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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,431 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,431
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: 4,431 | Reviews: 2,047 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 22 oz bomber into my favorite pint glass. A darkish brown liquid emerged. A crazy three-finger head with some mountaintops make for some visual, dissipates somewhat quickly. Smells of nutty malt and some earth tones with some hop in play. Gulp. Kind of spicy on the intake, the hops are right on. The rye malt and the over the top hops make for some combination. The mouthful is flawless, very mild and smooth for the ABV provided. Easily makes this a session beer. Beautiful lacing that coats the glass from top to bottom, great for keeping time.

A nice twist from the typical IPA's out there, recommended to all the hopheads looking for some change.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Northern Brewer glass.

A: Deep, clear ruby with a spectacular cream colored head that lingers forever, leaving lacing all down the glass. This is beautiful to look at.

S: Bright hops at the front, with roasted grains and a spicy finish that has to be the rye. Definitely seems good so far.

T: Fresh, malty, bready and slightly spicy grain notes out front. Finishes with a significant hop bitterness. Some citrusy notes with the hops. This is complex, balanced, and delicious.

M: Medium-heavy, sticks a bit in the mouth. Seems appropriate for something with this much malt in the flavor. Carbonation is light but present.

D: Despite the ABV, I could drink these all day. This is an outstanding beer.

Photo of birchstick
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a ruby red with a 1/2 finger head

S - big hits of piney hops accompanied by even stronger doses of sweet grapefruity malts. There is a bit of spicy rye detectable as well.

T - wow. this is a delicious IPA. The grapefruit and sweet maltiness dominate the palate. There is also a bit of pine and the rye adds a nice touch of spicy sweetness to the flavor.

M - creamy and full. The 8% abv is very well hidden.

D - With more powerful IPAs I am sometimes ready to put the bottle down before I finish. With Hop Rod Rye, I was more than ready to keep drinking more. I enjoyed this IPA very much and will be picking up more in the near future.

Photo of rgore
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

A - pours dark, dark amber with a less than an inch of head.

S - Intoxicating aroma of malt, hops and a bit of spice from the rye. It gives off an earthy, grainy smell. I get a hint of pumpernickel as well.

T - The taste starts with the sweetness of the malt and the spiciness of rye. It finishes strongly with the hops. The hops remain as the lasting flavor I get with each sip.

M - A clean and long mouthfeel that goes from the initially sweetness of the malt and ultimately finishes with the bitterness of the hops.

D - This beer is so interesting and flavorful I wouldn't want to have more than 2.

Overall, hop rod rye is one of the more impressive and innovative beers I have had in a while. If you get the chance give it a try.

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

I got a bomber of this during a trip to Austin, Texas a few months ago, and I'm feeling a bit masochistic in my beer craving tonight, so in the interests of serving that, and not letting this IPA get any older, bottoms up...

This beer pours a hazy dark copper brown with an abundance of foamy, frothy white head, that takes its sweet time going away. The smell is grapefruit citrus hops, and sweet caramel malt, with a bit of grainy spiciness. The taste is a wallop of citrus and pine hops, balanced by a decent sweet malt backbone. The grainy spiciness of the rye is quite evident, and a nice addition to the usual suspects. The carbonation is on the moderate side, and there is only a mild warming from the alcohol. This finishes off-dry, with a nice tangy bitterness from some leafy green hoppiness. Once my palate reset itself to Hops, Straight Ahead!, this became very drinkable. Would that i could have this as the base for a session...

Photo of Cobrakai22
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Hop Rod pours a dark red color with huge (and chunky?) head, along with lacing and retention that don't quit!

Smell - Not surprisingly hoppy with caramel malt and pronounced citrus tone.

Taste and Mouth - Smooth but crisp mouthfeel. Taste is hoppy throughout with a bit of sweetness and warming on the backend. The rye flavor comes out just enough for my taste.

Drinkability - To me, most every west coast IPA is sessionable (can't get enough of them hops), and this beer is no exception.

Bear Republic needs to 6 pack this stuff so I can have Hop Rod and Racer 5 in the same sitting without dropping two bombers and 10 bucks. But, at $5 for a bomber, I'm sure I will buy this again.

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

Frothy head composed of lively tiny bubbles, very slow to dissolve, cloudy amber-brown color with a pleasing glow to it, mostly opaque. Aggressive nose of hops and bitters, mixes in pine resin, white grapefruit pith and field flowers, any fruit is like dried apricot pits, compactness in its punch may inhibit breadth of scents. Lots of foam in the mouth during attack, more full-bodied than medium as it sits very solidly on the palate. Hoppy as a hyper rabbit, less bitter than nose might suggest due to the sweeter grapefruit, tangerine citrus and more present apricot, peach fruit. The rye flavors there but not a huge aspect, blends into accents of hay, straw, fallen pine needles and spices. It expands in the mouth until you have to make a concerted effort to swallow. Stays relatively balanced in spite of its outsized desire to impress.

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hop Rod Review # 1000! #193 for me and American IPA # 11

A- I like the look of the bottle but I dunno if that's important. Huge pillowy tan head on top of a transparent dark-mahogany-colored body

S- Smell is loads of American hops on top of earthy, bready malts

T- Taste is very well-balanced with floral hops in front, of course. This is followed by a mouth-full of bready, grainy, malts and some fruit flavor from the yeast

M- Great thick body, alike a DIPA. Silky smooth carbonation

D- For a potent brew this sure is easy to knock back

I like this beer for when I want potent brew

Photo of jamie2dope
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a beer that I do not pick up enough. Pour reveals a dark ruby color, with one finger of tan head, and small chunks of sediment floating around. As I was pouring it, the words, "damn, now that is a glass of beer" popped in to my head. Rye, grapefruit, pine, brown bread, alcohol and something very herbal/spicy all come through beautifully in the smell. Rye and hops dominate the taste, but there is also a very juicy fruity aspect to it. Slight alcohol burn, with some bitterness as well. Malt and hops combine nicely to make this a bigger IPA than most. The body actually feels bigger than the amount of alcohol present. The slight alcohol burn and bitterness that this one only mildly difficult to drink; in other words I cleared the bomber off without a problem. Rye infused India Pale Ales are some of the best out there IMO, and this one is no exception. In fact this one ranks for me as one of the best IPAs available anywhere. Check this one out.

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

A- Crystal clear dark amber with a reddish tint. Cream colored head that dissipated to a light foamy top. Left a nice lacing.

A- Strong sweet malt aroma with a spicy backing to it. Slight piney aroma.

T- This has a great flavor. Hop wise I get a nice mix of citrusy and piney hops with enough of a bitterness to hang out in the aftertaste. There are some chocolatey notes I get, chocolate malt, and a light spiciness from the rye.

M- Medium-full body with a moderate carbonation. Quite filling, but not quite a meal in a bottle.

D- A delicious RyePA. Nice hop flavor and bitterness balanced out with a spicy rye. Not a session beer, but definitely a good once and a while beer.

Photo of Pencible
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I sampled this at a local beer festival, so it was less than ideal conditions for giving a full review. Nevertheless, from what I remember...

No memory of the appearance or smell (I just entered average for my ratings to keep things even). This had more of a rounded taste than the Racer 5, with a nice mix of malt flavoring and pine hops. It had a smooth aftertaste and great texture. Easier to drink than their IPA, and a good overall beer.

Edit: I tried this again not too long ago. What a fantastic beer! It looked great, smelled great, tasted fantastic, and had great body. It was clean, balanced, unique, and delicious. Very bold flavor, but still fairly easy to drink. Just wonderful.

Photo of TMB0424
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into pint glass.

Poured a dark mud brown with auburn edges when held to the light. A fluffy off-white head held extremely well. Lace clings to the glass for dear life. Can't wait to try.

Smell is surprisingly subdued - maybe the massive head? What I do detect is bits of caramel malt and a lot of citrus, earthy hops. A musty sweetness lurks in the background.

Wow, this tastes amazing. They are not kidding with the rye. Starts off with a quick splash of sweet, caramel malt then is quickly overpowered by a tidal wave of pine, citrus (grapefruit and orange). Thrown in the middle of all this is a roasty, spicy grain and rye element - and damn is it awesome. The rye brings in a slight hint of chocolate, as well as some tobacco leaf. Almost like a fine cigar. All of the flavors factor into the finish and it's great.

Mouthfeel is super creamy. Full bodied. Leaves a thick, oily hop coating in the mouth. Buttery, as well. Just dances around. Very drinkable - the alcohol is masked very well and leaves a nice warmth. What a satisfying brew. So well put together. Without a doubt, one of the best American IPAs I've came across.

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

A - Very dark amber with a fairly small bubbled tannish head. Not much retention.

S - Piney hop aromas but not very floral. Malts start to come through more as it warms.

T - Piney and earthy hop aromas. Maybe the slightest citrus. Seem pretty dry and bitter. Very well balanced. The hops are forward but the malt also makes itself known. I like the struggle going on there. The mouthfeel is nice, a little thicker and creamier than a standard IPA.

D - Mmmmm good. Reminds me very much of a more malty Double Wide IPA. The bitterness may slow me down a bit but the alcohol doesn't show.

Photo of WickedSluggy
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Crystal brown "loverly" color. Quite effervescent - copious amounts of sea-foam looking suds. Foam sticks around the whole way down the 22oz, dissipating only where they contact the glass, forming an island of dense in the glass.

Nice aroma and bouquet nothing that stands out too significantly here.

Flawless clean roasted flavor - malty, bitter, dry, and very clean. Nice slight lingering bitterness.

Medium bodied

Highly drinkable and enjoyable ale - nothing about the brew would keep me from having a second (or a third other than AVB.)

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 24oz brown bomber with kickass hot rod graphics on the label.

Appearance: This is an ever so slightly hazy brown/garnet beer with a minimal film/ring that hangs around.

Smell: Sharp citrusy hops, slight rye bread spiciness in the background...straightforward but quite pleasant.

Taste: BIG bitterness up front with dry rye bread and nice grapefruity hops...again, straightforward but tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy

Drinkability: Dangerously high

Conclusion: Not a bad rye IPA...it's big...it's bold...it's spicy...it's good.

Photo of Brew33
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked a Bomber of this at Jungle Jim's in Fairfield. I had heard a lot of hype about this beer and was excited to try it.

Pours a nice red/amber color with the stickiest, most dank head I have ever seen. WOW.

The taste was good. Nice hoppiness, a little spicy rye. Decent malt character. Nice! Good beer. Smooth as glass and easy to drink. The head retention was ridiculous!

I have only had a couple of Rye beers this one is really good. Not quite Red's Rye by Founders but damn tasty and drinkable.

Photo of truncatedcone
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a really nice mahogany brown with red highlights when held up to the light. Surprisingly dark. Tremendous tan head that held on for quite a while. Excellent lacing all the way to the bottom of the glass.

S- Beautiful fruity hop notes of orange peel and estery strawberry or green apple.

T- The brew introduces itself with a brief malty sweetness that quickly gives way to delicious, intense hoppy bitterness with toasted grain and nut flavor. There was a hint of orange peel and green apple in the finish, but the fruit flavors weren't especially prominent, which surprised me a bit given the fruity nose. Very interesting spiciness to the finish, presumably from the rye. Alcohol burn is noticeable, but not a detriment. Flavors keep coming as I keep sipping - very complex.

M- Very enjoyable pin-prickly carbonation, but still smooth. Medium body.

D- Outstanding flavor complexities merit a second glass, but I think the alcohol would put a stop to the enjoyment after that.

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

I purchased this growler at Cobbblestones in York. Poured chilled into a Guinness tulip.

A - a beautiful garnet color with very good clarity and foamy light tan head .

S - Buttloads of citrus w/ a high amount of grapefruity goodness and a subtle caramel malt sweetness in the nose

M - For an agressively hopped beer there is a nice amount of creamy and sweet texture from the malt.

T - A nice sweet orange rind sour and bitter hop flavor up front that relaxes slowly into a spicy and grapefruit-like flavor. The light caramel and a lovely floral hop layered beneath the citrus and subtle rye edge is splendid

D - The drinkability of this beer is extremely good. I drank several pints from the growler in one sitting. I consider the combination of flavors delightful but the abv is the only thing that keeps it from a '5'

Photo of Gyle41386
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle purchased at Total Wine in Columbia, SC.

Pours a deep reddish brown, good head with nice lacing. In your face hop aroma with some spice. Piney hop taste hits the tongue from the initial sip. The rye is quite noticeable as opposed to the usual citrus notes in an IPA. Good bitterness, not nearly as hoppy as I expected, with a nice spicy dry finish. Smooth, smooth, smooth. Very unique and complex.

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

Split between Wisemen Nick and Peter.

Appearance: Pours a very dark, earthy amber with thin, sticky, off-white head. Light carbonation can be seen when held to light. Nice lacing. Very unique looking. N: 4.5; P: 4.0

Smell: Caramel apples, pine, berry pie filling, spices, lemon zest, and some (somewhat faint) oily hops in the finish. A great smell! Very complex with a good amount of sweetness. N: 5.0; P: 4.0

Taste: Not nearly as hoppy as anticipated, and we are not complaining. Starts with pine, earth and caramel malt, and finishes very spicy: black pepper, cinnamon, we're guessing that's rye? Some red currant sweetness toward the end. Finishes dry and pungent. Once again, very unique. N: 4.0; P: 4.0

Mouthfeel: Nicely carbonated - very smooth. Medium in body and somewhat sticky. Good mouth coating with a dry, spicy finish. Too spicy for Pete. N: 4.5; P: 3.5

Drinkability: A very unique, fun brew. Starts out a bit hot and spicy, but gets much smoother as you drink it. Nick really liked this one. Pete liked it as well, but thought it was a bit too spicy to drink a lot of. A one-of-a-kind brew and a definite must try. N: 4.5; P: 4.0

Wiseman Nick: A (4.40)
Wiseman Pete: B+ (3.95)*

*Normally we average these reviews, but sorry Pete, I like this beer too much. Plus, I bought it... and it's my birthday. My score wins.

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

Aww this was a great beer. Amber red in color with little haze. Nice frothy head, sticky lace etc. Loved the smell, sweet, rye/honey wheat smells with some citrus tones. Tasted even better. Tasts like a brewery smells if that makes sense. You can really taste the grain/yeasty smells but its still got the traditional citrusy tastes. more blanced then most west coast IPA's fairly wet feeling hops. Great finish that lingers with some great refreshing hop love! :)

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

A - Poured into a pint glass with a 1.5 finger head. Deep rich amber hue.

S - Bitter, and sweet malt to back it up, Touches of alcohol/

T - Very smooth malt profile, (first time with a rye) Sweet with a taste of whole grain bread. Followed up by an assertive hop flavor. Very pleasing

M - Lighter then it seems. Buttery at first then you can feel the hops come plowing through.

O - Very good, Very pleasing. Good take on an alternative IPA. Savory finish.

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

Poured from a tap in the Map Room in Chicago.
Good looking auburn brew with a nice head. The smell is typical IPA, but that doesn't carry over to the taste. The rye really shows itself in the taste, especially the latter portions. I like that this has a ton of hoppiness but you remember the other notes as well. Been drinking a lot of hop bomb beers lately and this was a nice change of pace on the hoppy them. Really interesting twist on an IPA, I would definetly like to have this again. Wouldn't hesitate to pick it up if I saw it at a store.

Photo of mrandolph
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This pint was pulled during a Bear Republic Tasting in NYC. The first surprise was how different the draft felt, more bitter and more carbonated. The aroma starts with the malt and some low levels of hops. The appearance is a lovely auburn, where red turns to brown. There was no head but a great deal of good carbonation, which felt like a plus. The flavor starts with a malt with rye spiciness floating through. Next is a bitterness with some rye left over. It finishes bitter with a sweet aftertaste. The bitterness is not citrusy as the usual IPA style and borders on astringent. The mouthfeel is medium with a lot of carbonation which cuts the overall body down a bit. Overall it is a good beer that I'm glad to have had on tap but enjoy more in the bottle at a warmer temperature.

Photo of hoppheadIPA
3.22/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had to see what the hype was all about. Pours into the glass a dark orangy red color with a beautiful 1" fluffy head that laces the glass brilliantly. Smells hoppy and fresh witha a bit of malt. Taste let me down, ALOT. Something wasn't right at all. Maybe I got a bad one or something. The hops was right up front with the rye but there was a bit of a funkiness with it. Maybe I'll get another and see. Drinkability was low due to the taste. This doesn't compare to other IPA's at all. Sorry for the bad review, but it didn't do much for me.

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,431 ratings.