Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,309 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: 2,309 | Ratings: 7,603
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 InsolublePancake
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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Photo of mynie
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great IPA pour. Perfect, large head atop orange bomb pop opaque at the top and hazy honey bottom.

Excellent, eye opening layered zest hops. Grapefruit and citrus and caramel and pine all pour at you in buckets.

Tastes like resinous pine that moves into huge, giant grapefruit and then a more subdued dry hop. All backed up by a wonderful caramel. The hops are gigantic and the malt is perfect.

World Class.

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

I went to Red Bones for dinner tonight. Red Bones always has an excellent beer selection. This was served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden with a creamy thin white head that clings to the glass leaving nice lace.

Smell: A nice, strong, citric hop aroma is dominant, with a more subdued bready maltiness.

Taste: Sweet bready and toasty malts and an intense tart citric hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, tingly carbonation, with a lightly oily texture.

Drinkability: Very refreshing, the alcohol is also well hidden.

Overall: A very nice IPA. The toasty and bready malts balance but don't steal focus from the hops.

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

Poured a hazy light orange with a creamy long lasting white head.

Smell is full of intense grapefruity hops

Taste has a bit of light caramel malts, but is quickly taken over by the strong mix of Grapefruit, Juniper, and minty hop flavors.

Mouthfeel leaves a nice clean and refreshing feeling with a nice little coating of hops.

Tasty and easy to drink, a very nice IPA.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle from bleedingshrimp as part of 120/190 BIF. Thanks for the opportunity, been meaning to get to this one.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/4" beige head over the clear golden amber brew. Pillowy head lasts nicely, with heavy but sporadic frothy lacing. Aroma is lightly lemony hops with an undercurrent of controlled sweetness. Taste is upfront a nicely balanced flavor of grains and citrus hops, which slowly gives way to allow the hops to gain center stage. Mouthfeel is smooth and clean, and drinkability is superb. One of the more controlled West Coast IPAs, I like it.

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

Somewhat cloudy amber, finger of nice white head. A thin layer remains for some time, and leaves good blotchy lace. Fresh grapefruit dominates the nose, with some maraschino cherry, and muted darker notes of wood and damp earth.

Tastes mostly of grapefruit and pine, with some maraschino cherry again, and a slightly astringent, woody finish. Good bitterness, not over the top. On the dry side. No noticeable alcohol. A well balanced and refreshing IPA. Get a bottle!

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

A- Clear amber color with a healthy white head

S- One smell that stands out is strawberry

T- Piney sweetness

M- Somewhat thick with little carbonation

D- Easily finished a bomber and wish it were a six pack. Great IPA offering and one that I would pick up again, also a bargain price.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had from the tap at Sunset in Allston, Ma. Presented to me in tulip glass the beer was a slightly dark golden/yellow color with one finger of frothy white head and little to no lcaing throughout the sample. No other outright signs of carbonation were to be seen.

The nose only has a suprisingly subtle hop bill to it. The aroma is more earthy and slightly floral. Hints of hoppy citrus come through but overall rather tame.

The taste features a hop profile that is bigger in the nose, but still rather subdued for the style. Some associated bitterness but far from a stinging hop bomb. A rather hearty malt balance lends to a slightly sweet taste in the finish with some slightly floral flavors. Overall the taste is well balanced, a characteristic not shown by most beers of the style. Rather mild in body and hop character as well.

Medium body and crisp to the finish.

This beer is certainly enjoyable and certainly very drinkable, but it pales in comparison to others of the style. The beer's balance is quite good. I would have like some more assertive hop character and bitterness with this one. A good beer on the whole, but not high among my favorites for the style

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Photo of phisig137
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber color, with a frothy 2 finger head that slowly falls leaving behind abundant lacing.

Aroma is filled with citrusy hops, and a slight hint of caramel sweetness.

Flavor is well balanced. Not outrageously bitter, but solid amounts of citrusy hop flavor, backed by a decent malt backbone. Very enjoyable, and easy to drink. Mouthfeel is smooth, and bubbly.

Very nice beer overall, although I notice a trend in Bear Republic beers.... they all seem to use the same two or three hops. Not a bad thing, just something I noticed.

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Photo of JayTheFinn
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I finally got off my butt and tried the much acclaimed Racer 5 from BRB Co.

A - Deep deep orange body with a minimal but lasting off white head. Nice lacing.
S - Wonderful array of scents like orange, strawberries, grapes, flowers. One of the best smelling beers I've ever had!
T - Strong hop bite. Citrusy, flowery flavor. Good balance of sweet and sour.
M - Fairly full.
D - Very drinkable for the marvelous flavors, though I'd probably stop at one due to the powerful hop kick.

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Photo of wedge
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours orange with some haze from the bottle-conditioning and strings of carbonation. Thin, sticky, creamy head on top is a permanent fixture and leaves thin sheets of lacing. Smells very appealing - freshly squeezed citrus hops, candied and rich. Juicy citrus hop flavor with sugary malts to balance. Oh yeah, this is very delicious. Drying rind with a floral sweetness in the end. Solid medium mouthfeel with fine carbonation and a smooth bitterness.

A fruity, juicy IPA...all out hops yet, this is far from one dimensional. Pure, fresh squeezed Cascade and Columbus hop juice. Top notch.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,603 ratings.
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