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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,432 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,432
Reviews: 2,047
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 236
Gots: 245 | 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: 4,432 | Reviews: 2,047 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber to pint glass.

A: Pours a reddish brown body with a one-finger off-white head with good retention and some lacing.

S: Smells of strong hops and rye with strong caramel tones.

T: Much bigger than the smell. Caramel malts hit hard upfront but turn graciously to a spicy rye finishing in a piny bitter hop flavor.

M: Nice thickness to it, medium-full bodied and good carbonation.

D: Pretty drinkable for the big flavor and semi-strong alcohol content. Very good IPA and even better for the price

Photo of lonestar4lunch
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this into my 471 glass and this thing has a head like a root beer float, about 3 fingers and hanging over the edge. I love the aroma with this. The hops are huge, there is a little citrus and you get some of the rye malt. The citrus flavor is pretty dominate on first sip. I get a little caramel in there. The rye is just right so you know it is there with the hops. I love the finish on this one. Somewhat creamy, very smooth with the dry finish that leaves just a taste of straw.

Photo of Sean9689
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with a white frothy head into a nonic. Smells like an IPA should, lots of piney/citrus notes. Tastes refreshing, clean, crisp, with a good amount of citrus/hops. Mouthfeel is light with good carbonation. Really like this one, will have again.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a bj's brewery pint glass

A - Pours a dark amber color with a one finger beige head.

S - Strong smell of citrus. This one smells of hops.

T - Taste very close to as it smells. Has an earthly citrus taste. Not as hoppy as I would have expected from smell, but still plenty of hops to be tasted. Ends with a slight bitterness.

M - This is a smooth beer. Definite medium body.

D - This beer is tasty. If I had a couple more, I would probably end up drinking them tonight. Drank this one on a fairly empty stomach, and caught a decent head change (thanks to 8% abv). Will definitely be buying this one again.


Photo of BZero007
3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent brown with swirls of orange. Forms a lovely head that sticks around in some form or another. Lacing left behind is very nice. Smell was a pleasing Piney aroma with floral hops pushing it along. Taste was abit to grapefruity for me. The bitterness was a particular type I dont care for, which eventually turned the beer a bit bland. Mouthfeel was ok the overly grapefruit flavor killed it a bit. Would recomend to people who are fans of the Stone Ruination style of bitterness.

Photo of IMincedTheKing
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a shiny mahogany with a sturdy, two-finger, ecru head.

Big citrus hop aromas pummel the nose, a bit of pine tagging along, as well. A ghostly trace of rye is noticeable.

The citrus continues to dominate, bouncing around the palate. Full, smooth, and fluffy mouthfeel. A spiciness from the hops presents itself, and while the malts are weak, they serve to round out the brew. Rye can be tasted along with hops on the finish.

Overall, a winner.

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

Very good visuals: deep, nearly opaque amber with translucent dark orange highlights. Head is beautiful, cushiony & meringue-like -- when it sinks it leaves an island. Heavy lacing. Eye-pleasing.

Smells of caramel from the malt, lemon from the hops, rich but refreshing at the same time. Taste is of of maple with a crisp, strong snap from the hops. Caramel is strong & upfront, too. There's a bit of something straw-like, like it tastes how straw smells -- is this the rye I'm picking up?

I like the IPAs with a soft, smooth mouthfeel, & this is one such IPA. I'm not a big fan of the bite that some impart, that attacks the tastebuds. This mouthfeel is like a creamy, smooth hello. I'm finishing the bomber without much problem, so I guess that scores drinkability points considering the ABV. This is a full beer, & I'm a fan.

Photo of bwd110
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber poured into DFH Snifter - no freshness date on bottle or case. (Annoys me to no end).

A: Pours a deep mahogany. Damn, this is one dark ipa! Nice fluffy 3 finger bone white head. Good retention, nice full lacing throughout.

S: Floral and pine notes from the hops, but this one has a real clear sweet bready, caramel character in the nose. Much more so than many other west coast ipas.

T: Great bitterness to this brew. This is what I'm talking about when I refer to balance in an IPA. Floral and pine hops at first break way to a great sweet malt middle - this is where this beer shines - lots of complexity to the rye malt, earthy, bready and caramel - just a tinge of rye taste. Then the bittering hops come round to ram this one home.

M: Mouthfeel is just great. Really smooth and creamy from the abundance of rye malt. Covers the mouth tremendously, only downside is a slight carbonation zap in the finish.

D: I would never tire of this one, that is all I can say about that.

Very impressed with Bear Republic. Solid interpretation of the style, and very unique ta boot.

Photo of beerorRIP
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a bomber to a clear pint glass: yields a small 0.5 finger head which reduces to a ring of foam on top. the body is a very nice deep ruby red looking color (don't think grapefruit juice). some nice lacing sticking around.

a nice hoppy smell greets me. pine with some citrus, and some grainy smells - a touch of caramel and the rye i'm thinking?

this is unique. plenty of hop flavors and bitterness in here. starts piney and citrus, turns to some caramel and spice of the rye before the bitter dry finish. mmm. i do recall the draft of this being even more vibrant!

carbonated for certain, but still a somewhat medium body and oily feel to it. it's fitting for a unique tasting beer like this.

this is shockingly easy to drink, even at 8%. good thing i only have one bomber here.

Photo of merryjoulton
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep golden brown, a little hazy, full white head that sticks around. Smells deliciously sticky, piny, citrusy, fruity, a little bready. Tastes incredibly bitter and balanced well by the garden of aromas. Mouthfeel is perfect. Drinkability is exceptional, such a splendidly hoppy concoction I could drink this every night.

Photo of washburnkid
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Super thick, creamy, firm beige head over dark amber and caramel hues. Phenomenal retention and lacing.
S: Sweet malts dominated by a rush of hops, but not unbalanced on the nose.
T/M: Creamy medium-bodied mouthfeel. Florals and pine, with bittersweet residuals after the sip. Alcohol hides well beneath the impeccable balance. Hints of ripe fruit throughout, with spices making an entrance as the beer warms a bit, maybe from the rye.
D: Huge flavors, and stellar drinkability. This is on par with West Coast DIPAs, like Pliny. A quick favorite!

Photo of Nick3
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous burgundy color on this beer with a 2 cm head that fades quickly. Beer leaves some great lacing from the start to finish. Nose is citrus and some caramel malts and the rye. Taste is smooth and crisp, which was a bit unexpected after the color. Very easy to drink, 8% abv is well masked. Good carbonation and a medium body lend itself well to the style. Beer is very well balanced through most of the drink with a little hops/rye kicker in the finish. I really enjoyed this beer and would be curious to taste a cask version if one is ever created.

Photo of Onenote81
3.86/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle received courtesy of tzanio in a recent trade.

This beer pours much darker than I expected, due to the rye I can only assume. Looks like a tawny-brown tinted amber. Nice inch-sized ivory head on top. Retention is firm and the lacing rings are superb. Smells of flowers, citrus rinds, bread, and a slight astringent scent.

Mouthfeel is a little thinner than I like, slightly wet as well. I like my IPAs to be crisp, this one was lacking a bit. As I sip, I can definitely pull the rye out of the flavor. It's mild though. I like what it adds to this beer. The definitive hop smack is there and it finishes slightly sweet. I like this. I received a big ol' bomber of this and had no problem drinking it down. Wonderful beer.

Photo of bfields4
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crisp clear amber color dark for an IPA. A nice tight head that refuses to go anywhere (this I really like).

Very piny hop smells are accompanied by nice sweet caramel malts.

Bitterness complements the heavy rye and caramel malt flavors. A very sweet aftertaste.

Not very heavy on the carbonation. A nice lasting creaminess, but not to thick. I would be happy to see this beer on tap any day. Very interesting with the rye and hops.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.37/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at BJ's in Fremont.

A: Dark brown / amber color with slow carbonation up the glass. Has a half-inch off-white head that recedes within a few minutes into a film on the glass, with some lacing as I drink. Not as impressive as I remember the bottle being.

S: Pine and grapefruit are the two strongest aromas. I also smell some caramel malt. A little rye and grass.

T: Hop bitterness in pine and grapefruit varieties smash the mouth up front. Floral hops are also detected in mild quantities. The mid-taste sees an evolution of caramel malt and small rye bite, but it's nowhere near as strong as it was in the bottle. The finish is all sticky hops, with a dry aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied, with low carbonation and a very light rye bite. Slightly oily and has a very sticky flavor.

D: A quality IPA on tap, but if you hadn't told me it was supposed to have rye in it, I might have missed it entirely. I may stick to the bottle on this one...

Photo of thisnamestoolong
4.87/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a beautiful orange/amber with a thick white head.

S- I can tell I am really going to enjoy this one right off the bat -- bitter hops, a bit more citrus than pine, balanced very well by sweet caramel.

T- Very similar to the smell, kicks you in the face right off the bat with some pretty killer hops, pine and grapefruit, then mellows to a very sweet caramel. The alcohol is present in the aftertaste, but very well balanced.

M- Very strange, almost sticky feel to it. Extremely smooth, and definitely on the thick side.

D- A 22 oz. bomber went down very easily. Very drinkable for the girth of this beer, I could drink this one all night.

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

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.

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

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.

Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

Photo of youngblood
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of scottyshades
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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

Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,432 ratings.