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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,168 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,168
Reviews: 2,028
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 206
Gots: 193 | FT: 4
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hop Rod Rye Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,168 | Reviews: 2,028 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dedrinker


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

Very dark amber color - almost brown. Thin off-white head is creamy and attractive, but heads for the door quickly. Aroma of whole leaf hops, juicy dark malts. Dry bitter hop flavor marries well with fruity/ caramel malt taste. Rye is present in vague fruity/ spiciness. Medium body, though fresher versions have been stickier and fuller. Hop bitters on the finish with a little cracker dryness.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 05:21:27 | More by dedrinker
Photo of watchnerd


4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Om yom yom, this is a delicious beer. Almost an IPA, yet not, the normal west coast IPA hops being balanced out by an intriguing creaminess on the finish. Is it because of the rye? Special malts?Or secret Bear Republic elves? Dunno, but this brew is good, and unique. The only downside is that, like the Stone Ruination, the taste experience is intense enough that you need to give your palate a rest afterwards. And the drinkability takes a hit due to the high-ish ABV.

Bear Republic might be one of the most under-rated breweries with the widest range of good beers: Racer 5, Racer X, and Black Bear are all good to amazing beers. Now I can add Hop Rod Rye to the list of greats.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2008 05:53:43 | More by watchnerd
Photo of Scoobydank


3.3/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Once again, thanks to my boy Franksandbeans for this puppy
L:Thick frothy 3 finger off white head. Sentiment everywhere on this one. Tiny little bubble continue floating up the sides of the glass forever. The color itself is a dark ruby red.
S: I had to take a few sniffs of this and struggled with each smell. What I did pick up was fairly clean hops with a slight roasty chocolate?
T: I tried this beer both warm and cold. What I found cold was very lack luster. The hops were nice and shapr on the back with a slight grainy nuttiness. Kind of seem watered down to me. once a tad warm I picked up very very light chocolate with a nice solid malty sweetness.
M:Kind of thin water like feel to me. Decent roundness
D:Good. Seems insanely light to me. I expected a lot more. Once the beer gets warm I appreciate it 100 times more.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2008 02:47:46 | More by Scoobydank
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

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

Bomber into a pint glass. From notes.

A: Wonderful deep copper color with 2 fingers of off-white head. Lacing from the top of the glass to the bottom.

S: Hops. (Citrus, pine, and an almost sap like smell)

T: Hops hit you at first then you get an almost earthy taste. Quite a bit of malt for an IPA as well

M: Different for an IPA. Almost has a creamy feel to it.

D: Kind of intense on both ends of the spectrum so I could not see myself having more than one of these. Great beer though.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 19:51:01 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

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

22oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass

Pours a beautiful dark copper with a fluffy head that never totally disappears. Aroma is Grapefruit, Pine and some sweet and caramel malt in the background. Taste hits with the citrus and pine and lingers long after each sip. There's a bit of bite from the rye somewhere in the middle. Medium body lots of lacing. Nice IPA.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 03:41:50 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of ROMER79


5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Very thick dark brown color with a thick white/reddish brown head

S: A rich wiff of hopps, caramel, and pine

T: Very hoppy with the rye flavor bursting in every sip with a hint of caramel to follow

M: Very crisp easy to gulp or sip

D: I totally agree with the fellow below. I too could drink this all the time and not get sick of it. BR did a tremendous job with this one. Hats off!!
P.S. It's on tap at the Grey Lodge in Phila, PA

Serving type: on-tap

01-26-2008 18:48:14 | More by ROMER79
Photo of Deuane


4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Dark amber brown with a thick off white head, prominent lacing.

S-A nice punch of citrus and pine. Backround scents of sweet malts. Very pungent.

T-A nice big ole' hop bomb that is supported by the dry crispness of the rye malt. This is one fine tasting brew.

M-Despite the overwhelming hop presence the malt component is fully supportive. The rye malt addition is woderful giving that extra astringency.

D-One of my favs. This is one hell of a beer. I could happily drink this one all night long. The hops and rye combo is spot on...great job BR!

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2008 13:24:35 | More by Deuane
Photo of ralree


4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep clear red with a fantastic reddish-white head. Great looking beer. Extreme lacing - sticks to the sides long after pouring.

S: Sweet tangy hops, caramel. Delicious smell.

T: Solid hop flavor backed by a touch of sweet malt. This is an extreme IPA - don't try it if you hate bitter beer. It reminds me of an Arrogant Bastard ale.

M: Medium-bodied, good carbonation, VERY astringent. The astringency is almost sickening, drying out the tongue quite a bit.

D: Drinkable, but there are more drinkable extreme IPAs. I'll recommend this to some of my friends who are more into the overpowering bitterness than I am.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2008 00:46:59 | More by ralree
Photo of mattster


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

Opened 22oz Bomber, poured into Nonic glass.

Head is a nice 1/2" tan color atop a reddish brown clear ale. Few bubbles rise in the brew. Impressive, especially since it is "unfiltered."

Smell is subtle of hops and a little piney. Taste is surprisingly more robust than aroma with earthiness of pine and slight citrus notes. Smooth on palate with very few bubbles. Piney hops sort of linger for a few. I like this bitterness, has a really nice feel to it. It is sort of an enigma a little more than most American IPAs, but a little less than the Imperials.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2008 07:45:59 | More by mattster
Photo of vickersspitfire


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

Its got a very tan, thick (three finger) fluffy/bubbly head that stays around and it has lots of thick lacing all of which covers a dark and slightly hazy reddish/brown body with some medium carbonation. It has the typical IPA aroma that smells spicy and mildly sweet; you can smell some malts and even a little alcohol. Its rolls on smooth and sweet and its very creamy and full bodied; the finish is slightly bitter but it mellows out as it gets warmer.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2008 04:23:39 | More by vickersspitfire
Photo of DrDogbeer


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

Poured into a pint glass while I watched the Pats game. Pours a nice dark amber color with a real full head that leaves tons of lacing. Some piney hops in the aroma, but not too strong. I was expecting more clean, hop bitterness, but I did not get it. Rather smooth, sweet and malty. NOt like a imperial IPA which I was expecting. Great full flavor, though, a nice beer to relax with.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2008 20:00:25 | More by DrDogbeer
Photo of younger35


4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a bomber of this brew on my resent trip to Chicago. This will be my first taste of Bear Republic beer and I’m glad its this one. Drank from my snifter while watching the Chargers vs. Patriots.

Appearance- Pours a murky reddish orange with breaking hues of yellow where the light is allowed to pass. Loads of yeast is floating about in my glass below a half finger super white head. The frothy top recedes fairly quickly leaving a lily pad like head, thin collar and a good amount of lacing.
Smell- Raw and piney with enough earthy hops to really dominate the nose. Maybe a bit of floral lilac and grapefruit citrus but for the most part its pine and grass. Some brown sugar sweetness and some spicy bits of rye come through as well. Big bold hoppy nose!
Taste- The hop aroma seems to permeate my entire mouth with this rich floral lilac flavor that is extremely unique and extremely good. Loads of caramel malt adds a bit of “balance” to this brew but let’s face it, the hops rule. Hop flavors reminiscent of oranges, grapefruit and even some lemon zest are present as well. The rye is another great addition to the beer that adds a bit of spiciness along with the abundance of yeast. Finishes with a lingering bitter floral aftertaste with a small amount of rye nuttiness.
Mouthfeel- Medium body with a slick oiliness and a spicy, tingly feel on the tongue. Sharp, aggressive carbonation.
Drinkability- This is an absolutely wonderful beer. The hop profile in this brew is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. It’s perfectly to that point (for me anyway) of hoppiness where it’s not overpowering but assertive and tasty. This is the 2nd brew with rye in it I’ve had in a week or so and something about the addition of it just takes a beer to a whole other level. Great beer that I wish I had access to.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2008 22:11:54 | More by younger35
Photo of LittleBreeze

New York

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


The aroma was a mix of pine and citrus. Relaxing smell. This one is crisp and clean. A slight bitterness balanced with a slight sweetness. A bit of a hoppy bite at the finish. This is the a refreshing beer and a nice break from the heavy sippers I usually enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2008 18:35:04 | More by LittleBreeze
Photo of Ryanbob


4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours with a big head and a nice amber color. It smells great with lots of hops coming through. It tastes malty first with sweet raisan and alcohal burn. Then the hops hit hard with fresh piney bitterness. Very pleasant. There is a bit of a bitter aftertaste with all that hoppy goodness.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2008 02:00:23 | More by Ryanbob
Photo of ryane


4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice dark brown color

S: a lot of pine and citrus coming off this one

T: Very bitter, and it stays with you, dont
get as much of the rye I was hoping for

M: good balance, not too thin or too heavy

D: Good, but a bit expensive, distinctive taste
for an IPA

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2008 05:36:27 | More by ryane
Photo of DIM


4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This beer is dark orange color with amber hilights. Pour with a big white head that dissipates quickly.

s: I got this bottle at Capone's and it is super fresh, bottled about 3 weeks ago. A huge overwhelming piny hop aroma just about knocked me over while pouring this one. Underneath that there is citrus notes to the hop. Beneath all that there is a whisper of sour grains and sugar. They could market this as cologne and charge a hell of a lot more than 6 bucks a bottle.

t: There is not a lot of complexity here, but I love this beer. The piny hop dominates here as well, though some grapefruit or lemon does peek through. There is a bit of sweetness and a hint of sour rye on the finish. As it warms the rye becomes a bit more pronounced.

m: A bit of a let down here. The carbonation is fine, but the body is a bit thin.

d: I'll certainly buy more of these. While not reflected in the score, it's worth noting that these are a relative bargain at 6 bucks a bomber.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 11:55:07 | More by DIM
Photo of wheelinshirt


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber from Capones poured into a wide tulip glass and shared with a friend.

Beautiful mahogany color with a thick creamy head that left lots of lacing but didn't retain as well as other reviewers seem to have experienced. Very well could have been due to a poorly washed glass, but who knows.

Smell was beautifully hoppy. Predominantly piney but there is a load of citrus in there as well, not to mention a little bit of rye spiciness.

Taste was very hoppy as well, but a bit reversed. Seemed more citrusy than piney, but it had a nice malt backbone to balance it out. Couldn't really make out much rye in there, i don't think i am really quite aware of what it adds to a beer. hmm. Anyway, tastes great.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin and oily, but not so bad that it truly detracts much from an otherwise amazing beer. For such a strong hoppy beer this is very drinkable. Definately recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2008 05:09:46 | More by wheelinshirt
Photo of korndog


4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone Flute with a nice tan head. Gorgeous clear cherry/mahogany with a fairly long lasting blanket of foam. Lacing stayed high on the glass throughout the tasting. Nose hits you long before you pour, and is all the pine and citrusy goodness you would expect. Now prepared for the taste that I have come to love. Immediate blast of Tomahawk/Columbus hops with a nicely balanced maltiness and the harsh reality of a rye finish. This beer is so damn good. It's my current favorite AIPA, and it's always available where I live. I like to take some time between pours of this beer, since it does get in your face a bit. A bomber once a week is good enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2008 23:50:18 | More by korndog
Photo of biggmike


4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful dark copper color with attractive white pillowy head that it retained until the end. Nice hoppy aroma that is both piney and smells of grapefruit rind. This stuff just begs to be drank. Taste is very hoppy with a nice malty balance to it. Lacing on glass is excellent, as is the mouthfeel. This stuff is excellent. I will buy again at every opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2008 22:39:55 | More by biggmike
Photo of Monsone


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

Reviewed from notes

A - Pours a cloudy amber hue with a thick head and decent lacing on the glass

S - Scents of hop oil, pine and citrus, slightly spicey with some caramel malt

T- Nice caramel malt with a big hops punch. The Rye is there in the background

M - Medium body with good carbo

D - Pretty drinkable, but high ABV

Pretty good beer. Although not so good that it clearly stands out. I would buy this again, but maybe only if there isn't something new to try.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2008 20:42:39 | More by Monsone
Photo of jpweisel

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this beer during a recent trip to California. It was hoppy but not overwhelming. It poured a deep copper color w/ a nice head and a wonderful aroma. I tried a few beers that night and this was my favorite.
I am now searching for this beer on the East Coast. I highly recommend this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2007 02:35:52 | More by jpweisel
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear dark amber brown with a sizeable dark crème head. Nose is strong with hops of course. But it is not so much that it is overdone. I say it is well balanced and even. Flavor is rich and smooth. Heavy hop influence with a touch of sweet and basically no alcohol seems to be present. Smooth and even are the key words here. Feel is great. Good carbonation and a thick level of ingredients. Very drinkable. Worth trying and trying again.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 22:19:28 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of deepsouth


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

i'm drinking this bomber tonight compliments of Vancer who was my first BA trade. BIG thanks to Vancer.

i'm drinking this tonight out of a new sam adams glass.

the beer poured a ruby red with a hint of cherry. i pour pretty hard, and i got about an inch or better of creamy head that stuck around for a couple minutes, leaving some rather nice lacing on the glass.

HUGE hoppy smell, pine, a hint of citrus. big on the hops, as the name would suggest. a very robust smell, but the smell seemed to fade very quickly. once the head was gone, the HUGE robust hops smell was gone. if it had stuck around longer i could have rated this a half a point higher.

the taste is again hops, pine, very bitter, but finishes surprisingly clean. it leaves the mouth a little dry, but that just makes me want another sip, which at 8% can get pretty hairy pretty quickly. i'm also picking up a good citrusy sweet taste that i think balances out the tartness quite nicely. i'm not a huge fan of ipa's, but this one tastes good.

this beer feels real good and thick in the mouth. very carbonated i mentioned dry earlier, but i don't sense the dryness in this category. superb here.

ok, i originally put down (before i finished the review, in my notes) a 3.5 for drinkability, but upon further ponderance (i will commonly make up words, hopefully they make sense) it is a helluva drinkable ipa. (i'd also like to add here that the new firefox things helluva is a real word and doesn't tell me i misspelled something)

so... this one pretty easy to drink. i'm comparing it to masala mama, which i just had a couple days ago. this is a damn drinkable ipa.

thanks again Vancer!

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2007 01:04:31 | More by deepsouth
Photo of illidurit


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

Poured into my Ruination pint glass. Dark amber with ruby hues and a dense light tan head of 3 fingers. Lacing and retention are very good.

The aroma is intensely hoppy, with pine and grapefruit exuding from the glass. Caramel/toffee malt notes are barely detectable behind the hop barrage.

Taste is initially sweet as the malt hits the tongue, but it's sharply interrupted by a strong bitter hoppiness that lasts forever on the palate. With warmth one can perceive the spiciness of the rye.

Mouthfeel is oily from the hops but the bitterness dries it out a little. Medium bodied, almost more into double IPA territory, and adequate carbonation.

High abv for a single IPA makes this less drinkable than one would expect for the style. The huge bitterness also might turn some people away, but the sweet-to-bitter dynamic kept me coming back for another sip without fail.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2007 23:43:11 | More by illidurit
Photo of letsgopens


4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This IPA pours very woody ruby brown with gorgeous ruby highlights. The off-white head holds pretty well with just a bit of spotty lace. After the head recedes it can be rejuvenated with a quick swish or by freshening up your glass from the bottle. Phenomenal looking with that luscious woody visible texture that often implies deep sprucy, bitter, hops.

Huge, sharp, piny, hops. Spruce; sticky and resinous in the nose. Talk about anticipation. Some nice caramel malt and bitter citrus. Bright and semi-sweet with some distinct breadiness and light toffee. Pungent and mouthwatering. I don't think it gets much better than this. Everything I look for in an IPA and more. Unique, complex, and wildly aromatic.

Heavy, floral and bitter on the tongue. Hops, hops, and more sprucy, piny, resinous hops. The well pronounced caramel malt provides a slightly sweet and substantial canvas for the hops. Ok, more about the hops; spicy and herbal with lots of citrus tied in as well. Citrus contributes in a big way. Orange and bitter grapefruit pith. Cracked black pepper and coriander. Interesting spicy rye focuses in the middle. Juicy and slick in flavor and texture and not dry. I'm actually going to tie the flavor in with mouthfeel as far as the review is concerned because of how well they compliment each other.

The hops linger so well throughout the finish and beyond that they dominate the texture of the brew. The fact that these huge, boisterous flavors can be balanced so well is a large testament to this beers craftsmanship. Lingering floral hops come through with a clean slick finish. One of the all time best beers I've ever had. An absolute treat to consume and to evaluate. A masterpiece of malty, hoppy deliciousness.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2007 23:10:00 | More by letsgopens
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,168 ratings.