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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.

4,266 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,266
Reviews: 2,034
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 216
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: 4,266 | Reviews: 2,034 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stumac


4.05/5  rDev -4.3%

this brew pours up a clear dark amber color with a beautifully perfect off white frothy head. Endless lacing. The appearance of this beer with it's never ending head gets a perfect score. the nose is straight hops, grapefruit, niceness. I taste super bitterness and grapefruit hops. medium bodied, medium carbo. Good good brew.

04-22-2009 06:06:25 | More by stumac
Photo of Bcaulin

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%

Served from bottle into new Sam Adams glass.

Excellent deep mahogany color. Deep reddish brown that looks great when held up to a light. Nice head that had pretty good retention. Great lacing.

Tons of hops in the nose. Much more than I initially expected. Almost smells like a completely straightforward west coast IPA with its citrusy notes. There's definitely a little something extra in there that makes in in its own category.

If you taste it before it warms up (I'm guilty -- I couldn't wait) you really get a great hop flavor, but not a whole lot of depth. The rye flavor really doesn't come out until you let it open up a little. Once it does, it moves into an absolutely great taste. You gotta love hops for this one, but its definitely not a gimmick IPA -- the rye adds a great balance.

Extremely smooth and delicious. I could easily drink a couple of these, and if it wasn't for the 8%, I'd be thrilled to drink more than just a couple.

04-21-2009 01:01:59 | More by Bcaulin
Photo of Birdiebeagle


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Bottle Pours a nice hazy amber with a good lasting off white head. The head laces fairly well. Aroma is of hops, Rye but has some hints of sweeter malts also. Has good carbination. A good mouthfeel and a watery texture. Has real good flavors. A nice hoppy kick but then balanced with some malts. A nice balance. Has a good finish and a nice aftertaste. Has a medium body. I like this one. Well done Bear.

04-20-2009 20:30:39 | More by Birdiebeagle
Photo of lstokes


4/5  rDev -5.4%

It looked great--poured a deep red with a substantial head, leaving lacing on the glass--but the smell was nothing special for me, I got some hops but not much more complexity than that.

I've never had a rye beer before, so I'm not sure which note the rye was, but the beer was well balanced in terms of hops and malts and a little bit spicy, which must have come from the rye, with a really nice mouthfeel--a high level of carbonation that accents the sweet-bitter aftershock in your mouth.

The beer was--darker and grittier? overall, than I expected. I think I was expecting something very different from what I got, something more like a traditional IPA, but I did really like it--I think I'm going to have to try again before I form a final opinion.

04-17-2009 03:49:50 | More by lstokes
Photo of SykDoc


4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. It pours an interesting amber/red color. A beige 1/4 inch head forms and leaves a spotty lacing over the top and around the edges. No sediment or minimal carbonation is visible after it settles.

The aroma is as the name would imply, primarily hops including citrus and pine notes. There is an earthiness to this that includes some floral-like notes.

The taste is strong with the hops including grapefruit/citrus and pine notes. The malts also provide a sweet backbone. That earthy and bitter component is also there and likely related to the rye. Minimally spicy.

The mouthfeel is very good. There is a nice level of carbonation that highlights the flavor. A healthy bitterness lingers on the tongue as a reminder. This is fairly medium/full bodied and goes down very smooth.

Overall, I was not quite sure what to expect, but it is extremely good. The initial presentation leaved me underwhelmed and then it hit my mouth and wow. The flavors blend very well and it sits so well in your mouth. This beer is amazingly drinkable.

04-15-2009 00:35:54 | More by SykDoc
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

I've been hoping to try this one on-tap since we've been getting Bear Republic beers in NC and finally found it at The Pit. Served a nice crisp dark red with a beautiful frothy head that slowly diminishes to a thin layer and leaves decent lacing on the glass. The aroma is a nice amount of malts and rye with a nice hop presence. The taste is a wonderful balance of Rye malts and pine and citrus hops. The beer is quite light and refreshing with the alcohol well-hidden. This one is just as enjoyable as I'd expected.

04-13-2009 18:58:12 | More by atsprings
Photo of youngblood


4.53/5  rDev +7.1%

Poured a ruby amber color. Very lively white head stacking up as I pour. Ended with a two finger head.
Smells strongly of hop oil, nice pine, bit of spice. Some nice biscuity malt in there also.
This has some exceptional flavor to it. Very nice spicy rye backbone, leaves a caramel like sweetness on the tongue. The strong citrus plays nicely with the spice. Feels very creamy and smooth on the tongue. I want to drink far more of these than I have. Overall, this is a heck of a beer.

04-13-2009 16:18:35 | More by youngblood
Photo of scottyshades


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

A: Pours a nice healthy garnet color that produces one of the fluffiest, billowy-est, longest-lasting, largest-lace-producing heads that I've ever seen. Retention is awesome, but much darker than your average IPA

S: Super hops! The most unbalanced, yet best crafted noses I've come across in a while! Real flowery and perfumey. Its actually hard to describe, but there are either some spices in there, or some spicy smelling hops. You get some rye in the nose, as well as some caramel malts.

T: Again, super hops, but a little more balanced than the nose suggested. Very fruity (grapefruit, orange peel) followed by some sugar. Interesting flavor, I think it may be the yeast, but it tastes kind of like dextrose...

MF/D: A little sharp and bitter, but still very goood!!

One of the best I've had

04-13-2009 01:25:43 | More by scottyshades
Photo of MetalHopHead6


4.83/5  rDev +14.2%

Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bottle.

Beautiful dark copper color that becomes a brilliant near-orange when held to light. Massive foamy head--the best I've seen this side of Orval.

Unexpectedly subtle smell and flavor. Nice bitterness lingers on the tongue. More balanced than the color and alcohol content would suggest.

Bear Republic beers have a gritty hard-nosed feel (like Knob Creek, as opposed to Makers Mark) and this is not an exception; however it is more smooth than Racer 5.

04-12-2009 21:21:27 | More by MetalHopHead6
Photo of Docer


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Bomber purchased at a local QFC... I hope the 120908 isn't the brew date... because if it is... it's too old to sell and should have been pulled from the shelves long ago... but who knows.. it's stamped on the UPC.

- Much more dark than I expected... a nut brown ale type color with thick creamy head... and lacing gone mad. Looks malty rich and smooth.

- Sweet malt aroma, some bread... sharp hop scent but not bitter... some brown ale notes..

- Wow.. so very smooth and balanced... rye tone with pine hop, and balanced well with a rich caramel malt that isn't too sweet. Not the hop bomb that I expected... but very balanced.

- Slight bitter mouthfeel... very much creamy left overs... like having to swallow the same flem 5 times.... chewy.. bit of resin and oil... but sweet.. aftertaste of the dark little rye breads at Christmas time..

- Very drinkable... smooth, creamy... like a brown rye cream ale.... and balanced balanced balanced.. and not the hop bomb that one might think... a very good rye ale. and a must try!

04-11-2009 03:28:35 | More by Docer
Photo of AChamberlain


3.68/5  rDev -13%

Dark and tea colored. Foamy head, that was super sticky. Lacing all over the pint glass. This is going to sound obvious: Hops, Rye, Malt in the aroma and you know what, the flavor as well. A nice sweetness up front with a balanced hop and rye bitterness in the end. Tasty overall. Medium bodied, right on for the style. Easy to sip, easy to sort of "pound." An all around enjoyable beer I wish were on tap more around here.

04-10-2009 19:31:27 | More by AChamberlain
Photo of nick76


3.7/5  rDev -12.5%

The aroma is very hoppy and spicy with a cedar like element. There is also caramel, yeast, and alcohol. The appearance is deep amber with a large foamy head. The flavor is bitter and like the aroma. The palate is is average for the style. Overall it's a nice beer but too astringent.

04-10-2009 04:54:21 | More by nick76
Photo of sonicdescent


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a very nice dark red/brown with a thick crown of head. Decent lacing and carbonation if I look closely through my sensory glass.

Smells quite fruity and flowery, but not in an in your face bitter beer smelling type of way. Nice, subtle.

Tastes similar to smell, exceptionally smooth, no sign of alcohol. Floral, lightly citrus, lightly resiny. Not a muted flavor that I get from so many regular IPAs.

Mouth is medium to heavy in body, medium in carbonation. It works.

Overall a great regular IPA and exceptionally great that it is so easy to get.

04-10-2009 03:20:01 | More by sonicdescent
Photo of bum732


4.05/5  rDev -4.3%

Pours a beautiful crimson red/burnt orange, nice creamy head with unbelievable lacing. Smells of grapefruity hops, moderate pine, some earthy undertones, other citrus, resiny cannabis, absolutely floral. Tastes of citrusy hops with a nice spicy malt backbone, hints of black pepper. Very pronounced bitterness, maybe from the rye? Finishes dry as a bone and spicy bitter. Great creamy mouthfeel.

A very unique beer. Extremely hoppy both in aroma in taste. The rye in the beer complements the hoppiness nicely, not sure why more people don't make rye ipas. My only beef would be it is intensly bitter and dry, dropping the drinkability a tad.

04-10-2009 01:22:14 | More by bum732
Photo of thryn


4.33/5  rDev +2.4%

Dark amber, good clarity and lots of carbonation dancing to the creamy-looking off-white head, which is occupying about the top inch of my Otter Creek World Tour glass (which almost a whole bomber will fit in). As I drink it, the head retention is good and there is tons of sticky lace.

Sweet grassy hop in the nose with just a touch of ... biscuit? Something almost funky going on here, too. It's nice, but muted.

Oh, this is yummy. The hops are forward at the start, but then step back and let a nice sweet malty note come through. It's almost fruity, then the bitterness returns with a little bit of spice and sourness as well. This may be the first rye ale I've had that I've really liked a lot. It has a lot of flavor but everything is balanced. The alcohol is noticeable, but barely.

Mouthfeel is a little slick and a little sticky, with medium body and moderate carbonation that seems to emphasize the spicy character.

Very drinkable. I should probably slow down.

04-09-2009 05:15:04 | More by thryn
Photo of LittleDon


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

My sample poured crystal-clear, red-amber, with little signs of carbonation. The head is dense and plentiful with a latte color. It subsides into a thick ring of lace. The aroma is somewhat subdued. There is noticeable caramel, but I can't find the hops. The hops are definitely there in the first taste. A nice balance of caramelized malt and hoppy bitterness. The body tends toward the heavy side, thick and chewy. There is alcohol in the nose and a pleasant bitter finish.

04-08-2009 21:43:31 | More by LittleDon
Photo of dankbrew21


4.28/5  rDev +1.2%

22oz bommer. No freshness date. Poured into a plain pub ale glass with small bubble top.
Made with 18% rye.

Appearance- Good, clear, brown color. Large white head with slow head retention. As the head settles, it settles uneavenly leaving a cloudy, mountainess appearance.

Smell- Bitter hops and sweet malts coming through.

Taste- Very good! Slightly bitter and surprisingly smooth. Slippery sweet malts slide across my palate. Small alcohol presence. Leaves a bitter after taste.

Drinkability- A very easy drinker.

Notes: I recommend that if you see this beer to definitely pick it up and give it a try!

04-08-2009 20:39:41 | More by dankbrew21
Photo of mykie73


4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

First, let me say i love beer republic.

a) very dark amber which i usually do not like seeing an IPA or DIPA but I know there is the rye addition that is adding to this color. a little cloudy. 2 finger head

s) smells balanced an i mean i can smell the malt (rye) profile. no particular hop smells dominant.

t) wonderful, balanced, sweet to bitter finish. Rye is a tremendous malt and i want to see more beers with it. WhRYE not? my favorite from beer republic

f) full feel to it, satisfying bite that i want to chew. i love rye. great texture

d) drys mouth out a but if i have water as well i can drink this all night...just watch out for the 8% abv. Great value beer as far as bommers go

04-04-2009 23:03:30 | More by mykie73
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%

I poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a deep amber with a plesant frothy head. It has an aroma of deep evergreens. The flavor has heavy pine notes and the finish lingers with a nice bitterness, A medium bodied beer that feels lighter due to heavy carbonation, it went down very easily.

04-04-2009 21:46:10 | More by bonkers
Photo of mjaseattle


4.83/5  rDev +14.2%

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. There's about an inch of creamy, frothy head on top that lingers until you take a sip. Underneath is a deep orange/mahogany beer with a few narrow streams of bubbles running up the sides of the glass. A thin layer of foam sits on top throughout the experience.

Smell: The smell alone won me over. Pine and grapefruit dominate, and something else I can't put my finger on... Something sweet, like maple syrup...

Taste: Just like it smells, but on a higher order of magnitude. There's such a good balance in this beer, an obvious smattering of hops at the start, with a mellow undertone of malts that seem to crescendo slowly through every sip. It ends with a bittersweet caramel aftershock, and a citrusy air.

Mouthfeel: There's a burst of carbonation on contact that mellows quickly to a smooth, almost syrupy feel. Pretty full-bodied for an IPA. For a lighter experience, swish it around a bit-- though this does bring out the alcohol presence, it expands your food pairing options.

Drinkability: This is definitely what I call an "experience" beer, meaning it is best enjoyed in large, attentive sips. There's a lot going on that you don't want to miss. It will pair well with any strong-flavored food, but it really shines on its own.

Notes... I first had this beer (on tap) a couple months ago at the bartender's recommendation, and was very pleasantly surprised. I'm not at all familiar with ryes, but I know my IPAs, and this is top of the line. Easily one of the best (if not THE best) I've ever had.

04-04-2009 08:21:43 | More by mjaseattle
Photo of joshuadlight


4.55/5  rDev +7.6%

Split a bomber with my brother while watching the maybe too action packed Quantum of Solace.

This is one of the best beers I've had. The appearance is a dark honey with a frothy magnificent head that leaves some of the best lacing I've ever seen. The beer smells of a malt backbone with a floral bouquet filled with grapefruit. The rye comes through in the taste along with more grapefruit and other citrus notes. Quite bitter and leaves a very nice hoppy after taste. The creamy mouthfeel is nice and there is only a slight downgrade in the drinkability due to the high ABV.

Super offering from Bear Republic. I bought this six hours away in Dallas and wish that I had purchased much more. Its outstanding.

04-04-2009 02:33:02 | More by joshuadlight
Photo of photomike


4.05/5  rDev -4.3%

Pours really, really beautifully into a pint glass. 2 finger tan head that looks pretty much exactly like an english muffin on top of my beer.

Smell is rather light. Malt, vanilla and a bit of whiskey, presumably from the rye.

This is a really tasty beer. Not quite as hoppy as I had imagined it would be, but it was stored unrefrigerated at BevMo for an indeterminable amount of time. Still, the foremost flavor here is hops. Bitter, but not as west-coasty as some of the reviews here imply. The taste is less citrusy or piney than it is oaky or woody...again, I think the rye is at work here. Quite balanced, this isn't overly sweet and not the least bit alcoholic tasting. Very interesting, very complex. I wish my palate was refined enough to pick everything out here.

This is a ridiculously smooth beer at 8%, and somewhat chewy. Very nice.

I can and would drink a lot of this stuff in one sitting. The chewiness might be a bit much after a while, but two bombers of this is not the least bit intimidating.

04-04-2009 00:56:14 | More by photomike
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%

A: A very deep, somewhat hazy brownish-red. The head is moderately large, densely frothy, and a touch creamy, with a light tan color. Retention is excellent, with some very nice lacing.

S: Rich brown sugar and citric hops - rather sweet orange and candied grapefruit. Some floral and herbal hop notes as well.

T: Very nice. A robust dose of brown sugar and toasted caramel malt up front. This is followed quickly by a strong shot of citric, floral, and vaguely piney hops. Bitterness is firm, but the flavor is quite strong. The rye malt begins to shine later in the taste - a uniquely spicy flavor that sets this apart as more than just a very good IPA/DIPA. As it warms, some note of alcohol show up.

M: A fairly full, slightly sticky mouthfeel. Carbonation is tight and tingly. Maybe it's the rye, but this has an almost absurdly creamy feel for the style before fading into the dry finish you'd expect from this type of beer.

D: A very interesting big IPA from Bear Republic. The rye really makes me happy. Rather than just adding more and more hops, they went for an interesting malt profile that adds a lot to what would have been an already very tasty beer.

04-04-2009 00:38:22 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of FallinDeck


3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Body has an amber/ruby color to it.
Nice tan head with superb lacing all the way down the glass.
The light hops smell didn't impress me all that much. Maybe my sniffer wasn't up to par this day?
The mouthfeel was rather heavy, with a dry hoppy/spicy taste. It had a Great lasting kickass spice finish taste.
I couldn't do more than 2 pints, so the drinkability suffered there.
Here's a first for me... Yes a burpability factor of 10. HAHA I can't believe I'm writing this... but really a great taste of nothing but some spicy hops.

04-03-2009 13:57:20 | More by FallinDeck
Photo of callmescraps


3.68/5  rDev -13%

Had this awhile ago, and remembered it fondly. First time I'm having it as a BA'er, so we'll see how it stands up.

Appearance - Hmmm. Darker than many IPA's, I'm blaming the rye. It's a deep amber almost dark ruby color. A nice inch of foamy head. Pretty clear. It looks nice, but not that beautiful glow of some IPA's.

Smell - Hops. Some definite pine. Also some citrus. But a real malt back there. Definitely an herbal smell. Almost some caramel or burnt sugar lingering.

Taste - Wow, lots of caramel malt flavor. Way more than expected. Almost woody, at times. A sweet semi-caramel or toffee finish. A little hop burn as well, with some of that pine. Very nutty flavor. Almost some pepper.

Mouthfeel - Pretty solid. Good carbonation, good coating.

Drinkability - Not bad, but I'm not in love with the nuttiness. I'll enjoy this one. Also, the pepperiness builds.

Interesting beer, but not a super favorite. Good, but not really great. Was hoping for a cleaner hop flavor.

04-02-2009 03:59:55 | More by callmescraps
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,266 ratings.