Apex | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

260 Reviews

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.25%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-22-2005

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Reviews: 260 | Ratings: 1,012
Photo of BeerHo
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this beer first in a bomber and loved it! Then found it on tap at Canal Street, Reading, PA and really fell in love with it! Underrated IPA! Beautiful golden color. Heavy ripe citrus hops greet you instantly with lingering grapefruit, honey and lemon on the palate. Mildly piney with a good malt structure but by no means bready. Nice thick head with sticky lacing. The carbonation is on point! Great mouthfeel! The high ABV is well concealed within its balanced flavors! Great job Bear Republic on producing a world class IPA! I'm trying to find something wrong with this beer but can't! I'm on my 3rd glass which I typically don't do so that says it all! Cheers!!!

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

A stunning IPA. With so many intricately hopped doubles out there -- many at quite high prices -- this stands out. From my point of view it is simply perfect. From the color to the initial nose to all stages of the sip and swallow it is exactly what I want in this type of beer. Knee Deep's Simtra, for example, in my opinion is a wonderful beer that does not go A to Z in the way this does. Apex has not a moment where I think it could be better or different. For DIPAs I'll still take Hop Stoopid over ANYTHING for value ($3.99 at TJs!!), but this is my new favorite beer (and first, lame, review!).

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Photo of edgeh2o
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In a word- WOW!!!

Had it on tap in April at Bear Republic while visiting the area. Came in a sampler set. Bear Republic makes great beers, so I was expecting to like everything. And so everything went as expected, until I got to the Apex, and then... *INSTANT BLISS*

My favorite kind of beer is the IPA. I've had many, Double Jack, Pliny, Hop-15, Hop Stoopid, Hopsickle, Hoptologist, Simtra, Ruination, RuinTen, EnjoyBy, Dorado, To 'Ol Dangerously Stupid, you name it (except Heady Topper and Alpine). The Apex IPA effortlessly TRUMPS them all. If Pliny and Hopsickly is a 10/10, this is no doubt a 15/10.

The perfect combination of citrus and hop flavor.

I don't know what else to say. This is my favorite beer of all time, and I've only had it one night in my whole life.

Needless to say, I'll be planning my next trip to Sonoma around the availability of Apex.

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Photo of sublimesipping
4.94/5  rDev +17.6%
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

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap 8/28/07 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a murky orange-brown color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very hoppy with a good background of citrus and caramelized malt.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with your typical West Coast IPA flavors of hops citrus and caramel. The hops presence is very strong and ends up winning out. The malt character is hearty but not too sweet. The after-taste is hoppy with a touch of sweetness.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not very filling, nice kick, excellent representation of style and perfect example of a West Coast hop bomb, this is a perfect beer to stick with and drink a lot of, I enjoyed it a great deal. I'm hopes Bear Republic starts bottling this one.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Bear Republic tasting at the Rubicon tonight. Another winner from Ricardo @ the bear.

A - Copper-amber, good retention, with a bit of head. Slight lacing.

S - Heavy malts, flowery, grassy hops, with a touch of caramel.

T - See the smell. Always good when smell and taste match.

M - Incredible. Just right, with a slight bitterness you expect from an IPA.

D - Excellent, no sense of alcohol whatsoever. Clearly a standard for the double IPA.

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Photo of JSuperman
4.81/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

As someone who is not a hop-lover, I regularly try to find a hop-style beer that suits my palate. Pliny (the Elder) was my first encounter with this style that turned me into a believer that some hop beers suit me. The second keeper for me was Deschutes Mirror Pond Ale. Apex easily joins the company of these two. Lots of flavor, a balance of bitter and sweet and a lingering aftertaste make this one of my favorite beers! I'll be trying more from Bear Republic to see if others are as good as this one!

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Photo of bitterthebetter
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a robust copper with golden hues and an off white head.

rich rich hops blast through the nose, starting with lemon and grapefruit citrus, pine, massive fresh floral hops, smells like freshly added hops to a wort

spicy, floral, slight lemony citrus, spicy, toasty maltiness, sturdy pine notes leading to more floral and somewhat dry hops on the enduring finish, green hoppy notes as well

fresh lively body with a party of hop flavors bouncing around. one sip last for quite some time, about 2 minutes with the floral and dry hops enduring and increasing, but its not overly dry, just sturdy with its hop profile, yet balanced with the slight malt

big and bold, yet so crisp, fresh, and smooth this is a true hop heads dream. its got all the goodness you can get from a boatload of hops and there just enough malt to give it balance, yet not cloud the glorious hops. by the way its 8.5ABV and goes down uber smooth. If you see this beer on tap, its an absolute must!

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Photo of VTEno17
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: a lighter caramel color, fairly hazy. S: very floral and pine T: grapefruit citrus but also sweet, not too bitter but not to sweet syrupy M: Perfection, not light and crisp but not thick and syrupy either. Nice carbonation and bitterness that leaves your mouth fresh and ready for the next taste. O: Awesome, I love racer 5 but this is even better. This is what racer x should have been. Pretty close to heady topper even! Will always pick this up when I see it.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy gold under a 2” of white foam cap that produces very clingy lace. S: Big grassy nose T: Starts malty with a light sweetness, a blend of peach and melon finishing with a soft grapefruit rind bitterness. Traces of earthiness. M: Creamy, medium full body and above average carbonation. The carbonation is not soft and harsh. O: A very drinkable DIPA with a nice balance of flavors featuring big West Coast hops.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of smanrob
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This seasonal delight seams to be a rare find and I was lucky enough to stumble upon it when we went by Bear Republic the night before our Younger endeavor at RR.

A: Golden copper. Just a touch on the lighter side.

S: Primarily Citrus, with a touch of piney.

T: Well hopped. Strongly flavorful with a bitterness that is present but not overpowering.

M: Light bodied. Goes right on down without too heavy of a feel.

O: Top 5 beer for me. I showed up hoping that they'd have Racer X on tap and didn't even consider that I could be pleasantly surprised that they didn't!

Note: The Bear happened to have Cafe Racer on tap the same night. I've now gotten to enjoy Racer X, Cafe Racer, Apex and of course Racer 5. While it's a close call, this is now my favorite beer they put out.

Ironic that everyone will be waiting in line for 8+ hours at RR this weekend, while there is an equally enjoyable beer just 15 minutes up the road... with no wait at all!

Serving type: on-tap (and brought home a few bottles that were available at the bar)

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Photo of cdizinno
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured into a Duvel tulip glass from a growler purchased from Green's in Columbia, SC.

A: Hazy light amber color with a really nice off-white head that won't die down. Moderate to light lacing.

S: Citrus/floral fruit aromas from the hops. Nice mildly sweet fragrant smell.

T&M Beautifully smooth and balanced beer. Complex flavors start with mildly sweet pine hops that transform to citrus and end with a nice bitter hop taste. Medium to full bodied with well hidden aloohol.

Apex is definitely a quality product that has changed my mind about Bear Republic. Not my absolute best dipa, but top 5 or better. Very drinkable!

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Photo of RickS95
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

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Photo of bonbini26
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap @ The Blind Tiger 10-11-08

A: Pours an orange/brown, not very clear, with a large foamy head that says with the beer for the 1st few sips and leaves a thick lace

S: The aroma is very hoppy with a good background of citrus and caramelized malt. reminds me of 90min

T: Starts and finishes very hoppy with a caramel malt in the middle. The hops stay with ur tongue long after your last sip

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Very easy for a DIPA, the hop attack keeps you coming back for more. One of the best DIPA ive had, I had their mach 10 the same night and doesnt even come close to measuring up to this one. Please Bear Republic bottle this or make it available on tap more!!

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nice golden color with a white head that leaves splotchy lace all the way down. Smell just blows you away. Citrus all over the place with just a hint of pine. Taste gives you the grapefruit that I just love. Oily mouth. I had a glass of this at Brass Rail and had to go home and get my growler so that should answer the drinkability question. Web site says 100 IBU's but i don't see it in a good way. This is my favorite double IPA ever. Great balance, nice bitter finish without puckering your cheeks but there is never a doubt that the hops are there. There must be a ton of sweetness in there to balance things out but it dosn't become cloying which is my biggest complaint on doubles. Great job, wish you could get this in bottles.

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Photo of xgabe
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed at the Bistro IPA festival. 5 oz. taster.


Though this beer was at the IPA festival and totally rocked all others on their rears in terms of taste, body and aroma. It was the bully of the bunch. It is listed here as a double IPA which I would agree with.

That said let's get down to the essentials: excellent floral nose... one of the few where you just smell and smell just to really get every particle of the aroma. Body was nice and thick... again, more like a DIPA, with a nice balance with carbonation.

Extremely drinkable. I'm hoping they'll have it on tap at Healdsburg!

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Photo of FutureCowboy
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

CBX Growler (same day fill) poured into a chilled COAST imperial pint glass.

This pours pretty (I'm pronouncing it "purdy" in my head). Straw-colored, reminiscent of Racer 5 in that "this looks too light to be a hop bomb" kind of way. Great foamy white head, not too dense, and sticks around very nicely. Almost no haze, really amazing clarity.

Big pine tree notes in the nose, very piney. More pine than citrus. I dig that, but expect to be tasting some citrus soon.

Taste is...well it's damn near perfect. This is what I want in a 8%-ish hop vehicle. Balance, nice sharp clear hop notes. Bright flavors -- usual suspects, grapefruit, pine, little mandarin orange -- but just well done. Same goes for the mouthfeel. Thin cool silk, just the right amount of resin/chew. Just the right amount of tongue coatiness.

This is way to f-ing drinkable.

Bear Republic outdid themselves for me on this one, definitely my new fave of theirs. I've had their whole hop-centric offering, except for Racer X, and this one takes the cake.

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Photo of KGalindo
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour into tulip glass...poured a slightly cloudy golden-amber-orange color, very beautiful. One finger of bubbly white head that leaves spotty lacing. Aromas of juicy oranges and tangerines, pineapple and tropical notes, some pine, fantastic! The taste follows suit with juicy citrus, oranges and tangerines and grapefruit, tropical fruits, pine notes and some caramel malts as well. Medium and juicy mouthfeel. This beer is absolutely outstanding. Get it now while it's fresh!

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Photo of DannyS
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Procured in a trade with the awesome Wuntrikpony. Poured from a bomber into my trusty glass beer mug. Kept the sediment separate and pured that into a smaller glass.

A - Pours a sparkling and clear bright orange with very little head and sticky strands of lacing. Looks delicious.

S - Hops jump out forward with just enough malt sweetness pushing through to give some balance. Piney, floral, grapefruity, and orangey. It's a beautifully bright and sweet hop aroma.

T - Bitterness is intermediate, but is easily shoved aside by the juicy, fruity character of the hops. With a best by date of 05/04/14, this is easily in this beer's flavor wheelhouse, and it shows. There's no Holy cow, this is tasty.

M - Just right for a DIPA; not weighty at all, mild carbonation...yep, just right. Alcohol is not noticeable, so be careful with this 9% ABV beast.

Overall - This is easily up there as one of the best DIPA's I've had. The IBU's are well countered by the floral and fruity hop flavors bursting out of this one. Finding PTE and Heady in my area is out of the question, but I've seen Bear Republic in my local stores, so if I can secure a constant supply, this could become my everyday IPA of choice.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This may be the best example of an A-2IPA. Some have more intense flavor, or harsher bite, but this one is just about spot on, imho

Nice light brown, golden, amber pour. Shaded white head is thick, dense, rich and lovely. Some rockiness. Sticky lacing

Sharp aroma of pine, grapefruit, persimmon break up the sweet caramel and gooey breadiness.

Well, the taste is what you would expect from this style. The malt lays a solid, yet quick backbone. Sturdy. Hops take over from there. This isn't like Pliny or Exponential, the citrus and tropical aren't as powerful in Apex. To me, that's good. Yes, I love those two beers. They can be too much sometimes. This one, though, is more than solid. I can drink plenty of this one and not get tired of it. The pine is subtle yet strong. Blends well with the grapefruit and citrus. Some 'herbiness' rounds them all together in the end. Nice bite. Crisp.

Very good beer

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy gold with about an inch of head. Leaves behind some pretty nice lacing.

So much tropical fruit to start the nose, bit of citrus and fresh mown lawn too.

So tasty! Grass and tropical fruit start it off with a super flavor punch. A bit of ganja flavor around the middle, as well as a little grapefruit and floral notes. Not sure what malts are used, but the hops overwhelm, in a great way. Moderate body, goes down smooth with just a touch of heat.

I'm putting this in the favorites catagory with Pliny, Simtra, Jai Alai, Dos Cones and a few other badass brews. A must try for any hophead!

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Photo of BeckyFreesTibet
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After taking an extremely long time deciding what to get from Deep Ellum in Allston, MA, I'm glad I went with this one.

A five is not high enough to credit how beautiful this beer is. It pours a crisp, clean, amber caramel color with frothy, bright white head and lacing that lingered until long after I finished it.

The aroma is sweet, and crisp with a floral, citrusy hoppiness.

This is perhaps one of the most balanced double IPA's I've ever had. It is hoppy from start to finish, but never overwhelmingly so. It is complex in the combination of grapefruit and other mildly sweet fruits with a hint of spiciness.

Mouthfeel is crisp, refreshing and very smooth. I could not detect any hint of the 8% ABV and downed it a little too fast, but the excellent drinkability allowed me to do so. I think this one is highly underrated!

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Photo of chefmonty
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap At Capones

A: Pours a hazy light amber with a light off- white head.

S: Smells of pine and citrus, especially grapefruit with a malt background.

T: Taste much like the smell. Slightly piny, but not to much nice citrus flavors and a malty presence.

M: Very smooth and crisp to the finish with med. carbonation

D: Very drinkable for a DIPA and at 8.10% could sneak up on you. I stopped at 2 pts, but could have easily had more.

Bear Republic never dissappoints. Another solid offering and new addition to my top 5 favorite DIPA's

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Apex from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,012 ratings.
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