Crazy Ivan - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Crazy Ivan
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BA SCORE
86
very good

55 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 55
Hads: 129
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 7.59%
Wants: 2
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheEremite on 04-30-2008

This copper colored American IPA took a wild left turn when we fermented it with our favorite Trappist ale yeast. Charged with hops, followed closely by a clove and pepper Belgian yeast character.

70 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 55 | Hads: 129
Photo of David-Schapira
4.84/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Beer was awesome, just as most all of Bear's beers are. Not too bitter, just the right amount of pepper hint. I'm the GM of a Craft Beer bar in Philly, Bear Rep. is a main stay on my taps. (188 characters)

Photo of david18
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beer advocate lists this as a belgian dark ale but it is so different from that. At Amsterdam Ale House on the Upper West Side of New York City it was described as red rocket combined with racer 5 and fermented with belgian yeast. That's exactly what it was but so successful. Unlike Cali from stone or Le Freak from Green Flash, which i think don't work, the maltiness of the red rocket really balances the interplay between the ipa and belgian yeast. This is a great beer that I will order every day until their taps kick. (524 characters)

Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is probably my favorite BR brew...I even named one of my cats after it.

A: Dark amber...I think it's even a little bit darker than the Red Rocket that it's based on. Head is fluffy and maybe 1 finger, tannish, and the lacing and retention is fantastic. Really nice looking brew.

S: Sweet malt bill, scottish ale flavor with maybe a touch of tropical esters. Hops come out in a big way as well. There's a tiny bit of spicyness but it's very mild.

T: The hops are quite dominant in the taste...I guess that makes sense since they combined a hoppy red ale with an IPA. Hops are mild citrus and mostly pine, pretty bitter. Decent malt bill, it's slightly sweet but also a bit spicy or earthy. It's hard to really describe it, but it has a different taste than the two brews it's based on.

MF: Medium body, medium-to-high carbonation. Not really much warming, not a particularly wet or dry finish. I guess you would have to call it a very average mouthfeel...I don't feel like it really added or detracted from the drinkability of the beer.

D: The flavor is unique, but not over the top...which is nice. You certainly get your hop fix, but it's not an IPA or even a belgian IPA. I don't feel like I've really had anything else that's just like this beer. A must get if you're at the brewpub. I'm not sure if I'm just lucky or what, but my last trip there was 6 months ago so they either brewed more or it's moving slow. Would love to see this more available, but I don't expect it. (1,487 characters)

Photo of Floydster
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Chimay goblet at O'Briens Pub in San Diego for $4.50, consumed 9/4/08, reviewed from notes, really enjoy the two base beers by themselves and was excited to see what the blend was like

A-Looks more like Red Rocket than Racer 5 that is for sure, medium amber color with some golden highlights, 3/4 inch bubbly off white head that does not last long, not much retention or lacing
S-First whiff was toffee and caramel, as time went on piney hops and citrus came about strongly, also flowers, rye, grapefruit, and Belgian yeast
T-Going into it I expected a pretty hoppy beer considering it is an amber and IPA mixed but found out that it tasted more like a dry hopped Belgian brown ale than anything else, also had a nice fruit character in the finish to go along with the unique yeast, nicely balanced even though it was slightly more hoppy than malty, sugary accents made up for that once it warmed
M-Medium bodied, nice level of carbonation but probably could have used a little more, dry, malty, and barely sweet mouthfeel, taste lingers
D-Could have drank more of this for sure, ABV is not too high, light on the stomach, complex and keeps you wanting more, does not get overly sweet, smooth

The Belgian addition to these beers really stood out and added some great complexity, I have done half and half with these at home before out of the bottle but this tasted much different and is better than expected, hope to see this around again, would love to have more, recommended (1,490 characters)

Photo of jampics2
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ FatHeads 1st ever Brewers Brawl. I revisited this one a few times, partly because I liked it and partly because I was trying to figure out how to rate it.

This beer has a huge identity issue. It's parents, Racer 5 and Red Rocket, had a one night fling that lead to this problem child. This beer is fermented with a Belgian yeast strain, but it doesn't really show through over the intense hoppiness. I decided I would rate this to taste instead of to style, so I picked a malt heavy DIPA as my starting point and decided to give it some leeway on the malt bill. If I was expecting a Belgian Dark I would have been lost, but that expectation helped me enjoy this for what it is - a freak of nature, siamese twin of two great beers.

Copper red with a nice sticky head. This looks good, but not dark.

Smell was huge citrus and tropical hops (orange, mango) and a nice caramel maltiness as well. Touch of spice from the yeast but nothing extravagant. In fact, I wouldn't say this has any of the Belgian traits at all in the nose, maybe a touch of esters or mild funk, that's it. Way dominated by hops when this fresh!

Taste was awesome IMO. Slightly bracing bitterness, then great citrus and some pine. Really expressive hops, huge bitter finish, and a touch of extra something. That something could be the Belgian influence, but it's really on mute.

Mouthfeel was a nice, medium bodied beer with nice ample carb. Finishes a touch too bitter for my loving but OK for my liking!

Overall, glad to cross another Bear Rupublic experiemental beer off the list. One of the more interesting on paper, but, in the end, the hops win out over all the subtleties that this beer may or may not have promised.

EDIT: had on tap again, nice Belgian yeast esters this time. Maybe some keg to keg variation. Also more Belgian influence in the taste. Nicely done. Still original scores apply but thre is more depth! (1,910 characters)

Photo of malloyca
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Intriguing translucent red-brown color, with minimal head. The sweet malt and citrus hop aromas were hard to resist. This is definitely a California-style Belgian IPA, as the hop flavors are evenly matched against sweet malt that gives rise to caramel and vanilla flavors. A very drinkable beer, the alcohol level is relatively low (compared to others of this style) and the flavor profiles are well-balanced, making this a good choice for having several with a meal. It would be very good with ripe, soft cheeses. (514 characters)

Photo of Sammy
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap at Cole's. This beer rocks. Dark fruit aroma. Dark fruit colour with a little white head and some lace dots. Served a bit too cold, a taste range as it warmed. Above average mouthfeel, and also above-average carbonation. Very tasty grapefruit, marmelade, a wonderful bitterness. So enjoyable. (307 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey.

Pours a moderate yellow gold color with a bit of haze and a few fingers of white foamy head. Lacing follows the brew down the glass. Nose brings some excellent Belgian yeast characteristics, but doesn't really integrate the hops at this point. Taste melds the two quite well, with some nice clove and spice banging against some citrus and herbal hops. Very nice touch. Feel is splendid with a good bit of bitterness matched up against a moderately carbonated medium body. One of the better examples of the style that I've come across in some time. (569 characters)

Photo of Auraan
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Poured a cloudy reddish brown body with amber highlights and two fingers of thick, fluffy off-white head. It looks quite nice, a combination of a Dubbel and an IPA. Scents of fresh apples, pineapple juice, medium caramel, raisin and prune and medium-light grassy hops with notes of pine resin. Overall impression aroma is an interesting mix between aromas typical to a Trappist Dubbel with hop aromas from the West Coast US. More towards the Trappist side, but very pleasing and unique. Flavor begins bitter with notes of pineapple and caramel malt in the background with notes of pine resin, white pepper, raisin and dank, earthy hops. Middle is maltier but still bitter with notes of caramel, bready malt, white pepper, pine resin, dark fruit including raisin and plum. Finish is medium-dry with a still very present caramel and bready malt backbone, notes of citrus and orange peel, white pepper, light alcohol, light pine resin and spicy Belgian yeast. Aftertaste is bitter hops and white pepper. Overall impression of flavor is of a very unique IPA that combines the flavors of a Dubbel with those of a Belgian Pale and an American IPA. Very unique and it works well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth, slightly slick feel and a drying finish with medium-light carbonation. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a good, semi-dry ale. Very nice. Overall this is an excellent experiment that melds the Trappist yeast with an IPA quite well. The aroma and flavor benefit and the mouthfeel is pleasant. A unique, complex, very good ale. (1,541 characters)

Photo of sholland119
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap the Horse Brass Pub, Portland.

Had me at the description. This is a blend of Red Rocket and Racer 5 with a Belgian yeast strain.

Pours a medium-dark amber with a thin tan head and a little lacing.

As with the color, the aroma is more reminiscent of Red Rocket than Racer 5. Mostly caramel malts with a bit of Belgian yeast and no more than a whiff of hops.

Taste is similar to the nose but with a stronger Belgian yeast presence. This combines nicely with the malt sweetness to add a nice pungent depth to the flavor. Again, not much hop presence to note, though Racer 5 is no hop bomb so I guess it just gets washed out.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Drinkability is very good.

This is a very tasty beer. I would have preferred to taste some more IPA character based on the description but this was quite enjoyable nonetheless.

HV (846 characters)

Photo of FickleBeast
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at rattle and hum nyc.

Arrives in a pint glass filled to the brim with a quarter inch of foam. Cloudy amber in color. Aroma is hoppy citrus underpinneed by a slight spicy belgian yeast.

Wow. This one very nice, complex brew. First impression is hoppy ipa. Second impression has a nice malty sweetness shine through. Final impression is a nice spicy yeast bite.

Very nice. (382 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a slightly hazy light orange with a fluffy white cap that slowly fades into a film a thick collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left round the glass.
Smell isof heavy pine, herbs, citrus. Caramel, and vanilla.
Taste is of the aromas wiu a refreshing citrus flavor that has pine sap resounding in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is sugary, medium bodied, sticky, bitter but balanced. (384 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%

Dark amber with a tinge of ruby color. Slight haze. Excellent blanketing lace.

I smell wet wood and pine initially. Second sniff brings out more evergreen.

Surprisingly smooth semisweet malt flavor with a strong toasty element. There's a biting black pepper (hop) flavor in the swallow that creates a long aftertaste. Smooth body. (338 characters)

Photo of regspeir
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. draft in a standard pint glass at Capone's
Poured a dark amber with a nice 2-finger head which lasted throughout. The lacing was heavy and abundant throughout. Nose was malty, cheeries but the hops, pine and citrus were there as well. Consistent with the nose, this was nicely balanced - hops and malt. I noticed earthy, piney hops, malt biscuity sweetness and some citrus. All led to a spicey, peppery slightly bitter finish. Interesting and very tasty brew. Mouthfeel was medium and a little rough. There was only light carbonation. This defied comparisons for me but I know I want to try it again. If you see it - go for it! (634 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber in color with a 1" head that breaks apart quickly to a surface foam.

Smell: yeast, caramel, and a citrus tone lingers around.

Taste: caramel, belgian yeast, grapefruit, lemon, and some fruity tones are most notable. Bitterness is hearty and balances this one out. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lighty crisp throughout. Aftertaste is short.

Drinkability: this beer went down quickly for the style. Very enjoyable and well balanced. (472 characters)

Photo of MisterClean
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sac brew. This is a combo of worts: Racer 5 and Red Rocket with a belgian yeast strain tossed in for good measure.

A - Poured a depp amber wth 1 finger of orange-white head. Dissipated moderately fast and left nice lacing.

S/T - Caramel, flower, and bittering hops.

M - Full bodied, hop dominated, sweet, and lightly dry. Bitterness in the mouthfeel.

D - This is really good. I think I really enjoy the Belgian IPA style. (435 characters)

Photo of klewis
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Catskeller - Cincinnati, OH - 7/19/10

A: Pours a hazy copper with a thick, frothy head.

S: Bright hop aroma with grapefruit and a strong floral quality. Light Belgian phenols.

T: Resiny hops with citrus and pine flavors; the presence of Racer 5 is quite prominent. Light caramel malt flavors provide a bit of balance, but the taste is still dominated by hops. A hint of Belgian yeast flavors, but very subtle.

M: Full-bodied for its ABV with a creamy, smooth texture. Moderate carbonation.

D: Not as complex and interesting as others in the Belgian IPA style, yet still quite enjoyable. Check it out. (619 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hollingshead's,

A: Pours amber/red with a solid off-white head with good retention and lacing. A nice looking pint.

S: Hops galore, with a nice mix of pine and citrus, light caramel malt.

T: On first sip tastes like a straight up IPA. The light Belgian character comes out with a light ester finish as the beer warms up. Good hop flavour.

M: Good carbonation character and body to this brew. Alcohol is lightly evident. Smooth and resiny.

D: Nice beer from BR, really tastes like a mix of Racer 5 and Red Rocket. Glad I tried this one. (550 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured minimal head on a clearer dark straw colored body.
The aroma is great. Bright citrus, pear and Valencia orange.
The taste is complex with mandarin, moderate bitterness and finishes with black peppercorns.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation.
An outstanding beer that hits all the notes perfectly. (315 characters)

Photo of Dixonian
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the fort worth saucer. Poured into standard pint glass.

Was very intrigued when I heard about this one. I like both the racer 5 and red rocket, and I almost always love a belgian yeast.
This did not disappoint. Totally unique-cloudiness of an IPA and nice amber colour. Smell is the only disappointment I have-a bit subdued. Flavor is great-extremely smooth. Sweet and bitter. Like I said above, completely unique. Enjoyable mouthfeel and excellent carbonation.

Too bad twas only brewed once cause i'd seek this delicious bastard again. (551 characters)

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

a: tulip serving, bright orange-golden in color with a subtle haze, good head retention and some lace

s: citrusy hops on a body of pale and light caramel malt with a nice phenolic spice running through - easily perceptible but far from taking over, hop heavy with good balance of components

m: carbonation on the lower side and smooth, light-medium body

t: pale and a light dose of caramel malts bring a balanced sweetness and set the stage for a nice citrus-tropical hop flavor and spicy yeast, clove phenols most identifiable, moderately bitter

d: easy, not a standout belgian ipa but a very solid one at least, the yeast character at least is spot-on

10 oz pour at ChurchKey, DC (686 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby tinted brown with a good clingy head and lace that never really goes away. The aroma is a mix of sharp hops that stick out, both citric and sweet (grape) and some sweet malt smell as well. A good mix of citric hops and some citric spice like orange and pepper and there is a caramel malt taste that is noticeable as well. Not much of a Belgian influence as more of a sweet IPA but there are some characteristics such as orange and very minor sweet fruit and sugary malt as well as a boozy feeling as I keep sipping. (528 characters)

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

Poured on tap at Belmont Station. Pours a clear goldenrod with a small white head. Nose is resinous hops and a balance with some of the belgian style spicy notes. The flavor is very hop forward in a way that was very exciting an unexpected for me. The spices are there but in a mild way. As someone who doesn't really enjoy the Belgian character of the Belgian IPA, this was a very nice surprise and quite enjoyable. (416 characters)

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

An interesting and delicious beer.

Pours deep amber with a dense thin head that brings up a light malty odor. The flavor is strong and malty, with cherry wood and a penetrating hop bitterness. It has a slight bretty character and the alcohol is muted and pleasant. The mouthfeel is smooth and viscous. Delicious. (313 characters)

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nose has soft hop and clean fruit, soft malt. Smells good.

Pours clear amber with mild head. Looks good.

Flavor follows nose, hoppy like a strong APA. Moderate bitterness. Mild ale fruit, soft citric fruit. Softly herbal and spicy. Tastes good. Feels good. Good drinkability.

Not very Belgian, quite IPAish. (312 characters)

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Crazy Ivan from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.