Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,056 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

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Reviews: 2,056
Hads: 4,550
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 254
Gots: 302 | FT: 2
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
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Reviews: 2,056 | Hads: 4,550
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep amber color, with a cream-tan head. This beer is quite clear from the get go. It has a spicy hoppy aroma to it with notes of lychee and grapefruit. The first thought after taking a sip was that this beer is redolent of a hop syrup. This is all about the American hops. As for the rye, maybe there is a certain fullness/ silkiness fro the rye, but it is not all that evident, the hops overpower any taste that one might get from the rye character as well. This beer is big bodied though, and it is pretty good. (516 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you Bear Republic for putting these out in 12oz bottles, i've been waiting to review this because im leary on the freshness of bombers.

A- Hop Rod Rye is darker than your average IPA. This has a dark copper look almost looking like a lager. A nice one inch of off white foam rises up & sticks around a bit before settling down. OK lacing.

S- A delicate balance of hops, rye and malt, well balanced. The hops give off a slight citrus vibe while some sweet malt gives off caramel, not overkill though. Some light spice blends well with the rye.

T- This fresh bottle displays all the ingredients in one swig. I get the citrus hops backed by the malt followed by rye. The rye is not as prominent as I remember it from bombers years ago, but a good amount is here. Getting some toasted bread from the malts plus grains.

M- A pronounced medium feel from this, HRR is a bit thicker than your average IPA as well. The carb addition is not high and melds well within the body. The finish is spicy with a soft bitterness and dryness.

D- Not sessionable, but I would do 2-3 12oz in a night if I focused on it. Now that these come in a smaller package, I will be bying more of it on a semi regular basis here and there. Im not blown away by HRR, but this is a damn fine bier. (1,274 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brownish amber. There's a 1/2" of dense, foamy head that cascades when first poured. Great retention. The nose has notes of deep, bready malts; peppery rye; and floral, citrusy hop aromas. The taste is deep, rich bready, biscuity, barley malts with some rye undertones. There's a great hop character that is balanced and adds floral, spicy, piny notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and perfectly carbonated.

This is great. Perfect balance, nice hop character, intense, smooth malt character. Nicely done Bear Republic. (543 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a clear deep copper color with a thick 3" merangue-like head that lasts throughout the drink. Thick lacing also develops.

Smell: strong citrus and hop bitterness is easily detectable.

Taste: this beer covers it all, as a nice sweet malty backbone is kept in check with strong piney bitterness and fat orange slices. Hint of graininess and some brown sugar notes too.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finish, with all flavors lingering on the tongue long into aftertaste. Slight dryness on the finish.

Drinkability: great drinkability, a must have for those who haven't had one yet. (612 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber

A: Translucent dark red, almost maroon, definitely an idiosyncratic look, the color is very different from what I usually see in a beer of this type, but looks fantastic. Off-white head that stays around forever, great lacing.

S: Piney West coast hops, with spiciness from the rye.

T: Piney spruce bombards the mouth with robust bitterness, followed by some amber caramel malts. Spices come through in the end, black pepper and clove, with a hint of alcohol.

M: Very well built, immensely smooth for such a beer.

D: A little lower due to the robustness and high alcohol, but very tasty and a very nice beer to drink that revels in its own complexities but does not go over the top; not to mention that it is virtually ubiquitous in my area, and is relatively cheap, hovering around $3.29-$3.49 for a bomber. (836 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (375 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass. Pours a dark copper color with a nice creamy head. Laced nicely down the glass as I drank it. The sweet maltiness hits me at first then followed by the bitter dry hops. Awesome hoppiness flavor in this one. Very smooth for a 8% beer. Will be buying this one again when looking for a hoppy treat. (341 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Finishing off a case from Stockertown from two months ago.

A: I try to save any 5's for very special beers and I feel like this one really deserves this one. Nice slow pour and we have a nice crisp, clear mahogany amber color with a giant, frothy, tight head. Amazing retention and lacing, head "dies down" to a nice finger thick clumpy patch of bubbles and film. Inside of glass is pasted with clumps foam, as well as streaks. Yea, I like this, haha.
S: Like Hopsickle, big punch of hops, but somehow I like this better. Not quite as bitter smelling, a little fresher. Mild citrus and a little pine. Strong presence of the rye malt as well, leaving a more balanced aroma than most ipas. Good stuff.
T: Starts off dry and hoppy, but not overly bitter, strong presence of the rye malt providing nice balance. In the background more the grapefruit rhine from the nose, but very mild and not very sweet. Hops are there big time, but not bitter or palate destroying.
M: Medium to full body, very smooth, creamy. Medium carbonation but not overly active.
D: Probably my favorite IPA, just slightly ahead of Two Hearted and Blind Pig. Big time hop presence but perfect balance from malt and rye and not overly bitter or sweet. Alcohol tends to catch up with me a little more quickly than expected but since it's not really present in the taste I won't hold that against this (1,410 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review of a Bear Republic brew. I 've heard good things about them, and jumped on the chance to try this one.
Drank it during the second half of the Pitt/Arz super bowl.
Pours a murky, dark amber body that produced a small, yet dense head. The white foam lingered for a bit, chunked up in small splotches and then faded. Perhaps it was poured too cold.
Slight citrus aroma mixed in with the pine and rosemary. A slight sharp alcohol twinge to it as well. A bit of smoked honey thrown in there as well as some wet malt.
Taste is well balanced. Pine starts off on the tongue then the citrus comes into play. Sweet malt separates the two and helps with a smooth finish. Alcohol is a bit noticeable, but blends well with the hops as far as bite is concerned.
Overall a solid beer. (795 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Nonic pint glass.

An off tan light brown head that forms so perfectly foamy. Real nice retention and about three solid fingers on the pour. Body is just slightly opaque but a dense looking solid amber color. Real great looking beer here. Not much lacing.

Great nose on this drink. A slight grapefruit but a unique mix of sweet malt perfection with the fruit in front. Hint but small of toasted bread.

Taste though is kind of small, but is there. Real good feel but a bitter hop presence in the mid palate, and lingering on the finish. No sense of sweetness on this one, and kind of never leaving. I was hoping for some bread based on a hint from the nose and this malt sensation but not so much. It's got a good hop feel for sure but I don't even feel a citrus punch from this, but a slight oil citrus on the finish in my mouth only after the swallow.

An enjoyable beer just verging on the cusp of real greatness I think. Glad I tried it. (972 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An IPA injected with 18% rye? Wonder how this will do. On to the beer:

Pours rich dark from the bottle, which it settles into a dark amber in color with an awesome, thick head. There's a litle rye, ginger, and hops with a metallic twist to it in the nose. Now to taste it - leans towards the fruity side, not as hop dominant as the other IPA's. The flavor doesn't explode on you, but it's still pleasant. What makes this one unique is it's dry finsih (from the rye I suppose) that allows you to quaff this brew with ease.

I was wondering what the difference between the two Bear Republic IPA's would be, and this I would label the "different" one with its rye shot. The other offering I will try soon to compare notes. (Update: Racer 5 is tastier, but Hop Rod Rye is more quaffable.) (786 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big yet relatively well-balanced IPA. The malt combined with a spicy undertone with the big citrus and slightly juicy hops that showed off a bit of orange rind at the end. While this had a big and tasty hops flavor, the aroma was a little weak and the taste wasn't that complex. It was a great beer, but nothing life changing. (326 characters)

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

Bear Republic : Hop Rod Rye
Bottle claims "made with 18% rye"

Appearance: Pours a rich amber color with an off white pillowy foam. Mostly clear, though unfiltered, the yeast was reserved in the bottle.

Smell: West coast citrusy pungent fruityness with some alcohol lofting up as well.

Taste: Nice and hoppy upfront. Peppery rye spice, paired with pine and grapefruit zest. Malt or perhaps rye grain provides a small roasted note. Ale yeast giving off fruity notes. The alcohol is hidden well behind layers of hoppy, rye influenced goodness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, crisp, clean and refreshing. Some hop oils are noticed.

Overall: A nice twist on the Rye/IPA style. Big rye, bright citrusy hops, subdued malt character and easy to consume. (755 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to GrindfatherBob for the bottle!

Appearance - Deep amber body with a nice off-white head. Lacing is good. It's quite dark. I guess I think it's an IPA, but it doesn't look like an IPA.

Smell - Strong hops of pine and citrus, but quite a bit of caramel malt as well. It's interesting that both flavors manage to come out quite strongly. Behind the front flavors is a biscuit and toast malt aroma.

Taste - Hops, of course. Citrus hops, but the pine hops are accentuated by the rye spice, so it doesn't taste quite as fruity. There is a hint of sweetness that is balanced nicely by the rye as well. It's an interesting addition. The bitter finish also complements the toastiness.

Mouthfeel - Feels like a DIPA, but apparently it isn't. Nice and thick. All the flavors linger.

Overall - Tough to categorize this, but the flavors all work together nicely. It doesn't look all that appealing, but it smells great and goes down nicely. (981 characters)

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

Pours a very dark ruby brown with a well structured firm head that is tan. The head never really disappears and their is excellent lacing as well.

Very fresh smell of rye blended with some spicy hop aromas. A slight smell of alcohol as well.

The taste is very powerful and clean, but also a little simple. I love the bitterness, but it lacks a little bit of complexity. Spicy hops up front followed by a pronounced rye flavor, some creaminess, and finally a long slow bitter burn.

Mouthfeel is very good. Creamy, nicely carbonated, good body.

Very drinkable- especially for an 8% abv. Nice long flavor that keeps you wanting more. Really a very good beer. (667 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber/chestnut brown color with dark ruby edges and a two finger frothy, pllowy off-white head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the pint with large rings and chunks of soapy lacing.

Sweet hoppy aroma with a nice combination of sweet citrus, earthy pine, rye and caramel malt. Dank oilly fresh hops are bursting through with hints of pine needle, tropical and citrus fruit. Hints of grapefruit, pineapple and citrus peel countered by sweet rye and malt.

Chewy body that is much fuller than expected with a blast of bitter and sweet hop flavor up front that lingers throughout into a dry finish. Bitter earthy pine needle is countered by sweet tropical and citrus fruit notes as well as the sweet rye and malt backbone. Hints of pineapple, grapefruit and citrus peel counter the dry bitter character and are complimented excellently by the sweet rye and malt profile. There's also a creamy presence mid-palate that adds to the complexity and mouthfeel. Excellently balanced with a well masked ABV resulting in an extremely quaffable hop bomb. Excellent! (1,105 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -6.1%
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! (867 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass

Pours a beautiful dark copper with a fluffy head that never totally disappears. Aroma is Grapefruit, Pine and some sweet and caramel malt in the background. Taste hits with the citrus and pine and lingers long after each sip. There's a bit of bite from the rye somewhere in the middle. Medium body lots of lacing. Nice IPA. (366 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, brownish cherry-red, perfectly clear, with a huge pillowy head of beige foam. Lacing is out of this world, clinging like crazy to the edge of the glass. Little carbonation, and the viscosity looks high. Awesome looking beer.

Amazingly powerful and complex nose - aromas of pineapple, sweet citrus, molasses, rosewater, and tantalising hints of vanilla, resin, wintergreen and cut grass. Oh my. The plethora of flavours presented here is extraordinary. Such a wide swathe, but all intermingling, bouncing off one another, in a seeming anarchy that makes a peaceful whole. What a wonderful smelling beer - possibly the most blissfully aromatic brews I've ever sampled.

Taste is also fantastic. A delicious initial sour character bites the front of the tongue, before a welling up of juicy, luscious hop bitterness cushioned on a base of almost fruit sweetness. Tangy, slightly sour finish that leaves you wanting more, more, MORE. Mouthfeel is very nice, with a very slight effervescence on the tongue which coincides with the crescendo of hops.

Wonderful, wonderful beer - what a top notch drop. This will easily be one of the hardest things I have to leave behind here in the States when I return to Oz. (1,220 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (448 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A fresh cask on at the Horse Brass in Portland. Pours dark reddish amber. The white head is gigantic and takes many minutes to completely recede. Lacing covers my glass as it recedes.

The nose is a stunning explosion of citrus hops, with an added twist of spicy rye. I'm not a big cask IPA fan, but it really brings out the rye in this beer. The malt backbone is solid, being mostly sweet caramel. No alcohol is present in the nose.

Bitterness is at a medium level. The concentrated hop flavor is grapefruit and pine, with some rye, which tastes fantastic. The finish is citrus bitterness and spicy, with a low level of alcohol.

The beer is medium bodied with a creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

This is one of a handful (2) of rye IPAs that I've had, and I find that the subtle spiciness works extremely well with the citrus hop flavor and aroma. I'm also not a big cask IPA fan, but this was very good. (900 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep ruby red with a firm creamy whipped tan head. Slight haze with some bubble raising in the middle. Lots of pungant citrusy hops win out over some sweet caramel and spicy rye aroma. Again, the hops are the major player, but the rye character is worthy of your attention. Both together create a wonderfully blend of citrus and spice that would please the most disearning hop head. Body may be a bit thin, but that my make this sort of a refreshing beer. (464 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's on Superbowl Sunday....

The beer pours a hazy, orange/amber color with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose the beer is very IPA-like, with lots of floral citrus and lime. On the palate the beer is quite delicious, with the rye flavor quite noticeable. The rye gives the beer a somewhat dry aspect, but also some additional complexity. There is plenty of citrus as well, and the beer is surprisingly light on its feet for such a hoppy beer with 8% abv. The beer comes across as quite drinkable, with a cascade of bitter all through the finish. Just delicios.

Another very fine beer from Bear Republic. (631 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a ruby amber color, with a thin, thick layer of sparse head. A little bit of haze in the coloring, and lots of sediment throughout the beer, which they do a good job of warning you about on the label. Smells are heavy on the hops, with a little malty sweet balance. The beer is bitter-sweet, with hops and caramel sweetness. Also a smokey-toasted malt flavor throughout, which keeps the hop flavors nice and smooth. The beer is a bit dry and smooth in mouth. The sediment really issn't overly bothersome. Quick on the finish, with a lingering hoppy and sour aftertaste. The beer leaves alot of flavor on the back of the tongue, while puckering the front tongue and lips a bit. Makes it really easy for the follow-up gulp. (773 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The glass is painted in chromas of orange, ruby and amber; their embers are bright and flare up to the light. Its clarity, until the very last dregs, was spotlessly clear which furthered the beer's splendid aurora. Its head bubbled up like magma and exploded into a scatter-spray of lacing. The eccentric patterns would make an excellent ink splotch test.

Bring an umbrella - it's raining hops! As they fall from the sky a wave of pungent tanginess manages to penetrate right down to the marrow of your bones. It has the same all-consuming sensation as a gust of cold winter air or the burning radiance of a hot summer sun - it is not only noted it is sensed by all parts of the body. This beer is as hoppy as hops are green and every bit as aromatic as an incense.

It's an herbal, floral, citrus-spritzed fragrance and it carries over into the taste. The roasty graininess of the rye is also evident in the aroma and it, too, doubles as a flavour. The moderately-strong spicy flavour of the rye is nearly reminiscent of pumpernickel bread, and certainly brings to mind a choice Jewish bakery, but is so drizzled in chunks of caramel and candied citrus bits that it is, and should be, only recognizable as its own delicious being.

For all its resounding hoppiness the beer is considerably balanced. The graininess of the rye ensures a stiff, hearty, naturally tangy maltiness that blends ideally with the orange zest and piny serum of the hops. The alcohol may just as well not be noted and, although it pains me to admit it, I would probably drink this until unconsciousness if it were feasible to do so. The experience can vary between general pleasure to pure hedonism.

Honk if you love hops! If this beer were a car it would come fully loaded with plenty of legroom and a 350 horsepower V8 engine. And it's probably won my car of the year award every year since I've tried it. In fact, I remember the first time I took it for a test drive - I awoke the next day to find my hands still smelling like hops. No kidding! This is a smooth ride and for those of you who have yet to take a spin - buckle up! (2,112 characters)

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 2,056 ratings.