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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,343 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,343
Reviews: 2,037
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 224
Gots: 223 | 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:
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 added by: Quaffer on 03-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hop Rod Rye Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,343 | Reviews: 2,037 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears as a ruby/copper vivacious brew with some small bubbles creating a small off white head which fades shortly. It looks pretty good! In fact, it's almost excellent with the exception of the heavy heavy sediment and lack of carbonation after about a minute. The lacing is lovely as it leaves a nice perfect ring which lasts for most of the duration of enjoying this brew.
Smells of faint maltiness with some amarillo hops coming through, along with a faint nutiness.
The taste is pretty decent as it hits most of tastebuds up in the front and the middle and the dryness lingers all the way to the back. Not a real full bodied mouthfeel but it is up there as far as filling it out. It is also quite drinkable. Again, the only thing that I didn't really like about this well done brew was the heavy sediment and the lack of carbonation.

Finger licking good!

weeare138, Apr 15, 2005
Photo of canucklehead
4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As the immortal Kinky Friedman would say" Killer B baby". This is one of the best beers I've had in some time mainly because the complexity is stunning. The beer looks awesome with a dark brown body with a bi old head. A hoppy, woody smell with some interesting age notes. The taste is large and many facets. A unique bitterness due to the rye comes off the back end. All in all this is a stunner that demands your attention.

canucklehead, Apr 12, 2005
Photo of cracker
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An interesting beer. Pours an amber brown color (a bit darker than most ipa's) with not much of a head. Smell is of fresh pine and grapefruit with a hint of sweet malts. Taste is definitely hop predominant (chinook hops more than likely) with a dry, somewhat harsh, astringest aftertaste. I'm assuming this is what rye contributes to the beer. Don't notice much of a spiciness or sour like characteristics. Overall seems more like a 'darker' ipa than anything else but nevertheless a quality product.

cracker, Apr 12, 2005
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber. This beer has a dark brown appearance, unusual for an IPA. Big foamy white head that leaves loads of lacing on the glass. The aroma is very hoppy, but not just a hop bomb. There are nice malt and spicy aromas too. The flavor is fresh hops, but balanced with the malt and a noticable rye. Very interesting, complex flavors. Creamy mouthfeel. High alcohol, but not in an overwhelming way, just gives the beer a nice bite. This is a well made and delicious hoppy beer. I think this is the fastest I ever drank an 8% abv 22 ounce bottle.

beveragecaptain, Apr 10, 2005
Photo of shirfan
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rich, dark orange with hints of brown; the head on this billowed up to 3-fingers in height and then simply refused to disperse. After several minutes, it finally yielded slightly, with clingy lace and fluffy mounds still remaining.

Aroma is citric, caustic hops, orange chocolate, alcohol, candy store, incense.

Taste is fairly dry, with grapefruit-toned hops guarding an earthy, voluptuous malt body. Enough hops to decimate the unappreciative, yet well balanced and not at all one-dimensional.

A slick and seductive "you want me but you can't quite have me" mouthfeel teases for subsequent sips. It's as if the full flavor of this beer is always just out of reach.

shirfan, Apr 07, 2005
Photo of Wonka
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1 PT. 6 FL. OZ.

Appearance – bronze/orange body; thick, micronized, cream-colored head that endures; great swaths of lace - when a glass is nearly closed in by lace, its certainly great; damn close to a 5

Smell – spicy; citrus; a light dose of alcohol that's present pushes back the faint caramel

Taste – spicy; big-time hoppy; caramel; a bit smoke and alcohol; in-your-face bitterness in the form of grapefruit rind slams the exit door and hangs around; a bit brash on the hops but if this is to be compared to the hot rod of hops, I’d have to say this is what I expected

Mouthfeel – a bit hop oily; pleasant rich, big feel but it also has some prickly carbonation; a bit of hop sting in the 'afterfeel' lets you know who is running the show

Drinkability – very easy on the consumption end; the bitter close creates a comprehension moment; don’t dive back in immediately

Hop Rod Rye has more hops than LeBron James. Slam dunk for Bear Republic.

Wonka, Apr 02, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours crimson and fizzy with a light tan head of substance and character.

aroma is dangerously overwhelming with hops. mild buttery notes, but nothing can compare to the almighty hop gods making their presence known through the neck of this bottle.

tastes hoppy. bitter. mouth-puckering. the appeal to this beer is the rye background, which gives the hops a much higher ground to attack from. rye itself contributes a base spice here which launches my taste buds into orbit. and then a blueberry note.. from where? a hophead's delight.

i've sometimes been adverse to crazy hops but the complexity here helps me to appreciate it.

goodbyeohio, Apr 01, 2005
Photo of crookedhalo
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice rich copper color with a fluffy light beige head. Piny, sprucy and citrusy in its hop profile with a caramelized malt notion and, of course, a dry rye character. Hints of holly. Incredibly dry, hoppy and citrusy. The usage of rye really accompanies the dryness imparted by the high alpha hops. Very dry and bitter; with some caramelized malt, counterbalancing rye, and a dextrinous mouthfeel. Very enjoyable. A beefy beer for lovers of the hop.

crookedhalo, Mar 31, 2005
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$3.49 22oz bomber

I took the cap off of this one and my mouth was watering to get a taste of the hop juices that filled this bottle. The appearance was gorgeous. A deep amber color with a sticky, cream head. The head alone, was delicious. The smell was a little different than many other IIPA. The rye aroma really stuck out and gave a different nose to the prominent hops. The taste was started out with a little sweetness followed by the crucial hop bitterness. The finish brought back almost and orange sweetness followed by a dry ending. The hops suck out every drop of saliva you have left in your mouth. It is great, but would be a little too much all night. Either way, this is an awesome beer that could become a staple in my fridge.

ALESwhatCURESya, Mar 31, 2005
Photo of sulldaddy
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am sampling a bomber at room temp poured into a snifter.
The beer pours a deep garnet color with a large soft fluffy off white head foaming up 2 cm on a slightly agressive pour. The head fades very slowly throughout sampling. Aroma is very hoppy, a nice mix of pine, grapefruit and earthy scents mix to give a solid hop presence. Not too much else on the nose.
First sip reveals a rather thin body with a creamy texture that coats my palate. Very fine rolling carbonation tingles across the back of my throat. Flavor is light malt up front with a hint of caramel and some rye flavor, like reuben bread. Finishes slightly twangy with a hint of the hops that were on the nose. Mostly the hop bitterness hits the back of my moutgh after I swallow. The beer is easy to drink and gives no hint of alcohol anywhere. Quite an interesting mix of grains. Good but not a WOW! beer.

sulldaddy, Mar 31, 2005
Photo of lackenhauser
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice amber to deep orange color. Second helping out of the bottle had a killer head to it. Great big grassy,citrusy aroma-we are talking full frontal hop assault. Nice mild sweet malt flavor with a huge hop presence. Very tangy indeed. Somewhat dry in the finsh. Good body-has a tad of a "soapiness" feel to it. A killer beer indeed. Very crisp yet full of flavor. At 8% I dont know if I would call it a session beer but I could see it becoming a regular in my fridge.

lackenhauser, Mar 27, 2005
Photo of studentofbeer
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark, rich brown color with orange highlights. prettier at the top of my nonic, where it is a full woody brown but it looks like a nice piece of oak throughout. excellent dart-cork colored head, thick and and fluffy, with awesome lacing, and a nice cap that doesn't go away.

amazing bouquet of hops--super ripe and juicy grapefruit, tangerine smell. though it's hard to get past the hops, they are so full, there's a creamy, milky sweetness in the malt and some raw grain aroma. As it warms some spicy plum and nutmeg become apparent. very rich, with both dark and bright flavors mingling.

the taste is a full on assault of goodness--a boatload of hops truck through the mouth, but the ale is so creamy and the malt so smooth, sweet and spicy, you're getting a little of everything. i pick up dried fruit, obviously tons of citrus, milk and milk chocolate, peach, some sour rye (like rye whisky) and a touch of pepper. the hops come barreling back in the finish, leaving a happy aftertaste of bitter citrus rind and nuts. in many ways the best part is the odd milky/chocolate sweet characteristic in the malt that must develop because of the rye--it, the spiciness of the rye and the hops do great things together.

for a powerful beer full of hop madness, this one is quite drinkable... and balanced, even though it is extreme.

studentofbeer, Mar 26, 2005
Photo of Goldorak
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Ruby brownish red, with nice clingy lacing.

Smell: Hop damn! A slice of rye bread spreaded with a generous amount of strawberry jam. Unique.

Taste: I was expecting some kind of freaky concoction with off-centered flavors and just too much of everything, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a very well balanced ale, with everything in it's proper place, leaving room for everyone make a statement on my tastebuds. Rye tartness, big malt roundness, slight alcohol sting and hop finish. Bravo.

Goldorak, Mar 23, 2005
Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured with a finger thick beige head and a clear deep ruby bronze color. Left behind a moderate amount of lacing.

Aroma was full of hops and pine, some sweet caramel undertones and a bit of dark pitted fruits.

The taste carried lots of malt backbone to counteract the piney hops. An excellent balance of malts/hops. The rye comes through a bit on the finish along with bitter hoppiness.

Carbonation was spot on for the style and a medium to full bodied beer.

Wolfsdenbrew, Mar 22, 2005
Photo of Beersignal
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one during a light dinner with Goldorak and company was my favourite of the evening.

Deep brown colour with russet highlights letting light stream through the slight haze. A medium head was witnessed but posessed minimal retention and offered no lacing.

A sweet spicy maltiness from the rye was buttressed by a fresh and balanced hop presence initially. Aromas of berries and grapes surfaced amid the malt and hops to lend a pleasant complexity and a faint softness of sugars danced with the hops in the finish.

The flavours mirrored the aromas and were equally balanced and seductive. Up front I detected embracing and sturdy maltiness with a touch of tartness through notes of ripe apple and peach flesh. Hints of maple water surfaced before a wave of biting hop bitterness washed the palate clean.

One of only two rye ales I have had the chance of tasting and I hope to come across it again... I loved it.

Merci Martin!

Beersignal, Mar 21, 2005
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sizeable head which goes down to sizeable lacing. Color is a clear brown/amber. Smell is of hops. Lots of hops. Taste is dominated by the hops (my pallate isn't good enough to figure out which ones). Rye characteristics do come through esp. as you finish a swig. The taste which lingers is hops-dominated however. Very smooth. Very drinkable.

Major thanks to blitheringidiot for giving me this gem.

GeoffFromSJ, Mar 20, 2005
4.93/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absolutely floral perfume for smell. Some fruity notes as well, grapefruit and overripe tangerines.
Pretty red and auburn color, with sediment both sunken and suspended. A creamy rich head persists and coats up the edges of the glass.
What a hop bomb. This beer shows all the things I love most about hoppy brews. The citrusfruit notion, the pine sap, the i-give-in sweetness at the finish. Rye and hops really combine for a great bitterness in a beer. It is genious. This is a favorite of mine.

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

The first beer I've given all 5's.

Poured with perfect 1 finger carbonation. Creamy and bubbly. Clear Red color.

I wouldn't normally call sediment pretty - but oh yes... these green flecks of hops make me smile.

The Rye is there - spicy and malty and slightly sweet - just very subtle. The taste is out of this world. Raisiny malts mixed with citrusy hops, and a final bitter bite that reminds you exactly what you are drinking.


cncbofh, Mar 12, 2005
Photo of tjd25
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dense creamy head, lasting on a a beautiful mahogany color body. Great retention on the sides of the glass. The smell was definitely hoppy, with Chinook hops appearing, but in a less excentric way as I expected, not as fruity and sweet as I thought. Quite fresh and grassy with perceivable notes of yeast.

The taste showed some raspberries and blueberries at first, and a second after a citric feeling. Then a more chewy wooden character, with a syrupy caramel flavor combined with a round and dark maltiness (rye I guess) that gets close to chocolate. I particularly enjoyed this hoppy west coast beer since I found it so well balanced with a real and deep malty personality. Mouthfeel was enjoyably creamy for a hop monster, and the thick mouth-drying experience was interestingly combined with refreshing and sweet notes of grain, in a slightly sticky syrupy way. I also find in surprizingly drinkable for the style. So much more balanced and interesting than Stone ruination (imho).

tjd25, Mar 05, 2005
Photo of gimmehead
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful rich mahogony with deep ruby highlights. Foamy off-white head and intricate lacing. Huge aroma. Floral and citric hops, roasted malts, almonds and light grassiness. Hop bomb! Taste is very earthy, huge grapefruit and resinous hops, roasted malts and a lingering, stinging, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is thick and full. This is a huge beer in every aspect. Bitterness can be a bit overwhelming by the end of the bomber, but if that is all you are planning to have it's pretty darn drinkable. Outstanding beer.

gimmehead, Feb 25, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22ozer bottle from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige/light tan head above the dark copper brew. Head is airy like bread as the bubbles burst, and laces very nicely. Aroma is hops, citrus, pine, you name it, it's here. Seems like there may be some malt under all of it, but the nose can't find it. Taste is mostly about the hops (see Aroma, above), but there is a body and smoothness over the tongue that defies you to just pigeonhole it as another bottle of hops. Mouthfeel and drinkability excellent for the style, must be that rye making everything work out so well. Stop walking by this one on the shelf, take one home, and enjoy.

ppoitras, Feb 11, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

02/07/05- On tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Red-amber pour with a nice thick and creamy white head. Adequate lacing.

Smell- A light smelling hoppy beer. At least with my nose it was. Fruity hops and a bit of malt. Nothing outstanding, but better than your normal IPA scent.

Taste- Decent amount of piney tastes as well as grapefruit flavored hops. Not a hop bomb, but enough to keep me interested.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation here.

Drinkability- Nicely well balanced beer. Was actually happy I didn't notice any rye as I despise rye with a passion. Tasty and well rounded. Would suggest to anyone who likes a good IPA.

GClarkage, Feb 08, 2005
Photo of karst
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap? That could be fatal this beer is so good!
(Although I remember it being on tap last Christmas eve at the Capital Ale house downtown Richmond - hummm... that explains the look on Joe's face that night! )
No, just a measly 22 0z bomber of this strong American IPA made with 20% rye malt. Reddish mahogany color, Hop Rod Rye boasts a 40 acre field of hop aroma and enough malt flavor to slightly sweeten the palate with a malty finish. A.V.B. of 7.5%. og 1.074, and mere 90+ IBUs (compared to the 200+ of Devil Dancer). We drank this just before pitiching 6.5 gal of 1.082 60+ IBU red rye Imperial IPA that I'll be happy with if it is just 50% of Bear's Hop Rod.

After trying DFH 90 & 120, Hop Rod, and the Devil, Hop Rod is the one that is going to be parked in my Garage Frig. Its crisp taste and beautiful full body is touched off with a nice flame job of hops. A like a true hotrod when you get her warmed up the good stuff comes on strong.

karst, Feb 07, 2005
Photo of chugamugofsud
3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was a little too bitter anjd without the subtlety that I generally look for in a rye, not horrible though. Poured out of a bomber into two pint glasses and shared with a friend. The brew actually tasted better as it warmed, I'd recommend not keeping it too cold.

chugamugofsud, Feb 07, 2005
Photo of Troyone
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy darker amber color with a minimal tan head that dissipated to nothing with in minutes and has some carb action.

A toasted caramel smell with herbal pine and lime hops with hints of maple, allspice, and nutmeg.

A light sweet taste with the flavors of roasted caramel and light molasses malt; moderate herbal pine and grapefruit lime hops; and hints of (salt free) soy sauce, pepper, licorice, and cola.

Mouthfeel has a medium to full bodied dry and sweet resin texture, soft carbonation, and a smooth hoppy malt finish.

Easy to drink session type of beer with 8.0 and a good change up for this type.

Troyone, Feb 07, 2005
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 4,343 ratings.