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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,294 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: 2,294 | Ratings: 7,530
Photo of Enola
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This IPA is super hoppy. The beer is a fairly dark orangish color. There was a thick off white head. The smell is hops all the way. The taste is very hoppy. This is about the hoppiest beer I have had. It is right there with Masala Mama and Asheville Brewings Red Light and Shiva. There is a lasting bitterness that leaves a nice aftertaste. The beer is very smooth and there is no indication of the 7% abv. Drinkable indeed.

Served a just under room temp. Many thanks to Dertbert for the bomber.

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

Pours a peach color with a foamy sticky lasting white head. Thick sticky lace covers the glass.
The aroma of hops filled the room as I popped the cap off of the bottle. Do I really need to say more?
Hops assault the palate and never let up. Citrus and piney. I'll still be tasting this beer tomorrow. Also a hint of peach laying in the background to stand this beer apart from other hop-heavy IPAs'.
Mouthfeel is good. The hops have a sticky feel and make the tongue tingle.
I gave this a 5 for drinkability cause I simply can't get enough of it.
Highly recommended and worth seeking out.
Thank You!!! Dertbert

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Photo of Callenak
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A staple in my fridge, about time I review it.

A - Pours a golden caramel with a consistent white head.

S - A hop tribute. Citric hops, with a little piney to it too.

T - Perfect. Lot's of west coast hopiness with out a lot of body and maltiness to it. This is what an American IPA should be.

M - Light bodied, good carbonation.

D - As I said before, this is a staple to me. If some how I could only be stuck drinking one beer fort he rest of my life (perish the thought) this would be it. I love Racer 5. I had a solid appreciation for beer for many years, but this is the beer that turned me into a geek. Thank you Bear Republic.

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

Back-to-back with the hop rod rye. The hop flavour in this one is over-the-top! You've gotta be a hop head to enjoy this!

A: Golden-bronze with a fluffy white head; only a little retention, but it leaves a nice lace.

S: Plenty of citrus & pine with a touch of floral hop aroma; a little toffee & candied fruit.

T: Plenty of pine & citrus hop flavour (the Columbus & Cascade provide a well-round hop flavour). Toffee & candy-floss/candied fruit; balanced with an assertive (but pleasant) bitterness. There's a slightly warm dryness to the finish, but the alcohol is really well hidden.

M: Slightly heavier than moderate body is pleasantly creamy & slightly acidic. Moderate carbonation.

D: Great drinkability (for the hop initiated).

Truly an all-round GREAT beer!

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

Slightly hazy copper liquid with a large rocky head. Huge chunks of lacing on the glass. Large spots on top of the liquid as well. Gorgeous.

Huge citrusy nose with a hint of piney hops and some sweet malty sugary notes.

Fabulously smooth beer. Bit sweet grapefruit hoppiness balanced by a smooth malt bill. This is a truly wonderful beer. Absolutely delcious.

Thanks to jj21 for this fine beer.

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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

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Photo of cbl2
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/30/2004 $4.99 22 oz. 7.00% No best by date.


Pours a lovely light copper with about an inch of white head. Plenty of carbonation adds to the beauty of this ale.


Plenty of hops in this one, as it should be. This creates some citrus overtones, though the predominating aroma is that of fresh cut pine trees.


A nice piney resin flavor hits the taste buds first, followed by a softening citrus sweetness. A nice dry woodsy finish wraps it all up. A good offering in the IPA department, though not the best I've ever sampled.

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

A- poured a little to hard and got a 2 1/2" close to white head. A clear orange copper color and looks high in carbonation. Head stays for long time and goes into a very nice big lacing.
S- Just loads of citrus hops. Not much malt just hops dominate the smell.
T- What can I say about this besides loads of hops. I'm loving it. Then you get a very nice bitter aftertaste while having the bitter taste in mouth already. I think I could pick up some floral hops also.
M- Full body, Light/medium carbonation
D- Great beer. It is one of my favorite IPA's. Really wish I could get it here.

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

Poured a hazy copper color with a medium sized off white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma was piney, and full of orange and grapefruit citrus. A very nice aroma. Taste was dominated by grapefruit hops taste. Seemed very abrasive with the hops and alcohol and a little more malt would have made this world class.

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

22 oz bottle.

Pours a huge head, off-white and real foamy, probably 3 fingers. Excellent head retention. (In fact, when I finished my beer, there was still a huge head at the bottom....In fact, there was still a head in the morning!!!) Pretty orange color and see-through.

Side note...I've been drinking this beer for years, and every bottle I've poured has has an INSANE amount of sediment, I mean chunky as hell, even more than Chimay White... THIS bottle, however, had a small amount of very fine sediment. Did they change their techniques or did I buy a freak bottle?

Smells of perfume. Pungent, fruity, piney, and citrusy hops all rolled into one.

Taste: bitter, but oh-so-round around the edges. Loads of fruit: ruby red grapefruit, tangelos, mangoes, lychee, fruit cocktail with corn syrup. Malts, including carmels, are simply along for the ride. Gives me the slightest headache from the perfumey hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth. Not overly sweet or heavy. Drinkability is very good. No problems here.

Widely available around here. I often overlook it. This one, and the Hop Rod Rye, should not be missed. Cheers.

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Photo of ThorsHammer
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a huge head into a pint glass. Dark orange in color. Fairly clear. Leaves fair amount of lacing. Citrus smell.

Bitterness not as strong as some IPAs. Instead, the beer has a definite citrus taste, although ending with a little perfume aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is smooth – appropriate for style. Well-carbonated.

Not the biggest beer out there, but very good. Well balanced beer, in my opinion. This makes it very drinkable. If Racer 5 were available in my area, I would definitely purchase it again.

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Photo of maundythirsty
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fat, dry-looking three-finger white head that thins out slowly but laces the glass pretty heavily and keeps the beer covered. Brassy coloring.

Smell is powerful citrus hops, a whiff of caramel malt begins to appear as the beer warms.

Hops in the taste are far more complex, with pine and spicy notes in the sweet citrus mix. The malt in the aroma improves in the mouth, too. The beer has an appreciable balance for such a heavy hop addition.

Middle-of-the-road mouthfeel, with a very comfortable alcohol level. This is a pretty drinkable beer for a serious IPA with plenty of booze. A winner.

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Photo of MLegendre
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: BIG, BIG white fluffy head. Disapates very, very slowly leaving lots of lacing. Golden orange in color with millians of little bubbles racing to the top. Head never goes away and stays until the last drop.

S: Hops hit the nose like a ton of bricks followed by some very zesty citrus scents. Enough malt in the smell to balance everything out.

T: Very different than any IPA I've ever had before. This threw me off guard. Taste is like a mixture of hops and sweet peanut sauce. Bitterness of the hops is very strong but not overpowering. The nutty malt is right along side it for the duration of the drink. Finish is very bitter like grapefruit, aftertaste is bitter, yet sweet as well. After awhile the peanut taste started to become overwhelming. This is unlike anything I've ever had before. This would go great with Thai food.

M: Medium bodied, fair carbonation, pretty smooth.

D: A very interesting IPA. This is definatly something I would get again when in the mood for something as odd as this. As good as it is, not something I could drink a whole lot of. It was a little hard for me to finish the whole thing. I'm a huge fan of Thai food so I'm pretty stoked to find something that would go well with it, though I probably wouldn't get this under any other circumstances.

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

The LCBO sticker that they put on every special order imported beer says this beer is 7.5 %.

Pours a burnt orange color with a foamy big bubbled head that never disappears. Sheets of lace are left behind on the glass. The aroma is hops first with lots of grapefruit and more orange that Ive ever detected in an IPA. Caramel and bready malts are also abundant. The taste is well balanced with some insane citrus flavors mixing with a firm, biscuity malt base. Aspirin and herbal bitters show in the middle. Pine resins show as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is roundly creamy and soothing with hop oils. The finish is bitter and orangey. The bitter aftertaste lasts for what semms like forever.

Yet another kick ass California IPA. Packed with bitter, citric hops and yet well balanced. Thanks to Volo for offering such great American micros!

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

A: A very clean, vibrant marmalade with loads of little bubbles wavering back and forth as they make their way to the top. Solid, two finger head of off white tight bubbles create a great top hat on a very nice looking beer.

S: Ah yes, westcoast IPA. Loads of healthy citrusy smells; grapefruit, lymon and tangerine.

T: Loads of citrus. Immediate tangerine flavors which stay with the drinker thru the entirety. Various degrees of grapefruit and lime along the way. HInts of honey and very minor caramel as well. Spicy, floral and Finishes with a solid bitter wash.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D: Solid westside IPA.

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

Poured a translucent, coppery, golden, brown with a small white head. The head disappeared rather quickly.

Aroma of sweet malts, oranges, and piney hops.

Sweet malt taste with orange and grapefruit flavors. Big orange taste up front with the grapefruit lending to the aftertaste. The sweetness is balanced by potent and piney hop presence. Ample amount of hops to feed my hophead addiction. Nicely hopped and extremely well balanced with the sweetness. The 7% is well masked.

Well carbonated with a nice mouthfeel. Texture is slightly syrupy up front with a little dryness in the finish.

This is a highly drinkable IPA, due to its extraordinary balance.

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

Poured a light amber with a thick creamy white head that stuck around for a long time and left a little lace on the side.
The aroma is like a freshly crushed simcoe hop cone. A bit of earthiness but a nice piney hop aroma with a bit of a toasty malt aroma blended in.
The flavor begins with a nice piney hop bitterness which segues into a very clean toasty malt flavor and the finish is very clean with almost no hop bitterness lingering. This is a superb example of the IPA style.
The mouthfeel is perfect for the style and It shows that the brewers put a lot of work into this beer as the malts balance the hoppiness both in sweetness and in viscosity.
I would love to have this beer as readily available as SNPA.

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

Poursn hazy orange-apricot with a huge frothy head that leaves intricate lacing.

Smell is citrus hop with excellent peach character. The malt backbone adds stability. Very juicy.

Taste is much more mild and balanced than expected. Once again the floral/citrus hop character stands out. Caramel malt and mild fruit add balance and complexity. Finish is mildly bitter and spicy.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Slightly oily, and very smooth.

This is a really good IPA. Very smooth and drinkable. Hops are aggressive, but not overpowering when compared to the malty fruitiness.

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Photo of vtfan77
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice deep golden color with a surprisingly modest head that dissipates quickly. Good lacing, as expected.

S- Lots of piney and citrusy hops in the nose with a noticeable malt sweetness.

T- A bit of sweetness up front before the hops hit with an orange rind bitterness. Toasty malt quickly follows and continues into the aftertaste. Bitterness is surprisingly low on the finish.

M- A little thin in this department, but still nice and smooth.

D- Very good drinkability thanks to the excellent balance. The ABV is the only thing that would keep me from making a session of this.

Very nice beer, although not in the realm of the truly elite IPA's in my opinion. Still a great everyday IPA that is good drinking and won't break the bank. Recommended.

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Photo of Viggo
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden/orange, thick white head forms, lots of lacing, great retention, head lasts until the end. Smell is rad, pine and grapefruit up front, pineapple, toffee, citrus, superbly balanced. taste is grapefruit and pine, pineapple again, oranges, maybe some vanilla, nice and full flavoured. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low to medium carbonation, some warmth going down. Very clean bitterness in the finish, great balance. Excellent IPA.

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

Pale gold in color with overly generous head. Lots of Belgian lace as I drink it. Sexy.

Nose is fruity with pine, maybe apricot.

On the palate the peachy/apricot/mango whatever sweetness is quite pleasing, and of course the blast of hops to round things out. Surprisingly very drinkable for such a big IPA. Fuller bodied than I had expected. Preferably drink this one on its own. No food please.

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Photo of uvascotto
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Deep, clear crimson-brown.

S - Hops and more hops, with something else that I can't quite put my finger on.

T - Complex, hops-dominated flavor but with a wonderful balance of flavors.

M - Perfect consistency of the fluid-phase, coupled with an appropriate level of carbonation.

D - A downright pleasure to drink and the bottom of the bomber is truly an unwelcome sight. This is what beer is all about.

Without question one of the best AIPA's I've had, and as a highly-biased drinker of AIPAs to all other styles, that's saying something. If you lie this one, Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye is also a winner for many of the same reasons.

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Photo of dbalsock
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a light caramel color with about one finger of white head.

Smell: Very citrusy, although I couldn't pick up any grapefruit like I was expecting. Also, the hops smelled raw, like they were still on the bush. Pretty interesting, but not overly enticing for me.

Taste: It tasted much like the smell, except it was more balanced than the nose let on. A malty sweetness creeps along the palate, definitely adding to this IPA by giving it some balanced character.

Mouthfeel: This brew was light bodied and bitter. Nothing in the mouthfeel stood out to me.

Drinkability: I found this fairly drinkable due to the balancing in the taste. Also, I didn't detect a lick of alcohol, which is pretty impressive for a 7% abv. For some reason I get the feeling that this is better from the bottle.

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Photo of FlyFisher2782
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer pours with an awesome amount of light and fluffy head that stays around a long time. No kidding, I got at least 3 fingers of head, with a conservative pour.

Carbonation in this particular brew was very high, in fact a bit too much for me, it interrupted the srinkability slightly.

As far as IPA's go, this one is a cadillac, very smooth, the grassy hop smell hits you when you open the bottle and doesn't dissapoint. However, the hops do bite you late in the palate and they give way to an ultimate finish of malty biscuit.

Definitely a piney IPA finish that is very nicely rounded out for a smooth drinker. Rare case of a very drinkable IPA

This is a very smooth and drinkable IPA, personally a little too soft for my tastes but nonetheless a good brew.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a golden orange with a rocky white head. Very slight haze.

S - Mostly piney hops with a little bit of grapefruit and grass.

T - Piney but the grapefruit and especially the grassy flavors become much more apparent. This one is very grassy in the taste.

M - Well carbonated with a nice dry/bitter finish. I keep getting these grassy burps after each sip.

D - A nice IPA that emphasizes the piney/grassy hops. This one goes down very easy for 7%.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,530 ratings.
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