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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: 4,649
Photo of watermelonman
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured to a dark color of brown with very dark hints of red. The head was fairly small, but it still left some good rings of lace.

The smell brings hops on top of a base of rye. In the taste, the rye dies down a little bit but really compliments the bitterness. The malt content tastes much lighter than the beer looks. There's no shortage of flavor here, but it's still pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of ADR
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap, Anam Cara, Brookline, MA...

Clearish amber color with a nice head of 1/2 an inch. Laces fully with intricate patterns all over the glass. Smell was more muted than anticipated, hops dominate but there's a touch of graininess and almost a nut tone. Feels light to the tongue but with plenty of flavor presence and solidity. Slightly minty flavors, closest to spearmint, acidic with scouring resiny hops. The malts are interesting, combine with the hops to give a wood sense, but aromatic and biting, almost like cedar. Different, but for me, not incredibly easy to drink. Still, a challenging beer to pick up when the mood strikes.

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

Never had a brew by this brewery before and I was definately impressed. I'd heard good things about this one. An amber on the darker side pours a brownish tawny red color with the foamy off-white head retaing for quite a while. Smells bitter and hoppy, with a sweetness rarely found in a west coast IPA. That's a good sign. It's east enough to get excited about the overly hopped west coast IPA monsters but I think the real gems are the ones that are more complex and balanced. This is one of those beers. The hops are bitter, not too in your face, all though fully a main asset to this beer. At the same time, it's not all this beer has to offer. The bitterness comes in waves and is accented my sweet mellow malts and a light bready character. As the beer warms it tends to get more spicy, bready, and herbal. Definate complexity in this beer. Such a refreshing beer from the west coast. Disconfirms my previously growing opinions that every brewery from the west coast is going to hop the shit out of beers and that's it. Much more attention here paid to detail and a great dry yet somehow creamy texture. I'll definately go back to this one. Hella sweet or something. Wicked. Whatever....

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Photo of carln26
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured into the glass a hazy brown color with a thick tan head. Definitely some residual yeast in this beer (It appears this is bottle conditioned). The head clings to the side of the glass a thick sheet of lace. The nose has a piney/floral hop character along with malt sweetness. The rye lends a nutty tang to the backbone of the aroma. The flavor has the rye nuttiness up front followed quickly by the hop flower. Explosions of pine accented my the rye. I think this may be more interesting in this bottle form than it is on tap. Oily mouth feel and a good drinkability. I was a little afraid to try this beer at first, now I’m strangely drawn to this style. This is still the best, although the Easy Ryder I just had from CBC is a great beer too.

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Photo of gbontrag
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cool color. Like mahogany, but someone spilled motoroil on it, and wiped it up quick. Rusted froth, my-my-my it looks so sexy with lace dripping off all the curves of my imperial pint. Ooh, it's randy too! This runs on hop fumes, and has a sweet and spicy body. I believe this would be sensational without the heavy hop swaddling, but it is a hop rod.

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Photo of rousee
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Beautiful murky amber with a 3mm head of apricot tinted white. The head holds extremely well. Lush velvety lace clings to sides of glass as well as the thicker lace rings spaced evenly all the way to the bottom of the glass.

S-Hoppy, malty and rye. Exactly as billed. It reminds me of the warrior or amarillo hops that are in the DFH 60 minute but they are balanced by either malt (or rye) or another kind of hops to make it not have as much bite as the forementioned brew.

T-friggin fabulous. This is just like DFH 60 min but it doesn't make me belch as much. The rye or something else that I am missing seems to temper some of the extreme hoppiness. This hoppiness is still noticeable however and it is fruity and berry-like again but tapered on the end so it mellows at the finish rather than zapping or zinging the tastebuds. The characteristics taste-wise are again as billed and almost identical to the nose-hoppy/malty with rye.

MF--smooth and non-descript. Slighly foamy, a little sticky--nothing too pronounced though.

D-Excellent. Now here is a session IPA (or tastes like it anyway)--oh maybe not its 8% ABV. They sure do a good job of not allowing that 8% to be real noticeable.

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

A deep, burnt amber color w/ a very creamy tan head. Beautiful lace clinging to the glass for the duration of this pint.
Hints of floral hop w/ a nice toasted malt and caramel flavor. I did not know the taste of rye in my beer until now....I like it.
The taste is very nice...more hops w/ a slight bitter aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is well balanced and thick enough to be called a Double IPA. Alcohol presence is well hidden for this 8% offering.
This is not a very overpowering brew and I believe I could enjoy this beyond a couple of pints....oh yeah, would not be a problem.
A nice seasonal ale from Bear Republic.

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Photo of baiser
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown colour, with a fluffy tan head, tremendous lacing. The aroma rushed out of the bottle. Floral, piney, juicy fruits, and just tonnes of hop flavour. The only way to describe this beer is that it's a hop monster. Initially, it's got such a fruity, juicy gummy bear kind of taste, but ends with a tremendous amout of hop bitterness. Just so much flavour packed into a bottle. One of my favourites.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a novel take on the "West Coast" Double IPA and yet it's still unmistakably a California Hop Monster...

The beer pours a deep walnut brown with a minimal head which disappeared quite rapidly (leaving no lacing on the glass) The nose was a bit faint but quite interesting - the first, second and third notes are most certainly hops. Piney, citrusy, a wee bit floral and then more citrusy. Hiding amongst those notes is an interesting grain smell - not malted grain, not roasted grain but pure, distinct grain. Open a fresh loaf of rye bread and you'll recognize the same smell.

The taste follows the smell right down the line - hops, hops, hops and oh, by the way, rye. There is a malt note in there somewhere but it's way far down. Balance isn't exactly the theme here. Of course, the hops are very, very yummy, leaving a crisp, clean note on the palate that just begs for another sip. The rye is a very nice compliment to the hops - it's just too bad there's not a more pronounced malt note to balance out the taste. On the positive side, there's not a hint of alcohol burn which would come across as an off 'sweet' note in this mix.

If you're a hop-head and you need a fix, this is a great brew for that. It's a bold, strong double IPA that delivers a big dose of the hop juice. It's quite tasty and I'm sure I'll be going back for another nip of rye shortly...

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Photo of swamiswamu
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Murky reddish orange with a healthy head that never dissapates and plenty of lacing
Smell- hops create a floral bouquet, malt somewhat weaker than in the taste
Taste- perfect! somewhat reminds me of Young's Old Nick, Instead of malt with a hop finish, hops begin with a strorng hit of grapefruit. It is mellowed with a malt finish creating the most balanced 2IPA out there.
mouthfeel- smooth and cohesive
Drinkable- if not for the 8%, i could drink it all night.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.51/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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

I'm pairing this hop monster with some bakery fresh rye bread right now, and it is goood. It would be good anyway, but mmmm. Pours richer and darker than most of its brethren, a deep mahogany with a sticky quarter-inch head. Aroma is pungent and powerful - resinous, piney hops and a musty rye maltiness along with a candy sweetness too. The aroma reminds me of Double Bastard as well. The hops are rich and bitter with some minor rye undertones. Medium bodied and the alcohol is hidden quite well. A good drinker...I'll polish this bomber off in no time!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sanguineous antique bronze. Hop Rod Rye is chock full of fine particulates which create a lovely prism for the late afternoon sun slanting through my front window and cause the beer to explode with warm color. Perched atop the liquid is a creamystiff cap of pale tangerine that only an outrageously hoppy beer could produce. A perfect, rounded mesa of heavy cream awaits disruption, but not until I spend a few more moments enjoying the beautiful array of filagreed lace that sticks with impressive tenacity to the glass.

Hops, hops and more hops. And then some more. This is one of the most hop-dominant noses on any DIPA in existence. Too often beer of this style is balanced, as if balance is the Holy Grail of all beerdom. Well screw balance. It appears as if Bear Republic has given the most hopheaded among us what we crave. If the flavor follows the nose... we have a winner. Since brown sugary grapefruit and orange practically leap out of the glass, I feel pretty safe in saying that at least one, and probably multiple, of the 'C' hops are in use.

This is my kind of DIPA. I can't figure out why it continues to be classified as an IPA with such a high ABV and such a juggernaut of a hop load. There's plenty of sweet, toasted caramel flavor that does its best to keep the hops in line. Balance, shmalance. What kicks Hop Rod into orbit is the use of a not insignificant amount of rye malt that sets it apart from just about every DIPA that I've ever had.

As far as I'm concerned, rye is an underutilized grain in brewing. In the same way that it gives bourbon its spicy kick (except for Maker's Mark and a few others that use corn, barley and wheat instead of the usual corn, barley and rye), it gives this beer an exotic, piquant spiciness that is complemented by a citrusy thwack! from the hops and a sugary pine needle bite. A long, mouthcoating finish is borne of a full, chewy mouthfeel and nearly unnoticed carbonation.

I can't say enough good things about Bear Republic. Each and every beer is top-notch and is a marvel of the brewer's art. Hop Rod Rye is an intense, fantastically delicious DIPA and instantly leaps to within sight of the summit on my 'most favored beers of all-time' list. Wow!

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

I had this beer on tap at the Library Ale House in Santa Monica. The beer was served with a nice, off-white head on top of a beautiful clear red beer. The color was very nice on this. And the head had mad-crazy retention through the whole glass leaving nice lines on the side of the pint glass after each sip. The aroma was mostly hoppy with a slight malty. The flavor was not as hoppy as I would expect from a DIPA, but still very nice. A rich and sweet malty flavor mixed with a caramel and nutmeg flavors. I had no idea this beer was brewed with rye by the taste. I dislike rye on its own and in rye bread and such, but none of the harshness of the rye carried into this beer. it was velvety on the palate and a dream to drink.

this beer went perfectly with the NY Steak Sandwich at the Library Ale House.

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Photo of danadeny
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Anam Cara on new years eve. Dark brown body, no head. Smells of roasted barley, not much else. Tastes of roasted malt, followed by a chocolate-coffee fusion, and coffee aftertaste. Mild hops if you look for them. Mouthfeel is good, meduim body. Drinkability is good due to overall balance of flavors.

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Photo of FormatKid
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of those beers I've been waiting to try ever since I started getting into craft brew. I actually managed to grab a bomber of this from State Line in Maryland, and I am happy to say it did not let me down.

The body of this beer is quite a bit darker than I'd imagined, completely brown practically with some hints of amber and red. The head is off white and sticky, fat globs of lace are spread about sporadically. The nose is explosive with hop aromas, pine, citrus (grapefruit), pineapple. The underlying malt was broken up a bit by the aroma of rye. The first thing I notice upon tasting is that the typically thick, sweet malt backing was softened up by the rye, gaining it a bit of complexity. The bitterness levels were aggressive througout with the finish being dominated by sharp spikes of those lovely hop flavors, pine, apricot, pineapple, grapefruit... The mouthfeel is perfect, soft with light carbonation, neither too slick or clingy. What a great beer, next time I see it I will be sure to stock up.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - reddish brown, 4 fingers of mocha head that melt down with lace clumping on the sides and surface. Refilling to top off the glass creates a sculpted, thick cap like a cappuccino.

Aroma - interesting blend of hops and a soapy, sweet grain. Fresh smelling despite having aged for 9-12 months. Hop florals win out, but a nice blend.

Taste - rye grain sets up a nice contrast for the hops while at the same time providing a malt base that's got some distinct flavor itself. The hops are intense but not overly bitter. A great blend of sweet and spice on the hops. Finishes with a sweet note, a little chocolaty and a trace of alcohol, then a warm, intense rye grain aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - really smooth on the palate, a resiny coating leaves a juicy hop sweetness behind.

Drinkability - abv is well-hidden. A well made beer in every respect and one to enjoy again.

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Photo of yen157
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep reddish copper brew, pretty hazy and a sticky off-white head of medium-fine composition. Gorgeous West coast hopping regiment more than obvious. Big and resiny. Yum! A little bit of sweet malt shines through. Brash hop flavor an bitterness are apparent on first sip. Slight rye flavors are present , too, along with residual sweetness. Wow, this beer has a brass set. Real nice medium body, pretty light carbonation. Excellent.

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

This is a rather good IPA. It pours a moderately dark amber color. The head was nice and foamy. The smell is delightfully hoppy. The taste is a pleasant mixture of hops and malts, with the hops nicely winning out. A very enjoyable beer. Definitely worth giving a try. Enjoy.

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Photo of Kookiekwan
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark copper has a two finger head with good retention and some sticky lacing. The aroma is of floral hops with hints way in back of rye grain. The taste is loaded with hop bitterness from start to finish but if you let it warm up a bit you can taste the rye in the background. This beer is full bodied, oily, and quite smooth.

Reflection: Hop junkies should be happy with this one, it has a great kick to it and its still very drinkable!

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

It pours out fairly dark, not quite brown but some ruby highlights highlights. Towards the end there are what I believe to be (very) little chunks of hops floating in this beer. Sounds unappealing, but in truth it adds to the experience.

Nose is of gold old American citrusey hops with a strong malty backbone. Sweet, but not overly so, with a rather inviting spiciness. There's an odd, almost roasty bitterness detectable.

In your mouth, it's full, not particularly thick, just full and smooth, smooth, smooth. Carbonation adds a trace of creaminess and goddamn, it's nice.

There's a distinct hop bitterness with rich, caramelized malt presence and that lovely rye tang which adds so much depth. That odd, almost roasty bitterness is there again in the finish, must be a result of rye intertwining with hops(?). It's plenty sweet but never sticky, rather remaining delicate and refreshing while intertwining with the grapefruit flesh and forming a delicate candy like presence to complement the intense hop bitterness. The hops, The hops, it's hoppy as hell and plenty bitter yet it never seems vulgar or hopped simply to be hoppy. Ridiculously drinkable for such a big beer. No alcohol presence is ever noticeable.

At the end, the rye gets more assertive taking on a slightly spicy character behind the grapefruit flesh, caramel malts and a perfect lingering hop bitterness.

Really a unique and special ale. A great example of the creativity and talent of American craft brewers. A new favorite.

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Photo of alexgash
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Had a pint of this at the Yard House in Costa Mesa. Zero atmosphere, but very clean tap lines.
Fresh out of the tap this beer is even better than out of the bottle. Still has the same brick-red body and creamy tan head. But the spicy, piny, resiny hop aromas are even more pronounced and appetizing. The caramally maltiness still holds its own though. Hop and malt flavor are also enhanced. I just love the spicy character throughout--even in the malty sweet beginning. I just wish I could get this on-tap more often.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle courtesy of Gueuzedude. Many thanks.
Aroma seemed fairly simple hops quality of grassiness and slight citrus. I didn't pick up much malt.
Dark amber of deep gold, brown and red. Big full steady head that became rocky. Left a great trail of lacey rings. Some setiment on the bottom and that showed in some cloudiness as poured towards the end of the bottle.
Flavor is a hop monster to be sure. Pleasant grassy taste up front that grows in intensity in the middle then bursts to an intense bitterness for the very long finish. The touch of malt is nice, but not outstanding and too quick and incomplete.
Great fullness from high carbonation, but it's largely soft and allows for some smoothness. Nice feel overall.
The excessive bitterness of the finish mellows a little as it warms, plus the malt charater increased simultaneously, but neither is enough to make this exceptional. I never really picked up on the rye qualties.

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

22 oz brown bomber with a nice & informative label. My wife & I split this big boy.

Beer poured a very dark bronze with a fluffy off-white head. Nice lacing.

Nice aroma of pine, fresh citrus and a bit of dinner roll smell. Yummy!

Taste is bitter yet balanced by some sweetness that comes in during the after taste. Lots of pine and grapefruit taste in the forefront. I’m not sure what the rye adds, but the beer is tasty. More caramel and alcohol emerges as you work through the beer.

Nice smooth mouth with a very nice level of carbonation. A little tongue numbing at time. Easy to drink but the high ABV would keep this from being a session beer.

My first beer from this brewery and it is a winner! I will look for more from these artists.

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Photo of clvand0
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

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