Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,313 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: 2,313 | Ratings: 7,623
Photo of gonzo000
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a. Golden/orange in color with a two finger large bubble head on the pour. Yeast is present, as stated on the bottle. Bottle has best by date of 9/2014.

s. I get yeast, bread, a bit of pine and a bit of sweet citrus.

t. Strangely, the smell is stronger than the taste. Taste is a bit mellow, but rather good - just not strong. Yeast/malt on the front and pine - hoppy in the back. The 7.5 ABV is hidden well. Activating the yeast every once in a while is a good thing to do with this beer.

m. Mouthfeel was very good.

o. Lots to like about this beer. Truly outstanding - will look to try more Beer Republic offerings.

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

After over a decade of drinking this fine beer I have finally come around to rating this great, all-around, classic, West Coast IPA.

A - Outstanding
S - Outstanding
T - Outstanding
M - Outstanding
O - Outstanding

One of the prototypes of the West Coast IPA.

For me, this is a solid, classic, go-to IPA.

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

If you're rating this IPA sub-4, your taste buds are garbage. Great f***ing IPA. This is a top ten IPA if you know or drink them regularly. This is an example of why American micro-brewmasters are mad scientists who challenge the industry at large with a Steve Jobs cockiness of giving you what they like knowing that you'll love it too.

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Photo of 05Harley
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

#8 Best by 8/5/2014
Estimated calories - 225/12oz

Purchased through Lets Pour
Price - $7.40/220z bomber

Pours hazey orange with a frothy 2" head with strong suds that disappear in slow motion. Heavy lacing outlines the pour line and decorates the glass. This is a fine example of how a quality IPA should look, impressive.

The smell is initially malt heavy with an underlying scent of citrus fruit. As it warms, it begins to toy with your nose bouncing between floral, caramel and citrus notes. I cant quite nail down the dominate scent which is driving me nuts.

The flavor is top notch with mango, orange and spices draped over a caramel background. Amazing balance between a sweet and bitter sensation, very well done.

Mouthfeel is spot on for the style and the high light of my experience. Sweet upfront followed by a period of grapefruit bitterness which lingers just long enough before I thirst, followed by a warm dry finish which draws the curtains, amazing...

Impressive example of the style with just the aroma holding it back from outstanding all around.

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Photo of SteveB24
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

appearance; clear gold, thin layer of head that actually retains pretty well.

smell; very mild citrus and malt.

taste; pretty sweet, for an IPA. pine and citrus are upfront with lots of malt in the backbone.

mouthfeel; medium body, quite creamy, very mild carbonation.

overall; not bad, worth the 5.99 i paid for it. but wouldn't buy again. just too ordinary

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

Appearance: Unfiltered light golden yellow color, good white head, leaves good lacing

Smell: Hoppy, citrusy, a little pine and resin, and some toasted malt backbone

Taste: Starts with the hops, citrus, pine, and resin. Good amount of bitterness, spot on for the style. Decent toasted malt backbone, with some caramel in there.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation

Overall: A solid IPA.

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Photo of 57md
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance is a clear yellowish copper color. This offering is slightly effervescent with a finger of fluffy head that seemed to linger forever and left rings of lace behind reminiscent of a nitro-tapped beer. The malt profile seems solid, if not remarkable and the hoppiness is good for a single IPA.

This offering does suffer from an odd trace of booziness which makes it less drinkable than some higher ABV DIPAs that I’ve sampled in the past.

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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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Photo of Jnashed
3.77/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured in a simple pint glass. Date on bottle 10/30/13, so maybe a bit dated for an IPA but kept in a cool fridge.

A: cloudy pale orange. Moderate head and retention

S: biggie and citrus notes. Muted compared to others but maybe because of age on it. Still lots of orange rind and piney notes

T: yum.... Solid pine hop notes upfront with resin on the back end. Some fruit but not as fruity as many newer IPAs. Nice malt balance though.

M: nice full body and moderate carbonation.

O: Soild if not exceptional. Hits all the right notes of a good West coat IPA which of course it is.

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Photo of Premo88
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

L: light gold ... yellow-gold with just hint of amber up to light; not 100% clear (bottle-conditioned debris?) but mostly clear; big 1-inch head or more of mostly white foam, really sticks and a bit of lacing

S: grapefruit; some definite malt and grain, pretty sweet

T: citrus, grapefruit; some grain in there, and for an IPA, there is a lot of malt trying like hell to push through all that bitter hoppy hops ... impressive

F: smooth and watery, almost silky ... the bottle conditioning possibly could use a bit more time to push the CO2 into this thing -- it's not bad at all but watery all the same

O: I could deal with this beer any day of the week, but with that said, there are other IPAs I enjoy more. I can see why this is considered by many to be a classic, for it's easy drinking and plenty tasty -- and the bitter bite here is not a crazy in-your-face deal that ruins your palate.

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Photo of dank203
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

well balanced bitey Ipa. had fresh, enjoy by 8/24. from tulip glass. orange color, white head, smell travels , piney, mango, citrus, resin, dankness. flavor has all the bitterness it needs, fruitry citrusy and fresh , clean. lovin this, wish I picked up a whole case

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

Bottled and possibly bottle conditioned
Pours a burnished bronze body with decent enough white head
Big candy grapefruit aroma
Tropical fruit flavour
Good bodied

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look isn't anything special, orange in color. Typical look for an ipa. Malty with a hoppy aroma . . . Go figure. What this beer lacks in appearance and aroma it makes up for in taste. Oranges and other citrus flavors with a excellent bitter finish. Smooth and a good amount of carbonation. I like this brew alot. It's an easy drinker but still hoppy and bitter enough to make most hopheads happy. Racer 5 is one of those ipa's that got me over the ipa hump so to speak.

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Photo of watermelon
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Translucent orange body with an off white head decent retention and a fair amount of lacing

S: Pineapple, grapefruit and malt

T: Piney and grapefruit.

M: Pretty decent some booze as this warmed up.

O: Pretty damn good for the price. Its nice to see a bomber at a reasonable price.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12oz bottle into New Belgium globe

A-It pours a crystal clear light copper gold with a filmy foamy head that leaves great lacing behind.

S-The nose has an incredibly floral & herbal hop bouquet: minty, grapes, etc.

M-Mouthfeel is well balanced and has great carbonation

O-No surprise this is their flagship beer, this is a great IPA for a good price.

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

Poured a cloudy orange-gold with a thin white head that left slight lacing. A good looking IPA. Scents of pine resin, cedar, slight citrus, tropical fruit and sweet malt, a bit of an onion-like off-aroma as well, possibly an old or otherwise improperly kept bottle. Otherwise not bad. Taste begins with grapefruit, orange and nectarine, along with citrus peel, moves into a bit of nice pine resin and finishe swith bitter pine resin and citrus peel. A nice malt sweetness, caramel mostly, is also present throughout. The aftertaste is bitter and slightly grainy, with hints of caramel. The flavor is quite nice, not the most hop forward, nor the most malt heavy IPA, but it strikes a good balance and has a nice flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with moderate carbonation, an oily feel upfront and a sticky feel later. Quite good, very easy to drink and pleasant feeling. Overall this is an excellent IPA with a good flavor profile, mouthfeel and scent. I just wish the store had kept the bottle in a cooler so it didn't get that onion off-note in the aroma. Otherwise a solid IPA.

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

9-16-15 - On cask at Blind Tiger in NYC after Phil and Friends show. So smooth and tasty!
3-10-16 - On tap at Occidental Cigar Bar in San Francisco late night. Padron Maduro and a Racer 5 - what a combo. Good to catch up with Cap, along with Brendan and Carm. If Racer 5 was available more in Philly, it could easily become my house beer.

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Photo of lochef81
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This ale pours a orange straw color with a small white head and minimal lacing. The nose is a beautiful balance of malts and hops. The flavor is surprisingly deep and complex. Lots of hop bitterness up front but quickly followed by a rich malty sweetness. If this was the intention of the brewers than I say bravo. I think this beer may have sat on the shelf a little longer than normal but it seems to have turned it into an even better, more balanced ale than was originally intended. Its just unfortunate that Bear Republic has pulled out of Michigan. I'll miss this and Hop Head Rye.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: Hazy, murky tangerine copper. The off-white head calms to a splotchy film. Random patches of lacing remain on the glass.

Aroma: Hoppy and bitter, laced with spicy cedar and pine.

Taste: Hoppy up front, then a malt body holds up the beer. The finish is citric with bitter grapefruit coming through.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but pretty thick.

Overall: Pretty much a palate wrecker, loads of bitterness and hops. Pretty solid.

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Photo of ISmith87
3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 4 - Nice golden amber, almost orange color that has a fluffy white head on it that leaves okay lacing.
S - 3.75 - Grapefruit, citrus rind, pine, bready malts in the background.
T - 4 - Grapefruit, citrus rind, pine, pineapple, strong bready malt backbone. I like it, it's very classic, but I'm surprised it got rated 94/100.
M - 4 - light - medium mouthfeel, alc completely covered, aftertaste is hoppy bitterness with grapefruit flavors.
O - 4 - It's a great standard west coast IPA. However, if I was looking for something very special I probably wouldn't go with this one. It's more the equivalent of any given region's go to, every day IPA.

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Photo of Rast
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Round two of the Great Snowstorm IPA Taste-Off (Ed. 2014)

At least 1/4 inch on the ground. Typical, or perhaps archetypical, for an IPA: golden good. Bottle-conditioned and hazy as heck. Lovely foamy head. Nothing particularly smell-nice or taste-nice, just good ol' fashioned hop love. Bitter and balmy. Mouthfeel is especially nice: rich and inviting. Extra-sessionable for a bitter 7-percenter. Obtain multiple.

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Photo of Rob3408
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Has a nice hazy golden color with some nice sticky lacing to hang around.

Smell: A nice citrus, mostly orange, with a hint of pine.

Taste: A lovely, hoppy IPA. Not in-your-face hoppy and bitter like some but not too light and easy to forget either. A very well balanced flavor palate with orange and pineapple moving into a crisp pine note in the middle. Directly followed by a bit of caramel and finished off with a crisp hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, dry, and balanced, like an ideal IPA.

Overall: A great all around IPA that can be enjoyed slowly if you're in the mood but won't fill you up if you drink it too quickly. A beer that every good IPA should be modeled after: it's well-balanced, crisp, refreshing, and full of flavor.

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Photo of Hop-Droppen-Roll
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very glad to finally get to try this beer. Just had my first Double Jack as well, but as I was enjoying it with my dad and didn't want to be distracted by revew writing I chose to just give a rating - went with 5 - Hope to give a full review someday, it won't be quite 5 but it's certainly above 4.75

I always struggle to assign a number to the appearance of a brew, as I feel it's meaningless (will probably be the one factor that brings FWDJ down from a 5). Racer 5 looks great, but I'm not sure that it's 'perfect' - also not sure what's holding it back from that perfect rating either. Looks very good though - to hell with it - I don't want the look of the beer to bring down the score in case I decide I'm in love with it, 5/5 *EDIT*: Later, when I got to see what happened with the lacing, I decided 5/5 was a good assessment. Smells good but the aroma isn't knocking my socks off.

Now to the good stuff - taste. It's really, um, good (sorry). I'm getting pine with grapefruit, as per usual, but there's some nectarine in there as well, maybe a little peach, is that mango? I'm trying too hard. 4/5 - it's not 'in your face' but I could see it getting to be a bit much over time. Not a session ale, but I'm glad that the one bottle of it that I do have is a big one!

Mouthfeel is awesome - see, this is why it bugs me so much that my cousin drank it straight from the bottle - there's no way the creamy goodness came through. If you've had hopslam, there's a similar thing happening here.

Overall: Fantastic - thanks to Danial for sending this up and over!

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a clear amber with a one-finger foamy white head. Heavy amount of lacing.

S - Big amount of citrus, mostly orange. Some sweet malts and piney hops are also present.

T - Lots of citrus (orange and grapefruit) and piney resinous hops. Nice amount of sweet malts really balance everything out. Finish is mostly bitter hops.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Nice silky mouthfeel with some stickiness.

O - Very nice IPA. Well balanced with everything you could want in an IPA.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,623 ratings.
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