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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale
7,726 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,726 |  Reviews: 2,341
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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Photo of soupyman10
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oddly enough, I'd never even heard of this one when I got to the dive bar in DC that had it on tap. Looked nice, a fairly deep amber color with slight haze and nice looking carbonation. Nose is nice; lots of grapefruit, some deeper malt notes, a good bit of fruitiness as well. Taste is delicious, a really excellent beer. Lots of bitter grapefruitiness, sweet malt, in basically a perfect balance. Feel is fairly thick and tasty with near-perfect carbonation. Overall, I was really blown away by this one. One of the best IPAs I've had.

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

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

Pours a hazy golden orange with little bits of sediment floating around. A thin head but it left a big puddle of lace throughout the whole beer.

The nose is a subtle blend of mild fruits (mango,orange,grapefruit) with a piney hop resin mixed in. A slight malt sweetness as well.

Fruity hop blast but not a large bitterness that comes with west coast IPAs. Well balanced hops with a toffee malt flavor backing. Massive hop characteristics but its not a slap to the face.

Drinks easier than most IPAs. It has a mild carbonation and is very refreshing. Went well with a nice cut of sirloin.

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Photo of riored4v
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 8/25/08

Poured into a pint glass. Clear, copper colored body. Off-white head about 1 finger thick.

Smell is fantastic. Slight spicyness but mainly a citrus aroma. Mild malt sweetness with caramel notes.

Taste.. hops! Hops definitely make themself known in this IPA. Strong citrusy, grapefruit bitterness upfront. Nice malt sweetness to back it up in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light in body with and oily texture. Good carbonation.

Drinkability is god/excellent. No real alcohol presence and very well done IPA.

Overall its a good drinkin IPA. Stong on hops but enough maltiness to mellow it all out.

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

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
bottle to glass

a beautiful hazy orange with a tight little off-white head. amazing lacing! rings all down the sides of the glass. the smell punch you in the face. strong orange and citrus in the smell as well as the taste. sweet and spicy citrus hops steal the show while bready malt balances it out. the mouthfeel is smooth and easy going down. i could drink these all day. damn good beer.

until recently i'd never heard of Bear Republic. i've only had two of their brews and i'm already a huge fan! i love the bold hops flavors they bring to the table. racer 5 and hop rod rye are now my IPA of choice, if only they were a bit cheaper.

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

I was in San Diego, CA at the Yard House when I ordered this one. I got it poured from draft into a half yard glass. It was smooth with a really nice citrus ting. The beer left a nice full lacing on the long yard glass. This offering has a nice clean, fresh taste that leads to a really great social beverage. Awesome head retention.

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

Poured a translucent, coppery, golden, brown with a small white head. The head disappeared rather quickly.

Aroma of sweet malts, oranges, and piney hops.

Sweet malt taste with orange and grapefruit flavors. Big orange taste up front with the grapefruit lending to the aftertaste. The sweetness is balanced by potent and piney hop presence. Ample amount of hops to feed my hophead addiction. Nicely hopped and extremely well balanced with the sweetness. The 7% is well masked.

Well carbonated with a nice mouthfeel. Texture is slightly syrupy up front with a little dryness in the finish.

This is a highly drinkable IPA, due to its extraordinary balance.

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

A big thanks to AndySR15 for the trade on this one!

Pours a hazy amber color with one finger of creamy white head that left sheets of lacing on the walls of my imperial pint glass. The smell of this beer hit me as I was pouring it. Big scents of citrus fruit and an earthy grassy scent that both equally vie for your attention. A slight bit of sweet malt is also trying to make itself known on the nose as well. The flavor profile is a duel battle between the sweet caramel malt and the citrus and pine flavor of the hops. Neither flavor dominates each other and this flavor profile is well crafted and well made. The mothfeel is a bit thin, but overall it is medium bodied with lower than average carbonation. The drink ability on this beer is impressive, and it leaves me wanting Bear Republic in Indiana.

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

Racer 5 pours a hazy amber color with about one finger worth of off-white head that just doesn't want to go away. It dies down but never completely disappears...which is different from most of the IPA's I have had.
The hop aroma comes through as citrus with a little pine scent. Very nice smell.
The taste isn't as "hoppy" as I would have thought...but it does hit you as you swallow.Not too bitter. Very smooth IPA. Only a slight prickly feel on the toungue. ABV hidden nicely by the hops.
I could easily have more than one of these. Excellent example of an American IPA.

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Photo of DNICE555
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an english pint glass. Decent white head with an average amount of carbonation. Hazy grapefruit color. Some nice lacing rings the glass even after I've finished.

This beer smelled very good. Citrusy, tangy, piney hops.

Taste was right on point. Crisp clean hops with some zing to them. Not overly piney and not very bitter.

Medium body with some nice citrusy high notes.

Very drinkable. Just have to be careful of the 7 percent abv that is barley noticeable.

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

On tap at Bear Republic Brew Pub.

A: Hazy golden straw color with a very nice thick head. Left great lacing all the way down.

S: Grapefruit goodness. Smells very hoppy. Has me excited.

T: Hoppy bitterness on the front nice bit of malt on the end followed by lingering tingling on the tongue. I get grapefruit, pine, lemon just to name a few flavors.

M: Light and smooth. Very food carbonation.

O: Pretty much the only IPA I buy six packs of regularly. Really enjoy this beer. It is a perfect representation of a west coast IPA.

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

Cloudy orange, nice thin lacing. Impressive clumps of stickage all the way down the glass. Pine sap, mint, and citrus aroma's. The nose is all about the hops here, with nary a hint of cracker maltiness. Crisp mouthfeel, with lively carbonation. Hops attack and scour the tongue, with and array of citrus and pine resins. This is a hopheads dream. No hint of 7 % abv. Dangerously drinkable. So happy to finally see this available here in NC. This immediatly goes into the regular rotation along with Foothills, Founders, and Stone as a killer hop fix. Great stuff.

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Photo of Terp96
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My old standby for IPAs, this is one of the best. I can only get it in 22 oz. in MD. Pours a hazy orange/yellow color with slight head. Nice bouquet. Orange peels, pine and yeast. Hoppy taste with a nice malt and yeast finish with is a welcome change from a lot of IPAs. A very balanced and drinkable beer. The higher abv doesn't show up in the taste making this one a little too drinkable. Another hit from BR.

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

Picked this up today because I wanted to try it again and also want to compare it to a Bell's Two Hearted while I still have a couple left.

22oz bottle (no dates or codes) poured into a tulip.

Pours a nice transparent golden/amber with a 1-finger white head. From a foot away I pick up that classic aroma of grapefruit and pineapple. Bring the glass closer to my nose and the aroma bursts out of the glass, all those great tropical aromas. There a faintly dank hop smell as well that I've picked up in a lot of IPAs.

Taste follows nose. Fruity, a little sweet, with some hops to balance things out. This is really a fine American IPA: neither overly hoppy nor overly sweet. Mouthfeel is very satisfying as well.

Overall I'm really happy with this beer. I could drink this again and again and may start regularly stocking my fridge with it.

Now to my Two Hearted comparison (which won't be part of this review)...

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

Had this on-tap poured into a pint glass. Pours a beautiful dark gold color with a one-finger head. Nice lacing down the glass.

This smells very nice. It's got a strong scent of the West Coast hops. Citrus and pine. There is also a scent of sweet malts. Excellent.

Oh man... this is just about perfect. There's a lot of hops in this, but the sweet malts in this make it quite delicious. Even without the sweet malts this would be outstanding.

The mouthfeel is normal for the style. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation with a nice coating on the tounge. Well done.

This is a great West Coast IPA. Might be the only IPA I like more than Union Jack, which is why I had a few pints. Very happy this is available at my bottle shop. Will buy this often.

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

A: Golden color with almost no head at all. Kind of surprised by that.

S: Beautiful. Lots and lots of citrus hop aroma and a fair amount of mango as well.

T: There's a ton of really nice hop bitterness here with just enough malt to hold it down. The hops hit right away, hard and piny, and they are drawn out forever. There's a touch of tropical sweetness towards the end and then a nice and fairly clean finish. Really nicely done.

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

22oz bottle into oversized wine glass.

A: Pours a hazy bright golden-honey orange with a thin bright white head that quickly disappeared into a faint collar and film leaving some streaks of sticky lace. There were some tiny flakes of sediment present in every pour.
S: Big grapefruit and citrus aroma with notes of pine. Most of the malt is overpowered.
T: Follows the nose with a more balanced malty taste. Light cracker-like flavor. Good bitter punch at the finish. Loads of lemon notes as well. Nectar like quality. Aftertaste is a tad sweet like tropical fruit.
M: Medium body with a slick and slightly watery mouthfeel. No alcohol present.
D: Amazing for an IPA. One of the best go-to beers out there.

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

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Poured light amber with 1-inch head. Lots of lacing.

S: Hops, hops, hops! Some cut grass and floral esters. Smells really nice.

T: Hop bite right away, quickly followed by some nice piney/citrus notes. Medium bitter aftertaste. Tastes amazing.

M: Super smooth. Just the right amount of hops without being tongue-scrapingly bitter.

D: Pass the bottle, please. This stuff is really good.

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

12oz bottle poured into my newly acquired Stone imperial pint glass.

A-Pours a hazy orange color with lots of floaties. A nice 1.5-2 finger head that leaves a nice layer and excellent lacing.

S-Smells delicious, but it isn't overpowering. Grapefruit, Orange, pine and hops.

T-The hops get you first, then I get a strong grapefruit and orange taste. Can't taste any alcohol at all.

M-Leaves a nice coating in the mouth. The carbonation could be tamed a little, but it doesn't really hurt the tastiness of the beer.

O-Probably one of my top 5 most readily available IPA'S in Ohio. If you haven't tried this yet, get some!

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 7,726 ratings
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