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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.

4,324 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,324
Reviews: 2,038
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 225
Gots: 224 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hop Rod Rye Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,324 | Reviews: 2,038 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of loving44
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep brown amber with a foamy beige head that rises from a whirling effervescent pool from the pour into my pint glass. The head slowly faded to about 1/4". Nice lacing.

Smell: Rye and hops... a sweet aroma... very inviting. Grainy and rich.

Taste: Sweeeet and malty, with a slight hop twinge on the tip on the tongue. Not as hoppy as I would have expected... but the slight bite they do dish out last quite a while on the tongue. It's not a hop barrage, more of an ambush; a Trojan horse made of rye! Very well balanced with sweet rich rye and barley up front, followed by hops. Finishes quite dry. Refreshing and smooth. A unique IPA!

Mouthfeel: Thick and slightly syrupy, but it works with this beer.

Drinkability: I could kick back a couple of these... it's a tasty beer to be sure.

loving44, Oct 05, 2006
Photo of klewis
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade with Faro

A: Pours a ruby/ dark copper color with a big foamy head with tons of sustain and thick lacing.

S: I don't get much rye in the nose, just some citrusy hops. Not a lot of aroma, but what there is is nice.

T: The rye is very subtle and manifests itself as a very slight grainy character. in a blind tasting, I doubt that I would pick this out as a rye beer. Smooth hop character with a solid bitterness. Quite nice.

M: Full-bodied and smooth with light carbonation. I mild bitterness lingers on the palate.

D: Solid. I'd drink this again in a second.

klewis, Oct 03, 2006
Photo of Blakaeris
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful reddish-mahogany color with a massive rocky head that leaves incredible sheets of lacing.

Smell is full of citrus and pine hop aroma with an interesting rye accent and a sweet caramel malt backbone. Very crisp.

Taste is complex and interesting. Very full flavored. The blast of citrus hops and rye are once again balanced with the generous malt. A big but balanced brew. Starts a little sharp, but then quickly smooths. Finish is crisp and quite dry.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied.

Surprisingly balanced, complex brew. High ABV is well hidden. Definitely recommended as a tasty treat.

Blakaeris, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of Cresant
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 22 oz. undated brown bottle into a Spaten .5L mug. Hug head developed, 4+ fingers! Semi-cloudy amber body.

Smelled of citrus first. Grains, rye. Assertive aroma. Nice.

Tasted lip smacking bitter. Slightly peppery rye richness and citrus rinds. Sweetness comes on after the initial drying bitterness. Malts stand up to the hops but do not carry the weight. Long pithy finish. Flavor nearly reflects the bold aroma. Quite pleasant overall.

Medium bodied. Well presented. I'll enjoy this one again.

Cresant, Sep 30, 2006
Photo of Sephiroth
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mitchfor3 for the trade. Pours with good head, the body is a brown tinted amber. Nice lacing. Smells a little sweet from the rye, but mostly resiny, citrusy, and piney from the hops.

Tastes incredibly balanced, huge hops countered nicely by the rye. Good mouthfeel and drinkability. Finally, a rye beer that I would actually buy, or trade for, again.

Sephiroth, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of mynie
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hell of a pour. Red as the devil's eye (is that trite enough for you) with a big, rocky and soapy head that has stuck around for fifteen minutes now and not gone down a single goddamn centimeter.

That, my friend, is a perfect smell. Hold this under my nose right before I die so I can go out happy. Big bright sunshine hops reeking of gigantic grapefruit mixed with apple rye and a perfectly balancing caramel brown sugar goodness.

Tastes great, but not quite as great as the smell. The hops are still huge, but not as juicy as I was hoping. Big grapefruit moving into a mixture of nearly perfect rye and dryer hops, finishing on a wonderful mixture of brown sugar and caramel. Great.

mynie, Sep 27, 2006
Photo of mmcave
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color is a dark brown amber, with red-ish high lights. The head is dissipating which I am beginning to think is more my glass than the beer, so I wont fault it there. How ever the head lingers around the edges leaving subtle lacing. It smells of hops, lots of hops bitter and sweet hops the rye’s sweetness is also present. The taste is great very hoppy the sweet earthiness of the rye is present then some coffee and a nice bittersweet finish. Like most excellent IPAs the after taste and my burps are excellent and demand that I drink more. I have to thank Adam and Ashley for introducing me to Bear Republic. This is one of my new fav. IPAs.

mmcave, Sep 23, 2006
Photo of MSchae1017
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from a 22oz. bomber.

This beer pours an amber brown with a frothy off white head that laces beautifully with amazing retention. The smell is sweet and malty with plenty of hops swimming aound my nose. The taste hits you first with the hops, but then there is the rye malt taste that reminds you of some jewish bakery. There is also plently of malty sweetness in there to balance. The mouthfeel is thick and carbonated well. Overall, a great beer, too bad I had to get it via liquid solutions.

MSchae1017, Sep 22, 2006
Photo of HoustonTX
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful dark ruby, with a large attractive white head. Carbonation looks just right, and the lacing is extremely sticky. The smell is absolutely phenomenal. Fresh piney hops, pushed up against a nice malt backing, with a large share of delicious rye bread. Now on to the taste. My initial thought is, "Damn, this may be the perfect beer." Upfront has a very quick bready malt snap. Mixed in with a good deal of rye. The malt/rye lays on the palate for just a second, and soon gives way to a strong piney bitterness. The pineyness lingers until the very finish, where it is meet with another wave of malt and rye. This is in my mind, a perfect IPA. The flavors work perfectly together in intervenious harmony. This beer is truly a masterpiece. The mouthfeel is just right, and the drinkability is incredibly dangerous. 8%?? Where?

This is the epitomy of bold IPA's. Perfect flavor, nice hopping, and a solid malt backbone. A divine nectar sent from the gods above! Much thanks go out to IntriqKen for giving me the opportunity to try this brew.

HoustonTX, Sep 21, 2006
Photo of EPICAC
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I purchased this at Downtown Wine & Spirits on Saturday. I let it warm to around 45º F and served it in my NERAX pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy dark-copper color with a thick, fluffy, beige head that fades slowly to a persistent one-eighth inch layer leaving behind patchy lace.

Smell: Light caramel malt aromas that become stronger upon swirling, rye spiciness and strong resiny hops and a hint of grain.

Taste: There's a lightly sweet caramel malt presence from start to finish that provides balance. The malt sweetness that's first evident is met by a nice spicy rye flavors in the center followed by an intense hop bitterness in the finish. The aftertaste is lingering bitterness with a light alcoholic spice.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, with moderate carbonation that somehow seems subdued.

Drinkability: The alcohol is well hidden and the beer is well-balanced.

Overall: Very tasty. The hop bitterness is high, but is balanced by an underlying maltiness that never seems too sweet.

EPICAC, Sep 21, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber copper with pomegranite highlights. Ruby clear with bubbles forming on the sides of the glass. A nice frothy, light oatmeal colored head with icky sticky lace on the sides.

S: Creamsickle with subtle evergreen high notes and lymon lows. Obvious hints of rye.

T: Begins with some red fruit sweetness. Almost a rye/vanilla moment soon after that...very original. From there the hops pop up with tangerine, strawberry and some red wood. Lingering rye characteristics with a moderate bitterness.

M: Medium body, juicy and smooth.

D: For me, the beer starts out mediocre...until the palate adjusts to all the various flavors. Lots of original tastes working together in harmony. Well done.

Westsidethreat, Sep 21, 2006
Photo of WeisGuy
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - pours a deep dark orange color, large tan head with good retention and great lacing, pretty translucent

s - lots of citrusy hops, but balanced well with malt and lots of rye

t - malty sweetness up front, lots of citrusy hops explode in the mouth, rye balances out the taste, very complex, long bitter finish spiked with rye

m - quite a bit of carbonation, medium-bodied, hop oils coats the mouth well, moderately dry finish

d - fairly drinkable though my palate might not handle much more than a bomber, but the taste makes me want to drink it all night, alcohol not very evident in the taste

Great IPA that lived up to all my expectations. The taste is more balanced than most other IPAs I've had with the rye adding an extra level to this brew. Just wish I could get this in NC.

WeisGuy, Sep 21, 2006
Photo of froggyfrog
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A Hop Rod bomber bottle sits perched on a printed cardboard coaster on my desk. I've heard the hype. I've seen the ratings. Now my very own bottle waits, perfectly timed by a kind and knowledgeable trader to be enjoyed at its peak of perfection. And...it's on!

Serving vessel: A burly glass snifter.
Serving temp: 50°F

First up for evaluation as always is the outward look. A moderate pour has produced a mountainous head, frothy with tenacious eggshell lace. The bowl is marbled with deep red and the dark purple of a two-day-old bruise. Jittery carbonation bubbles bounce to the surface like the juggling balls of some mad jester.

The smells coming off of this glass are breathtaking. The aroma is a whirlwind of malted milk, earthy/spicy citrus hops and hearty rye.

The taste is warm malt and dark rye with high bitterness and an exceptionally smooth finish. Alcohol is detectable but not dominant. The rye bread character coats the tongue while bitter hop acids linger like thousands of prickly needles. This beer stands out from the pack for its palate-exciting complexity in a style that can easily be overrun by monotonous hop flavors.

For mouthfeel, I like the way it travels; creamy texture with a dark bread twist and then, after you think it's gone, the hops pop up to bully the tongue.

Drinkable? Yeah. Good for an AIPA. Not a session beer by any stretch but a really nice treat.

RedwoodGeorge: Thanks for the hook-up!

froggyfrog, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of BlindPig
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- 1/4" tan head. Nice clear dark red brown color. Thin lacing that sticks to side of glass.
S-Citrus hops come through the stronger smell of rye bread. can't tell if there's malts or if it's just rye.
T-The critrus hops make splashes in the pond of rye. There is also malts mixed in with the rye taste also. The rye taste is definitely the dominant taste. In the aftertaste it is a medium bitterness with rye bread and light citrus hops.
M-Smooth, medium body, light/medium carbonation.
D-Definitely different than any beer I've tried. It's good though. Would want to try it again but wouldn't sit a drink more than one a night.

BlindPig, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a reddish-browh body with a pillowy beige head and excellent, long-lasting lacing.

Smell: A truly gorgeous aroma of toasted caramel and sweet brown sugar. Full, gorgeous notes of pine and grapefruit. There's rye in the scent, too, but I expected more. Still, if someone can beat that aroma I'll give them a shiny new quarter.

Taste: Big, rich caramel (and brown sugar) sweetness marked by heavy hop accents of grapefruit and pine and the apparent taste of rye. Also, a little bit of vanilla in there as well. Tangy rye-ish, sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Excellent texture and carbonation.

Drinkability: An expertly crafted, wonderful beer. Marvelous!

Shiny new quarter. Seriously.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of macster
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber. A real treat for a FL beer-lover to get one of these. Pours a somewhat hazy dark brown/copper color with a generous rocky, long lasting creamy head. Thick lacing along the sides of the glass. Classic west coast hoppy aroma loaded with freshly cut grapefruit and pine needles. Mouthfeel is quite full and round with just the right amount of carbonation for this style. Immediate flavors of spicey rye, orange, grapefruit and some lightly roasted malts make their presence. Although of course the hops dominate there is a notable background malt sweetness which balances it all out nicely. Finish is long, crisp and moderately bitter. My bottle’s label (unsure of vintage year) notes 8% abv just as a side note. This was a super treat!

macster, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of Drew966
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hop Rod Rye pours a dark brown after the prodigious head off white finally settles down. This one poured all foam, even though I poured it carefully. The aroma is hoppy. The taste is also hoppy from start to finish. The rye definitely lends this beer a different character. Excellent beer, recommended.

Drew966, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of phishgator
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ Horse Brass in Portland, OR. Color is a deep ruby-amber with a nice creamy head. The aroma is nice spicy hops. The taste is quite unique. There is a diffinite hop bitterness from beginning to end. There is what I precieve as the malted rye that has sort of a sweet and dry taste. The mouthfeel is brought down by the drying character, but the body is medium. I wouldn't want more than two of these is a sitting

phishgator, Sep 11, 2006
Photo of Erdinger2003
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dense, retentive head that gave me more than a 1/4 inch head. The color is dark and red. Smell is aromatic, sweet, and hoppy. I smell grassy hops, dark fruit and caramel flavors. The taste is bitter with fruitiness with a bready aftertaste. Mouthfeel is good and smooth, very enjoyable. This is extremely drinkable, I would almost chug this.

Erdinger2003, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of Derek
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Definitely more of a rye beer than Founder's Red's Rye (which should certainly be classified as an IPA). This one could fit comfortably under either category.

Compared to the Racer 5, there's more bitterness, but not as much hop flavour (which is rounded out with the malts).

A: Deep, deep amber/dark-caramel; fluffy, slightly off-white head, some retention, great lace.

S: Pine, floral, citrus, toffee, jaggery, dark rye bread.

T: Pine, citrus & spicy hop flavours are upfront. Dark rye bread and a little caramel balance out the flavour. Bitterness is quite assertive, but not harsh. Warming alcohol in the finish. The EXTREME fusion of flavours is truly exceptional!

M: Moderate to full body, moderate carbonation, slight acidity. Well attenuated with a relatively dry finish.

D: Incredible for its strength, but certainly a hop-heads delight.

Derek, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of Deconstructionis
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An IPA which manages to stand out from the crowd with something other than over done hops or alcohol.

Appearance is unremarkable, sort of coppery reddish brown with a thick stiff head that persissts. the smell is earthy/spicy over a robust maltiness good but not excessive citrus hops. The taste is well balanced, plenty of hops and noticeable alcohol but well counter-balanced with both malt sweetness and a certain earthy flair. It's medium bodied and smooth for an IPA and more drinkable than most.

Deconstructionis, Sep 01, 2006
Photo of cbl2
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11/15/2004 $4.99 22 oz. 8.00% No best by date (says seasonal, but apparently is available year round).


Pours a startingly clear brown with hints of ruby, accompanied by a half inch of tan cream. Glorious to behold.


This may rival Stone's IPA for aroma! Smells more like a grapefruit than some grapefruit I've had. Hints of malt present themselves as well, but hops take center stage. Very fresh.


Mouthfeel is phenomenal. Smoothest IPA ever. This is perfection in a bottle!!! Hops are up front in your face citrusy, with a nice sweet malt background. Not sure if the rye accounts for smoothness, but this is dangerous. At 8% alcohol, this one packs a punch quickly, even though it tastes so good going down, you want to keep drinking. Wish this could be a session brew, but it's too strong!

cbl2, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of hoppymeal
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky amber to brown in color with some good size bottle conditioned chunks. The head is quite large and required a slow and controlled pour to keep it down, it hung around a little and laced nicely on the glass. Initial aroma is mainly a nice sweet orange smell, there is also a little grassiness that works in as it warms. There is also some sugary sprite like sweetness with a yeasty bread aroma. Taste is a nice balance between the sweet and bitter with a nice zip and a slight tanginess as well. There is a nice spice to the finish and a slight dryness. The alcohol is well balanced, I don't really notice it until the very end as it is pretty much at room temp. Easy to drink.

hoppymeal, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of bashiba
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark copper with a long lasting, huge, thick, pillowy, creamy head. Unbeleivable lacing and retention.

Smell has a nice mixture of piney green hops with a some bready toasted malt notes. Although its a little light.

Has a great mix of rye bread and toasted malt flavors with a very strong and bitter Juniper hop finish. As it warms the rye becomes stronger and the hops mellow a bit, but still is a very hoppy bitter beer.

Mouthfeel is very creamy with a dry finish.

Very drinkable if your a hop head, it doesn't drink like its 8%. Another winner from Bear Republic.

bashiba, Aug 26, 2006
Photo of DaveFL1976
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at the Map Room in Chicago. I'd been wanting to try the Hop Rod for a while, so I was excited to finally get my hands on some. A nice, dark amber/almost brownish body with a wafty tan head. Smell was of bittering hops and bready, toasty malt. A nice combination. I would have pegged it as an Irish Red Ale, or something along those lines, rather than an American IPA. Anyways, a nicely balanced beer with a medium mouthfeel and really easy going down. Definately worth trying!

DaveFL1976, Aug 23, 2006
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,324 ratings.