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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,453 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,453
Reviews: 2,051
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 241
Gots: 255 | 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: 4,453 | Reviews: 2,051 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

On tap at Fathers Office in Santa Monica, CA

This beer is brown with auburn tints at the edges. The head is tan-brown and very fluffy. The aroma of citrus and pine hops is pretty good, and then you get a little spicy rye. Carbonation perfect, followed by solid hop bite. Dang this beer is bitter even after all the other dIPAs I've had lately. Pine and juicy citrus hop flavor is huge. The rye gives a wheaty feel to the malt, as well as a little spiciness that just goes perfect. Full bodied and smooth. Just a touch oily at the finish.

Overall: Excellent dIPA in its own right, the rye just makes it even better.

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears as a ruby/copper vivacious brew with some small bubbles creating a small off white head which fades shortly. It looks pretty good! In fact, it's almost excellent with the exception of the heavy heavy sediment and lack of carbonation after about a minute. The lacing is lovely as it leaves a nice perfect ring which lasts for most of the duration of enjoying this brew.
Smells of faint maltiness with some amarillo hops coming through, along with a faint nutiness.
The taste is pretty decent as it hits most of tastebuds up in the front and the middle and the dryness lingers all the way to the back. Not a real full bodied mouthfeel but it is up there as far as filling it out. It is also quite drinkable. Again, the only thing that I didn't really like about this well done brew was the heavy sediment and the lack of carbonation.

Finger licking good!

Photo of canucklehead
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As the immortal Kinky Friedman would say" Killer B baby". This is one of the best beers I've had in some time mainly because the complexity is stunning. The beer looks awesome with a dark brown body with a bi old head. A hoppy, woody smell with some interesting age notes. The taste is large and many facets. A unique bitterness due to the rye comes off the back end. All in all this is a stunner that demands your attention.

Photo of cracker
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An interesting beer. Pours an amber brown color (a bit darker than most ipa's) with not much of a head. Smell is of fresh pine and grapefruit with a hint of sweet malts. Taste is definitely hop predominant (chinook hops more than likely) with a dry, somewhat harsh, astringest aftertaste. I'm assuming this is what rye contributes to the beer. Don't notice much of a spiciness or sour like characteristics. Overall seems more like a 'darker' ipa than anything else but nevertheless a quality product.

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

22 ounce bomber. This beer has a dark brown appearance, unusual for an IPA. Big foamy white head that leaves loads of lacing on the glass. The aroma is very hoppy, but not just a hop bomb. There are nice malt and spicy aromas too. The flavor is fresh hops, but balanced with the malt and a noticable rye. Very interesting, complex flavors. Creamy mouthfeel. High alcohol, but not in an overwhelming way, just gives the beer a nice bite. This is a well made and delicious hoppy beer. I think this is the fastest I ever drank an 8% abv 22 ounce bottle.

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

A rich, dark orange with hints of brown; the head on this billowed up to 3-fingers in height and then simply refused to disperse. After several minutes, it finally yielded slightly, with clingy lace and fluffy mounds still remaining.

Aroma is citric, caustic hops, orange chocolate, alcohol, candy store, incense.

Taste is fairly dry, with grapefruit-toned hops guarding an earthy, voluptuous malt body. Enough hops to decimate the unappreciative, yet well balanced and not at all one-dimensional.

A slick and seductive "you want me but you can't quite have me" mouthfeel teases for subsequent sips. It's as if the full flavor of this beer is always just out of reach.

Photo of Wonka
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1 PT. 6 FL. OZ.

Appearance – bronze/orange body; thick, micronized, cream-colored head that endures; great swaths of lace - when a glass is nearly closed in by lace, its certainly great; damn close to a 5

Smell – spicy; citrus; a light dose of alcohol that's present pushes back the faint caramel

Taste – spicy; big-time hoppy; caramel; a bit smoke and alcohol; in-your-face bitterness in the form of grapefruit rind slams the exit door and hangs around; a bit brash on the hops but if this is to be compared to the hot rod of hops, I’d have to say this is what I expected

Mouthfeel – a bit hop oily; pleasant rich, big feel but it also has some prickly carbonation; a bit of hop sting in the 'afterfeel' lets you know who is running the show

Drinkability – very easy on the consumption end; the bitter close creates a comprehension moment; don’t dive back in immediately

Hop Rod Rye has more hops than LeBron James. Slam dunk for Bear Republic.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours crimson and fizzy with a light tan head of substance and character.

aroma is dangerously overwhelming with hops. mild buttery notes, but nothing can compare to the almighty hop gods making their presence known through the neck of this bottle.

tastes hoppy. bitter. mouth-puckering. the appeal to this beer is the rye background, which gives the hops a much higher ground to attack from. rye itself contributes a base spice here which launches my taste buds into orbit. and then a blueberry note.. from where? a hophead's delight.

i've sometimes been adverse to crazy hops but the complexity here helps me to appreciate it.

Photo of crookedhalo
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice rich copper color with a fluffy light beige head. Piny, sprucy and citrusy in its hop profile with a caramelized malt notion and, of course, a dry rye character. Hints of holly. Incredibly dry, hoppy and citrusy. The usage of rye really accompanies the dryness imparted by the high alpha hops. Very dry and bitter; with some caramelized malt, counterbalancing rye, and a dextrinous mouthfeel. Very enjoyable. A beefy beer for lovers of the hop.

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$3.49 22oz bomber

I took the cap off of this one and my mouth was watering to get a taste of the hop juices that filled this bottle. The appearance was gorgeous. A deep amber color with a sticky, cream head. The head alone, was delicious. The smell was a little different than many other IIPA. The rye aroma really stuck out and gave a different nose to the prominent hops. The taste was started out with a little sweetness followed by the crucial hop bitterness. The finish brought back almost and orange sweetness followed by a dry ending. The hops suck out every drop of saliva you have left in your mouth. It is great, but would be a little too much all night. Either way, this is an awesome beer that could become a staple in my fridge.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am sampling a bomber at room temp poured into a snifter.
The beer pours a deep garnet color with a large soft fluffy off white head foaming up 2 cm on a slightly agressive pour. The head fades very slowly throughout sampling. Aroma is very hoppy, a nice mix of pine, grapefruit and earthy scents mix to give a solid hop presence. Not too much else on the nose.
First sip reveals a rather thin body with a creamy texture that coats my palate. Very fine rolling carbonation tingles across the back of my throat. Flavor is light malt up front with a hint of caramel and some rye flavor, like reuben bread. Finishes slightly twangy with a hint of the hops that were on the nose. Mostly the hop bitterness hits the back of my moutgh after I swallow. The beer is easy to drink and gives no hint of alcohol anywhere. Quite an interesting mix of grains. Good but not a WOW! beer.

Photo of lackenhauser
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice amber to deep orange color. Second helping out of the bottle had a killer head to it. Great big grassy,citrusy aroma-we are talking full frontal hop assault. Nice mild sweet malt flavor with a huge hop presence. Very tangy indeed. Somewhat dry in the finsh. Good body-has a tad of a "soapiness" feel to it. A killer beer indeed. Very crisp yet full of flavor. At 8% I dont know if I would call it a session beer but I could see it becoming a regular in my fridge.

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

dark, rich brown color with orange highlights. prettier at the top of my nonic, where it is a full woody brown but it looks like a nice piece of oak throughout. excellent dart-cork colored head, thick and and fluffy, with awesome lacing, and a nice cap that doesn't go away.

amazing bouquet of hops--super ripe and juicy grapefruit, tangerine smell. though it's hard to get past the hops, they are so full, there's a creamy, milky sweetness in the malt and some raw grain aroma. As it warms some spicy plum and nutmeg become apparent. very rich, with both dark and bright flavors mingling.

the taste is a full on assault of goodness--a boatload of hops truck through the mouth, but the ale is so creamy and the malt so smooth, sweet and spicy, you're getting a little of everything. i pick up dried fruit, obviously tons of citrus, milk and milk chocolate, peach, some sour rye (like rye whisky) and a touch of pepper. the hops come barreling back in the finish, leaving a happy aftertaste of bitter citrus rind and nuts. in many ways the best part is the odd milky/chocolate sweet characteristic in the malt that must develop because of the rye--it, the spiciness of the rye and the hops do great things together.

for a powerful beer full of hop madness, this one is quite drinkable... and balanced, even though it is extreme.

Photo of Goldorak
4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Ruby brownish red, with nice clingy lacing.

Smell: Hop damn! A slice of rye bread spreaded with a generous amount of strawberry jam. Unique.

Taste: I was expecting some kind of freaky concoction with off-centered flavors and just too much of everything, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a very well balanced ale, with everything in it's proper place, leaving room for everyone make a statement on my tastebuds. Rye tartness, big malt roundness, slight alcohol sting and hop finish. Bravo.

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

Poured with a finger thick beige head and a clear deep ruby bronze color. Left behind a moderate amount of lacing.

Aroma was full of hops and pine, some sweet caramel undertones and a bit of dark pitted fruits.

The taste carried lots of malt backbone to counteract the piney hops. An excellent balance of malts/hops. The rye comes through a bit on the finish along with bitter hoppiness.

Carbonation was spot on for the style and a medium to full bodied beer.

Photo of Beersignal
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one during a light dinner with Goldorak and company was my favourite of the evening.

Deep brown colour with russet highlights letting light stream through the slight haze. A medium head was witnessed but posessed minimal retention and offered no lacing.

A sweet spicy maltiness from the rye was buttressed by a fresh and balanced hop presence initially. Aromas of berries and grapes surfaced amid the malt and hops to lend a pleasant complexity and a faint softness of sugars danced with the hops in the finish.

The flavours mirrored the aromas and were equally balanced and seductive. Up front I detected embracing and sturdy maltiness with a touch of tartness through notes of ripe apple and peach flesh. Hints of maple water surfaced before a wave of biting hop bitterness washed the palate clean.

One of only two rye ales I have had the chance of tasting and I hope to come across it again... I loved it.

Merci Martin!

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,453 ratings.