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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,470 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,470
Reviews: 2,054
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 238
Gots: 265 | 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: 4,470 | Reviews: 2,054
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.

Photo of joe1510
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber

Opened with a good healthy pop. I've had two of Bear Republic's beers in the past and both of them had giant, sticky, rocky heads. Hop Rod is no different. The head is off-white and leaves big chunky lacing all the way down the glass. The body was a lightly hazed dark amber. Lively carbonation comes up from all over the bottom of my pint glass. This stuff looks pretty damn tasty.

The smell makes my mouth water in anticipation for a drink. It starts off sweet like caramel which stays around in the background the whole time. The hops take over pretty quick though and they are pure citrus. A couple layers of the citrus. There is grapefruit and orange.Orange being the latter of the two. Hitting at the end is the rye.

This beer will make you pucker up and get your tongue tingling. It's similiar to the smell in that there is a solid malt backbone that tries to balance but doesn't get it done, which is just the way I like it. The rye comes through mid-palate along with a strong bitterness that fades to something more managable but lingers. The hops come through right after the rye makes its appearence and finish the drink off with nice splash of citrus.

The mouthfeel is really the way I like it. Medium bodied with above average carbonation that tickles your tongue. The hops get your tongue tingling like it's about to go numb and makes you need that next drink.

The drinkability is high for the simple fact that each drink almost makes you need another. Of course the taste doesn't hurt either. Very good.

This is one of the top IPAs in my opinion. The ability to hide the alcohol like they did makes this one dangerous. The rye just puts it above so many other IPAs. This is an excellent beer that I'll be visiting often from now on.


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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Stone IPA specialty glass.

Appearance - Pours with a light-tan two finger very frothy head that very slowly dissipates to cap of thick and creamy foam. It leaves excellent and full lacing on the way down. The beer is a beautiful amber/ruby color that is very clear.

Smell - I can smell those juicy, herbal amarillo hops right up front. The rye hits you almost instantly afterward, it has a peanut butter kind of character to it. It's faint, but definitely there. Also some more crisp and slightly citrus and floral hops are mixed with the amarillo. A mellow malt background aroma is also present with very little alcohol scent overall.

Taste - That rye, peanut butter style flavor is paired evenly with the herbal and "juicy" style of the armarillo hops. Also in there is some bitter hops of a different variety. Some doughy and rich malt with strong rye flavors come in for the finish. The aftertaste is mainly rye and earth tones. Again, little alcohol is detectable.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with excellent smoothness. It isn't full-bodied but the beer has a very heavy feel to it, I imagine from the rye. The carbonation is perfect after the beer has sat in the glass for about five minutes. It has just a tad too much bite right at pour/open. Superb mouthfeel, a treat for your mouth!

Drinkability - Lots of hops flavor and some earthy rye also. Heavy body. Probably couldn't have another 22oz'er of this, even though it is very good.

An excellent IPA and a great seasonal offering. I'm really starting to like Bear Republic brewing. This beer has a great mouthfeel and very nice mixture of hops and malt/rye. Also, my first beer with a significant addition of rye as an ingredient. A must have!

Photo of Doomcifer
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark red/amber color with a frothy beige head and sediment floating around. Lacing GALORE. Gorgeoud brew. Smells of maltiness, rye, HOPS. Hops seem to get bigger and bigger while drinking this beer. Like a compound effect in a way. Much rye to speak of as well, godamn delicious. This tastes more like a DIPA than just an IPA. Just guessing but seems to have a boatload of Cascade and Amarillo hops. It is a huge beer, to say the least. Considering the quality of this beer and the respectable price per bomber, Ill definitely be coming back to this one again. My first Bear Republic offering after always seeing them for years. No idea what took me so long. Anyways, now Im looking forward to the Black Bear Stout!

Photo of aforbes10
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have this tendency, i think, to want to rate every beer that is well-hopped and satisfying as the best IPA available....a trait that increases in strength as i move deeper into the bottle. This was one of those beers. Oh man, its a good one. Its dark red and smells just like raw hops right after you open the sealed bag. It's flavorful...bitter and hoppy with a nice creamy, bready taste underneath. The bitterness on this beer isn't super strong at first but it grows and then holds steady throughout the drinking period. I do like it very much indeed. This was my first Bear Republic beer and so now im much more excited about the Big Bear Black Stout i have in the cellar.

Photo of loving44
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep brown amber with a foamy beige head that rises from a whirling effervescent pool from the pour into my pint glass. The head slowly faded to about 1/4". Nice lacing.

Smell: Rye and hops... a sweet aroma... very inviting. Grainy and rich.

Taste: Sweeeet and malty, with a slight hop twinge on the tip on the tongue. Not as hoppy as I would have expected... but the slight bite they do dish out last quite a while on the tongue. It's not a hop barrage, more of an ambush; a Trojan horse made of rye! Very well balanced with sweet rich rye and barley up front, followed by hops. Finishes quite dry. Refreshing and smooth. A unique IPA!

Mouthfeel: Thick and slightly syrupy, but it works with this beer.

Drinkability: I could kick back a couple of these... it's a tasty beer to be sure.

Photo of klewis
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade with Faro

A: Pours a ruby/ dark copper color with a big foamy head with tons of sustain and thick lacing.

S: I don't get much rye in the nose, just some citrusy hops. Not a lot of aroma, but what there is is nice.

T: The rye is very subtle and manifests itself as a very slight grainy character. in a blind tasting, I doubt that I would pick this out as a rye beer. Smooth hop character with a solid bitterness. Quite nice.

M: Full-bodied and smooth with light carbonation. I mild bitterness lingers on the palate.

D: Solid. I'd drink this again in a second.

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

Pours a beautiful reddish-mahogany color with a massive rocky head that leaves incredible sheets of lacing.

Smell is full of citrus and pine hop aroma with an interesting rye accent and a sweet caramel malt backbone. Very crisp.

Taste is complex and interesting. Very full flavored. The blast of citrus hops and rye are once again balanced with the generous malt. A big but balanced brew. Starts a little sharp, but then quickly smooths. Finish is crisp and quite dry.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied.

Surprisingly balanced, complex brew. High ABV is well hidden. Definitely recommended as a tasty treat.

Photo of Cresant
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 22 oz. undated brown bottle into a Spaten .5L mug. Hug head developed, 4+ fingers! Semi-cloudy amber body.

Smelled of citrus first. Grains, rye. Assertive aroma. Nice.

Tasted lip smacking bitter. Slightly peppery rye richness and citrus rinds. Sweetness comes on after the initial drying bitterness. Malts stand up to the hops but do not carry the weight. Long pithy finish. Flavor nearly reflects the bold aroma. Quite pleasant overall.

Medium bodied. Well presented. I'll enjoy this one again.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,470 ratings.