1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.

4,216 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,216
Reviews: 2,030
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 209
Gots: 204 | FT: 4
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hop Rod Rye Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,216 | Reviews: 2,030 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

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

Time for a revist... a trying task it is, but someone has to do it.
I've reviewed this once before and much of what I said stands but a couple additions are merited:
the bitterness that lives in the flavor is a dark chocolate bitterness... really quite pleasant if you like that kind of thing.
This is a different looking, different smelling, different tasting double IPA. Sweeter, maltier and deeper tasting. This could easily hide more alcohol within the Big-ness of the flavor, though it has a good kick as it stands.
Maybe somewhere in a spectrum between an IPA and barleywine?
A Bear Republic barleywine... man... sign me up for some of that.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2006 23:39:40 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of beermanbrian


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

22 oz bottle

Dark redish brown color. Tan head. Some lacing. Nice piney hops smell. Also note sweet maltiness in the smell.

Pine hops taste up front followed by the sweet finish. Malt candy sweetness comes through as you drink more but it never becomes overbearing. Slighly bitter aftertaste but not overly so. 8% ABV is nicely hidden.

One of the few double IPA that had enough hops bitterness to cover the sweetness. This is one I really enjoyed. Another winner from Bear Republic. Much thanks to the immortal maltygoodness.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2006 01:31:47 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of ghostwalker


4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish-brown body, huge thick flufffy white head. Really a cool looking brew and different from almost any other IPA that I can think of.

Nose is fresh pine/grapefruit hops. Definitely a sign of hops to come.

Flavor is delicious, quenching, tantalizing hops. God, this stuff is great! The word Rye in the name threw me off a bit. I did not expect this. This is a world class West Coast IPA. Some malt and perhaps rye flavor in the middle, I can't really tell behind all the wonderful, wonderful hops. This is not a balanced brew, and I really couldn't care less. Nearly perfect.

Mouthfeel is medium-smooth with a great hop zing and some sense of piney hop residue. It has enough of that tooth enamel stripping IPA'ness to enjoy without being annoying or painful.

Drinkability is very high. I could session this one with great ease and pleasure.

I have seen this on tap at Redbones, but passed on it since they had Stone IPA and I just wasn't sure about it. I will never make that mistake again.Great work, Bear Republic!

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2006 01:05:24 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

A - What a head! It is thick, creamy and never goes away. The brew is a slightly hazy scarlet. The lacing (although it takes forever) leaves giant thick rings of lacing on the sides of the glass. After twenty minutes the head is still substantial. An island of head is left in the middle of the glass after the sides finally dissipate. My very last swig was a mouthful of head, that is the first time that ever happened to me. When I reached the bottom, the monsterous lacing made the glass look like the painted desert.

S - The strong pine (frazier fir if I had to choose) and alcohol odors blend and form something which smells like a Christmas tree farm and grain alcohol (or maybe a drunk Christmas tree farmhand). There is a barely discernable malt character underneath. The alcohol is too strong for my liking, it actually burns my nose a bit.

T - The hops are not nearly as intense as I was anticipating. It has a definite pine character, but other flavors are prominant. There is a smoked oak flavor and some floral hops (lillies and a bit of roses) in the taste. A caramel malt and some faint coffee as well. The beer has a sweetness to it, but it doesn't seem to be a caramel-like sweetness. I think that sweet flavor is from the rye. The aftertaste is more mild than the foretaste is. It has some light coffee bitterness, pine bitterness and a touch of rye seed spiciness as well. The alcohol is not detectable in the flavor.

M - The beer is medium viscosity and very smooth. It could be better in the refreshing category, but it could be a lot worse.

D - I really enjoyed this one. It has a fabulous taste and a great look. I see why everyone enjoys this so much. I could buy this again definitely (especially with Bear Republic's reasonable bomber prices). A bomber, maybe two for the hardy, would make for an excellent "session", but this is definitely not a sessionable beer (too strong).

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2006 23:56:25 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of bennetj17


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

Dark amber in color, has a medium head with nice retention. There is a lot of carbonation going on in this one. The aroma is fairly one dimensional but it is a nice fresh hop smell, very strong. The strong hops are noticed immediately upon tasting, and it hides the malt flavor. Has a nice strong bitter finish. Actually the malt does seem to balance things out a bit after drinking more. This thing is silky smooth,with a rich full body, and excellent carbonation. I wouldn't consider myself a "hophead" but this was one of the best hoppy beers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2006 17:41:21 | More by bennetj17
Photo of Oxymoron


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

Don't drink and drag. It says so on the bottle. Hop Rod Rye pours a dark amber red with good clarity. A somewhat bad pour by me but it still looked good. Nice head and excellent lacing.

The smell has a big aroma coming right out of the bottle. Following the lines of RyePA. Pine notes with citrus overtones really dominate the aroma. Limited malt smells but there are caramel and basic malt smells are present. Some hints of rye as well.

The taste is mild hop taste and a good spicy flavor from the rye. A good piney taste upfront that quickly makes room for a limited bite from lingering bitterness and rye. A slight astringent note but not over the top. This is followed by a limited but flavorful caramel taste is noticeable in the background. Some minor sweetness into the finish with some hints of soapiness that lingers. A light yeast character but mostly clean.

The texture is a littled watery but good flavor and decent body. A creamy taste but the spice limits the texture. Very easy to drink and a nice overall beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2006 02:38:02 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of scottoale


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

Poured into glass pint mug, big frothy 2inch almond colored lasting head. Once settled a nice lacing occurs. The brew is a dark copper to mahogany in color, looks very inviting!

Smell is of very robust piney HOPand more hop and a hint of rye,nice.

Flavor is full of spicy, piney hops with a nice caramel malty into rye finish.
A definite hop lovers dream com true.Hop resin, full bodied, well balanced beer that tops it's style for sure.

Feels good in the mouth, rich and a little sticky. Very drinkable but go easy as you notice it's 8 percent ABV. I haven't had this seasonal brew
in a few years, forgot how much I like...highly recommend to fellow hop-heads!

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2006 08:01:26 | More by scottoale
Photo of smcolw


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

Four finger beige head with large bubbles. This condenses into a long lasting tight head that leaves decent lace. The brew is reddish-orange brown and clear.

Very strong hop bouquet--fresh! Very inviting.

Full bodied and flavored with excellent malt flavors that quickly recede to the hop bite. I don't really detect the rye, but the liquor is quite dry and astringent. The aftertaste is long-lasting hop bitterness--my breath seems to have become the hop bouquet of the aroma.

An excellent double IPA--hop-heads rejoice.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2006 22:41:25 | More by smcolw
Photo of Padron4KM


3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, no freshness date.

Pours mahogany with a creamy tanish head.

Aroma is piney and citrus with sweet maltyness lying underneath.

Flavor is complex and balanced. Nice piney and grapefruity bitterness with some spice, a sweet middle and long rye finish.

Very tasty beer, one I'm sure I'll reach for again and again

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2006 06:38:28 | More by Padron4KM
Photo of PeatReek


4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 22 oz bottle. At 8%?? Hoo mama.

Appearance: deep copper color, edging on brown ale and just slightly hazy (no suprise for a rye beer). Head is off-white, about 1/2" thick with very fine bubbles and it appears to be sticking around.

Smell: huge hop nose, strong on floral and pine overtones, but clean and fresh, not earthy. A slight hint of lemon.

Taste: The floral and pine qualities come out immediately, resolving to a a very clean citrusy bitterness, more like lemon than grapefruit. I'm pretty sure this is some major Centennial hoppage, and I love it. Somewhere in the beginning/middle of the sip, there's just enough bready malt support to keep this from tasting like hop water. The rye comes out mainly as an aftertaste, but that's OK.

Mouthfeel: just the perfect amount of carbonation to bring the hop flavors alive on my tongue. The rye gives it one heckuva head retention; I feel like I'm getting a milk moustache here. Contributes to a nice full body without seeming too chewy.

Drinkability: though I tend to hit my hop limit after one IPA per session, I could come back for a few of these. A few... pints, that is. I dunno about these deuce-deuces. Phew.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2006 01:27:34 | More by PeatReek
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer poured a dark brown the faded to a light orange towards the edge of my glass. The head was creamy and light yellow that left some nice lace.

Smelled of extremely intense floral and citrus hops with a predominating pine.

In the flavor, the only reason this intense hop experience is made tolerable is the fantastically paired rye crisp and grapenut-like malt that supports it. There are also some sweet marshmallow undertones to this beer. Then, this beer finishes with a bit of malty grapefruit and rye, that arguably had too much bite.

The mouth feel is light and delicate with a smooth carbonation.

What a fantastic pairing of flavors and superb drinkability. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for more rye based brews in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2006 17:17:02 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of Naes

New York

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is dark amber to brown in color with reddish hues. It has a tall off-white frothy head. Retention and lacing is good.
The aroma is of hops and believe it or not, as the name implies rye is in the nose as well.
The flavor is bitter with hops and citrus, but has a definite malt character to balance things out. The rye is also present throughout the drink, but shows through best in the aftertaste. This is a nice and balanced DIPA.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and moderately carbonated.
The alcohol content is hidden quite well.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2006 06:18:06 | More by Naes
Photo of ChiSox05


4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured mohogany with an inch tall head that just sat perched there the entire time. Tough lacing left a ring down the glass every sip, ending with bars of lacing after the beer was gone.

Citric hoppiness and a roasty rye in the nose.

On taste the hops are all over without hurting their own cause, on a small sip a sweet-tart juiciness wakes up the taste buds. Fairly easy on the mouth, alcohol is detectable, slightly bigger than medium bodied, rye and carbonation add spicy feel.

Different from other DIPA's, not as slick and oily. Head retention was amazing, great presentation by The Map Room. Just checked ABV, had no idea it was near 8%, could easily catch up with you because one isn't enough.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2006 16:49:51 | More by ChiSox05
Photo of masikon


4.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is absolutely perfect if ever there was a perfect beer. I'm changing my favorite style to American Double IPA based on this. Pours a rich amber to mahogany with a rich sea foam head that lasts and clings everywhere. Nose is full of delicious citrus hops, some subdued candy malts and a slight alcoholic pepper. Taste is divine, a solid perfectly executed wall of hops slams the palate with grapefruit, zest, pineapple, and candy sweetness in the background...no foul grassyness or over the top bitterness here. Bear Republic has reminded me with this beer of why I love beer, a true masterpiece....im gushing...I can't say enough.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2006 03:22:54 | More by masikon
Photo of connecticutpoet


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dang! This is a clear, very red brew that forms a full four finger rocky head that left a LOT of lace on the sides of my pint glass. This stuff clings! When I was done, it didn't want to wash off readily.

Aroma was of pine hops and caramel, with a slightly sweet toffee character. There was definitely a bit of rye spiciness that nicely complimented the hops.

Taste was bitter pine and grapefruit hops, but not overpowering. medium-bodied malts were evident as an underlying theme, and the rye bite was definitely there. Quite nice and well-balanced. I see why it has the rating it does.

Mouthfeel was full and chewy, not as astringent as the high alpha acid content would lead one to believe, not oily even though there were obviously loads of hop resins. Damn fine.

Drinkability was up there. Without a doubt I would be willing to have this one again,

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2006 03:43:02 | More by connecticutpoet
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

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

Appearance: pours a clear deep copper color with a thick 3" merangue-like head that lasts throughout the drink. Thick lacing also develops.

Smell: strong citrus and hop bitterness is easily detectable.

Taste: this beer covers it all, as a nice sweet malty backbone is kept in check with strong piney bitterness and fat orange slices. Hint of graininess and some brown sugar notes too.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finish, with all flavors lingering on the tongue long into aftertaste. Slight dryness on the finish.

Drinkability: great drinkability, a must have for those who haven't had one yet.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2006 16:30:06 | More by Gavage
Photo of Tupperwolf


4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours from a 22oz bottle with no freshness date into my nonic a perfect impression of Coca-Cola dark red-brown. The more I drink, the redder it gets. The head on this thing is HUGE! Big frothy mountains of tan-white head burst upwards for long seconds, and very slowly settle down to a thick, complete covering that won't go away. As I drink this beer it leaves shelf after shelf of lace rings. So beautiful I want to cry!

The smell has distinct hop oils - grapefruit and pine, but they aren't so aggressive as most kick-ya-in-the-teeth double IPAs; Actually, they're kind of secondary to a sugarcane, saccharine sweetness. The overall effect gets my mouth watering hard.

Ah, there's those hops! They dance around on my tongue in a devilish samba, all piney and twangy and hoppy. Mmmm. I think the rye gives this beer a serious plus; It doesn't diminish from the hoppy taste, but adds so much sugary, malty smoothness. It still isn't aggressive, which is how I like an IPA, but damn if it isn't GOOD. I mean this beer tastes excellent. It keeps my mouth watering and I just can't help but dive back in for more! The second glass brings a level of additional spice and zing with the brewer's yeast that only adds more complexity. Mmm.

Slick on the tongue, with just enough carbonation to keep me happy - I'm glad it went to the head instead of sticking around in the body, because the flavors of this beer are accented by the amount of carbonation it has. Kind of a clingy hoppy hop-oil aftertaste that lingers and lingers. Mmm.

I put some pizza in the oven, intending to drink this beer with them when they were done, but in the ten minutes it took the pizza to cook, I drank the first 12oz like a greedy bastard and had to pour the rest of the bottle to have with my food. This beer deserves all the praise it's received! God Bless California!

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2006 01:39:13 | More by Tupperwolf
Photo of Goban


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

It has a beautiful pour with a rich and thick creamy head. Head retention is great and leaves a wonderful lace sticking to the glass. The color is an appealing dark brown with a slight hint of red. It smells very hoppy with a sweet citrus background that is very inviting. A wonderfully rich mouthfeel that holds hoppy bitterness that lasts and lasts.

Hop Rod is my first brew by Bear Republic and I’m sold already. Wonderful beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2006 16:42:08 | More by Goban
Photo of hero27


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

22 oz bomber. Listed 8% abv. Says on the bottle it's made with 18% rye...interesting.

Rapidly forming head of khaki foam. Mostly clear amber color.
Elegant hop aroma.. floral hops are strong, but not overdone and won't take the paint off the walls like some hop aromas will. Very fresh, spicy hop flavors up-front that blend in ridiculously well with the earthy Crystal malt presence...quite smooth going down, also. Damn, this stuff's incredible...every flavor works in harmony, with the hops, malt, and rye doing their part to make one insane beer. This brew is the real deal.

An exceptional Double IPA, with a uniqueness that will keep you coming back for more..

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2006 00:17:40 | More by hero27
Photo of RedHaze


4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/amber with a very thick and creamy two finger head that fades very slowly to a thick cap, and leaves tons of lace clinging to the sides of my glass. Looks impressive.

Smell; has a really nice spicy rye aroma that I really enjoy, piney and slightly citrusy hops with just a hint of sweet caramel.

Taste; the piney hops hit first followed by that rye spiciness that just really stands out. A nice grapefruit flavor mixes in with a nice caramel malty presence on the finish that's really pleasant. For a DIPA this beer is not overly bitter. This beer has a nice and chewy mouthfeel, but has a little more of a carbonation bite to it that I would have liked. This is a truely "outstanding" beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2005 03:07:51 | More by RedHaze
Photo of Prufrock


3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber poured into a pilsner.

pours a clear amber with tons of off-white head that falls into frothy peaks. leaves a mess of chunky lacing on the glass as it falls. edit: the first pour was crystal clear, the last was slightly hazy with some dancing dark sediment.

spicy rye aromas with piney, resiny hops. sweet malts and a hint of alcohol in the nose as well. just a touch of grapefruit, but not as much as in the racer 5.

very balanced taste, but with a nice complexity. hop bitterness has a huge presence but doesn't dominate the experience like many other double IPAs; hops function more to wash the malty sweetness away, leading to perfect drinkability. slick, resiny hop flavors with the nice crisp, light mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

another solid beer from bear republic (their IPA is one of my favorites).

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2005 22:33:49 | More by Prufrock
Photo of Shultzerdugen


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown bomber bottle.

Clear red/copper in color with a super irregular almost tan head. The froth was long lasting.

Assertive hops take over the nose, bringing out citrus notes like grapefruit, pineapple, and mandarin orange. Also the faintest whiffs of booze and malt.

Surprisingly full bodied, creamy, and well carbonated. Almost grainy. Hops come out to attack, bold and dominating, still along the citrus bent. Halfway through the glass the spiciness from the rye becomes apparent, adding real depth and enjoyment.

Bear Republic makes some damned fine beers, this one being no exception.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2005 21:24:55 | More by Shultzerdugen
Photo of IntriqKen


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

Ok...I'll try to do this intelligently but I've had two 22 oz bottles and that may not be possible.
Pours deep, deep brown...almost black.
Heavenly head of sable color that stays with a pretty lacing throughout the drink.
I smell grapefruit...probably the hops.
Taste is heavenly....tingly hops with slight grapefruit aftertaste....wonderful blending of hops and malt...almost perfect. Nothing overpowers...just a heavenly blending.
Light carbonation...high octane but no high burn going down.

I enjoyed this brew totally...maybe too much. In my mind this was 'the perfect beer'. Heavenly blending of malt and hops....aftertaste is clean and nice. If it was only half the alcohol I would drink a sixer...as it is, I may anyway and regret it tomorrow.
My favorite.
I'm inclined to give it 5's all over because I love it but will be honest in my ratings.
I had to make a note after finishing about my 10th of these (no...not at one sitting.
This beer has the most incredible head I have ever seen in a beer. It is almost stiff in intensity and the entire two fingers will last through then entire drink. You litterally can sculpt the head of bubbles you will get with a pour all the way to the bottom of the glass. While being the stiffest head I have ever seen from a brew, it is not a bad thing at all...I enjoy this extra touch of heavenly richness the head imparts.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2005 01:58:39 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of joecast


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

mmm. hops and rye. what an excellent combination. (18% rye to be exact).

pours a clear deep mahogany . just off white head. first pour was about 50% foam, settles to a thick stable layer leaving generous lacing.

strong citrus hoppy aroma.

tingles on the tongue. there is a sharpness, almost tart, that i am guessing is from the rye. nice addition to the heavy handed hop bitterness and sweetness from the 8%abv. slides right to the back of the mouth as all sensation seems to be coming from there. very light up front, but then, BAM.

yeah, it hits you all right. abv, ibu, ... ok, i cant think of another one. my point is, it all adds up. this is not a mellow beer. brash and bold, it will take no prisoners.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2005 05:32:48 | More by joecast
Photo of deuschbag


4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

my first review, why not make it hop rod. i am officially in love with this beer. beautiful dark reddish color. the taste is hops galour. alcohol is there but hidden very well. i'm trying not to drink it so fast so i don't get hammered. don't know what else to say but..wow. bear republic has yet to dissapoint me.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2005 22:29:32 | More by deuschbag
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,216 ratings.