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Café Racer 15 - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Café Racer 15Café Racer 15

Educational use only; do not reuse.

184 Reviews

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Reviews: 184
Hads: 1,110
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 20.53%
Wants: 66
Gots: 110 | 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
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Reviews: 184 | Hads: 1,110
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap for the 4th Annual LA Beer Week Beer Festival at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and some slight tropical fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with a medium hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a great smell and a nice hoppy flavor.

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Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy yellowish amber in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down a bit, leaving lots of lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops—oranges in particular—stand out in particular along with hints of pine resin hops.
T: The taste has flavors of pale malts along with notes of grapefruit and pine resin hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to be maltier compared to other Imperial IPAs but has an interesting mix of hops that lend some. complexity to the smell and taste. It is rather drinkable considering the strength as the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this just landed in Colorado, and boy is it good. a big bright strong double ipa, with all kinds of complex hop personality. shiny brass color with a tiny bit of hazy underneath an inch or so of plain white head with patchy lacing as it drinks. big nose of citra hops for sure with its lemony fresh squeezed character, as well as some more bitter and oily west coast varietals. this drinks lighter than it is because of this nice fruity element, it hides the alcohol well. soft finish, delicate almost for what it is, just expertly hopped. the aftertaste is long and grapefruity, and just a little sweet. this is in the mold of the big west coast ipas, but it has another layer, and that is the bitterness of Amarillo and the citra fruitiness. its lip smacking good, refreshing for its size, and makes me want more. well carbonated but not overdone. medium body only, the alcohol is very well disguised. overall probably the best bear republic beer ive had yet, the hop profile is genius. great after work beer.

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Photo of brentk56
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
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 largadeer
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Rose and Crown. Clear amber body topped by a finger of head that recedes to a thin collar.

Tangerine, orange, sugar cookie aroma. Bit of tropical fruit, more citrus dominant. Bright and juicy, superior to Racer X.

Palate is resiny with juicy citrus notes. Orange, pineapple, herbal astringency. Faint sweetness from the malt integrates well with the citrusy hop profile. Body is medium-light, and the finish is pleasantly bitter with mild drying astringency. Really nice stuff, about as good as the better batches of Racer X.

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Photo of jlindros
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Armsby Abbey.

Pours a creamy 1 finger head in a snifter, hazy golden nectar orange color.

Nose citrus hops, tropical fruit, grapefruit, tangerine, a bit of mango and peach, light resin, and light sweet malt.

Taste starts slightly sweet reddish and pale malts, then fresh hops, light citrus and almost orange rind, tropical fruit, grapefruit, light tangerine, citrus fruit really comes through, light musty resin. Finishes dry and fairly bitter, more tropical fruit and resins.

Mouth is med to a bit bigger bodied, decent carb.

Overall nice fruity hops, tropical fruit, grapefruit, light resin and citrus, tasty and drinkable, light malt base to stand on.

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Photo of mactrail
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A loud roar of hops of every description. It's a circus of hops. Color is that rusty orange tinted amber, even darker than most IPAs. Smell is something like melon and a little cat pee. It's a nose and a half.

Bold malt with lots of sweetness and a honey tang. Bready, tending to dry out. Sharp and volatile. Starts out with the mango and overripe peach, and shades into the pine and grapefruit. Quite bitter from start to finish, but the endless fruit and aromatics keep it drinkable. A powerful and boozy fruit bomb. Almost a dessert beer, if you like a pine pitch custard.

Plenty sudsy in the big Duvel tulip. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Bottlecraft in San Diego for $8.25.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Served on-draught into a Leffe goblet at the Daily Pint in Santa Monica, CA. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of white colour. Smooth soft complexion. Nice thickness. Decent creaminess. Good (~10 minute) retention. Beautiful consistent even lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes - some of the best lacing I've seen.

Body colour is a murky vibrant copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Pungent; very aromatic. Nice balanced yet assertive hop presence: grapefruit citrus esters, floral hops, citrus, some oily/nectary hop character. Clean pale malts. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. A crisp and pleasant aroma of moderate to high strength.

T: Nice crisp floral and grapefruit hop profile. Body is comprised of clean pale malts with perhaps a dash of caramalt. Malts are well married to the hops; they made some good choices here. Pretty decently balanced, though some alcohol is noticeable. Quite enjoyable, if simple for the style. Assertive. High flavour intensity. Above average depth and duration of flavour.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Crisp. Fairly hot; burns in the stomach. Full-bodied. Thick to style. Lightly oily. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but it doesn't feel custom-tailored to it.

Dr: Really doesn't hide its ABV well. I do like it, but I hope for great from Bear Republic and this delivers merely above average. I wouldn't have another, especially at bar prices. It'll scratch the itch of hopheads, but there's definite room for improvement.


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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Any time I see a Bear Republic beer that is new, I am ready and willing to try it.

The sweet tone on this is odd to me. Seems way overstated with the hop character adding an uneventful spiced tone. It's...not what I would expect from Bear Republic. Or, hope to get from them. Oh well. On to the next I suppose.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good, solid head with a slow settling time. Leaves a cross between blanket and ring lace. Neutral gold color with a bit of haze.

Plenty of sweet grapefruit aroma from the plentiful hop. It overwhelms most of the other smells. Certainly not balanced, but for this style, it doesn't have to be.

Strong bitter hop that stands out even on the initial sip. Very dry, particularly at the swallow. Long, astringent aftertaste. Puckering. Notable alcohol throughout the taste. There's enough richness in the malt to give it a base. Low carbonation.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 01/06/12 notes. Had this on tap at Pony Bar in NYC on the UES. 8 oz. pour.

a - Pours a clear orange-amber color with one inch of bright white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of tropical fruits, grapefruit, citrus hops, pine hops, fruity malts, and some lemon. lots of hops and tropical fruits; loving the nose.

t - Tastes of tropical fruits, citrus hops, grapefruit, pine hops, floral hops, lemon zest, fruity malts, and some pineapple. Taste is lightly bitter but not a ton. Quite nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Light bitter bite but not much at all, especially for 9% ABV.

o - Overall a really nice DIPA and another good beer from BR. I think I actually like this more than Racer 5 and X. Tons of tropical fruits and citrus hops, with little bitterness. Would love to have it again.

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Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Darrell. Thanks man!

The beer appears orange with a quarter inch or so of white head. The aroma offers grapefruit, assorted tropical fruits, malt, alcohol. Sweet and boozy, big, bold and hoppy. Some toasted grain and sturdy malt body support the aggressive hop character. Full bodied for the style. A tasty beer, albeit in small quantities.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hey, what's wrong with Racer X? Whatevers, Bear Republic takes up to the next step with Racer 15, I have 22 ounces, so make it good. On to the beer:

Its color appears apricot colored and is topped with an inch of semi-creamy foam which does a fine job retaining on top. Good lacing too. With one whiff of the aroma, I can tell that this is shaping up to be a good journey. The aroma of tangerine, citrus, a "salty" caramel note, and grass is overall exciting.

At just under four months old, the hoppy flavor is sill intact. If citrusy fruit is what you like out of your Double IPA, start asking about Racer 15. First part of the taste is a bitter tangerine peel, and it's not long for the bitterness to writher away and turn sweet and fruity. The tangerine sweetens, notes of apricot arise, and there's a kiss of bittersweet lemonade. A little straight-up bitterness builds towards the end of each. Slightly herbal. As a bonus, much of the alcohol is hidden despite its listed 9.75% ABV. Its mouthfeel is full bodied, on the smooth side with a gentle lift of carbonation which allows the hops to stick around.

Worthy of the Bear Republic name, as well as being part of the Racer series. Tigger yum yum in a bottle.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a translucent goldenrod to yellow orange with a full creamy white head, nice thick lace.

S: Very nice, with notes of grapefruit and pineapple, pungent, sticky West Coast feel.

T: The taste rains it in. Solid malt flavour with a hint of ethanol. White grapefruit, melon rind, passion fruit form the hop flavours. Tasty, but not as good as I expected with the nose.

M: Medium to full-bodied, resiny, big hop character, slick at times.

O: A well made Double IPA, not surprised since this is Bear Republic whe're taking about here. Well worth a try for fans of the West Coast style.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.54/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at some German bar in Redwood City.

Clear light copper with a white head. Fades to nothing with no lacing. Strong hoppy aroma and not much else; citra and light pine. Bitter, astringent flavor loading up on peach, mango and juicy random citrus. Medium thick and creamy body with low carbonation. Dry, watery finish. Meh, nothing special.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Andover Liquors,
Pours a crystal clear light golden color with a huge white head that persists forever. Smells of pine resin and citrus mostly. Light bits of bread and caramel are hidden somewhere in there. The flavor is orangey grapefruit with pine needles, pipe resin, and a solid shot of caramel and alcohol. There is a solid lingering hop bitterness that coats the palette long after each sip. Medium body with a fairly dry finish, moderate level of carbonation and a slick resinous mouthfeel. Nice IPA but a bit harsh at times and the alcohol is a bit too noticeable for my tastes.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap and served in a tulip, the beer is a hazed orange-copper coloring with a small bubbled, off-white, clingy head. Nose of tropical fruit, with a heavy dose of mango and grapefruit. Slight bitterness to the hops character, too. Flavors of biscuit/toast in the backbone, with a citrusy and floral hops overtone. Spicy, green highlights, with touches of caramel sweetness underlying. Smooth, spiced aftertaste that is resiny and bitter. Very smooth bodied, with a clean, bitter finish. Very tasty brew.

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


On cask at Pizza Port Real Ale 2011.

A: Transparent orange in the imperial pint glass with a not insubstantial frothy white head. Retention is excellent, the head lasting for 5 minutes and never really receding.

S: Aroma is of tangerine and orange, with subtle caramel notes. The citrus is bright and vibrant. No evident booze.

T: Light caramel melds with tangerine, peach, and orange. Grapefruit is subtle. Citrus is fleshy with no harsher rind notes. Alcohol is well hidden. Bitterness is at a lower moderate level but hop flavor is excellent.

M: Lower medium in body with lower moderate cask carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth, dry, and sticky.

Overall: Good stuff.

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Photo of John_M
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured a glowing burnt orangish color with good carbonation presenting a nice white cap, good lacing and head retention to boot. Good looking IIPA.

S: Light dank, juicy fruits, mainly in the way of tropical fruits and citrus. A little bit of caramel perhaps

T: Initial blast of tropical fruits and citrus with a moderate little booze presence. There is a nice bready backbone with some caramel perhaps to help blance it out. This beer screams sweet, lightly dank and flavorful. The finish is a bit wet and sweet

M: Medium-full body, a bit sweet and oily at times. Well carbonated, lots of hops wallop the palate

O: Very nice.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bomber into a tulip. 8/5/13 bottling date.

Copper color with a big white head. Smell is very hoppy leaning on the piney side, but with some citrusy notes as well. The taste is very big and hoppy as well, with a great citrus flavor up front followed by the piney bitterness and ending with a good dry malty feel. Real flavorful and complex DIPA here, and probably my favorite IPA from Bear Republic. Medium bodied, mild carbonation.

Overall this is an exceptionally complex DIPA!

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%

Poured into a Chuckanut pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy medium golden amber with a half finger off-white head with good retention and light lacing. Nice aroma of caramel malt, tropical and citrus fruit, citrus and mildly piney hops. Flavor is caramel malt, citrus and piney hops with a good resinous character, citrus, tropical fruit, grapefruit rind, finishing with a long, lingering resinous hops bitterness. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. This is a well balanced, full malt bodied IIPA with a great selection of hops; pretty much as I expect from this brewery. Really hits the spot. These guys know how to build a flavorful IPA.

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Café Racer 15 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.