Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #196
Ranked #1,371
4.24 | pDev: 7.78%
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States
Notes: Apex: The highest point, the culmination or climax. In racing, the apex of the turn is approached differently as conditions dictate, but always with a forward looking mindset. This beer is the culmination of years of brewing and drinking hop forward IPAs. We reserve the right to move forward to the next Apex.

2009 California State Fair - SILVER
2009 The Bistro Double IPA Fest – BRONZE & PEOPLE’S CHOICE
2009 Night of the Living Ales Cask Festival – 3rd PLACE & PEOPLE’S CHOICE
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Reviews: 273 | Ratings: 1,067 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by CHADMC3:
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CHADMC3 from Connecticut

4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a bright, vibrant orange body with golden hues beneath the pure white head which is very patient to dissipate leaving a consistent, sticky ring of lacing.

Plenty of citrus hops greet the nose. Orange, mango, tangerine - think very sweet fruits with orangy flesh. There is some bready malt there as it warms but this is fairly subtle. Some piney wood notes also sneak in there.

The citrus hops really coat the palate, again offering generous orange, mango, maybe a touch peachy as well. The bready malt is a little more up front on the taste as well. And I think I'm getting just a hint of flower petals. The fresh citrus certainly runs the show.

Medium to fuller in body with a fair amount of carbonation and a clean hoppy finish.

A great brew with a unique quality to the citrus hops which in my opinion tend to fall on the sweeter side. I hope I can catch this one again down the road.

Apr 28, 2014
More User Reviews:
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Al's of Hampden - served chilled in a standard pint.

A - Brilliant sunny golden with amber highlights -lighter than most of its ilk, but still attractive with very good clarity and a hypnotizing swirling carbonation trail of miniscule bubbles leading up to a semi-rocky pale, white cap. The carbonation rises steadily in a more than moderate pace indicating high effervescence. There is a covering of lace on the inside of the glass which is a thin even film and the bead is tiny. The retention is good holding for a while.

S - The smell is a mix of esters - some mild pine and floral w/ herbal aromas dominating- the smell has a resinous scent w/ sweet bitter notes and there is a citrus quality like lemon rind w/ a malty scent in the background

M - The ale has sharp carbonation very effervescent combined w/ dry overall texture and bitter hop acidity w/ mild malt to cushion the intense mouth coating hop oils w/ citrusy bright bitter and acidic effect on the palate

T - The flavor is satisfying with great hop flavor which is more on the citrus/herbal end w/ very mellow orange and some rind both orange and lemon w/ sweet grassy notes. The mild sweet malt plays into the grassy aspect w/ a light vegetal tinge and mellow spice notes. The citrusy impact gives a light peppery tinge as the beer is swallowed w/ piney resinous bite which hangs on well after the IIPA has left the palate

D - I really enjoyed this - refreshingly high effevescent combined with intense hop packed flavor and clean fermentation w/out an overkill of bitterness - everything falls into place and works well in the mix w/ pine and mild spiciness making for a refreshing Imperial IPA which has no alchohol flavor and it is over 8% abv. I think you will be pleased if you enjoy a dry bitter west coast style Imperial IPA - so happy I tried this, outstanding!

Apr 20, 2010
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metter98 from New York

4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is relatively clear amber yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down but mostly left a thin head covering the surface, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides.
S: The smell has moderately strong initial aromas of tropical fruits followed by notes of citrusy hops. Hints of pine also become noticeable once the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of citrus and tropical fruit hops, although the citrus seems to stand out stronger and there are hints of alcohol towards the finish. Only a light amount of bitterness is noticeable, but this becomes stronger as it warms. As in the smell, hints of piney hops start to appear once the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The hops in this IPA smelled and tasted very fresh and provided an interesting mix of flavors, although I preferred the predominant tropical fruit hops when the beer was cold. Nonetheless, this is a pleasant beer to sip and savor the changes in aromas and flavors as its temperature changes.

Serving type: bottle

Sep 12, 2014
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mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really liked this one. I had been trying to get a hold of it forever and really was stoked when I finally saw it cross my path in a recent BIF. Nice growler that I kept cold and decided to open up last night. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/21/2009.

The pour was very nice. Rich dark amber color with a nice light head of white on top that reached a height of around two and a half inches before settling back down to earth and leaving tons of sticky lace all along the sides of the glass. Really nice aroma here, lots of fresh hops, orange and grapefruit and blending in perfectly here, really very well done. Bright with not a lot of malt balancing it out, this was a hopheads IPA for sure. Smooth, clean, crisp, and refreshing taste, I was thoroughly impressed with the way this one went down. Nice and dry in the finish left a long lingering flavor of pineapple on the tongue that just begged me to go back for another sip. Great medium feel and a smooth profile led to the most supreme session ability.

Overall an outstanding IPA that I am thrilled to be able to try. I would have no issue at all with being able to go back and get this one again any day. Really very well done and a tremendous asset to their lineup.

Apr 23, 2009
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WVbeergeek from West Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look I've always had a love affair with the Bear Republic brews, especially Racer 5 when this came out as a tap only offering I've always hoped it would hit the bottles. The patience has paid off...west coast IPA in my glass. Ohio is definitely competing with this IPAs just within the Midwest now we have beers like 3F Permanent Funeral, Great Lakes Chillwave, Fathead's Hop Juju...yet this still has a unique west coast style use of the hops.

Drinking it out of a Petaluma Lagunitas mason jar that's bad ass. This bigger IPA sits a glowing orange copper in the glass with a slightly off white head, forms thick and cloudy textured fine even layered lacing lines the sides of the glass.

Aromatics deep fruit upfront...citrus, pineapple, passion fruit combo starts to bite with a bit of grapefruit peel if I have to pick a citrus fruit, along with dank fruity hop notes. Barely able to write home about the pale malts that basically let the hops shine, let's call it biscuit malt breadiness.

Flavors demand your attention in your face bitterness let's up a bit to let the tropical fruit notes arise ripened mangoes, citric pith again (grapefruit) bitterness of the zesty rind, numbs your tongue for just a second with hop oil bitterness and yet ends in a gentle wave of bready malts...really nice complexity aggression and balance all in one sip like a crashing wave of hop bitterness that settles out enough to enjoy some calm water between sets of awesome 7 to 10 foot waves meant to be ridden.

Mouthfeel is where the beer shines the resinous hop oils let you truly experience all of the hop flavors perfect natural flowing healthy carbonation without tickling your nares, you may experience the best hop burps ever off of this brew. Medium bodied, oily slick texture, chunks of hops floating in suspension like chemical nature of high school chemistry described.

These brewers were paying attention at some point in their education and because of their location and distance to the hop growing regions of California and the PNW, I'm guessing they have a healthy respect for marijuana as well. I don't partake, but this is definitely a first cousin with all of the Humulus Lupulin flowing. Overall, my love affair has been rekindled...amazing beer...definitely an Apex for them as a brewery for sure.

Mar 31, 2014
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sublimesipping from Pennsylvania

4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on tap at Fatheads, southside, pittsburgh. Served in a standard pint glass, color of honey with good carbonation and glass lacing.
Amzing smell of pine, earth, pear, pineapple. Hops, hops and more hops. conjurs images of dry creek valley and lake sonoma.
the taste blows me away. Wow. excellent hops through and through, noticable but with a complexity and sublety and balanced. So smooth- a delicious bitterness that fills my mouth and makes me sip and sip again. And again. Excellent beer that I will drink hands down anyplace that I find it, no matter what else the taps may offer. this a great beer from a geat microbrewery. Best Bear republic beer I have had to date, including quaffs at the source in Healdsburg, CA. kudos to Fatheads for supporting and tapping so many of their beers

Jan 03, 2009
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wrightst from Maryland

4/5  rDev -5.7%

Jun 10, 2014
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howard12 from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Apr 23, 2012
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Smarty_Pints from California

4/5  rDev -5.7%

Sep 18, 2013
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craigbelly from Iowa

4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Grainy and bready malt backbone in the nose. The hop aroma is resinous, spicy and grassy. The first sip is bread crusts, grainy and some honey, and a very complex hop footprint of black pepper, earthy, grassy, orange and tangerine notes -- all of which work together nicely. The overall balance leans towards the bitterness, but the fairly substantial malt bill balances it out nicely. The beer finishes crisp and fairly dry, with a medium body and pretty high carbonation.

Jul 29, 2017
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RickS95 from Indiana

4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

It's the look you'd want your IPA to have. A cloudy orange pour with some darker brown notes mixed in because of the haze. The head is a stunner with it's bright white color and meringue-like peaks. Starts off a finger and a half thick, retains well, and leaves a bit of lacing behind.

You can smell the citrus the second you pop the cap. Grapefruit, pineapple, and orange rind fill the room. In the background, dank pine lurks. Amazing.

Hop forward, as you might guess. Like the smell, you get more citrus than pine, and I welcome that. The pineapple helps take this beer to the top. Whatever malts are used are completely an afterthought, because the west coast hops rule here.

As smooth as any IPA I've ever had, and that goes for Pliny . Yes, smooth. Bitter, but not a palate wrecker. Sweet and tangy up front from the citrus notes, then the bitterness starts to evolve. So easy to drink despite high ABV. Full bodied.

I may be being too harsh, this could be a 5. It really is world class and is easily as good a beer as anyone will ever have.

May 19, 2014
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Beerandraiderfan from Nevada

4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange and copper, not a lot of carbonation with this one. Lots of piney feel to the aroma.

More pine, grapefruit and apricot even in the taste. Standard heft for a bear republic beer, even a little biscuity. Malt & hops take turns on the palate. Mouthfeel throughout continues this exchange. A bit more alcohol that would think, but not excessive for what the abv is. Super tangy.

May 28, 2010
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jacewg from District of Columbia

4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looks the part. Pours with a white fluffy head. Leaves spotty lacing. A bright golden copper color.

Aroma: Very, very nice. Uses a similar hop profile to DirtWolf but manages to be fruitier and less earthy. Tons of citrus and apricot with a hint of dankness. Some fruity, berry type aromas. Really nicely done.

Taste: Caramel malt sweetness opens and brings waves of hop flavor. Touches all aspects of hop flavor: big notes of citrus, hints of tropical fruit and pine, and again a berry character that I attribute to Mosaic. Malt balances but never overwhelms. Medium bitterness.

Feel: A touch of booze, but nothing outside of the realm of expectations. Medium to full bodied but lifts off the palate well. Lingering fruity, bitter finish.

Overall: Superb double IPA from Bear Republic. Great use of new school hops.

Feb 06, 2014
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jim_carignan from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -5.7%

May 19, 2014
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SovereignGood from California

4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bomber. Purchased from Whole Foods, couldn't find a bottled-on date.

Look: Tangerine, hazy, orange color with a nice frothy finger head. The beer leaves a nice sudsy lacing on the glass.

Smell: Strong notes of grapefruit and orange. Lots of citrus and and a hint of pine. The perfect and ideal smell for a DIPA. You can smell this one a foot away once you crack the bottle and pour a glass. Very nice.

Taste: Like sweet and bitter hop nectar balanced by a nice slight hint of malt sugar. Very pleasant taste that reminds me of tropical candy with a strong peach flavor. The beer is a very nice representation of the style and theres a nice hint of alcohol in the back.

Feel: Honestly, I found this beer to have a lighter mouthfeel than most DIPA's that I've tried, but this does not detract from the beer. The brew leaves a nice lingering taste that allows you to crave more and more as you sip.

Overall: This is a tasty beer! I'd recommend picking it up if you can find it at your local beer store.

Jan 11, 2016
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azdback from Arizona

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Feb 22, 2014
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IronLover from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper orange in color with excellent clarity. Poured with a decent frothy white head that reduced to a thin, wispy cap that left spotty, sticky lacings on the glass. Orange, grapefruit and pine hop aromas. Very fresh. Not much in the way of malt presence. Medium bodied with nice even carbonation and a very oily feel. Dominant bitter hop flavors, pine, citrus grapfruit and orange with pine flavors dominating from beginning to end. The hops totally dominate the malt in this one. Finishes with a long lingering bitterness. I prefer a bit more malt character, even in my DIPAs.

Jul 13, 2011
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MrGone from California

4/5  rDev -5.7%

Apr 06, 2014
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 1/29/2015:
Pours a cloudy orange-tinged yellow, hazy towards cloudy, Head is nice fluffy white, adding lacing. Nose is melon, some tropic notes, and some citrus notes. Standard or straightforward, yes, but nice.

Taste follows the "standard" as well, west coast style. Combination of tropical and citrus notes, tending towards grapefruit as the taste fades. Grapefruit rind dryness in the end. Feel is medium with light carbonation, body is maybe a tad towards fuller side of medium, at least based on how I am feeling today.

I had given this a straight 4.25 before. And I looked to find something to deviate from that, but I couldn't find anything. A rare across the board rating.

Apr 18, 2014
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akk14 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sep 02, 2016
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Transcribed from undated notes.

This was presented to me with a thick, fluffy finger-and-a-half of eggshell-white head that laid atop the beer like a soft blanket. Color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was pine-y, resinous, like sniffing glue, kiddies! Get a whiff or huff of this bad actor. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a great hops presence just rolling around on the tongue. I had just been reading an article on Fat Artie Lange and his heroin addiction, causing me to think about my own Hops Monkey. I LOOOVE when that little f**ker stops screeching and climbs down off of my back. This was one of those instances. Is there some way to mainline this beer? Finish was an afterthought as I was in Hops Heaven.

Aug 10, 2010
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kwjd from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev -5.7%

Sep 10, 2014
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ber12 from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Jun 02, 2014
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Marco_Gtz from California

3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Jun 30, 2014
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sjrider from California

4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sep 02, 2017
Apex from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 1067 ratings