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Café Racer 15 - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Café Racer 15Café Racer 15

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,051 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,051
Reviews: 182
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.25%
Wants: 59
Gots: 96 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: womencantsail on 02-12-2011

Café Racer 15™ features aromas of bright citrus and resinous pine from the generous use of Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hops which are complimented by a dry malt finish. The result is a high revving Double IPA that is loud and assertive, much like the rebellious street racers who inspired it. Never ride alone...
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,051 | Reviews: 182
Reviews by doppelmeup:
More User Reviews:
Photo of John_M
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Meridian Pint the other day.

The beer pours a light golden amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is all west coast hoppy goodness, showcasing considerable orange citrus and pine, but with little malty sweetness. Consequently, I was a bit surprised by what I tasted, as this beer had a considerable sweet malt base, along with the considerable hoppy bitterness. It's still a fine tasting beer, but I found the alcohol to be a bit more prominent than I expected. Mouthfeel was otherwise medium bodied, with a long, bitter, alcoholic finish.

A nice enough beer, and I'm wondering if freshness might have been something of a problem here. I think the beer had been on tap for a while at the MP, and that may have contributed to the excessive sweet malt and noticeable alcohol. Still a nice beer, and one I hope to try again from a fresher keg.

Edit from 2/4/13. Happened to be in Healdsburg on Saturday, and so got my wish to sample a fresher version of this beer. The difference was dramatic. At the brewpub, this beer has a wonderful nose of tropical fruit, pine and dry citrus. This smells like a hophead's dream, and the flavor profile didn't disappoint. It replicates the nose, but the mouthfeel is fairly light and lean for such a big beer, but I think that works well in this DIPA. Otherwise, the moderate sweetness in the mid palate is gently pushed aside, leading to a long, bitter, hop infused finish. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, with no noticeable heat on the finish. Just delicious. Still would have preferred the Racer X (which they were out of), but this wasn't a bad substitute.

Photo of IvanJ126
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Crisp smooth very balanced

Photo of SanFranJake
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upon seeing that Bear Republic was brewing this way back when I was super excited because I'm a big fan of Racer 5 and DIPA's, so when I saw it, I had to give it a shot.
Poured into a Deschutes snifter it was a nice dark golden orangeish color with a few fingers of fluffy foamy head which dissipated somewhat slowly.

I got some good fruity notes in the nose, but not quite was I was expecting/hoping for.
Same thing with the hops...wasn't as bold as I had hoped for. Both were there and good, just not the big Cali hop/fruity bombs ive been digging as of late.

Having said that, it was enjoyable and the fact that it didn't at all seem like it was 9.75% made it go down nice and easy. Maybe too easy.
Were it not for the fact that I've been full-on in RuinTen and Hoptimum mode the past few months I think I would have loved this but as it is, it's a good stab at a DIPA from Bear Republic.

Photo of andyfrancis
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy gold-amber pour with a thin frothy off-white head.

Citrus and pine followed by citrus and pine on the nose. Still smells like it will be reasonably light drinking though.

I could drink a lot of this. Tart and piney bitter hops up front, followed by a brown sugary sweet swell and boozy finish.

Lightly carbed, not too heavy for an imperial. Leaves some hop resin coating and light bitter aftertaste.

Racer 5 is on the beefier end of the IPA spectrum and in comparison, this isn't much harder to drink while sneaking a few more abv points in there. Would definitely order up a glass if I saw it on draft somewhere.

Photo of Todd
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Carefully poured from the bottle-conditioned bomber. Golden-orange with an incredibly creamy two-finger head and never-ending lace. Fruity, floral, and herbal in the nose with some alcohol in the back. Firm, smooth body, creamy, with a slight carbonation bite. Sweet malty base that's countered by a big, sticky, oily, and resinous hop presence with pine, a citric hop bite, oranges, tropical fruits, and grapefruit. Lots of juicy goodness, with soft floral and herbal notes in the linger and warming alcohol on the breath. Finishes a bit gritty, tannic, and dry.

A bit on the boozy side, but they nailed it with the hops.

Photo of RobertClevenger
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S - 22 oz bomber poured into extra large tulip

A - Light amber, slightly opaque, 2 fingers of pearl white head with nearly solid lacing

S - Fresh citrus and hops, lots of orange, maybe lemon peel

T - Very fresh, smooth citrus flavor, light pine and malt, very well balanced

M - Great body, not too heavy.

O - Very drinkable for a nearly 10% beer, gonna drink it while I can. Hopefully you can find one and enjoy it as much as I did.

Photo of puertobrewing
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Palmas Station in Cataño, Puerto Rico.

Appearance - one an a half fingers of head on top of the golden opaque beer.

Smell - this just kills me. I hope I don't look stupid smelling so many times this beer. Not the best smelling beer but certainly on my top 5. Citrus, floral, guava, grapefruit and passion fruit all in there product of the intense hopping this beer has undergone. This beer will have you smelling it for as long as you have it on your glass.

Taste - well the hops punch you from the tip of the tongue to the back. It's the idea of a Double IPA but I've tasted others which do a better job balancing the bitterness including their own Double Red Rocket. Anyway it's really good tasting with a lot of the flavor coming from the hops, meaning tropical fruits and sour gummies.

Mouthfeel - this one has a huge body. Very thick but well carbonated and extremely enjoyable to drink.

Overall - a very good Imperial/Double IPA but certainly not the best. It would certainly appeal even to the most demanding hopheads but this style of beer can also be appealing to other kinds of beer drinkers as some I-IPAs do.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Popping the cap releases a very piney nose scented with citrus. It pours hazy orange under a 2” finely bubbled persistent lace producing white foam cap. It enters very fruity and creamy supported by big rich malt that balances an assertive hop presence achieving a three way balance between the hops, malt and alcohol. It dries out on the finish with a lingering bitterness blending with residual malt flavors. Medium full body and moderate carbonation. A delightful elixir.

Photo of ehammond1
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On Tap

Slater's 50/50
San Diego, CA

A hazed light copper and amber with a very persistent, somewhat thick, resilient khaki-colored head. Leaves the glass sticky on the way down.

Hop forward aroma with some definite malt backbone sweetness accompaniments. Some stinging citrus flesh and zest notes and caramel and mild toffee sweetness. Approrpriate and well balanced.

Fairly bitter throughout, but doesn't get in the way of the nice flavors present. Again, stinging and sweet citrus notes, bready and sweet malty, caramel flavors. Mild pine.

Nearer to full in body for the style with moderate carbonation.

A bold, big, somewhat sweet DIPA from Bear Republic. Happy I tried it!

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I paid 9.99 for this bottle and it was born 9/5/13 2 days before my 31st birthday. I found it in Ohio still on the shelves, and knew I missed it the first time around. However, I still hadn't had this beer from Bear Republic. If it's so gone because of the aged hop profile I'm not going to knock it, but I have to try it. This should have been gone the first week it was out!!!

It appears a clouded apricot golden glowing orange hue with an off white head forms fine bubbled carbonation, impressive look to say the least.

However, the aromatics are consumed with aged hops and a mild citrus note, dank marijuana and the whole nine.

Gladly, the flavor is amazing the hops being aged don't damper my experience at all, big malts, big alcohol, and big hop flavor come across. Earthy, citric grapefruit peel, candied sugar notes with all of those expressive hops.

Mouthfeel isn't cloying at all, clean excessive hop bursts add a drying quality to the profile. Drinks way to easy on the palate, clean aggressive and still going down great.

Overall, I hope to God that I never find this fresh, because I might not be able to handle it...it may blow my mind, because this is super fucking good on the palate.

Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Cafe racer 15 on tap at the BR brewpub in Healdsburg CA.

Good head. Slight haze. Medium amber. Some sticky lacing.

Aroma is hoppy with a hint of honey.

Citrus and pine hop mix is pronounced but tamed, especially re bitterness, by the malts. Easy drinking for a DIPA.

Photo of Auraan
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy orange with a half-finger white head. It looks nice, but not the best Imperial IPA I've seen. Scents of tropical fruit, caramel malt, pineapple, citrus, some sweet and floral notes, and faint hints of pine. A very fruit and citrus forward DIPA scent, lacking some of the pine of others. It's quite nice and a good change. Taste is hop forward and yet only modestly bitter for the style with the usual flavors of grapefruit pith, some grapefruit, and a bit of tropical fruit, also some hits of pine resin in the background. There is a nice sweet malt backbone backing the citrus and bitterness of the hops, as well as some grassy and floral hop flavors to mix it up a bit. Also a nice hint of alcohol in the background. A very good flavor profile, quite hop forward, yet with some depth to it. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with moderate-high carbonation and an oily finish with a nice burn of alcohol throughout. Quite the nice mouthfeel for a sipping DIPA. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. The flavors I expect in the style are all there and they balance each other nicely leading to an enjoyable drinking experience. Recommended.

Photo of samtrillo
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap Albany Tap Room

Pours a murky golden orange.

Nose of rich pine and tropical fruits.

Taste features a sweet brioche like malt backbone which balances nicely with the mango-pineapple and grapefruit hops. Pine bitterness present on the back. Mouthfeel is smooth and prickly.

Overall, I very fine example of the juicy DIPAs I love but I've been trying to venture away from, recently.

Photo of Maurizio
3.06/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: very nice pale yellow.
Nose: crisp, citrusy grapefruit.
Taste: follows up the nose very well until a late residual sweetness that essentially ruined the beer for me.
Mouthfeel: thin, exactly how I like my IPAs.
Overall: big fan of Racer 5, and Cafe Racer 15 was very promising until the odd sweet finish.

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Very solid DIPA fro Bear Republic. For the record before I get started...for ME, better than Racer X and Racer 5. Served at Fat Angel, San Francisco.

A - Impressive. Active in the glass, bright golden orange...almost glows and a nice solid head retention and Lacing throughout.

S - Oranges, Bubble Gum and Peaches...a bit of grass. Hops at the forefront.

T - Tons of Bubble Gum!! Oranges - check. Peaches- check. Solid citrus fruit but surprisingly the malt backs this up to perfection. Solid balance of a West Coast Hop forward beer with plenty of malt in the picture..balance is awesome between the two keeping this hop forward. Did I say there was a bubble gum character here. Delicious.

M - As it warmed it became creamy..hard to find in a well brewed DIPA. Just a wee below a Solid 5 without question and as close to perfect in this department as it comes. Mild alcohol in the finish as expected for the ABV but masked very well.

O - I'd like to give this a 4.5 but there are a few others I'd give a 5 to that this doesn't quite do the same for me on.

FINAL THOUGHTS - Best hoppy offering I've had to date from Bear Republic. Nice new offering to the already outstanding lineup.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a hazy golden orange with a white finger's worth of head. Fair retention, giving way to a broken layer of surface suds. Decent lacing with fair stick.

Smell - Heavy citrus. Grapefruit pith and orange juice. Light notes of pine resin. Hints of pineapple and white bread.

Taste - Pure citrus juice bomb. Grapefruit character is most abundant upfront, along with lesser notes of orange. Faint pine develops mid-taste and peaks near the finish. Malts add some generic sweetness, and help give the beer it's sweet juicy character. Lingering citrus pith in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Full in body with a light syrupy texture and low to moderate carbonation. Goes down easy enough before a dry finish.

Overall - This is pretty good. Pretty, pretty good. Something about it just doesn't quite reach me the way it should, though. Maybe I've had too many DIPA's that are too similar. Maybe it's needing an extra layer of complexity. Probably a bit of both. Solid brew regardless.

Photo of GilGarp
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bomber served chilled into a goblet.

Cafe Racer 15 is a pale yellow-amber color with thin white head. It has considerable haze but that's not uncommon in a double IPA. The head is tight and slow to settle with nice lacing left behind.

Aroma is super hoppy and definately familiar to fans of Racer 5. Just more of the same hop character with big citrus and pine notes.

Flavor is incredibly hoppy but still somewhat balanced for the style. Again much like their standard IPA, it has great hop flavor with lots of great west coast character but it never really overwhelms with bitterness. It manages to be impressively drinkable for a DIPA of nearly 10% ABV.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall an excellent version of the style and I expected nothing less from the makers of one of my favorite IPAs.

Photo of dirtylou
4.69/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, shared, delirium chalice

Bright orange body - foamy white froth. Punch citrus aroma - fantastic hop profile. Maybe I was just really in the mood for this after a long, hot day in the N Cascades but I found this beer fantastic and better than any other IPA from Bear Republic (saying a lot). Perfect body - light, bright and refreshing. Screw this Mosaic trend - this classic combination of Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hits on all cylinders

Photo of abaer123
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Overall I like the Cafe Racer 15. I was surprised to see that it is 9.75% abv as it does not taste like it, yet, perhaps I have become accustomed to strong ales!

A - cloudy golden color with promise of deliciousness

S - pine, citrus, what you would expect from an IPA

T - delicious. not overly hoppy, yet satisfying, alcohol does not seem to be an inhibitor here.

M - well rounded and satisfying.

I would consider this among my favorite beers. Those being.... :)
Pliny the Elder, Heady Topper, Rampant, Double Jack, Hoptimum, Hop Stoopid, and Sculpin.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a finger of thick, foamy head on a hazy, straw colored body. Looks great.
The aroma is bright lemon, pineapple and grapefruit. Really good.
The taste starts with bold pine bitterness, sweetens out towards the middle and then finishes with a lemon bitter downslope.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
The taste has great balance.

Photo of adamdarcy
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewpub in Healdsburg.

Appearance
A good couple of fingers head on top, slow to dissipate. Deep amber/orange color, very very inviting...

Smell
Absolutely wonderful. My relatively untrained nose smells something consistent with their other superior brews like the Racer 5, Red Rocket and even the beautiful stout. A citrusy sweetness hit my olfactory bulb first, with pine and overall juicy fruit. Extremely inviting.

Taste
Compared to Bell's Hopslam or some other hoppy beers up here in Michigan, I didn't get slapped in the face with the hops. That's a great thing for me, actually. I'm a hop-head but sometimes it's too much. Perfect balance for me; the hops fade away slowly to transition to citrus, juicyfruit, pine, with a nice, not-to-dry finish.

Mouthfeel
Smooth and creamy, but not too thick. Not overly dry at the finish.

Overall
My new favorite for my favorite style, American Double IPA. Pliny had the previous top spot, but I give extra points to Bear Republic because of the higher consistency of greatness in their offerings.

And let me just say that, as brewpubs go, you will not find a greater group of excellent servers. I say 'servers' because I really felt very well served and catered to the whole time, and it was an absolute blast meeting the other clientele and bartenders. Keep up the great work, guys!!

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pale hazy orange. Nice white head with a chunky collar. Leggy.

Smell - Citrus. Grapefruit and some resiny pine. Caramel and toasted malt aroma. Smells a little English.

Taste - Citrusy and sweet in equal measures. Pushing too sweet. Toasty bready malt. Bitter. A little musty.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Decent hop profile, but too sweet for me.

Photo of erushing
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I haven't had some of the biggest dogs in the double IPA game, but this is easily my favorite. Tons of malt, citrus and pine, but very balanced.

Photo of labattblueribbon
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured to glass. Enjoyed this incredible brew with the last episode of Breaking Bad, and god damn was it a perfect pairing. There is almost nothing to dislike about this beer except the nose didn't really show up. Easily the most memorable DIPA i've had in months, great lacing, solid citrus after-taste hanging around, maybe a little spearmint in there as well, no a bit of alcohol to be detected, DANGEROUSLY drinkable. great scott what a bear. Bottom Line an absolute MUST HAVE, get it anyway you can. about $9 for a bomber, i would have paid 30 bucks for this gem.

Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

hazy dull blonde color with sticky off white head. super piney nose with notes of tobacco, citrus, a touch of tropical fruit and a touch of passion fruit.

Medium bodied but thick feeling in the mouth with light carbonation. Borders on syrupy but saves itself with assertive hop bitterness and bright hop flavors. Starts up with sticky sweet caramel malts which roll into a dry tobacco flavor. The beer slides to the back of the tongue with bright citrus and piney flavors and finishes tropical with a hop reesin bitterness that balances the thick malt body. Bitterness linger deep in the throat with a touch of alcohol heat on the breath and some sweet sticky caramel coated dried tropical fruits.

Pretty good but nothing out of the ordinary or impressive, a bit too syrupy for me and I've had other DIPAS that cover the alcohol a bit better. Still a solid offering with good flavor though. Wish more of that tobacco like flavor came through to change things up as well as that hop resin to dry things out. Leaves a nice after taste from the hops but the alcohol heat on the breath takes away from this a bit.

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Café Racer 15 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,051 ratings.