Red Rocket Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

1,177 Reviews
Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Red Rocket Ale is a bastardized Scottish style red ale that traces it's origins to our homebrew roots. This full bodied and hoppy brew finishes on the palate with sweet, caramel malt flavors.

2009 California State Fair - SILVER
1999 Great American Beer Festival® Other Strong Ales or Lagers - SILVER
1998 Great American Beer Festival® Other Strong Ales - SILVER

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-05-2001

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Reviews: 1,177 | Ratings: 2,597
Photo of NJpadreFan
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bear Republic- Red Rocket

A HUGE thanks to Pimpp for this 1.

A- Dark reby reddish brown with a thick chunky lacing head.
S- Oily pine hops and caramel malt.
T- Delicious strong oily pine hops evenly blended with a sweet creamy caramel malt.
M- Slighty bitter up front with a chewy, slighty buttery, finish. Big flavors throughout.

Overall- By far the best Amber I've ever had! To me its an Amber/ West Coast IPA blend! I honestly think this is a perfect beer!!

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Photo of hrmhrm
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best. It tastes Scottish. It tastes Red. Huge bristly hops. Starts strong and lingers, then lingers some more. I'm so glad this is so easy to find in California. East Coasters, Southerners, Midwesterners: it's worth hunting down.

The review cops tell me I've got to have at least 250 characters here, so I'm writing more.

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Photo of InandOutBeerGuys
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This could very well be my favorite beer, period. I cant imagine a way to improve on this beer. Sticky sweet caramel notes an awesome mouthfeel, big citrusy smack of hops, beautiful aroma & a clean finish and not too much ABV to keep you from more than one. I just the ruby brown hues... mmm a perfect beer. I think I just talked myself into another case.

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Photo of BobbyBeerman
4.95/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a cloudy mahogany with a creamy head. A vigorous pour didn't produce much but a good swirl brought it up. It diminished down to a thin wispy layer with a ring that produces some good lacing.

S: First off is the complex hops. I'm not good enough to know which hops are in there but I smell two distinct characteristics - citrus and piney. Next up is sweet roasted malt. This is a complex beer that I could sniff all night but it's time to drink.

T: The oily hops lead the charge here - the pine resin first and then citrus. Sweet caramel malt follows closely behind. Neither taste is over powering the other - they dance well together.

M: The complexity of this ale extends all the way through even to the mouth feel. Oily, chewy, buttery/creamy. Good carbonation levels. Easy to drink, a pleasure to explore.

D: Very drinkable. Don't let the complexity of this beer scare you off. It is well worth it. I love this one!!

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Photo of noeldundas
4.92/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

dark reddish brown, slightly cloudy (bad pour i think) with a rocky tan head with incredible lacing.

fresh piney hop nose.

a soft, velvety, and full bodied ale with moderate carbonation and exceptional drinkability

the piney and citrusy hops just slightly beat out the malt, which still brings powerful coffee, raisan, chocolate and plum flavours. but not malty per se.

the finish is dry, and smooth with malty (not sweet) notes some caramel and a deep bitter, almost orange hoppyness.

looovvveee it.

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Photo of froggyfrog
4.92/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber bottle. Beer served in a Becher glass.

A partly cloudy red ale with a gelatinous head of long poetic proportions.

Aroma is very unique, like old suede shoes and rye. There is a woody scent like green bamboo and a whiff of soap, straight almond extract and spicy/floral West Coast hops.

Taste is strong citrus hops when sipped through the foam right after the pour. Sixty seconds later, the flavor profile changes dramatically. While the nose remains floral, the tastes morph to showcase some unexpected flavors like heather tips, brewed coffee, English tea and cream.

Mouthfeel is fluffy like whipped cream soda foam yet turns dry and lightly spritzy in the finish, a combination that makes for infinite drinkability.

Lovin' this beer big time. Thanks to Phatz for picking this up for me.

Bear Republic rocks!

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Photo of kingalthe1st
4.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First, you need to understand the history of this beer. It is THE American Red ale. When it was developed back in the early 90s, beer competitions didn't know what to do with it because there was no category for it. It has inspired a legion of copycats, yet it is still the best you can get. It's that friggin good.

Second. It is bottle conditioned with a heavy yeast concentrate, and given the methods of shipping companies today, unless you get this beast on tap, at the Bear Republic Brewery (or purchase a bottle from somewhere in their direct-distribution range), you are probably not tasting the 100% divine goodness of this. Still, even if you get a lower performing bottle, if you rate this beer less than an A, you have no business drinking Red Ales.

Now, a little about myself: I grew up in Healdsburg and have been drinking this stuff since I was 16 years old. Yeah, I'm a little biased. :).

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Photo of andrewm190
4.88/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perhaps the best ale I have ever had, fully rejuvenating my faith in ales. Compliments a pizza perfectly on a warm summer day. Aside from the clever name, this beer delivers everything. Crisp taste that sits beautifully on the palette; I really don't think I have had a better ale. This is the first Bear Republic beer I have had, and I have to say, I'm fully prepared to taste everything else they make. Based on the Red Rocket, they might rival some of the other powerhouses, like Stone et al.

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Photo of TheDeuce
4.88/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Red Rocket Ale....

Appearance-Stone deep red, beautiful hazy color, solid balanced head which rises and sticks around, looks really great.

Smell-malt and spice, hazy alcohol, chocolate, sour fumes all mixed together, very aromatic, really hits you.

Taste/Mouthfeel-layered taste, good flavors, they call it a sort of bastardized scottish ale and I can definitely taste some of those flavors, inherent spiciness as well from hops and overall a strong flavor not normally seen from an amber ale. Very smooth and maintains flavor the whole way through, takes a while to run through them.

Drinkability-simply great to have, satisfying, flavorful, not overwhelming.

Overall-wow...all I can say, lives up to the hype and then some. Fantastic and worth a try.

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Photo of exodus1369
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful red ale. Thick head that almost defies gravity. Rich caramel malt with a bit of a hop sent. Bubbles every where in this one giving it a great smoothness and opening up the caramel and chocolate flavors. A smooth finish and outstanding experience over all.

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Photo of ncredible1
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a hazy deep reddish brown with a frothy off white head and a nice sheet of lacing. Just what I'd expect.

S-Lots of rich caramel malt, backed up by some nice grapefruit hoppiness. Quite Interesting combination.

T-Lots of flavor. Heavy on the malt, especially for the style, but In my opinion this is a good thing. Some nice citric bitterness in the finish make this is a big amber ale flavor wise. Awesome.

M-Maybe a bit heavy for the style. No surprise given the flavor profile. However, This is no ordinary red amber ale. Flavors just pop in the mouth.

D-Deliciously flavorful and highly drinkable i put down two 22 ouncers. I seemingly couldn't get enough of this ale. Highly recommend!

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Photo of evanackerman
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

this is my favorite beer,

pours a deep deep amber with a billowing head that stands far above the rim of the glass and is not in a hurry to go away,

aroma is mostly american hops

taste is a superb balance of toffee, almost chocolately toasty malt and delicious hops. a masterpiece of balance and rich flavor.

mouthfeel is exceedingly smooth, perfect carbonation, just excellent.

drinkability is pretty high although one bomber is enough for one night in my case.

awesome beer, please try this if you have the chance.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Translucent body with a dark red color and a haze of yeast from bottle conditioning. The head is a tan color, very tight, big, and leaves alot of sticky lace. Visually stunning beer.

S- The smell has a crisp, herbal bite of hops in front along with some smells of cinnamon, apple, and gingerbread.

T- Bitter to begin and slowly becomes more mellow and sweet. Very complex all the way throughout with an intense hop character of herbs and spice.

M- Smooth body with foamy carbonation

D- Truly a special beer, there is no replacement.

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Photo of Chugmonkey
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hmmm, a hoppy Scottish Ale? Sounds good in theory and totally rocks in reality.

Deep dark rich mahogony color with reddish highlights. Giant pillowy tannish head - just a bombshell looking beer that made my mouth water.

Aroma is intense toffee, caramel, and hoppy - wow.

Taste is pure yumminess - toffee, caramel, fuzz of chocolate, a strong pronounced bitterness in the finish. Super rich and satisfying, slight warming at finish, but plenty of bitterness to balance all the sweet flavors.

So much going on that your tastebuds are just wowed and stunned, but you still crave more cuz it's just that f'n good. I only had 1 12oz bottle and savored every sip, could have used a couple more.

This beer executes on all phases. One kick ass brew here - I will be hording some more on my next trip to the store.

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Photo of musicman575
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oddly, this was the only microbrew offering at a super popular pizza joint in Berkeley, CA. It was easy to make a decision.

What a great coffee-like color. The creamy head had a nice brown tint to it as well. I'm used to tasting the hops a second after I take a drink, but the hops in this beer hit quick, then leave you with their pleasant bouquets while you enjoy the soft, carmely maltiness and return slightly for a good finish. What a talented beer! Each sip cleared my palate enough that the flavors didn't build up and overwhelm my senses by the end of the bottle, making for one of the most drinkable dark beers I've ever had.

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Photo of SDtastentune
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Bubbly head that dissipates quickly, Small amount of lacing but not major. Red/Amber, unfiltered with some floaty sediments through out.

S - Bread, musty malts, and a unique hop smell.

T - Has a great musty hop, bread... unique malty'ness thing going on, tastes more than 6.8%. Very rich and complex.

M - Medium carbonation, great aftertaste, goes down slightly hot, but not.

O - Overall, a great red ale on steroids with superb taste and unique smells. Recommended for a hop head or a red head lover.

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Photo of kosmoraios
4.78/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewing this ale for the style as best I can. Third offering I've had from Bear Republic, and by far the best. I've got to give this one high marks.

Bottle has 01/07 imprinted on the glass. I believe this is the best-by date, so I think this one has been "aged" properly.

A - Pours a gorgeous mahogany color with a 1-finger high, off-white, thick, bumpy head that lingers for a good while and leaves thick lines of lacing. Carbonation bubbles are visible, as are very small chunks of yeast.

S - Sweet caramel, cashew-nutty yeast, piney and citrussy hops. Enticing aroma.

T - Amazing. For an American Amber ale, this is the best I've ever tried. There's spicy, piney hops. Perfect citrus (grapefruit, tangelo) flavor on top of a subtly sweet caramel and red apple. A tiny hint of toastiness in the malt flavor. A light macadamia or cashew nutty undertone from the yeast used in bottle-conditioning. Amazingly complex - as it warms, myriad flavors emerge.

M - Good mouthfeel. A wee bit oily and ever-so-slightly undercarbonated, but the aftertaste is pleasant and stays on the tongue.

D - An excellently drinkable beer! Wonderful for sessions. Good in the summer or the winter.

Major kudos to Bear Republic. I'll be sure to try more of their offerings.

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Photo of jbertsch
4.78/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip and got an awesome rocky, billowy head that’s off-white in color. And boy did the head stick around. The brew itself is a beautiful dark mahogany color.

A layered aroma… I noticed spices and herbs at first - cinnamon most noticeably – that sit on top of a sweet toffee malt profile. There is a nice hop profile sitting in the back that’s not to be outdone.

Then the fun happens… the taste is a faintly sweet up front from the malt profile, but it quickly fades into slight bitter notes of earthy nuts. Some nice hops show up at this point with a mix of dry spices making things exciting at the same time. A little caramel malt rears it head at the end. A multi-faceted flavor profile that has something for everyone.

Full body, super creamy and smooth, yet it sports great carbonation. Couldn’t dial it any better.

The layers of flavor that constantly morph and trade center stage with each other make this an exciting brew. You want to keep taking sips, so, the drinkability is great.

I’m too often disappointed with Red Ales. But this one is a game changer for me. A great full-flavored, balanced beer with both malt and hop profiles on display, topped with spices and herbs to make things exciting. Recommended.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Citrusy, grassy, piney, resiny nose over malt notes
Pours brilliant deep amber brown under a lightly tan tinted 1/2" white foam cap.
The palate reveals an excellent balance between the malt and the hops , starting with a burst of malt stirring up fruit, citrus and a hint of anise, suggestions of chocolate and a little alcohol. Inspired by Scotch ales the brewer gives it an American twist with a bigger hop presence.
A big chewy beer supported by medium low carbonation.

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Photo of Barracudas
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A great beer! On tap at the brewpub. A very well done beer with complex flavor and nice aroma. Will seek this one out if available at the bottle shop. Highly recommended!

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Photo of cfinch2
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First review ya'll, longtime craft drinker in my one year of legality

For the most part of my beer-drinking career, I've been one to assault myself with hops, thinking the most intense flavor is by and above the best. This isn't a confessional though, I haven't changed that much. I have, however, come to appreciate the malt, fruit, and other whatnots in the non-IPA territory. Nugget Nectar pushed me to do so, and this ale was pretty much next in line

A: Poured a quite thick parchment colored head (probably with some help from the frozen glass) that hung around for a while. Left a nice bit of lacing on its way down

S: Fruity, malty hops I guess. Still workin on this...

T: Mostly smooth, like a red ale, but with just a little bit of bite in the follow-through. Pretty malty overall, and drinks like its under 6.8

M: Great. A bit sticky, smooth, and not at all thin, and the light carbonation is just the right amount.

O: Definitely one of my favorite red ales, second only to Nugget Nectar and Peak's King Crimson. However, this is a lot cheaper, so its a better deal I'd say. Malty for everyone, and a little bitter for us hop-heads.

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Photo of Dmann
4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great brew! It poured a magnificant dark mahogany color with a great frothy head that left tons of lace down the glass. The smell was very good with a nice malt scent mixed with a light citrus. The taste was just awesome and unlike any amber/red that I have ever had before. It started out with a touch of malt sweetness, then once it opened up it had a great smokey flavor to it followed up by a great finishing hop bitterness! Very complex flavor and as it warmed it tasted even better. A new favorite of mine for sure.

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Photo of Jemonster
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice looking cloudy cola brown. Thin tan head.

S: Smells nice and sweet,brown sugar and

T: Hops up front that quickly fade into bittersweetness. Really nice. Forward and complex in the beginning, and finishes simple. An interesting flavor profile. Molasses and sugar cane. I don't detect the usual bread and yeast flavors here, but its malty.

M: This beer really has a perfect mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation and viscosity. Mouth coating, but clean. The benchmark, as far as I'm concerned.

O: A really great, unusual beer that I must have again.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark maroon color, way darker than almost every red I've encountered (this is almost as dark as some "porters"), Head isn't huge, but does have nice lacing. Tons of juicy hops aroma in the nose, just ridiculous. Also slightly caramel sweetness. Taste is as solid as you can get. Huge hops flavor and bitterness. Taste is also balanced, malt-wise, just excellent drinking. Creamy mouthfeel, great. My first bear republic, and definitely not the last. My second favorite Red Ale ever (Sanata's Private Reserve).

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Photo of wheatyweiss
4.71/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into an imperial.

Pours an impressive ruby to deep copper. Immense head laces the glass with sticky webs and recedes very slowly. Nice looking brew.

Aroma is of hops, sweetness and bready malt. Floral hops dominate the nose.

Flavor is sweet malt on the front Malt is earthy and slightly smokey. Intensly sweet, this is a malt monster. Hops are in the middle and lend to bittering quite well. Finishes sweet and earthy again with a touch of peat smoke? This is like a good scotch ale and a good hoppy red mixed together.

Mouthfeel is heavy bodied and full, chewy and substantial from the malt. Carbonation is soft and adequate.

Wow, I love scotch ales and I love hops and this beer in the twain does meet, and meet well. This is a creative beer that is delicious and highly reccomended.

Bear Republic is impressing the hell out of me every time I get one of their beers.

Get some now

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,597 ratings.
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