1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,290 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,290
Reviews: 2,035
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 215
Gots: 214 | 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: 4,290 | Reviews: 2,035 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wcudwight
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerRun13 and NC Lotto BIF
This is darker than your typical IPA. A very nice 2 finger beige head with excellent retention.
The smell is more malty and sweet than I expected. Biscuits, and maybe a hint of rye. The hops are there, just not as dominate as I was expecting.
Taste: Woaa there's the hops! Wonderful hop bitterness. It's a strange but very good hop flavor. I don't get the citrus, floral, or piney flavors that I've come to expect from hoppy beers. Maybe it's the rye mixture. The flavor is very strong and complex. You can taste the alcohol as the beer warms.
The alcohol is very warming in the mouthfeel and the beer is a bit heavier bodied than most IPA's. This in no way detracts from the beer.
I wouldn't consider this a session beer, but it is drinkable cause it's so damn tasty.
Doesn't really fit the style(IPA) that I'm used to, but it is a beer that I highly recommend.

wcudwight, Aug 03, 2006
Photo of Enola
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to wcudwight for sharing his bomber.

The appearance is a deep red brew with a thick creamy head riding on top. There is some lacing in the glass. Beers just don't look much better than this. A well deserved 5.

The smell was really hard to pick up on in this beer. Some hoppiness but overall, no real powerfull smell.

The taste was damn fine. There was a nice hop bitterness that was just right. There was a red ale nature to this beer as well.

The mouthfeel was smooth. No overpowering notes of any type. Balanced.

The drinkability was superb. The higher ABV was so well hidden it may lead you to think this beer would session easy. A big beer that does not act big. This beer has fanfare and now I see why. This is unlike any other IPA I have had.

Enola, Aug 03, 2006
Photo of SethB2
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a clean, transparent deep ruby color with a huge oatmeal head that would probably last until the next milenium if I gave it a chance. I have said it before, but BR knows how to brew a beer with an impressive head. This thing is thick as all hell.

S - Citrisy hops dominate, with the rye playing a subtle, yet unique background role.

T - I have said before that this beer could easily be classified as a double IPA, and I stand by that. Very aggressive hop up front, followed by one of the smoothest malt profiles I have ever had in an IPA. Extraordinarily balanced with just the right combination of roasted grains and bitterness with a slightly sweet combo coming into play.

M - Silk

D - Good. Another great beer from Bear Republic.

SethB2, Aug 03, 2006
Photo of drunkmonk
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. Dark rusty copper appearance. Off white/tan head quickly dissapears to just a slight rim around my pint glass. Very attractive beer, but much darker as I would expect for an APA.

Piney and citrusy notes balence well with some malt presence as well. Slightly sweet malt flavors with just a little rye present to start with a nice dry, hoppy finish. The rye presence is there, but not as prevelant as I was expecting. The mouthfeel is much thinner than what I imagined when admiring this beer's appearance.

Just the right amount of bitterness to keep this beer very drinkable. The alchol is very well hidden, but comes more to the forefront as it warms. Very nice take on the style. Recommended

drunkmonk, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of vtfan77
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark copper with a great big off-white head and a very sticky lace. Quite appealing.

S- Huge hop aroma. Pine and citrus abound with sweet fruit and a touch of malt as well. Very nice, a near perfect IPA smell here!

T- Definitely a different tasting IPA. Starts with some sweetness coming from the malt and hop oils. Malt profile is interesting. The rye is definitely noticeable as there is a bit more of a spicy character here than the toasty one usually found in such IPA's. Sweetness is also lower than expected. Huge hop profile as expected, typical northwest flavors of pine and citrus that were alluded to in the aroma. Finishes with a big, chalky bitterness and some lingering spiciness from the malt. Hops are literally lip-smacking in this one, as the lips are actually sticky from hop oils following each sip!

M- Medium bodied and smooth, not a whole lot of carbonation, but enough to make it pleasant.

D- Easy to put down, but a little overbearing with the bitterness. High abv also contributes to make this a one-and-done beer for me.

Very nice, I enjoyed it. Bear Republic has impressed me with their beers so far, and this is no exception. They're turning into one of my favorite breweries. Not quite up to Stone, but they're getting there. Recommended as a nice change of pace IPA.

vtfan77, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of Vancer
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, what a solid contributor for the hop world, wish I like floral hops – but this one still makes it for me.

Great caramel brown pour, topped by a frothy ivory head – nice sticky laces all the way down my 8oz sampling glass. Tons o’ floral hops in the aroma and taste. Notes for pine and citrus also make their way through this sticky, oily brew.

Sharp and tangy, the Bear Republic makes some might fine beverages.

Vancer, Jul 31, 2006
Photo of ridedammit
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Publick House and Redbones. This has to be one of my favorite beers. I truly enojoy the hoppyness and the crispness/spicyness/whatever-the-word-is-i-am-looking-for of the rye. It has convinced me to try and brew a rye beer of my own. The appearance is typical
of an IPA, it may have been a bit darker, but then again underbones and the ph
are kinda dark. Smell comes across initially as grapefruit, but then there is a
new smell that must be due to the rye. Exceptional taste, as i mentioned above
the hop/rye goes well together IMHO.

I need to find a place that carries this in bottles.

ridedammit, Jul 28, 2006
Photo of nickss
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bomber poured into a Bear Republic pint glass.

Pours a very nice reddish-burgundy colour with tea overtones. A modest 1/2" head, but wow, I can smell the hops from across the room, so let me just jump to that portion of the review.

Delicious piney west coast hop aroma with more malt than I would have expected. Perhaps the rye brings out the malt in the aroma. Nevertheless, a wonderful smelling libation to be sure. Citrus notes cling to a rich backbone... fantastic.

While the hops are certainly there, the rye makes this one difficult to classify. It is certainly rich and deep enough in flavour to warrant a strong ale classification, but oh well, some beers defy classification. Overall, a wonderfully complex flavour... more so than your typical IPA.

Surprisingly thick with low levels of carbonation, again like a strong ale. I think it fits this brew perfectly.

Extremely drinkable and enjoyable for an 8% brew. This one will certainly frequent my fridge in the future. Bear Republic continues to impress.

nickss, Jul 20, 2006
Photo of poluti
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours a dark brown with red tinges along the side when held to light. There is a thick foamy brownish tan head. Looks delicious.
It smells of pine. The hops content is fantastic and overwhelms the nose at first. I sensed a bit of malt but it could have been my imagination.
It tastes of bitter hops and is well balanced with a malty rich profile. There is a fantastic balance in this beer that made me want to go to the store and grab some more after the first sip.
It coats the mouth very well and the bitterness on the back of the throat is strong but palpable.
This is a very drinkable beer. I will purchase it again along with Bear Republic's Red Rocket.

poluti, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of KarlHungus
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a blood red color. The head is massive, creamy and recedes slowly. The lacing consists of mountains of foam. If I could give this beer a 5.5 for appearance I would. The aroma is sharp, spicy, citrusy, grapefruit, with a nice malty undertone. The taste is sharp like the aroma, but more so from the hops than from the rye. The bitterness leads the way with the rye coming through in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a little on the ligher side of medium bodied. Overall, this is a very good brew that I will drink any chance I get.

KarlHungus, Jul 05, 2006
Photo of instrumentality
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Tall, fluffy, relatively static head that stuck to the glass as it descended ever so slightly, floating on a clear caramel-brown body.

Odor: Hops. Just hops. A bit piney, a bit bready.

Taste: Again, the predominant flavor was hops; it tastes like it smells. However, it was actually pretty mild and not too bitter. Slightly buttery, slightly carmelly, but hard to place in general.

Mouthfeel: Mildy bitter but no intrusive carbonation or alcohol burn. Overall, very smooth.

Drinkability: Pretty mild, easy to drink - seems like a good compromise between an IPA and a more standard ale, as the rye seems to make it a bit richer while the hops aren't as intense as they would be in the average IPA.

instrumentality, Jun 30, 2006
Photo of Gaisgeil
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep and slightly hazy amber in color, very un-AIPA in appearance with a frothy white head with great retention. This one is a looker; lots of lacing as well. Nose is extremely piney, almost toxic smelling. Taste is initilly very piney with minor grapefruit tones. This trails down into an almost herbal quality, tea-like. Quite good, but definitely aggressive with the hops, a bit too much so for my tastes. Mouthfeel is thin and slightly slick, not particularly well carbonated. Drinkability is still pretty good, I had no problem throwing back this bomber. Not something I'd seek out, but good nontheless.


Gaisgeil, Jun 29, 2006
Photo of timtheenchanta
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruby orange beer topped by a two finger head that stays atop the beer in the form of a 1/4 inch fluff for the duration and leaves chunks and tightly woven webs down the side of the glass. Some hop sediment floating around in the bottom of the fishbowl wine glass.

Mmmm grapefruit hop aroma. Very sweet smelling hoppiness = happiness. There's a bit of rye, especially at first. As the brew warms, the alcohol shows up a bit more in the nose.

Deliciously hoppy with some fine citrusy taste with a slight hint of rye. Not as much as one would expect. Very dry bitter finish. Highly drinkable. I'd like to have a few cases of this one.

timtheenchanta, Jun 26, 2006
Photo of crwills
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not sure where this bomber came from, but I shared a bottle of it with my Dad on Father's Day. He didn't like it, but hey, he's getting better... at least he drinks mainly local micros now!

Pours a dark orange colour with an average 1/2" head. Lots of yeast sediment in mine (I took the second glass).

Aroma is strongly citrusy, with a bit of soapiness and some definite pepper.

Taste is spicy... rye and citrus hops (grapefruit, sour orange). Good solid mouthfeel, very little aftertaste (what's there is a bit dully bitter, like pine needles).

I liked this a lot, and if I can remember where I got it, I'll buy more. Somewhere in NY, I think.

crwills, Jun 24, 2006
Photo of JMD71
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy, deep cppery color. Rocky, textured head. Small head lingers. Vigorous carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet, malty aroma with notes of hop. Does not smell overly hoppy.

Taste: Malty flavor balanced by a hoppy middle. Finishes quite bitter on the palette because of the hop profile, but not overly so. Bitter finish does not linger...

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, Crisp finish after a smooth middle. Tastes clean.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Refreshing & smooth. Would need to be cautious with these due to the 8% ABV. I could drink a few..

Comment: This was a very good beer. I liked it all the way through the bomber. Nice example of the style....

JMD71, Jun 22, 2006
Photo of ccs
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber with a slightly off-white head. Lacing left along the glass all the way down. Smells of malt and caramel. Taste is a little surprising, since very little hops is detectable in aroma, but it is very much a hoppy beverage. Carbonation was a little choopy, making for an odd over-carbonated mouthfeel. But, overall, the bomber was gone in less than an hour...and I will be getting another next week.

ccs, Jun 20, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Hogtownharry: Poured a dark amber color ale with huge foamy off-white heat with great retention and lacing. Aroma of citrus hops with good malt backbone is very interesting. Taste is a mix between semi-sweet caramel malt with some c-hops that provide a bitter finish. Rye is quite hard to distinguish and doesn’t seem to provide that much in the overall mix. Body is slightly above average and alcohol is well hidden. Very well done overall but definitely not a style (American strong ale) that really excite me.

Phyl21ca, Jun 19, 2006
Photo of BradBLR
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is to date the coolest looking beer I have had. Poured this one in a 20 oz. glass and it had a great head. Half the glass was a nice yellowing foam, and it lasted almost the whole life of the beer. Color was a brownish red, much darker than any IPA I've had. The smell of this beer was ok, it was a rye hop smell where I think the rye and the hops kind of contradicted each other not giving this beer a very strong aroma.

The taste of this beer was reaaly good. The first couple of drinks were very bitter, really tasting the rye. The after that is was a very well balanced beer with a strong rye and hop flavor, very smooth. The mouthfeel of this beer was right on for a strong IPA.

All in all a great beer and one of the most amazing beers to come out of a bottle. Bear Republic probably does bottling better than any one else. Try it if you get a chance.

BradBLR, Jun 19, 2006
Photo of hoffman
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have a fever...and the only prescription...is more hops. This one doesn't dissapoint. By far the darkest IPA I have ever encountered, this also makes the beer possibly one of the most attractive in the glass..that and it's glue like tan/mocha head that rises past two fingers and stays at one finger throgh the first 3/4 of the session....wow. The smell is robust and full piney floral hops, a definite rye tinge and even some woody notes, very herbal. The taste is nice, more roasted malt than I had expected...and almost perfectly balanced....wow again. The mouthfeel is ultra creamy with just enough carbonation to let you know what you are drinking. I could slam this one all day long...and then go to sleep. WOW a great beer!

hoffman, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of dirtylou
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, Steve's - University, a measly $2.89...been meaning to try for a while

appearance: poured into a chalice...pours a dark garnet-amber, very dark indeed for an ipa, huge fluffy tan-white head with frothy retention and loads of foamy lacing...a visual delight indeed

smell: pungent floral hop presence, toasted rye loaf, quite resinous, light pine, ruby red grapefruit, pineapple and other tropical fruit...very nice

taste: well, this is a great ipa...sorry it took me so long to get around to it. juicy resinous hops dripping in every sip, tropical fruits highlighted by pineapple and light mango, sour grapefruit-citrus, rye-loaf adds an interesting flavour twist that works out quite well indeed. Will certainly buy again. Bear Republic is a top notch brewery available at ridiculously low prices

mouthfeel: strong bitterness, pungent hop bite, alcohol well hidden, medium body

drinkability: will cherish the 22oz, a great ipa

dirtylou, Jun 16, 2006
Photo of doppelmeup
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pretty dark copper colored brew. HInts of ruby and garnet. Inch thick fluffy white head with pretty good lacing. Nice looking beer.

Aromas of pine and citrus, some grapefruit, sweet malt. I was pleasantly surprised, as I was expecting an over-the-top hop smell. But this is extremely balanced.

The taste was quite surprising. I liked this beer much more than I expected. It is exquisitely balanced, with a lot of hops presence however is it complimented with a very satisfying malt flavor. I really like this. As it warms, the rye flavor begins to come through, although it is very slight and it stays n the background.

Mouthfeel was a little over carbonated. Medium thick feel.

Nice beer. It came highly recommended, but I was a little concerned that it would have too much of a hop flavor for my tastes, but I was pleasantly surprised. Highly recommended.

doppelmeup, Jun 13, 2006
Photo of Bitterbill
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle a deep amber gold with a large head of foam that dissipated slowly leaving a nice billowy layer that stayed for the entire session.

The smell is very hoppy with a bunch of grapefruit and spices hitting my nose very nicely.

The taste is big on hops up front. Nice flavours of grapefruit and spiciness hit my palate causing me to make a smacking noise. ;^)
There's also a bit of malt presence that sweetens it up just a tad mid way through and the finish is the closest this brew comes to being balanced but...no matter how you slice it, this is one hella good tasting IPA that really satisfies in every category. Oh yeah, aboot the 8%abv...not a factor!

Bottom line: This is a world class IPA. See it? Buy it.

Bitterbill, Jun 12, 2006
Photo of loren01
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark mahogany color with 2 finger frothy white/tannish head. Gopd head retention down the glass.
S: Smell is very citrusy/peppery. Slightly sweet smell.
T: Sweet, rich tasting beer up front. Nice hoppy flavor as an aftertaste. You can definately taste the rye as well.
M: Carbonation is nearly perfect, medium bodied.
D: Had this one in a bomber, could not drink much more after having one of these, it was pretty heavy, nevertheless a very tasty beer, thanks to GClarkage for this beer.

loren01, Jun 09, 2006
Photo of gbarron
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 22 oz. bomber. Hopefully this 'bear' of a beer had no trouble making it all the way to Va from Cali.

A - deep ruby, slightly brownish red. Perfectly clear. Head is very beautiful -- puffy, rich bed of small bubbles, off-white in color. Hangs around the entire way leaving excellent lacing. Beautiful beer.

S - mixture of tart, tangy hops, malt sugar sweetness, and alcohol. Hop aroma is resinous, pine, and citrus. Lots of malt backbone, sugar, caramel, and higher alcohols.

T - richly flavored, big beer. Deep malt sweetness, toffee, butter. Sticky candy sugar sweetness. Balanced out by tart, acidic citrusy hop flavor and bitterness. Aftertaste is very warming, alcoholic. Don't know that I'm picking up a lot of the rye here - although there is a tangy, tart flavor to this beer.

M - medium to full bodied beer, slightly syrupy and sticky in your mouth, both due to the malt bill and hop content of this beer.

D - this is a very, very tasty product and well crafted, but the full body, above average alcohol content, malty sweetness, and strong bitterness is so great, I couldn't drink more than one or two of these in a sitting.

gbarron, Jun 09, 2006
Photo of tattooedtolley
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber

Appearance - Ruby red/brown in color. Big creamy head leaving tons of lacing.

Smell - Malty with some fruity/citric hop notes. Some spiciness.

Taste - From the smell I totally expected the taste of malts to outpower the hops, I was wrong. While the beer obviously has plenty of malts to go with the hops, it is extrememly well balanced. I have never had anything with Rye in it that I have enjoyed, but I really enjoyed this beer.

Mouthfeel - Medium body.

Drinkability - Extremely drinkable. I really wish I had a case of this.

Overall, this beer surprise me more than any beer has recently. I went in to the experience with an open mind and man was I really blown away. From now on I will always pick this up when I find it.

tattooedtolley, Jun 07, 2006
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,290 ratings.