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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

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4,453 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,453
Reviews: 2,051
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 241
Gots: 255 | 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 Hibernator
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a hazy brown color. Absolutely awesome head and sticky lacings all over the glass to match.

Very pleasant aroma of malts, hops and rye. Hops are clearly up front and emphasized in the nose.

This is one great beer. Juicy and thick malt mouthfeel with a spicy rye/hop attack on the palate. The rye flavors almost lend a peppery presence to the flavor. Very flavorful, complex and enjoyable. This is the second beer that I have tried from Bear Republic and I am impressed. Check this beer out.

Photo of ReebShorts
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a kind of light plum color. This was in a brown bottle, so I had no idea how dark this would be until I poured it, I was a bit surprised, as I was expecting something a bit lighter. looks good, nice froth on top.

Wow, I can already feel the hops on my tongue just from the smell, can't wait to try.

Hoppy, tasty, nice.

Photo of LuckySevens82
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber.
Pours a deep red color with a very nice 3 fingered head into my Rapscallion goblet. Retention is impressive, and lacing is damn good as well. Just a darn fine lookin beer.
Smell is slight chocolate, caramel, and just a hint of smokiness. Most of the aroma is taken up by rye and loads of hops.
Taste is pretty similar to the aroma, only much much better. Bitter hops, caramel, very slight chocolate, and a bit of smokiness. Rye dominates, but is well balanced with the hops. Strong flavors abound but never really get out of hand. No alcohol presence.
Mouthfeel is very good for such a strong flavored beer, not slick or overly oily.
Overall, a very very good beer. My first from Bear Republic, and I have to say I'm impressed. I love all the flavors in this one. Just great.

Photo of Viggo
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear reddish brown, nice white head forms, plenty of lace, looks excellent. Rye really gives it a nice colour. Smell is floral hops, tempered by a hefty sweet malty base. Taste is sweet rich malts, caramel, huge hoppy floral middle, very clean bitter finish. Finish is dry, smooth, perfect carbonation, insanely good beer. Thanks DrJay!

Photo of gotbeer
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow- this is good stuff!

The smell hits you first. Hops, and lots of them are readily apparent. CItrus and piney smells hit the nose before you even sip the beer.

The appearance is dark mahoganey, with a decent head that leaves a nice, stickly lacing on the glass.

The taste is great. More complex than many other Double IPA's IMHO. Of course there is a huge hop presence, but there is more as well. Citrus and piney hops hit you first, but there is a presence of rye bread after the hops kick your tongue with full force.

I wish I had tried this beer sooner. Overall an excellent beer. I will definitely try it again, and reccomend it to others. World Class.

Photo of Jacobob10
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Sunset Bar & Grill in Allston, MA.

Had this one for the first time at the Hop Head Throwdown and loved it. But by then my palate was so ruined from the chipotle glazed chicken wings that I had to have it again to get its full effect (and certainly to review it)!

I love the color of this beer. Ruby and brown with a creamy tan head. Excellent retention. Lots of hop bitterness in the aroma but the rye gives it a terrific sweetness. The flavor is amazing. Tons of hops, yet there is definitely some balance there with the malts as well. And the rye just gives it a sensational sweet flavor. The body is medium to full with a thick, creamy texture. Awesome! As delicious as it was, it didn't leave me craving for another one, but it certainly satisfied, and I wouldn't argue with someone if they put another one down in front of me. Unique, satifying, and delicious, this beer just about has it all. A must try!

Photo of troutmask96
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really a sensational brew here. Pours a deep, dark brown with thick, lasting head. You can really smell the sweet rye, and caramel notes as well. Taste is oh so smooth, with a very nice dark malt finish. A bit bubbly, but steadies out 5-10 minutes out of my 22 oz bomber. Another clear winner from Bear Republic...

Photo of thechaacster
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber bordering on brown, with a small but tight head that sits there and floats like an oil spot on water and leaves superb lacing cemented to the entire interior of the glass. Bigass pungent hop aroma that lets you know exactly what you are getting into. Hop character here is totally off the hook. "Dual overhead hop injection" indeed. Extremely floral, piney, citric, and bitter, with the rye significantly adding to the spicy kick and only minimal sweetness from the malts. Rye and hop aftertaste lasts seemingly forever. Definitely a punch-in-the-head IPA, yet ridiculously drinkable considering its bitterness and alcohol. I was all ready to be freaked out by this one, and freaked out I was, but in a good way.

Photo of bultrey
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at the HopDevil Grill in NYC. Murky brown appearance, nose is freshly baked rye bread with orange marmalade. Aggressive hop attack up front w/ big orangey hop flavors that mingle with that great bready rye flavor and perhaps some chicory-roasted toastiness.
Mouthfeel is full, bordering on syrupy, and drinkability is uncommonly good for a beer of this strength. A unique classic.

Photo of DogFood11
4.87/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Update Edit: One year later and my palate now loves this beer even more. This is near perfection, Bold, Balanced enough and tasty. 12-22-06

8% stated on bottle. Great label design and name. Hop ROD Rye.

Bear Republic is becoming one of my favorite breweries and this is another fine example of the attention they pay to detail.

Head is perfect with thick lacing. Dark Cherry color. It's already on the christmas list. Like most IPA's its quite hoppy but the key is they control it a bit and the rye edge is outstanding. The rye adds a bit of depth but it was an afterthought at best. The true heart of this beer is like any other IPA and DIPA its in the hop flavor and bitterness. This is amazingly hopped up but yet still has enough malt character to keep it somewhat in check. Apricot comes to mind, citrusy and plenty of hop oils to slicken things up. Surprisingly it finishes fairly clean although it was a bit oily. Every drink was enjoyable. Highly reccomend this beer.

Photo of mentor
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle obtained from Total Beverage (Colorado) and consumed a couple evenings later in July 2005. Pours a one-finger head that rises a bit after the pour. Tan in color over a crystal clear brown liquid with ruby and blood red notes. Smells mild and clean citrus hoppy. Grapefruit pith and tangerine. Toasted grains. Tastes, whoa...gentle to start. Sweet with strong apricot and malt over a rising hop flavor and bitter. Lupulin is stronger than co-humulone for the hops and it's really mouthfeel creamy smooth. Caramel is found deep beneath, but there is also a malty zing that fights the hoppy grapefruit pith. Mouthfeel is md-thick and carbonation is mild (but stingy). What a really enhoyable beer...the alcohol ting in the aftertaste give me pause to ponder the flavors is this beer.

Photo of pjwilson
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this on tap at the brewery before...but that was after 200 miles and 5
beers. This review is from a bottle. Wow, now this is good stuff, much better than i remembered.
a: very nice dark amber look and nice head that sticks. great lacing

s: spent a few minutes smelling this. MY girlfriend doesn't drink beer but she loved the smell too. Rye is very presesnt..smells like a bread bit. Hops are not in the smell too much

taste: very good balance between malts and hops. very prominate bittering but not overpowering. Mabey more beers should use rye this is really working. I can taste the rye. oh yeah it's pretty sweet too.

mouthfeel and drinkability are both great. This goes down fast if you aren't carefull.
There is really no reason to give this beer anything lower marked. It is quite outstanding.

Photo of ithacabaron
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark, deep amber ...really, deeper than what should be described as amber, but good all the same. Soapy head on top that sticks around for the party.

Smell is a nice mix of Maris Otter, 2-Row, Caramel Malt, and a slightly cloying aroma that reminds me of those old red and green barley sugar popcicles that my grandmother used to hand out. Must be the rye. Hops are there, but a bit in the background, surprisingly, smothered under the malt sweetness. Not bad.

Taste is a much brighter attack of hops, a few alcohol flashes, and a good depth of sweet malt. Oddly enough, the ratio of hops to malt at the start of the bomber leans towards the green stuff, but swings decidedly in the other direction by the end. That may be related to the mouthfeel, however (see below).

Mouthfeel is very unusual, almost a bit slimy -- a characteristic I've ran into with other rye beers. A characteristic or not, I can tell you that I don't care for it. Interesting, but it adds another layer of sweetness that I, as someone who lacks any resemblence of a sweet tooth, doesn't appreciate.

Drinkability is decent. No problem finishing the bomber, but I don't think I would have ordered another pint at a bar.

All in all, a decent rye beer, but I would have liked it if the hops were shown off a little more, and the sweetness was toned down (either by adjusting the malt bill, or increasing yeast attenuation, although I doubt that's the problem).

A good inspiration, but I bet that more could be done here -- JL's Hop Rod Ripped, anyone?

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

pours out a deep copper color. smell is hops, hops and more hops.
earthy, grassy with hints of grapefruit.
taste is hops, citrusy twang that leads to a grassy character. quite bitter on the tongue. as it warms up i really start to tatse the malt backbone. carmel like sweetness blends in very nicely.
not my fav but a good bet.

Photo of dwvarner77
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Right off the pop of the cap, i caught a whiff of the hops on this one, a dry, grassy, citrus hop. Looking forward to it.
Pours a deep amber, almost crimson color with a big three-finger beige foamy head. The head takes its time falling, and leaves a very thick frothy lacing. Solid retention.
Aroma is very hoppy, strong citrus hints, particularly grapefruit. The grassy aroma from the rye is slightly evident behind the hops.
Taste is crisp, strong grapefruit-type citrus hop, thick amber malt and a hint of the rye flavor compliments the malt nicely. Bitterness persists at the back of the tongue, but not too strongly.
Despite a visibly active carbonation, that's only slightly felt in the mouthfeel. Makes it feel a little more creamy than perhaps i had anticipated.
Overall very enjoyable. Will certainly try again. The rye works well to give the brew a little different character.

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

Poured this rusty orange brew into the corresponding BR glass, and let it sit for a bit while I admired it's clear shine and creamy-yet bubbly head. Plus I had to wait out a unintentionally rough pour. All my nose picks up is hops. But that's a wonderful thing. Taste is a citrusy hop paradise that cools off at the last moment into a easy drinking sweetness. I don't have experience with rye as an ingredient in anything but bread, so I can only say this COULD be attributed to the 18% rye. In any case, this is a great one. Purchased at Nuggets, Davis, CA.

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at T. Phillips Alehouse in LeVerne, CA. Served in a standard pint glass.
Hop Rod had a deep coppery color, mucho carbonation, and a thick, creamy vanilla-colored head that never even started to die. At the bottom of the pint was a thick carpet of foam and the glass walls were smeared with thick sheet lace. Gorgeous looking brew!
The nose had a nice even balance between soft caramel malt notes and the harder, pine-laden hops aroma. Funny, the hops aromas aren't really that potent compared to when I tasted it. Very enticing.
Whoa, big-time hops! I mean, BIG hops. Moderately sweet caramel drizzled malts and fruit flavors which only briefly stem the onrushing tide of sticky, resinous, sappy hops oils. Hoppy bittering simply pervades every crevice of the palate, leaving a long hops flavor lingering on the tongue and producing some tremendously satisfying hops burps. Abundant carbonation gives Hop Rod a lush, full feel.
Boy, am I glad my nearest pub started carrying Bear Republic! Hop Rod Rye on tap is fantastic in all aspects. I certainly won't let nearly two years go by before having another pint (or two) of Hop Rod.

Photo of TastyTaste
4.89/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice clear body, very dark brown, much darker than you standard DIPA, if my memory serves me correctly. Head is fluffy and full, off-white with very good staying power. Egads, there is a lot of hops in the nose, intense, piney, alcohol laced hops. Taste is bold with hops from start to finish, never relenting. The rye adds a different graininess. This is a brash and brazen DIPA, wich I enjoy very much. Well carbonated, and good for sippin'.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep coppered tea color with a finger of head that falls to a very nice coating over the top. The nose is thick caramel sweetness with sweet citrusy hop. I really like the intensity of the caramel malt. The flavor is very big. Sweet caramel hits first followed by sweet juicy hops, finishing with a spicey rye. The bitterness is not too intesne, but lingers very well into the finish. Very enjoyable. The feel is incredibly thick and chewy, almost a touch syrupy. I dig it. Like some body on my DIPA's. 8% alcohol is nowhere to be found in this one. Its really doing good for me on this humid and rainy summer day. Big flavor and nose that leaves a great aftertaste. Nice beer here.

Photo of whartontallboy
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful beer. Pours into a chalice with a dark copper color and a huge foamy off-white head that recedes at a glacial pace and leaves a ton of lace. The only other brew I've had that looked this pretty lately was the Bear Republic Racer 5. Beautiful.

Smell is hoppy and piney with a little hint of the rye, but it's light. The 8% alcohol comes through in there, too.

Taste keeps up the good work. There's a pretty obvious rye flavor in here, especially in the finish and aftertaste. However, what comes through more clearly are the hops, which is nice and expected for a DIPA. The malt sticks in pretty nicely, and the rye twists it in such an interesting spicy way that really reinforces the bite of the hops.

Mouthfeel is medium, smooth, and creamy. The hops are incredibly aggressive and present, but this is an excellent DIPA with an interesting
quirk from the rye. I prefer the Racer 5 from Bear Republic, but this is damn good, too.

Photo of neonbrown82
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a very interesting new beer, thanks to axisjones for sharing it. Pours to a very dark brown, only slightly ruby colored liquid with a massive fluffy white head that coats the entire circumference of the glass in a perfect frilly Victoria's Secret crotchless panty-style lacing. She really is quite sexy looking.

Smells freshly dry-hopped with what seems to be amarillo hops. The taste isn't mind bogglingly explosive and complex, but it's one of my favorite hop smells. Also has a bit of a deep malty smell to it, though well hidden under the hop profile.

The rye malt really shows through in the taste, just as in the appearance. Has a bit of a mild roasty bitterness to the malt flavor paired with a chronic amarillo hop taste. The bitterness and sweetness are quite evenly matched, though the bitterness has the upper hand in the finish (it seems to be the rye malt rather than the citrusy hops that produce this effect).

The mouthfeel is good. Not creamy, not harsh. The alcohol is quite well hidden. Quite smooth. If not for the high alcohol content, I wouldn't consider this a double IPA as much as I would label it a single.

I would probably be able to drink quite a bit of this, but at 8% I'm wary of labeling it as a sessionable brew, much less because this beer is not available in my locale. Thanks again, axisjones.

Photo of cubedbee
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. Ruby red in color with two fingers of beige head. Extremely strong resinous piney hops scent over a delicious molasses and rye bread malt. Big grapefruit hops assault the tongue upfront, giving way to a grainy rye maltiness, and fading into a wonderful linger piney hop aftertaste. Very full bodied and chewey, it almost feels like your eating rye bread. This is an amazing brew---the rye might make this the tasties double IPA I've ever sampled.

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

Bomber purchased at Shawan Liquors in Hunt Valley. No freshness or born on dating, though I think I trust that place. Served chilled and then poured into my new Unibroue tulip glass.

Pours a mahogany with rich amber highlights. Hearty and frothy off white head stayed forever and left excellent lacing on the glass. Slightly hazy.

A real noseful, with a rich mix of molasses, alcohol, and pine hops. The aromas change as you continue to inhale. Really hard not to dive right in.

Rich, full flavored and medium to heavy mouthfeel brew. Heavy and hearty roasted malts are tossed around with a perfect mix of grapefruit and pine hops. Slight alcohol warmth and a little rye spiciness

Lingering sweet/bitter mix in the mouth. Very drinkable even though it is chewy as all hell. From the smell and the flavor, this could be a rye infused barleywine.

Photo of sponberg
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here's to great beer stores like Glenville Beverage, who have this on tap on a semi-regular basis. Pours a dark reddish-amber with a tight cream colored head that laces down the rest of the pint. Aroma of resiny, citrus rind hops over a backdrop of sweet fruity malt and a distinct rye bread fresh from the oven spiciness. Mmm...

This is almost two different beers in one pint: pour it straight from a fridge-temp growler and the bountiful hops grab the tongue and give it a good shakedown before the fruity, toasted-rye maltiness comes in to pick up the spare change and cufflinks - they're there, but the beer is decidedly hopcentric. But...

Let it warm up for a few minutes, to say 45 or 50 degrees. Then everything kicks into gear at the same time and the results are astounding. From the sip, aggressive hops still try to rough up the tongue but now the rye spicy-graininess is standing alongside, carrying a Thompson submachinegun of dry caramel and fruit maltiness and faint distant warming alcohol. It's all there in one sip. I just love this beer. Finishes with a distinctive "really good rye bread" aftertaste with trailing notes of citrus rind, the Kordite smoke of maltiness still present in the tastebuds. Just chewy enough. Far too drinkable.

Simply an outstanding brew - if this is your local, consider yourself lucky.

Photo of blitz134
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice looking DIPA. A voluminous two finger off white head that went down to a lumpy mass. Laced the glass well. Body was a deep caramel. Mostly transparent but some floaters hanging around.

Aroma is citrus and a bit of pine. A light rye bread flavor works its way in there as well. Taste is balanced well between a good general hop flavor and the rye. Finishes dry like most rye beers but is complimented with some juicy hops. These two factors are probably why I like Rye Ales so much. They always seem to have the best of both worlds in them: dry but still juicy, hoppy but balanced with the rye. Hops have a touch of citrus and dry bitter resin flavors. Some good sweet malts in there as well. Very tasty and very well crafted.

Mouthfeel isn't exactly where I would like it. I would like to see it be a bit thicker. It does coat well though and the flavors linger for a while. A slight amount of carbonation makes this refreshing. Drinkability is pretty amazing with the nicely blended flavor profiles and the lighter feel.

Highly recommended...Gonna be picking up a couple more of these on my next trip.

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