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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: 252 | 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 masikon
4.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is absolutely perfect if ever there was a perfect beer. I'm changing my favorite style to American Double IPA based on this. Pours a rich amber to mahogany with a rich sea foam head that lasts and clings everywhere. Nose is full of delicious citrus hops, some subdued candy malts and a slight alcoholic pepper. Taste is divine, a solid perfectly executed wall of hops slams the palate with grapefruit, zest, pineapple, and candy sweetness in the background...no foul grassyness or over the top bitterness here. Bear Republic has reminded me with this beer of why I love beer, a true masterpiece....im gushing...I can't say enough.

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

Dang! This is a clear, very red brew that forms a full four finger rocky head that left a LOT of lace on the sides of my pint glass. This stuff clings! When I was done, it didn't want to wash off readily.

Aroma was of pine hops and caramel, with a slightly sweet toffee character. There was definitely a bit of rye spiciness that nicely complimented the hops.

Taste was bitter pine and grapefruit hops, but not overpowering. medium-bodied malts were evident as an underlying theme, and the rye bite was definitely there. Quite nice and well-balanced. I see why it has the rating it does.

Mouthfeel was full and chewy, not as astringent as the high alpha acid content would lead one to believe, not oily even though there were obviously loads of hop resins. Damn fine.

Drinkability was up there. Without a doubt I would be willing to have this one again,

Photo of Gavage
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a clear deep copper color with a thick 3" merangue-like head that lasts throughout the drink. Thick lacing also develops.

Smell: strong citrus and hop bitterness is easily detectable.

Taste: this beer covers it all, as a nice sweet malty backbone is kept in check with strong piney bitterness and fat orange slices. Hint of graininess and some brown sugar notes too.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finish, with all flavors lingering on the tongue long into aftertaste. Slight dryness on the finish.

Drinkability: great drinkability, a must have for those who haven't had one yet.

Photo of Tupperwolf
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours from a 22oz bottle with no freshness date into my nonic a perfect impression of Coca-Cola dark red-brown. The more I drink, the redder it gets. The head on this thing is HUGE! Big frothy mountains of tan-white head burst upwards for long seconds, and very slowly settle down to a thick, complete covering that won't go away. As I drink this beer it leaves shelf after shelf of lace rings. So beautiful I want to cry!

The smell has distinct hop oils - grapefruit and pine, but they aren't so aggressive as most kick-ya-in-the-teeth double IPAs; Actually, they're kind of secondary to a sugarcane, saccharine sweetness. The overall effect gets my mouth watering hard.

Ah, there's those hops! They dance around on my tongue in a devilish samba, all piney and twangy and hoppy. Mmmm. I think the rye gives this beer a serious plus; It doesn't diminish from the hoppy taste, but adds so much sugary, malty smoothness. It still isn't aggressive, which is how I like an IPA, but damn if it isn't GOOD. I mean this beer tastes excellent. It keeps my mouth watering and I just can't help but dive back in for more! The second glass brings a level of additional spice and zing with the brewer's yeast that only adds more complexity. Mmm.

Slick on the tongue, with just enough carbonation to keep me happy - I'm glad it went to the head instead of sticking around in the body, because the flavors of this beer are accented by the amount of carbonation it has. Kind of a clingy hoppy hop-oil aftertaste that lingers and lingers. Mmm.

I put some pizza in the oven, intending to drink this beer with them when they were done, but in the ten minutes it took the pizza to cook, I drank the first 12oz like a greedy bastard and had to pour the rest of the bottle to have with my food. This beer deserves all the praise it's received! God Bless California!

Photo of Goban
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It has a beautiful pour with a rich and thick creamy head. Head retention is great and leaves a wonderful lace sticking to the glass. The color is an appealing dark brown with a slight hint of red. It smells very hoppy with a sweet citrus background that is very inviting. A wonderfully rich mouthfeel that holds hoppy bitterness that lasts and lasts.

Hop Rod is my first brew by Bear Republic and I’m sold already. Wonderful beer.

Photo of hero27
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber. Listed 8% abv. Says on the bottle it's made with 18% rye...interesting.

Rapidly forming head of khaki foam. Mostly clear amber color.
Elegant hop aroma.. floral hops are strong, but not overdone and won't take the paint off the walls like some hop aromas will. Very fresh, spicy hop flavors up-front that blend in ridiculously well with the earthy Crystal malt presence...quite smooth going down, also. Damn, this stuff's incredible...every flavor works in harmony, with the hops, malt, and rye doing their part to make one insane beer. This brew is the real deal.

An exceptional Double IPA, with a uniqueness that will keep you coming back for more..

Photo of RedHaze
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/amber with a very thick and creamy two finger head that fades very slowly to a thick cap, and leaves tons of lace clinging to the sides of my glass. Looks impressive.

Smell; has a really nice spicy rye aroma that I really enjoy, piney and slightly citrusy hops with just a hint of sweet caramel.

Taste; the piney hops hit first followed by that rye spiciness that just really stands out. A nice grapefruit flavor mixes in with a nice caramel malty presence on the finish that's really pleasant. For a DIPA this beer is not overly bitter. This beer has a nice and chewy mouthfeel, but has a little more of a carbonation bite to it that I would have liked. This is a truely "outstanding" beer.

Photo of Prufrock
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber poured into a pilsner.

pours a clear amber with tons of off-white head that falls into frothy peaks. leaves a mess of chunky lacing on the glass as it falls. edit: the first pour was crystal clear, the last was slightly hazy with some dancing dark sediment.

spicy rye aromas with piney, resiny hops. sweet malts and a hint of alcohol in the nose as well. just a touch of grapefruit, but not as much as in the racer 5.

very balanced taste, but with a nice complexity. hop bitterness has a huge presence but doesn't dominate the experience like many other double IPAs; hops function more to wash the malty sweetness away, leading to perfect drinkability. slick, resiny hop flavors with the nice crisp, light mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

another solid beer from bear republic (their IPA is one of my favorites).

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

Brown bomber bottle.

Clear red/copper in color with a super irregular almost tan head. The froth was long lasting.

Assertive hops take over the nose, bringing out citrus notes like grapefruit, pineapple, and mandarin orange. Also the faintest whiffs of booze and malt.

Surprisingly full bodied, creamy, and well carbonated. Almost grainy. Hops come out to attack, bold and dominating, still along the citrus bent. Halfway through the glass the spiciness from the rye becomes apparent, adding real depth and enjoyment.

Bear Republic makes some damned fine beers, this one being no exception.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok...I'll try to do this intelligently but I've had two 22 oz bottles and that may not be possible.
Pours deep, deep brown...almost black.
Heavenly head of sable color that stays with a pretty lacing throughout the drink.
I smell grapefruit...probably the hops.
Taste is heavenly....tingly hops with slight grapefruit aftertaste....wonderful blending of hops and malt...almost perfect. Nothing overpowers...just a heavenly blending.
Light carbonation...high octane but no high burn going down.

I enjoyed this brew totally...maybe too much. In my mind this was 'the perfect beer'. Heavenly blending of malt and hops....aftertaste is clean and nice. If it was only half the alcohol I would drink a sixer...as it is, I may anyway and regret it tomorrow.
My favorite.
I'm inclined to give it 5's all over because I love it but will be honest in my ratings.
I had to make a note after finishing about my 10th of these (no...not at one sitting.
This beer has the most incredible head I have ever seen in a beer. It is almost stiff in intensity and the entire two fingers will last through then entire drink. You litterally can sculpt the head of bubbles you will get with a pour all the way to the bottom of the glass. While being the stiffest head I have ever seen from a brew, it is not a bad thing at all...I enjoy this extra touch of heavenly richness the head imparts.

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

mmm. hops and rye. what an excellent combination. (18% rye to be exact).

pours a clear deep mahogany . just off white head. first pour was about 50% foam, settles to a thick stable layer leaving generous lacing.

strong citrus hoppy aroma.

tingles on the tongue. there is a sharpness, almost tart, that i am guessing is from the rye. nice addition to the heavy handed hop bitterness and sweetness from the 8%abv. slides right to the back of the mouth as all sensation seems to be coming from there. very light up front, but then, BAM.

yeah, it hits you all right. abv, ibu, ... ok, i cant think of another one. my point is, it all adds up. this is not a mellow beer. brash and bold, it will take no prisoners.

Photo of deuschbag
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

my first review, why not make it hop rod. i am officially in love with this beer. beautiful dark reddish color. the taste is hops galour. alcohol is there but hidden very well. i'm trying not to drink it so fast so i don't get hammered. don't know what else to say but..wow. bear republic has yet to dissapoint me.

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

poured a slightly hazy, deep copper color with massive off-white head. Beautiful lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is loaded with hops, with much citrus and piney notes to be found. Some malt also present. Taste is strong on pine hops with a nice balance of to

Photo of jaluria
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a white colored head that remains thick for quite a long time. Aromas of hops, alcohol, honey, and grains seem to come out. The taste is full of hop-bitterness with a rye-derived bite that lingers in the aftertaste. A very smooth and tasty Double IPA. Suprisingly refreshing and enjoyable as a slow sipping beer or as a gulping beer. Excellent drinkability.

Photo of TheBungyo
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, let's be honest here, this beer pours so damn dark, if it were just a few shades darker, it'd be black. Dark brown with ruby edges and a nice velvety dense head that fires off aroma at you. Hitting you from every angle ... pine, followed by grapefruit and then smooth caramel malt. A sip treats the tongue to initial bitterness followed by a whallop of pine and grapefruit. The malt smoothes things out followed by fleeting grain and an citrusy orange taste. Mouthfeel is big, which is just what I want in a brew like this. Your tongue will say yes to more and more of this but beware, with an 8% ABV, respect is in order. The only Double IPA I've had that can even try to stand up to this is Hercules by Great Divide. Even then though, I wouldn't be shocked to see the mighty Hercules fall. This brew is that tough.

Photo of OStrungT
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown, mohogany color. The thick, creamy head is light brown. It fades slowly leaving very thick laces.

This beer has a hoppy aroma. Not like any other Double IPA I have ever had. It is slightly piney. Behind the somewhat weak hop aroma, I detect a malty caramel like aroma. It also has a nice crisp citrus aroma.

This beer has a mild hop flavor. It is not overpowering at all. It has a slight malty flavor also. It is balanced very well. It has a slight spicy rye flavor.

This beer goes down very smooth, leaving a slight hoppy aftertaste. It has a very creamy mouthfeel to it. The carbonation is just right.

This beer would make a good session beer if the alcohol content was a bit lower. It is at 8%, so it might be hard to dring this beer all night, but with the mild, non aggressive flavor, I might just have to have another one.

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

22oz Bottle purchased at the brewery in Healdsburg.
Reddish brown with a very nice off white head that lasts. The smell is pure hops...very piney. The hop's smell does not let much else through. This beer smells wonderful. This is a great tasting beer. The first part is all piney hops and as it fads the rye comes in. The rye really gives this beer a good taste. The aftertaste is nicely bittered, but not a whole lot of malt to balance. The mouthfeel is a little thin for a beer this big, but the drinkability is stellar. Just like Racer 5 and X, this is a very good beer.

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

22oz. bomber

Pours a nice dark amber with hints of red. Has a fluffy eggshell head that fades. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma of citrusy and piney hops. Maybe a hint of sweet malt luring around there, too.

Nice full hop flavor up front followed by a nice dry rye flavor and then finishes wth hops in the aftertaste. The rye flavor really suprised me, as I expected nothing more than hops, hops, and more hops. Quite delicious.

Body is solid for the style. Nice and full, with a slight creaminess to it.

Goes down smooth and easy. The ABV is slightly prohibitive in making a session out of this one, but what the heck. It's a fine brew!

Photo of scooter231
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown color with orange tints and looots of lace. Smell is hoppy, citrusy, and sweet- pretty fruity with maltyness and juicy background. Taste is okay- smooth, hoppy- but lacking. Not as deep and complex as other Bears I've had- biscuity at the end- rye, even.

Mouthfeel is very nice, however. Full, creamy, and smooth. Lovely. Drinkability is pretty good- easy to drink, with a sneaky alcohol content. A good brew.

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

If Bear Republic was available to me locally, it would quickly become my favority brewery Hop Rod Rye strenthens this sentiment as everything about this wonderful beer smacks of it being extremely well made. This starts with its beautiful appearance, the color of which is very dark amber. A huge tan head forms that never really completely disappears. Instead, it just gets rockier and rockier unitl it looks like a snow covered mountain top. The lacing is so thick, you can't see through it. The aroma is very strong full of a gloriously resinous hoppiness, obviously from the Pacific Northwest. The taste picks this up and a beautiful, but never harsh, hoppiness asserts itself. This is supported by a very nice malt base that keeps it from becoming too harsh. The rye begins to come through towards the finish and gives this beer a unique character when compared to other IPAs. The mouthfeel is great, nice and thick and chewy. The drinkability is dangerous at 8%. As I've already said, this is a superb beer that packs a punch from start to finish. It reeks of class.

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

Awesome. 22 ouncer bought at towne club beverage. Nice one and a half inch tan, creamy soft head. The body is a very dark rust-amber. Cool lacing. The aroma is strong pine hops but the dry smell is definately the rye. The rye isn't that strong but i like it. Same goes for the taste. Pine trees and rye. To me this tastes very similar to racer 5 when it comes to bitterness, maybe even less flavor. But it seems more well rounded and interesting. A coarse tasting beer that is still pleasant. Very drinkable.

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

Bottle Inspection: 8% abv, 18% Rye, seasonal brew.

Aroma: Hop! A classic west coast citric hop goodness with a hint of rye and some sugary malt base all come together for a great package.

Appearance: Just gorgeous. A copper, amber, ruby glass crowned with a clumpy tan, slightly red head that fades slowly leaving great loops of lace as it fades.

Flavor: Hop on Pop! Rich hop flavor but backed by a rich malt base. The rye comes out nicely. The overall taste is that of sugared hops, a great blending of basic beer goodness.

Mouthfeel: Serious chew in a heavy mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation level, lively yet low, and a dry, slightly oily hoppy finish that lasts for days.

Overall Impression: Serious brew; a nice double IPA with a great dose of rye. I have even more respect for the great bear now. Tons of thanks to my HS buddy Eric for hand carrying it (and others) out from California to Texas.

Photo of SurgeonGeneral
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving temp: 50F Seving Glass: Pint Glass

Aroma: Hoppy for sure, with notes of citrus- grapefruit most prevalent. Some sweetness in there too and just a touch of earthiness that may or may not be the rye.

Appearance: A deep, slightly cloudy crimson brew with a gorgeously rocky tan head and excellent lacing.

Taste: The hops are there and come out in full force. The citrus is there, but balcned well by sweet tastes of caramel & malt, and, what's this? There *is* rye in my beer. I'm convinced the earthy smell I picked up on is in fact the rye and the unique taste it brings to this brew. Like someone put a few drops of pumpernickel essence in here. Fantastic interplay between the hops & grains goes on for a while.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with modest carbonation & a silky feel to it.

Drinkability: A very entertaining brew. Enough to keep me busy for a while with one. Damn tasty & goes down real smooth. This one's a winner.

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 22oz bomber at Riley's here in Madison for $3.99.

Pours a dark garnet/mahogany color with a few fingers of tan, rocky head with some good lacing and retention. On my second pour a film of rubbery-looking yeast plopped into my glass, kinda strange. Looks more like a scotch ale to me. Nose is strong, rich floral/piney hops with sweet tropical fruit notes. Taste starts off with a hearty pine-hop kick but as it warms transitions into caramel malt, sweet pineapple, apricot and citrus. A faint rye bitterness can be detected but I wouldn't have guessed there was rye in it without the name. Mouthfeel is rich and smooth. This is a highly drinkable DIPA, the alcohol is well-hidden. Nice balance between sweet malty/fruity and bitter hops here. Another winner from Bear Republic.

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cambridge Common:

A deep mahagony color with a small head (although it was exactly as all the heads tend to be at Common, so who knows). Smell wasn't that distinctive - fruity and malty, with only a subtle hop sense. Tasted pretty much how it smelled, but was really enjoyable. I don't think I've ever left a beer in my mouth as long as this. I just couldn't bring myself to swallow it. Definitely taste the rye, along with some citrus flavors. Highly drinkable for a DIPA, which may perhaps be because the alcohol content isn't that high for the style.

N.B. Not for the true hop-heads, this is only a moderately hoppy brew.

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