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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 ericj551
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hop Rod Rye pours a beautiful ruby red with a thick sticky off white head. Smell is sweet caramel malt and a nice bitter hops as well. It has nice aromas of grapefruit and citrus. Taste is a great balance of sweet raisiny malts and bitter citrusy hops. I think if this beer was a little big stronger, it would classify as an American Barleywine. It seems to me thats the closest style it comes to.

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

Appearance: Deep, dark, winey red-brown with a muscular, chestnutty head that retains well despite a seemingly airy structure.

Smell: Hops are in control, grassy, floral, fresh and zesty. Fruity notes are second-in-command, with ripe cherries, prunes, raisins, and essences of port and nutty sherry. Toasty rye and a dark rummy sugar cane sweetness are also detectable. Very complex, difficult to tease out and describe all its nuances.

Taste: The rye is definitely noticeable, adding a somewhat earthy, almond-like nutty edge. Chocolate and carob flavors also appear, countered by a strong, sharp hop presence, spicy, dry, and estery. Sweet, fruity, boozy fortified wine notes emerge as it warms. I just realized that I wrote the words "very nice" in my tasting notes three times, so that should give you an idea of how good this is.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, soft yet sharp with a lip- and tongue-smacking dryness.

Drinkability: This is endlessly savorable, easy to drink despite its mass of alcohol and hops.

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

I find myself really loving this style. I really wish that rye was a more popular style. I tried this at the Oregon Beer Fest this summer, wrote a review in the forum, but forgot to post it on the beer. Great rye fragrance. Since trying this beer I have found myself buying more rye bread for sandwiches as I have discovered I really enjoy it. Nice head with what appears to be some quality lacing (the plastic tasting cups aren't the preferred test for this). Wonderful flavor, it was a welcome change from the DIPAs I was hitting hard that day.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Would have been perfect if there was more bubbling. The brown sugar and rubgy hue are a nice, dark contrast to you typical IPA colors. I've always been parshel to the darker side of things. The lacing and head add to the whole look of this beer.

Smell- Grapefruit and a little sweet. Not bread in oven sweet, or biscuit sweet. More like maybe cinnamon buns without the cinnamon with a brown sugar syrup.

Taste- The darker side of the IPA seems to shine through on this release. The rye,malt, and hops combine to make a complex mix of flavors with each other. The dance nicely The Grapfruit is definetly muted to make way for some of the rye and malt.

Mouthfeel- The palate is definetly bitter. A little thicka dn heavy on the tongue for an IPA, but thats just fine by me.

Photo of gmcfarre
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into Imperial Pint Glass
Poured @ 45 degrees

A - Dark copper brown with a massive 2 1/2 inch head that remains rocky and bulbous. Lacing is minimal.

S - Very dry and roasted malt scent that complements yet overpowers the floral hop essence of this brew. A breaded sweetness comes through as well.

T - Smooth blend of a dry roasted & bready malt with a nice hop balance. I was expecting more of a hop presence in this brew, but it seems the rye malt has taken over for the most part. A slight caramel taste is evident, along with the requisite hop bitterness.

M -Slight carbo tingle with a rapidly filling mouthfeel. Dry and cloying with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

D - A very different take on the IPA that deserves to be experienced at least once. The rye creates an intriguing flavor, but not one that I would desire everyday. 8%ABV takes its toll after an entire bomber.

Photo of rayjay
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Vino's Wine and Cheese in Roseville, CA. I was very excited about trying this on tap.

This keg had been online a bit too long, and the beer was mellowing out and loosing it's attidude, while gaining thinckness and maltiness. Still, it had plenty of it's old personality. Piney hops and lots of carmel and toffee in the body. Rye bread character is more evident from the bottle. Chewy thickness with lots of hop resins.

One note: I didn't feel that this beer was a good match for cheese. It worked, but there are much better pairings.

Rye beers with lots of hops are becoming more common, and it's a match made in heaven. This is a great IPA, and it's also a clever twist on the style. Recommended.

Photo of Callenak
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my favs that I've waited a while to review…

Bear Republic is one of my favorite breweries. To me they make beers with great drinkability. I almost always have a Racer 5 in my fridge. That and Hop Rod are just staples in the beer diet.

Pours a rich, dark amber with a great, cream head that dissipates quickly to leave a nice lacing on the beer and glass.

Smell is spicy and hoppy. Rye beers seem to go great with hops and this is no exception. A bouquet of citrus and pine. A great malt presence to back it all up.

Taste…mmmm. This beer has it all. Loads of hoppy greatness, spiciness from the rye, malt backbone and alcohol to balance it all out. This is the beer that started me down the path of rye. Now I've had a collection of rye beers, homebrewed many rye beers, and even have a bottle of rye whiskey laying around. It will change how you look at beers. Bravo to Bear Republic. I love living in California.

Photo of MVassar
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous cascading bubbles, thick creamy light amber head, with intricate, persistent lacing. Dark raw honey/maple syrup color.

Assertive hops and pine in the nose, with a very slight hint of malt and caramel.

Plenty of hops, a lengthy grapefruit peel taste in the finish. Nicely balanced with malt and rye bread.

Very creamy and mouthfilling. Luxurious, with a nice bitter finish to keep you standing straight.

Enormous hoppiness, very intense. Yet so well-balanced that it's a great pleasure to drink. A splendid beer.

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

A- clear light copper in color, sports a huge fluffy, frothy, creamy three finger white head with amazing retent, nice lacing, eventually head settles to a bigger than average foam ring, warning though...just drink through the head cause waiting for it to settle can take a while

S- hoppy & malty, sweet & spicy, pine, citrus, nice bold scent

T- sweet spicy malts with a citric hop background. Rye adds a unique, enjoyable flavor, some caramel flavor, some woody characters as well, faint alcohol detectable toward finish when beer is warmer.

M- smooth, creamy, carbonation is at a perfect level, slides over palate leaving no taste bud untouched, medium body yet feels rather weightless

D- great looking, great mouthfeel, great flavor, must try brew regardless of your prefrence. great balance. This beer has totally rocked my socks

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

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a pint glass.
Poured a rich dark copper almost brown with mohogny undertones, crystal clear. Four finger tan rocky head that had great staying power and great lace

Smell fresh clean hops cirtus (grpaefruit rind) and green , there was a nice rye bread smell as well as some great malt structure, almost like toast.

Tasted of green and citrus hops, well balcned with rye amd malt. This is one really good beer. As the beer warmed up the complexity really came out, there was a spicy quality, multiple grains like rye and barely were there, it almost was reminiscent of a 12 grain bread but toasted.

Had a creamy medium body with a little stickyness from residual sugars

Really drinkable, a wish I had more than this one bomber

Photo of nortmand
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours solid caramel amber, with a fluffy white head that leaves sufficient lace.

Citrusy grapefruit hop aromas dominate. Some spicy rye notes as well. Sweet, supportive caramel notes in there.

Passion fruit and cotton candy flavors up front. Soon there are solid, semi metallic spicy rye flavors. Leaves a bitter pineapple aftertaste.

Full bodied, a tad overcarbonated, but not bad. Relatively complex, a very flavorful and refreshing brew. Extremely drinkable.

Photo of tjthresh
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby red with a firm creamy whipped tan head. Slight haze with some bubble raising in the middle. Lots of pungant citrusy hops win out over some sweet caramel and spicy rye aroma. Again, the hops are the major player, but the rye character is worthy of your attention. Both together create a wonderfully blend of citrus and spice that would please the most disearning hop head. Body may be a bit thin, but that my make this sort of a refreshing beer. After drinking the whole bottle, I can feel the hop resin in my mustache. That has to count for something.

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

Appearance: Murky reddish-amber - surprisingly dark for an IPA. The first pour provides 2 inches of frothy foam that lasts a respectably long amount of time.

Smell: Intensely hoppy; notes of pine and bready malts with a touch of citrus.

Taste: Extremely bitter and hoppy from the get-go; a subtle beer this is not. If you want balance, grab a Racer 5. The hops have a strong pine-like quality to them, typical of many of Northern California's best IPAs, but it's harnessed in an unusual way here. The rye provides a hint of spicy, gingerbread-like sweetness, creating a rounded flavor that a lot of bigger IPAs lack. The finish is oily and resiny, leaving a coating bitterness on the palate.

Mouth: Full-bodied and oily; this drinks almost like a stout.

Drinkability: Delicious but extremely potent. Not exactly a quaffable beer, but highly drinkable nonetheless.

Photo of Foxman
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a hazy and rather carbonated deep amber, marginally orange. A full finger of light tan head recedes to a fuzzy film. Animal crackers of lacing cookie the inside of the glass.

The aroma initially grants caramel malt sweetness and crusty rye bread, sans seeds, of course. Biscuit and yeast duel a swirl of pine and citrus hops. A port presence gets along quite well with a mild but homey draft of alcohol.

Upon tasting, the palate is graced with well-toasted malt sweetness, almost syrupy, along with a tart rye earthiness. Caramel, biscuit, berry, and tangy yeast assert proportionately. Decidedly crisp grapefruit and orange hops mate with warming alcohol to dry out the middle ground. More coating grain sweetness appears toward the close and exists paradoxically with a simultaneous lingering dry and and lightly floral finish. The sassy twists and turns make for a mouthful of tasty pleasure.

Medium bodied, the grain and hops combine to coat and tingle the palate tangibly, almost creamily, and in a very fun way.

The flavor is a surprisingly melodic melding of diverse sensory elements. And the wonderfully lingering aftertaste is damned near ambrosial, leaving a vestigial grin in its wake. Sure, the ABV is a hoot, but it simply joins in the fun rather than do anything to dampen it. Caution be damned, this is one mighty drinkable creation. My eternal thanks to Wasatch for this bottle, as he delivered beery happiness to my doorstep.

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

Poured from 22 oz bottle:

Appearance: Pours a deep, rich, clear, copper topped by an impressively thick and foamy head that last forever. Thick sheet of sticky lacing line the glass. After the head fades a sheet of foamy lacing tops the ale.

Smell: Citrusy and fruity sweet with hints of caramel and brown sugar.

Taste: Starts with a nice citrusy hop bite, almost lemony then transitions to a middle that brings out the malty goodness with an underlying sweetness of dark fruits with just a hint of caramel to balance out the hops. The finish is long and well balanced with those big citrusy hops and the malty sweetness linger long after the swallow. A tell tale rye flavor is mixed in a well hence the name Hop Rod Rye.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy with a dry finish.

Drinkability/Notes: What a really nice beer. Very well balanced with big citrusy hops and a fruity, malty sweetness that isn't too obtrusive. A lingering taste of rye in the aftertaste is definitely present. Extremely drinkable for 8% abv. The alcohol is hidden very well with just a slight warmness on the face. One of my favorite IPA's that borders on a DIPA and one that I never pass up. The appearance is one of the best I've seen. Highly recommended. Seek and enjoy.

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

On tap at Bear Republic in Healdsburg, CA.

Poured a nice chesnut brown with a small off-white head.

Bright herbal and citrusy Pacific NW hop aroma. Some maltiness and alcohol carried up to the nose as the beer warmed up.

The flavor of the beer was of bright earthy hops and grapefruit. The maltiness of the beer was nice and rich, with a peppery spice from the rye. Definitely a nice twist on an American-style IPA.

The carbonation was just right and the mouthfeel was medium.

This beer's an American classic. It's readily available in CA and makes for an easy go-to beer when the choices are limited.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this unfiltered hoppy beer on several occasions, including a recent 22 oz. bottle. The label describes the contents as a "high performance, turbo-charged, alcohol burnin' monster ale with dual overhead hop injection made with 18% rye". Yum.

A: Color is dark red-auburn, a warmer version of the color of the bottle. Bubbly & creamy ivory head which retains well.

S: Juicy citrus hops and brown-sugar/caramel maltiness burst from the glass. BIG and mouthwatering. Candy with a dry grainy smell from the rye.

T: Copious amounts of hop flavor, tangy oranges with a dry spiciness. Notable flavor from rye grain is a little toasty and grassy. Some mild alcohol burn in the long bitter finish. Very well balanced overall.

M: Impressive fullness in the mouth. Creamy with a bit of sticky-sweet maltiness up front and a bittered grainy finish. I could still taste this one almost an hour after finishing it.

D: A very tasty IPA, different from the rest with its high grain bill. Bold flavors, a big ABV, and 22 oz. serving sizes make it the type of beer I'd only have one of in a night. Most flavors will pale in comparison to this. A recommended beer for certain...

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

What a nice looking brew. Pours a deep dark amber color with a huge perfect looking white bubbly head. Quite inviting. The head retains well too.

Smells and aromas are deep and wonderful. Think candied fruits, a touch of piney hops, and a slight note of the alcohol within.

Taste is excellent. What a well done and well thought out beer. Flavors burst and linger all over your mouth creating a great mouthfeel.

Creamy malty sweetness up front. Then the flavors finish with piney resiny hops. The balance is right there too. Just a slight tang of alcohol tasted, but it blends nicely. Such a well built beer.

I hadn't had this in a while and forgot how good this was. This will become a staple in the fridge from now on.

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

got this in a trade awhile ago and cannot remember who sent it but thank you. poured a nice ruby with a light tan head that left some lacing. aroma, hops and brown sugar come out strong, with some malts and alcohol, chocolate, dark bread. flavor, malts and dry hops, molasses, alcohol, caramel, grapefruit. would like to get more of this

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy amber color with reddish hues when held to light. Good head and great retention. Aroma of clean citrusy hops, grapefruit specifically. Taste is more hops followed by some malty sweetness adding a little balance. This is how a beer should feel in the mouth. I could drink this all day.

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

Pours out a clear dark reddish amber with three fingers of off-white suds. Malty looking suds that don't move around in the pint glass.
If you want a perfect head on a beer, this would be it.Lacing out the yang.
Smell is a sweet carmel and bitter piney hop aroma.
Taste is a sweet malty then bitter hoppy flavor that keeps bitter and coffee tasting for a while after the swig. There is a caramel/ sugar taste that accompanies the bitter piney hops.
Mouthfeel is very clean at first then an oily film settles in while the alcohol does it's thing.
I like this beer a lot. Too bad I have to order this and pay exorbatent(sp) shipping costs.

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

22oz Bottle in a trade with IntriqKen.

Rich brown, translucent body with a nice yeasty off-white head. Looks pretty good. Leaves some lacing as the head fades. Nice sweet caramel malt and rye, oh how I love the smell of rye. Delicious citrus hops and a little bit of pine.

Sweet malty backbone to keep the boquet of hops in check. Wow this is nice. Hop bitterness isn't too aggressive and malt profile is perfect. Rye, sweet sweet rye. Kind of slides down smoothly despite the oily character of it.

Medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Oily mouthfeel which is very delicious. Very drinkable, even at 8%. Absolutely no alcohol anywhere.

Big thanks to IntriqKen for giving me a chance to try this, as I've been wanting to get my hands on some for quite a while.

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

Chilled 22oz bomber pours a dark mahogany with a moderate tan head (weak pour?). Some suspended particulate matter. Second pour produces a beter constructed head and more copius particulates.

Smells of sugar and malt with piney hops, earth and grain.

Flavors of carbonation, alcohol, grain, malt and bitter hops; anise.

Don't know what to make of this one, am I too distracted? Maybe I need some corned beer...uh, beef, and sauerkraut!!! I can definitely taste the rye, I won't deny it.

Feels like a deli in my mouth...mmm. Could be the official beer of the Reuben.

I would enjoy this with a meal. I have this idea in my head that it needs to be a meal involving corned beer, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese...am I getting through?

Photo of jmz62565
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red mahogony with a giant tan frothy head. A real nice looking beer, even thu its much different looking from the other American IPA's. The smell is a strong citrus hop aroma, tangerine and grapefruit dominate. The taste is citrus hops along with the hop bitterness bite. Tangerine and grapefruit,like the smell, dominate the taste. Bear Republic does a great job of masking the high alcohol in this beer. The m/f is light and well balanced, almost a creamy feel to it. A damn good IPA from one of the premiere brewerys in the US.

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

Great deep red color. Massive beige head and lace.

Smells like very fresh hops - mainly grapefruit and other citrus, with some grassy, parsleylike herbal and floral hops, too. Malt's there too, caramel and biscuit. Great smell.

Lots of fresh hop flavor. Sweet, toasty malt. Hop bitterness, especially after a second or two, but not overpowering. Well balanced, there's a nice transition from sweetness to a long finish - dry, less malty and more hop driven.

Creamy and somewhat heavy mouthfeel, not cloying, excellent. Reasonably drinkable, but the maltinness and alcohol content are limiting factors.

Great beer.

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