Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

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4,406 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,406
Reviews: 2,040
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 234
Gots: 239 | 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: 4,406 | Reviews: 2,040 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gmann
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown color with a slight reddish hue, average tan head that settled into a sparse cap. The aroma is of a toasted malt, light rye spiciness, and a citrus hop. The aroma is nice but not very strong. The flavor is big and bold. A nice citrus hop slap to the face. The hops play nicely with the rye malt, gives the brew a nice and spicy flavor. A nice toasted malt helps support the spicy and bitter flavors. The brew is well bodied with a chewy malt, prickly carbonation gives it some crispness and helps cut the bitter finish. A nice and tastey rye AIPA, good malt presence.


On the second pour from the bomber, the head was nice and chunky and left some good lacing on the side of the glass. Probably a 4.5 for appearance on the second pour and a 3.5 on the first, so I will average it out with a 4.

Photo of blackjack000
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into pint.

Appearance: Frothy, light caramel color head with pretty dimples. Soft glow of a honey body.

Smell: Heavy citrus, some grass clippings, fresh wood. Little sniff of brown sugar far off.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Grapefruit does a flying kick onto my tongue. Grapefruit all the way. I taste it from the beginning all the way to the finish. Strong bitterness after the initial citrus blast. Still far off is a little brown sugar sweetness. Smooth mouthfeel works well with the hoppiness. However, I feel the taste is a little unbalanced. The citrus and bitter work alongside like champs, but not much is bringing up the other end. Oh well. Still impressive for hammering down on the twang end of the spectrum.

Drinkability: Great drink, but fatigues my taste buds with such a full-on attack on a select part of my palate.

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

pours very dark opaque amber,.. almost brown with 3 fingers of fluffy french vanilla white.
smells of grin, hops and,.. rye.
taste is smooth in the front, hops are there, then the alcohol for a second before the rye overtone sets in. the finish is a little dry with some rye notes. very different, ipa,..with rye.
gonna take a bit for this sucker to settle in.
mouthfeel is great, smooth and not over carbonated.
drinkability is good as well, but at 8% more than one of these could get dirty, but sometimes dirty is good, most of the time dirty is good.
this beer is dirty.


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

I was lucky enough to find a bottle of this at a local store. The beer pours a dark amber, almost brown color with an inch of robust foam over it. The head was sticky, it stuck to the glass and stuck around throughout. Big hoppy aroma with floral, pine, citrus, and a little spice to round things out. As it warmed the 18% rye became more noticeable in the nose. I could sniff this stuff all night. Medium body and smooth as it coats the palate with hops all over the place. Pine, lemon, orange, floral, and bitter hops assault the taste buds into submission. But there is balance. Solid toasted malt provides the rail for this hop-dump to ride in on. And ride it does, like the green flamed road racer on the bottle. Hop Rod exits dry, but leaves a tingly sensation reminding you of the pleasure you have just experienced. This is a great beer. I love the surfeit of hops, the balance provided by the malt and the way it all goes together. And as I drain the glass, the vestiges of foam cling to its sides, slowly succumbing to gravity, as if weeping that it is all gone.

Photo of hopdog
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. I've had this one a few times and will stick with my original notes...

Poured a medium mahagony color wtih an averaged sized, off white head. You can taste and smell the Rye in this one! Citrus as well. Lightly bitter. Very good.

Notes from 11/30/04

Photo of lynx1245
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: I wasn't really expecting this. Very nice dark brown that is completely clear with zero visible carbonation. White head recedes quickly into a small ring which dissipates itself very soon after.

Smell: Sweet and malty. Definitely can smell the rye in there. It's like a sandwich on rye with a side of oranges.

Taste: Pleasantly surprised. I haven't tried too many rye beers, but this one is great. Excellent balance between spiciness of the rye and sweet malts and citrusy hops. I love the perfect amount of hop bitterness to finish it off.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy but where is the carbonation? Medium body. Could finish a little dryer.

Drinkability: This one is still very drinkable at 8% ABV. The taste really puts it over the top and I'm getting a really good alcohol warming sensation. Will definitely try this one again.

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

Bomber into AB tulip...

A: Deep dark ruby amber. Great head despite soft pour. Quick dissapation. Decent lace.

S: Dark and fruity. (just malt, but not bad.

T: Well done! I've tried other rye beers, and never had more than a few sips before drain pour. This one is perfect due to the hop profile backing up that rye.

M: Thick, but a nice kind of thick(if that makes sense?). It's far too complex for me to describe (there I said it!).

D: High. The 8% is a little high octane. I hope they decide to 12oz this bad boy. If your into IPA's you gotta give this one a shot!

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass:

P: Pours oak brown from the bottle, and sits in the glass boasting a gorgeous deep reddish-brown colored liquid. The off-white head that it forms is simply marvelous. It's so thick and rocky like a puffy white cumulous cloud in the heavens, and the head retention is absolutely phenomenal. Even when it finally does settle down a bit, it still forms a thick cap on top to remind you of its greatness. Not to mention that it leaves what looks like the definition of lacing on the glass. Amazing!

A: Aromatics consist of grapefruit and orange hops with a piney kick, too. Also some freshly baked bread from the toasted malts.

T: Oh, baby! This is a hop-head's delight. Resinous pine leads the way, followed by citrusy kick that features grapefruits and oranges. The malt backbone tries to provides balance, but fails miserably...in a good way. Caramel is tucked away in the background to provide a little variation in flavor. Finishes very smooth and dry, while a substantial spicy rye taste joins the fold for a nice kick on the way out. Just how I like it!

M: I would classify the mouthfeel of Hop Rod Rye as being a notch above medium-bodied, smooth, and one of the stickiest beers out there.

D: Sounds good to me! I wouldn't mind having a couple more 22's of this delicious brew.

Notes: Hop Rod Rye is fantastic! I just can't figure out why it's not listed as a DIPA. A "truckload of hops" and an 8% ABV should justify this, but for some reason it's an IPA. Whatever the case is, this is one that every hop head should feel guilty about if they haven't had it yet. Do yourself a favor and go pick up some Hop Rod Rye from one of my favorite breweries, Bear Republic. You won't be disappointed!

Photo of chrisafari
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: crisp hops, mostly pine put some nice citrus as well. Some malt in the background (carmel).

Pour: dark brown, looks more like a brown ale than an IPA. Seems a little too dark for an IPA, not a nice amber but a rich deep dark brown. Thin off-white head, developing some nice lacing.

Flavor: begins with nice citrus. Middle is crisp, clean, piney hops. Really, really nice. The finish is dry, with a spicy hoppiness. The malt is also subtle throughout, but there in balance, the rye seems to add a nice assertiveness to the hops.

Mouthfeel: medium body with perfect carb. for an IPA. ABV is too high, though, for a standard American IPA.

Drinkability: High to medium high. Really easy to drink, one sip begs for another.

Overall: a very good IPA and a beer that I have ignored for far too long. Really well done. The rye is great in the malt and is balanced with the Hops that American IPA's are known for. Definitely something I'll have again!

Photo of Daehpoh
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance is dark orange-amber colored with a bit of haze. Head was substantial and fluffy with a nice stickiness to it.
Smell was upfront juicy, citrus, floral hops with underlying caramel maltiness. Some tanginess in the aroma as well.
Taste was wonderful and well balanced with grapefruit and earthy hop flavors dominating. An obvious rye tang provided a great complement to the hop bitterness. Caramel malt flavor balanced the hops nicely.
Smooth feel with medium-full body and a dry finish.
Drinkability is good but limited by the impact of the considerable hops on the palate. This beer isn't overbearing, however you will have some trouble tasting lesser flavors afterward. ABV is on the high side for a standard IPA.

Photo of Chelsea1905
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Growler

Bought this out of sheer curiosity, and what a total blind shot that turned out to be a total winner!!

The beer poured suprisingly dark, and looked like a dark ale that would be overwhelmingly malty. The head was a nice off white with a brown hue, that looked nice and bubbly and left great lacing

Smelled very piney, floral and hoppy. Malt undertones in the lingering aftermath

Tasted great, absolutely not what it looked like it would taste, if that makes sense. Huge hoppy, floral explosion that is really nicely balanced with the malt aftertones.

Mouthfeel was gaseous, and bubbly but just the right amount.

Drank the growler easily, but doubt you could drink too many of them.

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

a:beautiful amber/brown. nearly crystal near. medium carbonation. beige 1/2" head with medium sized bubbles that was rather short-lived. good frothy lacing.

a: sweet and cascade laden fragrance. noticeable caramel malt. a hint of alcohol. typicalbear rep. yeast smell.

t:medium bitterness. less hop flavor than expected but what is there is very singular in presence(cascade). mid-tongue savory/spicey rye rears its head but less than i would expect from 20%. as it warms the malt profile is more obviously caramel laden with some biscuity/bready notes. the classic bear rep. yeast profile is unmistakeable and as in most of their beers, it distracts me.

m:medium body. nearly frothy combo of carbonation and mouthfeel. rye adds some creaminess. moer residual sweetness and body as it warms.

o:very drinkable for the abv. for me the house yeast profile of bear rep bears is too much. the same flavor dominates their beers(not black bear stout). the profile could also be related to their water/hop profile and interaction. this is a good beer that i would buy often.

Photo of katan
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, not dated.

A - Pours a dark amber, almost brown color. Strong head formation, which is light white in color. Head is well retained. Little lacing. While thick, not much hazing.

S - While I was gauging the appearance, the smell was already evident. A combination of grassy and earthy notes with some more floral hops flavors. Smell is rather edgy.

T - Not much of a "chord" of flavors on this beer. The flavor is dominated by a single attribute. Starts fairly light, switches to and finishes with some more sweet notes. All around a sweet ale. The aftertaste has some of that edgy rye flavors that I was looking for.

M - Has a fairly amount of thickness. The unfermentables created by the rye are noticeable. Almost oily at times. No carbonation bite.

D - Fairly easy to drink, without overwhelming me in both alcohol and flavor. Although the rye edginess does begin to wear, overall I wouldn't find this beer tiring.

An interesting beer - not sure how this fits in the American IPA category. Hard to give this beer a quality rating based on its category, but in general not bad at all.

Photo of alovesupreme
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark red almost brown in color with excellent creamy head that lasts until the end.

Piney, a little soap, and fruity.

Very hoppy, Piney, citrus, a little malt with a lingering bitterness.

Excellent mouthfeel, very creamy, so smooth that I dont even know its in my mouth until I taste the hops.

Excellent Ipa, I will have this again soon.

Photo of TheMistler
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 22oz'er, this poured a dark hazy brown, with an off-white, bubbly and foamy head. Very nice lacing. As with other aspects of this beer, the amount of retention hinged greatly on whether it was my initial pour, or the finishing pour. The amount of yeasty sediment in the final pour - despite my attempts to avoid such an onslaught - astonished me. Poor retention initially, the head stuck around seemingly forever with more sediment.

The smell just didn't seem like it should go with observed beer. A very bright citrus aroma. Hints of dark rye bread peek through.

The taste is similarly citrusy, with one of the fully developed tastes of grapefruit I've gotten from a beer. That is followed by resin-y pine bittering to finish, and it sticks around. Rye grain, with a much more pronounced bread taste after the sediment is introduced.

A creamy feel, with a bit of hop oil slipperiness. A tad light on carbonation, and what there is didn't feel prickly, contributing to the creamy feel. Hearty for a medium-bodied brew.

Very nice, very tasty (more standout sans the huge amount of sediment), but 22oz just about taps out my single-session interest in drinking it.

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

A: Came to the table with not much head but good cream-colored lacing and a deep crimson body.
S: Some rye, pine, and a bit of citrus hops.
T: Strong rye bitterness. Some of the citrus hops too at the beginning.
M: Goes down smooth and clean. The aftertaste, while bitter, doesn't linger too long.
D: Definitely a unique IPA. The only rye beers I've had before have been porters.

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

Beautiful pour - massive, 4 finger head, ever so slowly cascading down into a deep, mahogany body.

Grapefruit and piney hop aroma - so fresh, even after 3 mo's in the fridge. Twinge of spice, too, making it a unique IPA.

Juicy hops punch the tongue, with an extremely well balanced, sweet malt base to smooth it all out.

Dry, crisp mouthfeel - good bite, without being harsh.

Very drinkable for an 8% IPA. Kudos to Bear Republic for this beaut.

Photo of Goldopelgt
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Have had this one a couple of times, but never got around to rate it...so, here we go...

A- Very nice, dark mahogany brown with thick off white/light tan head...crazy lacing that seems to stick around as I'm drinking...

S- Definitely get the rye notes right off the bat, some hops, a little citrus, and some sweet maltiness too

T- Hoppy, spicy,...err...rye-y?!? Still with a little bite from the alcohol, it's nicely balanced and not to mention very tasty.

M- A little thin, but by no means bad...

D- Pretty solid beer...kinda hard to find anything bad to say about it...Try it!

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

Pours a deep mahogany brown into my Christoffell Tulip. Crazy thick 4 finger head. Probably one of the nicest heads I have seen in a long time. It stays around for a long while. As a result of the head the lacing is incredible. Its like the head just sticks to the side of the glass.

Smells citrusy pine with some spice.

Taste is magnificently complex. You taste the spicy heaviness of the rye initially then the warming alcohol finished by the bitterness of the hops.

It has the perfect body not to syrupy heavy not to light, Carbonated perfectly.

Drinkability: At $3.99 a bomber my temptation is to fill the bathtub with this stuff! I could probably drink this brew all night, At 8% abv I know I will regret it in the morning. Well at least I am off from work tomorrow so lets pour some more and enjoy!

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

Very nice aroma, mainly of citrus hops, rye bread, and fruit. The appearance was a reddish brown, off-white head. the head persisted, and there was some lacing. Very attractive. The flavor was citrus hops, sweet malts, dark fruit, raisins, and some rye seeds (not as much as I might have thought). The finish is pure citrus hops, and lingers on the palate. Medium thick mouthfeel. Very drinkable, and enjoyable. Good beer for this season (fall).

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

22oz bottle; no freshness date.

Clear dark red-brown with a thick creamy khaki head. Fluffy lace sticks to the sides of my pint glass.

Scent is spicy rye, bready grain, citrus hops.

Taste is spicy rye, grapefruit and citrus hops. Nice soft bitterness and spiciness lingers on the tongue after each sip. Fresh bread notes and a mild sweetness - perhaps the softest touch of molasses? The hop profile and the amount of bitterness are quite subtle and I wonder how fresh this beer is.

Mouth is creamy and lush.

Drinkability is very high. The 8% ABV is remarkably well hidden and this great big beer practically quaffs itself.

I love rye grain in a beer but I expected a stronger hop profile. Would like to try this one on tap.

Photo of BeerSox
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into nonic.

Deep mohagany hue with some amber highlights at the bottom of the glass. A one finger light tan head slowly settles to a pillowy cap. The head leaves behind patchy rings of lacing.

Very light aromas overall. The malts give a little bit of brown sugar with some sharp piney hops.

The malts cary a bit of toastiness, along with some lingering dark fruit. The hops carry a little bit of grapefruit. Full bodied with good carbonation. The hops linger for a bit after each sip.

A solid Rye AIPA. It's not the best I have ever had but it's up there. Certainly a good choice for anyone who likes hops. Recommended.

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

22oz bomber poured into British style pint glass.

A winner.

A: Dark red with a creamy fluffy head that stayed the course. The cloud of foam was like one of those simpsons marshmallow clouds.

S: Citrus hops and freshly cracked seeds. Sweetness from the malts is about the only thing that would make me aware this thing has some muscle. All else flows in to one great aroma.

T: Awesome balance of the caraway, rye, and citrus bitter hops. Breadiness and hop pair like no other. I found zero alcohol in here and the flavor from the caraway and malt truly remind me of a real well made pastrami.

M: Sticky sums it up well. Fairly thick texture and somewhat bitter.

D: This is the single most easy to drink beer above 5% that Ive ever had the pleasure of drinking. I could drink it all day and night. Best rye beer to date and best from BR.

Photo of riored4v
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/23/08

Poured into a pint glass. Ruby red in color with a slight haziness. Off-white head, 1 finger thick that fades to about 1/2 and holds.

Smell is spicy and citrusy. Slight malt caramel sweetness.

Taste is mildy sweet. Nice amount of rye spiceness notes. Mild bitterness w/ hints of citrus type hops. Slight hotness to it.

Mouthfeel is sticky, oily and well carbonated. medium body.

Drinkability is good although a little on the hot side to be sessionable.

This was my first rye beer and noticed the rye lends and interesting spicy note. I wasn't let down though as it was a fantastic beer.

Photo of abrand
4.93/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW this beer is amazing. Poured into pint glass from bomber

Poured very hazy and orange. Aromas were amazing. Very hoppy with a lot of bready characteristics. Taste was excellent from start to finish. The hops are out of control with this brew. After taste was excellent and lacing along the glass throughout. With 8% I personally couldn't handle more than 1 of these in a session but could make this my go-to beer.

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,406 ratings.