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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: 253 | 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 timtheenchanta
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of JMD71
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy, deep cppery color. Rocky, textured head. Small head lingers. Vigorous carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet, malty aroma with notes of hop. Does not smell overly hoppy.

Taste: Malty flavor balanced by a hoppy middle. Finishes quite bitter on the palette because of the hop profile, but not overly so. Bitter finish does not linger...

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, Crisp finish after a smooth middle. Tastes clean.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Refreshing & smooth. Would need to be cautious with these due to the 8% ABV. I could drink a few..

Comment: This was a very good beer. I liked it all the way through the bomber. Nice example of the style....

Photo of ccs
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber with a slightly off-white head. Lacing left along the glass all the way down. Smells of malt and caramel. Taste is a little surprising, since very little hops is detectable in aroma, but it is very much a hoppy beverage. Carbonation was a little choopy, making for an odd over-carbonated mouthfeel. But, overall, the bomber was gone in less than an hour...and I will be getting another next week.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Hogtownharry: Poured a dark amber color ale with huge foamy off-white heat with great retention and lacing. Aroma of citrus hops with good malt backbone is very interesting. Taste is a mix between semi-sweet caramel malt with some c-hops that provide a bitter finish. Rye is quite hard to distinguish and doesn’t seem to provide that much in the overall mix. Body is slightly above average and alcohol is well hidden. Very well done overall but definitely not a style (American strong ale) that really excite me.

Photo of BradBLR
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is to date the coolest looking beer I have had. Poured this one in a 20 oz. glass and it had a great head. Half the glass was a nice yellowing foam, and it lasted almost the whole life of the beer. Color was a brownish red, much darker than any IPA I've had. The smell of this beer was ok, it was a rye hop smell where I think the rye and the hops kind of contradicted each other not giving this beer a very strong aroma.

The taste of this beer was reaaly good. The first couple of drinks were very bitter, really tasting the rye. The after that is was a very well balanced beer with a strong rye and hop flavor, very smooth. The mouthfeel of this beer was right on for a strong IPA.

All in all a great beer and one of the most amazing beers to come out of a bottle. Bear Republic probably does bottling better than any one else. Try it if you get a chance.

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

I have a fever...and the only prescription...is more hops. This one doesn't dissapoint. By far the darkest IPA I have ever encountered, this also makes the beer possibly one of the most attractive in the glass..that and it's glue like tan/mocha head that rises past two fingers and stays at one finger throgh the first 3/4 of the session....wow. The smell is robust and full piney floral hops, a definite rye tinge and even some woody notes, very herbal. The taste is nice, more roasted malt than I had expected...and almost perfectly balanced....wow again. The mouthfeel is ultra creamy with just enough carbonation to let you know what you are drinking. I could slam this one all day long...and then go to sleep. WOW a great beer!

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

22oz bomber, Steve's - University, a measly $2.89...been meaning to try for a while

appearance: poured into a chalice...pours a dark garnet-amber, very dark indeed for an ipa, huge fluffy tan-white head with frothy retention and loads of foamy lacing...a visual delight indeed

smell: pungent floral hop presence, toasted rye loaf, quite resinous, light pine, ruby red grapefruit, pineapple and other tropical fruit...very nice

taste: well, this is a great ipa...sorry it took me so long to get around to it. juicy resinous hops dripping in every sip, tropical fruits highlighted by pineapple and light mango, sour grapefruit-citrus, rye-loaf adds an interesting flavour twist that works out quite well indeed. Will certainly buy again. Bear Republic is a top notch brewery available at ridiculously low prices

mouthfeel: strong bitterness, pungent hop bite, alcohol well hidden, medium body

drinkability: will cherish the 22oz, a great ipa

Photo of doppelmeup
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pretty dark copper colored brew. HInts of ruby and garnet. Inch thick fluffy white head with pretty good lacing. Nice looking beer.

Aromas of pine and citrus, some grapefruit, sweet malt. I was pleasantly surprised, as I was expecting an over-the-top hop smell. But this is extremely balanced.

The taste was quite surprising. I liked this beer much more than I expected. It is exquisitely balanced, with a lot of hops presence however is it complimented with a very satisfying malt flavor. I really like this. As it warms, the rye flavor begins to come through, although it is very slight and it stays n the background.

Mouthfeel was a little over carbonated. Medium thick feel.

Nice beer. It came highly recommended, but I was a little concerned that it would have too much of a hop flavor for my tastes, but I was pleasantly surprised. Highly recommended.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle a deep amber gold with a large head of foam that dissipated slowly leaving a nice billowy layer that stayed for the entire session.

The smell is very hoppy with a bunch of grapefruit and spices hitting my nose very nicely.

The taste is big on hops up front. Nice flavours of grapefruit and spiciness hit my palate causing me to make a smacking noise. ;^)
There's also a bit of malt presence that sweetens it up just a tad mid way through and the finish is the closest this brew comes to being balanced but...no matter how you slice it, this is one hella good tasting IPA that really satisfies in every category. Oh yeah, aboot the 8%abv...not a factor!

Bottom line: This is a world class IPA. See it? Buy it.

Photo of loren01
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark mahogany color with 2 finger frothy white/tannish head. Gopd head retention down the glass.
S: Smell is very citrusy/peppery. Slightly sweet smell.
T: Sweet, rich tasting beer up front. Nice hoppy flavor as an aftertaste. You can definately taste the rye as well.
M: Carbonation is nearly perfect, medium bodied.
D: Had this one in a bomber, could not drink much more after having one of these, it was pretty heavy, nevertheless a very tasty beer, thanks to GClarkage for this beer.

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

From a 22 oz. bomber. Hopefully this 'bear' of a beer had no trouble making it all the way to Va from Cali.

A - deep ruby, slightly brownish red. Perfectly clear. Head is very beautiful -- puffy, rich bed of small bubbles, off-white in color. Hangs around the entire way leaving excellent lacing. Beautiful beer.

S - mixture of tart, tangy hops, malt sugar sweetness, and alcohol. Hop aroma is resinous, pine, and citrus. Lots of malt backbone, sugar, caramel, and higher alcohols.

T - richly flavored, big beer. Deep malt sweetness, toffee, butter. Sticky candy sugar sweetness. Balanced out by tart, acidic citrusy hop flavor and bitterness. Aftertaste is very warming, alcoholic. Don't know that I'm picking up a lot of the rye here - although there is a tangy, tart flavor to this beer.

M - medium to full bodied beer, slightly syrupy and sticky in your mouth, both due to the malt bill and hop content of this beer.

D - this is a very, very tasty product and well crafted, but the full body, above average alcohol content, malty sweetness, and strong bitterness is so great, I couldn't drink more than one or two of these in a sitting.

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

22oz bomber

Appearance - Ruby red/brown in color. Big creamy head leaving tons of lacing.

Smell - Malty with some fruity/citric hop notes. Some spiciness.

Taste - From the smell I totally expected the taste of malts to outpower the hops, I was wrong. While the beer obviously has plenty of malts to go with the hops, it is extrememly well balanced. I have never had anything with Rye in it that I have enjoyed, but I really enjoyed this beer.

Mouthfeel - Medium body.

Drinkability - Extremely drinkable. I really wish I had a case of this.

Overall, this beer surprise me more than any beer has recently. I went in to the experience with an open mind and man was I really blown away. From now on I will always pick this up when I find it.

Photo of clickpush
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: 22oz bomber to pint glass. Comes out with a huge 3 finger head that's extremely foamy and has excellent life span and sticks to the glass as it goes down. Beer is a red-brown color and has a few random bubbles coming up through the glass.

Nose: Hops!! The hops go so deep it's like I'm smelling them with my throat. Also has the presence of strawberries or another red fruit.

Mouth: This beer is so hoppy the bitterness actually burns, but in a yummy way. The hops carry an excellent herbal spiciness with them and the high alcohol content just heats those flavors up to an even more amazing degree. The only let down is the soft mouthfeel that really disappoints me because otherwise this would be one hell of a beer.

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

Pours a hazy golden amber color with a small off white head. Smells of pine, hops, sweet malts, and a very faint grapefruit scent. Extremely hoppy tasting beer, with the rye flavor definitely shining through with a pretty strong aftertaste. Pretty pleasant beer, very drinkable for how high the abv. Is. Not exactly my favorite IIPA it’s still a pretty nice seasonal treat.

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

Tasted like a decent IPA but with a slight rye chacter.

Nice orange/copper look. Decent White head.

Smell of rye, citrusy and piney hops.

Taste is a typical well done american ipa but with just a little rye twist.

Medium mouthfeel. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability is good.

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

Found at Cable Beverage in NY, not available yet in NJ. Bomber served at just over fridge temperature in a pint glass, on a humid late Spring evening.

Appearance- As I pour the beer with my usual tilted pint glass, the head beelines for the rim. A gorgeous deep, reddish iced tea colored beer supports a wickedly alive bone white head... three to four fingers easy, and five minutes later it's still huge and thick. Lacing is ridiculous beyond description... more sculpturous than just sticky. A balls to the wall IPA in the eyes department.

Smell- Citrus meets sweet, with a superbly balanced malt backbone. Terrific and remarkably appetizing... it smells big, yet not overwhelming like some DIPAs of elevated abv that go way overboard with hopping. Nice and round.

Taste- A definite rye character meanders throughout the aggressive hop journey, while the malt notes counter nicely. Hops are king here, along with a slight alcohol burn that detracts just a bit. Still, an IPA lover's muse.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Medium bodied in the mouth, with just enough to keep it alive. This beer is much bigger than its mouthfeel suggests, as it packs its punch enormously in the belly and body. Great beer, and well worth the money.

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

A - Pours a clear ruby red color, nice carbonation, nice creamy head, very nice island lacing.

S - Scents of malts, hops, slight citrus, spices and slight caramel.

T - The taste is quite different of other IPAs. I guess it's the rye in it. I get more of a malt taste than hoppy. Either way this is a truly awesome brew. There is also a nice sweetness to it.

M - Medium body, well balanced and a nice carbonated feel.

D - Very drinkable. Glad to get a chance to check this brew out, it was never on my list, but now it is thanks to BA.

Photo of JayTheFinn
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruby red in the glass with a light tan head. Beautiful look!

Very floral and citrusy scent. I can tell I'm in for a treat.

The rye hit my tongue at first but after a couple sips it went away and all I noticed was a citrusy orange and nice hoppy floral flavor. Oh wait, there's something like caramel in there too.

This rolls around the mouth all too well. I think I like the aftertaste better than the taste itself!

I deducted a bit on the "drinkability", because while it is quite drinkable, it's too hoppy for me. It's a goody but not something I'll be drinking a lot of.

Photo of Ego
3.96/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

found at cable beverage, bardonia, ny (I have also seen it at deciccos in pelham ny)

2 full fingers of tan froth, it simmers as it slowly recedes, the head is big and soapy and retention is quite good. it slowly forms crags and melts down into the beer... leaving a good amount of beer batter on the sides of the glass, dark chestnut in color, there are some floaters in there as this is unfiltered.. really nice. (is this really a straight up IPA?)

the rye is mega hard to detect.. this is almost all hops, the rye comes in the back end of the aroma piggy backing itself on the coattails of the florals from the hops, after it sits a bit you can get some tasty caramel tones as well.. but mostly this is hops... it's pretty good

taste etc...
I immediately get the rye actually, it is a strange flavor in a beer, almost liek bitter malts.. or the quality of smoked malts.. something like that, mouthfeel is medium to full with the carbonation just right... it carries the brew and is a little prickly on the tongue, ah, now I am getting more of the hop oils... but I wouldn't condier this super oily like some suped up IPAs, it is somewhere in the middle of "coating" and then it leaves the mouth fro your next sip. there is definite warming and almost acid burn on this one... but you don't taste the alcohol at all, in some strange way it drinks/feels like an overhopped brown ale.. wierd... but not a complaint. I am not blown away by the hops here actually.. this doesn't even seem too bitter to me, there is just a nice lingering balance with some bitterness left on the back of my tongue.. honestly the beer burps are hoppier than I think the beer is.. maybe my stomach is just rewarding me...

I needed some corn beef and gulden's mustard to go with this... just kidding. I don't think you can compare this to your everyday IPA.. it is very different. maybe a bit too heavy for an IPA ? regardless it is quite enjoyable, for the price it is very nice... another good one from Bear Republic... come to new jersey goddamnit !!

Photo of plaid75
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep hazy dark amber/ruby hue with two fingers of thick, clumpy and creamy head. There was excellent retention and superb sticky lacing. Very impressive.

The smell was dominated by a citrusy hop aroma. There was a decent grain presence and little touch of spice - perhaps the rye.

The taste was full blown hops. Beautiful oily hop flavor, balanced with a spicy grain and malt element. A nice clean biscuity aftertaste. A bit of an alcohol presence.

The mouthfeel was full and smooth. Excellent carbonation.

Overall a superb IPA. A nice ABV and an excellent body.

Photo of matjack85
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a cola like color in the glass, but was red when held to light. The head was over 3 fingers high and was frothy off white in color and never completely disappeared the entire time I drank it. In fact there was still a bit of foam left in the glass even after I was finished, and it left a lot of lace all the way down the sides.

Huge grapefruit citrus and piney hops nose. The 18% rye content is noticeable as well. For an 8% abv beer, the alcohol is well hidden.

That huge hops smell isn't there for nothing. This is an immensely hoppy and bitter brew, not for the novice beer drinker. Loaded with hops, rye, citrus flavor, and spice - then a splash of malt all wrapped up in one beer. Delicious!

For all the bitterness, this beer maintains a silky smooth mouthfeel.
I can't get over the creamy velvety texture of this beer while at the same time imparting a kick-ass bitterness. An excellent IPA.

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

Poured from a big (1pt 6oz) Bear Republic bottle. Dark orange and clear with a huge rocky head that lasted forever.

The smell is mainly hops, but it smells a little like La Chouffe too (maybe some coriander). The flavor is spicy and hoppy with an intense bitter after-taste. Maybe the rye adds some spicy quality to the flavor... Kind of medium body, not as thick as DF 90min but not as light as Goose Island IPA.

This is really good and I'll grab it again when I'm on the west coast. Too bad it's not distributed to OH.

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

Ap: Deep dark copper color which is practically opaque, faint ruddy edges. Huge head, very good retention and lace.

Sm: Gorgeous nose, an outstanding aroma! The freshest orangey hops aroma, wonderfully addictive.

Ta/Mf: Big malt, smooth and complex. The flavor profile evolves from sweetish malt into bitter hops in a transition that is near magic. I expected an ale that would be heavy and hard to drink, but this one is medium bodied, very smooth, and an absolute pleasure to imbibe. Finishes with a slight spicey-cinnamon edge, again pleasant.

Da: High. Hey, I couldn't drink this stuff like water, but it is a fine ale to keep on the shelf for worthy occasions.

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

22 oz brown bomber bottle.

Pours a dark auburn color with a great big head that lasts and leaves beautiful lacing along my glass.

Smell is hoppy but not overly powerful or memorable.

Taste is great with sweet, malty beginning leading to a nice hoppy finish with some spicy rye flavor thrown in there too. I like rye and hops, so and this beer made a great blend of their flavors.

Mouthfeel is good with medium body.

Very drinkable considering the ABV and the strong flavors going on. I certainly would drink this again in a heartbeat and had no problem finishing it all.

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