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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

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4,469 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,469
Reviews: 2,053
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 239
Gots: 265 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,469 | Reviews: 2,053
Photo of DogFood11
4.87/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Update Edit: One year later and my palate now loves this beer even more. This is near perfection, Bold, Balanced enough and tasty. 12-22-06

8% stated on bottle. Great label design and name. Hop ROD Rye.

Bear Republic is becoming one of my favorite breweries and this is another fine example of the attention they pay to detail.

Head is perfect with thick lacing. Dark Cherry color. It's already on the christmas list. Like most IPA's its quite hoppy but the key is they control it a bit and the rye edge is outstanding. The rye adds a bit of depth but it was an afterthought at best. The true heart of this beer is like any other IPA and DIPA its in the hop flavor and bitterness. This is amazingly hopped up but yet still has enough malt character to keep it somewhat in check. Apricot comes to mind, citrusy and plenty of hop oils to slicken things up. Surprisingly it finishes fairly clean although it was a bit oily. Every drink was enjoyable. Highly reccomend this beer.

Photo of mentor
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle obtained from Total Beverage (Colorado) and consumed a couple evenings later in July 2005. Pours a one-finger head that rises a bit after the pour. Tan in color over a crystal clear brown liquid with ruby and blood red notes. Smells mild and clean citrus hoppy. Grapefruit pith and tangerine. Toasted grains. Tastes, whoa...gentle to start. Sweet with strong apricot and malt over a rising hop flavor and bitter. Lupulin is stronger than co-humulone for the hops and it's really mouthfeel creamy smooth. Caramel is found deep beneath, but there is also a malty zing that fights the hoppy grapefruit pith. Mouthfeel is md-thick and carbonation is mild (but stingy). What a really enhoyable beer...the alcohol ting in the aftertaste give me pause to ponder the flavors is this beer.

Photo of pjwilson
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this on tap at the brewery before...but that was after 200 miles and 5
beers. This review is from a bottle. Wow, now this is good stuff, much better than i remembered.
a: very nice dark amber look and nice head that sticks. great lacing

s: spent a few minutes smelling this. MY girlfriend doesn't drink beer but she loved the smell too. Rye is very presesnt..smells like a bread bit. Hops are not in the smell too much

taste: very good balance between malts and hops. very prominate bittering but not overpowering. Mabey more beers should use rye this is really working. I can taste the rye. oh yeah it's pretty sweet too.

mouthfeel and drinkability are both great. This goes down fast if you aren't carefull.
There is really no reason to give this beer anything lower marked. It is quite outstanding.

Photo of ithacabaron
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark, deep amber ...really, deeper than what should be described as amber, but good all the same. Soapy head on top that sticks around for the party.

Smell is a nice mix of Maris Otter, 2-Row, Caramel Malt, and a slightly cloying aroma that reminds me of those old red and green barley sugar popcicles that my grandmother used to hand out. Must be the rye. Hops are there, but a bit in the background, surprisingly, smothered under the malt sweetness. Not bad.

Taste is a much brighter attack of hops, a few alcohol flashes, and a good depth of sweet malt. Oddly enough, the ratio of hops to malt at the start of the bomber leans towards the green stuff, but swings decidedly in the other direction by the end. That may be related to the mouthfeel, however (see below).

Mouthfeel is very unusual, almost a bit slimy -- a characteristic I've ran into with other rye beers. A characteristic or not, I can tell you that I don't care for it. Interesting, but it adds another layer of sweetness that I, as someone who lacks any resemblence of a sweet tooth, doesn't appreciate.

Drinkability is decent. No problem finishing the bomber, but I don't think I would have ordered another pint at a bar.

All in all, a decent rye beer, but I would have liked it if the hops were shown off a little more, and the sweetness was toned down (either by adjusting the malt bill, or increasing yeast attenuation, although I doubt that's the problem).

A good inspiration, but I bet that more could be done here -- JL's Hop Rod Ripped, anyone?

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

pours out a deep copper color. smell is hops, hops and more hops.
earthy, grassy with hints of grapefruit.
taste is hops, citrusy twang that leads to a grassy character. quite bitter on the tongue. as it warms up i really start to tatse the malt backbone. carmel like sweetness blends in very nicely.
not my fav but a good bet.

Photo of dwvarner77
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Right off the pop of the cap, i caught a whiff of the hops on this one, a dry, grassy, citrus hop. Looking forward to it.
Pours a deep amber, almost crimson color with a big three-finger beige foamy head. The head takes its time falling, and leaves a very thick frothy lacing. Solid retention.
Aroma is very hoppy, strong citrus hints, particularly grapefruit. The grassy aroma from the rye is slightly evident behind the hops.
Taste is crisp, strong grapefruit-type citrus hop, thick amber malt and a hint of the rye flavor compliments the malt nicely. Bitterness persists at the back of the tongue, but not too strongly.
Despite a visibly active carbonation, that's only slightly felt in the mouthfeel. Makes it feel a little more creamy than perhaps i had anticipated.
Overall very enjoyable. Will certainly try again. The rye works well to give the brew a little different character.

Photo of germaniac
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this rusty orange brew into the corresponding BR glass, and let it sit for a bit while I admired it's clear shine and creamy-yet bubbly head. Plus I had to wait out a unintentionally rough pour. All my nose picks up is hops. But that's a wonderful thing. Taste is a citrusy hop paradise that cools off at the last moment into a easy drinking sweetness. I don't have experience with rye as an ingredient in anything but bread, so I can only say this COULD be attributed to the 18% rye. In any case, this is a great one. Purchased at Nuggets, Davis, CA.

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at T. Phillips Alehouse in LeVerne, CA. Served in a standard pint glass.
Hop Rod had a deep coppery color, mucho carbonation, and a thick, creamy vanilla-colored head that never even started to die. At the bottom of the pint was a thick carpet of foam and the glass walls were smeared with thick sheet lace. Gorgeous looking brew!
The nose had a nice even balance between soft caramel malt notes and the harder, pine-laden hops aroma. Funny, the hops aromas aren't really that potent compared to when I tasted it. Very enticing.
Whoa, big-time hops! I mean, BIG hops. Moderately sweet caramel drizzled malts and fruit flavors which only briefly stem the onrushing tide of sticky, resinous, sappy hops oils. Hoppy bittering simply pervades every crevice of the palate, leaving a long hops flavor lingering on the tongue and producing some tremendously satisfying hops burps. Abundant carbonation gives Hop Rod a lush, full feel.
Boy, am I glad my nearest pub started carrying Bear Republic! Hop Rod Rye on tap is fantastic in all aspects. I certainly won't let nearly two years go by before having another pint (or two) of Hop Rod.

Photo of TastyTaste
4.89/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice clear body, very dark brown, much darker than you standard DIPA, if my memory serves me correctly. Head is fluffy and full, off-white with very good staying power. Egads, there is a lot of hops in the nose, intense, piney, alcohol laced hops. Taste is bold with hops from start to finish, never relenting. The rye adds a different graininess. This is a brash and brazen DIPA, wich I enjoy very much. Well carbonated, and good for sippin'.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep coppered tea color with a finger of head that falls to a very nice coating over the top. The nose is thick caramel sweetness with sweet citrusy hop. I really like the intensity of the caramel malt. The flavor is very big. Sweet caramel hits first followed by sweet juicy hops, finishing with a spicey rye. The bitterness is not too intesne, but lingers very well into the finish. Very enjoyable. The feel is incredibly thick and chewy, almost a touch syrupy. I dig it. Like some body on my DIPA's. 8% alcohol is nowhere to be found in this one. Its really doing good for me on this humid and rainy summer day. Big flavor and nose that leaves a great aftertaste. Nice beer here.

Photo of whartontallboy
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful beer. Pours into a chalice with a dark copper color and a huge foamy off-white head that recedes at a glacial pace and leaves a ton of lace. The only other brew I've had that looked this pretty lately was the Bear Republic Racer 5. Beautiful.

Smell is hoppy and piney with a little hint of the rye, but it's light. The 8% alcohol comes through in there, too.

Taste keeps up the good work. There's a pretty obvious rye flavor in here, especially in the finish and aftertaste. However, what comes through more clearly are the hops, which is nice and expected for a DIPA. The malt sticks in pretty nicely, and the rye twists it in such an interesting spicy way that really reinforces the bite of the hops.

Mouthfeel is medium, smooth, and creamy. The hops are incredibly aggressive and present, but this is an excellent DIPA with an interesting
quirk from the rye. I prefer the Racer 5 from Bear Republic, but this is damn good, too.

Photo of neonbrown82
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a very interesting new beer, thanks to axisjones for sharing it. Pours to a very dark brown, only slightly ruby colored liquid with a massive fluffy white head that coats the entire circumference of the glass in a perfect frilly Victoria's Secret crotchless panty-style lacing. She really is quite sexy looking.

Smells freshly dry-hopped with what seems to be amarillo hops. The taste isn't mind bogglingly explosive and complex, but it's one of my favorite hop smells. Also has a bit of a deep malty smell to it, though well hidden under the hop profile.

The rye malt really shows through in the taste, just as in the appearance. Has a bit of a mild roasty bitterness to the malt flavor paired with a chronic amarillo hop taste. The bitterness and sweetness are quite evenly matched, though the bitterness has the upper hand in the finish (it seems to be the rye malt rather than the citrusy hops that produce this effect).

The mouthfeel is good. Not creamy, not harsh. The alcohol is quite well hidden. Quite smooth. If not for the high alcohol content, I wouldn't consider this a double IPA as much as I would label it a single.

I would probably be able to drink quite a bit of this, but at 8% I'm wary of labeling it as a sessionable brew, much less because this beer is not available in my locale. Thanks again, axisjones.

Photo of cubedbee
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. Ruby red in color with two fingers of beige head. Extremely strong resinous piney hops scent over a delicious molasses and rye bread malt. Big grapefruit hops assault the tongue upfront, giving way to a grainy rye maltiness, and fading into a wonderful linger piney hop aftertaste. Very full bodied and chewey, it almost feels like your eating rye bread. This is an amazing brew---the rye might make this the tasties double IPA I've ever sampled.

Photo of Dithyramb
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased at Shawan Liquors in Hunt Valley. No freshness or born on dating, though I think I trust that place. Served chilled and then poured into my new Unibroue tulip glass.

Pours a mahogany with rich amber highlights. Hearty and frothy off white head stayed forever and left excellent lacing on the glass. Slightly hazy.

A real noseful, with a rich mix of molasses, alcohol, and pine hops. The aromas change as you continue to inhale. Really hard not to dive right in.

Rich, full flavored and medium to heavy mouthfeel brew. Heavy and hearty roasted malts are tossed around with a perfect mix of grapefruit and pine hops. Slight alcohol warmth and a little rye spiciness

Lingering sweet/bitter mix in the mouth. Very drinkable even though it is chewy as all hell. From the smell and the flavor, this could be a rye infused barleywine.

Photo of sponberg
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here's to great beer stores like Glenville Beverage, who have this on tap on a semi-regular basis. Pours a dark reddish-amber with a tight cream colored head that laces down the rest of the pint. Aroma of resiny, citrus rind hops over a backdrop of sweet fruity malt and a distinct rye bread fresh from the oven spiciness. Mmm...

This is almost two different beers in one pint: pour it straight from a fridge-temp growler and the bountiful hops grab the tongue and give it a good shakedown before the fruity, toasted-rye maltiness comes in to pick up the spare change and cufflinks - they're there, but the beer is decidedly hopcentric. But...

Let it warm up for a few minutes, to say 45 or 50 degrees. Then everything kicks into gear at the same time and the results are astounding. From the sip, aggressive hops still try to rough up the tongue but now the rye spicy-graininess is standing alongside, carrying a Thompson submachinegun of dry caramel and fruit maltiness and faint distant warming alcohol. It's all there in one sip. I just love this beer. Finishes with a distinctive "really good rye bread" aftertaste with trailing notes of citrus rind, the Kordite smoke of maltiness still present in the tastebuds. Just chewy enough. Far too drinkable.

Simply an outstanding brew - if this is your local, consider yourself lucky.

Photo of blitz134
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice looking DIPA. A voluminous two finger off white head that went down to a lumpy mass. Laced the glass well. Body was a deep caramel. Mostly transparent but some floaters hanging around.

Aroma is citrus and a bit of pine. A light rye bread flavor works its way in there as well. Taste is balanced well between a good general hop flavor and the rye. Finishes dry like most rye beers but is complimented with some juicy hops. These two factors are probably why I like Rye Ales so much. They always seem to have the best of both worlds in them: dry but still juicy, hoppy but balanced with the rye. Hops have a touch of citrus and dry bitter resin flavors. Some good sweet malts in there as well. Very tasty and very well crafted.

Mouthfeel isn't exactly where I would like it. I would like to see it be a bit thicker. It does coat well though and the flavors linger for a while. A slight amount of carbonation makes this refreshing. Drinkability is pretty amazing with the nicely blended flavor profiles and the lighter feel.

Highly recommended...Gonna be picking up a couple more of these on my next trip.

Photo of AlexJ
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thank you Michelle for turning me on to this superb beer!

This Bear pours a deep mahogany amber color, not a pale IIPA by a long shot, this is dark! Lacing is as thick as sea-foam with moderate head retention. A thin veil of head will remain till' the end.

The aromas...wow. I get a nosefull before I even get my nose close to the goblet. Melted pine sap poured over fresh baked honey biscuits. Deep, resiny, pungent, biting hops dominate the nose. There's a good measure of scorched caramel malt notes to provide balance. I'm in!

The flavor begins with a sweet hint of toasted caramel and brittle English toffee. It is quickly washed away by a sea of liquified pine sap with dried grapefruit peels floating in it. Hop glory. There's a spicey, woody, almost earthy feel to it provided by the rye. It reminds me of Aquavitt, a Norwegan liquor flavored w/ carraway seeds. The finish is long and ferociously hoppy. Smiles all around. Alcohol is well hidden by a mask of unrelenting hops.

The body is big, make that huge. Mouthfeel is thick, viscous, and absolutely chewy. If this were sweeter and maltier, it would be a barleywine. As it is, it stands out amongst the crowd. A joy to drink, I savor every sip.

Photo of goschool
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The creamy off-white to orange head atop its deep, dark and cloudy copper-red body releases huge pine aroma. The first sip is fantastically ferocious. The rye adds a tangy and spicy flavor that's reminiscent of bourbon. This brew is very hoppy, with rye and a wee bit of malt (sweet toffee/caramel flavors are in here they're just a little shy and intimidated by the hops) to make this so complex. This stuff is super drinkable; I feel like I could finish a keg of this by myself- I'd sure like to try.

Photo of DrJay
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, toffee/red colour topped by a thick, fluffy, off-tan head. Excellent retention and stickage that leaves a very thick lace on the glass. I could smell hops as soon as I started pouring the beer. Plenty of citrus and floral hop aroma, to the point of being perfumy due to quantity. Malt is in there as well, a little bready, with an almost gingerbread quality that also shows up in the flavour. Complex hop flavours that are in balance with each other and are absolutely amazing. Grapefruit hop flavour is present all the way through, with a bit of pine resin, some hop spice, and orange. Maltiness is slightly grainy and quite drying. Assertive bitterness, just short of aggressive, that balances very well with the malt. Long, dry, bitter finish. Full bodied with medium carbonation and a rich, creamy texture. This is really, really good beer. The combination of rye with the high hopping rate works very well.

Photo of ZAP
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant ruby red color..perfect 1/4 inch creamy off-white head...nice citrus/leafy nose...body is medium-full...firm...I love the use of rye in beers and this unique application works wonders in this hopped up effort....the rye really adds a unique malt backbone...spicy rye bread dabbed in grapefruit juice....

Hops are big but remain balanced in this....mainly citrus but some leafy/tobacco like notes too...finishes dry

A heck of a nice effort here...unique....and loaded with flavor....quality stuff

Photo of Brewfan
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber. 8% ABV.
Beautiful tan fluffy cotton head upon pouring. Head will reappear throughout the live of this beer with a little swirl. Dark reddish-mahogany color. Thick lace proceeded to cling to the glass like the mynocks to the the Millenium Falcon in the "cave" in Empire Strikes Back. Steady stream of bubbles rise to the surface the entire time I'm drinking this.
Hops upon very dominant upon opening, and continue to dominate the entire time, but make way for rye and grapefruit aromas. Very well balanced aroma.
Heavy mouthfeel stays with you well into the next sip. I actually think I may have a 1/8 inch layer of hops on my tongue by the end of my bottle. Mid level corbonation.
Glorious hoppiness on the tongue, but a well balanced malty sweetness is there as well. Bitter, but not too bitter. Hoppy, but not too hoppy. Sweet, but....well, you get the point. Very well balanced. Some pine and citrus thrown in to boot. Not for the beginning hop head. I wouldn't have liked this 3 years ago. But now is a different story.

Photo of unklesyd
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this a few times on tap at the Horse Brass, this is the first time from a bottle.

The thing that I noticed more than the wonderful dry hop aroma coming from the head on this thing was that it was so ridiculously huge! It was amusing at first, but was annoying in that it prevented a full-on pour and created a pretty unsightly merangue-foam hybrid on top of the beer.

The taste was obviously highly hopped and dry, but interesting hits of dry malt that faded quickly. Really nice, though, that this was not an undertone, nor was it cloying or sweet in the least.

Nice medium/light body, very drinkable indeed. The ABV encourages drinking and discourages gorging! Nice work.

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

This beer pours an almost grayish brown color with a nice small head. Lots of hops aroma, grassy and citrusy. The taste is unique in that the hops way out in front but it still has some balance. The rye really gives the beer that dry base that accentuates the hop flavor. It tastes light in your mouth with a slight hop bitterness on the way down. As intense as this beer is, it is well crafted all around.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a deep amber slightly hazy body with strong carbonation and a thick creamy light tan head.

S- Nice citrus hop aroma with a bit of grassiness. A hint of spicy malt finishes the smell.

T- Nice creamy maltyness with a powerful bitter grapefruit hoppiness that has some resins and pine notes. Also a nice pepper spiciness that adds to the burst of hop flavor.

M- Creamy mouthfeel with a slight astringency at the finish but very faint. No alcohol warmth noted.

D- This is a big hop monster with a great creaminess and nice spiciness from the rye. It is well balanced malt and rye that gives a backbone to the great hops. I'm glad this comes in a bomber cause a 12 oz would be to small.

Photo of Higravity
3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Kind of a shrug beer for me. It is a beer of almost and could a been. I have had several well done Rye beers and this one lacks the Rye punch and the hops seem mis-matched for the spicyness as they were fruity and bitter but not spicy. The alcohol also comes through a little to much. I let the bottle warm up more and the rye come out a little more but mostly it is just an after taste. The malty body is nice and thick though but a little too high on the carbonation. A decent Rye beer, but it almost could been better.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,469 ratings.