1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,292 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,292
Reviews: 2,035
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 217
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hop Rod Rye Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,292 | Reviews: 2,035 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pinotboy007
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - World class. Cloudy mahogany with a spectacular, rocky head and clods of tan styrofoam-chunked "lace."

S - Rye bread, molasses, leather, and serious hops.

T/M - Fabulous! The hops jump out at the forefront but struggle for dominance in the face of the rye that lends a unique, silky quality supported with perfect carbonation.

D - Not for the weak of heart but spectacularly drinkable with any beer enthusiast. I would not really recommend this ale with many foods beyond dry-rubbed BBQ ribs or fish & chips.

pinotboy007, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of cameraman
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A deep amber to ruby color, with a two finger thick, cream colored head. The scent has the sharp, pepper aroma of rye, that is followed by citrus(grapefruit), grass, and pine, with a touch of malty sweetness at the end. The mild taste of malt at the start, that blends with the tasty pepperness of rye. The hop onslaught then takes over. A grapefruit, pine, and earthy flavors dominate till the end. A slightly foamy feel of carbonation at the start, outside of that it is a thin feel, that gains weight as it crosses the palate. This is a very drinkable IPA, with the an inviting aroma, intense flavor, a little bit of a faulter on the feel. Plus, the rye does not shy away from the hops in flavor and the aroma. This is an outstanding beer.

cameraman, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of BretSikkink
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown color with orange highlights. Comes from the tap with about a half inch of tanned head, bubbly but firm, with good retention. It took a minute or more to even be able to get a read on the nose because the head was so thick.

Cracked black pepper and pine resin are first on the scene, but the citrics do come in and make a strong impression on the nostrils as well. A tiny bit weaker than I remembered, but I must have had too-high expectations.

A very bitter and dark IPA for sure: the brightness and zestiness of the hops is definitely there but is overtaken for the most part by the resinous, alpha acidic side. Flavors include pepper and other spices, grapefruit, pine, and a strong dose of toffee and caramel malts that line up to be shot down by the hops.

Medium full mouthfeel for style, I love the rye addition; a little bit like oatmeal in a stout, it's just a pleasant combination. Carbonation stays wells out of the way, and the finish coats the palate for a while.

Great beer, no matter what the style. I think of it as a double IPA, the bar called it an American strong ale, and BA lists it as an IPA. That's a hell of a lot of IPA!

BretSikkink, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of popery
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bear Republic makes some great beer, and Hop Rod Rye is particularly good. It's full of hops while maintaining balance. It also looks exceptional.

The beer has a deep, red-golden color that glows beneath an exceptional head. Even after a bit of time, a carpet of tiny bubbles covers the beer and clings to the side of my stein. Hop Rod Rye smells of hops. Strongly of hops. It's sweet and fruity but doesn't overpower in the least.

The beer tastes just delicious. I'm a bit partial to strong, hoppy IPA's, so my score might be a little bit inflated here. The taste has nearly no low-points for me. The sweetness is paired with a perfect, accompanying bitterness. The feel only loses points for being slightly sticky. The carbonation is just right, and the lingering aftertaste is also enjoyable.

The drinkability is very high. The alcohol content is just right. This is a beer that is just perfect for a quiet drink. Its flavor is a complex display of hops. All in all, Bear Republic has made a really good strong IPA, or really a DIPA.

popery, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of Zadok
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep oak copper with a head that measured two fingers and was of the off-white variety and very nice and frothy. Lacing also stuck around for awhile.

Aroma is of hops and light malts.

Very smooth hoppy flavor with a very subtle earthy undertone. Each drink has a nice hop bite on completion.

Mouthfeel is relatively smooth with the aforementioned hop bite and low carbonation.

First experience with BR and definitely won't be the last, will be looking forward to trying the rest of what they have to offer. As far as this one goes, being a 1 pint 6 floz bottle at 8% probably makes for having one of these in a setting at a time. A very solid beer to say the least.

Zadok, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of andrewt960
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

after having the Racer 5 IPA, i saw this for less than 4$, had to get it.
A: Looks amber like, and a huge head that sticks around throughout the beer. lacing is evident.
S:Really nice hops with some malt notes. A nice mix od citrusy hops and perhaps a grassy note here and there.
T: taste hops up front with lingering hops. Really pretty nice. i would have liked to see more carbonation, but it was really a decent beer.

andrewt960, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of Packforever1976
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a great trade with pwoods! Been too long since my last Hop Rod, and here we go..
Pours a mediun -dark amber, with a massive off-white head that takes FOREVER to go down. I poured it carefully, and it was still massive. Kind of annoying, as I want to drink it!
Smells a little different then I remember. I can definately pick up the rye and hops, but thee is something else in there that I can't quite put my finger on...not a bad thing, but still kind of bugs me.
Taste is good. I first get a taste of the rye malts, then the hops kick in, then I get the spicy rye flavor again. Pretty tasty stuff.
Mouthfeel is good as well, especially for 8%. It goes down a lot smoother than it should. A nice rye aftertaste coats my mouth.
Drinkability is almost too good, but I'm not complaining. It's a very solid Rye IPA, and one I will definately seek out again. As far as Rye beers go, I prefer Cane and Ebel, but this is tasty.

Packforever1976, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of maximum12
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to genog for sending this along this spring, & I'm finally just getting to it.

Pours a nice amberish color with little head. Smell is subtle hops & rye, with a pinkie of sweetness undertow.

Taste sends my mouth into a tizzy. Is this a red? An IPA? What's with that rye? Calm down, everyone. Another sip & I just have more questions. There's all sorts of pleasant layers in there, as hinted at by the nose, but more malt than I'd suspected. Complex. I likes.

The suck-down rating is good. Despite the higher ABV, there's no alcohol sting & the complexity keeps bringing the glass back to my face faster than it should. All the shit going on in this brew is nicely balanced. I approve this beer!

maximum12, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of unionturf
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on this after a trip to SC.

This brew pours dark amber and slightly cloudy. Smelly is of hops and malt and the taste matches, the head lingered forever it seemed. This is a hoppy brew that is backed with an excellent malt balance. An excellent ale that has me ready to drive back to SC to get another. :)

unionturf, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of claytri
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a rich dark amber with a decent fine tan head. The aroma was of rye malt with a bit of hops in the background. The taste was of wonderfully strong rye with a good amount of bitter hops. The feel was medium and oily, but had a dry finish. A pretty decent rye, it was interesting as it was highly hopped, and the rye's I've had previously weren't.

claytri, Aug 25, 2008
Photo of Cheers
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I tried this beer on a whim and could not have asked for a better result. The hop flavor is strong and somewhat complex with the rye adding to the mix. The amount of carbonation is perfect leading to an exceptional mouth feel with a good head that lingers afloat this dark amber brew. For my taste (Big fan of IPAs that include interesting flavors to complement additional hops) this is an excellent selection.

Cheers, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint glass of this and received a leathery brown with rubish tints that gave off a rocky yet quickly receeding three-finger head with a lace ring. A mix of both intense tropical citrus notes such as banana and orange, coupled with some roasted, toffee and caramel malts - must've been the rye kicking in. A thick, almost full-bodied beer with a very dry backbite. A great hop bite with citric, earthy hops pounding the tongue and a stoutish, caramel aided roasted malt taste follows. Unfortunately, a slight alcohol burn derides some of the tastiness. I guess the rye can be thanked for both (the mix of tastes and the burn). While very affordable and I enjoyed me brew (not for the faint of palate), I don't see myself sessioning this one.

clayrock81, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of 1759Girl
3.28/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance> Nice warm dark amber colour, with a creamy vanilla head. lively.
Smell> Super hoppy, lots of malt. Smells a lot like Stone's IPA
Taste> It's very balanced, with a nice hoppy middle finishing out with malty goodness... but something tasted a bit chemically or perhaps metallic. It eventually became so noticeable that I had to stop drinking it and give it to someone else. Sad, but true. I'm really sensitive to slight tastes and smells.
Mouthfeel>Pretty decent. Medium, not overly carbonated.
Drinkability> I found it undrinkable personally, but since the guys I was drinking with found it drinkable, I have to say average.

1759Girl, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of PhillyStyle
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a pint glass. The beer appeared a very nice clear red with a thick white head that just lasted and lasted. Could see some light streaming of carbonation from the bottom of the glass. The aroma was huge and hoppy with some hint of bread, pine and citrus. Very well put together. The taste tended to follow the aroma, very hoppy with hints of pine and some florals. The beer finished with a nice bitter aftertaste. It was rich, smooth and somewhat creamy. Very drinkable beer. Excellent example of the style.

PhillyStyle, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of lincoln44
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew poured with a monstrous frothy head, resembled a beige cloud upon a mahogany/deep cherry wood elixir. Rocky 2 in head with pillars of froth between the declining portions. After a few minutes there was still a small pillow of head floating around the top middle of the beer along with patches scattered along the non-contact area of glass above the brew.

Smells of pine, citrus, and dark caramel malts. Hint of the 8% alcohol coming through but balanced nonetheless. Sweet fruity aroma of typical description: figs & black currants.

Bursting forth with flavor, all I can picture is pairing this with Provel or sharp cheddar cheese. Sweet with residual sugars but malt/rye character is still prevailing on the exhale.

Mouth feel was a bit oily and slick. The higher alcohol presents a nice warming tone that falls off quickly under the cover of hops.

Overall this is a good brew and a great representation of the style. It is a beer of balance between hops and malt, Bear Republic has another great beer among their lineup. I'm a huge fan of big beers and this falls into my top ten for strong ales.

lincoln44, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of blackie
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: served in a pint glass with a tight, well retained head and great lacing, the beer is a hazy, dark orange-brown in color

s: big pulpy tropical hop aromas with a caramel back to match, absolutely thick with this excellent blend of sweet malt and highly aromatic hops, notes of sweet candied rye

m: carbonation on the low side of medium and very delicate, body on the full side of medium, perhaps a little heavy on the palate but I can't really find much to take off for here

t: just an excellent IPA, starts out with sweet caramel and pulpy, juicy tropical hops, and after the swallow turns towards notes of spicy rye and pine hops, very strongly hopped and highly bitter in the end

d: very much enjoyed the entire pint, would have guessed this one was in the 7% range

pint at Whole Foods Fairfax

blackie, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of roan22
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had this beer many times before, including on draft but I never got around to reviewing it. Today I am having it again so its time for a review.

Poured from a bomber into a wine glass (sadly I have no tulip glasses left, they've all broke because I am too rough while washing dishes!)....Hop Rod Rye is a reddish orangey color with a huge, light tan head, which lasts awhile. Leaves awesome lace on the glass.

Smells like aromatic earthy or flowery hop plants. Really fragrant and nice.

Taste is citrusy bitter at first, then tea like and earthy, then finishes with a long, (almost tart) bitter spiciness on the palate from the rye and mega amounts of hops.

Mouthfeel rocks due to the bitterness left on my tongue...its not quite as good as Green Flash, but close.

Drinkability gets marked down a bit because its 8%. I can only drink this at home, and only 1 bomber at that. I still have to sip it because at 8% it goes straight to my blood. If I had two of these in one sitting I'd probably be very intoxicated. I am a lightweight though. Cheers BR!! Still hoping to get out west and visit the brewery someday.

roan22, Aug 16, 2008
Photo of treyrab
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Fatheads in Pittsburgh

A: Clean, golden ale with lively carbonation and a nice head that dissipates pretty quickly to nothing

S: Tons of citrus and floral hops in the nose with a nice solid malt, caramel backbone

T: The initial taste is of malt sweetness from the caramel and Munich malts, but that is quickly balanced by a large amount of citrus hops. The rye makes it a tad watery, but that is a minor effect.

M,D: The mouthfeel is fantastic. Perfect carbonation that leaves you drinking and wanting more

treyrab, Aug 16, 2008
Photo of EagleTalon
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty good beer, especially if you are not sensitive to phenolic "bread yeast" flavors. As a homebrew contest judge, I found that I have a very low threshold for phenolics. I detect them at levels most tasters do not. Judging from the reviews on this site, many people are not tasting what I do, so it is not the beer, it is me. Now on to the review:

Pours to a creamy, frothy off-white head and hazy brown-amber color. Aroma is strong on hops with some bready malt and a touch of phenolic. Flavor is a well-balanced and tasty blend of US hops, pale and caramel and darker specialty malts and a nice hoppy/malty finish. I do detect some phenolic or chemical-like flavors in the taste that bug me a bit, but the dominant flavors linger and make it worthwhile. Mouthfeel is medium and this beer is definitely good on the quaffability scale for the 8% alcohol.

EagleTalon, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of elricorico
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium to dark red brown with a thick and long lasting beige head. Some floaties notable int there.

Smells of hops, and lots of em. Lemon and pine pleasantly mixed.

Taste first a slight sweet toffee, then the real flavours come in. A strong mix of bittering hops and rye character finish the taste.

Sticky in the mouth with a fair amount of carbonation make it slightly heavy, but pleasant to drink.

More drinkable than I thought it would be. Quite good on all fronts.

elricorico, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of mike24
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a dark rich reddish amber with a sticky off white head

S: floral hops up front and a toasty sweet malt underneath

T: spicy and sweet when it first hits the tongue, citrusy hops come in and round out with the alcohol bite. very complex flavours, can't make all of them out. finishes with hop bitterness and a burnt sweetness, like a roasted marshmallow maybe.

M: soft and smooth on the tongue, fairly big body with pretty light carbonation, enough though. sweet without being syrupy.

D: pretty good drinkability, a bit heavy to have more than a couple though.

mike24, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a strange brownish red color with a very nice fluffy off white head and good lace. Nose is nice hops, but there is a sort of dryness mixed in with some good maltiness as well. Taste is thick hops, but there is kind of an akward dryness to this I am not a huge fan of. Maybe the rye? the malt presence is a bit much for me here, and it is a bit sweet. Mouthfeel is nice, but drinkability is a bit debilitated by the wierd dryness. Overall a very good DIPA, but I think it may be a bit overrated. good beer, recommended.

AKBelgianBeast, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of hwwty4
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks State of Kansas for finally getting off your butts and allowing Bear Republic to come into the state. Poured a 22oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. This beer pours an amber-brown with a big 2-inch beige head that sticks around for the entirety of the beer and also leaves a quite beautiful lacing. The aroma is citrusy hops, grapefruit mostly, grains, bread, and a bit of the rye spiciness. The taste isn't as big as I thought it was going to be. Its really just a mild citrus hop bite and a bit of rye spice. It's not bad by any stretch of the word but still slightly disappointing. The mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with little carbonation. It's a very drinkable brew, but just not what I had expected.

hwwty4, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A brown hazy beer with a thick and foamy head.

S- Lots of hop flavor with a great citrus smell. Thats pretty much all you can smell.

T- There is a grainy hoppy taste. The aftertaste is a bit more on the grainy side of things.

M- There is a bit of a bitter soapy taste that stays on the tongue in between sips.

D- Easy to drink.

Wetpaperbag, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of PerzentRizen
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hop Rod Rye is a breath of fresh air. When I bought it I was buying a mixed bag of a bunch of different beers that I cannot get in Mississippi. If I had any idea this beer would be so good I would have bought 6 more.

Hop Rod pours a coppery brown with a thin lace head that tends to be thicker if the temperature is about 60 degrees - which I learned later in this tasting.

I drank this delicious beer in a trappist glass to let the aroma build. I would say that a tulip glass would also be very appropriate.

This beer is comparable to Dogfish Head's 90 minute IPA but it definately sets itself apart. The hop aroma and light bitterness is evenly balanced with the creamy malt and appropriate alcohol bite.

My only regret with this beer is that it evaporated way too fast! I will definately be back to get a few more soon.

PerzentRizen, Aug 03, 2008
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,292 ratings.