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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: 4,646
Photo of krberg
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Copper with a dense off-white head.

Smells like dry-hopping. Some sweet malt smell there too. I am very much looking forward to this.

Flavor hops up front, followed by malt, followed by bittering hops. Great balance. I have never found a beer before where each of the big flavors simply end and another takes over. I can't find any subtleties however. If it sits in my mouth too long I find a god-awful bitterness that sits at the opening to my throat.

Nice and creamy.

I have to bring it down in the drinkablity, because I can feel it killing my palette. Don't get me wrong, it is a very drinkable beer, however, after a couple I would have to leave this beer for another to cleanse and I would probably never return during that session.

I like this beer. I like this beer a lot, but only hopheads need apply. I am left wondering though: what contribution does the rye bring? I will definitely try Bear Republic's other offerings even if Red Rocket makes me think of a male dog's naughty bits.

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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 waughbrew
3.56/5  rDev -16%
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.

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Photo of Suds
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, clear mahogany color with a medium colored creamy head. The head is considerably sticky, and eventually retreats to a thin film. There’s an intense, strong hop aroma. The assertive hoppiness gets in the way of the other aromas, but underneath there’s a malty, grainy smell. It’s resinous, pine-like, peppery, sticky, medium bodied, and very bitter. The bitterness runs throughout the entire taste, and creeps from the back of your tongue to fill your entire mouth. I have trouble discerning the rye…there’s a bready, grain-like backbone, but it’s not as intense as a lot of rye beers. The finish is hoppy, peppery, and bitter. Alcohol can be sensed through warming, but is well hidden in the taste. This one’s aggressive, no-nonsense beer. It’s a lot of fun to drink, and I’d look for it again.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Capital Ale House.

It's everything I remember. Fantastic lacing by the sticky white lace. Color is a vibrant copper. All sorts of hops wreck your nose, with an iced tea character at the end. Flavor is more of the same...all hops. I didn't note the toffee sweetness this time. Still very creamy smooth and very drinkable. ABV is again hidden on this bad boy. Excellent.

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

On tap at The Sidelines in Arcata, California.

This is one of my top five favorites, and to have it available on tap is a true blessing.

Arrives with a glistening, dense amber body with a viscous off-white head that deflates gradually and leaves some pretty patches of lace on the glass.

Smell is a rich flourish of pine needles, rain-wet dandelions, crusts of rye bread. A faint brown sugary malt presence drapes the underside of the nose.

Taste opens with a peppery burst of hops, followed by a sharper hop presence -- sourdough and rye distinct along the edges -- through the finish the brown sugary malts tilt in but the hearty bitterness takes the stage front and center.

Crisp, yet not overpowering carbonation. Coats my palate with full-bodied finesse.

As you can tell, I really do love it.

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Photo of Dmann
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a top notch brew from start to finnish. This is also my first Rye beer and hopefully not my last. It poured a great copper color with a frothy head that left quicky but it's lace stayed behind till till the last drop. The scent of grapefruit and hops were very up front and just made me want to drink this beer even more. The flavor was great with a generous dose of hops and a nice citrus-y sweetness. I also detected a peppery flavor once the beer warmed a bit, maybe due to the rye. This beer was a joy to drink and I will be picking up more soon.

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Photo of WaltTrombone
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bear Republic does it again, with a tasty offering that is not the one-note hop monster one expects from other West Coast breweries. Rather, it's a complex, flavorful hop monster, bwah-hah-hah...

It had a red-amber body, with a lumpy tan head. No flames or pinstripes were seen. The aroma was grapefruit, malt, and rye. A 5-speed taste tranny, with grapefruit, chocolate, caramel, rye, and pepper smoothly shifting the gears. The mouthfeel was thin and smooth, with small, light carbonation. Nice lace sheeting, too. It finished up the 1/4 mile with grapefruit, lemon peel, cardboard, and leather (rich Corinthian?) Great mileage/drinkability from this well-balanced brew. 0% financing available from your local beer store...

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Photo of jonnylieberman
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured out perfect from a 22 ounce bottle. 2 inches or more of head that just sat there, enticing me. Darkest orange and a little brown in appearence.

Smells of hops and rye. A little plum, too.

Lovely taste. To me, a perfect of example of a California beer. Explosive, monumental, bigger, better. Hops are all over the place. In the nose, the mouth the finish. Intensley aromatic. Perfect malty backbone with the rye only adding to the dried fruit aspects. High in gavity (and alcohol -- 8.0%) there is flavor to spare. Like all great beers, Hop Rod gets more intersting with each passing sip.

Mouthfeel is just about everything you could want. Plump, full, without being too syrupy. Yums!

I could drink a keg of this by myself. Don't believe me? Let's bet, come on, try me.

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Photo of kmcnair
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bomber.

Fills my glass with a nice deep amber/red color with a thick offwhite/tan head. Head lingers around for a bit and then gets topped off. Leaves a bit of lacing in the glass as I drink it.

Smell is rich of malts with a light floral finish and notes of citrus.

Flavor is complex and the hops attack instantly. Its both creamy and spicy at the same time. Hoppy and bitter just like the name suggests. The rye is in there, and is most noticable in the finish.

Mouthfeel is full and thick, malty caramel coats as it goes down.

All in all, this is a rock solid brew.

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Photo of pio
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

deep amber liquid with a foamy cream/tan head, gently poured it's about a finger but dense and unyeilding. medium activity with slow rising little bubbles. complete sheeting lace with a head that is along for the whole (fast) ride. only a bit hazy if poured well.
on the nose the hops, rye and malt balance well but the toasted rye scent is just outstanding and alluring. the hops scent here is a bit understated but seems a good counterpiece to the rye and malt. dark citrus hints as does a rarely discernable earthier hop note. no alcohol detected.
as i suspected alot more hops used in bittering and flavoring than the scent lets on. the start is toasty and malty with a touch of sweetness and the rye takes off and all those hops come into play helping make a somewhat sour and earthy middle then a citric presentation abides with the rye. it really puckers and dries up with a bitter woody and toasted rye finish. the rye is the main player here and is notable throughout the whole ride, maybe that's why they have the word rye in big letters on the bottle.warming alcohol in the belly but hidden in the flavor.
a medium crisp effervescance and a medium to heavy body that leaves just a bit of a powdery feeling if you will.
the first time i had this i knew i had to go get another and the second was the same way. very tasty, drinkable and special brew.

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Photo of lampkins
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been one of my favorite ales of the last year and a half. I love rye ales and they are few and far between so I almost wet myelf when I saw this at the store.

The beer poured a copper red which gave a descent head. The aroma reminds me of strong IPA. The beer packed a powerful hoppy punch that finished off with a characteristic smooth rye zip as it went down my throat. The malt taste is like eating a rye toast.

I have tried this beer right out of the fridge and have let it warm a bit and it is great either way. This is one of my favorites and I can't get enough of this brew.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Start your engines! Hop Rod Rye was served from a 22 oz. bomber. In a pint glass, the beer was a wonderous and brilliant ruby-orange, with a creamy tan head that left sticky and thick lacing. The "in your face" nose had a firm and grainy malt profile, with a super-charged volatile hop bouquet I imagined distorting the air above the glass. The taste reflected the nose, starting with a robust dry nutty roasted malt backbone wrapped up in a superbly monstrous bitter finish that got the blood pumping. A touch a sweetness at the end rounded out this finely tuned package, and left me captivated and completely satisfied. The full and muscular body matched the full flavor spot on. Considering the mega-hopped up flavor, this beer drank suprisingly well. I am very happy to find Hop Rod Rye making a home in Portland. Put your bets on this one, its a winner!

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Photo of twilight
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The glass was this strange Imperial Pint/Pilsner hybrid. Tulip-ish like an Imperial, but tall like a Pilsner.

I had this as a last brew because I knew I wouldn't be able to taste anything else afterwards. The pour was copper red, and, right away, from arms length, I could smell the hops. The taste is an intense slap of that trademark west-coast hoppiness, with a malt sweetness that gives way to a dry hop aftertaste that lingers, with a bone-dry finish that feels as though the rye had come to lay the hopped wasteland of my tastebuds out to dry. Mouthfeel is rich, intense. I really could drink this all night regardless of the ABV, just worshipping at the altar of the hop.

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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 longpondbeerman
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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Photo of jeffboo
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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Photo of hyuga
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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Photo of abents
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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Photo of mschofield
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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Photo of OatmattStout
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of Realale
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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Photo of frank4sail
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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