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Crazy Ivan - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Crazy Ivan
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very good

55 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 55
Hads: 129
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 10.5%
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 John_M
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours reddish copper color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is fairly mute, but I get some light citrus, sweet ice tea and some underlying spice. Flavors repclicate the nose, except there's more of everything. Also, despite some light spicey sweentess initially, the beer is dominated by a fairly hoppy, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fairly long, fairly bitter finish. Drinkability is quite good, with the alcohol not the least bit noticeable.

Nothing extraordinary here, but this was still a pretty nice beer I thought.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Roadhouse. Poured into a shaker pint.
Pours a dark amber with an off white head. Decent retention and lacing. Smells mostly of sweet malts- caramel, sugar. I dont get anything form the racer 5 side of this one. Mostly, flavor is similar. Good malty flavor. Fairly sweet with a slightly bitter finish. Nice overall flavor I can pick up some spice in the flavor as well. Very drinkable beer and one I would try again.

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Photo of Nickls
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(From notes)

A - Darker copper orange-brown color; thinner slightly off-white head with good retention and some curtainy lacing

S - Dark grapes; a little vinous; sweetish maltiness; very belgian-esque

T - Candied sugar sweetness; dark fruits; bit yeasty; hint of booze sneaks in

M - Medium; muted carbonation was a little drawback; sticky

D - Decent enough, but not great for me as it was a touch too sweet

Overall, not a bad brew and a little odd. Worth a look

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Photo of nickdago
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap beer pours cloudy with a yellowish red tint. frothy white head.

Smells of hops but a sweet scent. nothing really piney about this one.

Taste starts off with a sharp hop taste but mellows to a sweetness almost flatness

A rather sweet IPA as advertised by the bar.

Easy to drink. Enjoyable but nothing special

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Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap @ Amsby Abbey

A: Decent fizzy 1 finger head over semi hazy orange red slight wood colored beer. Leaves a notch of lacing for each sip.

N: Some fruits hops, little spicy and floral hops too, slight sweetness with a touch of Belgian malt aroma and Belgian yeast as well, but lighter on the nose than I hoped.

T: Taste starts with more Belgian malt flavors, a little wheat even with slight banana and juicy chewy malt flavors. A slight Belgian yeast flavor (remnants of it, not the yeastiness), then come the floral, spicy, citrus and somewhat bitter hops. Slightly juicy hop flavors, with a touch of warming booze and a little malty sweetness. A slight creamy malt comes through, with more late bittering hops. A little Belgian candi sugar and caramel flavoring.

M: Medium body with lots of carbonation.

F: Finishes pretty bitter and slightly astringent, with more fresh hop flavors, some spicy hops, chewy even slightly, little tingly warming booze, mostly dry but a touch of sweetness, a touch of citrus lingering too with a very looong bitter finish, which seems to just go on and on and stronger with each sip.

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Photo of mactrail
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Tiger! Tiger! in San Diego. Quite distinctive appearance in the tall Fischer tulip. Smooth foamy cap and unusual dark red brownish amber color. Nicely sudsy on the tongue.

The next impression on tasting is the fragrant hops. As a Belgian IPA this is a great example. Rich with a lot of warm, roasted malt, and the zingy hop flavors. Moderate bitter aftertaste. some tangy, peppery hints. Something fruity with a touch of honey. Hoppy and sensationally flavorful. The Belgian yeasty flavors seem to get lost in the rush of hops, but it's quite drinkable. I'm glad to taste something by Bear Republic outside their usual orbit.

July 7, 2015 update: Had this on tap at Stone Liberty Station. Sweet malt with a distinct roasted barlety flavor. Wintergreen and mint. Snappy and quite carbonated on the tongue. Quite bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of bonbini26
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Ginger Man 02-07-09. Served in an Imperial pint glass.

A - Pours a dark red/ruby with light to dark contrast from top to bottom, decent head and lace

S - Pretty mellow, but the hops and yeast come through on the nose the most, a little funk from the belgian yeast.

T - Starts out pretty mellow, on the belgian side, but the the hops/funk come through and finishes with a slight bitterness, in the herbal/earthy department

M - Not overpowering considering the mix of beers here, i guess the belgian yeast mellows it out, not much in the carbonation department either

D - I was expecting more from this beer considering the combo of racer 5/rocket ale. I guess the belgian yeast mellows this one out. I would like to try a mix of racer 5/rocket ale straight up. In the end the hop balance was pretty decent

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Photo of joshuadlight
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap sandwiched between a Pliny the Elder and a Blind Pig. I thought the beer was a reasonably good representation considering this was a Racer 5 plus a Red Rocket plus a Belgian yeast strain.
There is no way to avoid the Belgian yeast influence. It is present in the appearance, smell, and taste. But, the beer still holds on to characteristics of all three styles poured into it. I found it enjoyable and drinkable enough. I would not rebuff another were it offered to me.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Found this at Falling Rock in Denver.
Light ruby color, amber hues. Minimal head, bunched up around the rim.
A mixed aroma of malt and hops. Seems like a battle going on in there. Faint citrus and bread.
Taste confirms it. There's a fight a brewing in this...uh, brew. Hops hit first, then the malt comes in for a dash of sweet bread, then hops counter punches for a sharp twang in the end along with a slight yeasty spice. This is interesting.
Not sure if I would have again, but would definitely drink it if offered.

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Photo of IronLover
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a copper red with a light haze and a light head that quickly dissipated. Nice sticky lacings on the glass. Lazy carbonation that really comes alive with a swirl of the glass. Lght floral hoppy aroma with light citrusy undertones. Very smooth feel with big hoppy character, followed by a seet malty flavor and a spicey finish Not a lot of malt character as the hoppy flavors and aftertaste overwhelm this beer. Easy to drink, but the hoppy aftertaste would keep me from having too many of these.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at Max's Hopfest (from notes, 8/16-18/13)

A: Amber with lacing.

S: Bit of citrus but piney and malty.

T: All pine and malt. Airy yeastiness notes that are nice, but with a bit of spice.

M: Nice even coarseness.

O: Interesting and different.

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Photo of waldoiverson
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tap to imperial point

a clougy ruddish brown with tight lacing

s caramel and orange blossom

t bright hops well balanced with caramel malts. Nice sharp bite but a very mellow finish, wished for more from bear

m smooth with a dry tingle but not too dry thanks to solid malt

d great for a hot day good hops but balanced

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A glass on tap at Blue Dog in Chalfont...

Crazy Ivan looks darker than most IPA's, but it is a blend of some wort so expected, burnt copper with some bronze highlights, kinda unclear, a beige inch of foam leaving no remains.

The Belgian strain used aint all that bright or it was just underused. Smell is kinda muddled, does not scream Belgian, just says yeast. Bready with malt and hops about even, not all that bitter smelling.

Things go off with a glow, a nice bready yeast on top of Red Rocket And Racer 5, the state of those hops is kinda faded, the bitterness is light muddled by the yeast, no alcohol.

Feel is medium with a bready aftertaste and yeasty, not one of the best BIPA's but a good attempt. Carb is fine, taste is off kilter.

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3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft served in a pint glass. $6. Listed as a "Belgo-American IPA" on Bear Republic's website, and I agree. (Not a Belgian Dark Ale as it is currently listed on BA.)

A: Served with basically no head or film, just a collar. The body is brassy red and semi clear. Medium dark. Light tan foamy collar. Spare splatters of lace.

S & T: The aroma is not very forthcoming. Definitely hop forward but the Trappist yeast component is highly noticeable as well. The slightly fruity, heavily spicy, peppers and cloves jump out on the back end of the palate. Floral hops. Sweaty yeast. Toasted, lightly caramel malt backbone

M: The mouthfeel starts out slow and picks up speed. The carbonation level turns out to be adequate after seeming too soft at first. Even approaches lively. Very dry all the way through. Mild bitterness.

D: I was excited to try something new from Bear Republic (not many of their offerings end up in PA). But the overall experience with Crazy Ivan was underwhelming if not unimpressive. The idea of using the Trappist yeast strain with a blend of Racer 5 and Red Rocket wort was good in concept, but it didn't live up to my expectations.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Malibu Sundownder Tasting Room in Westlake Village, CA.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, pepper, yeast, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus and pepper flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of yeast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with nice flavors but the smell is fairly weak and you really have to search out any distinct aromas.

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Photo of opwog
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Now listening to: Godflesh - Like Rats

Thanks to San Diego Brewing for having this rarity on tap!

A- Dark brown with a short off white head (probably from bartender's pour)
S- Not much in the nose, almost like thinned out Belgian qualities.
T- This had an interesting taste. Like a brown and Belgian and Red
M- I would have liked more body to enhance the flavor and to balance out the carbonation.
D- This lists at 6.9, but I think that this is pouring much higher. I could actually notice a glow coming on as I drank this pint.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

i found this brew rather unimpressive, although it is admittedly in a style i generally shy away from. this has a bit of a copper malt base to it, kind of nice depth and body on it. the belgian yeast seems subtle in the nose, no major esters blooming here, just good old american northwest hops. hopped like a west coast ipa, dank in the nose. the flavor is big and round from the hefty grain and is as hoppy as can be, but only a little bitter. im not sure if the yeast is crowded out by the other components, if it was fermented a little chilly and never opened up, or if it is just a mild string poorly chosen. with these beers im usually all or nothing, either its a hoppy belgian or it is an american ipa, the strange middle ground created by a lot of grain character and hops, and a middling belgian strain is not my speed, its muddled, and thats what we have here. carbonation is fine and the big body flatters the hops, but the yeast just doesnt belong to me. if its going to work with this yeast it needs less hops and a different grain bill entirely i think, but thats just my palate.

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Photo of wwheeler
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown color with a thin but lasting head. The smell was nothing extraordinary, a faint hint of cinnamon. The initial taste is sweet, but a malty sweetness. The sweetness to me was reminiscent of a Belgian double. However, what completely separated this beer was a little pinch of hoppy bitterness that lingered on the palate after a sip.

Overall, this beer seemed to play with an interesting combination of sweet and bitter. However, there is some room to still experiment with such a pairing.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy amber with a thick off-white head. Hoppy and sweet aroma with caramel and Belgian yeast. More hops in the taste. Grapefruit, mango, and resin mix well with the earthy malt. The yeast brings a sweet funkiness that makes this more than the typical Belgian IPA. Very nice.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 6/2/10 notes. Had on tap at the Brickskeller in DC.

a - Pours a reddish brown color with an inch of white head.

s - Smells of citrus hops bready malts, and fruity malts. Not very strong in the smell department.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, caramel malts, and citrus hops, with a little bit of bitterness.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent dark ale. Not my favorite but worth trying once.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 06/21/2009. On draft. Pours brown with a small head. Aroma of yeast and melon rind. Flavor sweet malt, melon, yeast, some roasted notes. This is pretty much all-Belgian to me. Maybe a touch of hops in the finish, but only a touch as the Belgian yeast dominates. Sticky palate. I was disappointed by this one.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.39/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Ginger Man in NYC on 1/17/09. Served in an Imperial pint glass.

A - Clear ruby red body with sparse carbonation and one-finger creamy eggshell-colored head that retained quite well and left thick, frothy lace around the glass.

S - Belgian yeast and spicy hops, but overall the aroma is pretty muted. There is a slight funk in the back that adds a bit of depth, but otherwise the nose is pretty mild. I was definitely expecting more for a Bear Republic brew.

T - Yeasty with a slight cheesy funk and spicy, peppery notes. An earthy, leafy and herbal hop character emerges in the middle and lasts throughout the finish, joined briefly by a hint of pine.

M - Very soft mouthfeel that turns out to be a little thin and watery overall. Carbonation is very minimal and borderline flat, actually. Dry and spicy on the palate with an earthy bitterness.

D - Overall, I was a little underwhelmed with this one. It could certainly use some more hops, especially since I have come to expect lots of hops with Bear Republic's brews. Not bad, but I'm certainly glad I got the opportunity to try this obcsure brew.

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Barley's Smokehouse in Columbus.

Poured clear brown color with an average frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate tart citrus hop and earthy aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture. Medium spicy bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

Complex un-balanced beer.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16oz pour in a pint glass at Rattle n Hum.

Crazy Ivan pours a couple shades lighter than amber, and is almost completely translucent. There's about a finger of bone colored foam topping the beer, and it leaves a little bit of lacing behind. I'm probably being a little bit generous with the appearance score because pours at RnH aren't always the best. Fruity and peppery Belgian yeast notes dominate, but there's a detectable citrusy American hop presence as well. The flavor takes those and adds a solid caramel base to everything. Still though, there's no real sense of balance as they yeasty flavors totally overwhelm the hops. The beer is very rich and full bodied, perhaps too much so because the carbonation seems a bit meek for an IPA (though this may be in part why the hop flavors seem subdued). Belgian IPAs are a tricky style to get right because of the delicate balance between yeast and hop influences, and I don't know if Crazy Ivan is out of balance, or maybe this keg was just old to the point that the hops have faded some, but regardless it was one of the least impressive Belgian IPAs I've had.

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Photo of beersheppard
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: amber with reddish hues, minimal head with not some here and there lacing.

Smell: citrus hops and malt

Taste: mango, sweet malt, yeasty, citrus hops. Wasn't crazy about the flavor of the malt in this beer.

Mouthfeel: decent

Drinkability: I probably wouldn't get this beer again. Haven't been too enthralled with BR. I also agree with fellow BAs this isn't a Belgian strong ale. More of a double ipa or ipa with belgian style malts.

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