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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,431 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,431
Reviews: 2,047
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 237
Gots: 245 | 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: 4,431 | Reviews: 2,047 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle

Crystal clear, dark copper color. Light tan head - large and rocky. Lively carbonation.

Very citrusy aroma. Slightly sweet as well, caramel, peach & pineapple.

Sweeter than expected taste. Hops rather subdued. Rye comes through mildly. Biscuity. As temperature increases, fruit flavors (peach & pineapple) come out along with some caramel. ABV very well hidden, just a hint comes through. Excellent balance. As I drink, a peppery taste starts to build up.

Medium bodied. Low to medium carbonation. Drying, but smooth and very drinkable.

An excellent beer! I prefer more hops, but this is incredibly well balanced. Rye adds a nice little extra. Sessionable, but ABV would get you.

Photo of Gatch
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hop Rod is a nice change to the typical IPA color. This is an amber/maple syrup brown color. The head is off-white & thick.
S - Malt, maple syrup, light honey. A slight piney hop to the nose as well.
T - A lot of malt for an IPA. The hops make an appearance but serve as great company to the malt, making it have a nice balanced and flavorful finish. The hops don't really show until after each sip. There is also some roasted malt, nuts, sweet fruits, and some light oak.
M - The malt & hop combo creates a smooth & balanced mouthfeel. The roasted malt stays on the tongue and palate throughout the bomber.
D - I've had so many IPA's in the past few weeks, I was almost hesitant to drink this. This is exactly the opposite of what I expected because it seems different from an IPA. It seems like a really good amber with more of a hop presence. The malt is the best part, which makes the drinkability high and enjoyable. The hops come out in the finish to show you it really is an IPA. I love this stuff.

Photo of guitarmage
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured very dark for an IPA. Hazy brown with some copper hues, looks like a Belgian dubbel in color. Head struggled to form but there's an off white lacing floating on the beer.

Smell: Nice malt sweetness, not a dark sugary sweetness, light and fruity, suggestions of apple juice, hops are floral and smooth, great smelling IPA.

Taste: Sweetness tastes of apricot, ripe fruit, hops come in but don't take over the beer, there's a nice balance of sweet and bitter, then the beer dries up with faint alcohol, and bready finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium to full body, carbonation is consistent and prickly on the palate, a dry finish but a little oily.

Drinkability: A lot of sweetness for an IPA, but a lot of hops to balance it out. This beer is rather complex for the style, and very well done. Tasty IPA that offers more than most.

Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 22 oz bomber, poured into a chalice at 45 degrees. Thanks to flexabull for this one!

A - Pours a cloudy brown with a medium off-white head that leaves some sticky lacing behind.

S - Grassy/piney hops with some sweet malt in the background...bready notes also detected.

T - Very unique IPA. A solid, hoppy backbone...but resting atop the hops is a biscuity/bready flavor. I loved the creamy-bread finish. Not quite as good as the Racer 5, but pretty damn close. I might need to do a side-by-side tasting to determine the winner.

M - As this warmed, it got extremely creamy - solid carbonation throughout the life of this beer. Bready aftertaste with hints of bitterness.

D - Excellent IPA - definitely one of the most unique. Between this and the Racer 5, I'm definitely putting Bear Republic on the top of my list.

Photo of adowney523
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass. Brown with an auburn tinge, particles floating around my glass, and good head retention.

Smell is all hops. Citrus and tropical fruit aroma.

Hops also dominate the taste. The more subtle malt is upfront with dark fruit and roasted character. Alcohol is faint in the finish with the hops giving you a nice smack on the palate.

I enjoyed this one, it was a lot more hoppy than I expected. The rye malt taste is subtle. I think I would enjoy a bit more of the malt kick in this beer.

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

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color with a thin but foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is hoppy and very fruity with a little bit of carmelized malt. The citrus sweetness and floral hops are very complimentary.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with a good, strong hops burst, some citrus sweetness, some dry rye breadiness and a good hearty malt character. The after-taste is heavy with hops bitterness.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easy with no hint of the ABV, despite the description on the label (“alcohol burnin’ monster ale”), very good representation of style. I took out the bomber rather quickly. I was a little hesitant because I’ve have both good and bad experiences with beer that have the word “rye” in their names. This beer was certainly a good experience.

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

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

The beer is a very dark chocolate amber. It poured with a huge head that dissipated to about 1/4 inch. The aroma had the smell of brown bread with lemon and a sweet-scented flower.

The taste had a strong hop bitterness and a sweet brown bread flavor. It also had a dry bite that I seem to always taste in rye-type beers. The mouthfeel was between medium and full, with a bitter and somewhat dry finish.

This beer is fairly drinkable, but not over the top enjoyable. Good but not great.

Photo of far333
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep caramel color with large particulate matter suspended and laying on the bottom. A full two inch head rises up and lingers long before slowly settling down to a oily, sticky, bumpy cap with tight webs of lace rising up the insides of the glass.

Aroma of bready malt and fresh citrus hops.

Rich flavor of citrus and pine hops. The citrus moves from subtle sweet tangerine to orange rind to grapefruit rind to piney hops. The bitterness increases in the finish and lingers. A dark and luscious malt backbone rides beneath, but I'm picking up inconsistent and faint rye notes. A peppery spice accentuates the finish.

Full and creamy mouthfeel punctuated with carbonation tingles and slight alcohol warmth. Finishes a bit dry.

Very rich, but very drinkable. Wish I had another bomber.

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

review number 40... i was thinking about writing on Olde English, Mickey's, or King Cobra, but i'm quite glad i didnt:

22 oz. bomber to pint glass.

A - Dark, stained-wood body with a thick, rocky, beige head that tries, tries so very hard to stay at a 2-fingered height, but slowly decends, clinging to the glass.

S - Big, citrusy hops (clean, clear, and...wait... grapefruit and pine?) mix and mingle with spicy rye and sweet malts.

T - First, the smooth, robust malts sweep the mouth, fading into a rye-breadiness that tastes fresh-baked and steaming. From there its big bitterness from the hops (think licking the rind of a ruby-red) and finishes with a nice twinge of rye-spice and alcohol bite. moderate warming in the throat and chest after the swallow.

M - Amazingly crisp for the complexity of this big brew - mid-level carbonation, creamy foam, light astringency from the hops... man this is what i look for in an IPA.

D - The more i drink this, the better it gets! i can hardly put the glass down long enough to take notes!

this beer goes down in the books as a new favorite!

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

This is probably the sixth or seventh time for me with this beer, including once on-tap. However, I've never reviewed it until now so I thought I might as well.

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Incredible meringue-like two to three-finger head. Lacing is huge, cavernous in formation. Body is a dark grain amber. Very pretty looking. Head dissipates to a half-finger after a minute or so, but remains for a fairly impressive stretch prior to that.

Smell: Citrus and pine hops. Interestingly, the citrus in Hop Rod comes across more lemon-like than any other fruit, which is unusual in any IPA. Almost like a smoothed-over Pine Sol aroma, which one could say is detectable in many IPA's but here is more prevalent. This isn't a bad thing to me, I enjoy Pine Sol's scent. : ) Rye and hop bitterness on the back end. A slight bit of caramel. Like other rye beers, the hops and rye aromas seem to coalesce, oddly, into a sort of fruit punch flavor.

Taste: Mmm citrusey, pine-y hops. A little more orange-like in the flavor than the nose, but there's still that lemon lightness. Rye spiciness on the back end, but not quite to the extent of something like Founder's Red's Rye. The aroma trumps the flavor for me in the complexity department, but it's still very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy, slightly astringent, fairly adequate carbonation. Nothing wow-inducing, but nice. The spiciness one might expect from a rye-based beer is not really that prevalent, but it does provide a bit of a sting at the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: Extremely enjoyable, and one of the finest IPA's or rye-based beers in existence. An archetype for the style.

Photo of grub
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got this bottle in a recent trade with BigLove. thanks travis!

pours a deep red-brown with a big fluffy tan head. drops very slowly and leaves a solid sheet of clumpy lace the whole way down the glass.

aroma is great. slightly roasty. caramel. bready. toasted rye bread. bit of alcohol. resiny piney hops, with a hint of grapefruit.

taste is great. moderate bitterness. alcohol. this is my first experience with a rye beer. it has a really neat malt character. slightly spicy and toasty. definitely kind of like toasted rye bread. orange and grapefruit hops. slightly resinous. bit of caramel sweetness.

mouthfeel is good. nice moderate bitterness and good body. slightly slick mouthfeel from the rye.

drinkability is great. the alcohol is mostly balanced, but it's very smooth and drinkable.

Photo of travelfrog
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at my favorite pizzeria/watering hole. A very impressive looking beer, dark amber in color, with an nice, long-lasting head.

The aroma was striking -- among the best I've ever sampled. My nose was a bit stuffy with the cold weather, but no more after a whiff of this. Fresh hops came through loud and clear, along with enough sweet malt to round out the experience.

The flavor can give even the most jaded taste buds a workout, starting out with a full-spectrum hops flavor, followed by a mellow maple-malt finish.

Mouthfeel was very good. A nice texture to go along with full flavor.

It's tough for such a bold brew to be drinkable, but the brewers did a creditable job. Aside from a slight acidity on the roof of my mouth, I had few complaints.

Photo of dherling
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a golden honey brown with a big thick, luscious tan head that ripples with sticky lacing. The nose is first fruity and alcohol, with good malt and yeast tones, supported by wafts of grapefruit, and a slightly medicinal, mineral, bloody, metallic aspect. The taste starts was bitter, hot with alcohol, lingering, oily hops, grapefruit, some candy notes, even a little melon. Good mouthfeel, a bit creamy but also crisp. The resiny oil and lingering bitterness make this a bit of a chore for me after the first few sips hurting its drinkability.

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

22 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep amber hue. An off white two fingered head with millions of micro bubbles dissapates into a fluffy cloud like covering. Spider web lacing sticks to the glass.

S: Juicy citris hops. Rich malts with a yeast like smell. Rye bread.

T: First sip reveals clean citric and pine hops with a nice bitter bite that lingers into a perfect caramel malt balance. The finish is all about earth and rye.

M: Clean and refreshing. Medium carbination. Slightly dry finish.

D: Not your ordinary IPA. Still refreshing and clean like most IPA's but the rye malts add a completely different element. Refreshing and very drinkable.

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

Appearance: Brownish red with a big head.

Smell: Rye bread with some sweetness.

Taste: Tangy rye followed by sweetness and some roasted flavors. A little earthy bitterness rounds it out at the end.

Drinkability: Very tasty stuff and not bad at $3.99 a 22oz.

A good beer from Bear Republic that I picked up over in Wisconsin. Very balanced and not very bitter but still quite tasty. This or the Racer 5 are my favorite Bear Republic beers that I've had so far.

Photo of velo343
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. A deep ruby/brown with a large, clingy beige head.

Aroma - Lots of piney hops, a decent maltiness with some spiciness.

Taste - Lots of bitterness from the hops and toasted malts, a distant taste of caramel. The rye can definitely be felt, lending a unique spiciness that really adds to the hops. The beer has a thick, malty feel.

This is a superb beer, well balanced between the hops, and malt. The balance of rye to barley malt is also fantastic, with nothing taking over the show. I'll certainly be drinking this one again.

Photo of arguemaniac
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A surprisingly viscous pours reveals a deep, ruby-highlighted brown with a creamy, slightly rocky head that never goes away. Intensely pungent hops in the aroma with comparatively mellow malt sweetness. Rich, clean hop spice and delicious hop flavor in the bitter palate, though it’s nicely balanced by a solid grain base and firm bready malt sweetness. There is a touch of peppery rye spiciness in there but it’s mostly eclipsed by the assertive hop character.

You know, I‘ve been drinking craft beer for a over three years now, and have been a beer advocate for almost that long, and yet I still end up passing over these beers time and time again. Even though I’ve known about them for a long time and even though everyone raves about them, I still take my sweet time in getting around to trying them, at which point I truly regret not trying much, much sooner. Hop Rod Rye is one of those beers; it’s supremely flavorful with awesome hop flavor and a solid malt backbone, and all of this blends beautifully into one drinkable beer. Highly, highly recommended.

Photo of jeffjfindley
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A near perfect beer. Deep musky amber color, head absolutely will not go away. Not a brilliant nose, but very pleasant notes of citrus, and lush malt. The taste is beyond exceptional, and smooth almost beyond comprehension for an IPA. Delicious malt, perfectly balanced by the hops. The rye makes itself known at the end. The mouthfeel is luxurious, and it's an absolute pleasure to drink. I'll be sampling the rest of BR's offerings very soon, as this was incredible.

Photo of barondebourgogne
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Love the Bear Republic beers. This seasonal is no exception.

Pours big and foamy. Rocky, dense, amber head that clings to the side of the glass. Beautiful deep brown colors with ruby highlights. Excellent clarity.

Juicy malts and sweet caramel mingle with citrusy hops. My wife smells chocolate. And she is never wrong about that! I get hints of cocao as well. The rye ads an earthy element to the malt profile. Some alcohol notes, but minimal for the level in this beer.

Tastes just as it smells. Judicious malt and hops interplay and dance around the mouth. Sweet caramel, but well balanced with hops so as to not be cloying. Finishes sweet with bitter tingling on the tongue.

Carbonated just right. Not too harsh on the tongue. Firm and substantial gravity.

A big beer that didn't let me down. I get consistent, excellent quality from every bottle from this brewery. Bear Republic really knows how to balance major malt bills with massive hopping. Delicious.

Photo of Beaver13
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours a deep ruby reddish brown with a huge pillowy off-white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet caramel, piney floral hops and some melon and alcohol.

The flavor is rye, sweet caramel and melon with a sharp lingering bitter grassy hop finish. The alcohol is well-hidden, but it sneaks up on you. The mouthfeel is medium and kind of watery.

Overall, a nice IPA. It's definitely a hop monster, and the rye adds a nice touch. The caramel and fruits lend an almost barley wine touch to it.

Photo of RedChrome
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A clear, deep amber colored beer. Inch and a half high pillowy off white head. Huge amount of tiny carbonation bubbles rising. Huge clumps of sticky lacing.

A very nice blend of hops aromas. A super lemony citric strength up front develops a scant but nice pine aroma in the very end of a whiff. A very light note of the rye was hard to detect but present.

Fantastic taste. A strong taste of grapefruit and tangelo. There is a definite rye taste that is very balanced to hops. Pine taste is also lightly present in the finish at the back of the mouth.

Thickness is above average, but tthe burst of carbonation helps this one coat the surfaces and move through a range of tastes.

A super high quality beer. This one paired great with a gorgonzola topped steak. This one is a new must have in my refridgerator, and something I am willing to drive over the state line to pick up.

Special props out to Zrrbrrt for being a great Secret Santa 2006.

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

Dark amber...small head..looks thick and almost syrupy.
Smells strongly of grapefruit and bread dough.
Taste is awsome...intense bready sweet malt with a slight rye flavor ....followed by the more intense bitter grapefruit rind bitter. I can't really describe how great the hops taste...but it is very much like the way hops taste in fresh wort that hasn't been fermented...incredibly fresh, pungent ....a LOT of flavor along with the mouth puckering bitter. Rye is back in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel was heavy...carbonation moderate.
Damn, this stuff is good...but it's so intense that probably not as sessionable as the Racer 5.

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

22 oz bottle. Pours are very rich amber with a nice big tan head that lasted a long time and left great lacking. About as beautiful as you can get. Hops smack you in nose. Hint of fruit. Rye subtle. What a nose! I love it. What sets this apart is great balance. I am an IPA fan, and this ranks with the very best. I would put it on a par with Arrogant Bastard amd Moylans Hopsicle. And it is close enough to me in Northern California that I can almost claim it as a "local’ beer. This is a real winner.

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

22oz. Bomber lets forth a fffft! and a pillowy head immediately acsends from the bottle as I quickly get it to the glass. The tan head continued to be thick and sticky throughout. The brew itself is in the middle ground where brown meets red meets gold meets mahogany. Just a beautiful looking beer. The aroma is spicy and piney/floral with a bit of malty sweetness and rye poking through. The initial flavour is of malt and rye, if only for about .05 seconds, before the hop onslaught displays the back of its hand and gives me a proper pimp-slap. That lasts for a good long while until the malt backbone of this beer regains its footing and melds with the hops for a nice complex finish. Green piney hops with floral notes, toffeeish and rye malt, bread-yeast, bitter orange rind, almond-hazelnut, and a smidge of bittersweet chocolate. The mouthfeel here is very creamy and slightly slick, I almost imagine hop oils rolling over my tongue. Fantastic really. Top notch drinking.

Photo of Nipitato
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a bomber at Julio's Liqours in Westborough, MA.

A: Deep reddish copper with a thin off white head. Sticky lacing as beer is drank.

S: Strong hop aroma . Clean, piney and grassy hop characteristics. Malty sweetness barely traceable in the background.

T: Stong hop flavor predominates but is underscored by a nice toasty sweet malt backbone. Hop flavor is piney. Not terribly bitter.

MF: Medium full body. Resiny and filling. Not astringent. Medium to low medium carbonation.

D: Strong hoppy IPA. High hopiness and low bitterness/no astringency make this a very drinkable beer.

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,431 ratings.