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 | website

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: 7,492
Photo of mntlover
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a orange color with a big fluffy off white head that leaves gobs of lace. Love bottle condition beers, like stuff floating in my glass know it might not be proper for some folks but I like it.
Aroma is citrusy mixed with some pine big on west coast hops the way we like them grapefruit and orange peel with a couple of pine cones thrown in for good measure.
Taste is good sweet malty to start then some tart grapefruit peel takes over adding citrus rind flavors that mix with the yeast to add a earthy like flavor in my glass to make a nice tasting IPA that finishes with a bitterness milder then the smell. Overall very nice could use a little more bitterness but still not bad.
Mouthfeel is close to medium nice amount of carbonation aides this fine IPA.
Drinkability is good a nice drinkable IPA from a good brewery can't wait to try their double.

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Photo of Crotor
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear medium gold with some yeast floaties, with one finger of white head with good retention and some slight dimples.

The aroma is all sharp grapefruit rind, big and bad and swaggering.

A quintessential west-coast IPA, the taste is predominantly cirtus hops, with a respectable but not extreme bitterness. I can feel a hint of caramel sweetness after a grapefruit-hop burp, but the malt feels mostly crisp, and maybe slightly grassy. Not exactly balanced, but not overwhelming. Excellent hop flavor without heavy bitterness.

The mouthfeel is light, crisp, and clean, especially for a 7.0% brew. This makes for dangerously easy drinking.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought in a 22 oz bomber, first time I had seen this beer in Salem.
What a beautiful looking beer. Really hazy dark orange with a fantastic thick,frothy, pure white head..lovelly.
Very "piney" aroma,quite fresh and enjoyable
Very very nice hoppy West coats IPA, very much bitter lemon tasting, not so much "grapefruit",below there is some semblance of malts, but this is a hop monster.
Very nice and invigorating on the tongue, refreshing to the taste buds.
Very nice IPA on of the best in my estimation..will buy again..soon!

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Photo of altctrlsdelete
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Finished my session with one of these tonight. Not billed as an IPA, which has led me away from this beer in the past. An IPA this beer unquestionably is.

Lots and lots of hops in the nose, with lots and lots of lacing left behind to remind me of just how flavorful and thick this beer is. Not something for those who don't appreciate the beauty and power of the hop, and thus something made specially for me.

My only complaint about this beer is that I've not tried it before. From now on, when this is on the menu and there's nothing new that jumps out at me, I won't have to spend 5 minutes deciding what I want to try.

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Photo of sweethome
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle. Pour- a nice golden color, with plenty of hops floating throughout! I grassy nose with a hint of bready malts. A medium mouthfeel, not quite as full as I would expect for a 7% beer. The hops kick right away. A nice british maltiness is in back, but this is all about the lush hop flavor and bittering. Alcohol is present and provides a warming feel. The hops really build. It feels chewy after about half a glass. Break out the lawn mower, there is grass on my tongue! This not just a cascade-laden IPA.

I wasn't overly impressed on the nose or first few sips, but this beer really grew on me as the hops build and entice for another taste. The alcohol presents well too.

Go speed racer, go!

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Photo of Troyone
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One pint six oz. bottle, poured a true copper color with a three inch head and some carbonation action, clear at first until I reached the bottom then the clearness turned into haze and then hop (minute) flakes.
Smells rich in hops with a sweet malt background.
The taste is unique with hops that has some tea background notes and sweet malt that is crisp with carbonation. The aftertaste does not linger in fact disappears however the hop notes still linger from the mouth.
The mouthfeel is not too syrupy with an even mix of carbonation that is more evident with the aftertaste.
The drinkability is excellent and maybe a session beer until the seven percent is too much before the not too syrupy taste.

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

Scored this bomber at the Whole Foods Market in Arlington, VA. Colorful presentation, but not much usable info on the bottle.

Pours a hazy copper gold under a 2.5 finger white head, thick and long-lived. The lacing in the first glass was a bit thin, but ample upon second pour. Lots of citrus and pine greet the nose - yum! The mouth is very prickly and medium-bodied. The taste presents a race, with distinct sweet citrus and malt contending wiht the pine and espresso bitter. Nicely balanced, this one is smooth and subdued, at least compared to some other IPAs. The finish is mild, almost fruity, but the race isn't over yet. The true dry espresso-grinds experience comes through in the aftertaste, leaving a delicious bitterness (and the one enjoying it) as the ultimate winner. Very interesting brew.

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Photo of clvand0
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper color with a medium head that dies off quickly and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is very hoppy - mostly pine and grassy hops, but there is some citrus there too. Caremel malt flavor with a strong hop presence. A bit sweet.

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Photo of IceAce
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light-copper body poured with less than one finger of foam due in large part to a lack of skill behind the bar. Lacing was exceptional (80%) all the way down to the last drop.

Aroma: Hoppy / sweet nose with a delightful citrus undertone. The high quality malt also makes an appearance.

Taste: Very bright foretaste with a refreshing role played by the CO². Light on the palate for an IPA with a very good West Coast style finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice malt / hop balance with a complimentary CO² level.

Drinkability: A pleasure to consume from start to finish...definitely recommended.

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

Appearance is a clear and orange. Good carbonation. The bottle conditioning (22 oz.) makes it somewhat difficult to achieve clarity at the end of the pour, but this is not a big deal.

Aroma balances citrus hops with a foundation of caramel malt. Has a typical NW-U.S. hops character to it.

Flavor is mildly bitter, but like the aroma, hops is balanced with a solid dose of caramel malt. A slightly astrignent aftertaste and bite in the finish diminishes the overall quality. Hop flavor weighted more towards pine than citrus.

Lots of body and lingering sweetness make it a little heavy, but also not bad for the style.

Drinkability. This is basically a hophead's delight, but it's also on the moderately flavored for an American IPA. For anyone attempting an American IPA for the first time, it's a good example of the style that won't overwhelm.

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

I first had this on-tap at the 2002 Oregon Brewer's Festival in Portland. I visited the brewery the next year and this year I brought a bottle back from San Diego to share with two friends in Florida.

As I remembered, this is a good IPA. It's a real West Coast styled IPA: nice and hoppy. My friend and homebrew partner Alec said he tasted blueberry in this brew! I can't say I tasted the same but there are complex flavors in this brew.

Bear Republic is a great little brewery and brewpub. If you live in their small distribution area I'm guessing you've already tried their brews. Too bad the rest of us can't enjoy their good beer.

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Photo of oberon
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Go speed racer go speed racer go,sorry.Pours a light golden with a orange tint to it as I neared the bottem of my bottle the chunks and floaties came.A very floral aroma poured a foot and a half away from my nose and picked up the citrus and piney aroma very tantalizing and bold.Taste is a hop heads dream but there is a firm malt backbone very piney almost medicinal in its hop character with a light nuttiness coming thru late.A hop fix for me really liked this beer wish I had more.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazey orange/amber colored ale with a nice off white head, no lace. A lovely hop boquet both piney and a sweet grapefruit intertwined. A sharp piney hops at the start of the taste with a smooth hint of grapefruit sweetness on the finish. Another good west coast IPA.

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

Bear Republic is becoming one of my favorite breweries, and it's all because of the hops. Anyway. Racer 5 pours an orange-golden with a fluffy, off-white head. Smells of big, piney, resiny, citrus-tinged hops. But there's also a sweet, sugary malt backbone. Taste is much like the smell. Nice, sugary malt backbone up front, followed by big, fresh evergreen logs, dipped in grapefruit juice. Dry finish, with lingering maltiness. Full-bodied, chewy malts, yum. One of my favorite West Coast IPAs.

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Photo of rastaman
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap, Toronado, San Francisco. Pretty hoppy and bitter, citrus rind, lychee, pine. Intense, but nice softness round the edges, and really good balance, which setes it apart from the slightly stickier versions of the style you find in the US, really well made and just plain tasty. Yummy stuff.

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

pours a crisp orange colour with a bubbly, foamy head that sticks all over the glass. smell is a balanced mix of caramel, other sweet candy, hops, bread, coconut and bubble gum. no one thing dominates here. the flavour weighs a bit mor eto the hop/bread side than the sweetness picked up in the nose, though that characteristic is still here in the flavour. starts out a bit sweet and juicy even, then moves into a touch of malt biscuit flavour before being hit with a full on hop attack that, while not huge, is a nice kick in flavour and mouthfeel. an overall tasty ipa from bear republic.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amberish color with a fluffy off-white colored head. Big sprucy, Columbus hoppy nose and some bready, grainy, caramel-like malt sweetness in the nose. Malty sweet and grassy up front and a hop smackdown that puts you in the Figure Four leglock and doesn't let go. Dry resiny, hop oily finish. Alcohol is noticable, but behind all those delicious hops, who cares. Finely crafted IPA, and hands-down one of the finest IPAs in the country. Bear Republic is one of my favorite breweries, and we've desperately trying with our Pennsylvania distributors to get in contact with these guys and get their great beers here. The sound of dragging feet is deafening. Good thing I stocked up on a recent trip to New York. I don't want to get to into the East Coast/West Coast thing because it sounds like early 90's gangsta rap, but this the real deal in what would be classified as a West Coast-style IPA.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, light amber hue, paper thin bright white head, decent lacing maintained. A decent hop/citrus nose, you can nearly smell a 1/2 pound of beautiful hops awaiting to be destroyed! Pine and citrusy offerings, very well balanced up front; the obvious hop presence is felt, thick and creamy. Juicy hops in the body, backed with a decent malt-base. Finishes a touch piney and dry, yet very satisfying, a top-five IPA in my book!

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Photo of Southernbrew
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark bronze color, very minimal head.

Big citrus hoppy aroma, balanced by the malt. Definite floral and sweetness as well.

Medium body, lots of prickly carbonation. Very crisp floral and citrus hop blend that quickly shows a light caramel sweetness. Becomes slightly bitter in the end and leaves a dry, citrusy aftertaste.

A very nice IPA, more than just the big piney/citrusy IPA's so common.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ample fruity hops are backed by sweet malt notes which make Racer 5, for as big a beer as it is, suprisingly well balanced. It's not about the IBUs with this beer, it's about the flavor, and Racer 5 drinks as though the brewers thought long and hard about which hops would match with this concentration of malt. Floral, green, and spicy at first, the beer develops into a honeyed, even somewhat grapey brew that fumes with herbal hop oil.

The bittering is almost unbearably ripening and unlike anything I've ever had. Instead of striking the back of my tongue, the beer floats right on by and the bittering doesn't kick in until this jet fuel hits the back of my throat. The latent finish from the bittering is oddly of grass and mentholated licorice.

This is a tightrope walk above an orchard of fruit and a pit of wildfire crackling pine needles; the wind is calm, the feet secure.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of carln26
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper, with a nice head. No lace to speak of from the bomber I had. WOW, citrus, grass, flowers from the nose. This is a hops forward beer. An explosion of fresh hops on your tongue when you drink. Because it appears so fresh, the flavor is of grass and flowers, with a slight bitterness on the back, It has a nice mild mouth feel, and a great dinkability.

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Photo of oggg
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a gorgeous brown yellow, with a tempting dense tan head. The nose is a little lacking. I get malt and alcohol and a little bit of hop aroma. The hop taste is also underwhelming. Lots of nice malt and a fair amount of alcohol. The hops are complex with a little citrus and little something else. I could not find a freshness date, so I definitely need to try this again, maybe on tap.

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Photo of dmbfrat420beers
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - 22 oz. bomber with racing flag background and golden bear. Nice logo. Hales itself as "an aggressive styled India Pale Ale." Grammar police would tell them that it is aggressively, as it is being used as an adverb.

Appearance: poars a thick white, slightly tan tight head. Slightly tanslucent, orange/amber hue. Nice, nothing special I guess.

Aroma: Hops

Mouthfeel: fairly light carbonation feel. light/medium body with a kind of interesting, silky? mouthfeel. Different from other stuff I have been drinking lately. Exceptional.

Taste: Definitely strong hop profile. I am finding it a bit hard to discern some of the other flavors. Starts out a bit sweet, then the hops kick in with very good flavor. Definitely some bitterness, but suprisingly in control given the overall hop character of this beer. Bitterness hangs on, very good in my opinion. Slight warming sensation down the throat from the alcohol. Felt like there was a little bit of fruit in there, want to say orange, but not really sure.

In conclusion, I don't quite have the expertise to say why this beer was particularly good, but stands out a bit from some of the other IPA's I have had. More balanced than many, has the taste I expect from a California IPA, but not quite as good, IMHO, as DFH 60-minute and some other premiere IPA's. Nonetheless, very drinkable, but then again, American IPA is my favorite style.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 22 oz. bomber, into a pint glass. The color is copper, with a thick foamy head. The smell is a nice citrus hoppiness. The taste is a more mellow citrus hop (Amarillo?) that doesn't completely overwhelm the malt backing. Mouthfeel is a bit oily. As for drinkability, a very nice IPA and one I could have several of.

Another great beer from Bear Republic. A solid IPA that manages a very nice balance and doesn't become hop juice. Quite good, and one I'd have when Bear Republic makes it into Pennsylvania!

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Photo of mschofield
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper-amber, filled with floating particulates. Topped with a two finger creamy tan head, leaves thick webs of lacing.
Pine and floral aroma. Notes of leather, pear, and peppery alcohol.
Wood, caramel, pine, floral notes in the taste, a citrus note, leather, fruit, and pepper. Not as bitter as all the hop tastes suggest.
Medium bodied, a touch oily.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,492 ratings.
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