Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

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4,517 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,517
Reviews: 2,062
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 244
Gots: 295 | FT: 2
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: 4,517 | Reviews: 2,062
Photo of airohead2001
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - great looking beer - deep amber, copper in color with a one finger head and excellent lacing.

S - piney and citrus hops dominate with the smallest hint of alcohol

T - a good beer, but certainly not one of the best IPAs I've had. Bitter hops upfront as well as in the finish. The citrus aromas that dominate the smell seem absent in the taste. IMO, this brew could use a bit more malt to balance out the bite of the bitter hops. I've seen this bottle for months at the liquor store, so maybe some of the taste has faded...

M - perfect mouthfeel for an ipa: not too thin, not too chewy, just the right amount of carbonation.

D - this is certainly a drinkable beer, limited only by the persistent bitterness of the hops upfront as well as in the finish. Even so, I would certainly enjoy this beer again for $4.99 a bomber, but it would be better if there was a bit more of a malt backbone.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the Comet.
A very dark amber brown in color with a nice two inches of head sitting atop. Smell is very malty. Lots of roasted caramel malts and just a hint of hops. More of the hopping profile comes across in the taste, but this is a malt bomb. Easy drinking and really smooth. Decent beer, but I prefer the Founders Reds Rye.

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to a trade from gemutlichkeit. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a big crystal mug.

A: Gorgeous, deep brown body with tints of amber and an orangish hue. Big, frothy head that did not go away.

S: Big time pine. A little overwhelming to the caramel and grapefruit undertones that can be found hiding deeper in the smell. Overall smells great though. Definitely hoppy.

T: Again, a little overwhelming on the piney hops for me. Definitely picked up some citrus hops, caramel and some toasty malt in there too. A thick, creamy mouthfeel tingles your tongue. Finish is bittersweet.

D: It took me almost an hour and a half to polish off this big beer. I couldn't really see having more than one or two.

Photo of AChamberlain
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark and tea colored. Foamy head, that was super sticky. Lacing all over the pint glass. This is going to sound obvious: Hops, Rye, Malt in the aroma and you know what, the flavor as well. A nice sweetness up front with a balanced hop and rye bitterness in the end. Tasty overall. Medium bodied, right on for the style. Easy to sip, easy to sort of "pound." An all around enjoyable beer I wish were on tap more around here.

Photo of MickeyD
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One and a half finger width foam, dark brown in color with lots of bubble from carbonation.

Definite floral and pine notes

Spicy hop bite with a slight caramel notes

When aerated in the mouth more caramel malt comes out but fairly thin.

Good beer but more of an IPA than a hybrid hoppy/rye. I would have loved to taste more spicy/caramel rye and malt. If you want more malt taste serve very cold from freezer. I was surprised with the rye. I expected more spice. Maybe if they would have aged in oak or something? According to the bottle they used 18% rye so I don’t know. I’m not a brewer.

Photo of albern
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This IPA is a bit over the top for my tastes. The hop bitterness is quite biting, ultra piney, almost like pine tree residue. The beer looks good, has a nice caramel amber color. The beer has a very nice off white creamy head, good retention and lacing. The nose is very pungent piney hop.

There is no real citrus or acerbicness or fruity burst in the hop to balance out what seems to be just too much really piney, really bittering hop. There is a nice bready malt base underneath, with lots of caramel, lots of full palated malts. I keep coming back to the almost charred quality of the piney hop and how that imbalances this beer. There is almost an oaky or slight whisky quality to the beer as it settles in. The IBU's must be in the stratosphere with this ale. There is a slight ABV throatiness. This is a full bodied beer, decent carbonation, and very strong.

Photo of SteveO1231
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popped a 22oz. bomber.

Poured a cloudy orangy/red into my tulip glass. Very dark for a double IPA.
Very thick foamy tan head, great lacing.

Nice bitter hop scent with citrus smells.

Pretty smooth at first, the bitter hop finish really doesn't kick in until the very end. Very nice, rather thick. This one is unfiltered, lots of yeast sediment.

The bitter hoppy citrus peel finish does not linger very long on the palate making this one pretty crisp, balanced IPA. High yeast taste. Alcohol warms the belly.

Very drinkable despite high ABV.


Photo of nick76
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is very hoppy and spicy with a cedar like element. There is also caramel, yeast, and alcohol. The appearance is deep amber with a large foamy head. The flavor is bitter and like the aroma. The palate is is average for the style. Overall it's a nice beer but too astringent.

Photo of inlimbo77
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No bottle date present. Purchased in a 4-pack in Wilmington, DE.

A: Pours a deep amber with then off white head that goes away quickly. Some lacing on the glass. OK carbonation. Like other Bear Republic beers, lots of floating sediment in the bottle.

S: I get malts and some piney/earthy hop aroma from this one. It doesn't jump out at you as much as I expected.

T: As some other reviewers mentioned, this has a solid malt base initially that leads to a good crisp hoppy bite at the finish. The hops are earthy. I also get bready yeast....sediment?

M: This is medium bodied with a crisp finish. Not too coating, but some chewiness.

D: 8% was hidden pretty well. I drank this fairly quickly and didn't get destroyed by the ABV. I could drink a few in a sitting.

Overall, another solid brew from BR. Really enjoy their line but wish the floating sediment wasn't there in most of them.

Photo of dgilks
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear mahogany colour with a creamy light tan head. Great lacing.

Spicy rye teams up with some caramel and fruity hops.

Sweet malt with a touch of spicy rye, light toffee and floral hops. It’s okay but lacking something.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Fine.

A decent beer but I’m not digging it. It lacks depth and clarity. The hops and the malt create something a bit muddy. Prefer it in the bottle.

Photo of udubdawg
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber

pours a very nice dark amber color, with a big light tan head that looks quick thick and creamy. Lacing is rather spotty, but overall the head retention is awesome.

A lot of strong aromas here...the malt keeps up just fine despite the very strong hop presence. More pine than grapefruit here, and suggestive of the bitterness to follow. A bit spicy and some alcohol is noted as well.

Hard not to be disappointed by the taste by comparison to the rest of the beer. There is underlying sweetness showing the relative balance of this beer before the palate is whacked with a big hop hit. More bittering than expected, and less citrus. This probably deserves a 3.25 at least.

Feels great in the mouth - full smooth creaminess and appropriate carbonation.
Drinkability is quite high for the ABV. I liked most everything about this beer, and even in the taste I generally liked all the parts...I just didn't particularly care for how they came together. Because taste is such a big part of the rating my score will be lower than I'd expect, but I'll drink this again. It probably deserves a shot for a higher score anyway.

Photo of Blueye80
3.67/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured great. It had a huge head the lasted quiet a bit
and the lacing was just as awesome. It had a very nice hoppy aroma that I couldn't wait to try. I just wish it tasted as good as it looked and smelled. It was just a tad too bitter for me. It is not a beer that I would want to have more than just one. Overall
it was a decent drink.

Photo of CONOR8832
3.67/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice thick froathy tan head, dark copper in color with some redish ruby tones, not a clear beer, there are a bit of hop remenents that settle at the bottom of the glass, so you can expect a nice hoppy beer.

S - Sweet malty/carmel notes, followed up with nice earthy pine smell with a splash of citrus, mild and faded rye scent, it is there but you almost have to go searching for it.

T - Nice hop expolosion at first mixed wtih the sweetness from the malts, you taste the rye more that what you can smell, it is a good comibination of rye and hops, and the alcohol taste is present.

M - Good carbination that stays with the beer, to which acts as a trasnport for all the armomas and flavors this beer offers. IMO a little on the heavy side.

D - This is an overall good hoppy beer, not one for the record books, however I do not think my palate has had enough training to get the full effects this beer has to offer. I had a hard time trying to figure out all the flavors that I was tasting and the aromas that I was smelling. I am going to wait a few more months and give this one another shot.

Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.67/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. Bomber into Pint glass.

Pours a deep murky orange with frothy off-white head that lasts and dissolves into a heavy ring around the glass. The aroma has sweet caramel and resinous piney hops. The flavor upfront is sweet caramel and big piney hops and ends with a lasting grapefruit bitterness. It almost has a tart flavor. Its a medium-bodied beer that is sticky. Its a pretty good beer although I think its variety of hops that makes it just a touch less drinkable.

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.66/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from my bomber a semi-opaque dark brown that shifts into mahogany amber highlights when held closer to a light source. Very bubbly light tan colored head rises up to two fingers when poured aggressively, but dies down rapidly, albeit with some quite impressive lacing. The body is on the thicker side of medium heft, and carbonation is spot-on.
Upon opening the bomber, I am greeted by the aroma of intense grapefruit peel and pine resin over the top of a strongly spicey rye malt with a subtle smokey earth tone accentuated by mild peppery hop tones in the background. So at first, everything is amazing. However, five minutes later, all of the juicy citric hop aroma has evaporated (not hop flavor, the hop aroma) and all I am left with is the rye malt smell and earth tones. I find myself disappointed in the lack of sturdiness of the citric aroma elements, something that really hurts the balance of this beer's nose.
Tastes of heavy hearty rye pumpernickel bread at first, joined up by the bittering wave of a standard hop bomb of boiled pine sap and grapefruit pith. I've not had a beer like this in quite some time which wears its "Rye-ness" on it's sleeve so proudly. I would even call it -educational- for providing an easily identifiable textbook example of what Rye malt should taste like. Spicey, earthy goodness all around with a heavy wallop of bittering. I'm OK with this.

Photo of bound4er
3.66/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Dark amber to ruby with an off-white head. The head sets up nicely and stays with the beer in a skim until the end.

S. Not as expressive as I thought it would be - some grain and grassy hops. The rye pokes through with some coaxing along with some booze.

T. Initial malt flavors (bread and rye) and then a big hit of piney hops. The lingering bitterness from the hops leaves a strong impression on my palate.

M. Well carbonated with a light to medium body. Could use a bit more pizzaz in the mouth.

D. Goes down pretty easily. Though I love most hop-forward beers, the lingering bitterness is a bit too much for me here. I prefer Racer 5 to this by a long shot and if I need a rye fix, I have Founders Red's Rye at the ready.

Photo of johnnieoz
3.66/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 OZer w/o freshness date. Suffice it to say, it was plenty fresh.

A: One of the prettier out there, pure eye candy. First pour into the oversized wine glass resulted in a huge offwhite head that lingers, lingers, lingers... as this translucent amber brown brew goes down the hatch, there is lots of lacing. Wow.

S: A trace of something different than your average IPA, the rye? Otherwise, we're talking grapefruit run through the refinery...that petroleum-like smell you just want to keep inhaling.

T: With all those rye malts (18%) this baby is rather bready. A very different kind of bready than in one in doppelbocks and darker wheat beers. If I had some rye bread (my favorite) here, I'd create a monster deli sandwich to pair this with. But make no mistake, this is an all about the hops IPA. There is some token maltiness, but then it's hops assault on your precinct 13 palate.

M: I cannot make out those lovely oily IPA hops here. This is a dry-style IPA. The mouthfeel is light, esp. for a 8% abv.

D: Rye malts in an IPA makes for one bitter brew. It is a bit too hoppy for this man's taste. Simply put, this makes it less drinkable.

This is a good beer that many will like or even love. However, I've had more complex, hoppy brews with a crazy taste or more radical mouthfeel that made the beer in question more drinkable. I'll have it again one day and see where my buds are then.

Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, some citrus. Taste is the same, very hoppy, some citrus notes, the 8% alcohol is well hidden, as is the rye. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

Photo of BarrelO
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark reddish brown. Quite a bit of lacing.

S: Pungent grassy hops.

T: Mostly hop bitterness. Also a fair amount of peppery rye spiciness. A tiny bit of sweet malt.

M: A bit resiny. Also somewhat prickly from the rye.

D: I don't really like the way the rye and the hops come together. If this is representative of what rye IPAs are like, I think I'll pass.

Photo of beernut7
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have never had a rye ale with quite the punch of this one. Usually they resemble a more rounded mellow wheat brew. This one, however kicks the asses of all those others. Pours a heavy brick red with a thick foamy off-white head. Absolutely HUGE earthy hop aroma with just an edge of sweet malt. Initial spicy hops flood the senses paired with a malt that makes it best attempt to catch up but never quite makes it. The alcohol warmth sits in the back seat like the malt, but is there nonetheless. An earthy, grassy rye flush powers the flavors through a lingering finish

Photo of JohnG190
3.64/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber, almost red with little to no head to speak of, leaves solid lacing. Aroma of toasted rye with faint floral hops. Malt and rye hit the tongue first followed by moderate hop bitterness. Medium body with good carbonation, finishes slightly off dry with some lingering hop bitterness. Overall a good, not great IPA. It's more of a rye beer than a true IPA. I expected more hops.

Photo of SiepJones
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a half inch of soapy head. Leaves a thick lacing of head on the sides of the glass. Beer is a deep brown with some amber traces in it. There is no clarity through the beer. The head dissipates to almost nothing but a few traces and clumps.

S: Bready scents of malt, herbal hop, and rye on the nose.

T: Tastes like I am drinking a glass of rye bread. I can taste the slight hints of floral hops, but the bready malt and rye flavors really dominate this beer.

M: Medium body with light carbonation, a touch of sweetness on the finish.

D: I enjoyed this beer, and Rye beers are generally not in my wheelhouse. I don't think I could drink this beer all night but if someone poured me a glass I would gladly accept it.

Photo of dragonWhale
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of my old school favorites..It's been quite some time, so let's give it a whirl. Coppery, sexy, yes. Citrus, booze, caramel, and pine on the nose. Don't remember it being this boozy smelling. Definitely can taste the alcohol as well. Bitterness comes first then the malt, bringing some caramel and booze, followed by citrus hop finish with a twist of rye. Surprisingly alcoholic. I guess I didn't know it was 8% before..Those crazy Californians. Probably won't get another bottle of this til I know it's a different batch. Not knocking it too hard because of my past with it until I have another try.

Photo of n2185
3.62/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly murky copper with a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: Citrus hop notes up front with grapefruit and pine aromas. Caramel malt comes through as well with an earthy finish.

T: More of the caramel malts come through here, but with citrus and earthy pine hop flavors kicking in before a lightly bitter finish.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer feels a little sticky in the mouth, but is otherwise nicely carbonated.

O: A pretty decent beer, overall. This bottle might be a bit past its prime, but it was stored cold at the store. It's a little heavy and sticky feeling for my tastes.

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.62/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 10-3-13 - about 7 weeks since then; not fresh, but not exactly old.

As the last few rain drops of the Southern California "Storm of 2013" drop (and reach about 1/4 total inches) Raul finds himself sippin' on a Hop Rod Rye. Raul ain't never been into hot rods or floozies with cherry's tattooed on them, but even if he was, he still wouldn't go "vrooom!" for Hop Rod Rye. Getting on the older side, yes, but it ain't exactly Barbara Walters old. Still, Raul finds this sucker a bit more malty and syrupy than hoppy and, uhh, "rye-y."

Yes, my children. Like all fly honeys, I wish I could have gotten it at its peak of freshness; but at the end of the day, when you get a lil taste, you know what you are dealing with.

Not bad. Just right down the middle. Yep!

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,517 ratings.