Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,309 Reviews
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,309
Ratings:
7,601
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
9.55%
 
 
Wants:
348
Gots:
1,371
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,309 | Ratings: 7,601
Photo of circus_cat
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice apricot hue to the body. Could also be described as light amber, almost orange. Mine got a two finger soapy eggshell head which is dissipating at a moderate speed and leaving a lot of lacing.

S: Hop bomb on the aroma. *Satisfied sigh* Just when I was feeling like a really juicy IPA. Website says it's brewed with several hop varieties but I'm really getting the Cascades on the nose. Bigtime grapefruit with a little mango in the background. A floral character. Caramel malt backbone. The nose has got me excited to try what seems like a quintessential well-made standard West Coast IPA.

T: Fruity pebbles at the tip of the tongue followed by bigtime citrus and floral tastes through the middle. Bitter hop end. Very nice.

M: Medium bodied, not too tepid but definitely nice and subdued on the carbonation front. I'd like it to coat the mouth a little more, but it's refreshing.

Comment: While 7% isn't huge by the big IPA arms race standard you see in the craft beer world, it's nothing to scoff at either. They do a good job of masking it. Again, this tastes like a quintessential floral, citrus-rich West Coast IPA--if you're a hophead like I am, you'll like it.

Update: I was shocked when I discovered this had 75 IBUs! Felt more hoppy than that.

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Photo of tozerm
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had one of these after a hard days work. The hops were definitely prevalent but not overpowering. There was enough malt backbone to balance it out and keep it out of "hop bomb" range for my taste. Nice 1/2 inch head. Great copper color. Tight bubbles coming out of solution. It had a great, floral hop nose that really invited you into the glass. Very nice beer.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Into a pint glass, this is a slightly hazy copper color with a small head but nice lacing. Exceptionally nice aroma, with a big spicy, perfumy (almost cologne-like) hop presence. Malt underlies it, but hops dominate. Flavor is beautiful, with waves of bitterness and earthy hop flavor. Sweet malt is hidden underneath but makes for a nice balance. Lingering dry finish. Lots of carbonation, but a surprisingly not-heavy body.

Very nice IPA, very drinkable, despite the strength. Just as much a hop explosion as Dogfish Head's, but whereas theirs tend to be heavy beers to savor, this is one to be quaffed.

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Photo of budsboy
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazy deep amber with a sticky looking white head.

Smells great. Piney hops, wet bread, caramel and alcohol. Great combination. The hop aroma is very strong and welcoming.

Really nice piney hop flavor. Warming alcohol. Carmel and toffee malt flavors are there, but subdued by the over-the-top hops. Really nice. Lingering oily hop flavor and malty sweetness on the lips is really nice.

Full bodied, oily mouthfeel. Substantial.

I could get into real trouble with this beer because the taste begs me to have another. Just what I'd hoped for and one of the better AIPAs I've had. Ruination, DFH 60 and 90 Minute fans would like this.

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Photo of ttu94
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from HotterThanHell. After spending the week in Bavaria this beer is a shock to the system. No subtlety here, this is an AIPA and nothing else. Pours a cloudy orange with a good creamy white head. Has a very strong citrus hop smell (that I like). Taste is that of an AIPA but incredibly smooth. Very malty with a citrus hop kick. Not too bitter in the end but very enjoyable. The 7% ABV is a little noticable aftter finishing a whole bomber.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. with no freshness date. Pours a bright orangey/copper with a fairly thin off-white head that doesn't leave much lacing. It becomes cloudy on the second pour. Mostly tropical and sweet in the nose - pineapples, grapefruit, oranges, a strong sweetness, and a bit of nostril-burning alcohol in the back. The flavor is about the same with a hefty sweetness and grapefruit, pineapple, leafy/oily hops, and some nutty/biscuity malts. It is both quite sweet and bitter at the same time with both lingering for awhile. At the beginning it has a medium body but it becomes thicker and creamier as the beer warms up. A solid IPA that I could easily make a session out of.

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Photo of fields336
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy orangey yellow, with a finger of tight carbonated white bubbly head. dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving a good sized ring around the edge of the glass. the lacing stays around on the sides of the glass.

S: Oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, tons of citrus, a good amount of malt and some sweetness as well. some grassy hops maybe in the background

T: Hits your palate with a wave of citrus and then smooths it away with a delicious bready malty backbone. citrusy hops tickle your tongue after the beer dissipates.

M: Medium bodied with really nice carbonation

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Photo of coalcracker
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an moderately gold color with great head retention and very active carbonation. Lacing noted with consumption.
Smell: Pleasantly pungent citrus hop profile with some notes of grass and pine. Very aromatic. Just a touch of bread behind those hops.
Taste: Hops and malts both noted upon first moment of tasting with the hops soon blowing by and above any malt presence. Hops are strong and a bit bitter here- citrus is the main characteristic- grapefruit especially. Malts are indeed present with a solid bready background, but are definitely pushed to the background. Bitterness persists for long after the tasting.
Mouthfeel: Medium in body with the mildly tongue-curling bitterness.
Overall: A great IPA here- strong and assertive. Would love to try this on tap.

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Photo of silentjay
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours an orange-copper, a rigorous pour is needed to create a decent head, but it sticks around and laces well. tiny bit of sediment is visible from the bottle-conditioning.

smells of flowers and citrus with a lot of grapefruit.

Tastes like a west-coast IPA is supposed to. lots of citrus, bitter, with a slightly sweet yet very acidic citric aftertaste. a bit of pine can be detected in the finish.

Mouthfeel is great for an IPA. enough carbonation to bite your tongue, but bottle-conditioned and smooth going down.

Drinkability is great, as well. Citric, bitter, sweet, acidic, and smooth combine to make one great IPA. 7% alcohol is hidden well.

One of my favorites. probably the beer that I have had the most of over the past year, a very consistent brew that I'm sure to visit again and again. I love the bottle-conditioning, the up-front citrus followed by a bit of pine and oh-so pleasant bitterness. Highly recommended.

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Photo of dgilks
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 pours a wonderful deep gold with a nice fluffy white head. Very good head retention.

Great, clean citrussy hop aromas. Lots of powerful grapefruit and passionfruit. Really, really good.

Really well balanced with a not overpowering bitterness which is at a good level with lots of candy like mandarin, passionfruit and citrus sweetness. A good sweet malt bill also holds up well here. Really good and one of the best IPAs I've had.

Good full body with average carbonation holds the flavours up well here.

A great drinkable IPA with lots of flavour, great aromas and good bitterness. A really top notch IPA.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this a couple months ago, and it was an exceptional memory as one of the better IPA's. If you look at my profile, you can see that I like to have lots of different hoppy beers. For this one to stand out; it has to be exceptional.

On the pour I got a ton of pine smell off the top. I poured it into a tulip glass to pull in as much as possible in smelling.

Racer 5 tastes better than it smells. I sipped this beer over more than an hour to savor it. You continue to get the pine, but it is not over-whelming.

It is great balance in mouthfeel. There isn't much bitterness, and the after-taste is a pleasant lingering of hoppiness.

This is an excellent beer. I recommend picking up a fresh bottle at a store near you.

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Photo of calise1122
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Been my one of my favorites for years, but just got around to really sitting down with a pint, a pen and a pad. Poured a bomber into a pint glass while rewatching the Obama speech... man, he can certainly talk to a crowd!

A: Hazy and cloudy blonde with a rich white rocky head that seems to grow peaks and valleys by the second. Lines and tracings of lacing hang onto the glass the whole way down.

S: Hops on the nose, nice fresh citric hops that scream of grapefruit and lemon, with some caramel notes binding it together. Really nice, it is what I think a West Coast IPA should smell like (most likely because this is the beer that brought me to the dance)

T: It's a picture. It's a picture that is painted on a canvas of hops. It's a picture that is painted with flavors of caramel, biscuit, grapefruit, raisins, and prunes. It's a picture that you don't walk past... you stop, appreciate and most likely buy. It's a nice picture, it's a great beer.

M: It's sticky and smooth... it's clean and leaves you wanting to take another sip. Just a well constructed body

D: As I mentioned, this has been a bridge for me in the beer world. I was lucky enough to have my first pint of Racer 5 at the Moan & Dove in 2004... It, along with stone and DFH, carried my journey into the wonderful world of IPA's... so yes, this review may stink of sweaty sentiment... but there is no denying the quality of this beer. A fantastic west coast IPA!!!

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Photo of RyanK252
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Eureka Burger Fresno

A: Pours a lightly hazy deep golden yellow with a nice creamy off white head that laces very well.

S: Big sweet tropical fruit and citrus hops with a little malt in the background.

T: Follows the nose, pineapple orange and grapefruit, a little pine in there, all well balanced with malt sweetness.

M: Medium body, low to medium carbonation.

O: My go to brew. Deliciously drinkable.

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Photo of LCB_Hostage
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass (many, many times over the years)

A: Deep sunny orange, with a moderate, dense white head. Nice lacing that lasts the life of the beer and beyond.

S: I pop the cap and hold the bottle up to my nose and it makes me smile. A crisp, artful blend of citrus and piney hops predominate with yeasty undertones. This is what beer should smell like.

T: As with the aroma, Bear Republic has found an almost perfect blend of hops for my palate. There's enough malt and alcohol in the mix to make it "beery" but the hops hit your tongue and leave a lasting impression without an overly bitter aftertaste .

M: Crisp and refreshing with enough carbonation to wake up the tongue and disperse the flavors.

O: Needless to say, this is one of my favorite, go-to beers and has been since my first bottle. A solid hop punch, but balanced enough not to kill the palate. I can't say there aren't better IPAs out there, because I haven't had the pleasure of trying them all. But given the relatively modest price and widespread availability, this is a beer that will always be represented in my fridge.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a cloudy orange color. The head is large, thick and somewhat creamy. The lacing is thorough and thick. The aroma is pleasing and rather complex with citrus and pine both being prominent. The taste leans a lot more toward pine than citrus. The mouthfeel is exceptional for an IPA. It is medium bodied and very creamy while still being very lively carbonated. Overall, this is a great IPA, one I wish was available in Minnesota.

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Photo of swanny28
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a frosty pint glass with a one inch head. This beer has been reviewed hundreds of times by many with bett palates than mine. It is the fresh tasting hops exploding on the tongue that keeps me coming back to this ipa.

A: Nice clasic amber look with slight red hugh

S: Fresh hops hit the nose but not to much else

T: This is what makes this beer, the hops explode on the tongue the dryness combined with the bitterness are very complex

M: Again the bitterness hits the mouth from the first second. classic ipa in the mouth

D: Very easy to drink if IPA is your style of beer. Leaves a wonderful aftertaste.

This beer is an awesome IPA and lives up to the bill of one of the best IPA's that is readily available on the market. Happy to have it tonight.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a light straw gold with a finger of loose white head. Very nice aroma dominated by floral hops and pine.

Moderate carbonation and a refreshing, light mouthfeel. Extremely floral character for an IPA with a mild, subtle honey malt sweetness to balance. Just enough citrus bitterness on the finish to keep you coming back.

Wish I hadn't waited so long to try this IPA -- really nicely done!

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Photo of uberabr
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Found this bad boy at my local wine store. I hadn't heard too much about it and decided to give it a try...

Poured from a bomber into a tulip. A hazy golden-brown amber with minimal head retention but decent lace. Carbonation is excellent.

Smell is very nice and quite strong. The hops are overwhelming and of the Western grapefruit/cascade variety...there are definitely a few types of different hops working together here. Some peach, mango, and of course grapefruit, along with a subtle buttery biscuit as well. Overall a very fresh and woodsy quality that's hard to describe and present in all of my favorite pale ales from Cali. Very nice.

The taste is a virtual explosion of hops that starts with a fruity pine and ends with a bitter grapefruit bite, along with a creamy, buttery aftertaste that was present in the nose. It's very complex and very well rounded, a noteworthy combination...giving a bold quality that is ideal for this style of IPA. Mouthfeel is perfect: Full and bubbly and easy all the way down. Drinkability is great too, although this brew is definitely more of a sipper because the taste is so rich. I would definitely drink this one again.

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Photo of bignick
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Publick House in Brookline 4/20/06. Served in a pint glass.

This is a huge kick-in-the-mouth American IPA. The smell incredibly pungent; the stong citrusy hop scent foreshadows what's to come. The taste of hops really nails the palate, and it is uncompromised in its dryness. This is one hell of a west-coast IPA, and has long been one of my favorites.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Orange and hazy in the glass. It's a bit opaque.

Smells so piney and citrusy. The malt comes out in the aroma slightly.

The taste is the best part, though. There's pine, citrus, orange peel, butter, clove, slight caramel, and burnt candy. These last two are so subtle but make this beer what it is - a wonderful tasting IPA.

Medium mouth feel with a oily sickness as it goes down. The hops contribute to a sharp bite on the back end.

One of my favorites. In style and overall.

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Photo of ByTor2112
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep gold color almost orange. Huge clumpy head that slowly dissolved with peaks and valleys. Deep piney citrus aroma. This IPA is impressive right out of the gate Sweet malt body and mouthfeel with an intense bitterness that dominates but is still balanced. This is a killer IPA that gives you everyting= Killer aroma, great malt body with a wide variety of hop aromas, flavors from the beginning to the finish. This is my first beer from Bear Republic and I am impressed. Almost sessionable for hop-heads and at 7%, not too alcohol heavy. A CHOICE offering.

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Photo of Bluetick
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Deep Golden

S - Pine Hops

T - Complex Hops. Biting at first with a very floral finish. Kind of a sweet flavor as well.

M - Surprisingly light for 7.00 ABV

D - Extremely drinkable. Easy to slam a few of these on a hot summer day. Very smooth.

Perhaps one of my favorite IPAs. I regularly get these for home.

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Photo of baiser
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Let me start by saying: I love Bear Republic beers. They make top notch west coast style ales, that are packed with flavour over and over. This one is no different. Excellent IPA. Pours extremely hazy, amber orange colour, with a large, fluffy white head that lasts the entire time. Great lacing. An explosion of hop aromas. Pine, citrus, toasted malt. Juicy, oily, and well full of cascade hops. Somewhat balanced. Excellent beer.

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Photo of Genuine
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Hangars in Amherst, MA.

cloudy orangish red with a finger of offwhite/slight yellowish head.

Smell - pine and citrus notes, along with grapefruit. Very juicy.

Taste - so glad that the flavors of this one match right up to the nose. I was met with some very pleasant pine and citrus notes right off the bad. It vaguely reminded me of the way ghandhi-bot's flavors were. Very chewy, pine cone hops are more than present and the malts fill in the rest of the flavor very nicely.

mouthfeel - medium and chewy. the carbonation is just perfect for this IPA.

Drinkability - this is one drinkable IPA. Very delicious, and I would not have a problem having a few of these in one sitting. I can't wait to pick some up the next time I go for a beer haul.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I thoroughly enjoyed my first 3 Bear Republic beers, so when I spied the Racer 5 IPA hiding behind a Stone IPA (of all the beers!?), I snapped up a couple of Bottles.
A 1 Pint 6 fl.oz Bottle, with a ¾ wrap around paper label that has the BR Bear and a big Red 5 pinched off the front of someones racing car no doubt.
Head is massive, beautiful just-off-white color, it later settled down to a more manageable 1” deep honeycomb. The lace left on the glass walls was fabulous and so reminded of that I saw left on the slate walls of Yorkshire Square Fermenters towards the end of the fermentation cycle. Large bubble laced, crispy, rocky spatterings, that when dried - need chiselling off.
Nose is – Wow, yes definitely HOPS. Freshly harvested hops, mixed with a smell of freshly mown lawns. I am sure there will be grassy hop stains on the inside of my nostrils. A deep cloudy* peach/orangey amber hue showed off some very fine particles of yeast, and no doubt some hops fragments, when illuminated by incandescent light. The head has now settled to a workable ½” rock-pool encrusted collar.
* The haze is most probably 100% attributable to my childish impatience - I couldn't wait to let it settle when I got back from the Beer Store - I just cracked it open as soon as I got home.
Immediate mouthfeel is medium. As a Hophead, I found the taste is anticipated by a highly excited tongue, long before the beer even enters the oral cavity. Superb. Highly hopped but not excessively, as I find some beers are. There is no “shock hop” here, just an aggressive IPA that will suit the more discerning hop-head palate, rather than the beginner. Finish is dry, with soft spices lingering in the end. Carbonation was quite low, very akin to many English Real Ales so I did not find this to be a problem at all. Drinkability is high, very high - I love this beer, refreshing and very morish.

California has some incredible Breweries that produce stunning high quality craft beers, and Bear Republic is most definitely one of them.
Highly Recommended. Another Great CA-IPA (Yet Again!!!!).

P.S. S**t, I've just realized this beer is 7% - Take Care!

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,601 ratings.
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