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Crazy Ivan - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Crazy Ivan
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very good

55 Reviews
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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 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 Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of Dixonian
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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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 regspeir
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

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Photo of jampics2
4.42/5  rDev +16%
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!

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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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Photo of oglmcdgl
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at capones.

A- copper orange in color with a simple ring and a few spots of lace.

S- light roasted malts and a bit of sweetness. Background hops but kinds muddled.

T- interesting, sweet malts again and bitter earthy hops. Not really getting much of a bel dark here but oh well.

M- medium body and the same on carb.

D- eh its alright stuff just kind of a mess. Not really what I expect from the style and not one ill be trying 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 david18
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.76/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

$6 pint on tap at Falling Rock. Dark reddish-orange, looks more like Red Rocket than Racer 5. It smells kind of grainy and not hoppy at all. The flavor is more grains and cereal malty type flavor, not really good at all. In fact this was a real disappointment to be honest.

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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 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 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 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 MisterClean
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

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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 Halcyondays
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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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 rxdrewthejew
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

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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 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 sholland119
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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.


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