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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,426 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,426
Reviews: 2,045
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 235
Gots: 243 | 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: 4,426 | Reviews: 2,045 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of roan22
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had this beer many times before, including on draft but I never got around to reviewing it. Today I am having it again so its time for a review.

Poured from a bomber into a wine glass (sadly I have no tulip glasses left, they've all broke because I am too rough while washing dishes!)....Hop Rod Rye is a reddish orangey color with a huge, light tan head, which lasts awhile. Leaves awesome lace on the glass.

Smells like aromatic earthy or flowery hop plants. Really fragrant and nice.

Taste is citrusy bitter at first, then tea like and earthy, then finishes with a long, (almost tart) bitter spiciness on the palate from the rye and mega amounts of hops.

Mouthfeel rocks due to the bitterness left on my tongue...its not quite as good as Green Flash, but close.

Drinkability gets marked down a bit because its 8%. I can only drink this at home, and only 1 bomber at that. I still have to sip it because at 8% it goes straight to my blood. If I had two of these in one sitting I'd probably be very intoxicated. I am a lightweight though. Cheers BR!! Still hoping to get out west and visit the brewery someday.

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

Poured on tap at Fatheads in Pittsburgh

A: Clean, golden ale with lively carbonation and a nice head that dissipates pretty quickly to nothing

S: Tons of citrus and floral hops in the nose with a nice solid malt, caramel backbone

T: The initial taste is of malt sweetness from the caramel and Munich malts, but that is quickly balanced by a large amount of citrus hops. The rye makes it a tad watery, but that is a minor effect.

M,D: The mouthfeel is fantastic. Perfect carbonation that leaves you drinking and wanting more

Photo of EagleTalon
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty good beer, especially if you are not sensitive to phenolic "bread yeast" flavors. As a homebrew contest judge, I found that I have a very low threshold for phenolics. I detect them at levels most tasters do not. Judging from the reviews on this site, many people are not tasting what I do, so it is not the beer, it is me. Now on to the review:

Pours to a creamy, frothy off-white head and hazy brown-amber color. Aroma is strong on hops with some bready malt and a touch of phenolic. Flavor is a well-balanced and tasty blend of US hops, pale and caramel and darker specialty malts and a nice hoppy/malty finish. I do detect some phenolic or chemical-like flavors in the taste that bug me a bit, but the dominant flavors linger and make it worthwhile. Mouthfeel is medium and this beer is definitely good on the quaffability scale for the 8% alcohol.

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

Medium to dark red brown with a thick and long lasting beige head. Some floaties notable int there.

Smells of hops, and lots of em. Lemon and pine pleasantly mixed.

Taste first a slight sweet toffee, then the real flavours come in. A strong mix of bittering hops and rye character finish the taste.

Sticky in the mouth with a fair amount of carbonation make it slightly heavy, but pleasant to drink.

More drinkable than I thought it would be. Quite good on all fronts.

Photo of mike24
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a dark rich reddish amber with a sticky off white head

S: floral hops up front and a toasty sweet malt underneath

T: spicy and sweet when it first hits the tongue, citrusy hops come in and round out with the alcohol bite. very complex flavours, can't make all of them out. finishes with hop bitterness and a burnt sweetness, like a roasted marshmallow maybe.

M: soft and smooth on the tongue, fairly big body with pretty light carbonation, enough though. sweet without being syrupy.

D: pretty good drinkability, a bit heavy to have more than a couple though.

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

Pours a strange brownish red color with a very nice fluffy off white head and good lace. Nose is nice hops, but there is a sort of dryness mixed in with some good maltiness as well. Taste is thick hops, but there is kind of an akward dryness to this I am not a huge fan of. Maybe the rye? the malt presence is a bit much for me here, and it is a bit sweet. Mouthfeel is nice, but drinkability is a bit debilitated by the wierd dryness. Overall a very good DIPA, but I think it may be a bit overrated. good beer, recommended.

Photo of hwwty4
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks State of Kansas for finally getting off your butts and allowing Bear Republic to come into the state. Poured a 22oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. This beer pours an amber-brown with a big 2-inch beige head that sticks around for the entirety of the beer and also leaves a quite beautiful lacing. The aroma is citrusy hops, grapefruit mostly, grains, bread, and a bit of the rye spiciness. The taste isn't as big as I thought it was going to be. Its really just a mild citrus hop bite and a bit of rye spice. It's not bad by any stretch of the word but still slightly disappointing. The mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with little carbonation. It's a very drinkable brew, but just not what I had expected.

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

A- A brown hazy beer with a thick and foamy head.

S- Lots of hop flavor with a great citrus smell. Thats pretty much all you can smell.

T- There is a grainy hoppy taste. The aftertaste is a bit more on the grainy side of things.

M- There is a bit of a bitter soapy taste that stays on the tongue in between sips.

D- Easy to drink.

Photo of PerzentRizen
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hop Rod Rye is a breath of fresh air. When I bought it I was buying a mixed bag of a bunch of different beers that I cannot get in Mississippi. If I had any idea this beer would be so good I would have bought 6 more.

Hop Rod pours a coppery brown with a thin lace head that tends to be thicker if the temperature is about 60 degrees - which I learned later in this tasting.

I drank this delicious beer in a trappist glass to let the aroma build. I would say that a tulip glass would also be very appropriate.

This beer is comparable to Dogfish Head's 90 minute IPA but it definately sets itself apart. The hop aroma and light bitterness is evenly balanced with the creamy malt and appropriate alcohol bite.

My only regret with this beer is that it evaporated way too fast! I will definately be back to get a few more soon.

Photo of TEXTONE
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look-Dark Amber w. red huge very nice head retention with lacing down to the bottom of the glass
Smell-Hoppy, malty sweet hard to get a really good read on this due to smells from the restaurant.
Taste-Dark malt, hoppy as hell slight coffee flavor, many flavors just roaming all around the pallet, well balanced beer. Warm and tingly on the tongue dry crisp bitter tart aftertaste.

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

A - Poured a dark amber color with an off white head that leaves lacing

S - Is of hops then some citrus hops and some more hops

T - Theres an explosion of hops to the mouth starts with some citrus hops then some piney hops and a touch of spice as well

M - This beer was a little thinner than I expected with medium carbonation to it

D - If you like hop bombs this beer is for you so its a good thing that I like hops this heavily hopped beer is good you gotta try one someday

4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass, producing a nice thick head with lots of lacing. The color reminds me of filtered cranberry juice.

Floral pungent hops cut with a spiced rye edge dominate the smell.

Tastes not quite as good as it smells, IMO the alcohol and hops are not balanced as well as they could be.

Light swishy mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Drinkability is good for an 8 percent beer, and I like the idea of using rye as an ingredient. All in all good, but definitely not my favorite beer from Bear Republic (go Racer 5!).

Photo of wagenvolks
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a pint glass.

Pours a gorgeously clear ruby-copper body, with a rocky, voluminous head that retains well and leaves thick patches of lacing behind on the glass. The aroma is a heavenly boquet of pine, resin, grapefruit, bubblegum, cotton candy, spice, and a big backbone of toffee malt.

Spicy rye and pine notes coat the middle of the palate before rich, caramel malts come into play. The aftertaste is complex and spicy, with rye paving the way. Surprisingly, Hop Rod isn't as dry as alot of rye beers tend to be, and the medium-thick body leaves a lasting bitter hop finish. However, the mouthfeel is a bit overcarbonated. Nevertheless, Bear Republic has delivered once more with a tasty, complex and interesting brew that I look forward to having again.

{Edit: bumped Taste from 4.0 to 4.5 on 12/2/2009--this stuff is just too damn good.}

Photo of johannasclimacus
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was surprised at how dark this beer pours. I thought I saw one poured a few weeks ago that was a much different hue, but realized when I got mine that I was mistaken. The appearance is dark as many have noted, a deep reddish brown.

The appearance is also of a very creamy, smooth ale and the taste fully backs this up. The taste is a dynamite combination of malts and hops; it was just simply a tasty beer that didn't last long.

At 8%, this could be a very dangerous beer. But that is only a compliment to the outstanding taste and drinkability that Hop Rod Rye brings to the table. Excellent job by Bear Republic.

Photo of marksto
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber bottle while in Cincinnatti for this years NHC.

Pours a hazy brown with slight reddish hue. A thick off white head with dense bubbles floats atop, and as it sits it develops a rocky appearance. Aroma has citrusy hop elements along with a slight spiciness. Flavor displays a slight toffee-like edge to the malt, along with medium-high hop bitterness. There is noticible carbonation and a significant dryness from the rye.

Overall, a very nice beer, and one that showcases very well the tasty elements that rye can contribute in a beer. Recommended.

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

Whoa! This beer is incredibly dark, it looks like a brown ale and has a head that is pretty large, with a brown tint on it. The beer is pretty clear and has pretty good head retention. The beer has loads of aromatic hops with hints of citrusy hops with a nice fruity backbone from the malts. Not huge on hops on the palet, but a nice bitterness with caramel and toffee in the malts. Can you say balanced? Holy crap, every flavour is mixed evenly for a beautiful taste. Nice creamy mouthfeel, but incredibly drinkable. This is what you call a dangerous beer! Eight percent and tasty as fuck.

Photo of theghost3
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown with a thick beige head. It smell strongly of citrusy hops. The flavor is strong of bitter hops with just a little malt & spice. Mouthfeel is acidic yet smooth, somewhat powdery. This is a drinkable brew but probably too flavorful to taste something else afterwards.

Photo of corey0212
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color, tons of ruby highlights, mountainous tan head, dense and foamy, and staying put! Smells amazing...sticky piney hops dominate, slightly floral, and a hearty malt backbone. Taste is just killer, and one of those "this is everything I could want in a beer" moments for me every time I have this brew. Way heavy on the hops, piney, bitter, resinous, and a kiss of citrus. Creamy and lush, slightly oily, with intense lingering hoppy bitterness. One of my favorite beers from one of my favorite breweries. Fantastic!

Photo of joezak5
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel tulip; a deep, almost shadowy ruby with an obscene billowing beige head that tops the glass smoothing over to a meringue finish... no dropping before it dissipates within, beautiful lacing and retention... a staggering sight.

Smell: Sweet and sticky hops, slick and oily with a spiced loaf of marble rye in the background.

Mouthfeel: Light and delicate on the palate, sweet and oily with a pine like floral kick.

Taste: Unreal sweet hop bomb... smoothed out with a creamy caramelly malt but hops are king here... sweet and spicy finish that makes me want more.

Drinkability: A beauty I never would have tried had it not been for the best of BA list... tucked away at $5 at Wegmans in Princeton, NJ... I've find my joy when Nugget Nectar is not around...

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

wow, 851 reviews as of this writing. Wow, this is a very good brew! I've got to find more rye beers. I love how the rye compliments the hops so well and spices up the beer from good to you've got to try this one! I'd have another. There should be more beers incorporating rye!

Photo of ewright
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: A thin layer of fluffy head forms after a moderate pour. Several minutes later, there is still a coating of tiny white bubbles with lacing all down the glass. The beer is a gorgeous deep mahogany-red color, reminiscent of some barleywines I've had.

S: Full frontal assault of citrus-bearing hops with a slightly sweet malt background dotted with hints of rye spiciness and creme brulee. One of the best smelling beers I've had.

T: Forward bitterness that doesn't come out and shock you, but strangely seems to intensify as the beer goes down. Lovely spicy notes from the rye and just enough toffee notes from the malt to balance this beer out.

M: Moderate to full body with carbonation so fine it feels like a layer of silk on the tongue.

D: I could drink this with lunch. I could drink this with dinner. I could drink this with (or for) dessert. I could drink this for a nightcap. I *might* even consider it for breakfast, it's just. that. good. The only problem is that the ABV would ruin me by afternoon tea-time.

Photo of Biggness
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has been staring @ me too long @ the distributor to not buy it. This beer pours a lovely cloudy brown with a large tan head! YUM! The smell is wonderful, the main smell is of the hops and then you can also catch a smell of the grains. The taste is incredible, this has to be one of the smoothest drinking IPA's I have ever tasted. A nice nutty flavor @ first followed a nice hops flavor ending with a bitter bite @ the end, a pleasant one not a rough one. The mouthfeel for this beer is nice and if not for the pricetag it would certainly be something I would always drink. WELL DONE

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

P: Presented in a 22 oz., brown bottle with undecipherable freshness dating. Purchased for $3.99 at Consumer Beverage.

A: Pours a deep chesnut color with crimson edging and a two-finger, tan-colored head with unflagging retention. Session yields massive filagreed lacing down surface of glass.

S: Mega hops. Aromas of pineapple, grapefruit, pine, brown sugar, coffee, cocoa, and a hint of spice.

T: Extremely complex taste profile: Citrus hops and pine collide with sweet caramel malts and spiced rye. Notes of grapefruit, brown sugar and orange rind, followed by toasted caramel and sponge toffee. Finishes bitter with nods to chocolate and rye.

M: Full-bodied, creamy and heavily carbonated.

D: Yowsah! One rewarding session. Technically, shouldn't Hop Rod Rye be considered a DIPA? Come on, now.

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

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a nice dark reddish copper color with one and a half finger off-white head. Particulate matter floating around but that's probably just because the douchebag at Binny's decided to put the bottle in my box upside down when I wasn't looking.

Aroma is big grapefruity hops, some pine, and a nice spicy rye tone.

Flavor is also based around the grapefruity hops. Piney hops are also present. Some caramel and biscuity malt then it finishes nice and bitter along with a spicy rye flavor.

Mouthfeel is oh so creamy and smooth. Medium, almost light body that makes it very drinkable. Carbonation level is outstanding.

I can't believe this stuff is only $4.99 a bomber. Amazing stuff - better than some that are double the price. Next time I'm in Illinois I am definitely going to pick up some more.

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

Thanks to BenM for bringing this back from South Carolina

a - poured a three-fingers thick billowy tan head into a snifter that left sticky lacing and sheeting throughout. the body was a reddish-purple with a slight haze (from the unconditioned bottle).
s - sweet and malty with a light grapefruit aroma.
t - grapefruit, earthy and piney hops with a strong rye presence. very balanced as the malts start to come through in the aftertaste. the finish almost has a chocolate taste to it.
m - medium thickness on the tongue but very creamy and smooth.
d - so drinkable and d-lish!

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,426 ratings.