Racer 5
Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Racer 5Racer 5
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American IPA
Ranked #77
Ranked #1,576
4.2 | pDev: 9.52%
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States
Racer 5Racer 5
Notes: 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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Reviews: 2,393 | Ratings: 7,947 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ChadSchwenk

5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best out there! Rich In flavor and a great tasting beer. Whenever I see this beer I pick it up. It especially tastes good on a hot summer day after mowing the lawn. Sit back and enjoy one of these anytime, you won't regret it!


Mar 31, 2020
Photo of JPVanderbilt
JPVanderbilt from Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Racer 5 is an unusually good IPA. It has the flavor intensity of a double IPA though it's not. And the overall quality is excellent - an intense mango, papaya, citrus, semi-malty power punch of flavor. If you are into IPAs, you have to try this old favorite of mine. Someone at Bear Republic Brewing knows what the hell they're doing.

Mar 13, 2020
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mpavilion from California

4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed a pint on tap. Outstanding flavor — the initial profile is somewhat on the sweet side, but expands into a malty and complex flavor, with a nice hop bite on the finish. Gorgeous color, perfect lacing. I’d order this again anytime.

Feb 27, 2020
Photo of spectru
spectru from Florida

3.89/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear light amber, foamy white head, persistent, lacy. I love the head; Not a strong aroma, I wouldn't ID it as an IPA from the way it smells; Feels smooth without being flat at all. I like sipping through that nice head. The flavor is mild but not too mild, with no bitterness, a suggestion of hops. Enough of an aftertaste, slight sourness, to remind you you're drinking an IPA; This is a good beer.

Feb 04, 2020
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EJPA_0425 from California

3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

If you like malty IPAs this is your ticket. Pours a brownish amber color with creamy head and pretty strong haze. Smells sweet, not like other IPAs like juicy raisins and honey. Tastes of a mixture of hempy hops and sweet raisins. Usually I don't feel so good after these sweet beers, but I felt pretty good from this one. Overall definitely not my favorite IPA. But enjoyable for one time.

Jan 15, 2020
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hopphead31415 from Virginia

4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a 7.5% ABV beer with 75 IBUs and it features Cascade, Columbus, Chinook, and Centennial hops, the “four C’s”.

Look-It pours a light golden copper color with a thick foamy head that looks like fermenting yeast with its roiling boiling bubbly-ness. The lacing is thick and dry.

Smell-I smell strong notes of honey and flowers upfront and a bready sweet malt body. I notice some grassy and earthy hops as well. I get hints of lemon and apricot on the nose.

Taste-It tastes of buckwheat honey and clove along with noticeable floral hops. It gives way to a grassy, earthy hop component and herbal notes. There’s a spiciness alongside the carbonation and the mild bite from the alcohol. I get pineapple, lemon zest, apricot, mango, and floral notes like clover and rose petal. The caramel and biscuit malts are present as well. It is medium-bodied and leaves a hop resin coating on the tongue. It is rich and chewy, but not over-done.

Overall-This is an OG brew with a well-articulated execution that makes one realize this beer is the precursor to the West Coast Style IPA. It is delicious and well-executed.

Jan 12, 2020
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hophead723 from California

4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got at Trader Joe's for only $9.99 a six-pack, when most places are a dollar or two more than that. Best by date in late June so this is as fresh as possible. This is my first time trying this for some reason. I have seen it on shelves for years but I think that it just didn't look appealing with it's finish flag decoration. I didn't know that it was so highly rated. Poured into my awesome Samuel Smith British Pub glass (also from Trader Joe's) with a laser-etched logo at the bottom of the glass for nucleation sites.

Look: When I first poured it, there was a tiny tornado of bubbles perfectly spinning from the bottom! The perfectly golden colored body is crowned by a slightly off white head of parchment colored foam. A pinky-thick layer of froth remains atop the guilded brew. Lacing clings to the side as you gulp it down.

Smell: Grapefruit peel and apricot dominate the aroma, with a touch of honey underneath. Malted barley, wheat, and crystal malts contribute to the enticing aroma. The malt base is designed to outline and accentuate the unique floral qualities of the Columbus and Cascade hops used to brew this masterpiece.

Taste: The taste is a blast of hoppy goodness carrying grapefruit peel, lemon, mango, apricot, light pineapple, and floral notes supported by caramel and biscuit malts. The slick and oily well-hopped body is silky smooth and glides across the palate, delivering its rich flavors with each satisfying gulp. Lingering fruity bitterness, toasty malts, and alcohol warmth augment the finish.

Overall: This beer is impressively good. I feel like it really is the precursor to all of these "West Coast Style" beers out there, so its an OG beer. Every gulp echoes the unique and style-defining characteristics of this immaculate brew.

Jan 12, 2020
Photo of Freonicus

5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Highly underrated beer. This is a spectacular beer. In my opinion the epitome of what an IPA should be. A nice thick, creamy, hoppy, delight to drink. Do not miss this one!

Nov 20, 2019
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

$ 3.63/ 16 oz can ($ 0.227/oz) at Chalet Party Shoppe, Middlebury, IN. Reviewed 9/22/19.
“BB 07/28/19” stamped on bottom of can. On shelf at store. Stored and served at 42 degrees in a hand-washed and dried glass coffee cup.
Appearance – 4.
First pour – Yellow, hazy.
Body – Dark yellow, hazy and opaque. When held to the light, becomes a bit translucent.
Head – Average (Maximum three cm, aggressive center pour), off-white, medium density, average duration, diminishing to a five mm crown and a caldera-like cap. Lots of small pieces of three-dimensional lacing remain on the glass.
Lacing – Excellent. Three-dimensional rows of tiny to small bubbles, connected by short, thin columns and having short, fat stalactites. See also above.
Aroma – 4 – Conifers and a hint of malt.
Flavor – 4 – Good balance of piney malt (Or malty pine) with both noticeable and neither dominating. No alcohol (7.5 % ABV) flavor or aroma, no dimethylsulfide, no diacetyl.
Palate – 3.75 – Medium, almost creamy, lively carbonation.
Final impression and summation: 4.25. I’m sure that the room temperature shelf storage and being past date contribute to the decreased coniferousness and increased maltiness, but it’s still tasty!

Sep 22, 2019
Photo of NeilSilber1
NeilSilber1 from California

4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden yellow with white fluffy foam cap and notes of piney hops. Nice classic iPA with floral and slight citrus like notes. Nicely served ice ice cold in frozen glass on draft. Good IPA classic!

Sep 22, 2019
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adab123 from Ohio

4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Racer 5 has the distinctive hopiness of an IPA while its harshness has been tempered enough that the beer can be accessible to many non-IPA drinkers. I'd recommend it for those new to IPAs.

Aug 25, 2019
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vinicole from England

3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Golden amber. Slight haze. Thin wispy head.
Hoppy aroma. A balancing biscuit malt shows itself. Some pencil eraser.
The flavour is nicely balanced again. Dry finish.
Soft carbonation.
A first generation AIPA taste and feel. Not many made like this any more.

Aug 11, 2019
Photo of the_awesometeer
the_awesometeer from California

4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer is a clear golden color and had a nice foamy white head. The beer is fruity and sweet to the nose. You can get a nice balance of malts and hops. There are a lot of fruit flavors but the one that sticks out to me is pineapple. It reminds me of the sweet pineapple on a Hawaiian pizza. It is followed by a mild dry bitterness. The beer is a great drink... I want pizza now

Jun 03, 2019
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MaltyMagic from California

4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy amber/copper pour. Floral, herbal, spruce sappy, mossy, woody, juicy citrus hops backed by a brown sugar/honey/doughy and biscuity malt profile, nutty and yeasty. Perfectly balanced, throwback IPA. One of the first forwardly floral west coast IPA's that hit the mainstream market, along with AV's Hop Ottin. This one has stood the test of time, still one of the better IPA's out there. Opens up as it warms.

May 27, 2019
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Best by 9/26/19

Pours light burnt orange, slightest cloudiness, and topped with a pillowy, taut off-white head; very nice retention results in thick globs of sudsing trailing down the glass, as well as a dense, foamy cap and sizeable collar.

Aromas of caramelized oranges, sunflowers, apricot, pine, and grapefruit zest fly out front, while citrus and caramel malt builds on the back end and an earthy pungency is interspersed in between; there’s a delicate nuance of florality, piney hops, and citrus that has this quietly standing out.

Taste highlights a mix of candied pineapple, grapefruit pith, bitter, earthy pine, burnt citrus peel, herbal resin, and rice cracker shrouded in an overarching hoppy florality.

Mouthfeel provides a medium body, crisp and mostly dry, and steadily develops a condensed but punchy bitterness; underlying creamy kind of smoothness from a balanced carbonation; slightly oily toward finish leaving a thin layer of earthy resin to coat the palate.

This hits all the right notes and then some for a classic west coast-style IPA; concentrated bitterness, savory pine and grapefruit leanings, and an ultra florality that has it standing on its own. Prime execution and immensely enjoyable on all accounts.

May 20, 2019
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ZipDipper from California

4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very light golden color. Strong hoppy flavor, with a persistence that lingers on the back of the tongue. My only complaint was that the aroma was not quite as welcoming as I wished.

May 02, 2019
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penguinsgoboom from California

4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Massive head. Bright fizzy marigold. Almost like orange soda. Simply intricate webbing

S: Absolutely wonderful smell. So fruity, so expressive. Definitely citrus. Pineapple? There's some cheesy pungency, a kind of mossy hop. Some english biscuit

T: So smooth, so creamy. There quite a bit going on. Lots of complicated hop flavor that mingles like aged cheese. Well balanced with some caramel malt. Leaves a slight bitterness for a long dry aftertaste.

O: Quite a beer. More like a DIPA. It's a refined and streamlined experience.

May 01, 2019
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Maho6611 from California

4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice hazy golden color with “off white” head. Smells like a mix of tropical fruits, pine, citrus, and hints of caramel. Nice soapy lacing.
It may be a tad bit too bitter for my taste but nothing to keep me from reaching for another one.
Overall this was a very great IPA and i enjoyed drinking it.

Apr 17, 2019
Photo of Beechwood166
Beechwood166 from California

4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This—more than Lagunitas—was one of the first beers that got me excited about IPAs and craft brewing. Still a fantastic example of the aroma, hop balance, and mouthfeel I look for in a West Coast IPA.

Feb 04, 2019
Photo of WayneRooneyFan
WayneRooneyFan from New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bear Republic Racer 5 is one of the reasons I fell in love with craft beer. Over the years, I've only had it on tap (for sentimental reasons), but tonight -- for the first time -- I enjoyed it from a 12 oz. bottle purchased from my local beer shop. The pine/floral taste brought back great memories of those early IPA days. Malt plays a supportive, not dominating, role...while there is a pleasant level of bitterness (and even a degree of dryness) that lets you know you are drinking a quality beer. Long may Racer 5 set a standard for which others should strive.

Feb 01, 2019
Photo of edc20
edc20 from Oregon

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not an IPA fan but I do enjoy this. Plenty of hoppy bitterness but also citrus notes that balance it out. Good carbonation level that contributes to a thicker mouthfeel.

Jan 20, 2019
Photo of BeanBump
BeanBump from California

3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Im not a huge IPA fan but every year, without fail, I get one bottle of racer 5 as part of a corporate gift basket (which contains 5 other non-related beers shoved into a plain, cardboard 6-pack holder). Every year I shrug and just stick it in the fridge. When the day finally comes that I get a wild hair and decide to crack it open, Im reminded that this is actually a pretty decent beer. Its pretty hoppy but its relatively smooth for being so hoppy. By the time I down my 12 oz. allotment I always find myself wishing they gave me more than one Racer 5.

Jan 10, 2019
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JonnoWillsteed from England

2.3/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

S- Fruity hop notes.
L- Quite dark gold. 1mm fine white head.
T- Oh-hhh it's a hop-bomb. Pretty eye-watering. A bad sign on the 1st sip when I wonder whether I can finish it.
M- Intensely hoppy dry, with perfumed notes wafting in afterwards.
O- It's out of balance to me. More like a challenge than an assured and balanced brew.
Bought from M+S at Paddington Station W2. Perhaps aimed at US commuters >< the 'Silicon Triangle' of US corporate offices out to the west from there. No visible BB. £2.75/330ml

Observation: The hoppier a beer, the shorter the reviews people write on it - ?

Jan 01, 2019
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iguanodon from Utah

3.1/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. I bought a 6 pack of Hop Shovel, found one was a Racer 5. Pours clear dark gold with a small white head. Aroma of sweet malt, citrus. Taste is bitter hops, backed with a little malt sweetness. A decent IPA but doesn't stand out when there are so many great ones.

Dec 31, 2018
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mpyle from Maryland

4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Amber color. Good clarity. Big white head, creamy and lingering.

Floral pine hop aroma. Old school hops. A bit of caramel malt aroma

Nice meld of malt and hop flavors up front. A nice piney/earthy hop flavor. Strong earthy bitterness into the finish. Classic traditional American IPA flavors

Med body and carbonation. Hops are drying on tongue, but not astringent Very slightly warming.

A big and assertive IPA. Big hop flavor and bitterness. A classic.

Dec 21, 2018
Racer 5 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 7947 ratings