Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,058 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,058
Hads: 4,575
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 262
Gots: 315 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Quaffer on 03-27-2002

A high gravity IPA brewed with 18% rye malt. Hop Rod Rye has a floral hop aroma and subtle caramel notes with a slightly earthy and spicy rye character.

2009 California State Fair – GOLD
2003 California State Fair – GOLD
2002 Real Ale Festival (Chicago) – GOLD
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hop Rod Rye Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,058 | Hads: 4,575
Photo of hreb
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in pint glass. Beer pours positively dark, more amber than pale ale. Massive tan head accompanies a rich aroma with a good bit of rye in it, along with secondary notes of pine forest hops. Visible sediment left in bottle. Flavor is more classic rye-ale meets West coast IPA. Quite delicious. (311 characters)

Photo of BeerBeast
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another fantastic IPA entry from Bear Republic, one of my favorite California breweries. Nice frothy head, highly enticing aroma, and an excellent rye-dominated flavor. A big mouthful, to be sure, but an easy-to-drink 8%. Very nicely done, Hop Rod takes its well-earned place next to Racer 5, Big Bear & Café Racer! (316 characters)

Photo of TheBeerSipper
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - A wonderful mahogany look with a tan head about a finger thick.

Smell - a very rich curious smell that builds anticipation to what you are about to taste.

Taste - If you are expecting a normal taste here - you will be surprised my friends. The taste is similar to its rich bourbon esque smell. Though the taste is slightly less strong and flavorful than the smell, it is still very tasty.

Mouthfeel - The feel is very similar to the taste.

Overall - This is a very good, unique brew that differs greatly from your typical ale.

Until Next Time

The Beer Sipper (579 characters)

Photo of slym
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a bottle of this while buying a six of Weihenstephaner's Hefeweissbeir, to have something a little different, and because I am trying all the RyePAs I can.

This is a damn good beer! As I cracked it open, I can smell the fruityness coming off the bottle. On the pour, the nose is pineapple, citrus, and pine. Nice bit of head (giggity) that lingered longer than most, with light lacing. The taste is fruity, not at all as bitter as some IPAs I have had, and has nice malt sweetness and rye spicyness. It's not too carbonated, but nicely fizzy.

Total "hops & pineapple" burps, as I just found out as I write this review! *L*

A really fine version of this type of IPA. Totally earns its ranking, and I am not the biggest fan of the style. Easily will I recommend and buy this again! (795 characters)

Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

pours well into my glass, a deep dark amber. The head is creamy off-white like the foam you may see in a latte. It has a bold scent of rye ale and alcohol. The scent really hits you as does that initial swig. That 18% rye content does a number on the flavor. Excellent craft ale from northern California once again.
Overall this particular brew earns a 4 and a quarter. (369 characters)

Photo of JohnnyJam
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle with no code date visible into a pint glass and got one finger on head. This bottle says 8% ABV.

A: Pours a reddish, dark amber color with one finger of head that dissipates at a moderate rate to leave a covering on the top of my glass and a fairly thick ring of head around the glass. lots of nice lacing from top to bottom.

S: The first thing I smell is white pepper and then some sweet caramel and brown sugar. the smell of grass and a little pine is also present.

T: It is sweet but spicy. The hops have a resin taste but they come off spicy probably from the rye. I have to say the taste of ruby grapefruit is also present.

O: Did I mention that this beer is 8% ABV? The alcohol is really well hidden. This is a medium-bodied and more than medium-carbonated beer. It goes down smooth and easy but it that high alcohol content can creep up. It's a really nice beer: easy to drink, complex and tasty. (935 characters)

Photo of SteveB24
4.86/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance: color is a clear ruby, there are lots of bubbles within the beer, which pours a thick, bouncy head that has superb retention.

Smell: aroma is very hoppy, with powerful notes of grapefruit and pine. Rye pepperiness lingers there as well.

Taste: citrus hops burst forward, followed by pine and rye spiciness, as well as malty burned sugar that beautifully balances the faint, hoppy bitterness.

Mouthful: body is on the lighter side of medium, not crisp but not creamy either, but moisture from the thick head lingers on the back of the tongue on the way down. (572 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Westville Pub Asheville. Served in a Highland pint glass.

A- Pours a light brown color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Quick stab of rye along with some brown sugary sweetness.

T- Starts out kind of tasting like a barleywine with its sweet malt character and mild hop bitterness. But then the drinkability makes for a much smoother drink and clearly more of a straight up IPA with a pronounced malt sweetness which is actually a bit surprising since most of the rye IPAs I've had have been more spicy with the rye than sweet. Great hop burps.

M- Surprisingly tame considering the flavor. Very smooth with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- An excellent rye beer that's hoppy but doesn't overdo it. Balanced I guess would be the right word but there's enough intensity of flavor that it excites the taste buds all the way to the last sip. (1,025 characters)

Photo of curasowa
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Mahogany color with suspended sediment and one finger of tan head that fades slowly with thick lacing.

Aroma: A great blend of malt; Caramel, definitely rye, some light roasted notes, husk, faint cocoa and some earthy hops.

Taste: Creamy, slightly chewy mouthfeel, toasted, bready malt, spicy rye, bitterness starts appearing midway through and builds to become quite bitter on the finish. The bitterness is pretty earthy. Finish is lingering with a fair amount of dark chocolate.

The Rest: Really good; complex yet drinkable. (541 characters)

Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Mostly clear dark copper color with a rocky, two-finger, khaki head. Rings of sticky lacing. Good head retention.

S - Pungent aroma of west coast hops, caramel malts, and black peppercorn.

T - Much earthier than the nose would indicate. Caramel malt forward with dank and herbal hops in the mid-palate. A bit of lemon/lime sweetness throughout. Rye makes itself know heavily in the finish, with spicy bready kick and even a hint of caraway seed (or maybe it's just my imagination) Complex and tasty.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied, with soft carbonation. Seems like it could use more of both given the flavor profile. Finishes with a nice coating; more wet than dry.

O - I love rye ales, and this one is one of the best. A few flaws in the mouth feel, but the flavor makes up for it. (838 characters)

Photo of Bone53
3.71/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 7 month old bottle into a snifter at around 45°F

Appearance: Dark copper color with a frothy two finger off white head

Smell: Sweet malt and a hint of citrus hops

Taste: Same as the nose. Resiny on the palate

Mouthfeel: Medium body with slight bitterness

Overall: This is so old it's not credible. My fault for not looking at the date but stores should atleast have these beers on sale. Tastes more like a decent Scotch ale than an IPA. I will seek out a fresh bottle to compare (498 characters)

Photo of Valley_Town_Sipper
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Despite it's tacky looking label, the inexpensive Hop Rod Rye is a formidable ale that hits both levels of hops and malt and issuing a nice flavor profile. The micro sediment is barely noticeable in its nice amber tone. And even though I was the dumbass who sniffed this one too close and got a nostril full of head to bring some water to my eyes, I am not judging the "smell" because of this. The scent is light, semi-sweet, and gives but a hint of what the flavor really can bring. For the price and the availability, the Hop Rod Rye is definitely worth its merit. . . Just don't snort the damn thing. . . (607 characters)

Photo of TonyC
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not going to give the same ole type of review for Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye. No way! This is my most favorite beer in all the lands. From the opening aromas of rye and hops gently wafting into the air, to the wonderful dark pour and oh so wonderful rocky, creamy, off white head that stays with you like a best friend, and leaving the most wonderful lace, to the malty/bready/caramel rye flavor and truly perfect balance of hops and carbonation, to the finish that begs you to take another sip, this beer is king. Bear Republic is a brewer that has never let me down. Hop Rod Rye is hoppy rye heaven in a bottle! (614 characters)

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Light brown with a thin beige head. Mild lacing on the glass.

Smell: Malts, citrus, hops

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Citrus and malts. Mild hops.

Overall: Good brew. I would have this one again. (261 characters)

Photo of patpbr
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured a deep brown and has a slight head
S - Carmel and rye
T - Like the nose it adds on a sweet and spicy bitter, with plenty more rye.
M - Medium body and carbonation and a a nice almost creamy finish.
O - This is the best rye IPA I have tried. This one has figured out the balance. (292 characters)

Photo of kj8525
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured out of a bomber bottle ~3 months from bottling date. Poured a rich amber color with a foamy finger of white head.

Smell is floral, sweet, and rye.

Taste is floral, piney, and rye. I also pick up a very slight sweetness maybe citrus.

Overall, I like the beer. It's a pretty good representation for a Rye IPA. (317 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: sort if a dirty orange, but translucent. Copious amount if head that maintains a decently thick layer on top while lacing the glass significantly
S: floral and slightly sweet, some rye noted
T: wonderfully smooth, caramel to toffee* sweetness atop a rye base that balance very nicely. There is a hint if dark fruit (date I think) that might be a result of the combination. There is a light orange-like sweetness (thinking orange-Creme) that I notice as well.
M: the carbonation doesn't attack the tongue, as the smoothness continues into the end feel. A rye-driven dryness increases from the start, but never grows too strong.
O: I have had before, but don't remember enjoying this much. Will have to go into heavier rotation.

* it's really annoying I had an impression on first taste that I was distracted before I wrote down. It didn't make itself as obvious to me after the first taste, but at the time I thought it perfectly described the taste to me. (959 characters)

Photo of obrike
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Absolutely beautiful look in a pint glass. Dark copper color, ample, rocky head that lasts for the entire beer. Bits of lace clinging to the glass throughout.

Love the bitter hops, mixed with spice scent. A fantastic smelling IPA..., caramel malt, citrusy hops, maybe even some grape (doppelbockesque?)...so different than most IPAs out there. Fresh and clean...super smooth.

A very unique tasting beer, but one that suits me just fine. Definitely has the uber-hoppy taste of a DIPA, but the addition of the rye makes puts it in a class by itself. An interesting and delicious combination of dark fruits, spice, and bitter hops. Very thankful for the 4 packs...but would be so much happier if BR would release it in a 6 pack someday.

(update...March 2014...6 packs baby!!!)

I would love to drink these as my staple, but a bit too boozy for me to drink more than 2/3 per sitting. Still, a great price for such a great beer. Hard to believe this one's classified as an IPA...there's so much going on in it.

A homerun by Bear Republic for sure. A must try for any IPA lover...heck, a must try for anyone who just loves great beer. (1,133 characters)

Photo of Copernicus
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams custom.

A: Pours a translucent dark amber/light golden brown. The head is khaki, rocky, and very sticky, like that of a root beer float. It leaves a loose-weave lace and shows great retention.

S: Divinely malty. It smells of caramel, honey, wheat bread, spice, and sticky dried fruits like fig and raisins. The playful hop aroma, on the spicier side, balances everything out nicely. There's definitely some sturdy spice from the rye.

T: Very pleasant beer. A bit weak in the front due to lack of a solid hop structure. The middle is all malt: crystal, amber, and the rye. It's a complex but not overpowering grain bill. The hops debut around the finish: spicy, resiny, and woodsy.

M: Medium body with vivid carbonation, but larger bubbles. Cobbled. No evidence of alcohol or astringency.

O: This is a fun, tasty, and very drinkable beer. Everyone plays nicely together. I would pair this with spicy roasted chicken, most likely Moroccan style. A smoked pork shoulder would go well too. For dessert: caramel and spice creme brulee, apple pie a la mode, or peach cobbler. (1,112 characters)

Photo of a0lbudman
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Clear amber color with a light brown head that laces the glass heavy
S-rye, grass, with an orange peel aroma that comes in there. The balance of all them makes you want to start.
T-good rye and malt mixed with a hop aftertaste that stays with you til the end
M-medium body and good carbonation
O-great beer that has a great taste that makes you want more (356 characters)

Photo of Richard-Carla
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm not a big rye IPA fan (despite loving IPAs and double IPAs), but was surprising re-introduced to the type by the surprisingly excellent Sierra Nevada Founders Rye IPA. So, at a visit to our local beer shop, I picked up the Bear Republic's entry into the Rye IPA field.

The beer is good. It looks great--incredible head, excellent appearance on the glass--and feels only slightly heavy in the mouth. It also tastes good, albeit a bit sweet for me. I wish that it was a bit hoppier and that the sweetness was toned down a bit. But, I do like it and wouldn't shy away from having another. (590 characters)

Photo of ajzbedo73
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a bottle to a short stem tulip glass. Deep caramel color with two fingers of rocky head that was off white. Very easy on the eyes, can't wait to taste!

S: smell doesn't disappoint. Sweet toffee and the rye really comes through. The anticipation to taste grows!

T: finally! Nice sweet caramel on the lips and front of the tongue. As it rolls across my mouth I get the rye and hops at the end. Then...the rye lingers. Like a fresh slice of homemade rye bread. Amazing!

M: creamy and the right amount of carbonation. Invites another sip along with the taste and smell.

O: I've been on a good run of good beers, and it continues. This beer was terrific! What an amazing balance of sweet, rye, and hops. Really enjoyed this one. I highly recommend! (763 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark copper/brown with a tan head.

S: Citrus peel, orange, pineapple, lemon, rye, grass and general floral notes in the nose.

T: The rye hits you hard up front, but very pleasantly, along side some nice citrus peel, orange and pineapple. A touch of malt, grass and alcohol. Quite well balanced.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: Definitely recommended. The rye adds an interesting flavor. (401 characters)

Photo of papat444
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this a while back, just getting to putting up a review now.

Poured from a bomber.

Not your run of the mill IPA that's for sure. Spicy notes in the flavor and aroma compliment the hops profile. Quite easy to drink and real nice feel. Get this if you can find it fresh. (273 characters)

Photo of bball208
4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This smells like waffles, molasses, and biscuits.
Absolutely beautifully crafted. The sweetness of maple at the front of the mouth, the incredible balance of malt, booze, molasses, and bready biscuits all come together perfectly and caps off with a refreshing bitterness that makes you want to repeat the sweet and smoothness you get at the beginning. Highly drinkable. This beers aroma ends up melting right into the flavors as it warms up. Some rye ales have great aroma but tastes one dimensional. This one offers aroma and taste. Just a superb beer, have it at 55-60 degrees. Phenomenal. (593 characters)

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 2,058 ratings.