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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,454 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,454
Reviews: 2,051
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 241
Gots: 257 | 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: 4,454 | Reviews: 2,051 | Display Reviews Only:
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.


Photo of Dukeofearl
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber purchased at La Bodega in Riverside Ca, in Feb, 2006, for $3.49.

Pours a deep dark amber, almost brown, but there are way too many red highlights in this beer to be brown. What's the hair color term- auburn? OK, it's auburn. A largish wihte head (it overflowed my Imperial Pint glass) that mellowed out in a decent amount of time.

Aroma is west coast hops. In your face hops. Get-down get-funky hops. Caramel-burnt-toffee back burner notes, but just as a reminder that this isn't pure hop juice. Oily, piney, flowers, but only big, strong masculine flowers. Maybe cactus flowers (although I can't say I have ever found an aroma in cactus flowers, the analogy works).

Flavor is definite DIPA bold hoppiness in all its glory. Dark roasty malts actually stand up to be counted- is this the rye doing this (I love rye bread, and I see it here)? Definte style points for that.

Mouthfeel is incredibly rich, chewy, bold and strong.

I have to admit, all said and done, I think this is one I might love on the right time, on the right day. But here, now, it does not grab me like some of the other DIPAs I've had. Good, but I've enjoyed others I liked more.

Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Time for a revist... a trying task it is, but someone has to do it.
I've reviewed this once before and much of what I said stands but a couple additions are merited:
the bitterness that lives in the flavor is a dark chocolate bitterness... really quite pleasant if you like that kind of thing.
This is a different looking, different smelling, different tasting double IPA. Sweeter, maltier and deeper tasting. This could easily hide more alcohol within the Big-ness of the flavor, though it has a good kick as it stands.
Maybe somewhere in a spectrum between an IPA and barleywine?
A Bear Republic barleywine... man... sign me up for some of that.

Photo of beermanbrian
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle

Dark redish brown color. Tan head. Some lacing. Nice piney hops smell. Also note sweet maltiness in the smell.

Pine hops taste up front followed by the sweet finish. Malt candy sweetness comes through as you drink more but it never becomes overbearing. Slighly bitter aftertaste but not overly so. 8% ABV is nicely hidden.

One of the few double IPA that had enough hops bitterness to cover the sweetness. This is one I really enjoyed. Another winner from Bear Republic. Much thanks to the immortal maltygoodness.

Photo of ghostwalker
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish-brown body, huge thick flufffy white head. Really a cool looking brew and different from almost any other IPA that I can think of.

Nose is fresh pine/grapefruit hops. Definitely a sign of hops to come.

Flavor is delicious, quenching, tantalizing hops. God, this stuff is great! The word Rye in the name threw me off a bit. I did not expect this. This is a world class West Coast IPA. Some malt and perhaps rye flavor in the middle, I can't really tell behind all the wonderful, wonderful hops. This is not a balanced brew, and I really couldn't care less. Nearly perfect.

Mouthfeel is medium-smooth with a great hop zing and some sense of piney hop residue. It has enough of that tooth enamel stripping IPA'ness to enjoy without being annoying or painful.

Drinkability is very high. I could session this one with great ease and pleasure.

I have seen this on tap at Redbones, but passed on it since they had Stone IPA and I just wasn't sure about it. I will never make that mistake again.Great work, Bear Republic!

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

A - What a head! It is thick, creamy and never goes away. The brew is a slightly hazy scarlet. The lacing (although it takes forever) leaves giant thick rings of lacing on the sides of the glass. After twenty minutes the head is still substantial. An island of head is left in the middle of the glass after the sides finally dissipate. My very last swig was a mouthful of head, that is the first time that ever happened to me. When I reached the bottom, the monsterous lacing made the glass look like the painted desert.

S - The strong pine (frazier fir if I had to choose) and alcohol odors blend and form something which smells like a Christmas tree farm and grain alcohol (or maybe a drunk Christmas tree farmhand). There is a barely discernable malt character underneath. The alcohol is too strong for my liking, it actually burns my nose a bit.

T - The hops are not nearly as intense as I was anticipating. It has a definite pine character, but other flavors are prominant. There is a smoked oak flavor and some floral hops (lillies and a bit of roses) in the taste. A caramel malt and some faint coffee as well. The beer has a sweetness to it, but it doesn't seem to be a caramel-like sweetness. I think that sweet flavor is from the rye. The aftertaste is more mild than the foretaste is. It has some light coffee bitterness, pine bitterness and a touch of rye seed spiciness as well. The alcohol is not detectable in the flavor.

M - The beer is medium viscosity and very smooth. It could be better in the refreshing category, but it could be a lot worse.

D - I really enjoyed this one. It has a fabulous taste and a great look. I see why everyone enjoys this so much. I could buy this again definitely (especially with Bear Republic's reasonable bomber prices). A bomber, maybe two for the hardy, would make for an excellent "session", but this is definitely not a sessionable beer (too strong).

Photo of bennetj17
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber in color, has a medium head with nice retention. There is a lot of carbonation going on in this one. The aroma is fairly one dimensional but it is a nice fresh hop smell, very strong. The strong hops are noticed immediately upon tasting, and it hides the malt flavor. Has a nice strong bitter finish. Actually the malt does seem to balance things out a bit after drinking more. This thing is silky smooth,with a rich full body, and excellent carbonation. I wouldn't consider myself a "hophead" but this was one of the best hoppy beers I've had.

Photo of Oxymoron
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Don't drink and drag. It says so on the bottle. Hop Rod Rye pours a dark amber red with good clarity. A somewhat bad pour by me but it still looked good. Nice head and excellent lacing.

The smell has a big aroma coming right out of the bottle. Following the lines of RyePA. Pine notes with citrus overtones really dominate the aroma. Limited malt smells but there are caramel and basic malt smells are present. Some hints of rye as well.

The taste is mild hop taste and a good spicy flavor from the rye. A good piney taste upfront that quickly makes room for a limited bite from lingering bitterness and rye. A slight astringent note but not over the top. This is followed by a limited but flavorful caramel taste is noticeable in the background. Some minor sweetness into the finish with some hints of soapiness that lingers. A light yeast character but mostly clean.

The texture is a littled watery but good flavor and decent body. A creamy taste but the spice limits the texture. Very easy to drink and a nice overall beer.

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

Poured into glass pint mug, big frothy 2inch almond colored lasting head. Once settled a nice lacing occurs. The brew is a dark copper to mahogany in color, looks very inviting!

Smell is of very robust piney HOPand more hop and a hint of rye,nice.

Flavor is full of spicy, piney hops with a nice caramel malty into rye finish.
A definite hop lovers dream com true.Hop resin, full bodied, well balanced beer that tops it's style for sure.

Feels good in the mouth, rich and a little sticky. Very drinkable but go easy as you notice it's 8 percent ABV. I haven't had this seasonal brew
in a few years, forgot how much I like...highly recommend to fellow hop-heads!

Photo of smcolw
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Four finger beige head with large bubbles. This condenses into a long lasting tight head that leaves decent lace. The brew is reddish-orange brown and clear.

Very strong hop bouquet--fresh! Very inviting.

Full bodied and flavored with excellent malt flavors that quickly recede to the hop bite. I don't really detect the rye, but the liquor is quite dry and astringent. The aftertaste is long-lasting hop bitterness--my breath seems to have become the hop bouquet of the aroma.

An excellent double IPA--hop-heads rejoice.

Photo of Padron4KM
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, no freshness date.

Pours mahogany with a creamy tanish head.

Aroma is piney and citrus with sweet maltyness lying underneath.

Flavor is complex and balanced. Nice piney and grapefruity bitterness with some spice, a sweet middle and long rye finish.

Very tasty beer, one I'm sure I'll reach for again and again

Photo of PeatReek
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 22 oz bottle. At 8%?? Hoo mama.

Appearance: deep copper color, edging on brown ale and just slightly hazy (no suprise for a rye beer). Head is off-white, about 1/2" thick with very fine bubbles and it appears to be sticking around.

Smell: huge hop nose, strong on floral and pine overtones, but clean and fresh, not earthy. A slight hint of lemon.

Taste: The floral and pine qualities come out immediately, resolving to a a very clean citrusy bitterness, more like lemon than grapefruit. I'm pretty sure this is some major Centennial hoppage, and I love it. Somewhere in the beginning/middle of the sip, there's just enough bready malt support to keep this from tasting like hop water. The rye comes out mainly as an aftertaste, but that's OK.

Mouthfeel: just the perfect amount of carbonation to bring the hop flavors alive on my tongue. The rye gives it one heckuva head retention; I feel like I'm getting a milk moustache here. Contributes to a nice full body without seeming too chewy.

Drinkability: though I tend to hit my hop limit after one IPA per session, I could come back for a few of these. A few... pints, that is. I dunno about these deuce-deuces. Phew.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer poured a dark brown the faded to a light orange towards the edge of my glass. The head was creamy and light yellow that left some nice lace.

Smelled of extremely intense floral and citrus hops with a predominating pine.

In the flavor, the only reason this intense hop experience is made tolerable is the fantastically paired rye crisp and grapenut-like malt that supports it. There are also some sweet marshmallow undertones to this beer. Then, this beer finishes with a bit of malty grapefruit and rye, that arguably had too much bite.

The mouth feel is light and delicate with a smooth carbonation.

What a fantastic pairing of flavors and superb drinkability. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for more rye based brews in the future.

Photo of Naes
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is dark amber to brown in color with reddish hues. It has a tall off-white frothy head. Retention and lacing is good.
The aroma is of hops and believe it or not, as the name implies rye is in the nose as well.
The flavor is bitter with hops and citrus, but has a definite malt character to balance things out. The rye is also present throughout the drink, but shows through best in the aftertaste. This is a nice and balanced DIPA.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and moderately carbonated.
The alcohol content is hidden quite well.

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,454 ratings.