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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.

4,329 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,329
Reviews: 2,038
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 225
Gots: 223 | 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: 4,329 | Reviews: 2,038 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of merlin48
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle pours out a clear, copper/red color with a thick beige head that retains well before fading into patchy sheet lacing. Aroma is a complexity of rye bread and westcoast hop notes of pine and sour citrus. Pears are noted in the background. Mouthfeel is thick and coating, as hops pour all over the palate. Taste is very highly hopped, but the rye and roasted grain flavors blend exceptionally well. This is really an extraordinary beverage! The rye bread flavor is a very hardy backbone for the orangerind and pine hop flavors that weave in and out, and all around this flavorful brew. Very chewy, and tastes like liquid food at times. Floral and fruity notes jump around the flavor profile as well. This is one of the finest ales I've sampled in quite some time. Complex and full of flavor, this is one kickass beer. A beautiful work of art that satisfies in all respects. Highly recommended!

merlin48, Feb 15, 2004
Photo of longpondbeerman
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another trip to Half Time Beverages in Poughkeepsie and a whole new slew of beers to review. First the Hop Rod Rye, which poured a luscious deep and clear mahogony from the 22 oz. bomber, bearing (pardon the pun) a quintessential Healdsburg hot rod on the label. To top it off there was a thick pearl-white head that receded slowly into a lovely and sticky lace. The folks in Sonoma are not prevaricating--the hops are front and center in the aroma, but still balanced with an overlay of malts (is this the rye?). Yes, I think so, and perhaps that's the reason for the slight smoky tinge in the taste. Oh, the hops are still most evident, but the Bear Republic brewers manage to get in a coal or two somewhere in the process (though not as prevalent here as in the Red Rocket). The mouthfeel is creamy and bubbly. I like this stuff.

longpondbeerman, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bronze body with a sticky off-white head. Aroma is very hoppy, enough hops that I couldn't take notice of any rye at all. Sweat, wood, pencil fragments, floral. The taste initially consists of a medium caramel sweetness, fading malts. Hoppiness is huge, intense. Finish isheavily bitter, dry, very long, woody, piney. Creamy medium body. Powerful west-coast style to which you add peaks of originality and that's the result. Thanks John

Rastacouere, Jan 29, 2004
Photo of jeffboo
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice spicy,hoppy beer from the West Coast. This one is a dark copper color with a nice tan foam. Very fresh hop aroma with a mix of both floral and citrus smells. Body is medium/full with a very spicy, complex flavor profile with toast,rye bread,smoke, and caramel malts rolling with the hop flavors. A very easy to drink hybrid IPA with lots of flavors to challenge the tastebuds.

jeffboo, Jan 17, 2004
Photo of hyuga
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured for me from the tap and filled nearly to the top without much head, which is something I don't like, but this one has good head retention so it's not so bad. A reddish mahogany beer with a whitish head. Lots of lace is left on the sides of the glass. The aroma features generous "west coast" hopping of a pine cone character and also more than a hint of citrus. Rye is noticeable along with the malt in the backbone. Smooth in the mouth, even a bit creamy. Maltiness at the very front of a rye grain character, followed very soon by a big piney hop bite, and then filled out with a big backbone of rye character. Hints of citrus all around. Bitterness comes out on top at the end for a crisp, dry finish. Excellent beer, my favorite from this brewery, although I actually prefer the bottled version of this one. Makes sense though, it is bottle conditioned, unless my memory is playing tricks. Highly recommended.

hyuga, Jan 16, 2004
Photo of abents
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark amber-brown apperance with a sweet smell. Smells sweet with the hops coming through. Feels amazing in your mouth with a malty smooth taste and unbelievable hops overpowering the tastebuds. Also taste spices and rye throughout the beer. Overall an amazing beer that I will likely have to try again soon.

abents, Jan 07, 2004
Photo of mschofield
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy red-amber with a three finger bubbly rocky head, well carbonated, and the head just lasts and lasts.
Very hoppy aroma, citrus and floral.
Hoppy (orange and grapefruit) and grainy taste, interesting. Almost a bran flavor note. Alcohol esters are noticable. Rye bread taste follows the upfront flavors after you swallow. Caramel, and toffee flavors.
A little rough edged, I couldn't drink it too often, but it's an interesting brew.

mschofield, Jan 05, 2004
Photo of avylover
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a deep mahogony color with a nice healthy off white head and tons of yeast floating around in there. A smell reveals a hefty caramel maltiness with a strong hop presence in the background. Taste is fairly sweet for a beer named "Hop Rod." There are no doubt some bittering floral hops in there, but a sweet maltiness rules this ale. Great malts & great hops. My friend just mentioned "This is really good." He's right. Nice slick mouthfeel and immensley drinkable. This borderlines on the perfect strong session ale.

avylover, Jan 03, 2004
Photo of OatmattStout
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As with all the Bear Republic beer's I have had this one followed suit with an incredibly rocky, fluffy and thick head and rendered the appropriate full lacing on my glass from top to bottom. Nice deep mahogony color with plenty of particles of unfiltered hops and yeast. The nose was of firm and fresh hops and a hint of rye. Taste was great with the hop slam hitting you with all the usual suspects, pine, citrus and a grapefruit rind biting finish. Nice malt backbone to hold up to the hops . Awesome.

OatmattStout, Jan 01, 2004
Photo of Realale
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Full clear deep mahogany brown. Extremely fine 1/2" beige head stays throughout the pint leaving excellent lacing. A truly beautiful beer.

Nose is leafy citric hop over slightly bready, slightly spicy malt. Bit of yeastiness, slight touch of clove add complexity.

Medium full in the mouth. Very nice base of bready malt. Excellent hop flavor and bitterness throughout, but maintains its balance well. Touch of chalkiness distracts a bit on the finish. Great length.

Stunning soft creamy bottle-conditioned mouthfeel. Bear Republic really, really nailed the mouthfeel on this one. Quite drinkable for an 8% brew. Highly recommended.

Realale, Dec 31, 2003
Photo of frank4sail
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this rare "Bear of a beer" in these parts via BA brother Boilermaker88 Cheers my friend..

Fresh "spring morning like grassy nose" with a little pine tree as well. Cherry/peach color with a huge lasting pale pink fluffy airy head... what retention.. stiff peaks. Big hoppy piney, chewy, grapefruit taste with a malty rye bread backbone. The finish really brings out the bready rye notes in the beer which helps to try and balence the brutal hop punishment on the tongue. Medium to fuller chewy coating mouthfeel. The next time I get to the west coast.... I will be seek these out with a vengance... my kind of beer. Makes a cornbeef special look like babyfood. A hop monster with unique craftmanship...

frank4sail, Dec 31, 2003
Photo of Stingray5
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber pours a beautiful dark ruby with a white head. Lots of fresh, fresh hops in the aroma. Thick mouthful with moderate carbonation is very pleasing. Taste is a balance of big hops and big malt. Hops, as in the aroma, are very fresh. While my first few sips were smooth, the hops began to take on a bit of a harsh quality. Not sure how much of this could be the rye, though. Only the drinkability suffers as a result. Finishes with long lasting hoppy goodness, but a little too dry. No indications taste-wise of the abv.

Stingray5, Dec 28, 2003
Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This BR brew pours out a dark reddish/ruddy, rusty brown colour with a nice tan/beige head of foam. The aromas are of sweet and roasted malts, citrus-y, piney hops and alcohol spinged spiciness. The taste lives up to the hype with a big, bolshy, excellent malty backbone for truckloads of hops to play upon. This brew has a lovely fresh cut hop finish, and an after-taste that will not only give you hop burps, but excellent, malty hop burps. The mouthfeel is thick, but not cloying or over the top and the drinkabiity is excellent for an ale of this size. 8%ABV, wow you could have fooled me. An interesting and excellent brew from BR

francisweizen, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of Naerhu
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge tan head, brown read body, great lace.
Mostly pine hop aroma.
Cannot tell what makes this a rye. Cannot taste any rye.
Medium body and long lasting elegant finish.
This beer's selling point seems to be its hops, not its rye.
Spicy maltiness that I imagine is attributable to the rye. An elegant light sweetness.

Naerhu, Dec 13, 2003
Photo of saskguy
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a beer.

Has a great head that sticks around, with a dark rich colour, and a nice hoppy aroma.

The taste starts off with a large floral attack and finishes with an wonderful bitterness.

I could drink gallons of this stuff even with the high abv.

saskguy, Dec 04, 2003
Photo of ybnorml
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first taste of a Bear Republic Ale. I will be trying more. The head was marvelously thick almost merienge. Looking thru the glass the ale is a dark amber not quite pristinely clear. The aroma has a great hop floral boquet. A good hop sweetness a the begining of the mouthful and a good hop bite on the swallow.

ybnorml, Dec 01, 2003
Photo of WanderingFool
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not knowing what to expect from a rye beer I found this one to be quite a tasty surprise. It pours a clear dark brown color with some ruby hues mixed in. The ivory head quickly dissolved to a ring around the surface leaving a good amount of lace behind. A hoppy aroma of citrus, pine and pepper hovers over the beer.

Each sip is medium bodied and packed with flavor. Hops dominate with grapefruit and pine, but there's a nice caramel malt hidden in the background that balances everything out. It finishes bitter leaving a hoppy flavor behind.

This beer is moderately drinkable and full of flavor. Hopheads will find it tasty and Maltmen will appreciate the balanced flavor.

WanderingFool, Nov 27, 2003
Photo of xgrigorix
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Twenty two ounce brown bottle, no dates.

Dark auburn colour, with fast moving lines of carbonation. Dense off white head retains very weel, leaving lace behind as it slowly settles.

Bright grapefruit loaded hop aromas invite a sip.

A great bif IPA, with a sour rye twang that takes it someplace very tasty. Loads of sweetness, & a hoppy finish loaded with pine & grapefruit. Medium bodied, farily brisk carbonation. Highly unique, and quite delicious.

xgrigorix, Nov 24, 2003
Photo of ElGuapo
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark brown amber topped in a large coating of off-white head. Huge nose filled with hops. There are floral and citrus aromas as well as some spices in there. There is a little bit of malt sweetness that is detectable as well.

You start off with a blend of citrus and floral flavors that is pretty intense, but not overpowering. It gets a touch of sweetness to balance. It then gets a little toasty, but it doesn't seem to have as much rye character as others. It is all about the hops here. The body is pretty full, and it is smooth all the way down. The 8% is hidden extremely well. It is easy to drink, and even though it is on the thicker side, it doesn't seem like it after a pint. This is a marvelous brew.

ElGuapo, Nov 21, 2003
Photo of taez555
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a white head with a dark amber/brown body.

The nose was very inviting. Dark citrus hops. I serious in your face grapefruit peel citrus attack. Any hint of malt is completely overshadowed by this ambrosial smell of hops. It’s quite breathtaking.

The beer was medium bodied with a smooth creamy mouthfeel. A serious citrus hop punch sits atop the malt. Tight cascade/centennial hop taste. Wood, citrus, black pepper, pine needles, sharp sharp sharp citrus peel. A perfect balance of caramel malt against the hops. What’s really interesting is the how you can actually taste the rye malt in this beer and how it’s matches the hops so well. Basically you wouldn’t notice it unless you tasted for it. You’d just assume whoever made the beer did an amazing job with the hops.

Overall just another great beer from Bear Republic, even if it does taste an awful lot like Sierra Nevada Celebration.

taez555, Nov 12, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This one is a beautiful cloudy brown in color and just clear enough to view the sediment floating around. The head was absolutely gorgeous! It foamed up quickly, lasted a while, and tried to leave a little lacing.

Smell – The lovely aroma of piney and floral hops are mixed with a bit of citrus and a hint of the promised rye. The fragrance is sharp yet balanced. Nicely done.

Taste – The balancing malt sticks its chest out just enough to balance. The complex hops from the nose come on wonderfully here, mixing with the subtle rye notes to form a symphony of flavors. This one does the almost impossible task of establishing a sharp, crisp, strong hop flavor then bringing it to the drinker’s lips balanced and smooth.

Mouthfeel – Crisp and sharp yet refreshing and smooth. This nearly full-bodied rye-tinted IPA is a mouthful for sure.

Drinkability – When I partake of my occasional whisky indulgence, I usually go for straight Kentucky or Tennessee rye. This ale couples that wonderful flavor with a tremendous IPA offering. Hats off!

Update – Cvschaller brought an ’04 vintage over to my place for a pizza party. I really do love this ADIPA. It’s a unique and fully satisfying take on the style.

RoyalT, Nov 10, 2003
Photo of dweideman
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Anam Cara

Medium white head, mostly lasting. Clowdy orange-red hue. The aroma was mostly of the bittering hops with some sweetness coming through. Sweet beginning taste with the huge hop flavor coming through in the middle and at the end in a big way... Detect a small grapefruit flavor on the palate as it lingered in my mouth. Light to Medium bodied with a dry texture and lively carbonation. Wonderfully hoppy IPA style -- hopped to the extremes.

dweideman, Nov 08, 2003
Photo of PatandDavid
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this rocked in the bottle. I think I liked it even better than when I had it on tap. Pours a nice dark copper, with a very creamy head. Left sheets of lace throughout my glass. The aroma has to have been the piniest seeming beer I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. What I noticed is nice carbonation, actually a real tongue tingler (go ahead, just stick your tongue into the glass). It's almost all hops, but it's riding on a smooth malt base. Great palate cleanser. I liked this one! pat

PatandDavid, Nov 08, 2003
Photo of aaronh
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper body topped by a thick tan head. A few "floaties" in the beer, but not too much. Sweet hoppy aroma, simialr to Stone Ipa or Two Hearted ale. The sweetness is more of a floral aroma. Overall very clean smell. The taste is very crisp. Nice malt backbone, strong bitterness, and sweetness from the malt, alcohol, and a little bit of resiny hop sweetness. Then that rye aftertaste blends very well with the residual hop bitterness. Hop burps start almost immediately. The mouthfeel is solid, very smooth yet not overpowering. Drinkability is very good for a 8% ABV brew. Goes down pretty easily. No need to share this bomber. Another very fine beer from bear Republic.

aaronh, Nov 08, 2003
Photo of mikeys01
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I sampled my first bottle of Hop Rod Rye purchased on the East Coast (MA) this weekend, from a 22 oz bomber. Appearance is a nice deep amber with flashes of garnet. Aroma is robutly hoppy, but blended with waves of rye malt and a little grapefruity sweetness. Taste is sharply hoppy at first but is very mellowed immediately with very smooth malt and has a very nice dry finish. Leaves just little bit of lingering hop tang in you mouth at the finish....

mikeys01, Oct 20, 2003
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,329 ratings.