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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.

4,382 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,382
Reviews: 2,039
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 225
Gots: 231 | 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
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Ratings: 4,382 | Reviews: 2,039 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm pairing this hop monster with some bakery fresh rye bread right now, and it is goood. It would be good anyway, but mmmm. Pours richer and darker than most of its brethren, a deep mahogany with a sticky quarter-inch head. Aroma is pungent and powerful - resinous, piney hops and a musty rye maltiness along with a candy sweetness too. The aroma reminds me of Double Bastard as well. The hops are rich and bitter with some minor rye undertones. Medium bodied and the alcohol is hidden quite well. A good drinker...I'll polish this bomber off in no time!

IrishRedRock, Jan 08, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sanguineous antique bronze. Hop Rod Rye is chock full of fine particulates which create a lovely prism for the late afternoon sun slanting through my front window and cause the beer to explode with warm color. Perched atop the liquid is a creamystiff cap of pale tangerine that only an outrageously hoppy beer could produce. A perfect, rounded mesa of heavy cream awaits disruption, but not until I spend a few more moments enjoying the beautiful array of filagreed lace that sticks with impressive tenacity to the glass.

Hops, hops and more hops. And then some more. This is one of the most hop-dominant noses on any DIPA in existence. Too often beer of this style is balanced, as if balance is the Holy Grail of all beerdom. Well screw balance. It appears as if Bear Republic has given the most hopheaded among us what we crave. If the flavor follows the nose... we have a winner. Since brown sugary grapefruit and orange practically leap out of the glass, I feel pretty safe in saying that at least one, and probably multiple, of the 'C' hops are in use.

This is my kind of DIPA. I can't figure out why it continues to be classified as an IPA with such a high ABV and such a juggernaut of a hop load. There's plenty of sweet, toasted caramel flavor that does its best to keep the hops in line. Balance, shmalance. What kicks Hop Rod into orbit is the use of a not insignificant amount of rye malt that sets it apart from just about every DIPA that I've ever had.

As far as I'm concerned, rye is an underutilized grain in brewing. In the same way that it gives bourbon its spicy kick (except for Maker's Mark and a few others that use corn, barley and wheat instead of the usual corn, barley and rye), it gives this beer an exotic, piquant spiciness that is complemented by a citrusy thwack! from the hops and a sugary pine needle bite. A long, mouthcoating finish is borne of a full, chewy mouthfeel and nearly unnoticed carbonation.

I can't say enough good things about Bear Republic. Each and every beer is top-notch and is a marvel of the brewer's art. Hop Rod Rye is an intense, fantastically delicious DIPA and instantly leaps to within sight of the summit on my 'most favored beers of all-time' list. Wow!

BuckeyeNation, Jan 07, 2005
Photo of BrewMaster
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on tap at the Library Ale House in Santa Monica. The beer was served with a nice, off-white head on top of a beautiful clear red beer. The color was very nice on this. And the head had mad-crazy retention through the whole glass leaving nice lines on the side of the pint glass after each sip. The aroma was mostly hoppy with a slight malty. The flavor was not as hoppy as I would expect from a DIPA, but still very nice. A rich and sweet malty flavor mixed with a caramel and nutmeg flavors. I had no idea this beer was brewed with rye by the taste. I dislike rye on its own and in rye bread and such, but none of the harshness of the rye carried into this beer. it was velvety on the palate and a dream to drink.

this beer went perfectly with the NY Steak Sandwich at the Library Ale House.

BrewMaster, Jan 05, 2005
Photo of danadeny
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Anam Cara on new years eve. Dark brown body, no head. Smells of roasted barley, not much else. Tastes of roasted malt, followed by a chocolate-coffee fusion, and coffee aftertaste. Mild hops if you look for them. Mouthfeel is good, meduim body. Drinkability is good due to overall balance of flavors.

danadeny, Jan 03, 2005
Photo of FormatKid
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of those beers I've been waiting to try ever since I started getting into craft brew. I actually managed to grab a bomber of this from State Line in Maryland, and I am happy to say it did not let me down.

The body of this beer is quite a bit darker than I'd imagined, completely brown practically with some hints of amber and red. The head is off white and sticky, fat globs of lace are spread about sporadically. The nose is explosive with hop aromas, pine, citrus (grapefruit), pineapple. The underlying malt was broken up a bit by the aroma of rye. The first thing I notice upon tasting is that the typically thick, sweet malt backing was softened up by the rye, gaining it a bit of complexity. The bitterness levels were aggressive througout with the finish being dominated by sharp spikes of those lovely hop flavors, pine, apricot, pineapple, grapefruit... The mouthfeel is perfect, soft with light carbonation, neither too slick or clingy. What a great beer, next time I see it I will be sure to stock up.

FormatKid, Jan 03, 2005
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - reddish brown, 4 fingers of mocha head that melt down with lace clumping on the sides and surface. Refilling to top off the glass creates a sculpted, thick cap like a cappuccino.

Aroma - interesting blend of hops and a soapy, sweet grain. Fresh smelling despite having aged for 9-12 months. Hop florals win out, but a nice blend.

Taste - rye grain sets up a nice contrast for the hops while at the same time providing a malt base that's got some distinct flavor itself. The hops are intense but not overly bitter. A great blend of sweet and spice on the hops. Finishes with a sweet note, a little chocolaty and a trace of alcohol, then a warm, intense rye grain aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - really smooth on the palate, a resiny coating leaves a juicy hop sweetness behind.

Drinkability - abv is well-hidden. A well made beer in every respect and one to enjoy again.

brewdlyhooked13, Dec 31, 2004
Photo of yen157
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep reddish copper brew, pretty hazy and a sticky off-white head of medium-fine composition. Gorgeous West coast hopping regiment more than obvious. Big and resiny. Yum! A little bit of sweet malt shines through. Brash hop flavor an bitterness are apparent on first sip. Slight rye flavors are present , too, along with residual sweetness. Wow, this beer has a brass set. Real nice medium body, pretty light carbonation. Excellent.

yen157, Dec 27, 2004
Photo of BadBadger
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a rather good IPA. It pours a moderately dark amber color. The head was nice and foamy. The smell is delightfully hoppy. The taste is a pleasant mixture of hops and malts, with the hops nicely winning out. A very enjoyable beer. Definitely worth giving a try. Enjoy.

BadBadger, Dec 26, 2004
Photo of Kookiekwan
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark copper has a two finger head with good retention and some sticky lacing. The aroma is of floral hops with hints way in back of rye grain. The taste is loaded with hop bitterness from start to finish but if you let it warm up a bit you can taste the rye in the background. This beer is full bodied, oily, and quite smooth.

Reflection: Hop junkies should be happy with this one, it has a great kick to it and its still very drinkable!

Kookiekwan, Dec 23, 2004
Photo of nogoodreason
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It pours out fairly dark, not quite brown but some ruby highlights highlights. Towards the end there are what I believe to be (very) little chunks of hops floating in this beer. Sounds unappealing, but in truth it adds to the experience.

Nose is of gold old American citrusey hops with a strong malty backbone. Sweet, but not overly so, with a rather inviting spiciness. There's an odd, almost roasty bitterness detectable.

In your mouth, it's full, not particularly thick, just full and smooth, smooth, smooth. Carbonation adds a trace of creaminess and goddamn, it's nice.

There's a distinct hop bitterness with rich, caramelized malt presence and that lovely rye tang which adds so much depth. That odd, almost roasty bitterness is there again in the finish, must be a result of rye intertwining with hops(?). It's plenty sweet but never sticky, rather remaining delicate and refreshing while intertwining with the grapefruit flesh and forming a delicate candy like presence to complement the intense hop bitterness. The hops, The hops, it's hoppy as hell and plenty bitter yet it never seems vulgar or hopped simply to be hoppy. Ridiculously drinkable for such a big beer. No alcohol presence is ever noticeable.

At the end, the rye gets more assertive taking on a slightly spicy character behind the grapefruit flesh, caramel malts and a perfect lingering hop bitterness.

Really a unique and special ale. A great example of the creativity and talent of American craft brewers. A new favorite.

nogoodreason, Dec 08, 2004
Photo of alexgash
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Had a pint of this at the Yard House in Costa Mesa. Zero atmosphere, but very clean tap lines.
Fresh out of the tap this beer is even better than out of the bottle. Still has the same brick-red body and creamy tan head. But the spicy, piny, resiny hop aromas are even more pronounced and appetizing. The caramally maltiness still holds its own though. Hop and malt flavor are also enhanced. I just love the spicy character throughout--even in the malty sweet beginning. I just wish I could get this on-tap more often.

alexgash, Dec 07, 2004
Photo of garymuchow
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle courtesy of Gueuzedude. Many thanks.
Aroma seemed fairly simple hops quality of grassiness and slight citrus. I didn't pick up much malt.
Dark amber of deep gold, brown and red. Big full steady head that became rocky. Left a great trail of lacey rings. Some setiment on the bottom and that showed in some cloudiness as poured towards the end of the bottle.
Flavor is a hop monster to be sure. Pleasant grassy taste up front that grows in intensity in the middle then bursts to an intense bitterness for the very long finish. The touch of malt is nice, but not outstanding and too quick and incomplete.
Great fullness from high carbonation, but it's largely soft and allows for some smoothness. Nice feel overall.
The excessive bitterness of the finish mellows a little as it warms, plus the malt charater increased simultaneously, but neither is enough to make this exceptional. I never really picked up on the rye qualties.

garymuchow, Dec 05, 2004
Photo of Redrover
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bomber with a nice & informative label. My wife & I split this big boy.

Beer poured a very dark bronze with a fluffy off-white head. Nice lacing.

Nice aroma of pine, fresh citrus and a bit of dinner roll smell. Yummy!

Taste is bitter yet balanced by some sweetness that comes in during the after taste. Lots of pine and grapefruit taste in the forefront. I’m not sure what the rye adds, but the beer is tasty. More caramel and alcohol emerges as you work through the beer.

Nice smooth mouth with a very nice level of carbonation. A little tongue numbing at time. Easy to drink but the high ABV would keep this from being a session beer.

My first beer from this brewery and it is a winner! I will look for more from these artists.

Redrover, Nov 19, 2004
Photo of clvand0
3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Pours a dark amber color with a tall and creamy head that sticks around and leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is ... hops - citrus mostly. The flavor has a caramel malt backbone, but is dominated by the hop flavor. The rye gives it somewhat of a chewy, grainy feel. Interesting.

clvand0, Nov 15, 2004
Photo of MuddyFeet
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very unique color. I have called beers muddy and murky before (and likely will again) but this beer's appearance really defines those words. It also poured with an ever so slight head that never quite went away. The aroma is of rye bread (remember, rye?) and makes me want a pastrami sandwich. The flavor is hoppy, but sweet and not bitter. The rye aroma also come through in the taste and it makes me think I am chewing on a piece of rye bread. Very unique and different. The overall flavor is very rich and fragrant--it permeates all the way through the finish.

MuddyFeet, Nov 15, 2004
Photo of blitheringidiot
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Show Room Label Lore: Single labeled 22 oz. Brown bomber. Made with 18% rye. “sediment warning.” 8.0 % ABV Seasonal Ale.

Start yer engines! Dark coppery slightly hazy russet pour with delicate beading up the sides of me pint. Some floaty sediment particles floating around topped off by a rock solid craggy, surface of the moon head cap of khaki tan tight bubbles ½” thick that wont go away if you asked it to. Lace paints the inside of the glass. Second yeast pour released a hootnanny of scrod chunkers.

Intake and Exhaust: Blasts of Pine resin oily hop goodness and malt power bordering on nutmeg scents. With an aromatic scent such as this, one needs to be intrepid to taste.

First Spark Plug Sparks: Grounded deep malt back to the overwhelming hops eruption. Deep resinous hops oils and biscuit malt wheat bread backing. Acidic feel is syrupy sweet and tacky. This is a flavor playground. Pez powder and syrupy acidic lemon rind & oranges. Aftertaste is a lingering acidic sizzle and grain. The rye is a beguiling deceptive ingredient that reveals itself only in the most subtle way of graininess.

Handling: Hand me a steak knife and a fork. Thick full body. Quite filling on a chilly nite t’nite. This is a sluggable big powerful beer. Scary Drinkability factor since another bomber (if only to be so lucky) would go back in a 2000 RPM engine rotation.

Cross the finish line: Half 2IPA, half BarleyWine. Big and bold. 8% ABV. Reminds me of Alpha King with more malt towards DFH 90 minute. What an excellent top notch beer. A delight. Obtained in a trade. Must get more. My toungue is D-U-N. Look at my smile. Any enamel left? The IBUs would give Ruination a run. Rev ‘em up. Thanks to JayT for the bottle.

Beer is good. Happy overly hopped 2IPA beering.

blitheringidiot, Nov 10, 2004
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out of the bomber a deep brownish read color with a nice creamy head on top. Quite an interesting color for an I2PA. Unique. The nose on this one is upfront with lemon and grapefruit hopiness along with some caramel and grain, which I'm guessin is rye. A bit subdued.

The first swig is a bitter blast of grapefruity citrus hops along with a nice caramel malty backbone that works its magic to keep everything together. The rye imparts a unique flavor that ties in nicely. Finishes with a lingering hop biterness that will kick your palates ass...how many IBU's is this?

Mouthfeel is nice...medium body and smooth velvet creaminess. Drinkability is awesome here...the alcohol is well hidden and it tastes so damn good. Easy to gulp and a great treat for the hophead in all of us. My advice is to find it and try it!

orbitalr0x, Nov 06, 2004
Photo of MrNuggets
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the darkest IPA I've ever seen. Is that good or bad? Creamy head strays left of white. This smells like hops. Tastes good. Very odd, I'll lend that to the rye. Hop flavor devastates this brew. The high ABV hide nicely behind all that flavors. I've been drinking this for a while now and will continue to.

MrNuggets, Nov 01, 2004
Photo of Bruiser81
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color, almost like dark mahagony. Thick creamy head, tan in color.
Lots of hops in the aroma, along with some citrus and carmel.
Taste is very hoppy to start but as it warms a little bit of carmel malt begins to show. Not as much rye in the flavor as I expected but this is the first rye beer I've tried. It's certainly there though. Very tasty beer. Wish it was available here.

Bruiser81, Oct 24, 2004
Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with a almost creamy-like head that leaves sheets of lace down the glass,the rye really comes thru in the aroma along with a dose of grapefruit these aromas melded very well together I already knew this was gonna be a hoppy brew before even tasting.Like a few of the others who reviewed this one the first few sips hit pretty hard with some bigtime bitterness but mellowed after awhile with that late rye touch making this very refreshing.Glad to get a chance to try this a very nice beer would love to have on tap again sometime.

oberon, Oct 15, 2004
Photo of longarm
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with a thick froth. Doesn't appear much like a pale ale.

It initially hits with a stong dose of caramel malts (possibly caravienne???) and a lot of citrus and pine-like hops. Very bold and enticing. After several weeks of drinking pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest brews, I'm ready for something bitter and hoppy. Wow, this is bitter! But I like it. Not for the faint of hop-heart, this brew slammed me with a constant dose of malt flavor, hop flavor and then that hop bitterness kicks-in. The rye is in there, mostly it seems on the finish. Overall, the bitterness seems a little harsh, and my own preferences would tone it down just a bit. Then again, sometimes we just need to get a good kick in the arse, and this brew will do just fine for that.
Mouthfeel is a little slick, but it has a lot of body, which it needs to stand-up to all of the flavors. Overall, this is a good beer, with a lot of complexity. The name is quite fitting. t's also probably only for those who like strong hop bitterness.

longarm, Oct 12, 2004
Photo of rastaman
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. This is great. All the hallmarks of an American strong are there, lychee, pine and gapefruit. loads of hops. Dryer than most in its style. Nicely bitter finish, some burnt tea leaves, great balance. A quality beverage. Lots a hops, but it seems more interesting than most hopped up beers.

rastaman, Oct 01, 2004
Photo of oracle
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle server in a shaker style glass

Pour a deep mahogany, with large creamy tan head that left heavy lacing.

Smelled heavily of hops. Strong acohol present in the nose as well (at 8% this is not surprising).

Complex taste, strong hops, but also a mixture if sweet malt and carmel. Long drawn out finish. A great beer with a steak.

To tell the truth, I find this beer to be remarkably similar to, Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Barleywine, which I also like quite a bit. It's not quite as intensely over-the-top hoppy.


oracle, Sep 15, 2004
Photo of SixpointJMH
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a very nice dark and crisp amber colour wuth a giant sticky tan head that looks creamy and inviting. it looks more like a turbo charged red ale than what i'd expect from a double ipa, but certainly no complaints, as it looks great all-around. the smell is a solid bread and rye with hop throughout. this one's a bit dirty and sweet smelling at times as well too. the flavour hits you with a surprising aount of malt and bitterness before moving into hops, dirt and tree bark and then some full on rye flavour at the finish. the hop burps are quite yummy with the rye taste mixed in. this one remains tasty throughout whilst not being overpowering, which is nice. another winner from bear republic, which seems to produce (in my eyes) a consistent string of very good brews, but can't move into the 'blow me away' range...yet.

SixpointJMH, Sep 13, 2004
Photo of NEhophead
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Foamy white head that has great retention, giving way to some strong lacing after letting it sit for about five or ten minutes. Dark auburn in color with shades of red.

A very strong hop aroma; piney, oily, and some citric aromas. There's also a mellow clove-like spiciness which I attributed to the rye.

A great juicy Double IPA! The flavors are grapefruit, lemon, and hop oils at first that give way to a burnt toffee aftertaste. The rye is almost nut-like and very warming. It balances out the over the top hop flavors well. A medium malty sweetness is also present that provides a great bitterness.

This is a big hop beer and it is thick on the palate. Any Double IPA with this much flavor though is expected to be a bit thick and heavy. At 8%abv this one goes down very smoothly.

A great beer for the style, especially if you're a hophead. This is one of the better Double IPA's out there and it's unique as well. This is something that should be sought after.

NEhophead, Sep 06, 2004
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 4,382 ratings.