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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,294 Reviews
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by kbub6f on 03-27-2002

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,294 | Ratings: 7,530
Photo of Mike_Moe
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark golden color light brown head.
Aroma: Very good spicy smell. Fruity banana hops aroma coming through.
Flavor: Spicy banana flavor, ending slight sweet and hoppy. This is a full bodied smooth beer.
Overall: This is a very flavorful smooth IPA. Has a very good spicy banana flavor, with quite a hoppy finish. Bold, smooth, delish. You can't stop drinking them.

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Photo of JMOvechkin
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

A: Beautiful, cloudy, rich, amber color throughout with a thick inviting head. I felt like it was going to speak to me.

S: It smells like my birthday. My birthday smells like dank citrusy hops with a pinch of flowery esters, it gives me goosebumps.

T: This beer is complex AND simple. There are more flavors then I can pick out but the citrusy and slightly herbal hops take me to my happy place. Every sip leaves me wanting more. The robust flavor is balanced and smooth.

M: Heavy and strong. This is what an IPA is supposed to feel like.

D: Leaves you craving more. Just as you start to grasp everything about the flavor its time to swallow. I have had this beer many times, I love it, it loves me and I will definitely drink it again and again.

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Photo of xmorgan
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an excellent example of West Coast IPA!

The intense hop aroma is piney, floral and citrusy! It just lingers in your nose.

The grapefruit, pine, hop taste is well blended with the malt.
it really holds the flavor and as the beer gets warmer these become more pronounced. It is a beer that often gets served TOO cold.

But it's ok, just give it a little time to warm up and watch as the flavors emerge.

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Photo of jtd1969
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply the best IPA on the planet. I have had so many, but yet, this one is still my favorite. The clean coudy harvest tone look, awesome. The head is usually thin in length but dense thickness.(if that makes any sense) Tons of citrus tones in smell. Awesome hop smell with floral with light fruit, slight pine. Fruity/floral big hop upfront with a clean finish. So easy to toss them back as the hops never overbear you. So tasty... If you enjoy IPAs, try one ASAP

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Photo of bboven
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best IPA I've ever had in every respect.

Slightly cloudy honey color with a bit of particulate floating about. The head is a finger thick even now; it lasts and leaves thick sticky lacing.

Great hop citrusy hop aroma with a tiny bit of sweetness from the malt.

Almost indescribable taste. The malt carries the hop flavor with a great smoothness. The hops are sweet all the way to the end where there's a tiny, tiny bitter note at the end. Beautiful.

Smooth mouthfeel, that's the best way to say it. Such low carbonation that you'd think it was from a cask. That's a good thing. Actually, it's a wonderful thing.

I bought one bottle of this on my honeymoon in August, so it may have been even better when the hops were fresher. I will buy and trade for this beer every chance I get.

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Photo of pbaltodano
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had the pleasure of drinking many IPAs and this has been my favorite for over a year and a half. My liquor stocked the 22oz. and I requested the 6 pack glass bottles which is $11.29 out the door. The 22s are $5.40 so obviously the 6 pack is a better deal. This beer has it all. It has those amazing citrus notes as well as a deliciously bitter taste. Not for those who don't like a strong beer as 2 12oz. bottles will leave you buzzed if you down it fast enough. Whenever this is not in stock (which pisses me off) I reach for a Ruination as it's the only other beer that satisfies my IPA craving. Super reluctant to grab anything else (and feel like I am cheating on Racer) and you better believe my glass recycling is all racer bottles!

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Photo of JerryT
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow I am loving this IPA. It's a beautiful hazy golden color, and laces the glass nicely.
Wonderfully flavorful and Bursting with that floral, citrusy, hoppy taste I crave. Now among my top beer choices.

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Photo of StrangeBrewer76
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours perfect straw to orange color, a little hazy with textbook head and lacing. Lacing could be reproduced and sold as art for doilies. This could not look better.

Smells of pine and spicy hop that would meet your imaginations expectations of a California IPA.

Taste is amazing. I may be a little biased for having had this before but as a beer geek or BA I tend to gravitate toward the best stuff, which this brew clearly is, hands down. Whatever malt is used in this beer compliments the bitterness profile of the hops so perfectly that the taste transition is seamless.

M- Hop resins top to bottom make this one of the easiest things to drink.

Drinkability is off the charts. This is a 6. When you raise this glass to your lips you take a sip but the sip is them followed by a larger sip, then by a gulp. It's really that good.

I would consider this a go-to beer which I would always have on hand if I didn't just run out of it.

Truly exceptional. Get some!

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Photo of chrisgalvin
4.99/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just such a great beer. So big and bold and fits the area in which it is brewed. Big hop notes center around a balanced malt character with a nice finish. Two of these and you're set. Such a nice change when you are touring around the area drinking other AIPAs too. Not to say the other are crap, this is just a different and well-rounded beer.

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Photo of miramanmike
4.97/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer,so far. The hoppy sweet smell is intoxicating, and 7.00 ABV dosen't hurt. I really can't say anything bad about this beer. I have been drinking every weekend rof the last three weeks. The number spaek louder than I do....A great beer!

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Photo of Naerhu
4.97/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Orange-gold body with amazing white lacing.
Aroma: Orange, pepper and tangerine aroma.
Taste: Orange rinds, light malt and everlasting polite bitterness. The light malt stands aside to allow the hops to shine, however the bitterness does not overwhelm.
Mouthfeel: Great balance, the nice acidity makes this beer quite refreshing.
Drinkability: This is a beer from heaven, give me more and more every day. The beer is very easy drinking (even my Mom who thinks beer is ‘horrid’ liked this).

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Photo of timers
4.94/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is the peak of the "California IPA" style of brewing and is without a doubt a best in genre brew. Like other beers in the class, it pushes the hops and alcohol content to a very high level, however this beer restrains enough to still preserve the delicious taste left from the wort. Although it doesn't punch you with alpha acids it does pique your tongue with more than a little enthusiasm. For West Coast emigres, it's a reminder of everything good about beers in the Golden State and the influence of all the ingredients.

Now available in some East Coast locations, hopefully more soon!

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Photo of flydudehsv
4.93/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Real nice IPA. Not the hoppiest, but it has some zip. Nice sweet malt in the background but really smooth for the 7% ABV. Initial aroma is pine forest. Orange amber color with a moderate off white head. Flavor starts fruity (apricot, orange) turning light grapefruit bitter and finishing kinda dry and orange rind bitter. Medium body, smooth with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of pumptrick
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this stuff is highly underated. pured hard into tulip and sniffed with deligh. resin hops. delicious in every sense. more resiny hops and a strong bite. not off balance quite delicious. I will drink many more of these. always easy to find and cheaper than many other choices.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Long sought after bomber, finally acquired across the Wisconsin border. Pours with amazing clarity, a light bronze color, and a large creamy head that fades after sitting for a minute to a creamy layer. Smell is bursting with citrus hops, lemon zest, and floral hops, an explosive array of hops. Taste starts out with hops, transitions into floral hops, and closes with more hops and some doughiness. Starts smooth, then eviscerates your hops craving. Excellent beer. Mouthfeel is perfect for the style, well carbonated and smooth. A very nice beer.

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Photo of HoppyPopster
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out light amber in color. There was not a lot of head upon pouring, perhaps a bit old? Smells of flowery hops. This beer is so delicious. Not too high in Alcohol, the sweet malt and bitter hops are in perfect balance. Racer 5 is one of the easiest drinking IPA's I have had!

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Photo of altctrlsdelete
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Finished my session with one of these tonight. Not billed as an IPA, which has led me away from this beer in the past. An IPA this beer unquestionably is.

Lots and lots of hops in the nose, with lots and lots of lacing left behind to remind me of just how flavorful and thick this beer is. Not something for those who don't appreciate the beauty and power of the hop, and thus something made specially for me.

My only complaint about this beer is that I've not tried it before. From now on, when this is on the menu and there's nothing new that jumps out at me, I won't have to spend 5 minutes deciding what I want to try.

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Photo of mrandolph
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was a cask version, and a case where the brewers made a great effort to match the beer with the medium. The beer presents as a very clear golden color capped with a dense, creamy white head, almost like cool whip, in a good way, which hangs out for a long time.

The aroma is citrus followed by malt. The flavor starts bitter, reminiscent of lemon zest. The middle is sweet malt and it finishes bitter but not dry with sweet flavors as an aftertaste. The mouth feel is dense with good head and a medium body, denser than the color suggests. My overall impression is that this beer is well crafted to excel in the cask beyond what it does in the bottle, and I feel privileged to have gotten a taste from cask.

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Photo of RedBeerchetta
4.89/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap recently and was taken aback at how fresh the hops smelled and tasted. I was at the Dogfish Head brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, MD recently and had their 90 minute IPA that had been put through "Randall the Enamel Animal" (look it up if you don't know of it). I had never tasted a brew with such a fresh hop smell and taste. This glass of Racer 5 was second to that. It was so fresh tasting (pine, herbaceous hop scent) that I had to ask if they had a Randall (the used to, but don't anymore).

Racer 5 has always been one of my favorite IPAs but this keg was outstanding. Hoppy without being very bitter (though that would be ok). A unique and special IPA that would please hopheads and newbies alike.

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Photo of slaters5050
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite IPA. Just claimed a permanent spot on the tap. Has a great orange color and an easy drink as far as IPA are concerned. It has become a favorite at the restaurant in a very short time.In fact, people have traveled to Slater's 50/50 for the sole reason that we have this beer on tap. Real bitter real hoppy real good!

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is currently my go-to for a session beer. MAINLY because I am in the mood for IPAs and this is the best one I can get in a case at my local liquor store. For the record I just opened my.. 5th 12 pack case of it tonight. Thought it proper to give it

Vigorous pour yields a less than impressive head, and nothing is worse than bad head.. but is there really such think? Where were we? Oh yes, a beer review. On the up side, lacing is usually good with this beer. I'm on my 5th case of the stuff, trust me : )

Smells good. Not overpowering. Pine and citrus are the dominant scents coming through.

OK. Taste. Wow. It's got everything you could want in a session IPA. Hops are there, and tangy, but beautifully balanced by the malt backbone. It's really as simple as that. And this is why I am on my 5th case of the stuff.

Mouthfeel is nice. Medium body. The malts hold the hops in check and it never develops into a sour twang that some IPAs can evolve to.

Stupidly drinkable. This is my 5th case of the stuff. Until Russian River starts selling Pliny by the case, this WILL be my go-to session beer until the weather starts to cool off and I start looking for browns, porters, and stouts.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - A nice dark golden with sediment floating. Really nice head retention and tons of lace. Impressive.

S - Citrusy hops, delicous. Wow, smells great.

T - heavenly. Bitter up front at 1st taste, and then it moves into a floraly hops and citrus flavor. Just damn tasty.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Not crisp, but smooth.

D - fantastic. This is one of the best IPA's I've ever had. It's up there with Cigar City's Jai Alai in my opinion. A Tier 1 IPA. Give me more!

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a gorgeous hazy orange copper with a nice airy(and weirdly uneven) cream colored head and mezmerizing layered lacing. The smell produces a WOw! Fresh citrus smells and an assload of hops w/light malts. The taste bitchsmacks you with hops right away but I also enjoyed the slight matly sweetness all in the same taste. There is definately piney goodness and a hint of caremel in all that sweetness. I know it is only 7.0 abv but this warms my throat right away for some reason. So Smooth. The mouthfeel is awesome and creamy, I could drink a million of these. Sorta syrupy though. Really dissapointed this isn't served on tap at my local MacGregors anymore.

By the way the head ROCKS! Right now there is a frickin cavern developing above the beer. Hard to describe but amazing. haha actually i want the foam to fall down and become beer.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330ml bottle bought online from Beersofeurope.co.uk

Poured a nice golden yellow colour. Slightly off white head poured big thick and foamy. Tons of carbonation rushes to the surface maintaining a thick rocky covering throughout... lots of sticky lacing...

Aroma - Juicy and maybe slightly tropical fruits (lemons, limes, grapefruits, pineapple), light pine, light palm sugar / caramel sweetness, sea salt, light toasted malt, fresh cut wet grass, light herbal notes, quite floral (lillies maybe ?), white pepper...

Taste - Nice juicy floral hop bitterness perfectly balanced by some light caramel maltiness, light floral honey sweetness, good fruitiness (oranges, grapefruit, light pineapple, apricot), herbal notes, perfumey, sea salt traces, faint soapy hints...

M&D - Smooth and creamy with a little sharpness underneath. Light / medium bodied... supremely quaffable..

Overall - An exquisite IPA and quite possibly the best i've had... My first Bear Republic brew and it lives up to the hype... highly recommended...

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Photo of Chico1985
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(just copy and pasted notes from notepad, didn't feel like editing it)

pours a beautiful pumpkin orange, bubbly creamy white head. hazy sediment visible when held up to the light. leaves sporadic, sticky lacing. 4.5

excellent classic IPA smell. fruit and hops up the wazoo, grapefruit and citrus heavy especially. 4.5

such a great balance of hops and malts here. grapefruit and pine, biscuit, caramel, warm baked goods. a tropical candy like sweetness. the hops aren't overpowering which lets the flavors truly shine, something I really look for in an IPA. 5

mouthfeel is so good, super creamy. works very well with all the flavors here. absolutely no alcohol taste, truly drinks like a dream. carbonation level is perfect. 5

drinkability is obviously great here. 12 bucks is maybe a tad much for a 6-pack, but I will continue to buy this again and again. Bear Republic certainly knows how to make an American IPA - Racer 5 and Hop Rod Rye are both among the best, most notable ones available. This is easily my favorite go-to for this style. 5

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,530 ratings.
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