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Café Racer 15 - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Café Racer 15Café Racer 15

Educational use only; do not reuse.

193 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 193
Hads: 1,127
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 69
Gots: 114 | FT: 1
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Café Racer 15 Alström Bros
Reviews: 193 | Hads: 1,127
Photo of brentk56
3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: An impressive arrival, with a fluffy white head perched atop the clear amber liquid; a curtain of lacing is left behind

Smell: West Coast aromatics, with grapefruit and pineapple dominant

Taste: Big sweet candy malt flavors are joined, right at the outset, by the grapefruit and pineapple elements; there is also a bit of passion fruit, bringing a tropical aspect; big and sticky, after the swallow, though the bitterness dominates

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; sticky mouthfeel

Overall: Fans of sticky DIPAs will like this one, but I prefer more attenuated examples of the style

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.87/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of Rutager
3.87/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance. Pours a clear, rich amber-gold with a finger of thick off-white head.

Smell. Piney floral hops with a little citrus and some sweet caramel malts.

Taste. Big piney, floral hops with some bitter citrus rinds and a fairly sweet caramel malt base.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, medium+ carbonation.

Overall. A nice big ipa, but I wish I tried this before the hop venom, probably would have rated it higher...

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Photo of srandycarter
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pretty nice, typical IPA offering. Clear golden, nice near white head, leaves fast. Lots of spotty lace. Smell of malt and hops, of course. Taste is more hops driven but does not forget the malt. Good carb, good balance, fairly clean finish. I would have another.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64oz growler
Filled, 4/25/13. Drank, 5/2/13

A: Pours our clear bright orange color. Layer of bright white. Fades to nothing pretty quickly. Doesn't leave a ton of lacing. Still good carbonation though, tiny bubbles coming up from the bottom.

S: Nice nose here. Some tropical fruits: Mango, Papaya and Apricot. There is some sweet slightly bready malt behind it too. Sort of smells like Russian River IPAs, but not quite as good.

T: Creamy hop bitterness on tip of tongue. Fruitiness. Lots of mango and papaya. There are some malts that shine through in the mid palate. The flavor on this is good, but the nose is better. A mild let down. Dry finish with lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of Larsam123
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 750ml bottle. Sampled on December 27, 2013.

Appearance - cloudy orange/gold with bits of yeast floating around in the bottle. A bit of yeast haze in the glass. Some lacing, low head retention.

Smell - Floral elements as it is opens. Definite apricot as it warms up. Less nose than I was expecting.

Taste - Malty backbone and bitterness you expect from this style. Not too dry.

Overall - Good IIPA. Wish there was a little more on the nose.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into tulip at glass half full in sterling va. Golden orange with thick white head and lots of sticky lacing. Huge piney grapefruit aromas with a big malt backbone. Flavors of sweet sugary malt and if course pine and citrus hops. Hop presance is massive. I usually don't enjoy west coast style ipas as much as most but this is nice...must be the Amarillo hops. Its a bit heavy and the abv is obvious.
Nice brew. What I'd expect from a west coast ipa.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Pours a murky amber color with a 1/2 inch of head. The aroma is tangerines, pine, light grapefruit, and orange. Large amount of lacing. The taste is piney hops upfront followed by some honey, toasted malts, tangerine, and grapefruit rind. Tangerine and orane peel near the end. Piney hop finish. Mild alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is creamy and slightly oily. Piney, bitter and a bit on the boozey side, this is a solid Imperial IPA. Overall, given the chance I would buy this one again.

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Photo of Sideswipe
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler picked up at the brewpub today.

A- Hazy dark golden to orange color. Three finger white head recedes leaving nice lacing.

S- Big floral, citrus and pine notes. Orange blossom dominates, with pineapple and mango playing second fiddle. Smells downright juicy!

T- Initial piney bitterness is followed up by orange zest and a pleasant sugar cookie malt presence. Huge juicy citrus charactertisics dominate mid palate. Finish is medium dry with a nice lingering bitter aftertaste.

M- Feel is medium bodied, leaning toward thicker, with a pine resiny viscosity that works in the beer's favor. Carbonation is medium to low, imparting a creamy quality.

O- This is a very nice offering from Bear Republic. ABV is very well masked by the citrusy, piney flavors which make Cafe Racer 15 a joy to imbibe. Really enjoying this one. Recommended.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours a mostly clear gold color with an ample cap of off-white head. Nice retention and lace.

Nose is tropical goodness we have come to expect from mosaic and amarillo. Malt pretty much gets out of the way and leaves a hint of grains and the yeast is uber-neutral. WCIPA fo sho.

Taste throws down on a multitude of hop flavors ranging from peach to papaya to orange flesh. A lot of different dank flavors here, like chewing on a good nug. Doesnt quite all come together harmoniously for me though and the high ABV unbalances it a little. Its good, maybe close to damn good, but I dont think Id buy it again. There are other BR beers I would rather have and this one just seems a bit too over the top.

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Photo of Brad007
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bright and golden with a one-finger head. Uses Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hops for flavor and bittering.

Lots of resinous pine upfront with only a touch of grapefruit.

Flavor is full of grapefruit and pine notes.

Lingering grapefruit and pine resin make up the mouthfeel. Burns going down. Definitely sipping material.

Who needs orange juice for breakfast when you can have this?

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Photo of Pencible
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a hazy gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like citrus zest and sweet sugary malt, with some biscuit and oranges.
T: It tasted like bitter grapefruit and citrus zest, with sweet sugary malt and some biscuit. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with some carbonation. Ok body.
D: This was a decent double IPA, but probably already past its prime. The scent and taste were more sweet than bitter, and the body was a little weak. The finish was smooth enough, with well hidden alcohol, so it was pretty easy to drink. Really good, but not top tier.

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Photo of Duane_Opfer
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Rich amber with a light head.

S - Peach/apricot hints.

T - Although a West Coast DIPA, my taste buds told me it was an East Coast DIPA. The malty sweetness was upfront with hints of peach and apricot. Average hoppiness for a DIPA. Initially, I tasted slight citrus hints, but tasted more citrus as it warmed.

M - Very nice. Appropriately carbonated with a nice texture.

O - I expected a West Coast IPA and received an East Coast DIPA, comparable with Dogfish Head 90 Min IPA. I prefer the bitterness of West Coast DIPA and this beer present malty sweetness. Good, but will not purchase again.

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Photo of OmahaKF
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smell is dank pine, citrus (more with grapefruit), and malt sweetness. Taste is heavily citrus with floral undertones, pine resin, and orange Jell-O. Finish is fairly bitter with just a hint but not overwhelming underlying booziness. Overall, I thought it was closer to a triple IPA in characteristics than a double IPA, but a very nice west coast style IPA.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep orange with an off white head. Good lacing and retention.

Smells largely of citrus - orange and grapefruit. Also has mangoe and tangerine. Nice long sweet nose.

Taste similar to racer 5, nice sweet orange and mangoe with bitter orange and grapefruit. This one has a thicker syrupy middle. A nice biscuity malt background is slightly detected. A very solid DIPA.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-pale orange amber color with a nice off-white head and good lacing

S-citrus, tropical fruit, malt, pine, little boozy

T-toasted bread, caramel, tropical fruit, grapefruit, pine, hint of toffee, moderate bitter finish

F-medium to full body, moderate carbonation, a little cloying, but smooth, little boozy

O-a decent DIPA, but a little to sweet for my taste and a little on the heavy and boozy side

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Photo of abaer123
3.99/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.99/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated August 5, 2013 poured October 21, 2013. These guys need to get the distribution down here to FL quicker. Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a small white head. Big floral grapefruit aroma with strong caramel malts in the background. Flavor follows with very floral citrus on the palate backed by sweet candy like malts. The aromatic flavor (is that a thing) keeps this from being overly sweet. BIG slick mouthfeel on this with medium prickly carbonation. Would like to see how this is fresh as this was definitely past the hop prime. Still drank nicely.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: in a pint, hazy medium amber body, fat off-white head; sheen of lace left behind

S: hop-dominant citrus and pine, resin and herb

T: muddied hops bearing suggestions of dark grapefruit pith, chewy pine resin, and somehow - maybe my mind was playing tricks on my taste buds - watered down instant coffee? Subdued malt underscored the hop experience, salted caramel and grain

M: medium-light body, modest carbonation, slightly coating, smooth, and mildly bitter, wet finish

O: I was a little underwhelmed - surely a good DIPA, light like an IPA, and easy to drink, but the flavor profile and feel were probably just slightly off-the-mark for my particular tastes.

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Photo of SierraJosh
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really good DIPA from Bear Republic. The balance was what I expect from a west coast DIPA hop bomb and subtle sweet malts rounded out the flavor, not too bitter on the finish. Orange rind and minimal grapefruit on the nose, good carbonation and lacing on the tulip pint glass. Good solid 4. Would recommend.

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Photo of BostonHops
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap @ american craft, brookline MA, 7/22/11.
(review from notes)

pours a slightly hazy golden/orange tone while yielding a good 1" head, moderate retention and lacing. nose is good, though not mind-blowing: big hoppy notes (citrus, a bit of pine), with a light malty presence in the background.

taste is also quite nice. the citrus (grapefruit) and pine are there, along with a floral element, though more subtle on that count. packs a sturdy malt backbone. very tasty, though nothing transcendent. medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation. well-hidden alcohol presence.

overall this is a damn good beer. lacks that intangible wow factor, but i still really enjoyed it. worth a try if you should run into it.

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Photo of Celtics17
4/5  rDev -4.3%

It's good, but I've had better. The hops used in this Double IPA didn't out shine the malt backbone. I get the floral, and maybe some peach. Just over powering malt.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was poured from the tap at Rattle N’ Hum in New York, NY. It arrived in a high stemmed pilsner glass glowing a golden, pale brown coloring. It held a two finger head of creamy white bubbles, showing great retention. This left thick sheets of lacing down the sides of the glass, making everything look very frothy. There was a chill haze, no sediment, and light carbonation. The aroma was of light grain of pale malt, with a toast, and some yeasty metallics. Warmed fruity hops, with pear pineapple, and mango came next, with hearty no-nonsense grapefruit hops, and grassy funk with warmth. Our first impression was that it tasted like a heavy IPA, lacking the overdone roast and caramel to the malts that has become some common for DIPAs. The flavoring opened with hops like crazy. They were sticky sweet, like a nectary citric syrup with pine cones floating in it. A light grumble of gritty, dirty pale malts came to backup for the balance and pull us to the peak. Here there was more toast of grain, huge bitterness of citric hop and rind, with an added sweetness of raw honey, and syrupy fig pulp. The finish was bitter of pine and citric rind, metallics to pucker, and a final wash of malts, with grain bite and sweetness to ease any residual bitterness. The aftertaste breathed of clean, bittering hops of soap and pine, big booze, and that same fruity, syrupy sweetness from the center. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium. There was a thick, sticky coating at first, but bitterness pulled a final pucker. There was good slurp, smack, cream, and glug, with ultimate dryness. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily, being slowed only by the bitterness.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the robust but easy flavoring, and the soft drinkability. The bitterness through the mouth may be off-putting for some, but the sweetness and grain to blend nicely towards the end, making for a tasty, easy-drinking offering.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Stone during SDBW 2011.

A - Pours a golden orange color, little carbonation and a very thin white lacing ring.

S - Pineapple, grapefruit, citrus, mangos, light caramel. This a a very fruity hop forward type of beer, it's the all about the hops.

T - Matches the nose with ton of tropical fruit some peppery spice, and a lingering red juicy grapefruit bitter finish.

M - Medium body.

O - This is a solid D-IPA from Bear Republic and one I've never heard of before and hope that we can get out here on the East Coast at some point.

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Café Racer 15 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 193 ratings.