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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,467 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,467
Reviews: 2,053
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 239
Gots: 263 | 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: 4,467 | Reviews: 2,053
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.

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

Poured into a tulip pint glass....I was surprised at how dark this beer is. Deep brown/mohageny color with a HUGE off white head (aggressive pour) that dwindles down to a thin layer as I drink it. Glass has lacing rings throughout.

Smells sweet, hoppy, citrusy, piney....Im not sure what rye smells like, but this smells pretty damn good. Alot going on in the nose.

Taste - Wow, this is a smooth, balanced, hoppy beer. Sweetness right off the bat with enough bitter/citrusy hops in the front to make it taste like a true IPA. Piney hops also make an appearance. Medium to thin mouthfeel, which is a surprise....I was hoping it would feel more like Racer 5, which has a thicker feel to it. It does have a creaminess to it though. Dry, hoppy finigh that lingers a bit. Another winner from Bear Republic. Dangerous drinkability.

Bear Republic has impressed me with every one of their beers Ive tried. They get it done consistantly, and at a high level. They are quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries. HIGHLY recommended for any hophead or IPA/IIPA fan.

Photo of Matthew
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite possibly the best beer I've ever seen. Burnt reddish rust type in color, HUGE frothy head that literally has waves in the top of the head, looks absolutley astonishing....really...
Sweet hoppiness, soo pleasantly sweet that I get a tickling feeling in the back of my throat from the smell....there is a citrus type aroma there too, mainly grapefruit, slight lemon. Nice piney hoppiness all around the nose. I also get a hints of a doughy type smell.
Nice hoppy bitter sweet flavors, piney, hints of lemon and grapefruit, great biscuity malt backbone to balance it out....an incredibley well balanced double IPA. Each flavor really compliments the other flavors very well.
Nice fairly sticky mouthfeel for the style.
Very drinkable for 8% abv....
Quite an exceptional beer! Bear Republic has my undying respect.

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

A - Ruby red / copper with a huge beige creamy head. This thing is going no where.

S - Spicy, piny, but mostly citrusy right up front and some malt / ryeness peeking through. This is a great smelling IPA,

T - First sip is hard for me to describe... I'm not familiar with rye and this is my first rye IPA but the very first thought that came to mind was: balanced. Big nose of hops as you take a sip and a nice malty, I guess rye?, sweetness balanced with the citusy and piny hops. It's not overly bitter so I was shocked to see it listed at 90+ IBU. I certainly can't tell. Delicious. The finish is slightly dry - makes you want to drink more.

M - Malty and smooth. Moderate carbonation. An easy drinking malty IPA that can easily sneak up on your at 8% ABV.

D - I highly recommend this one. It's very drinkable and if I wasn't such a lightweight I'd probably drink 3 or 4 of these things in one sitting. In my opinion, this is a robust 'session' beer - ok maybe not sessionable at 8% but tastes like you could. Time to search for a clone.

Photo of gdogalishus
3.56/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter style galss. Poured a deep ruby red color with brown notes. The head was apparent, but nothing outstanding.
The aroma was significantly hoppy and I noticed the head was tinted green after the initial wiff. Can smell influence sight?? The flavor at first sip was not expected, clean...balanced. Then after the second sip, the character of this beer came through. It was hoppy and dry. The rye was clearly in the swallow and left my throat parched and wanting more.
A definate suggestion.

Photo of HoboAGoGo
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Doesn't taste as strong as listed, but that's part of the fun and danger with this. Poured into a large flute, it was a dark red, almost brown with copper hues. Thin tan head on top that wasn't sticking around for the whole ride. The nose was of big, citrusy hops, very little pine in this one, lots of citrus, also a heavy nose of rye. The taste is sweet malt that is dominated by the rye flavor that doesn't overwhelm, but doesn't hide either. Thick citrus flavor sticks to your mouth while drinking this amazing beer. I made the comment that I almost wanted to drop some saurkraut and swiss cheese in it. I would definiately pair this with a lighter flavored cheese, or a reuben sandwich. I loved this beer and will be drinking it next time I can get my hands on it.

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.71/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Secret Santa 2005 # 7

Crystal clear dark copper body, topped by a huge heaping of highly irregular off-white froth which rose above the rim in a wonderful impersonation of an ice cream soda. Excellenct lacing.

A big burst of citrus aroma, and also traces of smoke.

Taste is ...remarkable. An assertive malty caramel foundation not only kicks things off, but seems to alternate sips with a piney/citrus hop blast. A true miracle of balance. The rye seems to add a little base grit to the whole thing and makes the whole brew distinct from the typical "West Coast Big IPA".

Mouthfeel is just ridiculously creamy damn fine. Drinkability? This is a rapidly disappearing bomber, and I look forward to one day revisiting this fine brew.

In an era of big IPAs, this is a stand out.

Photo of numenor1
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper colored, few streams of carbonation, some floaties (I dont mind), very finely bubbled, yet massive khaki head. Very sticky, and long lasting. The nose is a perfect balance of muted hops, rye and toasty caramel malts with a slight burnt aspect. Based on other reviewers, I really think there's quite a bit of bottle age on this one. I venture at least a year, perhaps more. Flavor upfront is wide and expansive toasty, rye, very slightly sweet. Muted by underlying bitterness, but that seems very muted as well like the hop flavor. There's some definite age to this. This could almost fit into the old ale category, not IPA. That said, the balance is spectacular. Very slow evolving flavor, and ponderous as slight hops ebb in and out between substantial malt and alcohol/rye spice. At this stage the rye is very evident. Very full in the mouth with light carbonation, perfectly creamy. Very drinkable, but due to the age, ponderous. I like it this way, though, i am sure, a completely different animal than when fresh. Shouldn't even be considered the same beer. That said, anyone with ready access to this should try aging it a bit.

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

I once had this beer in the bottle-- it is not the same as having it on tap, that's for sure! I wasn't very impressed with the bottle serving, but on draught this beer was outstanding!

It was served to me in a pint glass, with a nice 3/4-1" of foam. It never really dissipated-- left a beautiful lace on the glass as I drank.

The taste was outstanding-- although I'm not a huge fan of Rye, I could taste it immediately in this beer. That broke through to a nice malt and hoppiness, and was very smooth going down. Definitely not a "session" beer-- I could only drink one.

A beer I will definitely revisit on tap again!

Photo of Citadel82
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy oxidized copper wth an off-white head that lasts and lasts and lasts. In fact the head never really disappears entirely, remaining as a solid quarter of an inch pancake on top of the brew.

As it is consumed this brew leaves leaves solid sheets of lace and a few very thick pillows of lace on the sides of the glass... artistry.

Aroma is malty, bready and sweet with some vinous notes and some floral hints.

Taste is a balanced sweet malt up front with spicy rye notes appearing in the middle and piney- citrusy hops at the tail end.
Finish is mediciney - astringent west coast hops all the way.

A very drinkable brew that is balanced and tasty.

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

Appearance: Clear deep copper, with a large white head, profuse broken lace.

Aroma: Spicy rye notes, quite pronounced grapefruit and pine hops.

Taste: Opens with spicy rye notes, soon followed by grapefruit and pine tar hops, and a solid malt presence. Finishes with a lingering pine tar hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, rich, very full, soft.

Drinkability/notes: Quite excellent, interesting variation on the style.

Photo of sloejams
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a fine, interesting beer that I consume regularly. About fucking time I gave it a write-up.

Firstly - I hate rye. It's disgusting. Were it not for the thorough recommendations this beer had been given, I never would have tried it. Stupid rye.

Thank god I taste absolutely no rye in this at all. It pours a dark auburn color with a beefy head - that retains seemingly forever. The aroma is all hops- very piney with a slight nuttiness. The malty flavor adds a great taste to the overwhelmingly wonderful hops. It's sweet and bitter. A nice alcohol warming as the creamy beverage smooths out. Easy to enjoy and there's plenty more where this one came from.


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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,467 ratings.