Red Racer I.S.A. | Central City Brewers + Distillers

very good
22 Reviews
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Red Racer I.S.A.Red Racer I.S.A.

Brewed by:
Central City Brewers + Distillers
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by papat444 on 04-16-2014

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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 116
Photo of mark_mla
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Delicious as the label says it's clean, crisp with refreshing hop aromatics. A lot like Wellington kicking back, great summer beer. Very nice. Can design was something that I may not pickup, but now it's a definite buy.

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Photo of InsideLiquorMan
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A good, solid offering from Central City. Very floral and aromatic, gives out a healthy, tangy bitterness to it that makes you come back for more. A great beer to stock the cooler with this summer. They used to have 12pks that came with a little Red Racer bandanna. A fun and tasty offering from a good brewery. Give it a try.

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Photo of Kobold
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: Dark brass, bruised peach with but an infant's whorl of foam.

Aroma: To paraphrase the White Rhino, an ambrosiac fruit cup! Grapefruit of a ripe, old age tussles with pineapple in full festive spirits. Dark sugar malts in the background embrace the playful cornucopia.

Taste: Grainy malts gird and tame a grapefruit rind hop sphere whose density is further held by resin and pine flavours. This is saplings dreaming of undisturbed photosynthesis. The slight tinge of metal is only the myth of lumberjack saws.

Feel: Faint carbonation staccato fingers tickle the back of the throat.

Overall: An infant god's Eden. Not entirely complex in its delectable fruit creation, especially with the restriction of pineapple to spirit, yet never degrading into a savage hop tear across the palate.

In short, rumbles of prelapsarian pleasure pervade this ISA.

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Photo of Rukeli76
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

473ml can. Price keeps going up. Boo.

Pale ale colour. Head quickly disappears. A bit of lacing.

This is about highlighting the Mosaic hops. I can smell the usual ripe berries, a bit of tart citrus, and really just a whole lot of straight-up deliciousness.

More of that delicious hop flavour balanced with some light, bready malt.

Nice carbonation. A slightly dry finish.

This is a masterful beer from a kick-ass brewery. It's all about those Mosaic hops.

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Photo of sg82
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving: 12 ounce can with date of production

L: Pours a light golden color with small but quickly receding head. Little lacing clinging to the side of the glass.

S: Great hop aroma for a light beer. Eschews the stronger pine notes common in an IPA, but there is a nice fruity aroma from the Mosaic hops.

T: A hop-forward beer but there is a subtle malt presence.

F: Good carbonation but finishes like a light beer.

O: An excellent choice for a light beer. Will definitely purchase in the future. My overall rating is skewed upwards because I think this is deserves a high rating considering that it is essentially a light beer.

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Photo of CanadianBacon
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - This beer pours a slightly hazy gold with 1 finger of white head that fades after a few minutes leaving a light lacing around the edge. Personally I would have liked a little more head on this beer but oh well, its good for a 4%.

Aroma - Citrus hops (lemon and Grapefruit) pine resin, and some bready caramel malts.

Taste - Lemon, Grapefruit, pine resin, caramel, fresh baked bread, some orange peel.

Feel - Light watery body, but it is a 4% decent light prickly carbonation and mild bitterness on the finish.

Overall - This is a pretty good ISA, It definitely doesnt feel like an IPA but for the percentage its got decent flavors, and they mix fairly well. Cheers!

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Photo of DaveBar
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at the LCBO for $2.50 for a 473ml can. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a 1" high white head that is gone in seconds. Medium gold colour and filtered clear.

S- Lots of dry hopping here.

T- A bit light on the hops but then again it's under 5% so there needs to be a bit toned down from the big bodied IPA's. Slightly metallic aftertaste but not that bad.

M- Dry and very light. Super light to say the least

O- Pretty good easy drinking brew. Not a seeker outer but still nice. Would go well on a hot summer's day but not too many.

Food Pairing

This pretty good brew went well with...... Snacks on the picnic table while BBQ'ing


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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy golden color with strong subtle activity. Frothy creamy beige 2 finger head, lasting around 15 minutes, with super strong legs.

Aromas of citrus hops, caramel, and a little piney. Flavors of lemon, orange, tropical fruits, pine, roasted grains, slight corn, caramel, floral and herbal spices. Nice fresh fruity taste with good balance between sweetness and sharpness.

Smooth slick light body with perfect crispy carbonation. Light to medium strength finish, ending fruity spicy hops and a roasted grains feel.

Overall an excellent craft offering delicious flavors, good balance, and great freshness. Awesome summer session beer almost like drinking fresh lemonade with alcohol. Less flavorful than the regular Red Racer with an added grainy taste.

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Photo of PorterPro125
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type: 473 mL Can

A- Pale Amber colour topped by a thick patch of white head. Almost looks like a melting scoop of vanilla ice cream on a mug of root beer. A good amount of patchy lacing down the side of the glass.

S- Light floral and citrus hop aromas. Held pack compared to a regular IPA; the sort of thing I kind of expected.

T- Crisp and clean like a quality Pils. Not exactly the character you would want in a Session IPA but it is easy drinking. Light, non-offensive hop bitterness on the finish. Light citrus.

M- Light Body and Moderate Carbonation. There's no doubt that this beer is a good refresher.

O- After an extended inner-argument with myself, I've finally decided what I thought of this beer. A good IPA? No. A good Session IPA? No, not really. An excellent, refreshing brew with light hop presence? Absolutely.

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Photo of stevoj
3.02/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can from On the Fly. Not picking up on this, not the way it was with the IPA. Light bodied, almost creamy consistency, light malty aroma. Taste is very crisp, pilsnerish, finishes with some sharp bitterness and a hint of metallic taste. I'll try the rest of the six and see if my opinion changes.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Central City 'Red Racer ISA' @ 4.0% , served from a 6pack of 355 ml cans purchased for $12
A-pour is a pale gold from the can to clear light gold in the glass with a medium size white head leaving a streaky lace along the pint
S-floral & citrus
T-crisp & clean tasting session IPA
MF-lots of carbonation , light medium body
Ov-ok beer & session ale
prost LampertLand

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

473 ml can served cold into a pint glass. Purchased from LCBO for $2.50 CDN.

Appearance - pours a clear bronze color with lots of effervescent bubbles and a decent one finger of head. Modest retention time leaving a thin frothy cap and a few streaks of lacing down the glass.

Smell - plenty of citrus and combined with a earthy leafiness. Some pineapple orange blend is most prominent.

Taste - yummy light citrus with orange pineapple and a hint of lemon and grapefruit. Some leafy hop flavours behind. Malt is subtle but holds the whole thing together. Grapefruit aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - smooth and well carbonated, very easy to drink with a Slightly dry finish after a mouthful of juiciness.

Overall - awesome session beer, easy to drink, tastes virtually like a full flavor IPA, but much easy to drink in multiples. Definitely worth a shot if you like grapefruit (the lingering sensation) and reasonably priced too.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Can: Poured a light golden color ale with a large pure white foamy head with great retention and some excellent lacing. Aroma of fresh floral hops notes of citrus with light cereal notes. Taste is also dominated by fresh citrus hops notes with some cereal notes and a light finale. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Very enjoyable beer with nice hops presence though finale was a bit short.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

473ml can into nonic pint. produced mar 13 2015. enjoyed on may 26, 2015 with a spicy italian sausage

a: crystal clear light amber with almost 2 fingers of fluffy bone-coloured head

s: lemon, grapefruit peel, lychee, green leafy

t: follows the nose. lots of lemon and lychee with some grapefruit. herbal, green tea-like, leafy. mild bread flavour at the end

m: light-bodied, slightly sticky, not watery at all. plentiful moderate carbonation

o: light but full of flavour. delicious!

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Craft Kitchen, Vancouver.
Pale gold with steady white shaving cream crust. 4
Lots of toast and vague flowers on the nose. 3.5
Saltines, big grapefruit squeeze, nectar, and lemon zest. 4.25
Tropical fruit drink finish and slightly tingly linger.
Light, crisp, slight oil. 4

Thin; again, the Brits can do better with body at this ABV. But super juicy. Can’t fault Central City quality. 4.25

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Photo of ludachris
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A puck of rocky, foamy white head falls fairly quickly. Thin legs of lace are left whipped along the sides of the glass. Its crystal clear golden amber body looks like an IPA that sits on the lighter side of the spectrum.

The scent of fruity pebbles strikes me first. Odell's Myrcenary comes to mind, just in the form of a lesser version. A melange of tropical goodness; mango skin, juicy peaches and grapefruit mix with a light grassy and leafy hop character. Biscuit and caramel come through as well. It has an enjoyable level of complexity relative to its ABV.

The mango skins are greener and its grassiness is more pronounced. Peachy in the middle. The finish is composed of a rounded leafy bitterness and fresh biscuit. The bitterness transforms into a more raw, earthy, piney character as it lingers.

Very clean and crisp from beginning to end with a refreshingly dry bitterness. Balance is key for the style and Central City nailed it with this one.

This for me is neck and neck with Muskoka's Detour for my favorite ISA I've had to date. I'd have to have them side by side to decide which one I enjoy more. As a style, this isn't my favorite off-shoot of an IPA but as a beer, it hits every enjoyable quality of the style; refreshing, clean, and fruity without a strongly stated bitterness.

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Photo of biegaman
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Just like the colour of its packaging, Red Racer ISA ("India Session Ale") is substantially lighter than the standard IPA. This one is much more clear and golden instead of dense and amber. It has an overall more cheerful demeanor. Head retention, however, is similarly excellent. Lacing likewise.

I'm happy to report the hops have hardly been toned down in this 'miniature' version of an IPA. I don't have the regular Red Racer on hand for comparison but I'd wager this would fair well head-to-head, even if it doesn't have the same intensity. The same qualities are there, and that's what really counts.

What qualities are those, you ask? Mostly gooey pine resin and dry, pithy citrus flavours, though floral and grass clippings, tropical fruit nectar, and caramelly maltiness are also accurate, if a little less notable answers. Despite maintaining a comparable flavour profile, bitterness is nowhere near so vigorous.

Indeed, the stinging citrus and punchy alcohol often felt in the standard Red Racer IPA are nowhere to be found here. This is much less 'edgy' and features a softer, more doughy maltiness and has an approachability that matches its strength (4%) and reasonable IBU count (40). This one has appeal, and I say that as someone who's generally not a fan of so-called "India Session Ales"...

Does no one else think it odd that the craft beer movement was founded on the principle of "quality not quantity" and microbrewers are now putting such emphasis on ales made for easy, repetitive consumption? While I'm sure much of it is simply a logical reaction to the trend of "extreme beers", ask yourself, what are they really saying: that bitter, hoppy, stronger beers aren't easily drinkable?

Sure they are! "Sessionability", for me, has always been less about alcohol strength and more do with flavour intensity (granted, the two are often correlated). I've always found the most sessionable beers are those that offer subtle and complex flavours and aromas, the kinds that keep you engaged. I bore quickly of plain beers but characterful ones can continuously entertain me for hours.

Considering Central City makes among (if not the) best IPA and Double IPA in the country, I'm not surprised they got the "India Session Ale" just right. They understood that a beer can retain its bitter and hoppy characteristics and still be easily, joyfully drinkable - even for multiple servings.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

473 mL can from the LCBO; packaged Mar 13 2015 and served well-chilled. As a big fan of their regular IPA, this pickup was a total no-brainer.

Pours a clear, sunny golden-amber hue, supporting one finger of loose, soapy white froth at the surface, which then proceeds to wilt away over the next couple of minutes. A decent-sized collar remains in place, along with several patches of delicate, messy lacing. There's lots of juicy, fruity Mosaic hop goodness in the bouquet, which includes citrusy notes of mandarin orange and pink grapefruit, as well as hints of peach, pineapple, canteloupe, and perhaps just a touch of cedar with wet grass.

This is a very nicely-made hoppy session ale. The malt bill is extremely light, offering up only a mild bit of grainy pale malt and honeyed sweetness off in the background somewhere, while an array of tasty hop flavours bombard the tongue. Citrusy grapefruit rind, orangepeel, peach and tropical fruit are all detectable, with hints of melon and unsweetened iced tea. The profile becomes more piney/resiny as you approach the finish, with an herbal, spicy astringency fading quickly in the aftertaste. Light-bodied - but not TOO light - with appropriate carbonation levels that provide an appropriately crisp bite, with a smooth, somewhat slick mouthfeel.

Final Grade: 4.34, an excellent A. A quality session IPA if there ever was one - Red Racer ISA may not be able to offer up an experience as intense or memorable as that of its big sister, but despite being lighter, it's every bit as well-made and fulfilling. It's also better than most of the Ontario-made session IPAs that I've had the opportunity to try (better price point, too). I've picked up multiple cans of this over the past few weeks and have been enjoying it immensely - so assuming it remains available locally, it's safe to say that this will become a go-to pale ale for me. Great stuff; absolutely worth a try.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

IPA Lite. This is a tasty beer, no doubt about it. I don't get the whole "session" thing. If I'm going to drink a six or more beer, I don't really care about the alcohol content. Rant over. I bought this in a mixer pack because the price was right, but I would buy it again. It is very fruity and reminds me of Ocean Spray grapefruit juice. Overall, this ISA is quite drinkable and would be well suited to quenching your thirst on a warm day.

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Photo of Ghrymm
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

A great well rounded Session IPA, on a hot summer day i can down a few with eaze.
Pours a nice yellow amber a nice pine citrus nose.
Nice hops there well worth picking up.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

355ml can poured into tulip 23/6/14

A clear golden yellow with fine tiny particles upon closer inspection, slow tiny bubbles feeding a large loose head that hangs around long enough to leave a few partial rings

S tangerine, grapefruit, peaches, some lemon and passion fruit, lots of tropical fruit, a little pine ans sweet grains, smells solid

T more grains and less tropical notes, more rind then fresh flesh, still tastes great, lots of flavor for 4% but the nose smelled much bigger

M light bodied, a little foamy, mild bitter bite, a little grit, rind on the finish

O I'll be drinking a fair amount of this stuff this summer, lot going on in something I can drink in the sun, smells great and not lacking elsewhere

Red Racer IPA's little brother is going to get some summer love from this guy, well priced and a great way to get my hop fix without falling over

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Criminally under-rated. Blows the Stone Go-To IPA out of the water.

Love the toasty munich malt and the mosaic hops. This is my go-to beer not just because it is low in alcohol, but because it tastes good.

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Red Racer I.S.A. from Central City Brewers + Distillers
3.97 out of 5 based on 116 ratings.
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