Apex | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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1,062 Ratings

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

Style: American 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,062 |  Reviews: 271
Photo of HopDerek
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Union Jack's Manatawny during the Easter HopFest.

Poured a clear golden yellow with some amber hues with a thin eggshell colored head. Nice retention and good lacing stick. Smells of honey, citrus, caramel, and pine resin, definitely distinguishable as a West Coast hop brew. Tastes of pineapple, tangerine, and other citrus fruits followed by some honey and caramel malt sweetness. Finishes with some pine and resinous hop bitterness. Medium in body with pleasant carbonation. Sticky with good balance and a solid lingering bitterness. Easy to drink with good flavors and a uniqueness.

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Photo of Kadonny
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a tap at Capones in Norritown into a standard pint glass.

A: A medium golden orange color with a nice one finger white head. Nice full glass lacing is left behind.

S: Piney floral hops with a pretty heavy caramel malt sweetness. Not overly hoppy on the nose.

T: A nice balanced hop profile of pine, earth and floral characters. A bit of citrus is detected that melds in with the fairly substantial caramel malt profile, almost a bit sugary sweet. Finish is hops, but not overly bitter. Alcohol can be tasted.

M: Medium and coating, but not overly bitter. Alcohol warming is detected.

D: Pretty good, but a bit...uh boring actually. I had one and that was enough.

Overall a good DIPA from a great brewery, but it was just not complex enough for me. It needs a bit more hops, but I guess that's why they have this beer and Racer X. I think I actually enjoyed the Racer 5 more, Racer X is in a different catagory because of it's substantially higher abv. Still a solid beer.

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Photo of sholland119
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Teresa's Next Door.

A-Pours a clear amber with a huge white head and plenty of lacing.

S-Lots of pine hop goodness, some citrus notes behind with some sweet pineapple and some malt.

T-Malty in the front, hoppy in the finish. Pine hops and malt in an almost perfect balance.

M-Medium bodied, crisp.

D-An extraordinary DIPA. At 8.1% ABV, great balance, this gives Pliny the Elder a run for its money. Delicious.


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Photo of hopdog
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's.

Poured a medim and hazy amberish color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, caramel, pine, and floral hops. Tastes of citrus, caramel, some tropical fruits, and a little toasty. Light lacing left on the glass.

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Photo of pershan
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

A: Poured a clear, medium amber with a thin white head into a chalice.

S: Pungent aroma of fresh, piney hops - fantastic.

T: A huge hop flavor, with a big, bitter hop finish and just a touch of citrus and malt sweetness in the background. Alcoholic esters are nicely subdued. A hop lovers delight.

M: Nice carbonation and heavy lacing down the glass.

D: A great I2PA. Everything you want in a high gravity IPA - not too much alcoholic overtones, a bit of sweetness, and gobs of hop aroma, flavor, and bitterness.

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Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capones.

Pours a clear orange, some light reddish hues, thick and very rocky off white head forms, tons of lacing sticks to the glass, great retention, looks real nice. Smell is hoppy, tons of citrus and floral, grapefruit, caramel malt, pine, biscuits, very raw hop aroma, very nice, with enough maltiness to keep it balanced. Taste is lightly sweet at first, caramel and toast, big hoppy middle, tons of grapefruit and pineapple, some floral, pine, very malty, perfectly balanced, solid bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty awesome stuff, amazingly balanced and super hopped up.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours amber with a light white head, thick concentric rings of lace stick with each sip, great head retention.

S: Hop juice, lupulin, pine forest, cedar, not a striking smell, but enjoyable.

T: Very good flavour. Pine and cedar oil blast through initially, but the almost barleywine type malt holds its own, adding sweetness and light notes of burnt toast and treacle/toffee. Interesting mango, papaya on the back end. Normally I don't really like my DIPAs to have a ton of malt, but there was great balance here and it really worked.

M: Full of hop resin, chewy, sticky with malt, but never cloying.

D: I really liked this beer from Bear Republic, fantastic, better than Racer X as far as their DIPAs go, but certainly rarer. A must try for any hophead.

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Photo of illidurit
3.96/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Dark gold color with an off-white head that leaves nice lacing. Aroma is citrusy and sweet. Not the most robust hop bomb aroma I've ever smelled but it's above-average. Flavor is citrusy up front with ripe grapefruit and herbal and resiny in the midpalate. Moderate hop astringency with modest bitterness. Very dry with nice carbonation. Pretty good DIPA.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA.

A- Medium to dark orange, clear. White foamy, frothy head. Good retention.

S- mimics fresh hop pellets. Pine. Smells very fresh, but the hoppiness is not pungent, it's more delicate, you have to really stick your nose in there to experience it.

T- Juicy. Citrusy hops come across sweet. Very little bitterness, or at least it's not harsh so it doesn't feel very bitter. Great hop flavor, but not much in that bitter category.

M- appears very smooth. Medium body. Almost a bit slick.

A good tasty brew, but not that in your face for a double IPA and the sweetness may get tiring over a couple pints. I like IPA's to have a fairly good sense of bitterness to and this really doesn't carry it that much, even though it's got a good fresh flavor and aroma of hops. This brew kinda reminds me of Alpha King, or maybe Union Jack.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Spike's tonight. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Body is the color of a new copper penny, possibly with some added red. Body is also clear and shows very light carbonation. A foamy, off-white head sits on top and retains very well. Drags great, web-like lace as well.

Smell: Initial quaff produces big pine and herbal hops, accompanied by juicy grapefruit and a slight metallic character. Juicy citrus aromas become more dominant as the beer warms.

Taste: Juicy grapefruit and tangerine hit me first, followed by pine and peppery, herbal hops. Candied sugar and doughy malts try to create balance, but get a little lost.

Mouthfeel: Sticky-ish and syrupy-ish. Pretty spicy with above average carbonation. Body actually feels a bit light for the style. Finishes very dry.

Drinkability: A delicious and fairly mellow IIPA that still maintains a large amount of bittnerness. Sweet, spicy, light-ish, and fun to drink. The ABV is detectable, but deceptively strong. Will produce a quick and long-lasting buzz, but fairly light and very easy to drink otherwise.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, Ca on 3/14/09. Poured and served in a Pint glass.

A: A deep and transparent copper color with a minimal amount of head. Laceing nice, which is kind of suprising considering the lack of head retention.

S: A good representation of a Imperial IPA. Extremely hoppy, plant-like and/or piney, with a good amount of malt to balance it out.

T: Incredibly well balanced. A potent hop bite that was slightly dulled down by a malt sweetness, buttery perhaps, that was quite unique. Alcohol nearly undetectable.

M: Just about perfect...hop bitterness didn't linger too long on the palate...carbonation was nice...and gave me that nice refreshing feeling that IPA's should have.

D: Loved the flavor profile and it's somewhat unique taste. Alcohol was low enought to enjoy more then one pint.

Overall: A great beer that is worth seeking out. A must try. Cheers!

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Frisco's the other day. Served in a goblet

A: Crystal clear orange amber with a thin off-white head that has great retention and leaves nice lacework

S: Citrus and pine hops, resin and some juicy orange hops all the way. Mild sweetness

T: Big resiny pine hop bitterness up front with a pleasing citrus bite. Juicy mid palate with orange juice and a hint of tobacco. Finishes dry, resiny and bitter

M: Light in body, mild carbonation that goes well with the hops. Excellent finish

D: Very enjoyable, if I didn't have to catch a flight, I'd have had another

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Photo of kels
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on tap, poured into a tulip at the Comet last night. Heard it was one of only two barrels that made it to Ohio, so I got to feel special for a moment :)

Appearance: Color is golden apricot flesh with some golden-honey undertones. Little visibility in the liquid. 1 finger white, soft foam fades and retains at a skim with traces of sticky white lacing left behind.

Smell: Delicious aroma of light, sweet, juicy citrus and dry grass. HUGE alcohol as the beer warms.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very sweet and bitter all at once. Lots of sticky, bitter pine, sweet honeyed citrus and malts and BIG, warming alcohol. Feel is somewhat full thanks to the moderate carbonation, and the after-feel is very sticky.

Drinkability: Moderate - take it slow for sure and enjoy all the flavors that come out as it warms.

This beer was described to me as more like a barleywine, which I can agree with in many ways. The sweetness and alcohol that come through are very reminiscent of the style, while the bitterness and stickiness definitely puts it in the DIPA realm as well. Very interesting and well-worth the experience.

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Photo of pwoods
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Comet served in a tulip.

Pours golden amber with great clarity. Decent white head with some retention and lacing. Very piney in the nose. Plenty of citrus and malt sweetness. Alcohol is detectable but not interfering. Taste is much the same with massive pine backed with a good dose of citrus. The sweetness is nice as it doesn't taste or feel thick or chewy. Body is medium to medium full with good carbonation. Finishes dry with some lingering bitterness but not too much. Alcohol is there but not too much. Pretty easy to drink. Bitterness wasn't too much and the alcohol added a nice touch. I thought the ABV would have been a bit higher but definitely drank easy.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Comet.

Pours a light gold in color, with just the slightest head on top. Smell is piney, grassy hops. Very green and bitter. Taste is very smooth. The piney hops dominate the flavor, but is overall very balanced with the rest of the beer. The description says that this is a DIPA or Imperial IPA, but this is just a good, balanced, IPA. I did tire of the piney hops near the end of the glass. Drank very easily and was for the most part pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of bamadog
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

I was pretty excited when I got to order this as I was told by Dave at The Comet that this glass of beer was poured from one of only two kegs that were in the great state of Ohio, so yeah, not only was it special to be able to get it, this is also my 50th review... How's that for fate? Poured from the tap into a tulip

Appearance: A dark coppery color, with very miild carbonation, almost none to speak of. A very thin skim of head, yet it appears to be very sticky though because of the the lacing between the lip and even level of beer in the glass. A little cloudy as well.

Smell: Grassy/hoppy, piney. A slight alcohol is present as well in the back, and a mild sweetness, perhaps honey? Very reminiscent of Hopslam, so perhaps that's why I mention the honey. As this bad boy warms, the alcohol became much more prevalent in the smell, as did the sweetness.

Taste: Very big, piney hops right up front, yet balanced well with the sweetness - honey-esque, malty caramel. Alcohol is also very present and as it warms, the sweetness and alcohol really pick up - a very smooth drink though.

Mouthfeel: Burning from the alcohol - you can feel it evaporate right off the palate and that leaves it nice and dry, yet it also feels like it's trying to be sticky from the hoppiness as well. The body is a little chewy and very nice, and the warmer it gets the stickier and chewier it gets -- very smooth.

Drinkability: Low. ABV is pretty high and this is definitely a sippin' kind of beer - there's no way I'd be able to sit through more than one serving of this, but still an amazing beer.

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Photo of Seanibus
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Luscious, like a Racer 5 on steroids.

Pours deep amber with a big fluffy head. The aroma is rich, plummy, and full of citrus hops. The flavor has that muscular, round amberish malt character that Bear republic specializes in, with a big wet slap of citrusy hops. The mouthfeel is smooth and viscous, warning you are pouring some power down your throat, but the whole package is balanced so nicely you might not realize the ABV until it is too late.

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Photo of bsend
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed a 13 oz. tulip at a local bar.

Upon receiving it from the bar, I noticed the rich, dark color and creamy 1 inch layer of head. The copper color was definitely enticing, and I was more than excited to dive into it.

The beer had a heavy hop aroma, and an almost pine aroma.

The taste was definitely good, though some what over powering. This hoppy beer is great for hopheads. The amount of hop flavor really makes it stand out as IIPA. There was a definite alcohol after taste, that made me drink this very slowly.

The mouthfeel was decent. The beer is thick, and coats the tongue/mouth. That being said, it had a dryness to it that required me to order a glass of water wit it. This feature also decreased the drinkability a bit, as I could only take one.

Final Thoughts - A decent IIPA entry. The beer was a little over powering, and not as complete as Harpoon's Leviathan, but still decent. It was my first beer from Bear Republic, but it definitely won't be my last. Well worth it.

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Photo of Deuane
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Bright, clear golden copper with a medium off-white head that held on well and left decent lace.

S-Pine and citrus hop combo with a resinous and a bit of sweetness.

T-Great combo of piney and citrus hops dominate with a bit of resin and caramel malt sweetness.

M-Medium body with a slightly sticky feel and a long lasting bitterness.

D-Another great West Coast DIPA from BR. A solid overall brew with a different hop profile than their other hop bombs. A nice addition to the family.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Growler into shaker pint on 2/23/09. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Poured a clear amber/orange body with virtually no carbonation and about one finger's width of bubbly off-white head that retained fairly well and left sticky lacing around the glass.

S - Piney and citrusy West Coast DIPA nose with some resiny notes and a whiff of alcohol. Malt is sweet and caramely.

T - Piney hops abound with a bit of resin and a splash of citrus to round out the hop profile. There's also a touch of caramel malt sweetness, but the hops win out with an aggressively bitter finish.

M - Medium body with a somewhat watery texture and soft carbonation. Finish is quite bitter and a tad dry on the palate.

D - Not as enjoyable as Racer X or even Racer 5, in my opinion, but still a pretty solid West Coast DIPA.

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Photo of philbe311
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Golden color copper... Darker at the bottom of the glass, lighter at the top of the glass... Huge rich white foam head... Moderate carbonation... Sticks to the glass the entire way down...

S - Grapefruit... Floral aroma... Citrus and piney hop aroma... Surprisingly strong malt scent... Well balanced and mildly complex...

T - Taste follows closely to the scent... Citrus... A nice blend of hops... Caramel... Malt...

M - Medium bodied... Creamy and lush... Slightly chewy... I expected oily hop resins and was pleasantly surprised to find how muted they actually were... Nice amount of carbonation... Crisp... A wonderful experience...

D - A wonderfully well craft and well balanced DIPA... The hops aren't overpowering, but there are enough to keep you wanting more... The 8+% ABV is well hidden... A very strong offering in the crowed field of California DIPAs...

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at capone's

A- This came to me with the regular bright gold with bronze hints. Nice white capped head (1/2 inch)with some staying power before it left. Good sticky lacing on the way down.

S- A very Bear Republic smell to it with the usual pine and citrus qualities with very faint bready qualities from the malt. Very hoppy in the nose and very west coastish.

T- Everything that i love from bear republic is present in this DIPA. Sharp citrus notes with a hearty helping of pine. Hoppyness is the mainstay of this brew but the malts do override that to a degree. The hop assult on the taste is not present with the mouth as not much bitterness gets through. Oh believe me that some bitterness gets through but is drowned out by the sweet malts. This is a lot easier drinking than racer X. A bit flowery with a bit of caramel and some grassy hop aroma.

M- for a DIPA this goes down incredibly smooth with only a hint of the bitterness. The malts in this realy balance out this hop bomb as any less malts would make a hop assult. Not getting any alcohol from this 8%er. MF is good enough for two pints or so.

D- Expecting something along the lins of a Racer X, this was surprisingly very easy too drink, even with the 8%. Just the right amount of bitterness balanced with smooth malts. A very floral appeal, A treat to drink.

This is along the lines of say a racer x but not as much of a hop assult. Imma have to do a side by side to comapre. Another excellent example of a "hopbomb" from bear republic, just a bit smoother, for sure a winner.

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Photo of chefmonty
4.57/5  rDev +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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Photo of bitterthebetter
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
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 sublimesipping
4.94/5  rDev +16.8%
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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Apex from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 1,062 ratings