Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,288 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:
2,288
Ratings:
7,495
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
17.42%
 
 
Wants:
343
Gots:
1,291
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,288 | Ratings: 7,495
Photo of CONOR8832
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Not a huge head on it 1/2" white head, beer itself had a nice golden color with some tones of amber and copper.

Smell - Strong fresh hop aroma, citrusy with a mix of fresh apple peels, some good stron sweet malty notes are present as well.

Taste - Blast of fresh hops, strong earthness, very floral taste, greatfruit and lemon zest mildly twinge the taste buds, then there is an mild apple like sweetness that finishes off the beer.

Mouthfeel - Nice medium bodied beer, good carbination, like most great IPA's leaves a bitter and dry after taste that leaves you mouth screaming for more of the hoppy goodness.

Drinkability - This beer has the wow factor. Great IPA with great hoppy flavor with a nice balance for sweet maltiness. Not a record breaker but an overall west coast IPA.

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Photo of baconbourbon
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer 5: bottle
Appearance: Dark gold/light amber with hardly any head at all. There is a minute amount of lacing and it is also rather murky.

Smell: Nice mixture of light citrus hops with a slightly sweet hint of malt.

Taste: Quite citrusy up front, followed by a much stronger flavor of malt than I am used to in a west coast IPA, and a nice and gentle bitter finish. These three elements combine to grant this beer a very well balanced taste.

Mouth feel: It goes down very smoothly with a small hint of carbonation that gives me a minor bubbly feeling in my mouth.

Overall: At first glance, this beer does not look spectacular, but everything beyond the look of it is actually pretty excellent. This is an easy drinking beer and I would have no trouble downing a few (assuming that I had more than one).

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

well balanced and drinkable IPA. Bittering and aroma hops are well balanced, pine and floral nose dominate with malt being overpowered by alcohol and dry hop character. Served from bottle and cold. Drinkable but quite heavy in body. Carbonation lighten the beer overall. Dry but not lasting bitter finish.

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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 Lenny2884
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a hazy orange-straw color with a huge billowy white head that latches onto the glass and doesnt let go.

Smell - WOW! This is my style for sure! Big hop aroma. You name a citrus aroma and I bet you'll find it in here. Slight sweetness but it's hard to get through those hops.

Taste - By the aroma I was expecting more citrus tones. I taste mostly grapefruit with a little orange. It starts off big but mellows out quickly. Seems to be missing something to set it over the edge like the aroma suggests. Good bitterness, could even do slightly more. Ends slightly dry.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body, good carbonation.

Overall, I cant get enough of this aroma! It's a truly amazing hop aroma profile. However, the taste just doesnt live up to the hype the aroma sets forth. Still a very good beer and one I will definately go back to. Cheers!!

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Photo of krausenman
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-The beer pours an amber/dark golden color with some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. It appears that the sediment is hops rather than yeast.

S-The beer has a strong hop nose. In one sniff, you can pick out resinous vegital aromas in the background that follows a ripe fruit smell that is further surpassed by the citrus aroma of domestic style American hops. It's complex to say the least.

T-You can taste and initial malt sweetness that is followed by a definate hop bitterness that fills your mouth. As you swallow the beer, the bitterness fades towards the back of the throat.

M-It has a medium body that is accompanied by a moderate to low carbonation.

D-The beer is approachable for a new beer drinker but still retains enough characteristic hop aroma and flavor to be unique. It is a solid example of what an American style IPA should be.

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Photo of Wisconsuds
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, let me say that IPAs are usually not my go-to style. More often than not, I reach for a porter or a stout. That being said, on to the review.

I've had this on tap as well, but will be reviewing from a 12oz bottle pour. Settled nicely into my Milwaukee Brewers pint glass. A dark golden orangish glow filled it immediately, with about an inch or so of white, foamy, crackling head. Glorious.

Fruity notes of pine, lemon, and a blast of fresh hops overload my senses immediately. The freshness literally packs a wallop.

The taste, oh the taste. At first, your tongue gives way to a piney citrus character. It sits for a few sweet seconds, then gives way to a sharp, bitter note in the finish. This beer is remarkable. So much complexity upon first few sips. Drinking this beer is like riding a carousel. Hops, sweetness, slight bitterness; repeat. (For best results, do not drink riding on a carousel)

A medium-body to the beer just makes you want to drink more. The perfect amount of carbonation here. Not overbearing as some IPAs tend to be.

By far my favorite IPA. Could drink these forever and not grow tired of it. Alcohol is VERY well masked at 7%. If you can pick some up, I highly recommend doing so.

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Photo of mckeowbc
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this beer at Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon in North Olmsted, OH. Was served on tap in a pint glass.

A - Racer 5 is clear and light gold in color. Mine came with a light foamy head that produced decent lacing on the glass. Overall the appearance pleasing, but nothing impressive. It looks like a much lighter beer than it is.
S - The nose on this beer is a little lighter than other comparable IPAs like Bell's Two Hearted. It has a nice piney, citrus hop smell with really no detectable malt.
T - Taste is much the same as the nose. Piney, citrus, hoppy with a little sour finish. The flavor reminds you of grapefruit. Overall the flavor is very clean.
M - The mouthfeel of this beer is light and crisp. The slightly higher alcohol content doesn't seem to give this beer any heaviness and really you get no sense of malt in the mouthfeel. Overall it's actually refreshing.
D - Drinkability is where this beer really shines. The lightness and crispness of this beer, combined with the citrus hop bite that isn't overdone makes this beer enjoyable without being tiring. This would definitely be a good session beer, although the 7% ABV might make it a shorter session.

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Photo of scotvega18
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Pint Glass

A - Poured a slightly hazy golden color with some yeast sediment and a thin off-white head. Standard for a bottle conditioned IPA.

S - Some great, great, sweetness and fruitiness. The classic "Bear Republic spicy flare" is in there, and works incredibly well with the overall citric mango, pineapple, and grapefruit in the beer.

T - Rather than being a "classic west coast IPA" that finishes dry and bitter, this starts out bitter and just builds to a fruity- and sweet flavor. The hops works so well with the malt that it ends up being very difficult to pull individual flavors out.

M - Nothing special, the carbonation helps the yummy nectar go down.

Notes - There are some who would choose to knock this beer for lack of complexity, but the truth is that this beer really is one of the great in the single-ipa department for how well everything is blanced and melds together. That may contribute to a lack of depth, but honestly, how complex do you want thing thing to be? A great example of a bottle conditioned IPA.

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Photo of PatDreadful
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Victory Tulip.

Appearance: A light brown/dark orange hazy body throws up a huge tight head that is sticky as all get out.

Smell: This is firmly a West Coast IPA. Lemon zest, grapefruit and candied orange dominate the nose. This is exactly what I was hoping for! I do detect a bit of the malt but my nose refuses to let go of those beautiful citrus notes.

Taste: Bright! The lemon smacks you across the mouth and opens you up for some wonderful pink grapefruit notes. There are hints of some earthier hops but they are never fully realized. The malt backbone makes a cameo before that oily bitterness creeps up on you. I have never had an IPA where the bitterness actually "creeps". Very nice!

Mouthfeel: The body is light and higly carbed. The result is a nice and refreshing pint.

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Photo of apants007
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

poured form a bottle into a pint glass.

a: clear reddish amber. light head goes away pretty quick.

s: a little orange, some hoppy burn. not much.

t: more of the orange. nice blend of bitterness. tastes nice without leaving too much to think about. kinda like a dirty orange crush.

mf: decent carbonation. thick but not syrupy. again pretty good. not great.

not going to be my beer of choice. not mad at it but not super excited about it either.

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Photo of Mooch273
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/8" head retention, light gold color.

A: citrus, but mostly piney hop aroma.

T: slight honey with hints of an over-ripe orange that adds a sweet citrusy flavor. Bitter pine after-taste.

M: smooth with good bitterness; not much alcohol presence; appropriate carbonation for the style.

D: Great warm weather beer; easy to finish several at a single sitting. Overall, a very enjoyable beer that I would be happy to share with friends.

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Photo of trpng0bily
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich golden honey, approaching orange, with a short white head and moderate lacing. There is ample yeast, tiny specks, suspended in the beer, imparting a regal thickness to the brew. It looks like what I would imagine to be nectar of the gods.

Piny hops, but with a distinctive sweetness that seems to be of the hops, not malt. Also a hint of citrus.

First and foremost bitter, crisp, outdoorsy hops that stick around for a good minute after a swallow. There is a breadiness to this beer, along with a slightly dry finish that goes nicely with the hop bitterness.

For an almost hop monster, this is quite drinkable. It stays crisp, with barely a trace of the syrupiness that bothers me in a lot of hoppy brews.

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Photo of maskednegator
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden. Agressive pour results in puffy head, which slowly deflates, leaving great lacing on the glass.
Smell: Floral, citrus hops. A ton of them.
Taste: Big grapefruit up front fills the sinus, mellow maltiness follows, balanced by a pine-sol hop bitterness in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, slightly acidic
Drinkability: I love IPAs, so this is an all-night beer for me. Others may be put off by the a lingering metallic finish. Some would think it's like sucking on a rusty penny, but I compare it to licking a 9 volt battery.

Verdict: 8/10. You can find this in many bars in San Diego, so I often recommend it to my friends. It's only a $4 bomber (insane for a bottle-conditioned beer). Reserve a little in the bottle, and drink it separately. Yeast is good for you

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

My oh my I love Racer 5.

I have this frequently both from a 22oz bottle at Enoteca and on tap at Capone's.

Both from bottle and on tap it's appearance is exceptional. It's color is a bright vibrant golden orange that seems not content to sit in the glass. It's full frothy head beckons to be sipped.

Racer 5's aroma is room filling. It's a buoyant citrus full of grapefruit, tangerine with mild pine notes at the back.

The taste follows the aroma perfectly, filling the mouth with strong rich American hops. A bold grapefruit/citrus blast with bright spots of pine, orange peel and tangerine. The malt backs up the hops but doesn't take away anything. It's like a framework for the hops to rest on. Just wonderful

Mouthfeel is full and satisfying and it's drinkability has been tested and proven outstanding many MANY times.

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Photo of Briarscratch
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thank you Bonsreeb85 for this incredible IPA.

Cloudy orange, big aggressive head, leaving thick sticky lace all over the place.

Stong grapefruit and piney hop aroma, smells very strong and resiny.

Oh sweet sweet nectar of the beer gods! Its like a hop orgy in my mouth. Beautifully flavorful and balanced. Bitter citrus packing a little after burn from the alcohol but it's good.

Smooth, light, crisp.

Drinkability? YES YES YES. I've now officially got my buzz on! I really wish I had another.

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Photo of alf212
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden yellow. Small but persistent head.

Smells florally with a buncha citrus

Tastes like the nose with a little malt coming in the middle. Bitterness is moderate and leaves a nice aftertaste. It's more citrusy than florally taste wise

Mouthfeels nice n slick nearly chewy. Goes down easy

Overall good IPA. Typical flavors done well

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Photo of centbeerfest
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass at home

A: cloudy with a light caramel/pumpkin color. Short head and compact bubbles

S: hoppy but not overwhekming.

T: crisp with a bit on the heavy side of hops. sour finish with lingering bitterness

M: hearty and will stand on its own

D: Little unbalanced on the hoppy side. Serious beer that won't leave you underwhelmed. As good on the last sip as the first.

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Photo of beerdrinker4life
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got to pick up an extra big 22 oz bottle of this stuff when I was in Rhode Island. Excited to try it after the clerk told me it was big on hop flavor!

For some reason my pour was almost flat. I swirled the bottle and agitated it a bit more then poured. Helped a little.

Nice hop aroma! Super citrus and flower smells like a perfume almost. Very sexy.

Taste was more malt than I expected. Good balance though. Seemed more intimidating in the nose.

Great mouthfeel on first few sips. Best when cold in my opinion.

Overall a good IPA. I think I like the Smutty better.

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Photo of RedBeerchetta
4.89/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap recently and was taken aback at how fresh the hops smelled and tasted. I was at the Dogfish Head brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, MD recently and had their 90 minute IPA that had been put through "Randall the Enamel Animal" (look it up if you don't know of it). I had never tasted a brew with such a fresh hop smell and taste. This glass of Racer 5 was second to that. It was so fresh tasting (pine, herbaceous hop scent) that I had to ask if they had a Randall (the used to, but don't anymore).

Racer 5 has always been one of my favorite IPAs but this keg was outstanding. Hoppy without being very bitter (though that would be ok). A unique and special IPA that would please hopheads and newbies alike.

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Photo of imperialstout27
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pub glass.

A: Nice golden orange with off-white 1 finger head. Hazy with a little bit of very tiny fuzz floating around. Head dissipates in a couple minutes and leaves a decent collar that remains throughout. Medium lacing.

S: Lemony citrus. Also some tangerine. Sweet maltiness lightly appearing under the hops.

T: Hell ya! Very juicy hop flavors with a good malt structure that's not overly malty. The hops are very forward but nicely balanced for the style. The sweetness knows just how to be the canvas without usurping the stage from the very prominent hops. The hop profile of this IPA really works for my palate; it's not super bitter, but it is super flavorful with a nice spicy, resinous characteristic. Alcohol asserts itself as it warms. There's also an enjoyable graininess in the aftertaste, along with the predictable bitterness.

M: Very nice feel that's medium to full for the style. Unlike some IPAs, there's actually some grain in this recipe. Smooth on the palate with an adequate carbonation level.

D: Quite high, although it can get a little sweet and boozy as it warms. But at optimal temperature, I can easily drink the bomber and more.

Overall, a very good IPA that has a good malt backbone without being overly sweet. Delicious hop profile.

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Photo of saztheorybook
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Beautiful golden brown with a thick yellow-cake head that drops off pretty quickly but leaves some pretty nice lacing.
S- Reeks of fresh hops, spicy and herbal with the tiniest fruit character.
T-There is a surprisingly deep malt character, a low hop bitterness but loads of fruit and floral tastes in the hop itself. A nice rounded and subtle yeastiness is there in back as well.
M-Pretty smooth and rich. For the number of streams of bubbles on this beer, there is very little carbonation bite. This is how I dig 'em.
D- Dangerously quaffable. Now I know why people talk about this one so much. I'd probably take a 90 Minute over this, but for the price, yeah, I'll have another twelve.

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Photo of fbinla
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours white head that dissipates very quickly, amazingly clear light amber color. Nice bold hop smell. Strong but controlled bitterness, then easy malt flavors followed by the pine/citrus bitterness that lingers in your mouth with a touch of sweetness. Mouth feel is good, if the bitterness wasn't keeping it under control you could say it's slightly syrupy. Carbonation is perfect.

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Photo of Buggabeer
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow this is a very good IPA! The color is a nice amber with a nice head which quickly diminishes leaving a beatiful lacing around the glass. The smell is awesome not over powered by hops as some others do. The taste is exceptional one of the best IPA's I've had. I wish I had another one however sadly I don't. This beer is truely worth getting.

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Photo of Reeks
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I was fairly new to the craft beer world when I was introduced to Racer 5. That was over 6 years ago and this beer has been a staple in my rotation.
It has a harsh bite at first sip. Nothing subtle about the boldness of its flavor.
The texture gets stickier as the temperature drops. Its very sweet and bitter all at once and leaves a very hoppy after taste.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,495 ratings.
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