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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,453 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,453
Reviews: 2,051
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 241
Gots: 255 | 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: 4,453 | Reviews: 2,051 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bluejacket74
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a red/amber color with about a half inch off-white head. The aroma is citrusy and pine hops, along with some malt and spice. Taste is hoppy (pine and grapefruit), with peppery spice, caramel, and grain/bread. There's a good mix between the mild malty sweetness and the hoppy bitterness, it's well balanced. The rye is a nice addition to this brew. Mouthfeel is medium, slick, creamy and smooth. Drinkability is pretty good too, the alcohol is well hidden and it's good and tasty. I think this is a pretty good beer overall. I haven't tried too many of Bear Republic's beers, but the ones I've tried have all been quality.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

OK first of all I am not reviewing this as an IPA. Nothing about this beer is IPA as far as I'm concerned. That noted...we will proceed.

The beer is a beautiful clear rosewood color and has a nice thin, rust-tinted head that fades to a thin layer. It leaves fragments of lace. The spicy nase gives a boquet of alefruit and fresh orange. Very inviting. The taste is a simple but lovely swirling of big ale fruit esters, perfectly proportioned rye kick, crystal malt, and herbal hop all melding together for one very co-hesive brew. I might call this an "Imperial Amber".

Mouthfeel is alive with rye and carbonation. It is a little stingy but this helps accentuate much of the flavor profile (specifically hops, rye, esters) and does much to add drinkability to what would be an otherwise oppressive full body. As beer warms and carbonation dissapates it actually gets nice and creamy. Man this beer is a journey.

Photo of kernalklink
3.59/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good A IPA from Bear republic- nice color, light amber on the pour with some lacey head. Aromas were good as well, not too overpowering and the hops really come through the othe scents present. Taste was somewhat harsh- mouth puckering hops hid most of the malt counterbalance and an odd citric aftertaste dominated the finish. I was dissapointed that there was not more rye flavor present, the idea of a combination of the hops and rye was exciting to me, especially in an american IPA. I really dont understand the hype- its a decent beer but BR has made much bigger and better than this one.

Photo of bgraney
3.38/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep red, mild carbonation, white foamy head.
Surprisingly, not much hop aroma, mostly a yeasty/biscuity aroma.
Tasty hop bitterness, lemony with a definite alcohol hit, somewhat sweet.
Leaves behind an enjoyable lemon tang that lingers throughout the mouth.
The sweetness may prevent multiple glasses but I think a couple is a good idea.
I should point out that I had this on tap recently and that would have received higher ratings than the bottled version.

Photo of balconybrew
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic glass from the bomber. Pours a reddish brown with a medium size head that feel rather fast, leaving a ring of foam and some lacing. The aroma is of "C" hops, but I wanted more. (it may be the hop head in me) I don't smell any malt. The flavor is full of hop bitteness, with a great ending. The taste starts with hops melds to malt (missing some rye) and back to hop ending. It finishes a little dryer then expected. (maybe the yeast and rye) For being 8% abv, I didn't get any alcohol taste or warmth.
Great beer.

Photo of allengarvin
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great pour! Served into a pint glass, this murky reddish-brown beer has about an inch of long-lasting foam on top. Hugely hoppy aroma, just bursting in floral, citrusy hop scents, with a tinge of fruitiness at the edge. Flavor is all about the hops as well. There's some residual malt sweetness that adds balance, and some fruity yeast character, but the main flavor from start to finish is luscious hops. Finish is crackerly dry. I don't find much rye malt taste in here, though.

Top-notch IPA.

Photo of slagle9480
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Great red body with an off-white colored head that held rather well.

S: Aside from the hops, I could smell pine and some citrus flavors.

T: Wow, this is a great beer. This is my first from the west coast Bear Republic... I love it. BR definitely loaded up on the hops with this one. Definitely a hop-head's taste. Also notes of citrus flavors but nothing that compromises the hoppiness.

M: Lush. Delicious. Totally smooth. Great beer.

D: This category doesn't even need to be filled out. Just go buy the damn beer. If I lived closer to Cali this would be stocked in my fridge.

Thanks to Premier Group in Buffalo, NY for supplying the 22 oz. bomber.

Photo of david131
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- A perfectly clear dark orange liquid fills the glass and a massive, thick, foamy head makes itself at home on the top. Some streams of bubbles keep the head around for awhile. The mead maintains itself for the entire time, it's wonderful. Leaves some excellent lacing.

S- Fairly light in the smell department. What is there is some citrus and grassy hops. The malt aroma is very caramely.

T- An excellent balance of grassy, citrus, and pine hops with the malt. Not overpowering or harsh. Just a nice, smooth, well balance IPA. The rye is very light.

M- Wonderful. Very smooth and doest not build on the palate at all.

D- Awesome. At 8% this goes down like water. The hops are not harsh, its very smooth, and the alcohol is not noticeable at all. Dare I say a sessionable 8% IPA?

Photo of BMoney575
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on 7-29-07

Pours a surprisingly dark red/ambers with a nice off-white head that leaves spider-web lacing on the glass.

The smell is clean, grassy hops, with just a hint of citrus and malt.

Taste is all big, fruity hops at first and then the perfect match of earthy, malty, and bitter to keep everything straight. Absolutely fantastic.

Mouthfeel is great, with a nice hoppy thickness.

Drinkability is terrifyingly good, at 8%.

Overall, not what I was expecting at all. Given the title and the abv, I was looking for a balls-to-the-wall double IPA. What I got was one of the cleanest, most well balanced, and most easy to drink IPAs I've ever had. Highly, highly, recommended.

Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big yet relatively well-balanced IPA. The malt combined with a spicy undertone with the big citrus and slightly juicy hops that showed off a bit of orange rind at the end. While this had a big and tasty hops flavor, the aroma was a little weak and the taste wasn't that complex. It was a great beer, but nothing life changing.

Photo of TuckerCarlson
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear dark amber with a tone of sticky, foamy head that leaves really nice lacing down the glass.

Lots of grapefruit with a definite whiff of pine back there.

Quite high on the bitterness scale, even as it warms up. Really good citrus flavors with enough malt to balance everything out. I'm not entirely sure what the addition of rye contributes, but it all works very well together.

Nice, thick, and chewy.

I wouldn't call it a refresher for a hot day, but a great one to sit down and sip during a long conversation. If this was on tap, I doubt I'd go for anything else.

Photo of trevorwideman
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into an oversized wine glass.

Pours a nearly opaque brown with some reddish/purple highlights. 1/2 inch head retains extremely well and leaves a ton of lace. Carbonation is medium-high. Spicy nose, peppery with a piney/citrussy hop aroma. A bit of malty sweetness and a little bit of earthiness from the rye. Subtle at first but then becomes more complex as it warms.

Taste is Piney bitter with a bit of citrus rind. Peppery with a hint of caraway and even a little plum fruitiness. Some alcohol and a hint of vanilla. very enjoyable. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth but dries nicely and gets sticky in the finish. Very full bodied. Drinkability was hampered a bit by all the alcohol, but it's lovely and bitter and I'm savoring every sip.

Photo of shroompod
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz pours a dark red, small head , some lacing.

Smell is very floral , with citrus.

Taste is hoppy, a very green, mouth puckering, grapefruit hoppy. The rye as a adjunct seems keep any sweetness at bay.

Mouthfeel is crisp , somewhat drying with the high hop rate.

Overall this beer masks the high ABV very well. A very unique beer that I'll try again.

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

This to Mr. Lew Bryson (award-winning, beer-drinking, whiskey-sipping, brewery-visiting, cask-tapping, thirst-creating drinks writer…esteemed critic, connoisseur, Advocate, and Patriot) I am seriously ‘getting your point’ about standardized styles.

This one pours a clear and very dark amber, almost mahogany color (non-standard-typical), with an absolutely huge stiff three finger run-away head that resists fading. A whole lot of lacing going on; some 3D.

An aggressive smell but not the hop bomb I anticipated. Instead I’d say it has a much sweeter malty aroma...similar to a DIPA. I’m assuming that’s the RYE. I’ve only had rye beverages a half-dozen times but I’m definitely already big fan. Anyway, you can smell classic rye.

Medium bodied, the mouth feel is incredibly smooth and creamy. Absolutely no ‘tingle’ from hop or effervescence (…and that’s not “style-typical”…but, IT ROCKS!). The flavor of the hops is there without the typical sensation. A full and balanced rye malt flavor persists.

A wonderful drinker. Produce and Distribute widely as a ‘gateway beverage' for the AB masses longing for a true experience. Attention: this Specialty Ale should be considered fully, though it represents a ‘corner condition’ as an American IPA , it completely deserves its spot in the ‘Best of BA’ chart.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hop Rod Rye

So I have made it, here it is, my 400th beer review! Wow, thats alot of beer! I was deciding last week on what to have for this as I knew it was coming up. I wanted something good, but I am saving something real special for my 500th(always looking ahead), My decision was made easy when I fionally landed a bottle of Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye! I had been waiting forever to try this beer. It just seemed like something I had to go for, right up my alley so to speak, and I just knew I would eventually land one. So when it came time, I knew just where to turn, to the fire painted hot rod on the front of the bottle, which would bring me a whole lotta hops! So onto the beer....

A - Poured a very deep hazy burned amber. This thing literally looked like a burgundy, great great hue on this one. One of the biggest, thickest, gooiest, stickiest off white, tannish colored head I have ever seen in a beer. This thing was huge, an easy three plus talls with a ton, an absolute ton of residual side glass lace dripping down the side. It was completely obscured throughout the session. Great carbonation was visible leaching up from the bottom of the glass, almost immediatly and lasted to the bitter end. For appearence, absolutly perfect. I could not have made this look better, and thats the damn truth, Fives all around for the pour on this one.

S - Wow, just a deep citrus sweet hoppy aroma. Not overpowering, just luxiuosly rich smelling. A slight touch of alcohol in the aroma in the beginning. Such a complexity rarely found in the nig IPS's, usually they are just overloaded with hops to the point that its like grapefruit gone made. This was much more blended and refined. Had alot of amlt backing and that was evident even from the smell. Lots of orange peel, and tangerine, mixed with a nice caramel sweetness and a touch of some earthy grain, very nice indeed.

T - Awesome, just such a nice blend between the hops and the malts made this so damn pleasurable. Major flavors from the start were bitter grapefruit and orange, with some candied sugar. Balanced perfectly with a touch of caramel and a really nice grainy sort of ceral back. No weakness or watered down taste here, in fact, this has to be one of the most complex and finaely crafted IPA's I have ever tasted. It just seemed to have such depth and character. A ton of time had to go into getting this flavor right, as it was damn right. I relly could have drank this forever. As it warmed it lost some of the alchol punch and just seemed to get more blended together. Great dry finish and a long, I mean very long bitter lingering aftertaste. I could still taste this one like a full 5 minutes later, wow, damn fine tasting brew, for sure...

M - This was just remarkably smooth and consistent. Very sticky at first on the gums and teeth, but that soon passed. Great carbonation really let the flavors pop. It just danced around on the palate soo smoothly, very awesome feel. Light enough to be drnk consistently, but thick enough to be a sipper if you needed it.

D -Outstanding, one of the finest beers I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. I would stock the fridge, or buy a keg of this in a heartbeat. Just cannot say enough good things about it.

Overall I really do not know what elseI can say. I loved every second of this beer. Really just fantastic, and worthy of my 400th review, or my 1000th!!

Photo of ByTor2112
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared this with a friend. Poured a killer shade of copper going to garnet red. Not much head formed with this, but a small off-white layer of foam was present.
Aroma-a sharp hoppy aroma with mostly piney notes.
Mouthfeel- Whoa! this is one aggressive brew. The hops are well layered and the malt body is not too sweet.The Rye really gives an excellent edge, almost a bite on the finish. Alcohol is noticeable and with the Rye gives the brew a kick that says: Hey I am dropping high octane and hops all over your palate jack! Almost a solid 4, and I like Rye grain, but being truly quaffable is slightly diminished by the hearty edge of this one. Everything I have tried from BR has been choice!

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

from 22oz bottle. I had this on tap back around march and it was great.

This is really an exceptional and interesting beer. Its a very very dark reddish-brown color and smells of fresh floral and piney hops. The taste is fantastic with the malt and rye body backing up the seemingly very fresh hop taste so well. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium, with a relatively slick and smooth body.

No doubt this is one of the best IPA's in the country.
overall: 4.35
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5

Served in a goblet at the Stone Bistro.

A- a dark reddish brown, not cloudy, but dark enough not to see through it, with a nice and long lasting off-white head. Leaves exceptional lacing.

S- Hops - piney and resiny

T- very nice mellow bitterness with a nice hop taste, but an excellent maltiness to back it up. I got just a touch of sourness from the rye.

M/D - very smooth, excellent all around.
[ serving type: on-tap

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

i had this jewel last night. poured very nicely into a glass. nice color, nice head and carbonation with good lace. i really liked the rich smell but the taste is what hooked me. a very good combo of rich malt with plenty of hops.

a top five for me. i am a APA and IPA guy so this one was very pleasing to me palate!

suckem up and movem out!


p.s. i read somewhere that the 22 oz bottles are good cuz you can share with a friend. i dont have any friends and its a good thing too, cuz i aint sharin beer this good with anyone. get your own!

Photo of acrawf6
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I have never had a beer spew out so much of its aroma right as the cap is popped. quite impressive.

Pours out a very dark reddish brown amber with a very frothy tan head that retains for the whole drink. very nice lacing. Certainly the darkest "ipa" i have ever seen.

Smell. A very nice and rich aroma of caramel and grapefruits. The rye is very potent and present here. There is also a nice citrus to it as well. Just so much hops, but still a strong level of malts and rye as well.

Taste. Just a whole bunch of flavors going off in my mouth. Has a very nice level of bitterness, but a sweet maltiness (caramel) is quite present as well. I cant tell if the hops are dominant or the rye flavor. Hops are piney with a little citrus in it. The flavor is just so strong! Aftertaste is spicey and bitter.

Mouthfeel. It is a full body with a very creamy texture that fills the mouth nicely. Carbonation is there, but seems low with the thick viscosity of the beer.

Overall, an incredible beer! Great balance with a great flavor. Quite a unique beer that is a nice mixture of a rye and i think a 2ipa.

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

22 oz. bomber poured into a nonic.

Pours a beautiful ruby red wit a huge three finger khaki colored head that takes forever to die down. Stickiness is all over the place, love the way this brew looks. Smell is a wonderful sweet pine aroma with a grassy/rye aroma that tingles the nose. Such a clean smelling brew. Wow, taste is unreal. Very mild pine/citrus hops, but definitely there balanced perfectly with rye and caramel malt flavors. So incredibly smooth going down. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with fair carbonation. Balance is amazing in this brew, I can't believe it took me this long to try this one. I'll definitely be going back for more of this. Pick this one up for sure the next time you see it.

Photo of Lothore
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark auburn with hints of caramel coloring. Has the massive head i've come to expect from bear republic.

S- Sweet and piney smell. The hops come through huge.

T- Hits strong with piney hops.Hints of citrus and spruce give it an excellent flavor.

M- A bit thin for my taste. Carbonated very well.

D- Very drinkable. The massive amount of hops and bitterness makes it one to sip of but I can drink this all night long.

Photo of boogles
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into oversized wine glass, because that's what was clean.

This is worth trying, a refreshing diversion from trying to find the perfect whatever (e.g., double IPA, double stout, Russian imperial stout). Bitter but not overhopped. Dark, beautiful color. Strong, but not too thick. I'll be getting more of this.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber

A: Translucent dark red, almost maroon, definitely an idiosyncratic look, the color is very different from what I usually see in a beer of this type, but looks fantastic. Off-white head that stays around forever, great lacing.

S: Piney West coast hops, with spiciness from the rye.

T: Piney spruce bombards the mouth with robust bitterness, followed by some amber caramel malts. Spices come through in the end, black pepper and clove, with a hint of alcohol.

M: Very well built, immensely smooth for such a beer.

D: A little lower due to the robustness and high alcohol, but very tasty and a very nice beer to drink that revels in its own complexities but does not go over the top; not to mention that it is virtually ubiquitous in my area, and is relatively cheap, hovering around $3.29-$3.49 for a bomber.

Photo of Atron67
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle,

A- this was a pretty dark IPA a little red, massive head that made me split the pouring up more than normal stayed forever,
S- has a nice hoppy quality strong can notice the rye
T- has a really nice hoppy and malt characteristics, the rye isnt bad, i cant really decide whether i liked it or not,but its a personal distaste, nothing wrong with it.
M- heavier creamy body that is a little heavy for the body, but its a heavy IPA so not too surprizing, strong carbonation
d- its a really good beer, the rye threw me off from what i was expecting it was good, just different, havent had a beer with rye in it.

Photo of cnybrewblog
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am a huge fan of this brew. It is the first of the Bear Republic beers that I have tried and I assure you I will go back for more.

It has a dark hue that almost looks two tone when you pour a full glass. There is a red tint to the brew that is probably because of the rye. There is a thick off white head that stays forever on the beer.

The smell is a great combination of hops and malt. Though the fruity hops really come out in the smell.

The first experience in the flavor is all hops, it is strong upfront and gives way to the malt and has a hit of the dry rye flavor. It has a light bitterness that goes down very smooth.

It has a pleasant mouth feel because it's complex, but not too much all in one flavor. There is no alcohol burn.

This is a very drinkable beer, I got mine in a 22oz and I am thinking about going to the store to get a second!

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,453 ratings.