Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,288 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: 2,288 | Ratings: 7,495
Photo of BierJager89
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Light golden with a small white head.

S: Citrus, particularly orange in the nose.

T: Orange, blood orange(?) flavors. Sweet, a bit floral. Some nice tropical fruit as well.

M: Medium bodied. Smooth enough for an IPA.

O: DELICIOUS! One of the better common IPAs out there in general, but fresh from the brewery the day before the very same batch was sent to the beer festivals, it's amazing.

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Photo of a0lbudman
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-hazy gold with a small white head that leave a little lace on the glass
S-pine resin, with a citrus aroma that does have a slight malt smell
T-grapefruit with a piney hop bitterness that gives you a crisp hop aftertaste that stays with you
M-full body and medium carbonation
O- great fine with almost everything I love in a APA

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Photo of leaddog
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle.

Appearance - Pours a clear amber/copper with two fingers of frothy white head.

Smell - Citrus hops, pine resin, caramel malts, tropical fruits.

Taste - Bold and bitter citrus hops along with pine resin, citrus peel, tropical fruits and biscuity caramel malts. Finishes with a clean bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slight stickiness left on the roof of the mouth.

Overall - A beer that does not fail to amaze me, especially since it has been on my "want" list for quite some time. Excellent hop bitterness and flavour by the mouthful.

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Photo of DMXLOX22
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Picked up a single of this brew at my local establishment, Civera's in Drexel Hill. Heard good things about this one from a few friends. Kinda excited. Let's see how this goes.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, golden color that leaves behind a nice 1-1 1/2 inch head that is somewhat thin, but also quite appealing. Really left a nice, tight lacing around the glass almost all the way down. Inviting.

Smell: Grassy hops is the most dominant smell that comes first upon checking it out. Decided to a take a second round. Earthy hops are still abutment, along with a citrus zest. Pretty much sums up a perfect IPA. Some maltiness backs all the scents up making it very well-balanced.

Taste: Upon first sips, a perfect blend of citrus hops, grassy, earthy, malts can be tasted. Second taste is a pretty nice taste of lemon zest, orange peel and some other fruitiness that really makes the bitterness stand out even more if thats possible. Very nice, good. I really enjoy the taste and the earthy hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, smooth finish. Somewhat dry finish. Good stuff. Well balanced.

Overall: Coming into this brew, it came highly recommended and I must say I am glad I chose this brew. Fills the palate with earth tone hops and an undertone of citrus flavors. Quite nice overall, really enjoyed this brew. I would totally try again and have already started recommended this brew to friends. Can't wait to try again. Cheers!

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Photo of delta490
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- a clear lighter gold with a creamier white head. Moderate-low retention but some nice lacing.

S- an appealing blend of pine/citrus hops and the malt backbone. A little on the mild side, but not absent in any way

T- not a big hop bomb, but the hops flavors are distinct and well-balanced against the malts caramel sweetness.

M- a nice full feeling on the palate with a slight bite from the hops

O- this is a great, well-balanced full flavor IPA.

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

Serving type: Bomber
A: Good looking copper orange color. Not much head presence.
S: Strong citrus and pine combination. Pleasant smell that tickles the taste buds.
T: Very smooth hop presence to the beer. On first contact it seems as though a large bitterness is to ensue, but instead a very pleasant bitterness carries the beer through to a citrus aftertaste.
M: Decent carbonation that coats the palate.
O: Not bad at all. Fairly cheap price and well worth it. Could use a little more complexity in the taste, but a worthy beer to try.

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

How could I not have reviewed Racer 5 by this point in my beer reviewing career? I didn’t even realize it until I started looking at the “top ___” lists. There’s a few omissions that I visit frequently and this, my trivia night staple, is definitely one of them.

The Racer 5 pours an amber-tan color, with a rich, caramel-orange-tinged hue. It has this wonderful candied-orange hop aroma to it, with an orange-heavy hop profile. Malty sweetness turns into a bitter piney finish. Dependable, reliable, and I’m glad I’m finally giving it its due.

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Photo of VinoGuy
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Golden color, pour with a decent head. Soft slightly sweet floral aroma of hops and suggestion of crystal malt. Clean taste with a smooth mouth feel and even balance between hops and malt. No overly present taste of alcohol. Hints of spice on the finish.

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

Appearance: Dark golden color light brown head.
Aroma: Very good spicy smell. Fruity banana hops aroma coming through.
Flavor: Spicy banana flavor, ending slight sweet and hoppy. This is a full bodied smooth beer.
Overall: This is a very flavorful smooth IPA. Has a very good spicy banana flavor, with quite a hoppy finish. Bold, smooth, delish. You can't stop drinking them.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a clear plastic hotel cup, honey amber colored with a nice white head that dissipates leaving good lacing, clear

S: floral and citrus, grapefruit, pineapple, bright light pine

T: bitter grapefruit peel up front, middle sweetens with citrus orange pineapple lemon, finish is bitter with light floral

M: medium with good carbonation

O: very solid West Coast IPA, good balance of bitter and sweet

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Photo of Isrealite
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best I.P.A.s, and one of the best overall beers I have ever had! This one is as hopped up as Rob Ford at a crack house during one of his drunken stupors. Much like the Toronto Mayor, this one will knock you down if you are not careful! The look and the smell are just as intoxicating as the brew itself. I would like to proclaim that it possesses the perfect I.P.A. aroma! I love the racer theme bottle and pretty much everything about this beer...except for the price unfortunately. It is definitely worth ten dollars for a six pack, but just as much as steak dinner is worth the price, it is not practical to have all of time. This is worthy of being called the steak dinner of beers, and I would highly X 5 recommend it.

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Photo of patpbr
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden colored pour with a small head
S - Big on citrus and grapefruit, a little orange and pine
T - great flavor that is simlar to the smell with grapefruit and citrus. Bitter with pine and a good addition of malts
M - lots of carbonation and a body on the light side of medium. Leaves a nice hoppy flavor
O - I had a bomber of it years ago and never reviewed it. I just found it in a six pack and will be going back and picking up another.

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

A- Golden body with a few floaters mixed in. Frothy white head that fades slightly, but stays around for a while. Very clear transparency.

S- Piney hops with hints of citrus and tropical fruits. Sweet malt presence is there as well, but the hops are at the forefront.

T- Piney hops with hints of citrus and pineapple. Sweet malt sneaks in about half way trough, but the pine and tropical fruit flavors take back over in the finish.

M- Medium carbonation, medium bodied, somewhat creamy, very smooth.

O- Very nice IPA. A great example of being hop forward, but having enough of a malt backbone to balance it out.

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Photo of hopflyer
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this before about 2 yrs ago. Actually a sixtel for my kegerator. Liked it but not sure why I haven't revisited now.

Bottled 10/13/13

Pretty clear gold/copper mix with some suspended sediment. Soapy head dissipates quickly.

Not overly pungent but hops are there in form of mostly orange rind to me

Really well balanced in the taste. Touch of bitterness, touch of citrusy hops, touch of piney hops, all backed up by bready malt. Some diacytl in the aftertaste.

Syrupy and thick. Coats the mouth from the first sip. could use a bit more carbonation.

I remembered this being really hoppy but maybe my palate has adjusted since I had this 2 years ago. Nonetheless, I like the balance in this and would certainly have again. My tendencies now though lean towards something a bit hoppier.

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Photo of berlinabb
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This full bodied 2nd Tier IPA is exceptional on tap, one of my favorites. In bottles it tends to loose some crispness. Similar to Green Flash West Coast IPA and Ruination, but I'd take Racer any day.

Anthill Pub & Grill sells $12/pitcher $4.50/pints

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Photo of pinyin
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Finally found this on draft at Newberry's Yard Of Ale in Stroudsburg. I had previously tried it in bottles in a six pack found at Key Foods in the city.

This IPA is definitely a top 5 in my book. I have never tried any of the Pliny's but right now I would rank this third in my top 5 IPA's.

Racer 5 reminds me of Stone Ruination but not as sugary, and definitely more floral. Has a very similar mouth feel and aftertaste, but less filling and more balanced. For whatever reason I really do like the flowery hops, and the hop blend in Racer 5 is very well balanced. Coloring isn't the best, nor is the smell, but it is a really great tasting IPA. If you haven't yet tried it, do so asap. You won't be disappointed.

I never took this brewer seriously because I always looked at the packaging on Racer 5 and thought there is no way that an IPA with a simple gimmicky logo could taste this great, but I was certainly wrong, and now this is one of my goto's.

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Photo of mick303
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Straw coloured with a juicy juicy citrus nose and dry limes. Taste is full on hops with a deep rich character, earthy, herbal hops and a sharp start and then a dry herbal bitter finish
Mouthfeel has a sharp citrus start then mellows into herbal hops and mildly nutty malts, mod carbonation. Good all round session ipa, quite bitter but nice balance and really fresh.

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Photo of Maltenbach
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From a bottle. Pours golden with a frothy head that dissipates to a one-inch rocky head. Good retention. Nice aromas of pine and citrus, but also biscuit, caramel and herbal tones. Upfront flavors of butterscotch, herbs, leather and grapefruit. Finishes with a hint dried apricot, citrus and some resiny notes that are less than pleasing. Noticeably higher alcohol content. There are some significant herbal flavors in this beer that don't seem to work too well. I was expecting a traditional IPA, but this is maltier and not as strongly hopped. Creamy mouthfeel that leaves a syrupy coating on the tongue. Not your typical IPA, and not the best IPA I've had. Not a bad beer, but it's almost as if this beer can't decide what it's supposed to be.

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

Yeah, this is the one. This is the one that you hope you can always go back to. Double double from In-N-Out (back in my meat days), fresh squeezed juice from Mother's Market, that girl that...yeah, her. It's always nice to have those "go to's" that you know will always be there. And Racer 5? Yeeeep!

Juicy, smooth, balanced like the Beatles in Stereo...

Go my children, go now.

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Photo of Glennlawless
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A - hazy yellow with a one finger head. Awesome lacing all over the glass.

S - smell peaches,grapefruit,Carmel malt, little pine.

T - wow this is good- it reminds me a lot of southern teir double ipa- hoppy as hell, but no bite at the end at all- so smooth. Just a citrusy pine hop bomb that dies right after the swallow replaced by sweet malt.

M- medium body, highly carbonated.

Overall, this is my style beer all the way- not over the top bitter at the finish but still super hoppy. This is great. Fresh it has to be awesome!?

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Photo of IAmAPenguin
4.69/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Aroma - Faint pines, grapefruit, hops, mango, sugared caramel.
Appearance - Really pretty yellowish orange with some great lacing.
Taste - Nice bitter hop bite with a really nice juiced grapefruit, peach, lemon fruity characteristic. Sweet orange peel, caramel, grains and slick syrupy molasses.
Overall - Really just a fantastic beer. It's my favorite. A great introduction to IPA's and craft beer. Just never any going wrong with this one.

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

From the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

Racer 5 pours a clear gold with a two finger head. The smell is hops all the way, citrus and pine and even with some minor allergies it just comes through. The taste follows the nose and there are malts present. Mouth feel is medium body and sticky.

A nice beer, but I fear my bottle was a little past its prime. Would love an opportunity to have this fresh.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Clean light golden color with a monster 2.5-3 finger pure white head. Impressive retention. I really like the look of this one.

S- Big citrus and some melon notes. Honey dew, grapefruit, orange pith. Balanced comes through with the malt base of sweet pale malts and caramel.

T- Follows nose well. A flavorful, sweet ipa. with an absolutely sensational finish that leaves me wanting more with each sip. So balanced. Could use a little more IBU bitterness, but don't mind where its at.

M- Soft, palatable, drinkable, mid body. Stays true to the style. On the high side with the carbonation, but I actually prefer it.

O- One of the better IPAs i have had recently. I understand why this one is so well regarded. It competes with the best of them in a very competitive class.

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Photo of tmm313
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is gorgeous. Bright amber color with 1 finger, creamy head. Great lacing.

Smell is amazing. Tropical fruit, tangerine, orange, malt, pine, and a little lemon.

Taste is hop forward, but you taste the malt almost immediately following. Good mix of sweet grapefruit and pine. Finishes with slight booze and lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is creamy. Gradually morphs into a sticky, oily coating.

Overall: Very satisfied. My favorite feature was the smell, but very well balanced as a whole. Would definitely have again.

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Photo of brewbattles
3.19/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

We did a blind taste test between this beer and 4 others to determine which was a better IPA. The beers that were competing were: Stone IPA, Big Sky IPA, Bear Republic Racer 5, Lagunitas IPA, and Full Sail IPA. Here is the video:


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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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