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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,453 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 VikeMan
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Photo of GregSVT
3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a New Belgium pint glass.

A: Pours a dark amber with a big offwhite head that leaves sticky lacing as it fades.

S: Smell is mix between floral and grapefruit hops and a sweet/fruity malty aroma.

T: Taste is bitter grapefruit hops and a slight tropical fruit flavor with more bitterness on the finish. The rye also adds a spicey kick on the finish. I was expecting more fruity flavors from the nose but the grapefruit really takes over and makes it quite bitter.

M: Mouthfeel is good with a nice amount of carbonation and a slightly oily coating of the mouth but not as big as a DIPA.

D: The bitterness really kills it for me in the drinkability category...I like my IPAs balanced between sweet and bitter.

I'd rather pick up Hopstoopid, Gordon, or DFH 90 for about the same price. I probably won't get it again but I would recommend it if you're a fan of big bitter beers and the rye adds an interesting kick on the finish.

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

Hop Rod Rye
bottle to glass

a-hazy dark amber with a thin little white head. left a little lacing.

s- pine hops, spices

t- astringency, very strong alcohol astringency. almost enough to make it unenjoyable, but there's also the tastes of orange, pine, spicyness, rye, and some caramel malt. the hops are strong but taste a bit muted.

m- not bad, thickly satisfying and bitter.

d- very high. picked this up again after enjoying it a few weeks ago. was less enjoyable this time due to the strong alcohol taste, but still really good.

i really liked this beer. especially the spicy bitter flavors of the hops balanced with the rye. Bear Republic is definately on the radar.

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

A- Deep copper in color and a bit of red. Small head is off white.

S- Very fresh hops. A bit of citrus.

T- Very smooth, hops all the way through. As it warms the rye come forward. Citrus at the end too.

M- Medium amount of carbonation. Medium bodied.

D- Very drinkable and a great beer.

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

Darkish brown/amber, although copper and mahogany when held up to light. Thick two finger head with alot of staying power. Lots of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Breadiness in the smell along with hops and a hint of alcohol. Nice piny bite of hops up front. Then sweet malty notes. The rye finish is the real treat for this one. Just a really pleasant finish and aftertaste. Noticed alcohol more in the smell than in the taste, so I'd consider the 8% to be hidden well.

Photo of mdale13
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark red/copper color with a thin white head. Head fades somewhat rapidly. Moderate lacing down the glass.

S- Hops, some malt presence. Very fresh, inviting smell.

T- Tastes like your standard IPA, lots of fresh bitter hops, a slight rye taste. I was hoping for more rye, but this is technically an IPA, not a rye beer.

M- Good amount of carbonation.

D- Pretty drinkable, but I dont think I would have more than 2 in a sitting.

Other- I have mixed feelings about this beer. Dont get me wrong, Its a great beer, and I enjoyed it, I was just hoping for more rye I guess.

Photo of GordonQuid
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

Dark copper with just a a reddish tinge. Rocky one inch head dissapates to a creamy wisp with ample lace.

Smells of amber malts and cascade hops. Appetizing and inviting smell of freshness.

Taste is exceptionally smooth malts and hops blended to perfection and a nice crisp dry finish from the rye.

This stuff is smooth and highly drinkable.

Photo of natelocc787
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I appreciated the uniqueness of the rye in this Imperial IPA. Pours dark like a Brown ale/IPA hybrid. Smells of rye, scotch, grapefruit, lemon, and grassy pine. Rye is very noticeable in the taste and brings a dark, spicey quality to a good Double IPA. The appearance and smell was very nice and it's unusual to get these kinds of aromas from a beer this dark. Mouthfeel was close to perfect. Silky, chewy, heavy and nectary with nice tiny-bubble carbonation to make it feel creamy. Even though I found this beer a real treat it was one to be savored.

Photo of bkett01
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the tap at the Bear Republic Brewpub in downtown Healdsburg this morning. Hey, it was afternoon on the east coast.

Appearance is a dark amber topped with a one finger creamy head which dissipated after a few minutes. Smell is slightly bready with a big dose of hops.

Taste is pine and grapefruit over a semi-sweet malty backbone that the rye helps make stand up to the hops. Still loses the battle, but it's nice for balance. Well carbonated, this stays lively as you drink it and is drinkable other than the ABV.

Overall, a great rye IPA. A style that I wish more breweries took a shot at. Highly enjoyable & recommended.

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

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye....

Appearance-dark brown to black, decent hazy head foams up, active carbonation gushes through the glass, it's ok.

Smell-bready as expected, a whoosh of alcohol and plenty of hops. Lots of aroma.

Taste/Mouthfeel-hops hit with a flourish, piney taste, bready character to the beer, not really tasting anything that distinct that would make me realize it's a rye, but still a great tasting beer.

Drinkability-I had no trouble finishing mine, strong beer but definitely drinkable.

Overall-once again, I couldn't really determine that it was rye based on the taste alone, but still, this is a great beer from a brewer that I've really come to respect.

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

poured into my duvel glass. pours a dark copper color with a thick white head that lingers for some time (great lacing throughout). aroma is big hops here and some alcohol present. taste is hoppy (alcohol is bodly present) slightly malty and not to forget about the rye taste, not really heavy at all. great blend of hop and rye. aftertaste is bitter( but it is great0 somewhat dry. all around a great beer!

Photo of Dspohn
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

A. This is a great looking beer. Beautiful amber color when held up to the sunlight and talk about an awesome head! Big, rocky, sticky, impressive retention with great fluffy rings all the way down.

S. Smells very balanced. Not as much rye really until it warms up some but a big grapefruit citrus hop nose with some well balanced caramel malt.

T. Taste is better than the smell even. Strong ass hops but a great malt backbone and the sour/sweet rye taste in the end is phenomenal! Trust me and let this beer get a little warmer before drinking because the rye really comes out and is truly wonderful to balance the strong hops.

M. Feels awesome, perfect carbonation on a nice medium body.

D. I don't want to find out how many bombers of this I could down in a night but the abv is nowhere to be found and the balance is pretty much perfect if you like a nice hoppy beer that has a few extra dimensions. Easily one of the best IPAs I've tried. Highly recommended.

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

Color is brown and hues are mild and golden. Large flamboyant overflowing white head with high degrees of lace retention. Nose is full but not overpowering...lots of hoppiness but the Rye does a great job of taming it and keeping it in balance. Lots of grapefruit and spiciness in the nose. Toasty rye dominates the finish with a foreground of restrained hoppiness. The slightly sourness of the Rye comes in great play with the mountain of hops in here. The citrus and spicy herbalness is kept in healthy check. Its very drinkable.

Photo of ditch
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

After having a Founders' Red's Rye P.A. I had to start trying other rye beers. This is my next, and I must say I made a good decision!

Poured a dark dark copper. Very thick and creamy off white head. Lacing is beautiful and sticks to the glass indefinitely.

Smells of sweet barley and rye with a background of citrus and pine.

Taste is very complex. A little sweet and spicy, followed by the bitterness of a black tea. Hints of citrus and pine come through. Dates and raisins also.

Mouthfeel is great. Carbonation is perfect for this style beer. Perfectly compliments the flavors. Leaves a dryness in the finish.

Drinkability is great, but I don't know that I could call a beer this complex a session beer. I will update this statement if I find it otherwise after a few sessions with it. =P

Photo of jrallen34
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this on tap at Map Room from a tulip.

It pours a very dark amber orange with a huge white head. Lacing is absoluetly phenomincal. It lasts throughout the whole beer, and carbonation is all over the place. Head comes back instantly after swirling your glass.

The aroma is unique you get some grapefruit and orange with nice hops, but not hoppy overpowerment.

The taste is greeat and very smooth. Hoppiness from start to finsh but its light so you drank a ton it.

Mouthfeel is nice as you can still taste bitternes several seconds after you swallow. Very very drinkable.

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

A=Deep dark amber color with slightly off white head

S=initial malts note followed by dry crisp smell of hops

T=definitely hoppy on the front, coffee notes in the finish

M=light, lazy carbonation some oiliness

D=good beer, medium drinkability due to ABV.

Photo of bump8628
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into an Imperial pint glass. Bottled on 5/14/09

Mahogany in color with an inch of sticky, frothy, off-white head. Impressive clarity considering this is a bottle-conditioned beer.

Hops jump out of the bottle as soon as it's opened. The aroma is raw and resiny with herbal, spicy, and citrusy hops dominating. A medium-strong malt profile also comes through with spicy rye and medium-dark crystal malts reminiscent of dark fruits and burnt sugars.

The intense taste of this beer is a mix of strong, herbal, spicy, coarse, American hops and a malt complexity comprised of rye, dark crystal malts, and some subtle toastiness. The spiciness of the rye complements the hops nicely.

The rye combined with a lower level of carbonation and bottle-conditioning gives it an exceptionally smooth mouthfeel. Very drinkable with well-hidden alcohol.

This is a fantastic beer that may be listed as an IPA, but definitely pushes into the double/Imperial IPA category. The extra malt presence gives it more balance and much more complexity than other IPAs/IIPAs.

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

Poured from 22 oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: dark tawny color with hints of ruby; 1-finger tan head which hung in there well.

Smell: nice collection of citrusy and spicy hops.

Taste: not the hop bomb I would have guessed from the name; in my opinion, this is a good thing. There is plenty of malt backbone to give the hops room to shine; it reminds me almost of a strong dark Belgian. The hops are spicy on the front and remain on the tongue that way, but toward the end mellow out into a nice floral flavor. Great stuff!

Mouthfeel: nicely carbonated, medium body, and very creamy. Love it!

Drinkability: dangerously drinkable. Strong but balanced, this could get me into trouble.

Photo of thain709
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted side-by-side with Lenny's Bittersweet RIPA

A - A nice dark copper body with ruby highlights shining through...a small off white head forms but retains very well...nice lacing

S - Lots of hops in the nose...ripe citrus and fruits...a few pine notes but the citrus really dominates...a touch of spice from the rye

T - A little mellowed out versus the nose...the hops are there but they aren't as in your face as I would have expected...maybe a older bottle...but none the less this one still has the hops shining through...here it's more piney than citrus...the rye provides a backup of spice and sweet that cuts back the bitterness...but not much

M - Medium bodied...creamy, smooth, and leaves the palate wanting more

D - The alcohol is well hidden on this one...I love the addition of rye to IPAs...it just sets them off...this one had all the hops and a dash of rye and it made it delicious...I'm happy to see these in 12 oz. bottles now

Photo of bamadog
3.42/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not much else interesting on tap at Fries the other night, so I went to the cooler and this is what I pulled out. Not too bad. Pour is from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep coppery/caramel color; comes with a solid one finger head (off-white/lightest tan) that has OK retention and fades to a full, yet uneven, skim; body is cloudy and there are odd shaped clouds and spots of lacing.

Smell: Very weak - I can barely decipher what scant scents I'm smelling - some faint whiffs of hops and grainy rye, but that's barely detectable.

Taste: Nice flavors that are almost pungent; decent bitter/earthy hop presence and the toasty rye flavors combine to make a solid tasting and nicely bittered ale; a nice malty sweetness sneaks in as it warms a bit.

Mouthfeel: mild/soft carbonation; body is smooth and almost creamy; leaves a thin coating on the tongue and roof of the mouth - film feels a little dry, perhaps because of the 8% ABV.

Drinkability: Moderate - I enjoyed the solid bitter aspect, but I really wish there was a smell to compliment and enhance it a bit; other aspects of the beera are solid as well; 8% ABV is a bit high for many of these in a night.

Photo of ZorPrime
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for Bobsy for sending me this one. Tasted on September 12, 2009.

One hell of a great beer this was... now on with the details. Dark caramel color with a thin head/foam but it sticks madly at the glass. The smell is citrusy hops with nice notes of caramel. The beer is also slightly fruity. The taste is excellent. Right at the beginning the hops show their presence and then I get the caramel from the malts and it switch back again to the aggressive hops. The bitterness is perfect. A very well balanced beer.

Very good beer.

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

A- Amber colored with a tan head poured from a 22oz bomber.

S- Spicy nose, both from the hops and rye malt. Reminds me of a fresh Bigfoot in a lot of ways.

T- Pine resin, heavy, gourmet baked bread. A doughiness hits about mid palate before finishing dry and bitter

M- A bit of astringincy in the mouthfeel but not harsh. Becomes a bit heavier and more bitter as it warms.

D- A beer I will drink a couple of times per year(probably during cool weather) and really enjoy it.

A well structured beer that balances sweet, spicy, and bitter very well and progresses nicely. I could possibly see this one aging for a year or two.

Photo of donniecuffs
4.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(From notes)

A: Dark brown/slight reddish hue, with a tan'ish head (thin), but one that laced nicely.

S: BIG bouquet of pink grapefruit, mango, tangerine, lemon, pineapple, caramel apple, toffee, maltiness, pine, allspice, etc. Wow.

T: Perfect balance of all of the aforementioned flavors throughout, with also a prominent caraway flavor and earthy finish. Unreal.

M: Creamy, medium-bodied beer, with little carbonation, but which went down oh so easy.

D: I think I drank three 16oz pints in 30min. This is a tremendous beer.

Photo of nickd717
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from BevMo.

A - Murky reddish-brown in color, darker than I expected. Medium off-white head and great lacing.

S - Loads of hops, floral and piney for the most part. Also some spicy rye and malty sweetness.

T - Intense (good) piney hop bitterness and an awesome spicy rye flavor and mild roast, as well as some caramel malty sweetness. ABV fairly well hidden.

M - Full-bodied and a bit sticky with lots of lupulin oils.

D - Medium-plus. An upper-second-tier IIPA overall with a nice twist to it.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Pours a clean golden/amber color with absolutely perfect clarity. It gives a huge frothy head with many different sized bubbles and incredible lacing that produces tons of different patters covering every part of the glass. By far the best looking IPA I've ever had and one of the best looking beers in general I've ever tried. The smell is good, floral hints and citrus and pine hops, smells good. The taste is very good as well. Not quite as strong as I expected but very, very good. It tastes clean and pure, if that makes sense. The mouthfeel is good, pretty well balanced, a bit lighter than I expected but incredibly clean refreshing. For a beer that is fairly high in ABV, this was incredibly drinkable, really just drinkable in general. This was a very enjoyable beer, I look forward to having many more in the future, especially on hot summer days.

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