Café Racer 15 - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Café Racer 15Café Racer 15

Educational use only; do not reuse.

177 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 177
Hads: 1,065
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 7.93%
Wants: 59
Gots: 98 | 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: 177 | Hads: 1,065
Photo of dirtylou
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
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 (462 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

C+ (1,552 characters)

Photo of SanFranJake
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (896 characters)

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out a very nice gold, slightly hazed. Excellent carbonation, small head, but the lace is thick and long lasting.

The smell starts with almost a candied flower smell, I assume caramalts and floral hops. A bit of fresh cut grass and citric hops finish it.

Citrus, caramel, floral hops and a hint of country white bread start the taste off with a bang. Slight mineral flavor around the middle, with a smooth blood orange and slight pine resin finish. No booze noticed, which is excellent for a 9.75% brew. Perfect body, moderate thickness and smooth as silk.

Damn! That was a good brew. (592 characters)

Photo of Philousa
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Imbibed at Market Beer Co. on 7/20/13

Pours a clear copper with a whispy white head. Surprisingly little lacing. Aroma is slightly biscuity sweet with a great helping of pine, grapefruit, and lemon. Aroma is very pleasant. Flavor starts with pine and sweet biscuit/honey, moves to pine bitterness that is mild and pleasant. This finishes slightly sweet with a medium mouthfeel.

This is a great beer that hides its ABV very well. Looking forward to getting a bottle to enjoy at home. (485 characters)

Photo of PerHops
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Perfect color for the style. Beautiful semi hazy orange with very little head but nice lacing on the glass.

S- Big juicy hops, bready malts, a tiny hint of caramel or something sweet

T- Follows the nose except it is much more juicy than I even expected. Huge tropical fruit, stone fruit, grapefruit and orange marmalade.

M- Near perfect carbonation for style. Viscous in the beginning but finishes with a medium high carbonation that dries out the finish

O- This beer is even better than I remember it. I will definitely try to find another one (552 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into an Allagash cervoise glass. Purchased almost a month ago at the brewery.

A: A finger and a half of pleasant, whitish head tops an effervescent, mostly clear, amber beer.

S: Herbaceous and heavily fruity. Tropical, with a juicy smell dripping with pineapple, guava, and --most obviously -- mango. A whiff of fresh pine. Incredible.

T: Not as fresh as it was on-tap, this incarnation is less fruity and more bitter, but only relatively. In general, it's still very fruit-forward, but also quite hoppy. The maintaste is an earthy, herbal, bitter foretaste, fruity maintaste, and balanced endtaste.

M: Thick and malty without being oppressive.

O: A damn good beer. Highly recommended! Racer 5 may be the best IPA, but this is something else. (777 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Grapefruit bomb! This pours an orange tinted amber straw color. Its aroma is wonderfully hoppy and sweet with a great freshly squeezed grapefruit nose to it. The flavor is sweetly hoppy, with some orange peel & a piney, grapefruit-dominating bittering. Has an absolutely great finish to it—bitter, piney, resiny, and long-lasting. Hop forward with a light body. Delicious. (374 characters)

Photo of mxchap
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Golden Amber and Orange. Rich creamy head. Decent lacing. [4.5]
Aroma: Pine, Mango, Grapefruit, Pineapple. Bit of fusel and malt on the back end. [4.75]
Taste: Mostly citrus. Bit malty and boozy on the end. As it warms up, the pine flavor from the Chinook takes over and plays nicely with the Citra etc. [4.5]
Feel: Great carbonation and sticky / resiny feel. [4.75]
Overall: I've had this beer on tap 3 times and once on the bottle. I've had Pliny (Elder) countless times on tap and in the bottle. I like this better. Worth trying. Definitely better on tap. The bottle I had was 1.5 months old. [4.75] (614 characters)

Photo of Gatch
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Lord Hobo in Cambridge.

Golden-yellow and super hazy. Big fluffy white head that leaves behind tons of lacing and good retention. Big bright citrusy nose complemented by piney hop aromas. Super sticky and resiny with plenty of dry citrus such as grapefruit and some mango. Some booze in there as well. The finish is all hops. Dry, pungent, bitter, delicious hops. With each sip, I'm reminded of biting from a fresh grapefruit. It's that dry and bitter. A hint of malt tries to sneak its way through the hop deluge but this is an onslaught. Everything a hop bomb should be. This is a West Coast DIPA that I remember from my Arizona days. Great stuff. But be warned..if you're not a hop head, this might not be for you. (728 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (697 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
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. (311 characters)

Photo of popery
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice to see this stuff show up in bottles. Pours a solid orange, maybe with a touch of amber to it. Quite cloudy. Bone white head that leaves behind some decent lacing as it slowly fades to a centimeter thick blanket of foam. The aroma is big on grapefruit and tangerine with some lemon, pineapple, berry. Lots of hops. There's some lightly caramel accented pale malt sweetness in the background, but this beer brings a hefty dose of hops. Citra, Amarillo and Cascade/Chinook all make their presences felt. It's a nice mix with very good strength, though it's not quite as juicy as more Citra/other fancy new hop variety heavy DIPAs. The taste starts with some gentle malt sweetness, an inviting blank canvas of sugar cane, caramel and honey. Then, sweetly lemony and floral hop notes slide in, followed by pineapple, tangerine and grapefruit rind. There's a bit of green hop harshness in the middle. It's pretty bitter, though it doesn't really get in the way of the hop flavor, outside of that harsh touch. Somewhat sweet, but it's handled well and doesn't grow syrupy or heavy. For the abv and style, it's relatively dry, particularly in the finish. Lingering floral and citrus hop flavors with a pleasing level of bitterness. Relatively mild but noticeable booziness. Mouthfeel is smooth and fairly light, but it coats the palate with hop oiliness. Big mouthful of flavor. Tasty stuff. It's my favorite Bear Republic (D)IPA, and it's great to see put it in bottles without losing its magic. (1,494 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: A deep deep golden color with a slight amber tint to it. The body itself is very transparent. The bubbles are light but they are definitely there. Head comes off easy, off-white maybe 1/3" with a hard pour.

Smell: Light citrus mostly grapefruit, you take a sniff its ok...I want you to take another sniff it just hits you like oh my god. The scent it slightly light but its strong off the each whiff. A wet hopped scent which is incredibly pleasant.

Taste: Strong and bitter first words coming out my mouth, this brew is already on top of the one of the best period. With strong, floral feel and the grapefruit skin its feels like biting into a raw piece of grapefruit. it has that bitter sweet that has a sound that is close to perfect.

Mouth: With a medium carbonation, and it's smoothness you honestly have yourself a winner.

Overall: I am beyond impressed what quality that is presented to you. With quality like this that screams flavor, taste and body alone you have yourself a quality brew. I will be at the Superstar Beverage next week and will gladly pour myself another with no argument as long as it is available. Don't hesitate and just drink, Salud! (1,211 characters)

Photo of denver10
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange with a white head. Aroma is hoppy and malty; juicy tropical fruits, some florals and a malty foundation of some biscuit. Flavor was similar with a big malt foundation providing some buttery biscuit, the hops offered tropical fruit, and some florals. I didn't get too much bitterness from it. A medium bodied, active mouthfeel. Overall, not my favorite style of beer but definitely enjoyed this. I still prefer their Hop Rod Rye to this (for a BR offering), but would be happy to drink this again. (518 characters)

Photo of Chelsea1905
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had a pint at O'Brian's in San Diego.

Nice copper colour with a small head that left spider web lacing.

Nose of hops piney, and malty biscuit backbone

Initial taste was kind of boozy, but the malt washed over that, and then the hops lingered on the tongue.

Very nice pint. (276 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
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. (511 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.87/5  rDev -7%
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... (417 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (615 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a semi-hazed glowing marmalade color. Pretty easy to see through. Mild head. Head leaves speckles of lace around the glass.

S-Juicy, wet hops. Not super intense but intense enough to warrant some merit. Tropical and citrusy with a load of dried grass. Citra all the way.

T-Tropical fruits are citrus flesh. Grapefruit transforms into bitter grass. Malt bows down to the hoppiness. The hop expression is quite memorable.

M-Resinous and bitter. Medium/full in body. Dry. Booze hidden well.

O/D-Great beer. I can definitely lump this into the same quality category as their Racer 5 and Racer X. Love them Citra hops. (626 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (824 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (1,973 characters)

Photo of jtd1969
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden with fairly good clarity. Lots of lacing

S -Tropical awesomeness Pineapple, Mango, citrus with some sweet bread

T - Lite caramel, Malt is overpowered by hops, but in a a good crisp clean way. (If that makes sense) lots of citrus hops with a smooth finish

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation, nice hop finish, doesn't linger

O - WOW , had it a Dog Street Pub in Williamsburg, Va. Such a delight.. ABV well hidden, Wish I could have convinced my group to stay there all day and I would have been in beer heaven!! (529 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.37/5  rDev +5%
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. (1,651 characters)

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

On tap at Hops and Pie. Orange-yellow color, soapy head. Strong aroma of hops, citrus, pine, touch of malt. Flavor was more citrus hops with a decent malt backbone. I'm not sure if this is an amped up Racer 5 but it was a pretty good DIPA. I'd definitely order this again. (272 characters)

Café Racer 15 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.