along with a bit of spicy malt. Similar in flavor: intensely citric hops overshadow a substantially spicy malt base. Hops quickly permeate the palate with strong grapefruit rind bitterness. Spicy, slightly grainy malt profile provides some ripe fruit undertones to the citrus flavors. Finishes fairly dry and bitter with hints of spicy malt/rye grain and citrus rind. An intense, delicious beer. One of the best easy-to-find beers.

bcm119, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of goldbot
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle.

Pours a nice reddish-brown with tons of yellowy off-white head. The head is very frothy with great retention and lots of lacing. Everything about it screams that this is a great IPA.

Very citrusy aroma with plenty of pine in there too. Herbal and earthy. Not much in the way of grain or malt, but I believe I smell some of the rye in it. Sweet, fruity flavor of orange and grapefruit. The rye adds a wholesome, doughy, and sweet flavor.

Not overly bitter, a bit sweet, and with a thick, creamy mouthfeel. Smooth and silky.

As my first rye beer, I thought this one was excellent. The hops and rye pair great together. Really puts the tired IPA style into a new light.

goldbot, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of DNICE555
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber picked up at table and vine. So glad I only live 30 minutes away from the supermarket of beer.

A - Almost brown with reddish Tints. Bronze if you will.

S - Pine, Grapefruit, Loads of Hops, brown sugar.

T - Big boy hops, rye, fruit, and a decent malt backbone to balance things out.

M - Really nice texture and feel to this one. Well done.

D - So well balances, so smooth. This is a fantastic IPA. Bear needs to distribute to CT.

DNICE555, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of Gosox8787
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Bomber bottle picked up on a trip to NY poured into my friend's Smuttynose snifter.

Appearance: Deep dark brown, not very vibrant, with lots of sediment floating around the glass. After a while this settles on the bottom. There is a one finger beige head with good retention as well.

Smell: Hop citrus lends a nice aroma to the brew. Hops are not overpowering but are still in your face enough to make this feel like an incredible IPA. Some rye spice also balances out the aroma.

Taste: Much like the aroma, citrus and grapefruit notes of the hops lead the way. There is some bitterness but it is not overpowering. The hops are rounded out nicely but some nice malt notes and the nice little kick of rye that increases in flavor the more you drink.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Some nice carbonation keeps this beer crisp and drinkable.

Drinkability: For an IPA with this ABV and flavor, I find it incredibly drinkable. Nice clean flavor and a crisp mouthfeel make this dangerously easy to drink.

Overall, certainly one of the better single IPAs I have ever had. The interplay of the rye spice and the hops is perfect and makes this a unique and incredible brew. Certainly recommended, especially to IPA lovers.

Gosox8787, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of mithrascruor
2.55/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brownish-copper color. Somewhat creamy off-white head becomes a film that laces the glass.

Smell: A sort of grainier IPA aroma, though not very strong. Grains and some hops/citrus.

Taste: Citrus aroma throughout, starting with hop bitterness and leading to a bitter rye flavor which persists into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with light carbonation and relatively smooth.

Drinkability: The rye flavor is awfully intense; hard to take.

I'll confess I'm not the biggest fan of rye, but the taste here is very bitter and way over the top. Too much for me, unfortunately.

mithrascruor, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of BeanBone
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A murky copper-brown body capped by a finger of off-white head that leaves nice patchy lacing.

Aroma: Piney, somewhat green, and citrusy hops over a big caramel body and some medium booze. Very appetizing.

Flavor: Up front, a wave of grapefruity, resinous, lightly herbal, and bitter hops. Underneath, a biscuity caramel malt body with some definite rye notes. It's all balanced nicely. The alcohol is masked well, adding just a little spice. Biscuity malt and lots of resinous bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a little creamy with smooth medium carbonation and a dry finish. A few bare hints of warmth from the alcohol.

Drinkability: About as drinkable as a hoppy and full-flavored eight percent ABV beer can be.

Verdict: Solid and thoroughly tasty throughout, Hop Rod Rye is a great "medium-alcohol" Double IPA with a nice rye twist. After such a strong start, I'm looking forward to seeing what else these guys brew up.

BeanBone, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of exparte
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Strong and pleasing aroma of sweet and spicy malt with citrus hops. Very American in both malt and hops. I'm guessing the pineapple and pine aroma comes from the same Columbus and Cascade hops that's featured in their Racer 5 IPA. The rye makes the beer slightly spicy and considerably darker than the IPA. It pours a deep reddish orange with a big fluffy off-white head that lasts long beyond the final drop. The taste is a fine balance between the sweet malt, spicy rye, and citrus hops. No component outshines the other. It's full bodied with a smooth texture and a lingering bittersweet finish. This beer is full and satisfying with a delicately balanced character that allows you to fully enjoy each drop which is remarkable for a style in which so many others punch you in the face with just one element. This is definitely my new favorite Double IPA. Highly recommended.

exparte, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of Chico1985
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle to a pint glass. Pours dark red, very dark for an IPA. Sediment floating about. Small creamy off-white head with brown spots, leaves nice walls of lacing. The smell is very malty, dark fruit/cherry, pine. Bitter hops and smooth malts are balanced here excellently. Pine, caramel, rye, and dark cherry all take turns dancing on the tongue. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. This drinks almost like a mini-strong ale. Alcohol is very-well hidden, a tiny bit shows through at the end. Long ago when I first tried this I didn't think much of it and thought it was one of the most overrated beers in the top 100. Now I can safely say it deserves its place. Well done Bear Republic.

Chico1985, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a pint glass a beautifully clear dark copper/deep red-orange. Thick off-white foam head exhibits good retention.

The scent is dominated by spicy notes and flowery and citrusy hop aromas. It is very much like smelling a handful of citrus zest, honestly.

The taste is very interesting: The taste of rye is new to me, but it seems a little sourish and slightly spicy. Shows a good crispness, accentuating the deliciously bitter hops. A very grainy aftertaste of bready malt.

It's medium-bodied with a fair amount of carbonation tickling the tongue. The Hop Rod Rye is very drinkable.

MrHassellYaHurd, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of BetterDarker
2.45/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 ounce poured into pint glass

A - Deep amber with solid one finger head. Some lacing. Good looking beer, dark for an IPA.

S - Strong earthy hops upfront with a bit of malt in the back.

T - Tale of Two Cities here. Great taste upfront, nice hop presence, bitter in a good way, but what an horrific finish. I felt like I was drinking a cactus. My throat cried "What are you doing to me?!" and there was this horrific itchy feeling. After about 5 or 6 ounces of this it went down the drain and saved my throat with a nugget nectar.

M - Considering I practically needed to shove a back scratcher down my throat, I would say 'horrific'.

D - I love IPA's, both the single and the double. I've had a fair amount in my days, and wondered if I would ever give an IPA a bad rating. That day has come.

BetterDarker, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of Parrotbeak
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper-red, with half-inch white, frothy head that remains.
Smell is awesome. Assertive, perfect balance of hops and malts. Floral aroma of pineapple and assorted light citrus fruits.
Taste is almost equally impressive. Hops, rye, and malts. Faint citrus tones as well.
Mouthfeel is fresh and fairly crisp; medium body. Faint bitterness near and to the finish.
Very drinkable. Alcohol is not noticeable in any respect with this beer. Goes down easily.

Parrotbeak, Feb 28, 2010
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,329 ratings.