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Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,068 Reviews
For Trade:
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

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

Added by Quaffer on 03-27-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,068 | Ratings: 4,645
Photo of goschool
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The creamy off-white to orange head atop its deep, dark and cloudy copper-red body releases huge pine aroma. The first sip is fantastically ferocious. The rye adds a tangy and spicy flavor that's reminiscent of bourbon. This brew is very hoppy, with rye and a wee bit of malt (sweet toffee/caramel flavors are in here they're just a little shy and intimidated by the hops) to make this so complex. This stuff is super drinkable; I feel like I could finish a keg of this by myself- I'd sure like to try.

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Photo of B33R501
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

wow. real simple, one of the best beers in the world. for the longest time my goto beer, ive had this so many times, but now that im getting into huge stouts and barrel aged beers i dont really have a goto anymore. available year round, quality, consistent, reasonable price. $7.50 per 4 Pak, last year it was an insane $6.50 per 4.

pours beautiful dark amber almost purple? i'll have to check color charts one day to better describe if. Tonites 4 Pak must be very fresh, the hops jumped out of the bottle on first smell, on warming it's morphed into the usual malty, elegant floral perfume like beer it usually is. taste is very complex, big caramel malts, followed by citrusy, floral earthy hops that linger on the palate what seems like forever. apples and pears now, let it warm and the spice comes out, the rye malts making their presence known. before I forget this is also the most drinkable beer in the world. I've had it so many times, never a hangover, never a dissapointment.

I don't know what else to say? If I could drink one beer, and one beer only, this would be the one. tribute to the brewers art.

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Photo of Troyone
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy darker amber color with a minimal tan head that dissipated to nothing with in minutes and has some carb action.

A toasted caramel smell with herbal pine and lime hops with hints of maple, allspice, and nutmeg.

A light sweet taste with the flavors of roasted caramel and light molasses malt; moderate herbal pine and grapefruit lime hops; and hints of (salt free) soy sauce, pepper, licorice, and cola.

Mouthfeel has a medium to full bodied dry and sweet resin texture, soft carbonation, and a smooth hoppy malt finish.

Easy to drink session type of beer with 8.0 and a good change up for this type.

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Photo of jsdunlop
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, dark amber with a slight haziness and a light covering of white head. Smells of fresh, oily and piney hops, touch of chicory, with a cherry-citrus twang to it.
This beer begins malty and smooth, with a silky mouthfeel. Alcohol is nicely masked by the pleasant pine and bready malt backbone. There is a touch of sweetness, with a slight tart fruit character, and a blast of rye-peppery spice. Nice pine and floral hopped up bitterness in the finish, slight spice kick and a touch of booze to wash it down smoothly.
Overall, this beer is solid. A true enjoyment.

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Photo of mjaseattle
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. There's about an inch of creamy, frothy head on top that lingers until you take a sip. Underneath is a deep orange/mahogany beer with a few narrow streams of bubbles running up the sides of the glass. A thin layer of foam sits on top throughout the experience.

Smell: The smell alone won me over. Pine and grapefruit dominate, and something else I can't put my finger on... Something sweet, like maple syrup...

Taste: Just like it smells, but on a higher order of magnitude. There's such a good balance in this beer, an obvious smattering of hops at the start, with a mellow undertone of malts that seem to crescendo slowly through every sip. It ends with a bittersweet caramel aftershock, and a citrusy air.

Mouthfeel: There's a burst of carbonation on contact that mellows quickly to a smooth, almost syrupy feel. Pretty full-bodied for an IPA. For a lighter experience, swish it around a bit-- though this does bring out the alcohol presence, it expands your food pairing options.

Drinkability: This is definitely what I call an "experience" beer, meaning it is best enjoyed in large, attentive sips. There's a lot going on that you don't want to miss. It will pair well with any strong-flavored food, but it really shines on its own.

Notes... I first had this beer (on tap) a couple months ago at the bartender's recommendation, and was very pleasantly surprised. I'm not at all familiar with ryes, but I know my IPAs, and this is top of the line. Easily one of the best (if not THE best) I've ever had.

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Photo of paceyourself
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I would be buying this alot if i could get it in ct. (beer trade anyone?). Clear amber color with a small but evenly carbonated head. Besides the hops a piney and burnt malt aroma is very noticeable. On second pour from the bomber the large chunky hop sediment sneaks into the glass quickly. A creamy toffee like flavor balances the "truckload of hops" very affectively. I wish rye beers were more widely available. Thanks murph for the sample.

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Photo of superdavex
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what can I say about this one. This has an appealing amber hue coming out of the bottle with a good 2 inch head that lasts forever. Smell is of strong fresh hops and rye. Mmm, Mmm, Mmm is all I can say about the taste. A Hopheads dream come true! Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very good. Drinkability is slightly higher than most beer of the same style due to the slightly lower alc/vol. Would have again and again and again.

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Photo of Ryanbob
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours with a big head and a nice amber color. It smells great with lots of hops coming through. It tastes malty first with sweet raisan and alcohal burn. Then the hops hit hard with fresh piney bitterness. Very pleasant. There is a bit of a bitter aftertaste with all that hoppy goodness.

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Photo of rowmine
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Loved this beer.

A - Poured clean with a 1.5 inch head leaving nice lacing on the head. Nice rich color.

S - Smell has quite the balance of malt and rye and hops.

T - Taste reflects the smell although the hops aroma comes through, the striking bitterness often associated with that punget a smell is lacking.

M - Nice medium body. Could use a little more carbination.

O - Loved it, not a rye DIPA which others may be looking for but a SOLID rye IPA. Deff will be buying again.

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Photo of vinhgoh
4.81/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Though pricey, this IPA is well balanced. Strong hoppy taste that is not too bitter to a point where it takes you awhile to get through one. Citrus apple accents? Won't pretend that I am that much of a connoisseur, but I do love beer. Definitely try this, especially if you love IPAs... you will not regret it.

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Photo of merlin48
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
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!

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Photo of Prospero
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a deep brownish-amber color with a nice foamy almost frothy head. The aroma is hop-filled with a sweet citrusy and floral smell with maybe a small hint of pine. The carbonation is smooth and has an incredible mouthfeel that makes you want to savor this beer on your tongue. The rye malts are a nice spicy touch giving this IPA a bit different flavor that's a welcome change from the norm. The finish is a bit bittersweet both literally and figuratively as you'll want to keep coming back to drink some more.

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Photo of nortmand
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours solid caramel amber, with a fluffy white head that leaves sufficient lace.

Citrusy grapefruit hop aromas dominate. Some spicy rye notes as well. Sweet, supportive caramel notes in there.

Passion fruit and cotton candy flavors up front. Soon there are solid, semi metallic spicy rye flavors. Leaves a bitter pineapple aftertaste.

Full bodied, a tad overcarbonated, but not bad. Relatively complex, a very flavorful and refreshing brew. Extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Vec2267
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - hazy, caramel, big tan head, superb lacing

S - hops, grapefruit, pine, fruit

T - hops - grapefruit, orange peel, pine - all there - tons of caramel and then a spicy rye zing

M - rich and lush but not in the least bit syrupy

O - outstanding hop bomb with tremendous balance and depth

I had this on tap in LA about 5 years ago - wonderful. Found a bottle at Total Wine last night. Please, oh please, stock more of this!

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Photo of HoboAGoGo
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Doesn't taste as strong as listed, but that's part of the fun and danger with this. Poured into a large flute, it was a dark red, almost brown with copper hues. Thin tan head on top that wasn't sticking around for the whole ride. The nose was of big, citrusy hops, very little pine in this one, lots of citrus, also a heavy nose of rye. The taste is sweet malt that is dominated by the rye flavor that doesn't overwhelm, but doesn't hide either. Thick citrus flavor sticks to your mouth while drinking this amazing beer. I made the comment that I almost wanted to drop some saurkraut and swiss cheese in it. I would definiately pair this with a lighter flavored cheese, or a reuben sandwich. I loved this beer and will be drinking it next time I can get my hands on it.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bottle.

Beautiful dark copper color that becomes a brilliant near-orange when held to light. Massive foamy head--the best I've seen this side of Orval.

Unexpectedly subtle smell and flavor. Nice bitterness lingers on the tongue. More balanced than the color and alcohol content would suggest.

Bear Republic beers have a gritty hard-nosed feel (like Knob Creek, as opposed to Makers Mark) and this is not an exception; however it is more smooth than Racer 5.

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Photo of AimToCheat
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark copper color with a medium thick head and lots of lacing.

Smell: Hops, Pine, Sage, Spice

Taste: A very complex IPA. Rye and hops finishing with a nice wave of malt and oily pine.

Mouthfeel: Almost oily for lack of a better word. pine and malt linger.

Drinkability: This is one of my favorite beers. Goes down nice for a 8% beer.

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Photo of beerfanbill
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: dark, lively. very active, head clings to the glass in rings and stays there the whole time.

smell: very hoppy. truly lives up to its name. i always raise the glass to my nose several times before i begin drinking just to appreciate the distinct, pungent hoppy aroma.

taste: tastes better than it smells. the hops dominate the pallette. they are as strong as any hoppy beer ive ever had and yet not too strong. perhaps the hoppiest beer ive had that didnt over do it.

mouthfeel: smooth, crisp. savor each sip to have the hops coat the tongue.

drinkability: personally i find it to be a great session beer though its 5 dollars per pint at the bar i go to so i only usually can afford one. however, if i had the resource$ i would definitely have several. although hoppy beers are my favor so i am slightly biased in that regard.

(biased note, i love hoppy beers and try as many as i can and i genuinely feel this is the best one ive had)

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Photo of becktone
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Eye: Killer cascading head. Awesome lacing, the head itself is very creamy in appearance and has some good retention. Color is brown with garnet highlights. Looks great, what can I say. You don't see too many of these, that just about perfect.

Nose: Green and very hoppy. Just what I expect from an IPA. Citrus fruity hop aroma. Real good aroma, some malt under the hops, the presence of them is detectable, however, its not potent enough to describe subtle nuances in it... some dark fruits and slight chocolate and perhaps some caramel nutty aromas, after more inspection.

Tongue: Alcohol is detectable and adds another dimension to the flavor. Roasted grain is notable in the flavor. Hops there, up front but not in your face. Dark fruit also in the flavor of this beer. Green hop flavor melds with alcohol, to me the two are almost inseparable in this beer, they meld together. Hops are floral in flavor, but citrus in aroma.

Mouthfeel and Drinkabilty: Heavy in body. Moderate in carbonation. Has an overall nice feel, nothing special, nice long lasting finish leaving flavor in the mouth that is as alive as the beer itself. This is one that I will easily buy again, however, since there are many more to try it might be awhile. This is one killer IPA, no doubt about it.

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Photo of biegaman
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The glass is painted in chromas of orange, ruby and amber; their embers are bright and flare up to the light. Its clarity, until the very last dregs, was spotlessly clear which furthered the beer's splendid aurora. Its head bubbled up like magma and exploded into a scatter-spray of lacing. The eccentric patterns would make an excellent ink splotch test.

Bring an umbrella - it's raining hops! As they fall from the sky a wave of pungent tanginess manages to penetrate right down to the marrow of your bones. It has the same all-consuming sensation as a gust of cold winter air or the burning radiance of a hot summer sun - it is not only noted it is sensed by all parts of the body. This beer is as hoppy as hops are green and every bit as aromatic as an incense.

It's an herbal, floral, citrus-spritzed fragrance and it carries over into the taste. The roasty graininess of the rye is also evident in the aroma and it, too, doubles as a flavour. The moderately-strong spicy flavour of the rye is nearly reminiscent of pumpernickel bread, and certainly brings to mind a choice Jewish bakery, but is so drizzled in chunks of caramel and candied citrus bits that it is, and should be, only recognizable as its own delicious being.

For all its resounding hoppiness the beer is considerably balanced. The graininess of the rye ensures a stiff, hearty, naturally tangy maltiness that blends ideally with the orange zest and piny serum of the hops. The alcohol may just as well not be noted and, although it pains me to admit it, I would probably drink this until unconsciousness if it were feasible to do so. The experience can vary between general pleasure to pure hedonism.

Honk if you love hops! If this beer were a car it would come fully loaded with plenty of legroom and a 350 horsepower V8 engine. And it's probably won my car of the year award every year since I've tried it. In fact, I remember the first time I took it for a test drive - I awoke the next day to find my hands still smelling like hops. No kidding! This is a smooth ride and for those of you who have yet to take a spin - buckle up!

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beer pours an auburn color...almost opaque, but with just a touch of translucence. Head is a beautiful tan color, about two fingers high. Richly foamy, and it recedes leaving a layer of foam on the surface of the beer. Really pretty.

Smell: The malty rye character is boldly challenged by bitter, piney hops. A very earthy smell, very well done.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very creamy upon entrance, and wow...it's bittersweet in all the best ways. Carob or vanilla bean, toasted sweet rye, earthy hops. A nice tangy aftertaste, full of all the great flavors aforementioned and adding none other.

Overall: Just about perfect in every way. The only things for me that could have made it better would have been a heftier head retention and maybe ONE more scent in the nose...but I'm just splitting hairs at this point, a truly good beer.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - A lovely crimson body with a formidable tan head. Tons and tons of floaties, which surprised me.
A second tasting (4-5-2011) reveals almost no floaties and really beautiful lacing. This looks so good

S - Sweet and creamy hops - not sure if that's diacetyl. hint of rye spice. Some tropical fruits and dark fruits and the citrus tang of hops. A really good, and interesting nose. Not as hop heavy as I'd expect from an IPA.

T - Incredible balance. Very present bitter and citrus hops, and that definitely dominates, but the sweet and spicy malts and rye really bring a great level of complexity to this beer, and really balance out the citrus and bitter hop profile. Wow!

M - Medium-big body, a touch dry and a touch heavy on the carbonation. Very nice mouthfeel, especially if this is really a single IPA.

D - I think this is incredibly good tasting and is very easy to drink. I would drink this every day.

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Photo of dippy
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The deep Brownish/amber body of this brew is topped by a thick, slightly off-white head with lots of trace of lace on the glass.
The aroma is slightly sweet and citrusy (grapefruit) from the hops with a light maltiness in the background.
The hops are fragrent bitter and grapefruity with a slight sourness and you can taste a touch of rye which is fun.
Medium bodied, smooth, refreshing and slightly dry.
I think this beer is awesome. It is the type of brew I would want to replicate if I home brewed. Very Hoppy makes me Very Happy.

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Photo of dizknee24
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A cloudy and medium . Head is rediculous. it is at least 2 fingers and dissapates in an odd manner.

S i love this smell it smells very much like a rye bread with some hoppy undertones

T Rye Rye Rye love this stuff

M Think and felt smooth

D all day all day i could drink this infact after work im going to get a bunch more!

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Photo of dbmernin83
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very deep, dark amber with lacing you would normally find in a lingerie shop.
Smell of hops, rye and malt
Delicious. This is what beer should taste like. Nice hop front paired nicely with rye, malt sweetness and a lingering rye finish.
Good carbonation. Rich body.
This beer is perfect. A manly beer. Full of flavor, balanced a d highly drinkable.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,068 ratings.