Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,315 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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Reviews: 2,315 | Ratings: 7,626
Photo of ocmpoma
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep orange-gold into my pilsner glass. Settled down with a couple of millimeters of foam which faded out. The beer leaves some great lacing.

The nose is strong. Extremely complex, with lots of citrus and tang and hops, and even some mustiness, all mixing together -- it's a great aroma, one of the best I've experienced in an IPA. And the taste delivers what is promised by the nose: a very rich, very complex and lasting flavor. The bitterness is not only balanced, but enhanced by the complexity of the flavors. There's lemon and candied orange and I get some mint and spices... it's a wonderfully rich taste that's hard to describe fully -- knocks me out with each swig.

The mouthfeel is just a bit thin for such a great, complex beer, but it's so delicious I could drink a sixer if I wasn't careful. An absolutely outstanding beer, one of my favorites.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my SN 30th tulip.

... OH NO! It says it was bottled only three weeks ago, but there is almost NO carbonation. It seems I will have to review this one from memory. Good thing I have it fairly often.

Smell: This is one of the best examples of how a hoppy west coast IPA smells. Huge citrus presence makes the pine take a backseat. Although the smell isn't particularly incredible, it is exactly what I am looking for as far as IPAs go.

Taste: No surprise here, tastes like it smells. Big grapefruit taste, some wet pinecones. West Coast IPA to the T.

This is made exactly like a west coast IPA should be, but unfortunately it just doesn't quite compete with the big dogs. Although, for the price, and style-wise, I haven't found anything that matches it.

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Photo of jboucher
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

75+ IBU's

Appearance: Hazy golden amber color with a very nice, chunky two finger head, which settles down quickly. Thick and chunky lacing. Mediocre visible carbonation. Bottle conditioned, although no visible sediment.

Smell: Very nice citrus/floral aromas on the nose. Nice hop/malt balance. Smells a little like buttered bread in the background. A little on the sweet side.

Taste: Wow! This beer is amazingly balanced. The bitterness is there, but it's not overwhelming. Toasted biscuit notes take up the rear while grapefruit, pine, spice, and other citrus notes take the lead. On the sweeter side as IPAs range. The finish is comprised of lemon notes accompanied by butter. I think this would pair very well with baked haddock sprinkled with buttered bread crumbs and lemon juice.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with average carbonation. Not dry, and not oily. It's right in the middle where a beer belongs.

Ending notes: This is one of my favorite IPAs. It's on the complex side, and it's very sessionable. I will definitely be getting this one again.

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Photo of GNWBC
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the few IPA's i will actually drink,

P: pours a hazy gold with a nice 1.5 fingers of head

S: pine hops, sweet citrus, and a light hit of malt.

T: pine hops, sweet carmel, some bitter orange rind. very tastey.

M: goes down very smooth, but leaves hop resin on the roof of ur mouth.

O: one of a few IPA's i actually enjoy.

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

Appearance: Dark/golden straw, with some particulates in suspension. About a finger of head that sticks around/laces nicely.

Smell: Starts malty (though not as strong as some IPAs) but then hints floral hops. Malt is not as roasted/buttery/carmely as others.

Taste: A bit more malty than some IPAs. Taste is good, if a bit sweet. Finishes with hops, but this beer does not emphasize hops like some others.

Mouth: Medium/Medium- oily, though with a bit more/better carbonation than some other IPAs. Pretty close to what I think is ideal for an IPA.

Overall: A nice IPA, skewed by living on the west coast. This is a nice, more balance IPA that probably appeals to a larger audience (though I admit the hops in any IPA are going to turn some people off.) That said, those of us on the west coast like to turn the hops up to 11, and in that regard this beer may seem as lacking. I'm sure it's a matter of preference, but I think I may have developed a Pavlovian response to my hops.

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Photo of PatriotsRule
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very hoppy, like a forbidden forest of hops. Yum
A: Gold. Ample head is essentially white and the lacing is sweet too. Great carbonation!
S: Hops hops and more hops! Oh so subtle pine and citrus fruit notes
T: Hops! Extremely delicious. A little piney
M: Crisp and drinkable. Hops are present throughout the experience
O: Fairly balanced if you love hops like I do. Other than the hops though, not much shines through in this brew... It is exciting and refined, very appetizing, light and easy to drink!

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

I have had this on tap at Publick House and Redbones. Both times I was pleasantly surprised. I was unfamiliar with Bear Republic and this was my first of their offerings. Granted most of this is from memory, but I do recall enjoying the well-balanced hop and alcohol. I did not realize that this was a 7% beer, the mothfeel is nicely rounded since the amount of hops and alcohol do not overwhelm the other. The brewer did a good job with the full flavor. They did not just hop-up a beer for hops sake

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Photo of lynx1245
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice golden crystal clear body with a white head that recedes quickly but leaves some lacing.

Smell: Sweet, floral, citrusy. What's not to like?

Taste: Nice mixture of malts and hops. Personally I think the malts win out on this one - a little more sweet than bitter. I'm really just nitpicking though, the hop bite is still there.

Mouthfeel: Not too much carbonation with a medium body. Doesn't finish as dry as I'd like.

Drinkability: Not too bitter, very sweet. All around a very pleasant drinking experience. I'll definitely try it again. I could drink this beer til it comes out my nose (in a good way).

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Photo of squirrelpirate
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bear Republic Racer 5 poured a clear, light orange hue with a pillowy white head. The aroma is packed with hops. Excellent citrus and pine notes with a hint of malt sweetness as well.

This beer started out with a sweet, bready feeling on the tongue with a piney bitterness. The hops quickly drown out the malt and power through the aftertaste. A very floral, clover taste lingers on the tongue.

Moderate body and and mild carbonation. Solid medium mouthfeel and very drinkable if you can stand the huge hops. An exceptional IPA.

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Photo of DijonKetchup
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 12 oz Stella tulip

Great coppery pour, good head retention. Excellent blend of aroma hops, very inviting. Could be tad on the weaker side. First sip the beer seems unassuming, but it proves to be one of the best I have had. Great bitter levels, not too much for an IPA, but enough to remind you this is West Coast. Great mouthfeel, plenty of Munich malts in this beauty. This has to be one of the best balanced IPAs I have ever tried - some piney, some citrus, some deliciousness.

Only 'weakness' if you want to call it that, is a slight lack of nose. Otherwise, The Poster Child for West Coast IPAs.

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Photo of Tinfoilrcr
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mentor for sending me this one as an extra!

A- pours a hazy gold, with about an inch of head from a bomber. The white head dissipates quickly leaving behind larger bubbles along the outer rim of the beer, along with lots of lacing.

S- I get lots of hops with a subtle malty and possibly a spicy zest in the background.

T- Lots of hops upfront, but the initial flavor is tamed by the malts that finish it. Lots of earth mixed in with the malts. Goes down very easy.

M- substantial mouthfeel, but very well balanced without leaning too much to any spectrum.

D- Dangerous. Good easily sit down and have a few of these.

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Photo of derekmorris7
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this on a whim..been eyeballing it everytime i hit the wine nation store. Very average in a good way.

A- golden with light soft head..haha

S- not a heck of alot of noticeable notes..lil floral

T- kind of bland lite hop kick

M- clean with a lite cling of pine

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Photo of awayne56
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours golden with a 3 finger head that dissipates quickly/
S: The best part is the aroma which is very citrusy, orange and lemons dominating.
T: Very hoppy up front with a dry finish dominated by pine. Very minimal sweetness if any.
F: Overall mouth feel is light, which is a mirage given the 7.5% ABV.it is refreshing and smooth. Slight burn, in a good way.

Overall, this is a refreshing beer. Tastes, bright, crisp, and clean. If you like your IPA to be hop forward with minimal malt presence, you will love Racer 5.

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Photo of LiamStLiam
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

OK, three-fifths of the way through the 22-ounce bombers that recently arrived.

I like IPAs and this one is very good.

Pours a mid to dark brown with a thin, light head.

Very nice, citrusy nose.

I am coming to the conclusion that the Bear Republic folks brew really good beer.

Very representative of the style and a well-done version. I could relax and drink a number of these.

Mid-range hang time and just a touch of metallic finish.

An enjoyable beer.

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Photo of RDAdams
2.44/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Serving: A 12oz glass at Frisco Burrito (a great pub) in Columbia, Maryland.

Appearance: It looked like any other pale ale except I've seen Industrial Light Lagers with a better head.

Aroma: It had that great IPA aroma screaming: "Hey, Hop Head, can you take it." OTOH once you got passed the hops, it said vegetables.

Taste: Disappointing. It tasted like an overhopped pale ale without a malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: Somewhere between thinner and thinnest

Overall: It was the thinest IPA I have ever tasted.

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Photo of jj139
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass

A - Lovely straw color with tints of orange. One finger, egg shell head which dissipated quickly. Long lasting, minimal lacing.

S - Nose this time around was rather shy but it did contain grapefruit, pine resin, and hints of malt.

T - Grapefruit and citrus first hits you, then it's followed with toasty sweet malt. A nice slightly hoppy-bitter finish really rounds everything out.

M - Medium carbonation and mouthfeel. A refreshing brew. Excellent balance.

O - A very, very solid IPA. This beer is very balanced with no one element overshadowing another. This brew is a regular of mine ... very enjoyable.

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

This is just a brilliant beer. The sunset orange color, the malt supporting the ample lemony hop bite, near perfect. Sessionable too, unlike lots of bold IPAs these days.

We accidentally paired this with Asian pears and damned if it wasn't the best accident of the day. The crisp sweetness of the pear helped balance the bitterness of the beer, dancing toward a mix of vanilla, banana and tropical fruit. Wow.

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

Pours very similar to the pale ale from bear republic, only slighter darker. Intricate balance between the hops and malts yet again from them. Smell contains a slight bit of pine needles, but really balanced by a heap of sweetness of malt. Lots of sweetness, richness and theres always a bitter side hanging on the background but really only stays there on the back of the palate. Only a slight bit of spice to the "piney" side to this balanced IPA. This beer is 100% a school girl that is smart as hell and down for doing work, and always good to bring to your parents house. Great IPA. Did i say creamy malts?

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

A- Very clear amber color. Not much head, little lace.

S- Pine, citrus, maybe some floral scents.

T- HUGE hop taste. Tastes very similar to smell. Pine, citrus (grapefruit and may some orange peel). If you want to know what hops taste like, this is the beer. Very refreshing... if you are a big IPA fan.

M- Kind of sticky. Very bitter after taste.

D- Not a beer I would ever session with. I bought a 22oz bottle and that is perfect. The hop bitterness is pretty intense. In my opinion, I would say even more so than the DFH 90min. Awesome beer for IPA lovers, will absolutely purchase again.
Highly recommended for anyone with a huge hop pallet.

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Photo of MURF0320
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden honey colored, minimal head but nice sticky lacing. Crisp piney and floral hop scent. Taste is much like the smell, very clean bitterness. Feel is smooth, light but nicely balanced carbonation, and finishes bitter on the tongue. Great beer to have a few of.

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Photo of Banger530
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It poured a golden orange into the glass. A solid white head with a orange tint. A nice lace all the way down the glass as I drank it.

I didn't get much from the nose. I was a citrusy and maybe a little piney, but not overwhelming.

The taste was citrus up front. Left a pine flavor lingering in the back.

A nice medium body. Light to medium carbonation.

Overall very good. Looked amazing in the glass. I didn't get much aroma from it but the taste made up for it. Above average ipa. Will get this again.

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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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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,626 ratings.
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