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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,426 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,426
Reviews: 2,045
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 235
Gots: 243 | 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: 4,426 | Reviews: 2,045 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bashiba
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark copper with a long lasting, huge, thick, pillowy, creamy head. Unbeleivable lacing and retention.

Smell has a nice mixture of piney green hops with a some bready toasted malt notes. Although its a little light.

Has a great mix of rye bread and toasted malt flavors with a very strong and bitter Juniper hop finish. As it warms the rye becomes stronger and the hops mellow a bit, but still is a very hoppy bitter beer.

Mouthfeel is very creamy with a dry finish.

Very drinkable if your a hop head, it doesn't drink like its 8%. Another winner from Bear Republic.

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at the Map Room in Chicago. I'd been wanting to try the Hop Rod for a while, so I was excited to finally get my hands on some. A nice, dark amber/almost brownish body with a wafty tan head. Smell was of bittering hops and bready, toasty malt. A nice combination. I would have pegged it as an Irish Red Ale, or something along those lines, rather than an American IPA. Anyways, a nicely balanced beer with a medium mouthfeel and really easy going down. Definately worth trying!

Photo of Toddv29424
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very special beer indeed! Pours a traditional brown-red color, with a very interesting wavy cascade effect and lacing that seems to last for the life of the beer. Smell is strong, and is a nice mixture of hops and malt together. There is also a big chewy smell that is very enticing. Boy, does the taste sure deliver! The first quarter is heavy on the malt with the sweetness hitting immidiatly and playing on our tongue. The next big taste has the malt and hops together, and they create a synergistic effect that leaves you craving more. There is also a taste that is foreign to me, but I will say its Rye, as its a main ingredient in the beer. As this beer goes down it lingers for a while with a pleasant sweetness of the malts, and even at 8% there is no appearance of alcohol. Truely a special beer!

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

Pours dark amber with a rocky tan head with decent staying power.

Aroma is citrusy hops with some bready rye notes.

Taste is initially sweet, with well-balanced hop bitterness. Excellent hop flavor. Spiciness from the hops and the rye blends well. Bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue. The 8% alcohol is well hidden.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation.

Good drinkability. After the first pint, I was disappointed that there was somewhat less than a pint left in the bomber!

Photo of nlmartin
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer came to me by way of trade with dhchatfield. Thanks again! This would be my new go beer if it was available in Cincinnati.

The beer was poured into a pub glass and shared with my wife.

Appearance: The beer has a dark amber coloration. The beer has major amounts of particles floating in the beer. I swear it looks like rye seeds are floating in the beer. The head was a massive craggy creamy biege coloration. The head never gave up during the entire session. The beer left thick rings of pancake like lacing on my glass.

Smell: When I popped the cap on this beer I knew I had a winner. While still in the bottle my nose was assaulted with major rye and cascade hops. Upon pouring this beer in the glass. My initial thought was sorry honey you aint getting any of this. The beer had major rye bread smells. The cascade hops produced perfect citrusy lemon and lemon zest. Pine needles bring up the rear of the smell.

Taste: This may very well be the mother of all Rye beers. Gods this beer is loaded with rye upon breadyness. The flavor made me wish for some ham and cheese on rye bread. The citrus nature of the hops dominate the piney hop flavors.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is slightly bigger than medium body. The beer is well carbonated. The hops have a pleasant lingering oilyness. This beer is really something special. I enjoyed the beer from the instant I opened the beer. I would highly reccomend this beer to my other BA's.

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

A - 3" dense, beige rocky head that overhung the rim of my glass by a good 1/2". Excellent retention and thick lace. Beer is a clear amber color close to looking like sap running out of a tree.

S - Big whiff of citrusy hops. A few pine needles. Touch of bready malt.

T - Citrus and pine lead the attack on the palate. The malts blend in a flawless manner with an outstanding long-lasting bitter finish. Bready malt. Tangy rye. Floral, almost cask-like hops in the finish.

M - Medium bodied mouthfeel. Low to mid level carbonation. Smooth and silky.

D - Very close to exceptional. Excellent flavorful beer. Dangerously easy to drink. I can't wait to trade / order some more. Very impressed.

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

Pours a very dark ruby brown with a well structured firm head that is tan. The head never really disappears and their is excellent lacing as well.

Very fresh smell of rye blended with some spicy hop aromas. A slight smell of alcohol as well.

The taste is very powerful and clean, but also a little simple. I love the bitterness, but it lacks a little bit of complexity. Spicy hops up front followed by a pronounced rye flavor, some creaminess, and finally a long slow bitter burn.

Mouthfeel is very good. Creamy, nicely carbonated, good body.

Very drinkable- especially for an 8% abv. Nice long flavor that keeps you wanting more. Really a very good beer.

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

Rye grains in any other beer style doesn't work for me. But in an IPA, I think it adds character and an intense bittering. An otherwise, great IPA has been improved with some serious hopping and a rye grain flavor / astringency than any malt base cannot compete with. Sweet, of course, but quickly dominated with hop citrus, pine, grass, and dirty flavors. Rye contributes a deep molassas bitter-sweetness and a grain husk bittering. Perhaps too astringent to make it easy drinking. Otherwise malty sweet with a dark toasted grain flavor. Bitter til the end with a shadowing sweetness, muskiness, and earthiness. Very good beer.

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

After having this numerous times and loving it, I think it's time for a formal review. Poured from a bomber bought about an hour ago.

Appearance: Murky red with an off-white head (about 1 1/2 fingers). It laces the glass beautifully as it settles.

Smell: Hops of course cloud the nose in grapefruit form, but are soon followed by a sweet fruity smell, almost like plums or prunes. Further comes the caramel malt taste.

Taste: Again the grapefruit with a caramel balance. It's piney and smokey almost like a coffee.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth yet bitter and tangy. awesome.

Drinkability: For something so high in abv, i want to treat it like a session beer. It's both tasty and engaging.

Note: I've had this on tap too... and it was even better then, I hope I find it that way again.

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

In the word of Kool-Aid Man, "Oh, Yeah!"
Served in a pub glass. This is a sexy looking beer! Pours a crimson amber color with large amounts of yeast and black rye specks that are well suspended. Huge creamy beige head that lasts until the last drop. Large amounts of sticky lacing. Medium plus body.

Smells very strongly of rye, orange/citrus hops. Light earthy smokiness, and a bit of grassiness.

Super rye taste initially that progresses into a citrus hoppy middle and finishes with a pleasant grassy, earthy, citrus hoppiness.

Supremely well balanced maltiness and hoppiness. The alcohol is hidden well for 8%. Nice full mouth feel without being clingy. Very refreshing. If you like rye/rye beer this is the stuff! Thank you to whomever sent this to my husband!

Photo of rgrace99
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a bomber. Dark red, almost opaque color with a thick frothy head. Lots of thick lacing also. Aroma was of hops and something else I can't quite identify but is probably the rye. Taste was very hoppy like most IPA's but with a different background, again probably the rye, excellent flavor but not the regular sweet malt flavor you get in most IPA's. Went down very easily, would have gotten a 4.5 or 5 for drinkability but the high ABV means it's not a session beer, for me at least.

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

Thanks to BeerRun13 and NC Lotto BIF
This is darker than your typical IPA. A very nice 2 finger beige head with excellent retention.
The smell is more malty and sweet than I expected. Biscuits, and maybe a hint of rye. The hops are there, just not as dominate as I was expecting.
Taste: Woaa there's the hops! Wonderful hop bitterness. It's a strange but very good hop flavor. I don't get the citrus, floral, or piney flavors that I've come to expect from hoppy beers. Maybe it's the rye mixture. The flavor is very strong and complex. You can taste the alcohol as the beer warms.
The alcohol is very warming in the mouthfeel and the beer is a bit heavier bodied than most IPA's. This in no way detracts from the beer.
I wouldn't consider this a session beer, but it is drinkable cause it's so damn tasty.
Doesn't really fit the style(IPA) that I'm used to, but it is a beer that I highly recommend.

Photo of Enola
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to wcudwight for sharing his bomber.

The appearance is a deep red brew with a thick creamy head riding on top. There is some lacing in the glass. Beers just don't look much better than this. A well deserved 5.

The smell was really hard to pick up on in this beer. Some hoppiness but overall, no real powerfull smell.

The taste was damn fine. There was a nice hop bitterness that was just right. There was a red ale nature to this beer as well.

The mouthfeel was smooth. No overpowering notes of any type. Balanced.

The drinkability was superb. The higher ABV was so well hidden it may lead you to think this beer would session easy. A big beer that does not act big. This beer has fanfare and now I see why. This is unlike any other IPA I have had.

Photo of SethB2
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a clean, transparent deep ruby color with a huge oatmeal head that would probably last until the next milenium if I gave it a chance. I have said it before, but BR knows how to brew a beer with an impressive head. This thing is thick as all hell.

S - Citrisy hops dominate, with the rye playing a subtle, yet unique background role.

T - I have said before that this beer could easily be classified as a double IPA, and I stand by that. Very aggressive hop up front, followed by one of the smoothest malt profiles I have ever had in an IPA. Extraordinarily balanced with just the right combination of roasted grains and bitterness with a slightly sweet combo coming into play.

M - Silk

D - Good. Another great beer from Bear Republic.

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

22oz bomber. Dark rusty copper appearance. Off white/tan head quickly dissapears to just a slight rim around my pint glass. Very attractive beer, but much darker as I would expect for an APA.

Piney and citrusy notes balence well with some malt presence as well. Slightly sweet malt flavors with just a little rye present to start with a nice dry, hoppy finish. The rye presence is there, but not as prevelant as I was expecting. The mouthfeel is much thinner than what I imagined when admiring this beer's appearance.

Just the right amount of bitterness to keep this beer very drinkable. The alchol is very well hidden, but comes more to the forefront as it warms. Very nice take on the style. Recommended

Photo of vtfan77
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark copper with a great big off-white head and a very sticky lace. Quite appealing.

S- Huge hop aroma. Pine and citrus abound with sweet fruit and a touch of malt as well. Very nice, a near perfect IPA smell here!

T- Definitely a different tasting IPA. Starts with some sweetness coming from the malt and hop oils. Malt profile is interesting. The rye is definitely noticeable as there is a bit more of a spicy character here than the toasty one usually found in such IPA's. Sweetness is also lower than expected. Huge hop profile as expected, typical northwest flavors of pine and citrus that were alluded to in the aroma. Finishes with a big, chalky bitterness and some lingering spiciness from the malt. Hops are literally lip-smacking in this one, as the lips are actually sticky from hop oils following each sip!

M- Medium bodied and smooth, not a whole lot of carbonation, but enough to make it pleasant.

D- Easy to put down, but a little overbearing with the bitterness. High abv also contributes to make this a one-and-done beer for me.

Very nice, I enjoyed it. Bear Republic has impressed me with their beers so far, and this is no exception. They're turning into one of my favorite breweries. Not quite up to Stone, but they're getting there. Recommended as a nice change of pace IPA.

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

Wow, what a solid contributor for the hop world, wish I like floral hops – but this one still makes it for me.

Great caramel brown pour, topped by a frothy ivory head – nice sticky laces all the way down my 8oz sampling glass. Tons o’ floral hops in the aroma and taste. Notes for pine and citrus also make their way through this sticky, oily brew.

Sharp and tangy, the Bear Republic makes some might fine beverages.

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

Had this on tap at Publick House and Redbones. This has to be one of my favorite beers. I truly enojoy the hoppyness and the crispness/spicyness/whatever-the-word-is-i-am-looking-for of the rye. It has convinced me to try and brew a rye beer of my own. The appearance is typical
of an IPA, it may have been a bit darker, but then again underbones and the ph
are kinda dark. Smell comes across initially as grapefruit, but then there is a
new smell that must be due to the rye. Exceptional taste, as i mentioned above
the hop/rye goes well together IMHO.

I need to find a place that carries this in bottles.

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

Bomber poured into a Bear Republic pint glass.

Pours a very nice reddish-burgundy colour with tea overtones. A modest 1/2" head, but wow, I can smell the hops from across the room, so let me just jump to that portion of the review.

Delicious piney west coast hop aroma with more malt than I would have expected. Perhaps the rye brings out the malt in the aroma. Nevertheless, a wonderful smelling libation to be sure. Citrus notes cling to a rich backbone... fantastic.

While the hops are certainly there, the rye makes this one difficult to classify. It is certainly rich and deep enough in flavour to warrant a strong ale classification, but oh well, some beers defy classification. Overall, a wonderfully complex flavour... more so than your typical IPA.

Surprisingly thick with low levels of carbonation, again like a strong ale. I think it fits this brew perfectly.

Extremely drinkable and enjoyable for an 8% brew. This one will certainly frequent my fridge in the future. Bear Republic continues to impress.

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

22oz bottle.

Pours a dark brown with red tinges along the side when held to light. There is a thick foamy brownish tan head. Looks delicious.
It smells of pine. The hops content is fantastic and overwhelms the nose at first. I sensed a bit of malt but it could have been my imagination.
It tastes of bitter hops and is well balanced with a malty rich profile. There is a fantastic balance in this beer that made me want to go to the store and grab some more after the first sip.
It coats the mouth very well and the bitterness on the back of the throat is strong but palpable.
This is a very drinkable beer. I will purchase it again along with Bear Republic's Red Rocket.

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

This beer pours a blood red color. The head is massive, creamy and recedes slowly. The lacing consists of mountains of foam. If I could give this beer a 5.5 for appearance I would. The aroma is sharp, spicy, citrusy, grapefruit, with a nice malty undertone. The taste is sharp like the aroma, but more so from the hops than from the rye. The bitterness leads the way with the rye coming through in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a little on the ligher side of medium bodied. Overall, this is a very good brew that I will drink any chance I get.

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

Appearance: Tall, fluffy, relatively static head that stuck to the glass as it descended ever so slightly, floating on a clear caramel-brown body.

Odor: Hops. Just hops. A bit piney, a bit bready.

Taste: Again, the predominant flavor was hops; it tastes like it smells. However, it was actually pretty mild and not too bitter. Slightly buttery, slightly carmelly, but hard to place in general.

Mouthfeel: Mildy bitter but no intrusive carbonation or alcohol burn. Overall, very smooth.

Drinkability: Pretty mild, easy to drink - seems like a good compromise between an IPA and a more standard ale, as the rye seems to make it a bit richer while the hops aren't as intense as they would be in the average IPA.

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

Pours a deep and slightly hazy amber in color, very un-AIPA in appearance with a frothy white head with great retention. This one is a looker; lots of lacing as well. Nose is extremely piney, almost toxic smelling. Taste is initilly very piney with minor grapefruit tones. This trails down into an almost herbal quality, tea-like. Quite good, but definitely aggressive with the hops, a bit too much so for my tastes. Mouthfeel is thin and slightly slick, not particularly well carbonated. Drinkability is still pretty good, I had no problem throwing back this bomber. Not something I'd seek out, but good nontheless.


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

Ruby orange beer topped by a two finger head that stays atop the beer in the form of a 1/4 inch fluff for the duration and leaves chunks and tightly woven webs down the side of the glass. Some hop sediment floating around in the bottom of the fishbowl wine glass.

Mmmm grapefruit hop aroma. Very sweet smelling hoppiness = happiness. There's a bit of rye, especially at first. As the brew warms, the alcohol shows up a bit more in the nose.

Deliciously hoppy with some fine citrusy taste with a slight hint of rye. Not as much as one would expect. Very dry bitter finish. Highly drinkable. I'd like to have a few cases of this one.

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

Not sure where this bomber came from, but I shared a bottle of it with my Dad on Father's Day. He didn't like it, but hey, he's getting better... at least he drinks mainly local micros now!

Pours a dark orange colour with an average 1/2" head. Lots of yeast sediment in mine (I took the second glass).

Aroma is strongly citrusy, with a bit of soapiness and some definite pepper.

Taste is spicy... rye and citrus hops (grapefruit, sour orange). Good solid mouthfeel, very little aftertaste (what's there is a bit dully bitter, like pine needles).

I liked this a lot, and if I can remember where I got it, I'll buy more. Somewhere in NY, I think.

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,426 ratings.