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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.

4,286 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,286
Reviews: 2,035
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 216
Gots: 212 | 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: 4,286 | Reviews: 2,035 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sholland119
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%

From a bomber into a pint glass.

A-Pours a rich, deep amber with a fine creamy head and nice lacing.

S- nicely balanced with lots of malt and a citrusy grapefruit nose. A good indicator of things to come.

T-Delicious and interesting all the way through. Citrus and piney hops balanced with a nice grainy rye bite all the way through. Bitter at the end but not overwhelming.

M-nice. moderate carbonation with a rather light mouthfeel. the hops don't linger on the tongue. I like that taste but don't mind that this beer does not have it.

D-dangerously drinkable. 8% ABV but does not feel that heavy.

My favorite rye IPA, from a small pool of choices but...

The rye gives a nice contrast and balance to the hoppiness. BR makes great beers and with the exception of the Racer X, this is my favorite.


sholland119, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of callmemickey
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%

A: RIch amber-brown with a long lasting tan head... lots of lacing.. good carbonation

S: Pungent grapefruit hops and hints of piney aromas as well... rich malt base.. it definitely takes on the grainy/rye character the name would suggest... complex and delicate

T: The complexity in the nose is a great indicator... the malty grain/rye comes through throughout... it is not to be outdone by the piney and citric hops which are in the beginning and the finish... well crafted balance that gives your flavor after flavor... good strong hop finish that doesn't overpower

M: Medium bodied... plays in the mouth courtesy of the carbonation and the hops... crisp. refreshing

D: This one is up there amongst the best... had no problem going for a second serving...

callmemickey, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of kkipple
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%

220z bomber. Just arrived in SC!

A gorgeous fat 3 finger head leaves lots of lacing as it perishes, settling to cover a rich bourbon-amber brew with a few centimeters of dense, thick foam.

The glass explodes with big wet hop aroma. Lots of pine and bitter citrus invite you to taste the sharp, malty brew beneath. Unsubtle hints of booze and a little rough 'round the edges, that'd be the rye. Smells intense, 'cause it is.

Q. How do you awaken a hophead who is passed out?

A. Wave a goblet of Hop Rod Rye under their nose.

The huge hop flavor carries on into your mouth on a small sip, a larger one simply coats the palate with oliy, bitter hops. Lots of American hops here - Cascade for sure, with a residual sugar-kissed bitterness that awakens the senses. Despite the hop and rye (which is quite noticeable), this is almost decently balanced with some hefty malt richness. That said, it's an extremely bitter, bracing beer.

Mouthfeel is creamy and hot, wet and boasts a sharp lingering bitterness that will make your toes curl.

Hop Rod is quite drinkable, despite the bitter factor, and is worlds better for the rye - it imbues the beer with life and character and saves it from being another ho-hum American DIPA. Hop Rod Rye has character to spare and is highly recommended. Now that it's landed, every craft beer geek in South Carolina should try this gem.

kkipple, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of Blueye80
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%

This beer poured great. It had a huge head the lasted quiet a bit
and the lacing was just as awesome. It had a very nice hoppy aroma that I couldn't wait to try. I just wish it tasted as good as it looked and smelled. It was just a tad too bitter for me. It is not a beer that I would want to have more than just one. Overall
it was a decent drink.

Blueye80, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of dadonabike
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%

App. It poured a lovely red/brown w/ a good amount of small bubbles forming a lasting light tan head. The lacing lasted all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Sml. Delicious! Rich! It has a heavy malt smell with pleasant rye/wheat bread notes. There are hints of caramel and honey, spice, and breakfast cereal in there. This mixes w/ the incredibly fragrant hop aromas. We found citrus (grapefruit), mint, and cinnamon. (My kids help with the smelling phase.)

Taste Wow! There is a lot going on in that bottle, a lot of good stuff. First I though of the sprouted grain breads that you can buy in health food stores, especially the ones with dried fruit. There is a big malt base that's followed by a rye sourness. Then the hops hit with bitter and herbs and pine. A great balance, it all works together. I don't feel that any one thing overpowers, but I like sour. The after taste stays with you, and you want more.

MF. This beer has a thickness and weight and the carbonation seems just right. The after taste is quite dry considering the malty feel.

Drinkability- Huge tastes, I will be going back for more.

This went well with our pasta and sauce. Then after with two stinky artesian goat cheeses form VT and English wheat biscuits, also paired nicely with an organic sharp cheddar from Nieghborly farm.

dadonabike, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of MMAJYK
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%

A- The color is medium to dark brown with raddish hues. Head is clingy and sticky with 1" of foam.

S- The rye sticks out a lot with nice caramel syrupy malts and very prominent hop tones. Earthy but roasty too.

T- Very roasty and a tad oaky. Hops are bittering and in your face. Alcohol lies in the back. Well balance and just awesome!

M- Medium thickness and high carbonation.

D- High drinkabilty to me but non hopheads will not find it as appealing I think. But, who cares?

Overall- This beer really impressed me. I would definitely seek it out again and hope I run across it again soon. Thanks to hurleymanvw for sharing this one with me.

MMAJYK, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of joepais
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Just got back from a beer hunt and found this little guy
Bottle poured into my pint glass produce a clear amber body toped off with a two fingers worth of white fluffy head

A nice hoppy (citrus and pine) aroma with a little bit of grains (rye)

Sweet rye malt hits you first followed by a generous hop bite, some nuttiness comes through as it warms

A nice clean mouthfeel to this one crisp and dry with some stickiness on your lips

A great IPA, a true must try in my books. The last pour had a little sediment but it was still worth it

joepais, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of bobsy
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%

Oh crap...this is sublime. Bear Republic, I will try all of your beers I can find. Bottle at Volo.

Hop Rod Rye pours a nice deep mahogany, with a fluffy white head, that laces brilliantly. The aroma makes my knees weak - northwestern hops (predominantly grapefruit), caramel and nuts. The rye comes in with a really pleasing spiciness that compliment the hops perfectly. The taste is beautiful, with roasted nuts duelling for dominance with caramel malts and big bitter citric hops. Excellent balance between sweet and bitter. Crisp, spicy bitter finish and medium body reinforce the quality of this beer.

Absolutely amazing IPA that's verging on the imperial - I could drink it all night.

bobsy, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of Hophead101
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%

Bear Republic - a favorite brewery of mine. Tasted tonite while watching Big Brother 9 - not that you care - but more for my record keeping purposes.

Poured into a chalice glass. let it sit from fridge temp for 10 minutes or so to warm up a bit.

The appearance was fantastic. A great looking beer - nice thick head, small and bubbly on the sides. A very nice almost dark burgandy brown. The head stuck around for quite some time. rather impressive.

Smell: great smell as well. hits the nose very hard. great hop aroma. fills the entire nostril. subtle hints of rye - predominantly a hop nose - some chooclate malt in there?

Taste: crisp top of the mouth hop taste. smell and hop taste seem to disconnected. but good flavor none the less. minimal rye flavor until the beer warms up - then it becomes much more pronounced.

Feel: lingering hop flavor which i thought was a bit too much. but don't get me wrong - the flavor is fantastic.

Drinkability: the lingering hops again takes a bit away from the drinkability.

all in all - this is one kick ass beer. Bear Republic does not dissapoint. I would have actually like a little bit more of a pronounced hop flavor and aroma.

Hophead101, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of DevilDogBeer
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%

Hop Rod Rye poured a slightly cloudy (bonus points for yeast!) orange color with a nice white head with small bubbles. The brew left nice lacing down the glass and the head had serious staying power. The smell was dominated by the abundance of hops in this brew. There was a subtle rye aroma in the back of the nose if you took a deep whiff in the glass. The taste was excellent. There was a distinct hop hit up front but it faded nicely and left no poor aftertaste. The rye was mostly hidden by the hops, however, a bit of a letdown since it is difficult to find a good rye. I did not let this deter me long as this beer was exceptional. The mouthfeel was robust and well rounded but did not make me fool or cringe from the high IBUs. This beer drinks well and is a great accompaniment to a strong flavored dish or as a dessert on its own! Cheers!

DevilDogBeer, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of Damian
3.45/5  rDev -18.4%

Drank on-tap at Deep Ellum, Allston, MA

Poured a gorgeous, dark, russet mahogany with a tight, frothy, two-finger head of sticky foam. Excellent retention. The head deposited thick rings of lacing all down the sides of the glass.

The aroma was hoppy yet ultra smooth. Citrusy hops, ripe fruits and a touch of sugary goodness made this beer a wonder to inhale.

The taste however did not contain anywhere near the balance or the smoothness that the nose did. "Hoppy" barely begins to describe this beer. The piney, spicy, bracingly bitter hops appeared as soon as the beer hit my lips and never let up. A touch of malty sweetness came through on the front end, with some fruitiness appearing mid-palate. As the beer made its way to the back of my palate, the slight sourness of the rye became apparent as well. The finish was outrageously hoppy, piney and bitter with the flavors further intensifying in the lingering, dry and pithy finish.

Mouthfeel was a bit thin and watery for the style with a less than average amount of carbonation.

While the 8% ABV was hardly detectable, the completely unbalanced nature of this beer made it somewhat difficult to drink.This is one brew that should be enjoyed by only the most devoted of hopheads.

Damian, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of stewart124
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%

22oz. bomber
Pours a very clear red with a thick white head that sticks down the glass and leaves a beautiful lacing.

The smells are of strong pine notes, grapefruit, and a slight bit of mint. Strong northwestern US hops for sure. There is also a slight spicy note from the 18% rye.

Taste is very strong and delicious. The spice is subtle but up-front. The spice from the rye lingers throughout the tasting. There is a maltiness and a malt sweetness but this blends perfectly with the huge hop bitterness and aroma. Really a spectacular blend of all these characteristics. And throughout it all is that spicy rye. Very clean and crisp finish that adds to the hop characteristic. Medium in body but very, very drinkable.

The aftertaste is piney and very strong but this only makes me want to drink more. Thankfully bear republic puts this into a bomber for me to take down. Really a great beer and sets the standard for rye beers.

stewart124, Mar 04, 2008
Photo of luvND
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

P-on tap at Stone while on vacation in SD...aaahhh memories

A-Dark color, beautiful white sticky head

S-wonderful hops and rye

T-wow, out of this world smooth, sweet and bitter just great

M-perfectly sticky, lingers and coats your mouth

D-a 22 oz bomber would be perfect, couldnt do much more than that at a sitting, though could have used more than the 8 oz tulip from the tap

Notes-a truly world class brew, looking forward to trying it at home from the bottle if I can get it

luvND, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of SurlyDuff
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Copper/dark brick color. Sticky head that with lacing that tenaciously hangs onto the sides of the glass.

I smell the rye! There's hops there in force too, with strong citrus and pine.

Very tasty. Notes of cannabis, grapefruity hops, and the slightest rye bread flavor. I am loving the hop profile in this one, really juicy and sappy.

Drinkability and mouthfeel are great!

SurlyDuff, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of medic25
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%

Served from a bottle, presents a burnt amber color with a huge frothy head that lingers. Great hoppy aroma, quite powerful. Taste is powerful, strong domination by hops without being overkill. A little touch of pine with a dry, clean aftertaste. Quite easy drinking, although perhaps a little strong-willed to be a pure session beer.

medic25, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of EStreet20
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%

22 ounce bomber bottle, 20 ounce nonic.

A - Beer is dark tan with a reddish tint. Huge off white head, over two fingers, fills my nonic. Head stays in full force throughtout the drink and leaves sheets of lacing on the glass.

S - Interesting and nice nose. Hop aroma kicking up on top of sugary sweetness. Some fruits in there but then a note hinting toward some spice.

T - A nice taste. Fairly unexpected after the smell as the fruity/sugary flavors fall into the backdrop. Hops prevail along with a subtle spicy kick leading to a bitter aftertaste.

M - Has a nice medium carbonation level. Lets the spice of the rye flavors come through along with the hops.

D - I can't figure all these flavors out, but I also can't stop sipping (or gulping). An interesting one of a kind brew.

EStreet20, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of saintwarrick
4.4/5  rDev +4%

Pours a nice dark crimson, bubbles trickle up from the bottom to a big, creamy IPA head, which never leaves and sticks to the glass. Hops, pine sap and caramel with some light rye notes in there, but nothing overwhelming. Big hops here, but I would say this was rather well balanced. Dark, thick flavor to this brew, like a wafer cookie with dark chocolate chunks, although not as sweet. The rye seems to lend some balance to the hoppiness and this beer comes off smoother than many big IPAs.

A great brew, though not a session brew. A definite must-try.

saintwarrick, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of BeerTaster
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

Appearance dark amber large tan head excelent lacing. Smell a touch of malt then a heavy dose of pinny hops and a touch of spice. Taste malty sweetness followed by a huge pinny hop bit with plenty of bitterness and then a touch of warming alcohol. Mouthfeel mediem body mediem carbonation. Drinkability I have bought it before I will buy it again.

BeerTaster, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of ski271
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%

22oz. bomber at Zeno's, State College, PA
Hazy, dark, slightly-ruddy brown, with a medium-sized, foamy, light tan head with excellent retention and lacing. Noticeable sediment in the bottle. First glass was a careful pour, second one let the sediment mix in... affecting the mouthfeel some but that was about it. The aroma is a great balance of roasted malted and piney and citrus hops. The taste is equally as impressive. Some lightly roasted, biscuity malts, and a big, fresh, fruity hops presence. Wonderful finish. Big and hoppy without becoming very cloying at all. It has a medium body, crisp, bitter texture, and soft carbonation. This was a real treat, one definitely worth seeking out.

ski271, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of JDV
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Dark brown pour with a good tan head in a trappist glass. Standard fruity belgian yeast smell, but more lightly than most of the style, and mixed with a dark roasty malt like smell and flavor as well. As it warms big notes of licorice come through and stay. Taste was similar to the smell and was perhaps my favorite belgian beer, and I'm not a huge fan of them. I could definitely see this growing on me, and could get this again.

JDV, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%

22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark amber with a huge poofy head of light tan head. After several minutes, I'm able to get a little more beer into the glass and it eventually settles down into a downright beautiufl creamy retention that left some awesome spirals of thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is absolutely rich with a nice blend of roasted rye malts, some caramel sweetness, citrus notes, and piney hops.

The taste is initially sweet up front with a mix of roasted rye and caramel malts but then gives way to resinous hop bitterness that sticks and lingers on the palette before a final wash of sweetness comes in. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very nice smooth and creamy feel.

I must say that the balance between the rye and piney hops in this beer is almost damn near perfect and is what really makes this great. As for drinkability, I was hard pressed to remember that this thing was 8% at the rate that the 22oz bottle disappeared. This is definitely a top rate beer and one you should seek out.

Kegatron, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of sstackho
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Pint enjoyed at Redbones in Somerville, MA - along with some good BBQ. Clear brown with outstanding lacing. Very nice, very hoppy aroma. The flavour is all hops. Rye isn't particularly noticeable to my tastes. The hops stay with you long after swallowing. Very enjoyable.

sstackho, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of techdiver
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Pours a cloudy mahogany with a rocky two finger head that dissipates oh so slowly. Loads of lacing.

Great nose with hops making their presence known with pine and grapefruit aroma overshadowing the caramel malt in the background.

Taste echoes the nose, feels crisp and clean with good carbonation.

Very drinkable, an excellent IPA. So glad to have gotten my hands on a couple of 22oz. bombers.

techdiver, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%

Received from RutersBeerGuy in Top 100 BIF.

A- beautiful rusty red color with a big fully white head that left good lacing on my pint glass.
S- a fantastic pungent fresh hop scent full of grapefruit and resinous pine. This is how a DIPA should smell I think. (but it's an IPA?)
T- This is what knocked it out of the park for me. Big flavors of ripe grapefruit and pine are very heavy up front, but the sweet caramel malt rounds the beer out just right.
M- Medium bodied with medium carbination with the alcohol noticeable on the mouthfeel
D- I would love to have this one again and again. Great offering from Bear Republic.

TheodorHerzl, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of bbothen
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

22ox bottle poured into Delerium snifter.

A - Beautiful copper/rust color with a thin bubbly lace that sticks to the side of glass.

S - Smells sweet/candy like with a hop wollap as well.

T - Malty with hop heat. Well balanced. Caramel as well.

M - Crisp. Warming. Biting. "Thicker" than a standard IIPA. If this even is one.

D - I'd call this delicious. Hits the target for me.

I usually take for granted that I have easy access to so many world class brews. I often pass this one up as I see it all the time. No more. Heavy rotation at the Bothen home from here on out!

Nice work Bear Republic.

bbothen, Feb 18, 2008
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,286 ratings.