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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.

4,377 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,377
Reviews: 2,039
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 224
Gots: 229 | 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: 4,377 | Reviews: 2,039 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber poured into pint glass

A: Pours a cloudy dark copper, like a dirty penny, with a two inch thick loosly packed tan and toffee head. Has a nice tapering color effect with it going from almost black from under the cap to a lighter copper near the bottom. Decent amount of sticky lacing clings to the glass all the way down, very pretty.

S: Subtle grapefruit and pine with a lemony nuttiness and fresh spiced bread crust, smells like something you might bite into not something you would drink, very good.

T/MF: Malt presents itself from the start which is nice to see in an ipa, really more nutty and pine like in the hops than the bitter citrus flavors of grapefruit and orange that typify the style, it is nice to see a change of balance here. Really crunchy mouthfeel that leaves the tongue a bit slick but wanting more. Just a well balanced IPA, nuts and pine all over the place with a good malt backbone to balance things out, great offering here.

D: I LOVE this beer, always come back to it. Though it might not be the best IPA out there I will always reach for this one when I see it, YUM.

bluemoonswoon, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of Durge
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A deep brown tea colored brew with a big off-white head and sturdy lacing. The aroma is of mellow pine hops with some sweet apple cider in a malt background. The flavor is a bit unique with a combination of bitter, earthy hops and sweet licorice malt. A bready base in a very full bodied and evenly carbonated ale. Not a typical IPA but quite good, not quite as much of that rye quality as I was hoping for, but an excellent ale just the same. Fairly drinkable for an 8% beauty, alcohol is not dominant here I don't think. Very much recommended.

Durge, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of srandycarter
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into the tulip.

A - Murky brown red, lighter than cola but darker than tea. Thin white head. Persistent lacing.

S - Like the name, hops and rye abound in the nose.

T - I don't get much sweetness here - only as an undertone. The rye is full and nice, married well with the hop finish. Very dry beer; finishes nicely.

M - Pretty medium to heavy mouth, good carbonation. When concentrating on it, thicker and more viscous than I originally thought.

D - Another great product from Bear Republic. I got to get up there sometime.

srandycarter, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of ohoove
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- a deep ruby/chestnut color with an impressive head and above average lacing
S- pine and grapefruity , sweet malt, and almost an astringent mediciny presence
T- very good balance
M- for an ipa this was generally thicker than one might expect, not that that is a bad thing
D- For 8% the abv is masked well although it is right there. Good drinkability , although not very sessionable.

ohoove, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of pwoods
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. brown bomber purchased a Jungle Jim's, poured into an imp pint. No dating.

A: Pours an almost blood red.. absolutely stunning. 3+ big ass fingers of super rocky, slightly tinted head. Pretty good retention and nice patching.

S: Piny and Citrus hops all over the place with a nice alcohol rye filling the background. Malts are just barely seen and only when it warms a bit, adding just a bit of light husk.

T/M: Nice crisp, clean, piny and grapefruit hops with good bitterness and much more rye than expected from the smell. Alcohol gives just a tiny pinch and done. Malts are controlled but give just enough balance to round things out. Slightly sweet and nutty. Body is fairly light and carbonation average. Finish is drying and bittering with defined rye notes. Would like to see just a tiny bump up in the malt department, but this is still very tasty nonetheless.

D: Goes down easy and invites for more. The bomber will be finished easily and I'll buy more in the future.

pwoods, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of pershan
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this at home in a 22 oz bomber.

A: Clear, deep amber color with a big, rocky head. Lots of Brussels lace on the inside of the glass after a few mouthfuls.

S: Nice hop aroma, more citrus overtones than pine.

T: Big hop flavor with a very long-lasting hop bitterness.

M: Very clean finish, with no bread-like aftertaste. Nice.

D: Don't know if the 18% rye in the mash had anything to do with it, but clearly a very clean, hoppy, goes-down-easy IPA.

Comments: I've never used rye in any of my homebrew recipes, but might have to reconsider after trying this beer. Well done, BR.

pershan, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of kosmoraios
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber cherrywood color into my pint glass with about 1 finger of white head which lingers on the ale. This is darker than any IPA I've had, with the exception of Stone's 11th Anniversary ale, classified as a "Dark IPA" according to them.

Aroma is of hops! Fruity, pungeant, lovely hops. Citrus, pine. The rye comes through as well, lending a dark malty tinge to the aroma.

Taste is amazing. Certainly a nice, bitter IPA, but the 18% rye gives it some interesting depth. There are undertones of overripe plum and fig beneath the citrussy bitterness of the hops.

Mouthfeel is very light and carbonated, with less of the phenolic oilyness I associate with Imperial IPAs. A very drinkable ale, mainly due to this and the fact that the 8% ABV is undetectable.

I will certainly make a special trip for some more of these. Kudos to Bear Republic.

kosmoraios, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of madjr80
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer at Bukowski's Bar in Boston. This was a great quality sipping beer. I wouldn't want to make this my session beer. This is the type of beer you have one or two of them in a sitting. I wouldn't give this to someone who is a novice beer drinker.

madjr80, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of JayQue
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A fantastic IPA experience. Pours a deep clear mahogany color with a huge off white head. Sheets of lacing left on the glass. Good strong and pleasant hops smell but it can't do justice to the taste experience. The taste begins with crisp, sharp hops. Bitter but pleasant and rich tasting, more pine than citrus. As the beer warms up, the hops do not give way, but there is a strong caramel malt taste as an undercurrent. The mouthfeel is incredibly rich, not as oily / resinous as Celebration Ale...more crisp. Drinkability is very good, too high an abv for a session beer, but I was left wanting more after draining a 22 oz'er. Will definitely seek this one out again!!!

JayQue, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of Homerbag
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark murkey red with heavy head that laces heavily down the pint.
Citruisy hops are up front with notes of pine, caramel malt, but little rye.
Taste of citruisy hops in back, some malt in front with a heavy dose of pine across the middle.
Feels good, coats the tounge just enough to let all the hop sink in and suprise you with the rye finish.
A very good IPA for hopheads with a craving for something to go along with the hop.

Homerbag, Nov 04, 2007
Photo of Dogbrick
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish-amber color with a thick and rocky light tan head that has good staying power. Patchy lacing. Big piney hops aroma that has a good citrus and malt presence as well. Rich body with a dry, hoppy character. Notes of citrusy grapefruit, pine and a solid caramel malt base. Alcohol is well-hidden but definitely there. The finish is dry and hoppy, and only here does the rye flavor show up with any force. Overall a good beer, although I would have liked to see the rye show up a bit more.

Dogbrick, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Falling Rock and I actually ordered it mostly out of excitement that Bear Republic might be coming back to Colorado. I did not like this when I had it for the first time last year but I figured why the hell not give it a second chance? It was dark red, and smelled like orange rinds. The taste was rye at first and then delicious citrus. Unfortunately the rye ruined it for me, the finish was not enough to make up for that rye up front. Very strange flavors for an IPA…but I am still looking forward to Racer 5.

update 05/2014 actually not a bad rye beer, feels more like a strong ale than an IPA though.

ArrogantB, Oct 27, 2007
Photo of Sleestak
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this 22oz'er up at the local liqour store. I am a big fan of BR's Racer 5 so thought I'd give this one a try. According to the bottle "made with 18% rye". Pours a beautiful burgandy brown with a considerable fluffy head. Pungent floral hops abound along with a good deal of pine and just a tad of citrus. A hop explosion in the taste. Floral and citrus-y hops mainly with lots of caramel sweetness. But make no mistake, this is a hop loaded brew. The alcohol doesn't make itself known in the taste even at 8%. Thick lacing as I make my way down. Thick creamy mouthfeel. A powerful beer though not overpowering in any way. Another gem from Bear Republic, well done!

Sleestak, Oct 27, 2007
Photo of BigJTrucker
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color, thin off-white head settles very quickly. Smell is HUGE! Lots of citrusy hops, and the rye shows up well, smell is remeniscent of a fresh baked loaf of dark rye. Taste is less hoppy than i expected from the aroma. The rye shows up very nicely. and a bit of citrusy hop flavor comes thru shortly thereafter. Mouthfeel is very smooth, some resiny texture towards the finish, nice and moist. Drinkability is quite good. Would pair well with some corned beef, maybe even a reuben on rye bread. Well done.

BigJTrucker, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of atigerlife
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper color with a small light brown head which dissipates rather quickly. Spotty lacing.

Aroma of citrus/fruity hops with some pine.

Taste has hops as the dominant player. Citrus/fruity with malts as the backdrop.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied. A little flat.

Overall, an interesting beer that is quite drinkable. Definitely worth a try.

atigerlife, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of hellcatsjg
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark ruby coloring with a thin tan head. Good bit of lacing as you go.

Smell: Smells great. Wonderful combination of spices, sweet fruits, and citrusy hops.

Taste: Good, but does not fulfill what was detected in the smell. Sweet and spicy at first gives way almost immediately to a citrus hop flavor. Could have used more rye, or perhaps it is just overpowered by the hops, which I suppose is to be expected since this is classified as an IPA and not a Rye beer.

Mouthfeel: Hops coat the mouth nicely and leave just the right amount of bitterness behind. Does not overpower with the hops to the point of being too much.

Drinkability: Very nice IPA. Sweet and hoppy is a good combination for me. The ABV is reasonable, and this is not overpowering, so this is quite drinkable. I would have liked more spicyness, but good regardless.

hellcatsjg, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of NJpadreFan
4.93/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bear Republic- Hop Rod Rye

Thanx to Bradford for this!

A- Hazy amber brown with a thick creamy head. Chunky lacing on the glass!
S- Big oily green hops, Pine, Carroway seeds, and caramel malt.
T- Thick creamy caramel malt with a huge dose of green pine hops. A solid rye twang lingers throughout.
M- Sweet and chewy up front with a tart and bitter finish. Slighty fruity aftertaste.

Overall- God damn this was good! The aroma alone would satisfy you! Definitely 1 of my new favorites!!
(Hopefully I can find this in San Diego)

NJpadreFan, Oct 16, 2007
Photo of gwood
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz poured to a Sammy Smith Imperial Pint...

Pours a deep crimson red with accents of mahogony when backlit. The pour was a bit too agressive and I ended up with a massive three plus fingers of thick, sticky, frothy off white head that formed valleys and peaks as it began to settle from being so rudely awakened. The head refuses to give up on this brew, lacing it's way in glittered heartbeat ring patterns ALL the way down to the bottom inch of my pint glass. What a sexy brew...can't wait to try it.

Hops climb out of this beer in droves. Strong citrus notes followed by a good deal of malt hanging on the tongue in the middle, followed up by a long crisp finish. This beer really improves in character as it warms up a bit, seems to bring out some of the rye charateristics more, quite a nice change from the sweet middle present in some of the other beers in this style. I think that it is really one of the key factors that sets this beer apart from some of it's peers.

This is a highly drinkable, medium bodied, ass kicking, name taking IPA from our good friends at Bear. May they continue to give the world great gifts for many years to come.


gwood, Oct 16, 2007
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, served in a pint glass.

A - hazy, dark amber color with a fluffy tan head that leaves lots of sticky lace on the glass.

S - strong citrus hop aroma fills the nose.

T - delicious tasting brew, it don't get much better than this. Very good balance, great hoppy finish.

M - medium bodied with crisp carbonation.

D - highly drinkable, so watch out for the abv, it's in there.

JoeyBeerBelly, Oct 14, 2007
Photo of pumarocks
3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is the one beer that left a lasting impression on me after leaving the Brew HaHa festival in Cincinnati. This brew will jump up and slap you like Ike Turner on a REALLY bad night. It has a deep color and great aroma. It is about like drinking rope. Hard to choke back but well worth the price of admission. Hop heads should give this one a thorough tasting. This will certainly put some pep in your step!

pumarocks, Oct 09, 2007
Photo of RustyDiamond
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep red with a lovely 2 fingers of almond-colored head. Simply gorgeous. Aroma of caramel & hops. Creamy mouthfeel, hops on the nose. Middle taste is very clean, ending with a dry hoppy taste. Excellent balance for a 8%er and alcohol very well hidden! I wish I had more of these.

RustyDiamond, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of TheBierBand
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bomber into a pint glass. The hard pour produced a head of about 2-1/2"... oops. That light biege head seemed to last forever and as it slowly dissipated, the clumpy lace left on the glass was amazing! The beer is a deep amber.

The nose was quite pungent. Lots of citrusy hops.

The taste was great! The first that that hits you is the citrus blast of the hops... not too much... very nice. Then the rye bread taste comes into play.

Mouthfeel was a tiny bit thinner than expected... not too bad... but the bready taste left me wanting a bit more substance. Good lingering aftertaste though.

Drinkability: Heck yeah.... bring 'em on.... highly recommended.

TheBierBand, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of BeerManDan
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured, the color was a hazy reddish mahogany, with some foam that stayed awhile and lace on the side of the glass.

The smell of mild piney hops filled the nose upon the first sniff and a hint of a spice or two.

The taste was not as inviting as the aroma. A little weak on the flavor. All I could taste was hops and that was about it. Not what I expected from past ale's from this brewery! Not bad, just a little above average at best.

BeerManDan, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of Sweasty
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color - Murky deep red/mahogany. Off white/Tan head. Thick and creamy head falls to a 1/4 inch. Leaves some beautiful lacing down the glass.

Smell - Hops and lots of em. Very citrusy/orange hops with a bit of light piney-ness. A bit of caramel/toasted and rye malt struggle to make it past the hops.

Taste - Initial taste of toasty caramel malts, with a touch of a biscuity quality. Malt is immediately beaten into submission by the hops. Hops match the nose. Fruity/citrusy/orange hops dominate the palete. The finish is dry and spicy with a long lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Chewy with a prickly carbonation.

Overall this is one impressive beer. The rye helps give this beer a defining edge over other DIPA's. Is it balanced? Screw balance. This beer is a hopheads dream come true. Yet another wonderful brew from the folks at Bear Republic.

Sweasty, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of tpd975
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one came in a trade from ByTor2112.

A: An absolutely beautiful beer. Pours the deepest of red, almost black in color until you hold it up to the light. Once placed in the light a beautiful garnet color is revealed. There is some sediment in the glass floating around like snow in a snow globe. The head is big thick and rocky. With a now empty glass beside me I am enjoying the spider web type lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Nice big aromas. Nice hoppy citrus aroma... Big and Bold! There is a hint of spice probably from the rye, and a nice sweetness is picked up as the aroma travels farther into my nose.

T: Wow! The taste is soo inviting. Wonderful bold tastes that mesh with each other to make a perfect marriage. Right from the start you are hit with hops. Big sweet cascades with the power of citrus. A malty sweetness comes in and finishes with a hint of the spicy rye. Yum!

M: Medium bodied with a dry crisp finish.

D: Uber. Wish I had more than one bomber of this one.

Overall: I have had many rye beers all of which I thought were nice and unique in their own right. But this beer is the reason other brewers are using rye. They have tried this beer and decided they want to make one of their own. Well try as they may this one will be hard to replicate. It is a perfect beer that has everything. Tons of hops, tons of flavor and a drinkability factor that is off the scale for such a big beer.

If I could get my hands on this beer regularly I would be such a happy man. Just got a Racer 5 in another trade can't wait to try that one.

tpd975, Oct 02, 2007
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 4,377 ratings.