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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,309 | Ratings: 7,604
Photo of pat61
4.66/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A slightly hazy gold pour with rapidly rising bubbles produces a thick white to off-white film that produces splotchy flecs of lace. As it pours melon, tropical fruit, light bread crust and slight dank earthy aromas rise from the glass. The palate starts with melon, light biscuit to bread crumb and citrus flavors that linger. The malt flavors have a light sweetness but the hops balance the sweetness well. Hop driven fruit flavors are medium to medium high. The bitterness is medium high but is well balanced by the light malt sweetness. this moderately creamy beer has just under a medium body and has medium to medium high carbonation. This is a full flavored, easy to drink American IPA that is good enough to stock up on.

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Photo of diemilio
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can't find the date on the bottle. Hazier than I thought it was going to be; I wonder if the bottle-conditioning plays a role in this. As soon as I open the bottle I could smell the cascade/centennial in it; tons of orange and grapefruit zest. Also, some pine resinous notes and tropical juicy fruits (can't really tell what fruit exactly) and sweetness from the malt. Very nice mouthfeel, medium body.
Overall, excellent beer!!! For some reason, I was expecting more of a traditional very piney west-coast IPA, but I was very surprised by the fruity notes in it. Very well balanced, loved it.

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

I was in the mood for a good West Coast IPA tonight, so I grabbed a 6-pack of Racer 5. A bottle date would be nice...

Pours a chill-hazed orange. A finger of dense, off-white foam leaves some lacing. Smell is a bit muted, but I get ruby red grapefruit, orange and pine. Bit of malt on the nose as it warms. Taste is much the same, with the malt playing a supporting role to the hops. Moderate amount of grapefruit pith and pine resin bitterness in the finish.

Feel is medium--very drinkable but with some heft. Overall an excellent, very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was one of the first ipas I remember that started to get that orange appearance whether it be from the use of crystal malts or whatnot, but it took on that first edge of an orange glow with a 1/2" white head. Aroma is nice, leans grapefruit citrus wise, seems to have those C hops going in a good old school way.

What follows is a citrus that evolves from the usual old grapefruit to taking on a very small amount of tangerine. As they have expanded their distribution, you can get a little more variety out of these, some have seemed quite malty relative to the hop bomb some of them used to be. Some pine in there too, never one to skimp on bitterness in this beer.

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Photo of mklmcgrew
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle in a pint glass.

L: Pours a hazy gold color with a tight 1-finger head that dissipated fairly quickly but left some decent lacing.

S: Nice nose, but not overpowering, with a mix of citrus & pine hops.

T/F: Nicely balanced flavor, with citrus hops up front and a nicely bitter finish. Very smooth mouthfeel.

O: Really nice IPA. Not the hop-bomb of some of the heavier-handed versions, but just very tasty and smooth.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From XXXII. In Teku glass. At home, back from Gines’ feria. Strong bitterness at end of sip balanced with an adequate amount of fruityness at its beginning that also lingers -even stronger- after it. I miss a more refreshing feeling

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Photo of Kevin_Langford
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great IPA. I've been trying more IPA's lately and this one is definitely one of the best that I've had. Golden color, good carbonation, decent head that hangs around for a bit (but not too long). Great, hoppy flavor. Smooth finish with a slight aftertaste of citrus, among other things. I'd definitely get this again.

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Photo of bsp77
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was super excited to finally try this. It is definitely a quality IPA and well executed, but in 2016, it is trumped by lots of beers. Standard citrus and pine balanced by toasted malts. Nice, dry finish.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pale Orange, smell is earthy fruits, citrus pulp, stone fruit, pleasant. Taste is also fruit, nothing stands out. Very well balanced moderate bitterness

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a fairly clear pale orange with an average head. The aroma leads with pine, supported by orange peel, grapefruit peel, underripe mango, and some caramel. The flavor leads with bright pine and resin, some dank notes, rounding into citrus peel, as well as vanilla and caramel. The mouthfeel is lighter than some West Coast style IPAs, and all the better for it. Overall I have finally found a West Coast IPA that truly works for me - not too sweet, lots of bitterness, great pine dominant hops with citrus accents and a few other notes. I can see why this is a classic.

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

Bottle sampled at home. Bright orange with a medium-height white head. Mango, papaya, a bit of grapefruit but without the bitterness, herbal hops and a very nice honey backbone. Medium to full bodied, low carbonation and a bitter-sweet aftertaste.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an IPA glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright golden orange with a moderate amount of carbonation. Solid finger of white head that settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A juicy and piney hop forward aroma with a scent of citrus fruit and pine. Upfront citrus hop scent of orange peel, grapefruit, tangerine, apricot, and lemon. Earthy hop hints of pine resin and grass. Malt hints of grains, cracker, and wheat with yeast. A pretty nice aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a juicy and earthy hop forward taste with notes of citrus fruit and pine. Ripe citrus hop notes of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, tangerine, and apricot. Earthy hop notes of pine resin and grass. Nicely bitter. Backing malt notes of cracker, grains, and wheat along with some yeast. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy and fairly oily with a drying finish.

Overall: A very good West Coast IPA. Good ripe citrus and pine flavor.

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

Poured into IPA glass. It pours a golden-honey color with a fluffy, two-finger milk-white head and lacing. Excellent retention. It smells sweet malt, pine, grapefruit, floral hops, and perhaps a whiff of caramel. It has a solid malt base with lots of fruit, both grapefruit and sweet apricot or peach. It also has the bitter, hoppy finish you'd expect from a West Coast IPA. It definitely has a bite to it. This ale is medium-bodied, moderately carbonated, and the 7.5% ABV gives it substance without being overwhelming. Overall, it is a very good West Coast IPA. It's right up there with the leaders of the style.

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Photo of PhilsPils
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

At one time, I thought this was a really good IPA but either I have been subjected to way better brews or this beer has changed. Either way, this will probably be my last Racer 5. Plenty of bittering hops but not enough aroma/dry hops to make it anything other than good quality middle of the road. Too many other IPAs waiting to be tried to get any more of my business.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a cloudy golden amber color with a thick, foamy, tan colored head. Retention is phenomenal and there are many sticky rings of lacing. Smell is pine, grapefruit, orange and a bit of sweet malt. Taste is the same, very flavorful. Bitter finish. Feel is medium and resinous. Overall a great beer. Fantastic West Coast IPA that was one of my intros to craft.

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Photo of crimsonfloyd
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong scent of pine. Taste is hoppy, with hints of resin and a mild orange aftertaste. Bitter but not overwhelmingly so and balanced by a smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of Buck89
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy light amber color. One-finger foamy head with nice lacing. Good aroma with orange, apricot, pine, and subtle caramel. Tastes like a great West Coast IPA - aggressively bitter with citrus, pine, and a balanced malt backbone featuring the hops. A great representation of the style.

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Photo of redbaron2005
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Normally when I drink any sort of beer, including craft. I seem to get an undesirable after effect, or tired feeling. Bear Republic Racer 5 DOESN'T HAVE THAT WHAT SO EVER! Not to mention I don't feel inebriated at all! This is a #1 in my choice for go-to brews.

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Photo of Roby923
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great IPA from Bear Republic. Very flavourful full of tastey hops and caramel malts. Definitely worth grabbing a bunch. It does have a higher ABV so it can hit hard!

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

More on the bittering end of the spectrum than the flavourful one, not that I dislike it. Extremely piney. A bit of bitter orange. Drinkable even if it's flirting with dipa territory

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Photo of SABERG
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a shaker glass.
A - Marigold, sunflower colored, fine tracking carbonation supports a 1' white cap.
S - Pleasantly blended between deciduous and tropical. a bit of sweet malt in the nose.
T - Nicely balanced, not palate wrecking, but certainly big hop presence, the malt base is a touch sweet but mates well with the hop bite.
M - Big to start then gently walks off the set stage left, carbonation cleans up nicely.
O - A welcome treat, well balanced and big for the hop chasers.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass best before 3/29/16 not very fresh unfortunately. Pours a slightly cloudy orange with a one inch sticky head, that leaves behind some attractive lace.

Smell apricot, tangerine, caramel, pine, biscuit, and grapefruit, pretty damn tame. That is probably because of the 150 days old it probably is.

Taste follows apricot and orange up front with some caramel and biscuit, and pine and grapefruit in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium plus, nice carbonation, not really dry, and good drinkability.

Overall this is not it should be, they should follow Stone and go with 90 days. I don't care that I know it is way past its prime, they should change the length of expiration.

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

Poured from a bottle without a date. Equally parts hazy and carbonated, a golden-tinted beer with some sudsy lacing and a thin, retained head. Smell is pretty average at best, basic malt and hop profile, not that pungent. But this was stored at room temperature so I could see how it may have fallen off. Taste is a little more complex with several different hops highlighting what is a very refreshing, semi-dry finish. A little bitter component at the end, standard of many good IPA's. This is simply a good beer. Nothing too mindblowing, but definitely like it and would drink it anytime. Cheers.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Better upfront to confess my bias: I don't like ale loaded with hops as an escape from the work of learning how they interplay with malts.
So, Racer 5 gets a brief review.
First, I had it in their brewpub in Healdsburg several years ago and that experience was good.
Second, this was on one of my lists.

I now note when a beer is listed in one of my three books comprising my classical beer education.
"1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", page 471.

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Photo of wowthatbeerisgood
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smell is mild and flavorful. At 7.5%, it's pretty strong, but you can't tell. Goes down smoothly. Very pleasant and mild. If I hadn't had Stone's Enjoy By DIPA last night, I probably would have rated this higher. A solid IPA. Now that I am in California, this will be my go-to 6 pack.

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