Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
7,678 Ratings
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
Ratings:
7,678
Reviews:
2,328
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
9.55%
 
 
Wants:
349
Gots:
1,399
For Trade:
8
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,678 |  Reviews: 2,328
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Knapp85
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 was a beer that a friend of mine suggested that I try. I ran to my local Wegman's and grabbed a bomber of it the next day. Opened it up and it poured out as a really nice yellowish gold color. The head a lacing were very nice. The smell of the beer was really hoppy for just a regular IPA. The taste was also much hoppier than I expected it to be, lots of citrusy pine flavors that fade into a strong bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very drinkable. Overall this beer kicks ass. I could drink this one over and over again. I'd love to try Racer X one day.

 566 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to trying this beer, been hearing about it forever.

Had on tap at Max's in Baltimore. Nice golden orange color, very pungent hoppy smell.. always a good sign. Nice and bitter and the hops are definitely upfront, but manages to stay well balanced and makes for a smooth beer that's dangerously drinkable. A very good IPA and worthy trying for sure.

 367 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of metter98
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured clear golden amber with a thin, white head. A moderate level of carbonation is visible and the head quickly dissipates into lacing on the surface.
S: There is a moderate aroma of citrusy, piney hops.
T: Like the smell, bitter piney hop flavors dominate the flavors, but these do not overpower the taste and are balanced to some degree by the underlying hops.
M: The beer feels medium-bodied on the palate and there is lots of dryness in the finish.
D: If you drink this before it warms up, any hint of alcohol is completely masked. The beer packs a lot of punch in the way of flavor and is very drinkable.

 624 characters

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

I am very impressed with this brewery so far. Not distributed to my area, I have to pick these up when I travel to Ohio. So far, every beer from this brewery has been finely attenuated, but rich in proteins and all have supurb head retention / formation. Racer X is no exception. The onset brings a rich, but clean looking copper / amber color, thick foamstand, and lively co2. The beer takes on a rich, biscuity malt character in the aromas and flavors. I was really impressed with the clean attenuation, with no harshness-- a perfect balance. Great hop balance for IPA-- I would prefer a stronger sharper hop influence, but I think I got an aged bottle where the hops have settled out a bit. At any rate, this is a truely expressive, hop-oriented IPA. Citrus notes hinge more on oranges than grapefruits due to the sturdy malt base and ester profile. Very full to the palate, again close to a Double IPA. The finish is very clean, crisp, and cracker-like, but with a long dry hop flavor and a touch of caramel. An extremely nice beer. I'll take a few points off because of the sediment in the bottle which may come from too much age, but look forward to trying a fresher bottle.

 1,180 characters

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

22oz bottle. I've heard about this brewer being a leader in the West Coast way, so I jumped at the opportunity to procure some of this whilst checking out the retail beer scene in friendly Austin, Texas a few weeks ago. Best not to let the purported goodness of the style fade away by neglecting it, so here we go, into an American pint glass it is.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber colour, with a few fingers of thick, puffy, and rocky off-white head, which persists for a good while, slowly leaving a solid ring of webbed lace around the glass.

It smells of big grapefruit and blood orange citrus rind, a slight earthy chalkiness, bready caramel malt, and a little bit of pine resin and leafy green character in there too. The taste is a big ol' smack of juicy citrus and acrid piney hops up front, followed by a sturdy caramel malt, and more testy piney, leafy, and floral hoppiness dancing the Watusi on my tastebuds, all.

The carbonation is quite moderate in its coddling frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and mostly smooth, with a small airy creaminess coming on-line as things warm up a tad. It finishes off-dry, with any warming from the elevated alcohol hard to discern: I'm just too warm and fuzzy from an early onset hop coma.

Racer 5 is indeed tasty, and obviously unbalanced (in an arguably good way), due in part to all that hop bitterness. But as I progressed, and became accustomed to it, the sweet malt offset became much more evident. This slow to arrive je ne sais quoi certainly makes for a decent drinkability, once suitably primed, as it were.

 1,606 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7% ABV confirmed. Bottled 03/21/13. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard branded silver pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've had some great beers from this brewery before, and this has a great reputation - plus it's fresh.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger vibrant beige colour head of nice cream, nice thickness, and good (~5 minute) retention for the fairly high ABV. Body colour is a vibrant clear translucent pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. About what I'd expect from a good beer in the style, though the colour could be fuller and more vibrant. Light even lacing as the head recedes. Excited to try this. No overt flaws in the appearance.

Sm: Lovely varied floral hop notes. Hop oil. Nectary hops. Pale malts. Grassy character. Light pine. The oily hop character (Columbus) is dominant - just what I want from a good IPA. Well hopped and balanced. Pleasant, fresh, appealing. This is exactly what an IPA should smell like. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Very inviting. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Great stuff. Oily hop notes mix well with lighter nectary hop notes and moderate floral hop character. The body is simple flavorful pale malts, lending it a refreshing taste. It lacks the citrusy gush I want it to have, but it's well constructed and damn well balanced across the board, with hardly any hop bitterness coming through at all. What little hop bitterness there is comes through just a bit on the climax and in the third act; it's not perfect balance but it's impressive. No yeast character comes through, nor does any alcohol. Lightly grassy, highlighting the pale malts. Love the hop choices here - especially columbus. I'd like to see what amarillo does to the flavour profile. Beautifully balanced, beautifully executed. A tasty IPA with good depth of flavour, complexity, and subtlety. This is how you brew an IPA.

Mf: Soft, smooth, oily, a bit nectary, and wet. Refreshing. Lightly crisp. Feels custom-tailored to the flavour profile. Perfect carbonation. Very well executed, evoking care and effort.

Dr: Damn drinkable. I'll definitely be getting more of this and will happily buy it by the six pack. If I bought beer I'd already tried on a regular basis, this would be right up there - or probably above - Lagunitas as my IPA mainstay. Up there with Sculpin in terms of quality and availability. Bravo, Bear Republic. I'm beating myself up over waiting so long to review it. This is how an IPA ought to be: balanced and flavorful, with subtlety and complexity. Very well done.

B+ / VERY GOOD

***
08/24/16 2nd impression:

Racer 5 is a go-to IPA of mine, a stellar brew that bests others in its category.

Fruity without venturing too deep into tropical territory. Floral, balanced, and slightly resinous. Slightly oily hops.

Refreshing and approachable.

B+

 3,046 characters

Photo of oline73
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear golden amber color. There is a two finger off white head of which a layer remains.

Smell: Sweet citrus hops dominate with some mild herbal notes. Some of the sweetness comes from the malt.

Taste: Citrus hop bitterness hits the tongue pretty hard initially. There is some sweet malt in the background. The flavor is a bit peppery and the finish is bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and an appropriate level of carbonation. There isn't any dryness at all.

Drinkability: This is a very good beer. I really like the hop profile and will visit it again.

 619 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a thick, rocky head that leaves great lacing

Smell: Cascade grapefruit and a bit of crystal malt caramel, underneath

Taste: Lays down a malty backbone that is quickly joined by bitter and citrusy tones; a touch of residual sweetness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body, slightly sticky, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An all around fine IPA; not out there like some more recent IPA concoctions but excellent, nonetheless

 485 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft countless times at the Maproom, it's a classic IPA in my mind.

12 oz. bottle poured into a tapered Hamms goblet.

Glowing sunset orange, darker in the center, fading to gold around the edges. Slightly hazed with micro sediment, otherwise it has some good clarity. Frothy, sticky head on it, sheets of lacing around the edges. Retains a good skim for the duration of the glass.

Light hoppy aroma, fruity cantaloupe, mellow sweet pale malts.

Fruity notes lead off, melon or cantaloupe again, some resinous bitter hops in the middle giving it a dry grassiness in the finish. The fruit lingers behind it, which is a nice combination. Medium bodied, almost slippery, not too heavy or sweet. Easy to have another if so inclined. Today I just have a single for the purpose of this review. Will drink again many times hopefully...

 847 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (Courtesy of Hogtownharry): Poured a dark beige color ale with a big foamy head with good retention. Aroma of fresh citrusy hops is totally dominating. Taste is also dominated by fresh C-hops and can be best describe as chewing on a grapefruit. This is truly the most ‘’grapefruit’’ I have experience in an IPA. While this is a very interesting beer, it is also a one-dimensional beer lacking complexity IMO.

 419 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of zeff80
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear orange color with flecks of red. It had a soapy, white, one-finger head that left nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled of floral, sweet hops, almost candy-like. It also had a malty aroma.

T - It tasted very sweet with a citrusy hop kick. It was well-balanced between the hops and malt.

M - This beer was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D- This is a very good IPA. I loved the smell and it was well-balanced, not overpowering.

 465 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden-amber, transparent with a long-lasting head.

Smell: Citric hops with a sweet, malty backbone - it's like a ripe grapefruit.

Taste: Slightly grainy and bready. Lots of hops, but they're by no means overpowering. They have a nice citrus quality, sharp but balanced, with a subdued but distinct sweetness in the background.

Mouthfeel: Pretty much perfect for the style. Medium-bodied, very crisp, fine bubbles, not at all harsh.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable, but not exactly sessionable due to the fairly high ABV.

 536 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled recently as my local store got a fresh case a couple weeks ago. Pours slightly hazy and cloudy golden amber color with a nice 2 finger dense off white head with fantastic retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some decent lacing on the glass. Aromas of big pine, grapefruit, herbal, lemon, caramel, and toasted bread. Very nice and well balanced aromas. Taste of big grapefruit, lemon zest, herbal, pine, light caramel, honey, spiciness, and toasted biscuit. Good amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pine, herbal, citrus, and honey on the finish for a bit. Great balance of sweetness and bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Very smooth to drink at 7%, with only a slight alcohol warming after the finish. Overall this is a very excellent IPA offering. Great balance, hop flavor, and smooth drinking. At 6 bucks a bomber I really have no complaints.

 964 characters

Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Boone757
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,678 ratings.
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