Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,314 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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,314 | Ratings: 7,624
Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottle with no visible BB date. Acquired recently from Trembling Madness in York. A classic IPA that I've wanted to try for a long time....

A: Poured into an IPA glass. Bottle conditioned. A rich golden-amber hue with hazy floating sediment and good carbonation. Produces a large head of fluffy white foam that lasts for a while before reducing to a persistent surface layer. Nice lacing.

S: Aroma of intense resinous hops with notes of pine, dank weed, floral hints, citrus peel, vague tropical fruit, sweet malt, mild earthy yeast and more than a whiff of booze. Nice.

T: Tastes of bitter pine-laden hops with hints of resin, dank weed, grapefruit, citrus peel, floral notes, sweet malt, earthy yeast and a touch of booze in the background. A strident hoppy bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with pleasant carbonation and nice body. Hop oils stimulate the palate. Aftertaste of bitter hop notes, sweet malt and yeast.

O: Excellent - a top notch American IPA with a well deserved reputation. Looks great, while the aroma and flavour are a satisfying blend of intense aromatic hops, sweet malt and yeast. The only minor flaw is the slightly excessive alcoholic note. Good body. Goes down all too easily - deserves to be sampled if you have the chance.

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Photo of capehaze
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Member 'Kimchi' nails it on this most exquisite IPA! This beer's strong orange bouquet and taste is like no other IPA. If only it were less like a DIPA and more like a session IPA. Believe it or not --- I found this beer in southwestern Florida!

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Photo of Weisenbeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Terrific full bodied IPA. California made was the first sign to me that this was one to try. I will search out others from these folks based on my experience with this beverage.

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Photo of digboy
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle bought in Saugus MA, no date. Never heard of the beer or the brewery so went in blind. Now I think I might have gotten the best pick of the store.

Pours a ember-like hazy orange color with 2 finger soapy head that settles down quickly to a half finger. Truly impressive color.

Aroma is hoppy citrus and resin - strong but not overpowering - and a touch of pee which I do not appreciate.

Taste is hop forward but with a strong malt backbone too - nice combination that play well together. Moderately bitter with a strong resinous, almost dank, earthy taste that lingers well into the aftertaste and coats the tongue. That's the real treat of this beer.

Feel is crisp with a little stickiness

Overall this is a great beer obviously crafted to a fine degree. I feel fortunate to have found some way out on the right coast.

** For god's sake, don't drink this out-of-the-fridge cold! It needs to mellow to get the full flavor bloom, otherwise you are cheating yourself.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Vintage color & carbonation, big fluffy cap. Aroma has a tremendous amount of bubblegum (JuicyFruit) uptop with some flowering hop notes drifting underneath. Starts out pretty herbal with some hibiscus notes before the mid-palate brings a some piney hop punch - got lots of Chinook on it - before finishing out with some hop oil flavor. Sweet malt presence throughout helps keep it tempered. Finishes moderately bitter.

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Photo of Evilyak
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2 fingers of head and tons of soapy lacing. mostly clear, yellow beer.

citrusy notes in the nose, but some pee there, too. lots of dank in the taste.

mouth is well carbonated. bitterness lingers, but not unpleasantly.

always worth grabbing some of these old timers.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle, Bewdog Bristol - Pours golden with a medium white foamy head. Nice lacing. Medium carbonation. Aroma - hoppy citrus forefront - grapefruit/orange notes, light resin back drop. Taste - similar to aroma, citrus front, light resin on the mouthfeel, crisp fresh light bitter finish. Really enjoyed this. Quality example of an American IPA.

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Photo of BRiddoch
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden and hazy with a solid 1" head. Hoppy and slightly citrus smell. Slight bitterness with a smooth aftertaste. I am not normally an IPA fan but this was simply an outstanding beer.

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Photo of KIMCHI
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bear Republic is one of those California treasures I miss since I have moved to Texas. The wonderful in-laws on their recent trip to the last great state brought up boxes of Racer 5 and that will make both me and my wife extremely happy. Racer 5 has a beautiful cloudy and bright colour with a heavy nose that may intimidate non IPA drinkers or people who don't like hoppy beer. Do not be turned off by the aromas of wonderfulness for those that don't appreciate hops this beer has a strong yet, smooth and easy to drink flavor. It is very hoppy however, it has delicate nuances of orange with a crisp mouth feel and a bright aftertaste that will not overstay its visit. Racer 5 is one of those rare IPA's where a pro can enjoy it's masterfully unique and esoteric flavours and a new IPA drinker or maybe those who don't consider themselves IPA fans will pour a glass and perhaps fill their fridges. Racer 5 is a 5/5 in every category except it is not easy to find west of the Sierra's and can sometimes be difficult to buy in Southern California. Until these puppies run out though we have a beautiful house full of Racer 5 and that makes me a happy camper. Geonbae!!!!

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Photo of Korbynlehr
4.81/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Deep honey in color with an off white head. Nose is heavy with hops and the taste does not disappoint. The hops are thick and I love it. Best beer I've had in California so far.

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Photo of pro45
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful gold hazy color with a small white frothy head. Smell is citrus, white bread, hops. Taste follows the nose. Oranges are prominent. Also getting some pine and faint dankness. Bitter, dry finish. Very refreshing and an easy drinker for the 7.5%. Best by date was 5/17 so I don't really know the bottling date. Tasted fresh. Very good IPA. Delicious.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hazy orange topped with a soft white fluff.

Smell starts dank, followed by pine, pungent cat piss, and grapefruit.

A definitive orange and grapefruit flavor come through on the tongue, starting bitter then turning sweet, with a little wood, Trix, and either curacao or triple sec.

Somewhat frothy but very dry.

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Photo of laketang
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

poured from a 22 oz bottle

hazy amber with a nice white pillow head
citrusy, orange peel, pine herbal
grapefruit and orange
upfront citrus bitterness
long lasting hop aftertaste
bold,long hop finish

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Photo of haines710
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Based on the name and label I almost passed this up. Being on the east coast I wasn't familiar with Bear Republic Picked one up at a grocery near Wilmington, Delaware a few months ago. Since then I have been picking up this classic IPA on a regular basis. Poured one tonight into a pint glass. Nice coloring and beautiful smell. Taste is smooth and hoppy. I always end wanting to open another one.

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Photo of Antg8989
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I'm trying to rate this objectively, because honestly, it's not really my thing. Pours a semi-cloudy light gold. Little bit of a white head but not much lacing. Aroma is more malt forward - some citrus and piney hops - nothing exhilarating. Taste is balance between sweet malts and some hops, with a moderately bitter finish. Feel is smooth, but a little under-carbonated for my taste. Overall, I feel this is more suited for people who like things that are less hop-forward. Hop-lovers beware, this may not be up your alley. It's a clean tasting brew, but a little too gentle for the IPA style.

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Photo of Wayniac
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Just got a bottle at my LHBS and opened it while brewing my own homebrew IPA. Nice golden orange color and a huge thick soapy head. Faint aroma of floral hops. Nice medium body and mouthfeel. Surprisingly strong taste of alcohol. Further tastes of light floral and herbal hops, medium bitterness that lingers for a while. Also tasting nice malt flavor, more so than in most IPAs these days. Not what I was expecting, a little disappointed after all of the hype... but a decent malty IPA.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice golden color with a medium size head. The nose has strong pine elements but also some faint mango aroma to it. Fairly bitter upfront followed by some fruitiness. Medium body without too much carbonation. Not the most complex IPA but definitely a tasty one.

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Photo of matcris
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A hazy almost burnt orange with a finger of white soapy head that settles down to a ring and leaves some spotty lacing behind. Orange is the biggest scent I get in the aroma, but lots of other fruit qualities like lemon, grapefruit, stone fruits, and tropical fruits, big time. A little of that dank weed vibe, as well. Just fantastic smelling, and the flavor isn't a let down either. Same deal. Really nice hop forward and without that astringent thing going on. The feel is medium body, juicy, dry, and there is a good full level of carbonation. I've seen this beer a few times in my travels but this is the first chance to have a fresh bottle. Really good stuff, here.

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

Hazy orange amber in color, the pour builds up massive silky white head that holds strong will to stand with excellent retention. It just slowly dissipates to an eternal frothy layer atop along with several refined lacing ring, patch, and spot along the way down. There are sediments floating around.

Very fresh, juicy, yet fruity aroma by its hoppy goodness, I am reminded of citrus, grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, passion fruit, kaffir lime, pine, resin, floral, spice, and slight earthy. Yes, it is truly hop bombardment. Malt is there too in the back end with a biscuit character to slight caramel.

Very well balance, hop still prevails but it is not too harsh while biscuit and caramel malt try to bring in sweetness and creaminess to reinforce as supporting. All the hop characters in the aroma also reflect in the taste together with steady bitterness at the end of the sip that also nicely lingers in the aftertaste.

The body is full with smooth mouthfeel from its lively carbonation generated some crisp and refreshing feel upon the palate, pleasantly dry finish that will lead you to another quick quaff.

Great IPA indeed, all the characters, they harmoniously exhibit in great order. Alcohol is very well concealed making it equipped with evil quaffing quality. This one is surely a must, the quintessential of AIPA.

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Photo of dd43
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of those quintessential west coast style IPAs that help put the California craft scene on the map. In today's world, it's still an excellent beer but it doesn't really do anything extraordinary or even better than any of the host of other classic IPAs from CA and Oregon, among others.

It has all the tropical fruit notes you're going to expect in the aroma category. In addition, it has some oniony dank alium character which was all the rage for a few years back in the day but is now somewhat quaint. Worth trying, especially on draft, but I'm not going out of my way to procure a six pack.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Slightly opaque apple juice color with a towering 3 finger head that leaves lovely shaving cream lace all the way down.

Aromas of fresh peaches, with grapefruit, papaya, mango, and faint onion trailing at the end.

Flavor is very fruity, leading off with some mango and orange, but then takes a turn towards dumpster bin, tasting like a mismatch of garlic, onion skins, and old toffee. The old toffee and garlic remain on the palate after the swallow. Thing is, I still keep wanting to drink it for the first part of the taste.

Feel is rich, creamy, spiked with some decent carbonation. The finish is dry and musky, leaving a nice parch behind.

Overall, Racer 5 is a good pale ale. I'm glad I have an extra, but I don't think I'd spend money on a six pack or bomber.

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Photo of MMOSNN
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - a hazy honey orange color with a two-finger off-white head that has great retention and lacing.
Smell - a lot of citrus in the form of orange and grapefruit, there are also strong bready and caramel malty notes, and slight pine resin.
Taste - hops dominate with grapefruit and pine resin overpowering the palate, but there is a nice malty backbone too.
Feel - great carbonation, smooth, and full body that helps the flavors linger on.
Overall, this IPA is stellar. It looks great, has a well-rounded aroma and flavor profile, and has an incredible mouthfeel that helps bolster the complexity.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.66/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Orange with a one finger, off white head. Good retention.

Aroma: Smells great. Tropical. I'm getting mango, sweet orange, zesty grapefruit rind and a gentle, yet dank hop resin profile.

Taste: Incredibly well balanced but still bitter enough to let you know you're drinking an IPA. Spicy with notes of white pepper and grapefruit. Flavors of orange and mango. A light, buiscity malt bill plays a helping hand in the background contributing notes of vanilla and some creamy flavors to complement the tropical and resinous taste.

Feel: Medium body with light carbonation. Well balanced and smooth, especially for an IPA. Highly drinkable. Hides it's abv exceptionally well.

Overall Comments: If you call yourself a fan of IPAs and you haven't tried this one already, you're missing out. This is the type of beer you can drink over and over again, any time, any occasion. Really great stuff.

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Photo of DarkSideOfTheMoon
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Another great West Coast style IPA. Poured a hazy, golden color with 2 fingers of sticky foam. Lots of lacing. Smell is citrus hops (not too much, though) and faint caramel malts. Taste follows the nose dead-on...but with a bit more pine character from the hops. Feel is great and very drinkable. Will definitely be sharing this one with friends in the future.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle

Pours hazy amber orange with a creamy frothy off-white foam head. Smells like apricot, peach, grapefruit, orange citrus, bready caramel malt, with dank spicy herbal pine and woodsy earthy grass. Tastes like apricots, peach, sweet orange, grapefruit, bready caramel malts, with dank spicy herbal pine and woodsy earthy grass. Feels medium-light bodied, slick and creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice IPA.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,624 ratings.
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