Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

7,678 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,678 |  Reviews: 2,327
Photo of jordoo
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle poored into an oversized beer mug.

Thick frothy fluffy huge bright white glowing head, hazey brillaint orange in color. Smells of sweet carmal malts tropical fruit and some floral and piney sents. Tastes beautifully bitter with a spicey hop note throughout carmal malt backbone with some citrus fruit flavors here and there. Feel grand on the palate and 22oz may not be enough. LOL

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Photo of Eddie729
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MikeWard
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

120z bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Bottled date of 8/14/13, so a little under 2 months

Pours a slightly hazy yellow with a generous 2 finger frothy white head. Head diminished to a little under a finger and maintained to the end. Excellent small carbonation bubbles. Some lacing.

Smell is fresh & fruity citrus hops

Taste is outstanding. Mostly grapefruit. Incredibly refreshing.

Mouth is between full & medium, really nice on the tongue.

This is a top notch IPA, and a no-brainer go to beer.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle picked up as a single. poured into and drank from my sierra nevada hop tulip glass.

A- this one pours a clear golden colored body with a small, lasting, bright white head that leaves sticky walls of lacing on the sides of my glass.

S- a faint odor of caramel/toffee malt is detected and then...woah! hops! loads of citrus coming from this one. tons of grapefruit. lots of pine as well.

T- just like the smell, this one is dominated by hops. nice. lots of resiny pine and grapefruit. very bitter.

M- medium bodied, well carbonated, and sticky. leaves my mouth feeling very dry.

D- easy to finish and i wish i had grabbed a bomber. a great example of american IPA. ultra hoppy. check this one out if you havnt had it before or in a while.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at McGrady's in Bethlehem. Nice seeing this on tap here and Big Bear at the Ho down the street.

A: Translucent, hazy golden amber/orange color with a moderate white head with nice lacing and retention.
S: As expected, citursy (grapefruit), slightly floral, hoppy aroma with malt background present.
T: Very smooth, crisp citrus grapefruit flavor hits first. Slightly sweet but balanced with malt and then the longer it is in the mouth the more the hops dig in. Not overwhelming bitter but hops are very assertive. Very balanced smooth tasting.
M: Full bodied with very smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation combined with hop bitterness provides a mouthful.
D: Very flavorful, easy drinking, balanced IPA. Right up there with Two Hearted and Blind Pig for me.

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Photo of watchnerd
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber bottle.

Om yom yom. This is tasty stuff, and being in Northern California, I think it's fresher than average here, even off random super market shelves.

Foamy, citrusy, hoppy, lively, a cluster bomb of aromatic and taste explosions ripping from my nose to my lips to my tongue to my sinuses to my gullet. I'm full of Bear Republic beer shrapnel, critically wounded by depleted uranium nuclear hoppy goodness, and I'm McLovin it.

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Photo of tmm313
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is gorgeous. Bright amber color with 1 finger, creamy head. Great lacing.

Smell is amazing. Tropical fruit, tangerine, orange, malt, pine, and a little lemon.

Taste is hop forward, but you taste the malt almost immediately following. Good mix of sweet grapefruit and pine. Finishes with slight booze and lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is creamy. Gradually morphs into a sticky, oily coating.

Overall: Very satisfied. My favorite feature was the smell, but very well balanced as a whole. Would definitely have again.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.
Appearance - Orange with a nice, thick white head. Everything about the look is bad ass, especially the unfiltered snow globe in the glass; awesome! Lacing is excellent!
Smell - citrus hop aroma with some noticeable oily hops. Some toasted malt presents itself underneath the hops!
Taste - lots of hop flavor, but the strength of the malts provides enough of a calm biscuit flavor that lasts!
Feel - bitterness from the hops linger but never overcomes the balance from the malt!
Overall - a classic IPA that will please any IPA fan!

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Photo of Blksab99
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Solid IPA; definitly a go to IPA. I'm sad to see it leave my disto area here in MA.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 makes its status as a high-IBU IPA known at the first whiff, which reveals strong grapefruit and pine notes, countered by the sugary rosewater smell that occasionally accompanies high levels of hops. A white grape aroma adds to the bouquet, partnered with apricots and peaches.

On the tongue, the beer is of course quite hoppy, the bitterness tasting of both grapefruit and pine notes (making this a fairly balanced IPA, as compared to those that only feature, say pine notes). But there is a good malt base beneath those hops, replete with strong brown sugar tastes, molasses, vanilla, lychee nut, and toasted pecans. These malty flavors last well into the mouthful, peeling back at the end to expose a sheer hop base, which dominates the aftertaste, and lingers for quite a while on the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, this is a good IPA, featuring strong, balanced, and flavorful hops. Beginners might find the intensity of these hops overpowering, but hop-heads will surely rejoice.

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Photo of mattffrost
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into glass.

Appearance Beer is a light amber that is neither clear nor really cloudy kind of in the middle of the two. Head is white. Decent lacing on the glass.

Smell Very nice citrus/grapefruit/lemon smell. I also get a bit of carmel. Very pleasant beer to smell. Very nice hops.

Taste I like the taste of Big IPA's and Racer 5 is a great example of this style. The low carbonation with the citrus up front finishes a little bitter which I really like. I also note the spiceness and a touch of sweet carmel taste. I reall think this beer has a lot going on and its well balanced.

Mouthful: Low carbonation with the tanginess in the mouth is reall cool. Very pleasant.

Drinkability. So refresing I really like drinking these IPA's like this one.

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Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy light copper color with a 1.5-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of bright citrus and tropical fruit hops with an underlying earthiness and good amounts of pale malts.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Pale malt flavors up front are joined quickly by citrus and tropical fruit flavors. Midway through the sip the hop flavors turn somewhat herbal and all flavors carry through to a mildly bitter and crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have a few more.

Overall this is a standout among standby's in the world of IPA's. Worth a shot if you haven't had it.

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Photo of ojclark
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Rich, hoppy/resiny aroma. Clear orange/amber color with thick, long lasting white head. Lots of fine bubbles coming un from bottom of glass even after several minutes. Very hoppy, resiny flavor with a nice malt backbone balanced by plenty of hop bitterness. Medium/light carbonation. Medium body with somewhat sticky finish. Nicely lingering aftertaste of hop flavor and bitterness. Excellent beer.

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Photo of haddon
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

picked up a growler at The Lodge in Hilton Head Island. they even threw in a Racer 5 pint glass to go with it!

A- pours golden amber with a nice frothy head. good lacing down the pint glass

S- pine, sweet citrus that's heavy on the grapefruit side. does have a malty backbone. nice balance, nice smell.

T- lemon, pine, orange & hops. good malty undertone. this is a great beer. had a couple with seafood last night... very nice.

M- medium body with adequate carbonation

D- scary drinkable. at 7% abv, I could easily have a few pints on a hot Summer's eve. enjoy!

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Photo of HopHed
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Pours a beautiful, slightly hazy, dark amber with a thick two finger head with great lacing that you have to wash off.

AROMA: A noticeably piney and citrusy hop scent permeate this beer.

FLAVOR: A definitely noticeable strong grapefruit, citrus hop note with a lighter piney hop taste. A great sweet, honey, caramel, malt flavor to finish, with some continued hop bitterness. Flavors definitely pop more as this warms, ideal temp is 45-50º per the bottle.

PALATE: A great IPA, with noticeably piney hop bitterness, balanced perfectly with a nice sweet malt note and dry finish. It's no wonder this brew has won many awards.

MOUTH FEEL: A light to medium carbonation, very creamy feeling.

NOTES: An enjoyable light to medium carbonated 7.0% ABV IPA that keeps you coming back. The alcohol is hidden until it's too late, and the beer is smooth as can be.

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Photo of Samp01
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours nice golden hue, with a small white head. Aroma of floral hops, some citrus, and grapefruit notes. Taste is floral hops, citrus, slight sweet notes of caramel and malt. Palate is nice medium body, smooth crisp mouth feel, nice carbonation. Finish is floral hops some citrus, spices some malt and good amount of bitterness towards the end but well balanced by slight malty presence, hop presence dominate. Overall a very nice, smooth and drinkable IPA. Very enjoyable

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Photo of UTCengOwl
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this a few times on tap and from a bottle. This review is from last night at the Kung Fu Saloon. Served in a shaker pint.

The pour last night came with almost no head and the glass wan't that clean... At least they had a beer of this quality available. From the times I've had it before (including with Thanksgiving dinner last year), it has poured with a nice white head. The beer itself looks like a typical IPA... maybe a bit thicker and hazier? Either way, it's not a bad looker.

This beer is dominated by citrusy and piney hops. The first word that comes to mind is resin. However, it's not too bitter. Each sip invites me back for more. It's one of those beers that tastes sticky going down your throat in every right way. The balance of hop flavor and the weight of the beer make this a very solid IPA. I'll never be disappointed to see this on tap.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brought over tonight by SAS while we were packing up a couple boxes for trade... my half from my New Belgium snifter.

3/4" head.. left good lacing.. hazy honey colored brew (I got the bottom half) ..

Aroma is C-hops all the way around.. it smells fresh... grapefruit .. slight but present pale malts.. with touches of yeasty fruitiness.

WOW! Flavor is big even for a CA IPA. Big grapefruit and Flintstone vitamin hops (only way I can describe it).. fruity and a little minerally at the same time. Nearly absurdly big hop flavors squash the pale malts that are present.. I am getting just enough sweetness to balance the big bitterness. Fairly thick mouthfeel for the style but the oily hoppiness lends to a pleasant slickness ... but I am definitely not complaining. Finish is a long fruity hoppiness.

Racer 5 would be a staple in my home if I had access... definitely verges on DIPA territory.. but still utterly fantastic... I could drink this until my palate was long blown.. but I would somehow try to find a way to slink one more in.

I've only had this brew one time before.. but I am truly thankful I had the chance to try it again.

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Photo of HoustonTX
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer is amazing on Cask, had the rare opportunity to try it at the Texas Beer Festival yesterday.

It's like velvet sweet loving hops coating your entire palate. Very intense complexity, but something just amazing to partake in. Grapefruit and pineapple in the nose. The flavor is just something to behold. It's indeed hop centered lots of orange and grapefruit but there is also this unique malty oak background. The cask makes this stuff dangerously drinkable. It's really a great beer.

This is something to definitely seek out if you get the chance. I'm honored to have tried it.

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Photo of scottyshades
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On the bottle: "Keep cold, respect life, don't D+D, real ale is alive, yeast is good"

A: Pours a slightly off-looking transparent straw/copper color. The head is small and fluffy and retains only for a few seconds. Slightly cloudy as well.

S: Starts off with a fragrant sweet note; honey, residual sugars, and a slight whiff of brown sugar. The hops are definitely intense, but the malt background balances very nicely. Smells more like a DIPA than a classic rendition of an AIPA. Nice notes of citrus (lemon peel)

T: Very nice flavor profile. All of that sweetness seems to disappear into a hop heaven. Earthy, floral, fragrant, and bittering aspects of the hops come out. The malt backbone is a slight bit biscuity, and gives a firm balance, but hops are definitely dominant. Not as bitter as some of the other Bear Republic brews (Hop Rod in particular), but definitely intense in its own right. The alcohol (which I just noticed now) is actually very nicely hidden. You get the warmth as it goes down, but not noticeable as you drink.

MF/D: Medium/heavy in body for the style, lingering honey/piney hop finish. Very balanced and highly drinkable.

Really good with a spicy dish. I tried this with homemade Panang Curry and it was perfect!

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Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draught @ Papago
The beer as it’s poured straight from the tap a cloudless golden amber with the head a majestic crown of white, creamy in texture with a fine sealing coat of lace upon the glass. The floral aroma of the hops greets your senses first, followed by the sweet fresh malt sweetness; start carries on the malt sweetness to the middling top. Finish is perky in it’s acidity, the hops potent and pleasing in their spicy bite, desert dry aftertaste, and one “damn” fine IPA in my books, and one I always keep on hand in the bottle and a great example of a California IPA.

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Photo of DirkNachbar
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

one of the best californian ones, a bit strong but good

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Photo of ibbjamin
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great IPA I've had many times and keep going back to. A friend bought a bomber for me as a gift and when I went to drink it, just realized I have never formally reviewed it. I pour into a snifter.

Yields a white head of about an inch in height. Cloudy, murky and light orange in color. A nice layer of retention remains and there is thick lacing.

Strong grapefruit, citrus and pine aroma fills the room.

Taste is bitter and hoppy. Puckering hop juice, and a strong one for a single IPA. Strongest on the grapefruit with a lingering pine taste.

Smooth and very drinkable. Medium body, nice level of carbonation.

This is a hop forward, west coast style IPA that many use as a benchmark for west coast IPAs. Excellent!

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From growler to pint glass on 3/21/11
*From notes

A: A good, somewhat cloudy 24k gold. It's got a nice 1.25 finger head, followed by high quality lacing.

S: Pine needles attack the nostrils. If I wasn't aware before, I am now: this is a west coast IPA all the way.

T: A good dose of breadiness hits first, but it's merely a formality as the sweet and citrusy hops overwhelm the palate from the mid to finish.

M: Pretty killer - this one feels like it belongs. Good weight and creaminess that tends to be found in the upper echelon of the style.

O: I've been meaning to review this one for a while, and what better way then a growler!

Bear Republic's Racer 5 is one of the top AIPA's for a reason, and is a cornerstone of the style. I have returned to this time and time again, and will continue to for years to come. This one borders pretty close to perfection.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,678 ratings.
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