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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: 4,650
Photo of TheBrewo
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This brew was served on tap at One Eyed Betty’s in Ferndale, Michigan. It arrived in a generic nonic glass, showing a rich kettle-copper coloring. It boasted a one and a half finger tall head of creamy, ghostly white foam, showing decent retention. This faded into a single thick sheet of lacing left virtually covering all walls of the glass. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be medium. The aroma boasted citric and grassy hops, dried lavender florals, metallic rye grit, pales, and ambers, softer cooked caramel sweetness, freshly pressed honey crisp apple juice, commercial cranberry juice, red grape skins, watermelon jolly ranchers, and bite of plastics and black pepper spiciness with warmth. Our first impression was that this was the single best depiction of rye graininess that we’ve ever tasted, with no mystery as to why it is such a classic, well-regarded beer. The taste opened with syrupy thick caramel grain that was quickly cut by biting rye wash, light smoky peatiness, cooked coffee malts, heavy buttery diacetyls, eucalyptus, cranberry flesh, black pepper, moss and musk, citric hop oils, and hibiscus. The middle came through with bitterness and seriousness of the grain, with rye and amber malts shining through a lingering background of heavy creamer, lactic sourness, strawberry and cranberry fruitiness, and black and herbal green tea leafiness. Washing through the end was a final blend of fusel booze, black pepper, phenolic plastics, the sheen of rye metallics, pale and cloying caramel malt, rose hips, and resinous piney, soapy, and citric hops. The aftertaste breathed of sea salt, lobster shell, Oreo cookies, gingerbread, buttery diacetyls, lemon cleaner, soapy and piney hops, gravel and dust, nutmeg, dried florals, and caramel syrups. The body was decidedly full, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip showed great slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop, with the mouth left fully coated and cooled. The belly, on the other hand, was warmed. On a swirl around the mouth the foaminess became huge, with slow and eventual puckering astringency to follow. The abv was appropriate, and while thick, you could really sip and glug this guy back with ease.

Overall, the best thing about this beer was the incredible showcasing of rye grain, with its unexpected smoke and hidden darkness to it in the taste. The grain is so prominent that you actually forget about everything else, especially the hops. That is not to say that the hoppy side is missing, because if you stop and think about it, they are as strong and forward as ever!! This just speaks to how deep and intoxicating the grain bill is here, as it really will take you by surprise if you let it. This is due, in part, to the rich and sweet fruity inclusions that meld so well with the grain bill. In evaluating the hops, they do show an excellent oiliness and variety across the spectrum of flavor, with great dimensionality. In the end, this guy may be a bit booze heavy for some, but it is an undeniable classic that we’ve ignored for far too long, and one of Bear Republic’s best.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The rich coloring is caramel hued, coppery and even a tad cloudy. The head is thick, foamy tan in color and laces nicely.

The scent is robust in caramel malts with a piney hop underpinning. I also get aromas of grapefruit, tangerines, sweet dried fruit, flowers and rye.

The flavors are rich and robust, almost thick. The caramel malt and rye is prevalent but it is joined by a tremendous punch of floral hop pine. The pine does not take on that metallic tinge like some IPA s. The malt, rye flavor conjoins the floral, pine and grapefruit in one thick unit.

This is a man's beer, rich robust and in your face but then settles well for a great IPA experience.

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Photo of joeseppy
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is a deep reddish copper hue with generous beige head.

Smell is muddled with biscuit, toasty caramel, piney hop and sweet malt. Not much in the way of fruit for me.

Taste has more tropical fruit coming through in the way of mangos and grapefruit rind. Malt pounds upfront, hop onslaughts the tongue with numbing sensations and rye pulls through for the finish. Tastes way better than it smells.

Medium body and velvety. Creamy as an Irish red ale. Hop has staying power much like an imperial.

Beside the aroma, a most pleasant quaff to spend time with. Priced on the higher end than others in class.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/22/2013. Pours lightly hazy deep ruby copper color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, orange zest, lemon zest, orange rind, caramel, bread, spicy rye, floral, pine, grass, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange zest, pine, caramel, bread, spicy rye, floral, grass, and floral earthiness. Good amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, pine, caramel, bread, rye, floral, grass, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Awesome balance and complexity of hop flavors with moderate rye presence; with a fair amount of malt balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy, crisp, and sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent rye IPA! All around great balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of AleEnthusiastSorensen
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured a dark amber in color. The mouth feel of this beer is slightly chewy in texture but is very refreshing on the pallet. Has a medium to high hoppy flavour to it with good hints of fruity and citrus tastes. The rye added to this beer gives a very unique taste and aroma. The aroma itself has a slightly heavy quality to it and in the pour it had very little head to it. Due to the taste and aroma however I give this brew a two thumbs up and would recommend this to any drinker who wants to experience a good beer that isn't too harsh, it is a very kind and rewarding drink.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a deep red with a thin white head. Nice amount of lacing.

S - Nice scent of piney hop and citrus - grapefruit and orange. Rye is fairly present as well as some malty sweetness.

T - Good amount of rye and malty caramel sweetness upfront. Big citrusy hop punch follows. Nice amount of bitterness in the finish.

M - Meium body ith medium carbonation. Dry mouthfeel.

O - Very good IPA. All the flavors are very well balanced and drinkable. Awesome beer.

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Photo of brurevu
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The Hop Rod Rye poured a deep amber with plenty of hops and the sweet rye on the nose. A nicely balanced beer between the hop profile of the Racer 5 and the sweet rye malts. It was very delicately balanced and a nice drinking brew. If you are a fan of the Racer 5, be sure to check out the Hop Rod Rye Ale.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had this for the 1st time a few months ago and I was able to get ahold of a few more bottles to do a review.

12 oz brown bottle with Bear Republic racing style all over this fine label. These guys really have 1 style in mind seems like and I must say its one of my favorites. Poured this into a standard American pint glass.

A - deep dark amber to a brownish colored body. Off white/beige colored head has a pillowy fluff to it and sits beautifully atop the body. Leaving loads and loads of sticky and slow moving lacing. A bit of funk and sediment creeps around the bottom of this amber-brown beauty. Very fine looking ale.

S - floral and somewhat fruity hops sit the pace with the slightest hint of dark fruit. Molasses and caramel whiffs give this brew a sturdy malt backbone. Rye spices creep up toward the back of the nose.

T - sweet with a rye spice character. Hops are floral like with sometimes big hints of fruitiness about them as well(the hops). Caramel malt and molasses are spot on offering this big and complex flavor the balance it needs. It's sweet, spicy, bitter hoppy, floral and fruity. A real treat in a bottle. Alcohol/rye spice in the Finish that is on the bitter side, but still very enjoyable and does nothing but add to the tastiness of this jewel.

M - big and thick texture. Coats the mouth with a liquid that's nothing but world class. Some alcohol paired with the rye lets off some bitterness but it balances everything else out perfectly. Really enjoyable mouthfeel.

O - instant favorite of mine. From the first sip this brew became something I will always be able to drink and enjoy. It's just a matter of finding a way of getting it here where I live. Easily 1 of the 10 best tasting brews for me personally I've ever had. It has a bit of everything for it and I'm extremely glad I picked it up. Bear Republic is becoming one of my favorite breweries and I can't even get their brews here. They are definitely pumping out some of the world's best tasting brews and I look forward to getting my hands on more Hop Rod Rye.

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Photo of DJScroggins
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a bomber of this at the recommendation of a friend.

Dark amber. Creamy mocha head that fades quickly. Thick lacing.

Fruity (smells a bit of apple pulp), citrusy hops. The rye is subtle but there.

Don't get much of the sweetness in the taste, but rye is more pronounced with bitter hops. Mildly bitter finish. I expected a more bitter/dryer finish, but was pleasantly surprised as rye sort of just settled on my tongue as the hops faded.

Relatively heavy body. Smooth. Light carbonation.

I adore rye ales and enjoy IPA's. This is a worthy hybrid of the two. It's definitely still an IPA, the hops an grapefruit are still in control, but the rye plays nicely in the background. A beautiful looking beer and such a pleasure to drink!

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Photo of Duane_Opfer
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottled poured into an IPA glass. Bottled 4/26. Consumed 9/7.

A - Poured a deep red amber with very little head. Nice lacing. Some carbonation. Label says some sediment may occur/unfiltered. Had to look hard in the end to see the fine sediment that accumulated in the bottom of the glass. Deep color hides it.

S - Fragrant. Tropical fruit, apple, and tobacco.

T - Surprisingly, rye is not a dominant feature. Hints of tobacco, apple, nutmeg and brown sugar with a somewhat bitter rye finish. Has a slight sweetness somewhat reminiscent of a Racer 5, but toned down significantly.

M - Lightly carbonated. Slightly foams in mouth.

O - Not what I expected. Very good. Worth a try.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Sun Devil Liqours in Mesa, AZ. Poured from a 22oz bomber into a stout/porter glass.

A - 4.25 - Really dark for an ipa, thick film of bubbles that sticks around forever and leaves a nice lacing. Nice bottle with Bear Republic logo and a hot rod on it with flames.

S - 4.5 - Smell is nice citrusy/piney hops balanced by a somewhat sweet malt. Grapefruit, pineapple, bread, caramel.

T - 4.5 - Great tasting beer especially for the price (4.40/bomber). Nice citrusy hop taste (grapefruit, pineapple, mango), rye malt, and sweet malt flavors. Very complex and well balanced.

M - 4.5 - nice medium-light body, alcohol completely covered, some malt sweetness and hop bitterness sticks around in the aftertaste. A little bit of tongue numbing with the bitterness.

O - 4.5 - Great beer, amazing for the price. Same level as Red Rocket or Lagunita's Hop Stoopid.

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Photo of RickS95
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Extremely dark for an IPA, but Bear calls it an amber so I'll go with that. Not entirely brown, more a burgundy brown. Held to a light it resembles the color of wine. Up top is a fleeting IPA-like collection of foamy bubbles. Retention isn't impressive, but there's a nice lace and a ring of bubbles left behind.

Kind of a strange smell, with a party of citrus, rye and caramel all vying for attention.

The taste is strange as well, but it works. The brewers did a good job of providing just enough of each contrasting ingredient to keep the taste buds working. Orange peel, malted rye, caramel and even some vanilla just before the finish.

Mouthfeel is complex with a battle of sweet and bitter. It's very crisp in the swallow, leaving a faint burn as it hits your throat. A good composite of malt up front and hops following. The bitterness isn't lingering, leaving you ready for the next drink.

Overall, Bear Republic has done a good job with this. It's really easy to drink, has a truckload of flavor, and the alcohol is high, but not aggressive. Well done.

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Photo of WheelsPSU
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Technically, rye is an accompaniment to this beer as its listed as an Imperial strength IPA brewed with 18 rye malt. That being said, the rye in this beer gives a deliciously spicy flair.

Poured from a 22 oz bomber, it was copper in color with tons of sediment floating. I checked the bottle and it indeed states "unfiltered." The lacing was long, leaving large froth all over the glass.

The smell was not all rye. Rather a delicious IPA nose of grapefruit and pine with the added bonus of the rye.

The taste was spicy and peppery from the rye. A bit bitter that eventually gave way to a bread like spice.

I was expecting a rye dominated beer but was pleasantly surprised to taste an IPA with a supporting role player in the rye. This led to a complex beer. Well done.

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Photo of alaimoa
3.25/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz un-dated bottle poured into Teku:

A: deep amber/brown, brownish head with glistening lace
S: pine and resin dominated to me with sweet molasses in the mix
T: pretty bitter hop and resin kick in the front with a molasses sweetness. I find the aftertaste a bit unappealing with a dry pine. As far as a RYE Ipa it is good, I prefer the imperial and APAs a bit more
M: alcohol very well hidden, smooth

Overall a bit of a disappointment given the overall rating. Very bitter hop/pine malt with a fairly unappealing aftertaste. It is just okay, wouldn't seek it out again but would drink it again

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Photo of macher0
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to goblet.

A: Dark amber color. 2-finger frothy head that slowly retreats to a frothy head. Very stable lacing.

S: Complex, but balanced. Hints of pineapple, pine, resin, and some grapefruit.

T: Hops. Bitter. Grass and resin. Pine lingering aftertaste. The booze is well hidden.

M: Full-bodies. Slightly harsh from the booze and hops. Moderate to high carbonation.

O: I'm not a huge fan of the ales that are dominated by resin and pines and my rating shows that. The appearance of this ale is outstanding, but I found the taste and mouth feel to be too harsh and over whelming.

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Photo of JohnG190
3.64/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

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Photo of icehawk
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.81/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

I looked at Barnes and Noble, but I just couldn't find the newest issue of Hop Rod Magazine... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunset amber topped by a finger of off-khaki foam. The nose comprises pine sap, grapefruit zest, rye spice, and a touch of lightly-toasted biscuit. The taste brings in more of the same, with the pine coming through a tad sharper. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a solid, tasty rye-ish IPA, good times despite the relative lack of balance in favor of the hops.

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Photo of soju6
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amber color with a solid off-white head that fades to some lacing.

s: Aroma of citrus and pine with some malt sweetness and grainy.

t: Taste of hops, some caramel sweetness, grain, mostly rye and a bit of spice in the background. Solid bitterness and a lingering hop finish.

f: Medium body, hoppy but not overly so. pretty well balanced as the 8% ABV is very well hidden.

O: Enjoyable beer for the style.

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Photo of dwren89
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber gold with off white head, slightly hazy

Aroma: grapefruit And other citrus aroma, a spiciness note from the eye, slightly darker melanoidin aroma than a normal American IPA

Taste: citrusy and with a bitter finish, but noticeably toned down than regular American IPAs; definite graininess and spiciness from rue additions and more malty character than normal American IPAs, comparatively less bitter finish than other American IPAs

Mouthfeel: slightly grainy, medium bodied, medium-low carbonation,

Overall Impression: Spicy, grainy, and citrusy with a medium bitter finish. Darker and maltier than most American IPAs but the rye also adds a certain spicy quality that using crystal or Munich malt does not. Refreshing but not as much on a hot summer day as a normal IPA. this is much better suited for fall drinking. Overall, delicious and worth drinking again.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip glass. Dark, amber, hazy color with finger width foamy head that dissipates after 3 drinks. Slight lacing on glass. A very malty smell with hints of pine and caramel. Very malty up front tastes with a nicely balanced hop bitterness at the end. Can taste pine and caramel. Excellent beer!! Definitely one of my favorites!!

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Photo of delta490
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep clear mahogany with a big pillowy light tan head. The head has great retention and leaves sticky lacing. The aroma has a nice blend of caramel sweetness, pine hops and a little peppery spice. The taste is a close mirror of the smell but with just a little bit more depth in all the characteristics. It has a nice weight to the body and an nice bite from the hops and rye on the finish. A nice full flavored beer.

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Photo of Jekyll
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

American IPA or DIPA or rye IPA?!?! Who the hell knows? So judgement based primarily on not pinning it down to a specific style. Great spicy bitterness from the rye and amazing hop presence throughout. Not much balance so I can see why many would not identify it in the DIPA category as a strong malt backbone is required by some to qualify as a good IPA. I can't pin down the style and can easily identify it as all the 3 I mentioned as well as dare I say an American strong ale to boot. Good solid beer my only qualm and it is a small one is I tried this in a 22oz bomber and the mouthfeel and flavor seemed to dissipate on the last 1/2 of the bomber. Not sure if this is available in 12oz bottles but if so I would like to re-visit it in that format. Nonetheless no matter the "identity" of this beer it is a very satisfying experience. Couldn't taste the alcohol at all but after finishing it and typing this up it is slightly sneaking up on me. Excellent job Bear Republic!

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Photo of Samp01
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark cloudy rusty brown with a large long lasting tan head with very good lacing throughout. Aroma and Taste of floral earthy pine hops, sweet caramel malt, rye flavor with some fruity notes. A medium body on the palate, smooth with good carbonation. Finishes with a combination of sweet caramel malt, floral pine hops for balance with a bit of lingering rye flavor. A very good, flavorful and enjoyable brew.

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Photo of spoony
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 650 ml bomber into a tulip.

A-A normal pour produces very little head and what foam there is drops immediately to a collar. Not much lacing, either. The brew is dark reddish, amber, nearly walnut in color and pretty clear.

S-The brew has a nice, spicy, herbal, pine note with some citrusy (orange and lemon) sweetness. There is also a healthy pale malt base here with notes of bread dough. Alcohol is well-concealed.

T-The taste is also quite spicy with the hops and rye giving nice doses of pine, herbs, mint, and orange spice. Bitterness is high, but it fits well with the flavors and style. The beer is well-balanced for such a hop and rye-forward brew, and there is a decent malt base here.

M-The feel is moderate to heavy with low carbonation that sits gently on the palate.

O-This is a tasty brew, and perhaps my favorite from Bear Republic. The hops and rye are the highlights of this show, but they are balanced by a nice base and the flavors, while aggressive, are not out-of-whack or ridiculously showy. I really enjoyed how the spice notes and the citrus notes played together.

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