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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: 4,645
Photo of CBFanWish
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bear Rupublic has proven itself one of the nations premier breweries time and time again. The have taken the term "big beer" seriously and i think will continue to do so.
Hop Rod Rye is one of those great big beers that are brewed out there in the Bear Republic brewery in California. It is a fine example for it's style and always will be.
Pours a thick, almost unfiltered looking hazy amber colour with a thick head that just cascades from the glass, no matter how much care you put into the pour.
The aroma is strong with the rye, It's almost all that is smelled. I'm happy that the yeast isn't as pronounced as it could be. Rye bread isn't my idea of a good drink.
The taste is also very strong with rye. There is a nice hoppy bitterness that lingers on the tongue for a few seconds after the sip has been taken.
Not a bad beer, in fact, it is a fantastic beer for it's style. The only area that I ha to give it below a 4 is drinkability, just because I really don't enjoy the rye beers as much as I probobly should, but to each his own, I guess.

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Photo of PSUDREW
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice, solid amber color, and, has a solid, white, frothy head.
Smells nice, sweet and hoppy all together.
Intial taste is a push of hops to the forefront, followed by the sweetness of rye and finish of for a nice balance.
Very balanced, becuase while the flavors don't mix, the do combine and finish out nicely. Medium mouthfeel contributes to it's drinability.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.36/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours with a two-finger bubbly white head that fades slowly leaving a ton of lace. Clear amber color. Medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Medium carbonation. Starts crisp and finishes hoppy, very little malt sweetness. $4.60 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, Ma.

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Photo of Onceeven
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally found this one on special at the pub, so I couldn't resist after reading the stellar reviews. I don't know why but I was surprised at the hop presence in this beer. I guess the name HopRod didn't click. It was a good surprise though, totally made the night.
Arrived at the table looking mighty appetizing with its deep red glow, and creamy perfect head. Was greeted to a wonderful citrusy hop aroma and a slight rye character. Hops weren't overpowering like with their Racer X, but were definitely in the forefront. The taste is predominantly west coast hops but finishes with a semi-sweet rye note. Extremely balanced and drinkable. I really wanted another, but another 20 oz. pint would've done me in. Until next time.,,

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

The beer poured crystal clear deep amber with a yellow, moussy and everlasting head which laced the glass from top to bottom.

The aroma was malty and hoppy with citrus and fruity aromas and rye.

The flavor was malty with a slickness from the rye and a substantial bitterness that shines through the flavors. The bittering and maltiness along with the mouthfeel work together to keep the beer from becoming overly bitter or overly sweet.

The finish was dry with a pleasant yet muted hop bitterness lasting into the aftertaste. The body was medium, actually just a bit more, but not quite medium full.

A great beer!

22 ounce bottle.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 22 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is amber, with a good thick white head. The smell is the dry rye mixed with a citrus hop. The taste is a citrus and pine/grassy hoppiness with a strong rye dryness laying underneath of it, and a very slight alcohol; the aftertaste is a strong rye. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, this is definitely a beer I could have quite a few of.

Probably the best rye beer I've had. A rye pale ale, for lack of a better term, with a good dry backing to the citrusy West Coast hops. I just hope that I'll be able to see Bear Republic beers in Western PA soon!

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Somewhat of a murky, off-brown in color, appears liquidy, with a thin bubbly white head. Hops and some ginger and pine spices on the nose, very strong and intense, and call it inviting. A huge tongue to throat blast of hops, and a mild sweetness to it. Piney offerings as well as sharp grapefruit and fresh citrus notes. Some rye tastings are just enough to offset the massive hops; becomes a bit acidic and bitter, yet in a good way; some caramel malt notes towards the bottom of the glass. The balance seems to be pretty decent, a definitive hops based body, but is quickly backed by the noted tastings. Could easily pass as an APA in style, yet the rye/barley offerings place it in it's own class, and at the lead; seek and destroy!

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

22 oz bomber, opened and greeted with a big whiff of hops out of the bottle. Pours an orange-brown and sits a dark reddish-brown in the glass with a nice half finger creamy white head on top.

Aroma is big on hops, but there is a nice bit of rye that break through. Light grassiness and caramel beneath.

Taste is big on bitter, doesn't quite hit you at first but really comes out strong fairly fast. Nice citrus flavors, orange and grapefruit, as well as a bit of rye flavor as well, not as much as you might expect though. Finish is bitter, still hitting hard with the citrus notes and leaves you with even more hops well after swallowing.

Mouthfeel is smooth and rich, medium-full body, with wonderful carbonation. Another beer to quench the hop cravings, one will definately do the trick.

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

RyepeeAyyy...and 8% ABV at that. Bear Republic has made it to Chicago. It's dark...not in the opaque sense but more like the Rauchbier sense. It has a lingering head of about 1/8" and the bubbles are tight. I smell hops and I'm looking for a rye smell and nothing jumps up to greet me.

The taste is bitter and hoppy is still going on on the smell side. It almost tastes like smoked beer. The rye is supposedly 18% of the bill and I now taste it but not like other rye beer I've had. Perhaps the rye works better in a wheat ale than an IPA.

The mouthfeel is thicker than I expected. It's a little silky. It's tasty. I don't know if I'll rush out to buy another but sometimes memory gets my feet to flappin' and there I go out for more.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After a dissapointing beer i was looking to this to make my night.
Came in the brown glass bomber.
What a fantastic looking beer!..dark slightly murky amber with ruby accents..lovelly tan head..with gorgeous bubbles of foam..great lacing..a work of art!
Smell too is great..fresh and "piney" with dark alcohol undertones
Taste is exquisitlly balanced..who would have thought it? Sweet malts to start then massive hoppy grapefruit and pine flavour which is undercut by the sticky flavour of the rye..This is good the brewer has balanced the malts, hops AND rye to a tee!
Very good feeling on the palte..exciting to the taste buds.
For one so strong..very nice and drinkable..I shall buy many more tommorrow!

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slighly cloudy burnt amber with ruby highlights and a gold undertone. Thick, dense slightly off-white head that lasts for a quite a while. Thick lacing.

Smell: Sweet caramel candy apple with a hint of butterscotch diacetyl. Nice. As it warms, the hop spice comes through with a vengance.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Mmmmm. Rich blast of malty sweetness, with bittering hops trying break through. There is a sense of rye; the flavor is subtle, but you know it's there. Slightly peppery. Finishes even with malt/rye sweetness on the tip of the tongue, a drying bitterness in the rear. The mouthfeel is dense and chewy, but the carbonation keeps it lively.

Drinkability: Too big to session, but the great flavor makes it tempting.

This is an enormously satisfying brew. Rich, flavorful, complex, well-balanced--I can see why this is a favorite.

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

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades. The aroma is great! It has a nice malty scent with an intense aroma of floral hops. The taste is great also. It has a rich and creamy dark malt flavor with a smooth bitter hop taste. The rye helps to mellow the hop flavor. It has a dry finish, but has good mouthfeel. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an awesome beer. I love the dark amber color and great hop characteristics. This is a good drinker.

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Photo of nomad
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An even amber color is transparent with a somber crimson hue. Generous amounts of carbonation supports the pocky head. Thick stain and lace is present and accounted for.

Smells begins with a grapey amber malt with hops that are a nebulous mix of arborous, spruce, and grapefruit notes. The rye component is interesting to my nose as a bready scent with peppery spice. Solid but not wowing.

Rye spice is delicious as amber malts and Northwest hops banter back and forth. Fruity bits of grape run astray because the hops, Centennial in sort, dominate with earthy bitterness and speckled dryness. This beer rolls with flavor, turning over similar shades of complementary flavors (roast barley, rye, rough fruity hops) that aid in drinkability. An absolutely slaking combo comes from these well-treated ingredients touched off by a fresh, tart finish of biting lupulin oil. Could a beer be tastily chalky dry yet still wet? Only because there are so many flavors creating a balance. The full mouthfeel with dead-on carbonation is impressive for a bottled ale.

Dangerous drinkability with that alcohol volume. Simultaneously thirst quenching and inducing. This is why the bomber sized bottle exists. Kick ass label design, too. I really dig this beer, I could drink it any day.

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a dull hazy brown, with a rich golden honey tint. Head is small, but thick and foamy. Lace is small and, well, lacy. Smell is fairly subtle. You can find the rye/grains and a kind of honey sweetness too. The yeast is also present. Theres a slight spiciness and fruitiness also. The taste is light and pleasant, and as this is my first rye beer, I do say that I like it. It's got a bit of eatrhy sweetness and grainy flavors too, with a bitterness definately from something other than hops. Mouthfeel is medium in body, but it is very low in carbonation. It would be great if it had just a tiny bit more carbonation. All in all, it's definately a good beer, that I would love to have again

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Photo of Mitchster
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

18% Rye, 8.0% ABV, OG=1.074, 90 IBU.

Pours out to a beautiful deep garnet, forming a creamy tan head with superior retention and lacing. A recent bottle poured out silty, which is fine with me. Probably the boatload of hops and rye they put in here. The head remains at least 1/4" thick until the last drops. There are flittering pieces of hop leaves suspended in this gorgeous brew. Aroma is intensely hoppy with piney and citric notes galore...sweet and not too harsh, but definitely West-Coast. Mouthfeel is semi-smooth with a medium-dense body. Taste starts with a ton of citric, followed by piney hops with a distinctly woody note, followed by a sticky amber malt body, some grainy dryness (rye), a bit of grain husk towards the astringent and intensely hoppy and moderately-strong bitter finish. The finish is very earthy and woody with more notes of dry grain dust (biscuit malt?).

In a blind tasting, this would consistently be called a Barleywine/Old Ale. In fact, this tastes very similar to Kzoo Old Ale, Kzoo Batch 6000, Stone Old Gaurdian, Hog Heaven etc. Good brew, but I would much rather drink their Black Bear Stout:)

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Photo of david23
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one you simply have to try if you haven't allready.Had a 20 oz draft. When served just a perfect frothy head with excellant retention. A beautiful ruby brown color. Aroma is all hops with a light piney aroma.Lots of hop flavor but balanced well as a roasted rye flavor is not hidden. Smooth and creamlike on the tongue with a carbonation level that is right on. Could probably have several of these but the higher A.B.V. would be tough to handle unless just staying at home.

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

1Pt 6Oz. Bottle 8%ABV

Apperance: Ruby red, gets darker around the edges. The head on this brew is nice. It pours tight, with tiny bubbles. After it sits a second it opens up and the head becomes rocky. Very nice head. I'll judge retention later. The head is so thick it almost looks pliable, like playdo on top of your glass.

Nose: Wow, you could smell the hops as soon as you opened the bottle. When you tip your nose to the glass it's like grabbing a hand full of hops and sniffing them.. Maybe some mild berries. Some grapefruit as well.

Taste: And now the taste; maybe this is what it would be like if they made hop gum! I get some grapefruit in the middle. This has a burnt after taste, like roasted coffee. No alcohol taste at all. maybe a little roasted malt at the begining.

Notes: I enjoyed this very much. If you love hops, this is a must. You could sum it up by saying this has a "roasted hop" flavor. And about the lacing; the rings are nice and even, but thats about it.

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

.Pours a clear red brown brew.

Smell is sharp and pleasant cascade hops and a bit of malt and caramel.

Taste is malty with a rye grain flavor and a pleasant bitter finish. Cascade hops flavor is there but doesn't dominate all the other flavors. Has a kind of salted rye cracker flavor to it.

Mouthfeel is good.

A nice strong brew! Not for those who do not like a super hopped brew. A beer that will be added to my regular beer rotation.

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

Bronze in color.

Resiny, spicy and fruity hops in the nose along with sweet and toasted malts and nuts.

Low carbonation. Tons of cinnamon, dark fruits and spices. Very creamy. Fantastic hop flavor.

I would like another.

I hope I will be able to sell this soon.

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

Hop Rod Rye is a delightful beer with an inviting, rounded mouthfeel and a pleasant malty nose. But I can’t say as my palate is sufficiently attuned to the nuances of rye malt as to either explicitly identify it as such or even to enjoy it. Perhaps I just haven’t yet come to appreciate the style. But the rye content of Hop Rod makes only a modest contribution to the overall flavor profile, and I haven’t found any compelling value for it. Hop Rod may be the first rye beer I’ve ever knowingly consumed and I’ll be certain to make further overtures to the style in the future. But for now the style itself has shown me little of interest and the variation is too modest to justify the effort.

That said, I certainly enjoyed Hot Rod. It is clear with a warm chestnut color. It forms a good lumpy head of off-white suds and leaves behind a fair tailing of lace. The finish is crisp and culminates with a succinct pinch of bitterness. The aroma is dark and molasses-like, yet also strangely piney. The taste is relaxed if not compressed, and I’m wondering now if the bomber I drank was particularly fresh. The bottle indicates that this is a seasonal ale but it doesn’t say which season.

The flavor definitely takes a turn away from the taste of pure barley malt – it’s a little earthier or peaty. But the disparity is meager and I can’t say as I appreciated the merits of this distinction to any notable degree. I also didn’t grasp the muscle car potency of the hop infusion, which alleges to measure out at 90+ IBUs. Perhaps the rye took the edge off the hops. It was definitely hoppy, but not that hoppy.

One more thing – I felt virtually no effect from the alcohol. Strange.

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Photo of Billolick
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, no freshness dating. Pours very dark almond and cloudy. Hardy aroma of hops, rye, spice. Great creamy head, tiny bubbles. Major league lace. Hops, wonderful hops. Rye flavor present, but not over powering. This is the real deal , hop lovers rejoice! Great creamy mouthfeel. Hop burps and everything. Thanks Bear republic for this big, bold and lovely creation.

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

Pours a darker shade of amber with a nice foamy light khaki head. Smell is of citrus hops with some earthy caramel undertones.. Taste is sharp hops at first followed by some malt with earthy fruity undertones. A bit hard to find the rye, but you can tell its in there adding a bit of grainyness to the beer. Hops blast in again and provide a healthy dose of bitterness and drying power. Nicely carbonated and very easy drinking. Alcohol is hidden well. Overall quite drinkable the ABV might catch up with you after a few, but a few of these would make getting caught fun. A very good beer

Thanks to RangerDanger7 for getting this bottle and others to me

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

Pours amber with a big creamy beige head. Great retention and lace. Spicy/citrus hops in the nose. Sweet malt and the grainy rye show up as well.
Big citrus hop flavors upfront. Grainy malt, dark caramel sweetness and the earthy rye nuance in the middle. Finishes with a big piney hop bitterness and a touch of fruit/tea. I loved the malt profile of this beer. The hops were almost on the verge of being too overpowering.
Medium bodied with a rich, creamy smooth mouthfeel and good carbonation. Even though it seemed a smidge unbalanced, the great mouthfeel and outstanding job of hiding the alcohol made this
a very drinkable offering.

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Photo of edchicma
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bear Repuiblic does it again! A super creamy head..murky brown eye candy! A definite lemon hop presence wafts the nostrils...continuing into the taste which is initially very hop intensive, but mellows toward the finish....which leaves you wanting more. If you realize that this brew is hop intensive and a sipper, then drinkability is fine...high abv further suggests "sipping". The mouthfeel was great...with a soft dryness throughout.

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Photo of ark57
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It is a caramel bronze color with a light tan head. The aroma is amazing. There is a lot of hops reminds me of noble hops though I doubt any are used and they is some pininess as well. The spicy rye and caramel is also in the nose. The smooth medium body goes down too easy. There is some caramel sweetness and some juicy hops. The pleasant bitter finish lingers. A very good rye ale that is spicy and grainy with a good resiny hoppiness.

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