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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,467 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,467
Reviews: 2,053
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 239
Gots: 263 | 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: 4,467 | Reviews: 2,053
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!

Photo of bort11
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Solomon420 and the New Anniversary Bomber Bif for this one.

22 oz bomber poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Massively massive head. Standing in at about three inches, it was there to stay. I had to set down the glass after pouring to change a baby, let the dogs out, and fill the dishwasher. When I came back I don't think that head moved at all. That is fantastic head! The color itself was a very dark ruby red color. That's an interesting color for an IPA, which I'm guessing is due to the rye.
The smell had an expected rye bitterness, blended with an herbal hoppiness. Taste is equally bitter, a bit of citric sweetness mingles. A lot of floral notes.
Mouthfeel has a solid medium body with a tad of creaminess extended from the head..
Overall, this is a very interesting beer, however I started to get a little worn out by it towards the end.

Photo of Duster72
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a really awesome dark ruby with a massive ivory head and great looking carbonation. Aroma is exceptionally pleasing citrus hops that makes your mouth water. Taste is very bitter rye with little sweetness or citric tones I had anticipated from the aroma. Very disappointed that the bitterness was so out of balance. Very little flavor could be picked up over the bitterness. Mouthfeel is nice. Drinkability hurt by bitterness.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass, this was ruby/brown in color with just a slight haze. the tan head left sticky gobs of lacing all over the glass all the way to the bottom. this has a powerful bouqet of toffee, caramel, citrus, resin, dark candied fruit, and some spicy, roasty notes. taste was big and well-balanced. the interplay of sweet malt and bitter hops was pretty much perfect. the spiciness of the rye along with the lingering hop bitterness lead to a long, cleansing finish which leaves you wanting more. medium to full-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and just the right amount of carbonation. drinkability is not quite perfect due to the abv, not because you don't want to keep drinking it, 'cause this is some good fuckin' shit.
Note: have had this since many times including 12oz versions...there may be some freshness issues...have not been as impressed overall.

Photo of Bierguy5
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, 8% ABV. Cloudy, very dark brownish/copper, with some huby shades. Thick tan head. Great retention and lace. Look dark for an IPA.

This is bursting with citrusy and piney hop aroma. Toasty, caramel like maly is present in the nose as well. Fruity, mainly some tropical fruits.

Rich toffee like malt character. Very robust. Seems to fall into some woody flavors, then a blast of citrusy hops. Finishes with some peppery flavor.

Good body and carbonation. Well balanced. The rye addds a very unique character. Very nice.

Photo of awall422
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this was my first Bear Republic offering. Not disappointed!
Poured a dark reddish-orange out of the 22oz bottle. great 2 finger, off white head that lasted a few minutes, with pretty good lacing. Good resiny, fruity hop aromas make you eager to taste this beer. For a strong IPA, it was really well-balanced. Sweet, caramelly malts fight to stave off a strong hop bite. Oily textured, but smooth and eas to drink for a beer this strong and this hopped up. Really nice.

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

Poured from the bottle a clear dark amber red with a light beige head and light lacing.

Definitely a very hoppy aroma to this beer. Heavy on the pine and it lets you know that the rye is present.

Crisp and bitter from the hops but there's also a nice maltiness to it. The alcohol leaves a warming zing on the tongue at the end.

Medium mouthfeel and carbonation. Dry with the zing mentioned earlier.

What a great IPA this is. Drink one if you can,

Photo of CreamyStoutMan
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sadly, I didn't get a chance to pour this one due to lack of a clean glass. Looking through the tinted bottle, though, I feel that I can still judge its appearance a little. I can see that it is a deep, thick amber and (if I had a clean pint glass) I'm just about positive that it would pour a pretty creamy head.

Smells hoppy in one of the greatest ways that I can remember a beer smelling; reminds me of "hazed and infused", "hop wallop", and (too a much lesser extent) a number of IPA's. As one would expect from the explanation on the bottle, rye is definitely what is dominant on the nostrils.

Rye and intense, organic hops are definitely what dominate the palate as well with this one. I was thinking, at first, that this one was going to lean more to the direction of being an extremely hoppy specialty ale like hazed an infused, but after a few sips, I am convinced that it is definitely an IPA, and to be completely honest, it is probably my favorite of the style that I have sampled thus fur, which is saying a lot because I have tried many an IPA.

The mouthfeel is creamy and thick and wonderful. I really don't think that I could ask for too much more in this department, in regard to an IPA.

I could definitely knock back a few of these. I drank 1 pint 6 fluid oz. a lot faster than I thought I would and it's only eleven in the morning! Note: I have been eating pizza as well (which is somewhat of a common compliment to IPAs) so its slightly possible that it is throwing off my review, but I doubt it. I will definitely purchase this beer again when I am search of something with an extremely high hop and alcohol content.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep amber and a tan head. The aroma is HOPS. You can tell its comming. It has a fantastic taste. Grapefruity hops balanced out with the sweet malt and dryness of the rye. It leave a stickiness on the lips, but it is well worth it. One of the best beers by far.

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

An IPA injected with 18% rye? Wonder how this will do. On to the beer:

Pours rich dark from the bottle, which it settles into a dark amber in color with an awesome, thick head. There's a litle rye, ginger, and hops with a metallic twist to it in the nose. Now to taste it - leans towards the fruity side, not as hop dominant as the other IPA's. The flavor doesn't explode on you, but it's still pleasant. What makes this one unique is it's dry finsih (from the rye I suppose) that allows you to quaff this brew with ease.

I was wondering what the difference between the two Bear Republic IPA's would be, and this I would label the "different" one with its rye shot. The other offering I will try soon to compare notes. (Update: Racer 5 is tastier, but Hop Rod Rye is more quaffable.)

Photo of Budlum
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring this beer produces a tan head at one half inches tall. The body is a rich garnet and brown shade with excellent clarity. The head retention is good but nothing too special.

The nose of this beer presents a sharp rush of hop aromas. The hop smells are very earthy with a salt and pine resin kick. There is only a very muted sweetness in the background.

A flowing presentation of hops glides over the tongue with the first sip. Much like the aromas, the hops are very earthy with pine, grapefruit and many bitter flavors. A sweet maltiness blends with a light peat flavor. The hops regain strength for a long, bitter finish. The most impressive characteristic of this beer is the flavor presentation. There are mountains of hop flavors in the beer but it never overpowers the senses. This was wonderfully crafted.

The mouthfeel has mild carbonation and a balanced, spicy feeling from the hops.

Drinkability is great. The powerhouse of flavors matched with their awesome presentation make this easy to enjoy in large quantities.

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

Pours out a rusty hazelnut with plenty of carbonation present in the body. Head is thick, creamy, and beige, and holds up extremely well. There are some dimples atop the foam and with each sip there is left some lacing that reminds me of the residue left by the steamed milk on a cappuccino. The aroma is of citrus, vanilla custard, toffee, caramel, cane syrup, and a little hint of rye. Alcohol merely peaks out from this, but is well subdued considering the strength. In the flavor, malts start off sweet, bready and with dried fruits and caramel. The hops start to push into the middle then come into the forefront by the finish. Flavor is mostly citric but there are undertones of pine, earth, and strong herbs such as rosemary. A very understated rye makes itself known amongst the hops, which I think works well, but I would rather the rye to be a little more present. The bitterness does not overstep the sweet malts in the end, rather they create a balance. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, moderate to full, and the carbonation is extremely mellow. It's rare to find a beer of this strength as being this drinkable, but you don't notice it while you drink. Amazing beer.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,467 ratings.