Racer 5
Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Racer 5Racer 5
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Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States
American IPA
Ranked #144
Ranked #3,423
4.18 | pDev: 9.57%
Sep 01, 2023
Mar 27, 2002
This hoppy American IPA is a full bodied beer brewed with American pale and crystal malts, and heavily hopped with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial. There's a trophy in every glass.

2009 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – GOLD
2009 Colorado State Fair – Best of Show
2006 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
2005 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
1999 Great American Beer Festival® India Pale Ale - GOLD
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Rated: 4.17 by ctbeerman1 from Connecticut

Sep 01, 2023
Rated: 4.47 by TheWaySheGoes from Illinois

Aug 29, 2023
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Reviewed by tedeum from California

1.41/5  rDev -66.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75
I rated this great West Coast IPA years ago with a rating over 4.4 under a now lost username. I have some bad news about my favorite Northern California IPA.
Bear Republic Brewing Co. of Cloverdale, California was acquired by Drake's Brewing Co. of San Leandro, California early in 2023. Newspaper stories of the time stated that Drake's would be brewing Racer 5 again from their brewery in San Leandro. Drake's acquired all of the Bear Republic intellectual property including recipes, trademarks and packaging rights.
Well, that was the story, at least.
I was a purchaser of Racer 5 in 12-pack bottles. The cardboard boxes stated that it was brewed in Sonoma County. On June 12 of 2023 I purchased what I believed to be Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA. This cardboard box claimed Racer 5 was brewed in San Jose with a bottling date of May 11, 2023. The brew contained in these bottles was not the same Racer 5 that I dearly loved. The substantial layer of brewer's yeast at the bottom of each bottle was gone, meaning that this brew was no longer a genuine bottle-conditioned IPA. The head was gone. Carbonation was nearly flat. The full-bodied "IPA" was now thin and watered down like any cheap canned "IPA." Odd smell and off-taste. The complex hops profile was absent and now tasted suspiciously of Citra or Galaxy. I made a call to Drake's and they told me that Racer 5 was now brewed by Gordon Biersch of San Jose. They assured me that when Drake's started production of Racer 5 the boxes would be marked as brewed in San Leandro.
That's the miserable end of Racer 5 for me. I will watch for future production of Racer 5 from San Leandro should that actually happen. Sorry to be the bearer (no pun intended) of bad news.
Jul 02, 2023
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Reviewed by MeanMotaScootah from California

3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Aroma was malty and slightly piney, medium carb, two finger head. Taste - very malty, bready and thick with butterscotch notes. Lots of sticky piney hop bittering. Not sure how this differs from a New England IPA but nonetheless it ain't no West Coast IPA despite the fact it's brewed on the West Coast. So I guess for the style is right on. This is a classic IPA from Bear Republic so definitely a must try if you're an IPA connoissieur.
Jun 19, 2023
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Reviewed by nizzle8287 from Texas

5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Pours a delightful hazy orange with a voluminous off-white head that lasts, giving epic lacing.
Smell is sweet caramel, oranges, apricots, and slight honeydew.
Taste follows the smell nicely with no off flavors. A bit less honeydew in the taste, and a bit more apricot and orange. Sweet, or perhaps semi-sweet... Malt-forward, but still quite hoppy with a lasting bitter finish.
Feel is very smooth and full-bodied; carbonation is moderate and just right for this style. ABV is there, but not pressing.
Overall, an under-rated, old-school, west-coast IPA that is a must try for all die-hard IPA lovers.
Apr 11, 2023
Rated: 4.77 by rpmello81 from California

Mar 18, 2023
Rated: 4.21 by bruindre from Massachusetts

Feb 10, 2023
Rated: 3.73 by SViterileroux74 from Texas

Jan 16, 2023
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Reviewed by JZH1000 from Colorado

3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured from an unfortunately undated 16oz can

On the first pour an insane four finger head formed. Pretty good retention too, as it took me 6ish minutes to pour the whole pint into a Spieglau IPA glass. After pouring I had a stiff rocky white sudsy head that left foamy lacing. Body is a hazy golden yellow.

Aroma comes off as sweet, in a big beer sense, but is immediately followed by big resiny hops with rhindy citrus notes in the back. Like if pine sap was lemon scented? Super hoppy but in a fresh herbal way. A touch of "ale" character in the way back.

Flavor is smooth and drinkable with a wave of bitterness. Tasting notes mostly follow the aroma, but the sweetness dissapears completely, due to the bitterness. Full flavor implies a maltiness, but the hops cover up any true malt character, as typical for the style. Lemony pine resin with a dry malt insinuating finish is the main experience.

Feel is drinkable verging on dangerous for the ABV. Very easy to drink and quite smooth, although the finish is quite dry and bitter. The dryness begins verging on astringency, and I'm unsure if that is due to hopping rates, or something else. Very full with a medium long finish.

Overall this is a decent legacy IPA. It's super drinkable, very "beery" and pretty enjoyable. Bright herbal citric and overall hoppy, this is what I thought an IPA tasted like when my mom explained hops to me as a kid, and I still didn't appreciate beer. Classic old school IPA, this is what a WCIPA should be IMO.
Jan 15, 2023
Rated: 4.19 by not2quick from Missouri

Dec 24, 2022
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Reviewed by LucidoMMA from California

3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Pours a golden color with a finger soapy head.

Smells very bready, with some piney undertones.

Taste is of grapefruit, pine, and very feint citrus. Bubblegummy after taste with little to no bite.
Dec 20, 2022
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Reviewed by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Been some time since had a Racer 5 - ?San Francisco 2017??
Pours a bright very slightly hazed golden with solid two fingers of tight bubbly just off white head.
Aroma of bready malt, floral with touch of pine and big swath of orange, tangerine and tropical fruit - underwhelming at first but popped as warmed just a touch (this is on me!).
Tastes an explosion of hops - citrus, a bit of pine, fruity with notes of mango, tangerine; certainly a floral presence and a bright spicy bitterness that coats the palate balanced by bready caramel malt sweetness.
Medium full mouthfeel with a coating bittersweetness that lingers nicely.
This is a classic for a reason and on a short list of "desert island" beers.
Nov 29, 2022
Rated: 4.21 by Ananabiya

Nov 23, 2022
Rated: 4.06 by LXIXME from New Mexico

Nov 15, 2022
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Reviewed by TurboMon_911 from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Canned Aug/28/22. Poured a semi-lucid golden straw color, with an off white pillowy 2 fingers high head, that leaves a fair amount of lacing, into a Samuel Smith Imperial pint glass.
Nov 15, 2022
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Reviewed by J_Brew_99 from Colorado

4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25
Overall, this is the epitome of a classic west coast style IPA. Not overly hoppy, medium to heavy body, and the notes are more floral than bitter. Doesn't taste like a 7% abv beer and would recommend checking out!
Nov 09, 2022
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Reviewed by brureview from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
I haven’t tasted this beer in a long time. Bear Republic didn’t distribute in my area for a while.
Great beer! If an award was given for balance in an IPA, it should be given to Racer 5.
Light clear, golden amber color. Floral, piney aroma. Silky MF. Piney, spicy taste. Not too hoppy.

Gee- I’m getting nostalgic for the old days of the West Coast IPAs with lots of flavor balance.
Nov 08, 2022
Rated: 4.7 by Beergod420 from Michigan

Oct 24, 2022
Rated: 4 by dms1767 from Nebraska

Oct 20, 2022
Racer 5 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 8050 ratings