Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,309 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,309 | Ratings: 7,604
Photo of foogerd
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a clear golden color with a one inch khaki colored head
S- nice upfront grapefruit and fresh piney hops
T- really delicious fresh juicy hops coming through nice solid malt backbone
M- fills out the mouth pretty nicely carbonation tingling the tongue just right
D- very drinkable
A well rounded IPA done to perfection no groundbreaking work here, but no room for disappointment.

 388 characters

Photo of
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle

Cloudy, dark orange. Modest, off white head. Minimal lacing and legs.

Aroma was grapefruit and honey. Earthiness and grass in there as well.

Bitter more than sweet, with grapefruit and grass leading the way. Decent biscuity middle. Good balance, but tilted towards the hops. Honey and caramel in there as it warmed.

Medium body. Medium carbonation. Dry.

Very good, I enjoyed this one.

 402 characters

Photo of BlackBearForge
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear golden amber in the glass with a bone white head leaving some pretty nice lacing.

The aroma is floral hoppy and very fresh with a bit of lemony citrus and background of resin.

The flavor is upfront hoppy but not overly bitter. There is enough malt to keep things in check leaving a pleasant bitterness on the finish which is on the dry side. Hops are equal parts resin and grapefruity citrus with a bit of orange thrown in.

Overall this is a very nice and immensely likeable West coast hop delight, crisp and very drinkable.

 535 characters

Photo of tubacharlie
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fresh hop aroma with citrus notes emanates from the half liter glass mug as the white, one-finger head subsides to a skim, with lacing stuck to the sides.

The brew is a burnt orange color, clouded by a hazy suspension of micro particulate.

Drawing a good mouthful reveals more citrus up front, with not as much hop bitterness as the aroma suggested. Some Pale Ales have as much hop presence, but this offering has enough alcohol content to make the IPA grade. Brisk carbonation pulls the alcohol esters to the nose, allowing the lightly malted grain flavor to peek through.

Not a top-of-the-line IPA, nor as good as the in-house draft, but worth the price of admission.

 675 characters

Photo of HardTarget
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: I’m getting a collection of hop smells. It’s almost overwhelming, and it’s a bit worrying, seems like this will cause my head to implode. Some minor fruit smells, mainly apple.
Appearance: Great looking beer, a hazy golden orange. Two finger head settled down to about a half finger of thick, fluffy, creamy white head that left tidemarks and impressive lace.
Flavor: There is enough malt to bring all the hops back to somewhere in the area of balance, but as the beer warmed, the hops really picked up and came close to a hop burn. A touch of sweet malt poked though to give a nice overall taste. The hops seem to be noble, Hallertauer perhaps.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, a thick fluid that triggered a chew.
Overall Impression: A very drinkable big brew. Quite easy on the eyes, it’s a beautiful beer. The noble hops kinda threw me, I’m used to more of American cascade, but different is good.

 933 characters

Photo of tmoore600
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Everything was good, just not excellent.
Initial smell and apperance were very pleasant.
Actually enjoyed the beer right out of the bottle, but as the smell began to fade, so did the drinkability.
Would choose another west coast IPA next time around.

 252 characters

Photo of drummermattie02
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yellowish orange; a bit hazy but with good carbonation and a thick head that shrunk to about a finger and stuck around for the whole point.

Smell is citrus forward, with a small amount of malts in the background -- seems to be a fresh keg.

Good hop bitterness with a lot of the same grapefruit flavors from the smell. Very minimal malt body, at least to my tongue. Alcohol is not noticeable at all, which is nice.

Lighter-bodied, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I found myself wishing for a bit more substance.

Overall a good beer.

 544 characters

Photo of Lothore
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden red hue with a huge head that seems like it would stay forever. The smell is sweet, hoppy, notes of pine and berries. The taste is very full, bitter bready, pine. Mouthfeel is very thick with quite a bit of carbonation. This beer seems drinkable enough for an IPA. The bitterness makes me just want to sip on it but all in all a good brew.

 354 characters

Photo of B33R501
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

interesting on the hand pump but i prefer the regular bootle version. thats ok.

light amber, pale look. aromas of floral hops, taste follows, better than the smell. lots and lots of floral hops, nicely malted for balance.
very refreshing, drinkable.


 264 characters

Photo of bwd110
3.81/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into 9oz snifter... How's that work?

A: Nice orange-y amber color, good frothy bright white head. Looks inviting.

S: Slightly citric nose, but mostly an earthy aroma. Reminds me a lot of Anderson Valley brews. Subdued bready sweetness in the background.

T: Heavy on the bitter, light on the citrusy hops. Very much an earthy beer with grass and pine notes. Well balanced, sturdy brew, but not extraordinary for me.

M: Typical mouthfeel for the style, slightly oily.

D: Could pack away a few of these. Goes down without a problem.

 553 characters

Photo of natron002
3.81/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle coded 1/10/15 poured into a goblet. Deep orange-gold with slight haze from yeast in the bottle. Orange/citrus hop aroma with pine, somewhat subdued, with Chico yeast twang. Little malt character. More pine as it opens up. Tastes similar to its aroma, then almost pine-sol like hops burst through after initial balance. Aggressive bitterness, long hoppy finish. Medium-full mouthfeel. I would love a little more hop aroma and slightly less bitterness, and less of the yeast character.

 497 characters

Photo of garuda
3.81/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear golden orange with a thick, soapy white head that has good retention and coats the glass with sticky lacing all he way down. I can't think of how this could look any better.

S - Strong citrus hop aromas of grapefruit and pineapple backed up by only a touch of sweet malts.

T - Again, there are some sweet toffee malts first, but then hop bitterness dominates and lingers long after the finish.

M - Light body, especially for the style. Feels very thin across the palate. Carbonation is medium and perfect, however, creating a thin creamy texture.

D - Misses the mark for me with the very thin body. Feels unbalanced, with almost no malt presence. I like an IPA to feel a bit more substantial. Because of this, I wouldn't seek this out again.

Another thing that bugs me is the fact that Bear Republic prints "Honest Ales" on the six pack packaging, however, no freshness or bottled-on dating can be found anywhere.

 938 characters

Photo of ADR
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright dark gold color with tiny brown flecks caught in suspension. Nice head, pale in color and lasts about 45 seconds or so. Sheet-like lacing. Bright orange citrus aroma, little else. Mouthfeel is just shy of medium. Hops assert early, juicy and chewy in the American style, and backed by aromatic essence. Straight-up orange rind is the biggest imression here. The malt backbone just doesn't punch through much, but the hops have enough depth to give some interest and a complexity of sorts on the bittering side. Clean finish, but definitely pithy. Well-done beer for a hop mood, but how many IPAs tread the same road?

Source: Liquid Solutions

 651 characters

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was delicious.

Appearance- golden honey color, good head, good lacing

Smell- Hops

Taste- Piney hops

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- This beer is very delicious. I loved it. Will drink it again. Bear Republic does a good job. Wonderful

 256 characters

Photo of bunnyhustle
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice shade of orange with a little haze to it. Nice 1 finger head with great retention and good lacing. Smell is strong of hops but there is a definite malt presence as well, a bit of caramel. Taste is good, however I have to say I was expecting more hops. Hops are there but I think I noticed the malt a little more, especially as the beer warmed. Leaves an oily bitterness as it goes down and slight warming effect from the alcohol. Medium mouthfeel. Overall a good beer.

 481 characters

Photo of MrBendo
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange with a medium head. Low head retention. Good lacing. Aroma of citrus and pine hops and caramel malt. Flavor is moderately sweet and bitter at the back end. Medium to full body. Slightly astringent. Another fine example of a west coast IPA.

 251 characters

Photo of gfreed
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On a hot night this is a nice thing to drink. Very piney aroma; leathery smell with a very sharp edge. There's even the smell you get when you pull a strip of scotch tape from the roll-- something you will remember from your grammar-school days, I'm sure. Very tight flavor, full of little pins from the abundant carbonation. It starts out resinous and loaded with pine needles, but mellows into a peachy taste when it warms up. I couldn't drink such a thing in the winter but it's welcome in August.

 500 characters

Photo of HappyBivouac
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottled on May 25, 2009.

a- pours into the chalice a hazy golden-orange with a thin off-white head sitting atop.

s- smells of fresh, juicy citrus and fruity hops-- mainly grapefruit, apple and pear. a slight but detectable honey sits in the back.

t- up front is a very fruity hop punch, with slight grapefruit and also sweet/tart apples and floral notes. A strong honey-like sweetness is present throughout, and the beer goes down leaving a sugary sweet feeling atop strong grapefruit and floral bitterness. The main things going on here are a very honey-like sweetness and fairly complex fruity/floral hops-- there is very little malt presence to speak of.

m- a tad watery, just short of that perfect level of oomph (in terms of body) for an IPA. I like the amount of carbonation-- tickles the mouth unoffensively and brings the beer to life.

d- all in all this beer is an unoffensiveand enjoyable IPA, but comes off a bit unbalanced with a lot of sweetness and not enough malt to carry it. The hops are fairly substantial but stay sharply to the fruity/flowery side. I would call it a decent to strong summer IPA, but drinking it in this season feels slightly out of place and unsatisfying.

 1,202 characters

Photo of cbl2
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/30/2004 $4.99 22 oz. 7.00% No best by date.


Pours a lovely light copper with about an inch of white head. Plenty of carbonation adds to the beauty of this ale.


Plenty of hops in this one, as it should be. This creates some citrus overtones, though the predominating aroma is that of fresh cut pine trees.


A nice piney resin flavor hits the taste buds first, followed by a softening citrus sweetness. A nice dry woodsy finish wraps it all up. A good offering in the IPA department, though not the best I've ever sampled.

 579 characters

Photo of Glennlawless
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A - hazy yellow with a one finger head. Awesome lacing all over the glass.

S - smell peaches,grapefruit,Carmel malt, little pine.

T - wow this is good- it reminds me a lot of southern teir double ipa- hoppy as hell, but no bite at the end at all- so smooth. Just a citrusy pine hop bomb that dies right after the swallow replaced by sweet malt.

M- medium body, highly carbonated.

Overall, this is my style beer all the way- not over the top bitter at the finish but still super hoppy. This is great. Fresh it has to be awesome!?

 576 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a golden orange with a rocky white head. Very slight haze.

S - Mostly piney hops with a little bit of grapefruit and grass.

T - Piney but the grapefruit and especially the grassy flavors become much more apparent. This one is very grassy in the taste.

M - Well carbonated with a nice dry/bitter finish. I keep getting these grassy burps after each sip.

D - A nice IPA that emphasizes the piney/grassy hops. This one goes down very easy for 7%.

 465 characters

Photo of SFGuy187
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one fell a bit flat for me. Appearance and smell are alright, but the taste is just not quite there. I expect a west coast IPA to have a certain hop-forward character and this did not at all. Perhaps this 6-pack was old, but this just did not satisfy my hop craving. A solid beer overall, but lacking in hops.

 314 characters

Photo of mcbSTL
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, 6xer bought for $10 at W&C Place.

A: Copper like the pipe theives stole from our house. Lorraine cheese lacing remained on sides of glass for duration.

S: Didn't expect the significant malt presence here. Hops, sure. More citrus than pine.

T: Very bitter on first swallow. Further along, extreme bitterness slowly giving way to a bit of malt.

M: Just enough alcohol here to designate a big beer.

D: Amount of hops makes drinking a couple of these just perfect.

 481 characters

Photo of mattcrill
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Light citrus "C" hop nose. A little bit of crystal malt sweetness. Not the hop punch in the face I was expecting.

Appearance: Hazy copper color with a sticky white head. Rings the glass through the session.

Flavor: Refreshing hop flavor up front with citrus and pine accents. Some crystal maltiness that is clean and dries out nicely. Balanced nicely but definitely slanted toward the hop end of the profile.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finishes dry and powdery. Hop bitterness lingers on the tongue. No alcohol heat detected.

Overall impression: Understated. An approachable West Coast IPA. Seems a tad one dimensional. May benefit from a more complex grain bill but nothing off here. Well done.

 739 characters

Photo of danieelol
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Racer 5 pours a crisp golden mango with impressive head and lacing.

Nose is light malt and hop aromas, peach and mango and some alcohol.

Taste is very dry and quite bitter.

Mouthfeel is dry, bitter and soapy, with resin.

Medium body and carb.

Not quite as all-out as WCIPA but very enjoyable nonetheless.

 309 characters

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,604 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.