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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 Wackyfoot
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge flavor of hops and rye which pours red-brown and overpowers you (but in a good way) with both hops and the rye flavoring. A very interesting twist on one of my favorite styles, the rye is quite prominent and makes for an even more bitter finish than usual, but in this case at least that's a very good thing.

Photo of froghop
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a semi-clear, dark copper with a large creamy beige head that sticks around, and very good lacing.

smell of light grapefruit, caramel, and citrus.

taste is a tad on the watery side, caramel, loads of hops, some malt, and citrus, end is very bitter.

Photo of WakeandBake
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bottle. Pours a deep amber,almost ruby,one finger of light tan foamy head,loads of sticky lacing left in the glass.Big hop aroma with floral, pine, citrus, and a little spice to round things out. As it warmed the rye became more noticeable.Medium body,smooth mouthfeel. Pine, lemon, orange, floral, and bitter hop flavor,with a dry grain,and toast backbone. Crisp dry slightly fruity finish.Very drinkable.Very Good

Photo of philbe311
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I needed a break from the parade of holiday brews that I've been sampling...

A - Big chunky slightly off-white head atop this bronzed colored beauty... Good carbonation... Deep, murky, and menacing... Looks quite complex... Lots of hop sediment throughout... Extremely dark for an IPA, I'm assuming a result of the 18% rye component... Real inviting lacing... Coats glass will with circles sip after sip...

S - Mild citrus hops... Grapefruit... Grain (rye)... Caramel... Malt... Melon... Earthy... Nice aroma and I've very happy it's not overpowering like many IPAs...

T - Sweet hops... Lime... Grapefruit... A slight maltiness... Nice complexity as all flavors are blended well together...

M - Lush creamy body... Evenly balanced... Fills mouth fully... A slight smokiness is noticeable during the aftertaste... Steady consistent flavor and feel...

D - This a delightfully craft IPA... A wonderful interruption of the style... The rye is a great variation on the style... This is one fine brew...

Photo of hustlesworth
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- very red for an IPA, but perhaps normal for a RYEPA, hazy with bits of sediment at the bottom. murky ruby in color with reddish orange and persimmon highlights. fantastic looking beige head as well, thick like a raw biscuit and very dense. excellent retention and top notch chunky lace.

S- fragrant grapefruit and pine stand out. cascade? centennial? amarillo? idk but it smells great. fresh and tropical, notes of pineapple and passion fruit come out as well. toasty caramel, almost chocolatey (more like cocoa acidity from the rye) back up the hops achieving quite an impressive aromatic balance. a whiff of alcohol and rye spiciness as well.

T- gotta love that rye flavor. it's no wonder they boast such a high rye bill considering it is a dominant flavor with a spicy earthy flavor and a bitterness separate from the hops. fresh hop flavor of burnt grapefruit, orange, and pine lasts from start to finish and the toasty caramel malt in combination with alcohol and all the rye characteristics create a mild cocoa flavor that is very raw and grainy. woodsy, tobacco, and mushroom, finish is full of fresh grain and hop flavor and a touch of caramel sweetness. would be #1 killa with some spicy food.

MF- resinous and slightly oily with definite juicy qualities about it. somewhat boozy feeling with a tannin dryness. almost low carbonation gives me a strong-beer-pub type feeling as opposed to the session-beer-pub type feeling that i often get from quality english ales. lingering coating bitterness like some herbal medicine.

D- such a flavorful brew deserves to be savored but this bomber is disappearing fast.

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

This is sugar plum fairy beer.

Pours a large beige head that refuses to leave and throws lace all over the glass. Ruby/dark amber colored.

Maybe it's the holiday season but HRR smells like sugar plum fairies. Sweet pear malt and fresh floral hops create a very pungeant and inviting aroma.

Tastes sweet and sugary like sugar plum fairies. The fruity, sweet pear malt from the aroma is there as is some toasted caramel. Very malty but very hoppy also. Mainly fruit and floral hops. There's a faint granny smith apple drying aftertaste which seems to be the only indication of a 8% abv. Mouthfeel so good it makes you feel like you're floating.

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

Pours a delightful bronze colour with a beige, dense head with topographic contours appearing across the top but otherwise fine, fine retention. Gorgeous bead running in reverse cascades up the beer and especially around the edge of the glass. Slightly thin lacing and slightly translucent. Overall, damn goddamn arse fine-looking bastard of a beer.

Nose - oh, that is so the shit for which I'm looking. Delicious pungent smell of hops with a deliciously sweet character of candied orange. But mostly I'm sticking around for those delicious hops. It's beautiful, aromatic and delicious and makes me want to dance with sugarplums. Not complex, but pungent and sublime.

Palate has intense hops all the way through, but it's a very well-balanced feel with no mouth-puckering bitterness until the very end of the palate, by which time it's just a subtle lingering but intensely hoppy finish. Has bold, malty characters adjacent to the bitterness which makes it full-bodied and tasty and just very enjoyable. Alcohol is mostly hidden but I sense a slight vodka-like hint at the back. Mouthfeel is smooth and warm and fuzzy.

Only the Americans could brew a beer this adventurous and yet succeed so comprehensively.

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

First taste of Bear Republic and was not disappointed. Full flavored IPA, dark red, gorgeous head that would not go away. The rye to me "cuts" the hop bitterness without reducing the great aroma and finish. Can't recommend this bear highly enough to hop heads looking for something that will satisfy!

Photo of hoplover82
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is such an intreguing beer.

This beer pours a very frothy creamy off white head that stays forever and leaves great lacing.

Aroma of hops of coarse... real earthy and a little piney ... and something I can't put my finger on... the rye! A little alcohol and something else. I guess it's the rye.

It looks like a hazy redish brown liquid heaven in a glass. Not to style very much but still, very appealing.

Tastes like it smells. The rye realy comes through with light spicy characteristics. The taste keeps getting better as it warms unlike the aroma.

And it is smooth on the palate.. very refreshing. And the rye is so unique.

I love it and will probably buy some more. My first from bear republic. The Lord bless the hop harvest!

Photo of cvstrickland
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off, I'd like to say that in no way, shape, or form should this beer be characterized as an American IPA. It's way more than that; it's a rye bomb-- a scratchy, peppery good one at that-- and should be king of that dullard catchall category so imaginatively named "Rye Beers". That said, the 22-ounce bomber bottle poured into a large tulip glass yields a hazed crimson-tinted amber body capped with two fingers' thickness of whipped cream-style stained ivory foam. The fine-bubbled head relaxes very slowly, deflating into a misshapen, convoluted dollop that sticks fine, semi-solid sheets of lacing onto the glass.

The smell is all hops, with loads of zesty citrus liberally sprinkled with sticky herbs. The sweet fruitiness is as if grapefruit were dusted with brown sugar and baked in a maplewood-fired oven, with a note of zippy Key lime and fragrant orange blossoms, plus a bonus whiff of evergreen.

The taste is crisp with fruity hops and a spicy flavor of peppery caramel. A generous dose of rye malt adds a tingle to the tongue and a significant zing to the drink, complementing the sturdy hop charge perfectly. Once again the idea of baked grapefruit and brown sugar pops into mind, only this time the sugar is syrupy and the grapefruit seems much more warm and savory than sharp and citrusy. The rye reasserts itself each wonderful mouthful, dominating the drink and the aftertaste in spite of continual hop-based interference. A splash of grapefruit here and a pinch of lime zest there are repeatedly snuffed by the rich rye maltiness, but like Timex, the little green guys take their lickin' and keep on tickin', coming back again and again to get themselves some more succulent rye-bomb beatdown.

The drink is full-bodied with perfect carbonation, and its hefty 8% ABV is invisible to me. Easily one of the most quaffable brews I've ever encountered.

4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep copper color with two fingers of off-white head that leaves nice lacing. A good amount of sediment made its way into my glass despite careful pouring.

S: Sweet maltiness with aromatic hops.

T: Floral hops combine with sweet malty rye flavors to produce a nice balance of flavors.

M: Medium mouthfeel. Leaves a pleasant syrupy flavor on the palate.

D: A bit heavy for continued drinking, but a nice finish to a series of lighter brews.

Photo of dakid618
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of 22 oz bottle into pint glass, pours a deep, dark red color with 1 1/2 fingers of tan head. Thick lacing on sides of glass. Smells of hops with first smell, second smell mostly malt. Taste is awesome! So much hop flavor, possibly the hoppiest IPA I've had yet( and IPA's are my favorite). Mouthfeel is dry and light making me want another drink as soon as I set the glass down. Very drinkable beer but not as drinkable as other IPA's earning it a solid 4. Will probably drink this fairly often and might cellar a bottle or two to see how it ages. Overall a fantastic beer

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

22oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Deep ruby color with a tall, sticky, light tan head that falls to one finger in height. Perfect lacing down the glass.

S - Caramel, doughy malt, grapefruit, pineapple.

T - Initially sweet, but caramel malts give way to assertive hop flavor and bitterness. The spicy flavor of rye makes a late appearance and lingers into a rather short-lived, dry finish. Well balanced between the spicy rye, sweet malt, and citrusy hops.

M - Coarse and aggressive.

D - Very good. Definitely a beer I'll buy again.

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

Pours a nice translucent chestnut color with a thick pillowy head that receedes nice and slow like with long lasting, sticky lacing. Smells floral and hoppy with slight sweet tones. The taste is a big hoppy, pleasantly bitter and floral flavor and light spicy notes on the finish. Medium bodied with a mouthfeel that is bright and lively with crisp carbonation.

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

Shared this with the family during dinner tonight - my father-in-law loves the bottle. No discernible date on this bad boy - wish all makers of IPAs would give freshness dates.

A - Golden amber color, largely opaque, with generous creamy head that dissipates quickly to a complex lace that lines the sides of the glass.

S - Hops, sweet malt, rye whiskey - I think this is an older bottle because I remember the hops being stronger. The age actually balances this one out quite nicely. There's a nice array of bitterness, sweetness, and sharpness to the smell.

T - Fruity and malty, the hop bitterness only really makes an appearance in the aftertaste. I get lemon most of all out of the citrus notes. Not tasting that much rye - there's just the slightest hint of whiskey and wood at the top of the palate. Not at all boozy - wish this had a little more depth to it.

M - Good density, not overly carbonated, smooth and creamy. Leaves a resinous feeling afterward.

D - Might be a little too sweet for me to have all the time, but it's easy to down a bomber.

Very solid, and the rye and bottle label make it stand out from what is otherwise a very crowded genre (American IPAs).

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

This was my first Bear Republic brew. I loved the humorous copy about the sediment on the label. $4.99 at Binny's - great value.

A: Almost a very dark brown haziness on top that becomes a clearer dark amber at the bottom of the glass. Deep and interesting looking. Without vigorous pouring, it delivered a nice slightly off-white head that started clinging to the glass immediately. Awesome lacing throughout and a nice ring and thin head stayed the course.

S: Really big hops. Initially, it was a grassy, earthy hop but as it warmed, I got more of the grapefruit profile. There was also some caramel syrupy sweetness underlying the hops but it was not the dominant force. I think I could detect rye but the hops are so dominant that it was hard to pin-point it.

T: Good hearty taste. Pretty much as the smell. Generally, feels quite complex and deliberately hop focused. Rye ads a nice dry crispness and slight spicy bitterness to the palette along with the hop bite. Aftertaste is nice sour hop. As it warmed up, the combination of the caramel malt and the big hops was quite lovely.

M: Smooth, medium body mouthfeel with medium/low carbonation. As it warmed up, it was nice and round and thoroughly fulfilling.

D: Very drinkable. Downed it in record time. 8% ABV is hardly noticeable and therefore dangerous. Thoroughly enjoyed this. I think that this is one of my new go-to hop fixes. I love what the rye ads to the mix.

Don't know about style categorization but this has to be bordering on the DIPA. Higher ABV and a pretty deliberately aggressive hop.

Photo of yesyouam
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Long-time drinker, first-time rater! Hop Rod Rye is a deep, clear and solid ale, carmine in color and topped with creamy beige head that slowly diminishes over a long time and leaves some alto-cumulus lacing. The aroma? Fresh hops! Pine and fruit! Wood and oranges! Fresh citrus sweetness! It is extremely smooth and pillowy on the tongue, medium to full bodied and has a chalkiness in the after-feel from the hops. Rye is detected in the malt. It has a deep flavor that lays the foundation for the hops that bounce between orange peel and juniper. It's quite bitter, to the point that it's almost top-heavy. An all-time ale! Bravo!
(rated Jun 17, 2007)

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

Bottle poured into glass

Appearance Beer is a brown color that is neither to clear nor cloudy kind of in between. Head is a light brown tan color. Very good head with good retention. This beer leaves a huge amount of lacing.

Smell Citrus, pine, sweet malt, very earthy and nice.

Taste Spicy up front finishes a little bitter. Sweetness is also present. A nice strong ale you can really taste the hops. I am not sure I really notice the Rye in this beer but maybe others would.

Mouthful Light on the carbonation. Strong.

Drinkability A 22 oz bottle is plenty of this stuff. I am feeling it after a couple of swallows.

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

A - This beer poured a reddish brown color, darker than expected but still nice looking, that produced a creamy white head that retained well and laced the glass nicely

S - The aroma was nicely complex, spicy rye and pine

T - The taste of this beer was nicely created, the spiciness of the rye shined but did not dominate, floral and pine tastes that ended with a nice hoppy bitterness

M - The mouth on this beer was great, medium body with moderate amount of carbonation, very smooth

D - This beer, to me, breaks the mold of IPAs with the addition of the rye, it still has all the qualities of a great IPA, but the rye really mixed well

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

Though the score does not reflect is, this may be possibly one of the best beers I've tried. Pour is dark brown, like iced tea. Aroma is similar to an IPA, with obvious rye odor. Flavor is like an Imperial IPA; very hoppy and bitter from the rye. Clean, crisp finish. Incredible beer

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

Surprisingly dark, hazy mahogany/bronze in color with a huge, tenacious head tan in color which leaves lots of lacing.

Intense hop assault on the nose. Sometimes hops are intense yet delicate and nectar-like in the citrus and pine...this one reminds me some of the citrus and pine cleaners. (in a good way) Later on as the beer warms I think I can detect some bready malts.

Lots of hops in the mouth as well, but better balanced out by the malt/rye load. I was wondering if I could notice anything from the 18% rye. I can detect a hearty spicyness that's unique to this brew, especially as it warms up. That must be the rye, or so I've been led to think. Very full citric and bitter flavors, bready, but not very sweet malts.

Chewy, thick mouthfeel. Lively carbonation, and long-lasting flavors and bitterness remind you of the Hop Rod long after you've swallowed it. Definitely keeps up with the flavors.

Overall, a very impressive and unique beer. I'd like to taste more rye beers to see if they have the same impact as it seems it does on this beer. Definitely in the DIPA class, in my estimation. Also, very affordable and relatively easy to find here in Portland, which definitely add to its drinkability in my book.

Photo of daythree16
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a surprising dark brown. Clear for the most part. There are tinges of orange around the edges. 1.5 finger fluffy head that doesn't want to go away.

Smell is citrus right off the bat with a bit of breadiness in there as well.

Nothing would have prepared me for the taste. Definitely the maltiest IPA I've ever had. Big bready flavors dominate the taste up front. However, when the beer hits the back of the tongue, a big citrus, piney bitterness kicks in.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very astringent, making for a very dry finish. Drinkability is great. All the flavors are incredible. Everything works.

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

Reviewed on 4/11/08. Bottle. Pours an amber brown with a decent-sized thick white head that leaves pretty lacing on the glass. Aroma of pine and flowery hops. Flavor of some pine hops, grapefruit, and a nice rye, bready finish. Nice hop bitterness without annoyingly bitter aftertaste. Delish! 8/4/8/4/14

Update 7/13/08: I had this again and realized I'd underrated it my first sample. I just love that rye! 8/4/8/4/16 (4.0/5)

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

Had on-tap at the Blind Tiger in NYC.
Pours out a hazed golden amber toned glass capped by a fantastic frothy head. This white cap lingers on for several minutes, leaving lots of residual hoppy lacing, can't wait to tuck into this pint
Smells of grapefruity, piney hops, fruity essences, green papaya bitterness followed by a great balance of rye-bread aromatic warmness and sharp bite.
Taste is amazing. This is a greatly balanced beer, regardless of what the predominant grain would have been. The rye adds an interesting spicy nuttiness to the hoppy citric bite. Once again,exceptionally well balanced. Easily my favorite rye beer to date

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

A- Very dark, cloudy reddish brown color. 2 fingers of head with huge lacing and great retention.

S- Smells a bit malty. Also has a pretty big citrus hop scent.

T- Never expected this to taste as good as it does. I got some rye (of course) but it was a lot hoppier with citrus and earthy pine hops than I'd have imagined. Had an outstanding caramel malt background.

M- THICK. THICK. THICK. Left a tremendous bitter aftertaste in my mouth. Almost like drinking a milkshake. I loved it.

D- Goes down easy, alcohol not present. Delicious.

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