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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,468 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,468
Reviews: 2,053
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 239
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: 4,468 | Reviews: 2,053
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.

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark amber color; a serious beige head that leaves an abstract pattern of splashy lacing around the glass (looks like Matisse's cutout dancers)

Smell: Rich caramel malt aroma with loads of citrusy hops peeking through the background

Taste: Starts out with a nice caramel flavor that builds in a piney/citrus direction by mid-palate and after the swallow; at the very finish, the sour rye and tobacco flavors emerge and last forever; well-balanced ending with the flavorful malt

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A top flight DIPA with a nice sour rye kick to it

Photo of phisig137
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish borwn color, with a dense off white head that slowly falls.

The aroma is all hops, but rather light. Very pleasant grassy and piney hops mellow together quite well.

Absolutely fantastic flavor, that is very well balanced. Good amount of malty sweetness and complexity up front, and finishes with a solid hop backbone. Not overly bitter, but still shows a hugae amount of hop flavor. In between the malty beginning and the hoppy finish, the rye really pops out. Quite nice over all.

Mouthfeel is creamy, but rather light. Flavor lingers for quite a while. Drinkability is good.

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

This bomber poured an almost cola brown with an amazing tan head that lasts until the end. Leaves chunks of lacing. Don't be overly aggressive with the pour or you'll need a couple of towels. Strong pine and citrus hop scent with a light sour but sweet malt coming through in the end. The taste is somewhat more balanced than what the smell would have you believe. Citrusy hops from the start that are replaced with bready malts in the middle before the hops smack you again. Just a bit of bitterness on the finish. Slick, oily feel from the hops. Quite a tasty brew. My glass is empty but I still have remnants from the head left. Wow!

Photo of mcallister
3.42/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark burnt red with a pure white highly carbonated head and very tight lacing.

Big big hop aroma. Can smell the hops from 2 feet away. Obvious rye notes, and a burnt caramel background.

The large amount of hops leaves a somewhat grainy mouthfeel but not necessarily bad. Hop flavors are very tannic and somewhat cloying. Very piney floral flavors with a light rye backbone.

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

22 oz bomber. I brought this back from a recent trip to Cape Cod. The color is a deep amber-copper with reddish highlights. Nice clarity, big fluffy light tan head. Hops feature prominently on the nose. The aromas are floral, sweet, and surprisingly a little subdued. On the palate, clean and semi-fruity hop notes transition smoothly into a robust bitterness that lasts long into the finish and aftertaste. For a beer of this size I'd expect more malt to figure in there somewhere but it's really mostly hops. Luckily for me I love hops, but others may see this as more of a flaw. Later on the hops take on a spicier note, and this may be the rye perking up as well. The aftertaste also contains that characteristic rye sharpness. The alcohol (8%) is surprisingly well-hidden, and only begins to stir in the gut after several sips. This is pretty much on the low end of the Double IPAs.

I'm not sure how old this bottle was when I bought it, and age may have taken a slight toll on the aroma. Nevertheless, this is a big, flavorful, hop-tastic beer worth seeking out.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty bad ass bottle for a pretty bad ass beer. Pours a deep dark copper with magnificent rubaeous hues and a huge, fluffy, three finger beige head that never goes away. Seriously, when I finished the last sip in my glass there was still this little dollop of cream sitting in the bottom of the glass. Admittedly, I love rye beers and this is no exception. Nose is oat and bread malts with wonderful fruit esters, pine, and grapefruit. Mouthfeel is massages the tongue like the older girl who taught you how to kiss in high school. Through the wonderful physical sensation comes a hot rod load of hop bitterness, rye flavors, citrus fruit, and spice. Finishes thick and chewy. Good to the last drop like a cup of the old Maxwell House.

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

Poured into an Ommegang Chalice.

A-reddish dark amber, the word "garnet" comes to mind, hop/ yeast chunks abound in a great way... thick beige head, rocky as all hell, though not quite Duvel in it's impressiveness, it's damn close...Christ what a head...mooncrater fascination and everything...crazy lacing lasts long after the glass is drained.
S-Dry hopped ale scent/sweetness/bitter fruit astringent hop smell which I love; smells like an invitation to a ritual, and it is. Since my first review, I have reaccessed my initial "smell" number.... I actually docked the smell 1/2 point because, in my imagination, it could be even more enticing if it was even more pungently hoppier...but that's bullshit; let's dwell upon what actually exists on earth, here, now: this beer smells awsome; it is unique in it's aroma, and to dock points off from this beer because of some imaginary hop notion, would indeed impoverish the language, and atrophy the soul of beer advocacy. I have yet to encounter a beer related scent that is more enticing, yes, even in Stone Ruination.
T-Rye makes it's presence known here, but in a not overpowering way: in fact the way it appears is very subtle: a slight sourness/ a slight breadiness, and then in the fantastic protiens that make up the head of this tremendous beer! Seriously balanced malt/hop ratio is obvious though, but in my present acolyte state I cannot discern what the malt is (besides Rye) or what the precise hops are...seems to me that grapefruity cascades (+ some serious I.B.U. hops of the California variety) are in the house to some great degree....middle is really juicy...god this is good...8% alcohol is totally absent. and I mean ABSENT from the palette; this Bear Republic brewer obviously knows his stuff..semi-dry finish....Aftertaste is sublime and demands repeated sips, gulps, bottles....This beer probably goes well with some foods; but it is best consumed by itself....to be contemplated as the work of brewing art that it is....IMHO.
M-Perfect. Wouldn't change a thing. All beers should have this mouthfeel....really...
D-Sublime Drinkability. S U B L I M E. Damn!
CRUX: ESSENTIAL RYE HOP BOMB EARTHY GIFT FROM THE GODS. This is ALWAYS in my DBF, as this beer is in my top 5 beers of all time. This beer is a masterpiece, and as a creation it's as fine, essential, and profound as: air conditioning, James Brown's back catalog, penicillin, Jackson Pollock, anesthesia, the selected poetry of Ranier Maria Rilke, air bags, Bose speakers, and Blue Note vinyl records. Damn!, it's poetry time!:

But because Truly being here is so much; because everything here
apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way
keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all.
Once for each thing. Just once; no more. And we too,
just once. And never again. But to have been
this once, completely, even if only once:
to have been at one with the earth, seems beyond undoing.

Ranier Maria Rilke, 9th Elegy.

**NOTE: It took me at least 12 bottles to come to these scores. When I first tried this beer, it was my first "rye beer" and I thought it was a great "one note" IPA. That "note" was a good "note" though, akin to the "one note" guitar solo in Neil Young's "Down By The River," but further bottles have revealed that this is indeed "the gift that keeps on giving," and very complex IPA worthy of serious consideration. I have been totally seduced by this "perfection in a glass" fantastic Rye IPA. Is this review too long? Yes, even I think so, but I find something to appreciate in each new bottle, and cannot imagine tiring of this beer, ever....TOP, TOP NOTCH STUFF!


p.s.: as of Nov. 2006, this is still my favorite beer, uh, ever!

Photo of jameaterblues
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at House Of Brews in NYC.
A- The beer was a bronze color with redish orangish hints, with an off white/pearl colored head that left a sticky lace around the glass.
S- The smell was of strong citrus and resiny hops and just the slightest bit of malt.
T- The hops are definitely present all the way through this beer. There was a nice balance of malts and hops in the beginning, but as soon as the middle of the body hit the hops took over. It was definitely the citrus hops that came out in the smell, but was lacking the resiny/dank taste that I was expecting. The finish was really big, really hopy, and pretty bitter. (although it took me drinking another rye beer...I know know the smell and taste...this one definitly had it in both smell and taste).
M/D- This was in enjoyable IPA. The after taste was bitter and lingered a long time.I can't say that it really blew my socks off, but I will definitely give it another try.

I drank a bomber of this again last night and it was totally different. I can now confirm that something was wrong with the taps at house of brews....both Hop Rod Rye and Magic Hat #9 tasted off during my visit. My review of hop rod rye used to be
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
but I changed it accordingly with my experience last night. Look for another review in the near future.

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

Looks great in the glass, a deep burgundy/ruby color, with a soapy beige head that lasts a good bit then finally gives way to splotchy walls of lace. Pretty mild carbonation which, along with the color, reminded me more of a barleywine than an America IPA. [Depending on your inclinations, be careful how you pour...my second and final pour resulted in a mass of large flakes floating in the beer...they warn you about this on the label...kinda cool, like hops pulp or something...]

Smells are faint but solid, obvious grapefruity hops sourness and mild grains but not much else.

The rye really comes through in the flavor, and it's an appreciated balance to the pine/grapefruit essence of the hops. The flavor sticks in the mouth, you can ride it out a good while between sips, so it's a beer you can savor. Nice breadiness pervades too, which makes this feel more like a meal.

I was hoping for a little more weight or presence in the mouth, but it's on the watery side. Luckily the flavors stick around for a while, regardless of the thin body.

This is a cool take on the American IPA, with that rye essence coming through not just in name but full-on in the flavor. Recommended.

Photo of doubleipa
3.15/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As I love rye beers, I was really had my hopes up, as did my wife. We' were a bit dissapointed. While this has plenty of hoppiness, which is great, I didn't detect much, if anything, in the way of rye. There's plenty of hops an dmalt in the taste. Good bitterness.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,468 ratings.