Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Café Racer 15 - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Café Racer 15Café Racer 15

Educational use only; do not reuse.

195 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 195
Hads: 1,148
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 20.33%
Wants: 66
Gots: 124 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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: 195 | Hads: 1,148
Photo of TBoneJones
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured this into a pint:
This beer is very hazy, with a pineapple juice color with a fizzy, active body, and a white creamy head. Lacing stays caked-on.
Smells like citrus, pine, grapefruit, some alcohol.
Cakey-sweet dipa of juicy, delicious citrus hops that lean toward the lemony,and some pepper. Sweet malts. Hop fix indeed. Creamy smooth, zesty, nicely carbonated. Even though there's a dry spicy-rind to the finish, this sips dangerously fast due to the great feel. There's a lot going on here. Big, sweet, earthy heat.
Overall I'm reminded of both Avery's Maharaja and Clown Shoes Space Cake. This is big-time brewing by West Coast craft icon Bear Republic. Not for everyone, but I enjoyed.

 699 characters

Photo of Todd
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 623 characters

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.

 715 characters

Photo of travolta
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Appearance: Opaque toasty orange color. Soft tiny bubbled head with very nice retention.

Nose: Orange cream circle, pine, resin, grapefruit, and syrupy citrus.

Taste: Orange rind, sour citrus, malty sweetness moves in and out. Interesting balance of bitter, dry, and malty. They move together. Lots of rind and orange flavored candy. Tiny hotness at the end.

 368 characters

Photo of arizcards
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine in late August for $7.99. Best by 1/11/2014...WTF? Thought I was getting a new bottle knowing a new release was coming out and TW selling out last year...I love how our distributors throw old stuff out into the market...shame on me!

Beer poured golden with a nice white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is pungent with dank hops.

Taste is oranges, mango, grapefruit, and pine. Malt backbone is huge but hops overwhelm with a nice bittering lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth.

Overall a very good brew. Do i need to apologize to the local distributor? Seems like it is fairly fresh but I will need to find another bottle from this year's batch.

 715 characters

Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Oranges, mangoes, apricots, pickles, and brown sugar. Alcohol is palatable. On the palate, oranges and pine mixed in with dark rum. Medium bodied which feels light in the context of such bitterness. This is a good beer, though boozy, not sure why I keep buying IPA's over 8.5%, forgot to check I guess. Still, though too heavy for me, well made and complex if you're into such monsters.

 386 characters

Photo of gcamparone
3.56/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter. Best by Nov 2014. Acquired as an extra from vitese, thank you good sir.

Appearance is a hazy, dull orange-yellow body with a two finger white head that reduces slowly to leave thick lacing and high retention.

Aromas of pine, citrus rind, caramel, somewhat oniony and floral. Taste is muted with caramel and pine upfront, finishes floral, astringent like crushed Advil. Somewhat unbalanced. Low carbonation and medium body.

Cafe racer was not my thing. Not very flavorful, and where there are flavors they're big, unbalanced bitter hop notes.

 588 characters

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really enjoying this one, my children. And after a blackened fish burrito, it pretty much hits the spot like Yasiel Puig on 98 MPH fastball right down the middle. Shucks, my peeps, this one is really darn good!

Ok, let Raul compose himself.

Looks all orange and tropical-like. Kind of like a Pumpkin on vacation.

Smell? Oh yes, there we go. Just all kinds of fruity and zesty like the Kool-Aid man at his bachelor party.

The taste, dare Raul go there? Almost reminds him of Abrasive. And although it's reminiscent of said gangster, it's more like that twin's twin you once dated, who was obviously hot, but still something was bit off. (Not that there is anything wrong with Racer.)

Feel is good. Maybe it could put on a pound or two, but when you are getting freaky with it, you don't really notice those things.

Overall: Yes. All kinds of yes. Not exactly Cagney in White Heat, but Raul is almost there, Raul is almost on the top of the world.

 951 characters

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.

 989 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

 643 characters

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.

 167 characters

Photo of delta490
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Cloudy medium gold with a creamy white head. Great floral hops aroma. The taste is a great blend of light malt sweetness and light floral and pine hops. Body has a great thick mouthfeel and smoothness

 200 characters

Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev -4.3%

22oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a large mug. Bottle code is mostly worn off, but it looked like it said "best by 10/27/??". Hopefully that's 2014.

Pours slightly cloudy golden with a medium white head, fades about 3/4 of the way fairly fast and leaves a thick layer of lacing on the side of the glass. Lots of carbonation. Smell is nice. Citrus and flowers.

Taste is sweet, fruity forward, late mild dry bitter finish. Surprisingly bready. Some lemon rind bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Overall, this is a quite tasty beer.

 544 characters

Photo of reebtaerG
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Poured bottle into Lost Abbey Teku

A- Pours golden with a one finger white head. Very nice lacing.

S-Big aromas of citrus, pine, and floral hops and some sweetness of caramel malts.

T-Taste is awesome which is just the same as the aromas.

M-Mouthfeel is well balanced with great carbonation.

O-I was so happy to have get this one. Must get another and also the racer x and compare.

 389 characters

Photo of 57md
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy straw color with a finger of head that dissipates relatively quickly. The receding head leaves some delicate lace behind. The nose is hoppy and also has hints of citrus. The body is a touch light for a DIPA but the flavor is quite bold, particularly in the hop department. The malt profile could stand to be stronger but that is a relatively small complaint considering this offering is darn tasty.

 411 characters

Photo of TaylorIPA19
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a shaker pint glass. Pours a light amber color. Smell isn't overwhelming. A little citrus with some pine (a lot like Racer 5 with a little added earthiness to set apart the citrus). Little foam with next to no lacing. Decent amount of carbonation. Tastes like it smells. Citrus, resinous pine, with a dry sticky mouth-feel. Good balance between hops and malt. Alcohol is hidden pretty well for a DIPA. Overall solid beer. Would buy again.

 460 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%

Pours a lovely orange, mostly clear. There is a thin amount of head that lingers along with the lace-producing head at the rim. Smell is a little orange-Creme candy, melon, maybe some pineapple. I am finding these smells in a variety of beer and have trouble placing them exactly. Often I find others describing it as tropical, but I notice the sugary nature as much as the fruit in these.

The taste does start of slightly, nicely sweet (not overpowering). Definitely some tropical notes, I get papaya, orange, maybe a hint of ruby red grapefruit in the back. The mid taste, as always in a well crafted IPA, does turn on the bitter, grapefruit and woodiness (light pine). This sweet/bitter combo yields a medium feel to me; the carbonation is more on play than you might think from the look. The alcohol can be picked out if you are looking for it, but is basically well hidden.

The taste basically slowly fades, leaving you to enjoy a swig for a while. The final tastes are a tad piney, without being drying, which is not what I normally experience.

This beer for me does almost everything right. I am stuck in a relative rating conundrum here, because this is near the top of my list, but feel the beers I like better should be above this. Will have this when and where I can.

 1,291 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

 271 characters

Photo of brureview
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an attractive golden color in a Spiegalgau glass with a 4F head.

Aroma: piney, mostly citrus and some funk.

Mouth feel: well carbonated as usual for the style.

Taste: excellent citrus.

The finish on a beer, especially a DIPA, says it all. A spicy, bitter hoppiness enhances the character rof this beer.

Overall: a top DIPA. The best by date for my bottle is 10/14, yet the hops and the spiciness are strong.

 421 characters

Photo of McStagger
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Hazy orange. Two fingers eggshell head. Retention is stellar, as is lacing. Beer is full of floaties, as I unwisely turned it on it's side. When I purchased it it had a layer of sediment in the bottom of the glass.

S: Big burst of aromatic grapefruit. Seriously, this one smells like cutting open a ripe grapefruit. Bready malt sweetness underneath. Bit of evergreen, slight hint of alcohol, tangerine and just a hint of tropical fruit. Very fragrant.

T: Delish. Big citrus pop up front. Mid palate, the malt takes over sweetens things up a bit. Juicy grapefruit, tangerine and bready sweetness make up the mid palate. Slightly spicy mango and pineapple notes, as well. Finish is more of the tropical notes, with the aftertaste taking on candied ginger and sugared grapefruit rind. Finishes with a slight hint of alcohol and a touch of...mint?

M: Soft and pillowy, this one glides down. Medium bodied, the carbonation keeps the malt and alcohol from completely dominating, but in no way distracts. Slight alcohol warmth in the aftertaste, but it's just a gentle reminder not to chug the living hell out of this thing.

O: Bear Republic rules. While they may not have the acclaim of Russian River or the availability of Lagunitas, they still make a goddamn delicious beer.

 1,281 characters

Photo of RobertClevenger
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

 438 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

 1,209 characters

Photo of vitALEity
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly hazy golden. Head dissipates rather quickly but leaves a lot of lace

S: A lot of bright citrus. Mostly oranges.

T: A lot of orange, grapefruit and pine (what did you expect?)

M: Medium. Not super oily/resiny.

O: Its a really, really, good beer.

 261 characters

Photo of stephens101
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a dense, tan head. Color is a cloudy amber. Has a thick, creamy and sweet middle with a resinous wrapping. Candied sugar exists and some syrup is left on the lips. Some orange rind is in there as well. Alcohol is sharp. Big, slow and brilliant drinking.

 264 characters

Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

 799 characters

Café Racer 15 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.