Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,288 Reviews
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

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

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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Reviews: 2,288 | Ratings: 7,492
Photo of Darkale
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A magnificent IPA from Bear Republic. Pours a copper-orange that seems like a Florida sunset. Very large head that slowly fades, foamy, uneven, pocked like the top of a root beer float.

The aroma is sweet and hoppy, and the taste is huge malt and hops together, mixed into a creamy swirl. The parting shot is a thin sour bitterness that just makes you want to do it again, like a 12-year old looping ten times through the same ride at the county fair.

Excellent lacing, all over the sides of the glass, and in strange shapes, like pale Rorschachs. The head recedes but stops at about 3/4 of an inch, and lingers longer than you might think possible.

This is a highly interesting beer, reminiscent of HopDevil in its mix of hops and creaminess, but with that added odd twist of bitter. Another winner -- another unique and tempting beer -- from Bear Republic.

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Photo of Schoonerorlater
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

a- a cloudy, orange golden brown. nice head with a lovely trail of lace

s- citrus and pine. vanilla and caramel. hint of clove

t-hop bomber! starts off with the grapefruit and lime, pine. Heads for the sweet flavors of vanilla and caramel and finishes off with a nicey bready malt backbone.

m- medium feel. refreshing and crisp.

o- the hops have risen!! hallelujah! seriously fantastic IPA, inspiring and a "I'll be back for another" type of beer.

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Photo of hyuga
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The usual IPA orangish amber in color, and nice and clear. Great white head that stays extremely well! It's well presented. Big points for that. Pine hits you first when you take a whiff of this. A big malt backbone comes through underneath it. As for the taste, it's rather smooth for an IPA. No overwhelming bitterness, but it maintains the big character flavor profile that I like. Hops do play a big role though. In the front, some rind-like and leafy hop character makes its presence known. Malt stays in the background, but it's like a cloud over the sun in Phoenix, you don't pay it much heed but you know it's there making everything more comfortable for you. In the middle and back, malt is ready to come out more, and it's got a very nice "buttery" sweetness to it. A bit bready. The bitterness shows up in the finish, nice and crisp. Well, I think this is a very enjoyable IPA, I'll definitely have it again, hopefully more than a few times. It seems a bit underrated to me. But it's all in one's own taste, right? I'd say definitely give it a try and see for yourself!

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Photo of redneckchugger
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bomber poured into an imperial pint glass, light amber beer, white head, loads of cascading lacing.
smells of earthy herbal hops,.
taste is a hop blast, earthy, piney hops, bitter, but not over the top, but tons upon tons of hop flavor, the malt is there, but barely, and i love it.
this beer may be my favorite ipa of all time.

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Photo of RichT73
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap after many other varieties of beer about a month ago, and wasn't too happy with the taste. But after my girlfriend picked me up a 22 oz bottle for Valentine's Day, I had to give it another shot. Wow! I don't know what I was thinking the first time around. This was awesome. The pour is beautiful with a deep caramel coloring, despite some particulates floating around. This beer left a nice lacing around the top of my mug.
There is not a lot of carbonation and the alcohol is hidden very well. This was a very easily drinkable IPA. I have my girlfriend to thank for this one.

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Photo of Gavage
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: pours a orange color with dark yellow highlights. A large 3" head lasts forever. Carbonation bubbles slowly rise to the top. Mild lacing develops.

Smell: oranges and a strong bitterness are easily detectable.

Taste: nice malt layer, balanced with some orange slices, lemon zest, and a perfect piney bitterness. This is a great example of what an American IPA should be.

Mouthfeel: smooth with a bite of crispness at the start and finish. The aftertaste is short with the flavor tones.

Drinkability: superbly drinkable. This should be a staple in everyone's refridgerator.

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Photo of SethB2
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's about time I reviewed this wonderful beer.

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A - Hazy golden oranged with a massive head that climbs the glass. When the head finally goes away (after a long, long time), a butt load of lacing is left in its wake. Perfection.

S - Hops, citris and pine mostly, covering a toasted malted quality.

T - One of the most balanced IPAs on the planet. Starts with a bitter punch to the tongue, but very delicately begins to balance out. Usually balance means that the beer gets sweeter, and this one does too, but not nearly as much as one might expect.

M - Good stuff. Medium and a tad oily, but still finishes a little dry. How the hell is that possible. I don't know either.

D - Great.

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Photo of elmocoso
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Big creamy head - 2 fingers that fall, leaving a sticky high water mark of lacing and creating a bulbous crannied head.

The head feels like whip cream on thelip - nice green nose, hoppy - fo course.

Mmmm-mmm, a sweet maltyness. Nose candy, and mouth candy. Like sucking on a malty-hop lolly-pop. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of BeardFacePhD
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured 12oz Bottle Into Glass

A - Hazy golden yellow with a thin white head. Nicely carbonated.

S - Strong citrus smell, predominantly grapefruit.

T - Grapefruit flavor prevails. Nice crisp finish. Dry.

M - Nice bitterness. Dry with a subtle malt sweetness.

D - Very drinkable IPA. Nice beer as Spring comes around.

I would definitely recommend this beer to a friend. A nice, very drinkable IPA.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a coppery gold, a slight haziness adding a glow to it. A thick froth of white head billows up, settling into a rocky lump, leaving huge amounts of lace that coats the pint glass. A small pile of foam rests at the bottom when the beer is done.
The aroma is apparent from several feet away. It's like walking into a hop garden. Pungently floral and citric, with an incredibly fresh aroma distinctly akin to sticking your head into a bag of freshly picked hop cones. Good malt balance, incredibly, with a mild toasty quality. Faint fruity esters and a trace of alcohol round out the scent.
The flavor starts with a rich, sweet malty goodness. A bit of a dextrinous feel, creating a rather full mouthfeel. A bit of yeast adds both body and a mildly sweet breadiness. The hops settle in quickly, plopping themselves down with an insane amount of rindy hop flavor. A bit of flowery pear esters add a touch of fruitiness, continuing into the finish. The finish picks up considerable bitterness, barely kept in check with the malt. Intensely floral hop flavor, with a slight citric bite. Almost impossibly fresh tasting, like the hops were added while still live on the vine. A light fusel alcohol bite right in the end. The hop aftertaste continues for hours after the bottle is finished. A beefy medium body, slowly pushed along by slight, understated carbonation. A bit slick in feel, somehow finishing crisp and fairly dry. Great stuff.
This beer is really quite over the top, more in the double IPA category by my standards, but so endearing in it's jolly bigness. One of the most spectacularly fresh tasting IPAs I've had the pleasure of drinking. Really amazing, considering it's from a bottle. Great stuff.

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Photo of Pup
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured about an inch head, nice amber/copper color, bubbly.

Smell of citrus, strong hops, diving in...

Taste reminded me of a Stone Ale, strong bitter hoppy taste.

Sparklingly refreshing, medium carbonation, yet dryer and little bitter aftertaste.

Quaffable, would definitely down 3-4 of these if work didn't demand my presence tomorrow.

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Photo of MSchae1017
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from the 22oz bottle.

This beer pours a golen amber with a frothy and rocky white head that holds fantastically well and leaves tons of lace. The smell is very sweet with tons of citrus hops. The taste is full hop bitterness and flavor but malty enough to not overwhelm you. There was also a bit of piney hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with nice natural carbonation. Overall a highly drinkable IPA, one of the best IPAs out there.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

A- pours a...light amber, dark yellow with a paper thin white head that quickly fades. Leaves some nice lacing. Looks a lot like apple juice...I like apple juice. Good opening.

S- oh wow, this is fantastic. Very fruity and citric. Smells like something you could drink at breakfast. I'm getting some citrus and grapefruit...regardless, smells really awesome.

T- not overly bitter, nor overly sweet. Has the right amount of pine bite near the back, not enough to kick you in the face, but it lets you know its there. The bitterness from the hops are lovely. Really good.

M- really light. Unlike some IPAs, which can be overbearing, this isn't heavy at all. There is carbonation there which gives you that fizziness you look for sometimes. Can't complain about the mouthfeel at all.

D- Really drinkable, if only it wasn't for that high alcohol content. You don't taste the alcohol one bit. Its like drinking some alcoholic juice thats more bitter than sweet. In other words, totally awesome...I should actually try pairing one of these with an omelette or something

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Photo of Baldrick
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer! From the cloudy appearance to the incredibly balanced taste, it's hard to beat. It's very hoppy, but the malt offsets it nicely. Prolly my favorite right now...

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ghostly haze to a light orange color. White thin head. Not much for head retention, although it could be the glass. This beer smells great. Piney hop resin upfront. Some sweet malt. Hops are piny and almost pineapple in flavor. Aftertaste is citrus hops and malt. Really soft and clean. Mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth. Soft bitterness that doesn't linger, and considering the ABV very smooth beer. Thickness is suiting. Highly flavorful and surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a golden orange body with a bone white head. Patterns of lacing at the top.

S - Wow! Cascade with some spice! Tangerine, ruby red grapefruit, some honey herbs, tart strawberries, tangy mango, over-ripe pineapple, sugary yeast. Basically heaven.

T - A burst of candied grapefruit, tangerine, sweet lemon, mango, and green pineapple. Has some wintergreen pine mixed in as well as some herbal spice notes. All of this encompasses a rich and honey kissed pale malt that seems to soothe the soul. Bitterness is tame and resides on the edges of the flavor giant.

M - Medium body, actually kind of a lush feel,

This beer lives up to the hype. I've been putting off trying this beer for a long time because of the label. Boy was I wrong...Basically a tropical citrus wonderland resting on a crystal caramel malt crust. The herbal and evergreen balances out the huge hop profile wonderfully. This a flavor assault...period. The great thing about the hops is the flavor and not necessarily the bitterness. The malt is perfect and is in perfect unison with the hops. This beer is a flavor giant and you should not let this pass you up. Don't judge a book by it's cover....lesson learned.

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Photo of jbowers56
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A pretty nearly white head which fades to a thin bubbly layer. Leaves nice lacing but head retention isn't superb. Pieces of hop material floating around too. I like that, lets me know what I'm in for.

As soon as I popped the bottle the aroma jumped out at me. Reminds me a little of stone ipa, however the citrus notes have more juice and apparent sweetness to them. I also get a peach note, as well as some caramel and apricot. Very god damn good.

At this point im pretty annoyed that this is only the first time i've had this. This is god damn awesome. First up is a juicy peach/apricot/citrus hop flavour, backed up by some slightly short-bread and caramel like sweetness. Following that is a big slap of pine and grapefruit and some bitterness. Love it.

Thin, but not watery. Clean and zesty on the palate. Near perfect for an IPA.

I am going to have to chain myself down after this to stop myself grabbing another. It's that delicious.

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Photo of kenito799
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint at South Philly Tap Room.

Darkish amber brew with nice 1/2 inch tan head, intricate lacing, classic IPA look.

The aroma is a typically wonderful fresh, floral, fruity, citrusy hop burst. On the palate there is a fruitiness up front, with a sweetness that doesn't cloy, isn't really sweet actually, just serves to perfectly balance an experience of complex hop flavors that come on citrus and fruit, finishing with pine and flowers. Classicly near-perfect West Coast IPA, closely resembles Stone to me (need to try these side-by side). Great effort, wonderfully drinkable beer. Reaffirms my love of the balanced IPA, no DIPAs for me...

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Photo of gbontrag
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The aroma is totally juiced citrus and cherries. It's a lovely clear amber interrupted by steady flows of tiny bubbles. Carbonation culminates in a healthy meringue that would do egg whites proud.

Good god! Huge biscuit drizzled with grapefruit icing served up with a side of tart berries. Drinks like an egg cream. Awesome! From the company whose motto is "Bigger is better" what would happen if they made an IIPA, huh?

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Photo of fsvan
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap Millers Pub in Chicago....Drive by mobile review.

A- Nice orange in color

S- Citrus hops...lots of 'em

T- In a word awesome. A truw west coast IPA hop bomb. Oily, clinging citrus hop bitterness.

M- light of medium. Great for thr style.

O- The hype this beer gets is for a reason...it's awesome.

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Photo of jdg204
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this bad boy on tap at Porter's Pub in Easton PA, saw it on the tap list and had to try!

A: Hazy copper with a healthy fluffy white head that stuck around for the ride.

S: Blended citrus, grapefruit and hops with a sweet note fruit.

T: Balance, balance, balance! Big hop start as you take a drink with nice citrus middle and the good hoppy bitter finish, also to be noted the very clean finish as well extremly well balanced not overlly alcholly seems to have just the right amount of everything.

M: Very smooth, good carbonation level, nice medium body. Pretty easy drinker for an IPA.

D: Excellent balance for an IPA, extremely impressive. I continue to fall deeper in love with the West Coast IPA's. My first offering from Bear Republic, a new fav brewery who's other offerings I'll be trying soon!

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Photo of AlvinStraight
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Killed the cask at Bierkraft for this one and it was well worth it. This is one of my favorite IPAs and I've never had the chance to find it on cask before. I'm not sure how to define the hoppiness/fruitiness of this one; it's not just big hops, but rather has a unique flavor that I haven't found anywhere else. Simply put it's excellent. The taste is delightful, but the color and smell are particular appealing to me.

If you like IPA's and hoppy beers, this one is worth finding.

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Photo of JayQue
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great IPA. Made a pilgrimage to "Half Time" in Poughkeepsie, NY and this was one of my trophies. Pours a hazy amber color with some "chunks" in it. Nice big white head and good lacing. This beer has a good, spicy/citrusy aroma to it. You would know this was going to be a memorable experience just by the smell. The taste is outstanding, citrusy, spicy and above all a nice bitter hops flavor. This is comparable to Hop Otten, Celebration Ale and any of the other good IPAs I have enjoyed.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery, compared with Celebration Ale, but the taste is the deciding factor in making this a great beer.

I would consider this as high on the drinkability scale as 7.0 abv would allow. This is a very enjoyable IPA and I would look forward to having another if offered.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. The American IPA poured a hazy orange color. It produced a thick creamy head and had excellent head retention. (Most impressive head I have ever seen on a beer.) There was a nice amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma was dominated by hops and citrus. When I say dominated by hops, I meant this aroma is HOPTASTIC! The taste of the IPA was like a slap in the face with a hop club. BAM! The front, middle and finish of the taste was all about hops. This is a hopheads dream come true. Somehow despite all of the hop bitterness, the smoothness of the beer was off the charts. Awesome beer, one of my new all time favorites!

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a cellar temperature 22oz bottle, split between two pint glasses. It has a translucent golden orange color, with a pretty head of pure white foam. It leaves some good lacing on the glass. The aroma is all hops, both citrusy and woodsy. As you would expect, the flavor is also dominated by the hop character. It starts out dry, then builds to sharp bitterness that lingers on after you swallow. You can detect some alcohol, especially in the finish and aftertaste. There are flavors that remind me of fruit and forests. This is as good as an IPA can get. It has a medium body and a higher-than-average amount of carbonation. It leaves a coating to your mouth that evaporates while you let the bitter flavors linger. This is an impressively drinkable IPA. There are hops everywhere, but I never grow tired of them. I wish I had more than this one bottle.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,492 ratings.
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