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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,046 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4046
Reviews: 2021
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%

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: 4,046 | Reviews: 2,021 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of xrdsci


3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Rich amber color with a one-finger, foamy head. Nice retention and lacing. Smells of piney hops and some citrus. Hops (piney and floral) are dominant in the flavor, if not a little overpowering. A bit of citrus and a subtle, spicey rye character can be picked up in the background. Extremely long, bitter hop finish. Medium bodied with fair carbonation. Alcohol is well-hidden.

The rye character definitely takes a backseat to the hops here. Didn't realize it was going to be such a balls-out DIPA when I ordered it, which might account for the comparatively low marks. Might try this again sometime, but my impression was that this is just way over-hopped.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 02:41:42 | More by xrdsci
Photo of Brunite


3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A deep copper with an off-white head. Lots of lingering lace.

S: Mostly hops. No notice of the rye.

T: No malt....no rye...lots of juicy citrus hop flavor.

M: Medium body.

O: Meh. I love IPA's. I love Rye beers. Despite it's high ratings....I find it a poor blend of the two. Average beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2011 01:35:23 | More by Brunite
Photo of McStagger


3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased on the cheap from Bevmo. Whoops! It has a date of 8/6/13. This one's gonna be faded...kinda like me after tonight's over.

A: Fairly dark red, but still mostly translucent. Finger of tawny head. Moderate lacing. Minimal retention.

S: Some hop essence is going on here. Pine and citrus. Fairly non descript. Malt is showing with big brown sugars and toffee.

T: Lost most of the floral and citric edge. Still bitter in the back end, but mostly shots of non descript grain and some mild floral bitterness/malt sweetness.

M: Nice body. This one is fairly light and still mostly maintains its dryness.

O: I'm underwhelmed. Need to try this one fresh. Will come back to edit this review when I see a fresher bottle date.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 05:27:54 | More by McStagger
Photo of RDAdams


3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

22 oz bottle purchased at Allview Liquors in Ellicott City, MD

Appearance: A clear, dark, amber/brown with a persistent tan head,

Smell: What's not to love about it? The clearly American hop aroma
with a barley backbone, and the scent of rye.

Taste: This is a well-balanced beer. It's ingredients blend well together.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body for those of use who chew our beer.

Drinkability: Everything was good until I swallowed it. It's finish is smooth, but it's aftertaste is rank.

I like Rye beers and I love IPA's. But another bottle I will not buy

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2007 03:05:16 | More by RDAdams
Photo of pweis909


3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I was really looking forward to this, as I had heard a lot about it.

Pours Amber with a tawny head. Citrusy American aroma hops are noticeable, but not as tantalizing as I hoped. The hop bitterness is quite strong and dominates the flavor profile. Rye may also contribute to some of the sharpness. The alcohol is big. The high bitterness and the big alcohol are a little much for me - not so drinkable. Soft, silky mouth feel.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 21:49:40 | More by pweis909
Photo of fitzy84


3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Moan and Dove. The drink had a dark amberish appearance with a generally thin head and decent lacing. Aromas were mixtures of malts, florals and some woody, almost raisin-like smells. Taste-wise, I sensed the malts more, leading to an overall sweet taste. Good, medium body also. I enjoyed this, but I think I was not as amazed as some people have with this drink. It was just above average for me.

Serving type: on-tap

05-12-2008 16:27:53 | More by fitzy84
Photo of BZero007


3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent brown with swirls of orange. Forms a lovely head that sticks around in some form or another. Lacing left behind is very nice. Smell was a pleasing Piney aroma with floral hops pushing it along. Taste was abit to grapefruity for me. The bitterness was a particular type I dont care for, which eventually turned the beer a bit bland. Mouthfeel was ok the overly grapefruit flavor killed it a bit. Would recomend to people who are fans of the Stone Ruination style of bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2009 14:42:51 | More by BZero007
Photo of bamadog


3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not much else interesting on tap at Fries the other night, so I went to the cooler and this is what I pulled out. Not too bad. Pour is from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep coppery/caramel color; comes with a solid one finger head (off-white/lightest tan) that has OK retention and fades to a full, yet uneven, skim; body is cloudy and there are odd shaped clouds and spots of lacing.

Smell: Very weak - I can barely decipher what scant scents I'm smelling - some faint whiffs of hops and grainy rye, but that's barely detectable.

Taste: Nice flavors that are almost pungent; decent bitter/earthy hop presence and the toasty rye flavors combine to make a solid tasting and nicely bittered ale; a nice malty sweetness sneaks in as it warms a bit.

Mouthfeel: mild/soft carbonation; body is smooth and almost creamy; leaves a thin coating on the tongue and roof of the mouth - film feels a little dry, perhaps because of the 8% ABV.

Drinkability: Moderate - I enjoyed the solid bitter aspect, but I really wish there was a smell to compliment and enhance it a bit; other aspects of the beera are solid as well; 8% ABV is a bit high for many of these in a night.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 19:53:11 | More by bamadog
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark amber. Clear. Great head and lacing. Excellent appearance.

Smells piney and citrus/grapefruity with plenty of malts and bread crust on the side. I would say the hops take center stage, followed by malts, with an extra side portion of very bitter hops and plenty of citrus pungency. Garnished with floral aromas, bread crust, and notable alcohol.

The bitterness and malts don't seem to mesh as well as I was expecting. Everyone loves this beer but it didn't quite do it for me. It seems to clash some, as if it can't decide what it's supposed to be. I think there was a pretty darn good rye beer under there somewhere. Halfway through the bomber I was wishing it was just a simple red or rye beer so I could get on with drinking the rest of the bottle without further angst.

Tastes to me like a great red or rye beer that's been over-hopped to the point of being forced to classify it as an IPA or DIPA.

It's rich, medium bodied, slightly sticky on the lips and amply carbonated.

Honestly, I won't seek it out again. I'm not sure what the big deal was on this one. I'll rate it average because I'm sure IPA lovers will like it, but I'm not quite sure why, despite having developed a taste for many IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2011 00:31:28 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of TXHops


3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

-ABV: 8%
-Malts: 18% Rye

Hop Rod Rye starts its doomed-to-be-brief life in my glass as a reddish brown, surprisingly clear (for an unfiltered beer), fall colored liquid sporting a pretty impressive, though small head of fine beige bubbles. A big pink grapefruit-orange juice aroma leads off the non-visual sensations. There’s a definite twang in the nose, but I’m not accomplished enough to know if this is from the rye, or if the hops are inducing that aroma. The flavor is harsh, bitter hops, sweet and tangy malt and a lingering, assertive bitterness. To me, this beer tastes a LOT like SN Celebration with a shot of tangy, heat-inducing Everclear. The rye adds an interesting tartness that seems to be a catalyst for shooting the lupulin bitterness from harsh to puckering. A constant undercurrent of brown-sugary, sweet malt almost stands up to the painfully bitter finish, but not quite.

I’ve only had 3 or 4 other rye beers, and none were brewed to this gravity, so it’s hard for me to comprehend if the harshness is being contributed by the rye, or if this beer is simply assertively hopped. Here’s the bottom line: it tastes to me like Hop Rod Rye had a single addition of LOTS of American hops at the beginning of a 90 minute boil, and there they sat: losing most their flavor and aroma, while the whole time, more and more bitterness was extracted. At the same time, the liberal use of crystal malts created an interplay that I frequently find in big, American ales: harsh bitter. I’m just guessing, so I don’t know what really happened. I know I’m wrong about the hopping schedule, because there’s a good shot of citrus in the nose and I know I can taste some flowery hops underneath the other flavors. Plus, my burps reveal a wonderful hop character that I missed going down. This beer just exhibits a character that I taste too often in American, specifically west coast (Rogue and SN to be really specific) hyper-hopped beer: harsh bitterness. Having tasted 90 Minute IPA and Ruination, I know it’s possible to make a beer with over 100 IBU’s taste extraordinarily hoppy and not be painfully bitter. In fact, those beers are two of my favorite all time brews. Oh well, they can’t all get 4.5+ scores. I’d rather have MANY other beers over this one. I guess I’m kinda bored with tasting hyper-hopped beers that are extraordinarily bitter, but display very little hop flavor. Onward and upward…

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2003 19:20:23 | More by TXHops
Photo of waughbrew


3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Amazing retention and lacing on top a deep amber body. Smells of fruity herbage and twang. Some chocolate. Taste has the malt body of arrogant bastard but with rye, as well as some fugglish and porterish notes. Light carbonation, dry finish, alcohol not perceptable. While no doubt well-made, it is overall a "whatever" beer for me. The boring yeast kills the chance at complexity, and nothing about it really makes me want to have another.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2004 00:54:55 | More by waughbrew
Photo of clvand0


3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2004 18:03:50 | More by clvand0
Photo of RenoZymurgist


3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber brew with an off white head that persisted quite well, I am definetly sure that this is not a "pale" IPA but it still seem to be way to dark for me to give it a high score on appearance as I believe it is out of style.
The aroma was a classic hoppy scent that I believe is decidedly Northwestern in style.
The flavor is an all out hoppy assault but it has a definite break in the hops when a sweet caramel malt flavor breaks through. The hops linger on the tongue in that wonderful IPA way but it seems the flavor of the hops is a little toword the bitter side and not the flavor/aroma side as the only thing holding this together is the stepped up maltiness that makes the overall brew pretty good. The body is pretty good but the carbonation tends to make the already bitter hop flavors a bit more aggressive than it needs to be.
I like the flavors of the hops as this ale warms and becomes less carbonated as the dryer malt flavors become more apparant and it gets smoother. If you could get a cask conditioned version of this it would be very good.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2005 07:38:24 | More by RenoZymurgist
Photo of jujubeast6000


3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 8/25/2007 (bottle):

Pours a dark brown clear color. Cake foamy head, good lacing, stiff, reddish white. Very hoppy acidic aroma. Just bitter smelling. Hoppy sweet taste, balanced. Very slight bitter aftertaste. The flavor of the rye is there. Pretty good taste. Almost as good as Stone IPA.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2009 00:53:48 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of Hoagie1973

New York

3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Semi-cloudy deep amber color. Small Cream colored head reduces to a froth leaving very light lacing.
Smells fruity and hoppy before ever reaching your nose.
Definitely has a unique, more bready malt character that is very interesting due to the rye, unfortunately it's then blasted off of your tastebuds by a ridiculous amount of hops. They start out flavorful and piney, then transition into an intense bitterness that lingers long into the dry finish; a bit too long.
Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel.
The addition of rye is very interesting and different and I wish the hops would allow that side of the beer to shine a bit more. Overall it's not at all bad, but instead of being something truly special, in the end it's just another hop bomb.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 23:00:53 | More by Hoagie1973
Photo of Knapp85


3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a dark amber color, mostly brown in specific lighting. The heas was nice looking and tan in color. The smell of the beer was more hoppy than anything else I could pick up on the nose. The taste of the beer was also quite hoppy, I was hoping to pick up on some more Rye than anything else but I continue to struggle with picking up the Rye in most beers. The aftertaste is bitter and yet sweet almost all at once. The mouthfeel of this beer was pretty nice, well carbonated, stings the tongue a bit, leave a bitterness on the sides of the mouth. Overall this beer was pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 00:36:45 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Moose90


3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 10/02/12
Purchased 12/30/12
22oz Bomber into 20oz Tulip Pint

A - Deep amber, I have seen lighter amber ales. No huge head, leaves solid lacing.

S - Bread. Like some nice toasted rye.

T - Malt and rye up front, some good bitter hop in the middle and finishes with more hop.

M - Medium-Full body, good carbonation, refreshing, but the malt does linger.

O - Good. Not great. I expected more hop. There is a lot of malt to this, and rye. Its a good beer, I'd buy it again, and if I ever see it at a bar I'll order by the pitcher. Good value as well at <$5/22oz

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 22:02:32 | More by Moose90
Photo of kojevergas


3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Saw the high ratings so I picked this one up. 8% confirmed. 12 oz bottle into conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in Los Feliz, CA. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof. I googled the Bear Republic bottle codes and discovered this was bottled 09/12/12; I'm a little pissed at my bottle shop but I'll give her a spin anyway.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger creamy frothy head of good thickness and great retention for the high ABV. Body colour is an unexpected dark copper; semitransparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Decent lacing as the head recedes, but it looks like it'll retain for a good five minutes. The colour is fantastic for an IPA; I'm already impressed.

Sm: Nectary hops are dominant, with some floral character and a bit of pine. Some oily hops. A bit of bitterness comes through, but just enough. Caramel. Sweeter malts than pale malts, but not quite amber or biscuit. Some grapefruit citrus zest and even a more herbal note; perhaps mint? Yes, natural mint leaf. No yeast is detectable, nor is any alcohol. I'm looking forward to trying it. An average strength aroma.

T: Mmm. Hoppy yet incredibly balanced; lots of nectary hop character, with perfect complementary floral and light pine character. A bit of herbal fermented mint leaf aids its refreshing feel. No hop bitterness whatsoever comes through. Shockingly well balanced. Light oily hop notes. Caramel and sweet malts form the simple yet effective foundation - which is more than merely a platform for the hop notes. Slight spice is also detectable. The rye works here beautifully, complementing and cooperating with the nectary hops to give it more depth. No yeast character. No alcohol comes through. Constructively, it's a bit too sweet and the hop character could be much more complex. Lacks subtlety. Still, it's tasty - and let's not forget it's four months old.

Mf: Slightly oily, very nectary, and smooth and wet. Soft and refreshing, yet a bit too thick. Perfect carbonation. Complements the flavour profile very well.

Dr: An incredibly drinkable and refreshing IPA, with a well hidden ABV that'll sneak up on you. $7.99 a four pack is quite fair for a beer of this quality. Bear republic has impressed me. For a four month old IPA, it's rather good. I intend to revisit it fresh; it deserves that respect.

Low B

I imagine it's best on draught.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 05:21:47 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Higravity


3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Kind of a shrug beer for me. It is a beer of almost and could a been. I have had several well done Rye beers and this one lacks the Rye punch and the hops seem mis-matched for the spicyness as they were fruity and bitter but not spicy. The alcohol also comes through a little to much. I let the bottle warm up more and the rye come out a little more but mostly it is just an after taste. The malty body is nice and thick though but a little too high on the carbonation. A decent Rye beer, but it almost could been better.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2005 18:45:45 | More by Higravity
Photo of skillerified


3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Easily the darkest IPA I've ever seen. Dark garnet with deep ruby hues. A true brown in lesser light. Slightly fluffy looking tan head, about a finger. Very bubbly. Faded to a cap pretty quick. Sheet like sparkling lace. Real sticky. Looks tasty.

Pine and citrus with up front with huge malt smells in the background. Impressive. Slightly floral. A bit boozy. Some chocolate. Seems like it could/should open up a little with some warming, but I'm still not getting a whole lot.

Mostly sweet. Some caramel. No real distinct flavor jumps out here. Surprising. Some dark berries, mildly vinous character. Gets a strong grapefruit bitterness on the aftertaste that grows as you work your way down the glass. Some citric and wheatlike flavors work there way in eventually.

Fairly light on the body. Pretty smooth. Not much there in the way of mouthfeel. It just comes and goes. Reasonable balance. Definitely bitter and slightly acidic on the finish. That 8% is pretty well hidden.

One of the strangest IPAs I've ever had. It's just ending slick and bitter. Seems like, based on the look, scent and reputation of this brew, there should be more here. Maybe I'm off tonight or maybe this is a bad bottle. Maybe I just don't like it. Not sure what else to tell ya.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2007 02:29:37 | More by skillerified
Photo of ShrLSU


3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pored from a 750oz bottle into a pint.

Appearance - Poured a dark reddish color with a 2 or 3 inch thick white head. Once the head settled it stayed clumpy on top and side of the glass.

Smell - Very hoppy with some slight citrus and malty finish

Taste & Mouthfeel - Very crisp at the beginning but gets smoother as you go further into the beer.

Drinkability - Definitely one to try and enjoy. Not too overpowering on any front. A very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2008 16:23:18 | More by ShrLSU
Photo of kernalklink


3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good A IPA from Bear republic- nice color, light amber on the pour with some lacey head. Aromas were good as well, not too overpowering and the hops really come through the othe scents present. Taste was somewhat harsh- mouth puckering hops hid most of the malt counterbalance and an odd citric aftertaste dominated the finish. I was dissapointed that there was not more rye flavor present, the idea of a combination of the hops and rye was exciting to me, especially in an american IPA. I really dont understand the hype- its a decent beer but BR has made much bigger and better than this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2007 03:15:54 | More by kernalklink
Photo of GregSVT


3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a New Belgium pint glass.

A: Pours a dark amber with a big offwhite head that leaves sticky lacing as it fades.

S: Smell is mix between floral and grapefruit hops and a sweet/fruity malty aroma.

T: Taste is bitter grapefruit hops and a slight tropical fruit flavor with more bitterness on the finish. The rye also adds a spicey kick on the finish. I was expecting more fruity flavors from the nose but the grapefruit really takes over and makes it quite bitter.

M: Mouthfeel is good with a nice amount of carbonation and a slightly oily coating of the mouth but not as big as a DIPA.

D: The bitterness really kills it for me in the drinkability category...I like my IPAs balanced between sweet and bitter.

I'd rather pick up Hopstoopid, Gordon, or DFH 90 for about the same price. I probably won't get it again but I would recommend it if you're a fan of big bitter beers and the rye adds an interesting kick on the finish.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2009 01:45:28 | More by GregSVT
Photo of Philousa


3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark red, nearly brown, with a thick tan head that dwindles to only stick to the glass. Laing is moderate. Caramel, slight chocolate, and spicy, sweet rye. Smells like fermentation ended a bit earlier than most IPAs (read: sweet). Definitely a good dose of piney, slightly citrusy hops. Spicy flavor in the rye is up front and lasting, accompanied by dark chocolate and thick, sweet caramel. Lots of specialty malt additions in this one. The sweetness sticks in the back if the throat a bit, pungent and annoying. There is an alcohol aftertaste that cuts this feel a bit, it's welcome. The bitterness from the hops cut it a bit, with some grapefruit rind. Feel is solid, middling, and appropriate for the style. 

This is a wild beer. Lots of flavors are battling it out on the palate. It's a little too much, but it's also intriguing. Although I'm not thinking of drinking this every day, it's a fun one once in a while.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2012 04:21:18 | More by Philousa
Photo of icehawk

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle Appearance: Dark reddish/brown with creamy off-white head Aroma: Sweet malts, dark fruit Taste: Pleasant bitterness Palate: Medium body, with lively mouthfeel. Warm alcohol mid-palate through finish. Drying finish. Overall: Very tasty complex beer. Bitterness is very present, but not unpleasant.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 19:09:08 | More by icehawk
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,046 ratings.