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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,453 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,453
Reviews: 2,051
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 241
Gots: 255 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Quaffer on 03-27-2002

A high gravity IPA brewed with 18% rye malt. Hop Rod Rye has a floral hop aroma and subtle caramel notes with a slightly earthy and spicy rye character.

2009 California State Fair – GOLD
2003 California State Fair – GOLD
2002 Real Ale Festival (Chicago) – GOLD
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,453 | Reviews: 2,051 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 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.

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

Dark brown and reddish in color with a thick one inch carmel colored head. Slightly cloudy from this unfiliered brew. Wonderful hops smell. Rich and fulfilling taste. The alcohol is masked by the rich hops flavor. Layers of lacing on the pint glass. All I kept thinking is how good this beer was. My first offering from Bear Republic and clearly impressed. Side note: I like it when you can see yeast in the glass, "That's good nutrients."

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

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours dark amber with a half-inch fluffy, light beige head. Outstanding head retention, eventually settling into lots of lacing.

Aroma is mostly hops, pine & citrus, but their are some mild notes of rye malt.

Taste is hoppy as well....rye malt, with pine, & grapefruit hop flavors throughout. The malt backbone balances this beer out extremely well. Nice lingering hop bitterness in the finish. The rye is noticeable throughout, but seems more prevalent in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied, with light carbonation. Definite alcohol kick which kind of sneaks up on you. Easier to drink than I expected, if it wasn't for the 8% ABV I could see drinking quite a few of these at a time.

Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Darker mohogany color with copper twinge. Meduim creamy dense tan head rests atop. Lots of bubbles rising. A few hop flakes seem to have found their way in. A hop blast greets me as I smell the beer. Spicy, piney hops. Caramel, rye flakes. A bit of some roasted malts compliment the spicyness. Taste seems to follow suit. Begins with the huge hop hit. Spicy and bitter but not overdone. Caramel and bready flavors balance it out. Bitterness wins but the malts add another element of flavor. A slight alcohol burn lends a hand towards the finish. Rye seems to be there but really brings out a spicy, sweet finish with some hop flavor melded together. Slick body with the right amount of spicyness and pricklyness. Fresh tasting, I could drink many of these. Well done all around.

Photo of kmo1030
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark mahogany with a tan head.
huge hoppy aroma, with a piney grapefruit rind, almost minty menthol smell. the rye is faintly apparent along with some malty aromas.
toasty caramel and spicy rye make up the non hoppy portion of the flavor. sticky pine needle hops, round out the rest. the true greatness of the flavor doesn't come from the necessarily stellar flavors, but from the unique balance that is achieved here with a very healthy dose of hop bitterness, and the malty/rye characterisitcs. it is quite bitter, but you almost don't notice it. i'm impressed.
full medium body with active, but fine carbonation. it achieves a creamy texture.
very drinkable, it makes a good sessionable higher abv hop heads beer if that makes sense. bitter hoppy, fairly complex, but mellow and smooth. very nice.

Photo of DaggerEyes
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 22 oz into my trusty pint glass.

Poured with a rowdy 3 finger foamy head that had me diving to the class slurping in order to prevent spillage. After settling slightly the head fell down to a rocky craggy foam of two fingers. What a great great looking head. Sticky as hell lace has been left all over the upper regions of the glass where the head once was. The color was an opaque and deep mahogony.

What a nose. So wonderfully balanced sweet sugary malts, smells like candied fruit mingle with bitter citrusy hops. Very fragrent. some slight floral or honey smells creep in. Also some ever so slight buttery notes.

The rye is really present in the mouth spicey with the bitter cirtus flavors of the hops...It's not too much though as a subtle sweet carmel-esque backbone balances it out. This is an extremely active beer with an incredible mouthfeel. Medium to full body with a good amount of carbonation and a fairly clean, though bitter thick and bold finish...this beer really gives your mouth a work out.

A very drinkable beer. Wonderful to kick back and enjoy on it's own. Bitter as all hell. A very very unique American IPA.

Photo of ultralarry2006
2.96/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Light brown two finger head poured from 22 oz.'er. Deeper than normal copper for an IPA, more copper than orange, and there was the expected haze. Very nice lacing. Aroma -citrus, and diacetyl malt. Taste - the citrus hops, of course and slight diacetyl, somewhat less than aroma had me expecting, which is good because I rather dislike the diacetyl taste, instead the malt had a small somewhat doughy taste upfront, which I suspect is due to the rye, but then diacetyl aftertaste made unusally bitter by the citrusy hops. The mouth was fairly smooth owing to the hops, and somewhat more carbonated than I expect or want for an IPA, leaving a slightly thick, and bitter coating. Diacetyl usaully ruins a brew for me and this is the case here- Hop Rod was an okay ride- but one I think will let pass me by when hitchhiking the HopHead Highway.

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

for some reason i love rye beers. this one in particular is a gem

dark ruby poured to the edge of the glass (therefore no head to speak of. but i'm convinced there would be a nice one, if allowed. it's tight)

the hops are scaled back to let the rye shine (i think we're in the 55-60 IBU range). and the rye does shine, slipping in with the bitterness and supplying a nice spicy kick. almost a tactile quality as well. can't smell it, but that coul dbe my fault or a result of drinking it in a restaurant setting

honeycomb lacing atop the brew, with a collar and some frostiness left down the glass

clean malt, floral hop aroma

i love this stuff, man. i wish they had the black rye when i was there; i'd love to try it

Photo of mmmbeer
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, seasonal but with no year marked, although it was new in the store. It pours an unfiltered deep garnet with a half-inch of tan head that leaves some lacing. The bouquet includes mango, some rye tang, pineapple, mandarin oranges, ruby red grapefruit, pine, and some alcohol. Smells wonderful. It tastes similar to the aroma with the addition of caramel/buttery malts, biscuits, and a healthy bitterness on top of a big, creamy, chewy body. This is quite drinkable and a nice take on an IPA. I like the rye kick, as it blends well with the other flavors and doesn't overpower them. Delicious.

Photo of barknee
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

H.R.R. pours dark amber with a rich mocha colored head with generous carbonation visible within, creating a well-aerated frothy head and a well-mannered nose of fresh hops, sweet malt and pine. The mouthfeel is moderately bitter, with a viscous coating within the mouth. Hints of sweet honeyed cashew and a nice citric element draw the taste buds to attention. This brew is nicely balanced in all of the senses, very much in proportion and quite an enjoyable west coast libation.

Photo of ITK4ever
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had heard so much about this that I had to try it. It was on many folks' list on their all-time hoppy beers. As an IPA, I was rather confused when pouring this into a glass. Poured a deep copper color...darker than any IPA I had seen up to this point. Good light tan head that lasted. You can pick up a hint of rye in the nose, but the hops overpower. I was expecting a little more from the rye, and I'm not really sure why it's there at all, which make this beer a little disappointing to me.

It is different, however. But, I would like to see this a little less hoppy and step up the rye to really set it apart.

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

Rather dark amber really brown color. [served in my favorite Imperial Nonic) Nice aroma. The head just wont' quit! Beautiful Brussels lace all the way down!
While the mouthfeel is full and somewhat balanced, wonderful hop bitterness grabs you, and provides a great aftertaste. Rye doesn't jump out at you but is present. Very fitting for a hop head like me. Rye IPA is becoming one of my favorite styles. [Everything from Bear Republic is GREAT!]

Photo of WeymouthMike
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well at first appearance this doesn't look anything like any ipa I've had before. Appearance is a dark amber similar to what I would expect from a winter warmer, head is creamy similar to a Guiness. This beer explodes with aromas of pine and citrus,more than I've ever experienced in an IPA. Taste is similar to smell with pine and citrus as the predominant flavors with a strong bite at first taste. Mouthfeel is smooth after the initial carbonation bite, the 8% alcohol is hidden pretty well. After drinking for a while I notice quite the build up in my mouth of hops. Drinkability, I would put simply as I would have no problem downing a bomber but as with most strong IPA's I'd better be home if I wanted to have another. For price factor this is an incredible beer, I paid around $4 for a bomber.

Photo of bjohnson
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark amber color with a nice frothy cream colored two finger head that leaves wonderful lace.

S: Aromas of hops hit the nose first--definately got the rye notes combined with less potent citric and pine.

T: Taste of hops come first with a nice malty combination. Mostly citric and pine notes, but the rye is definately present. Not overly bitter.

M & D: Mouthfeel and drinkability on this one are very high. Well balanced and smooth make is a nice session beer. Good carbonation and a smooth finish allow you to take advantage of the complex taste. High alcohol content isn't very noticeable--this may creap up on you depending on how many you drink.

Photo of Terp96
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my old standbys. I liken it to Arrogant Bastard as it has many of the same qualities.

Very hoppy, spicy aroma and taste up front. This beer is very complex. Even more so when it warms up a bit.

So balanced with a nice malty sweetness and a huge hop backbone. You can even taste a little of the rye kick as it warms.

One of the best beers I have ever had.

PS Why is this labeled a seasonal? Is it really? I have been able to get it regularly for a few years now.

Photo of ressletr
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice mohagony color. Lacing is outstanding just like the Ipa. If you didn't read the bottle you would never know this one had 8% alcohol. Great tasting beer, in which one can get in trouble with. Bear Republic, make some very good IPAs. These I would consider to session beers, because you can drink more than one because of the great taste. If anyone hasn't tried Bear Republic than they should, awesome double IPA. I want to state something about Bear Republics IPAs, they are dangerous, they are enjoyable to drink and one can drink one after the other. Awesome beer.

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