Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...

Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale
7,711 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,711 |  Reviews: 2,338
Photo of paxchristi
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an ever so slightly hazy light amber color with sun yellow hues. Below average head retention, but I can see that if head were present, it would pour a good looking IPA. I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt, because I've seen Racer 5 pour excellent head.

Smell: Pretty intense hops for an IPA that doe snot claim DIPA status. Floral hops at that. I catch hints of honey, citrus, pineapple, and a sweet malty backbone-- though it is a faint backbone. But I like it that way; balance while still going for the hophead appeal.

Taste: Earthy, floral, piney hops, tropical citrus, and a slightly dry bitter finish. Smells like quality fruits...rich more than sticky. As it warms, the dry seems to stick a bit more.

Overall: Way above average for an American IPA, and definitely true blue to the west coast IPA style. Its a prime west coast IPA flavor. A palate destroyer. Will drink more before I decide if I will seek this out again. Its a total "go to" beer. I don't like it more than Two-Hearted, but its a close second as far as "go to" IPAs go.

 1,069 characters

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: a fingers worth of head that did last to long. a golden yellow that was hazy.

Taste: hops are the first bitter taste(hint IPA) but it dials more towards the hops. a floral hint in the end comes to me.

Mouthfeel: a mild burn, but good and flavorful aftertaste.

Overall: a good everyday IPA. I would like to keep a case of 12oz bottles if it wasn't so hard to get by me. the bombers are abundant, but I like the single servings.

 488 characters

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

Clear orangey-amber color with a 1 finger bubbly white head with good retention and lacing.

Very delightful floral hops on the nose with light citrus, orange zest and caramel malt.

Flavor has a nice sweet caramel malt character balanced very nicely with floral hop notes and a candy-like sweet finish.

Light-med. bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Overall I've had this a few times and I really like it along with every other Bear Republic beer I've had. This one didn't seem quite as fresh as others I've had in the past but still a very nice beer.

 564 characters

Photo of Humulus85
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go to tjkinate for this one...

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my trusty nonic. Produced a very nice, fluffy, white, two-finger head. Good retention that left some sticky lace rings after each sip. It's a slightly hazed, honey gold.

Smells of fruity hops; citrus and tropical, maybe a touch of pine. There is some bready malt stashed away behind the hop that lends a welcome sweetness to the nose.

Tastes like it smells, good. Grapefruit and tropical fruit upfront, with a nice sweet malty middle balanced out by moderate to low bitterness. The finish is still dry with a touch of piney hop.

Mouthfeel is relatively heavy. It seems a lot of brewers are trying to make their IPAs really light and carbonated. Racer 5 seems more traditional in that it is moderately thick and moderately carbonated. It's a good thing.

Overall this is a solid brew from a brewery I am finding to be just as solid. I think it could have been more aggressive, as it lacks a certain complexity and depth for me to rate it any higher (recommend their Hop Rod Rye). I look forward to trying more from Bear Republic. Cheers!

 1,109 characters

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

one of my favs, thanks for the bomber honey. pours golden hue, good foamy head ok retention. nose and mouth are caramel overbalanced by citrus. Yum! mouth is slightly sticky but a very drinkable 7%. always get me in trouble when more that 36 oz is down the hatch.

 263 characters

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

Poured from their cool "checkered flag" 12oz bottle into my 12oz glass - now off to the races!

Appearance - Poured a quick finger of eggshell cumulus clouds. The beer is a gorgeous hazy lite copper-orange. Great lacing at the end of the session.

Smell - Mmmmm...big citrus and ripe ruby grapefruit, pineapple sweetness, slight pine.

Taste - Oh is this nicely balanced. You get the citrus, grapefruit, slight pine and perfect citrus & malty sweetness to counterbalance. After the sip there is some grapefruit rind and pine long into the finish, a llittle dry and bitter, enough to beg the next sip.

Mouthfeel - lite to medium, nice carb, not overly so at all - creating a very smooth and drinkable beer.

Overall - I really enjoyed this beer. Nice balance, really nice flavors, and just enough sweetness. Highly recommend, would defintitely purchase again.

 860 characters

Photo of crzyc
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Small head, off white, little lacing. Typical IPA color, amber/red/brown.

S: Excellent, citrus hops, nothing complicated.

T: Pine after taste. Hops up front. Very balanced, not bitter.

M: A bit dry. Average carbonation.

O: I think this is really balanced, not over the top with the hops, not too bitter and no burn. I think this may be one to show my friends that did not like the IPA's from Stone they tried recently.

Bottle in my mix 6 at Nikki's in RI, $2.29 before discount.

 486 characters

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 1/8" off-white head over golden amber liquid that is semi-cloudy.

S: Citrus hops, yeast and malt.

T: Citrus and floral hops up front which transitions to a bitter pine hops and some toffee malt. Quite refreshing.

M: Thin viscosity with low carbonation.

O: A drinkable and refreshing IPA that might not be bitter enough for some pine loving hop heads, but hits the spot for me.

 383 characters

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

A great IPA I've had many times and keep going back to. A friend bought a bomber for me as a gift and when I went to drink it, just realized I have never formally reviewed it. I pour into a snifter.

Yields a white head of about an inch in height. Cloudy, murky and light orange in color. A nice layer of retention remains and there is thick lacing.

Strong grapefruit, citrus and pine aroma fills the room.

Taste is bitter and hoppy. Puckering hop juice, and a strong one for a single IPA. Strongest on the grapefruit with a lingering pine taste.

Smooth and very drinkable. Medium body, nice level of carbonation.

This is a hop forward, west coast style IPA that many use as a benchmark for west coast IPAs. Excellent!

 723 characters

Photo of mostpoetsdo
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Gold, almost amber, a gentle haze to it. Slightly off-white head.

S: Pungent combination of pine and citrus. More of a tangerine-like smell. Pretty much hop forward the whole way, an earthiness in the background.

T: Sticky, juicy citrus hops, combined with a sharp pine needle taste. Bits of bitter orange rind. The slightest toffee backbone is present.

M: Medium body, great carbonation. The tiniest bit hot.

O/D: Very enjoyable, finally glad I got to have it on tap, worth seeking out.

 494 characters

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

Pours a light copper/orange, with a big white head and some floaties.

Smells of some kind of tropical fruit or lighter fruit with a sweet malt undertone

Up front caramel and light fruit that fades into bitterness and almost an almost peachy character with a sweet and bitter finish that lingers somewhat. Bitter enough to be assertive but not overly done.

Medium to full body, slightly creamy, and smooth. A small boozy character comes in at the end but does not detract.

This is a nice citrus, light fruit, peachy beer that has a big, but not too big, hop kick in the end. It goes down smooth and is pleasing.

 614 characters

Photo of Floyd12
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap poured into a pint glass.

A- A moderately hazy amber color with a thick foamy and creamy head of about two fingers. The head lingered for most of the beer and left fantastic lasing all over the glass.

S- Very hoppy with a slight malt. Citrusy underones with an earthy grainy smell as well.

T- Strong hard hop taste with a little bit of bitterness but not over the top. Again slightly citrusy but the hops take control without going overboard.

M- Very crisp and refreshing with a long dry hoppy finish.

O- This is one of my new favorite beers. I love this but have only seen this at White Horse in Boston. This needs to expand on the east coast.

 663 characters

Photo of SykDoc
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a hazy straw/orange color. A 1/8 inch almost white head forms and reduces to a speckled lacing.

The aroma is primarily orange citrus with perhaps a bit of pineapple. A malt sweetness makes a minimal appearance.

The taste is again an orange and pinapple citrus hops punch with a few earthy tones. Perhaps just a little caramel malt sweetness towards the end. Not much else, but good.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Carbonation seems to fall a bit flat for the flavor. It is clean and smooth with a nice dryness at the finish.

Nothing real flashy but a solid IPA with a good citrus hop forward presentation. It is quite easy to drink, part of which I attribute to the solid but not overwhelming components.

 758 characters

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into maudite snifter.

A- Very pale orange color with a small one finger head that lingers on the top of the beer

S- Some malt up front that leads the way into some really citrusy hop flavor.

T- Lots of citrus from the hops right up front but the malt takes over and balances it very well.

M- A nice medium body on it, the carbonation complimented the taste. Hops dried it out, made me want another sip, great.

O- This is one of my favorite IPAs so far. Very drinkable and one of the most balanced in my opinion.

 540 characters

Photo of gdrydenc
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a much lighter color than I anticipated. I've had this beer several times, and I thought I remembered it being darker than this. Decent color, the head dissipates pretty quickly.

S - Smell is a little bit muted from what I've remembered as well. It's definitely there, a bit of juicy fruit, slightly sticky hops. Delicious smell, but a bit muted, like I said.

T - Well, the flavor makes up for any weakness in the smell. The fruitiness and bitterness kick hard at the beginning and don't stop until well after the finish. A great taste. The only improvement I could see would be a little bit more intensity, but at 7%, there's not a whole lot else you can do.

M - Mouthfeel is spot on. Good carbonation, great in the mouth. Not too watery, but not syrupy thick so as to make it undrinkable.

Overall, this is a great beer. Besides Harpoon (for the price) this is probably my favorite IPA to have around and drink a few of at a time. Great beer.

 957 characters

Photo of JDizzle
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a sixer tonight while out of town for $7.69 in East Lansing, MI. :):)

Poured from a 12 oz bottle and looks like a perfect IPA. Great copper, rusty, amber color with a thin white-off white head.

This smells great!! Citrusy, sweet malt, grassy-very hoppy. One of the better smelling IPA's with a great balance of hops and malt.

The hops are very "West Coast" style forward. It's a bitter beer that is balanced nicely with a breaded malt upfront and finishes with a blast of hops and grapefruit. For some reason I get a lactose flavor with this. Not complaining and can't really explain it, but thought I would mention it.
Superb mouthfeel with a medium body and a great aftertate that is not too bitter but creamy.
You really can't detect the alcohol in this one and it's very drinkable. Bear Republic makes great beer, just wish they sold it in Indiana!

 861 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Pint glass.

A - Pours a clear, medium orange with a small yellowish head that fades to the edges.

S - Malts, grass, oranges.

T - Sweet malts with a floral finish.

D - Lower carbonation with a lighter body.

O - Sweet style west coaster.

 266 characters

Photo of FeloniousDrunk
3.79/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Rare Vos pint glass. Golden brown in color with a nice, 1-finger ecru head and a touch of lacing. Hazy without being opaque.

S: Dried pine needles and some fresh citrus rind. A malted barley undertone with a fresh hop aroma that lingers. It smells inviting.

T: A dry maltiness on the tongue with a rich middle and a hoppy swallow. A bone-dry aftertaste lingers. This beer is a bitter IPA with a strong malt backbone. Flavors of bread with pine nuts, grapefruit rind, dead pine needles, earth, leather, and a pine tar bitterness are the main flavors I taste. An interesting juxtaposition between bready malts and piney hops. Not always blended smoothly...

M: Thick and robust without being overpowering, this beer has a great mouthfeel until the arid swallow and resulting afterfeel suck all of the moisture out of your mouth. Some people may be looking for that, but I like my IPAs a little more consistent.

O: For those interested in a complex, chalk-dry and bitter IPA, this is it. It's tasty, but oddly disjointed and disharmonious. I'd rarely pass one up, but there are more superior IPAs out there. I wish it tasted more like it smelled.

 1,183 characters

Photo of morimech
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden color with one finger of head that had good retention. The head settles to a thin cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass.

Citrus hop aroma, hints of orange and pineapple. Pithy and aggressive. Just a slight hint of sweet malt.

Not surprising hop forward flavor in the west coast style. Not much flavor from the malt. Hop flavors include citrus with subtle hints of grass and mint. Bitter finish. The flavor is just not that complex or interesting.

Not abuntantly carbonated but that was probably because of a day in a growler. Medium bodied.

No doubt a well made beer that perhaps did not show its best to this drinker. Just not enough complexity to excite.

 677 characters

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

A - Cloudy orange in body, rich in sediment, no head, no lace.

S - Big hop hit of grass and pine.

T - Very hoppy but not the tropical fruit overload I expected. Some orange and passionfruit but not in excess by any means. Quite dry.

M - Oily and smooth, medium body, tangy and dry. Lingering hop bitterness.

O - Id heard fantastic reports of this so was a little bit disappointed. A solid IPA but I think are many better out there.

 435 characters

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

Bottle from IGA in Potsdam.

A - Pours a light copper with moderate carbonation. Bright. One finger of creamy off white head. Good lacing all over the glass but just a small film of retention.

S - Smells of aggressive hops right off the pop of the bottle. Prickly pineapple and grapefruit with some breadiness.

T - Big hops with caramel to boot. Lot's of citrus fruit with some earthiness. Many layers make this quite complex. Citrusy grapefruit and pineapple are most of the layers for hop profile but there's also a nice breadiness with caramel to back it up.

M - Nice bitterness in the finish. Medium body with some chew and good carbonation.

O/D - A pretty solid example of the style. A good hop forward IPA that is nice to drink. Highly drinkable and well executed.

 775 characters

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

Racer 5: bottle
Appearance: Dark gold/light amber with hardly any head at all. There is a minute amount of lacing and it is also rather murky.

Smell: Nice mixture of light citrus hops with a slightly sweet hint of malt.

Taste: Quite citrusy up front, followed by a much stronger flavor of malt than I am used to in a west coast IPA, and a nice and gentle bitter finish. These three elements combine to grant this beer a very well balanced taste.

Mouth feel: It goes down very smoothly with a small hint of carbonation that gives me a minor bubbly feeling in my mouth.

Overall: At first glance, this beer does not look spectacular, but everything beyond the look of it is actually pretty excellent. This is an easy drinking beer and I would have no trouble downing a few (assuming that I had more than one).

 813 characters

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

Served in a pint glass.

Light amber that is hazy, thick head the dispersed slowly and left thin lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell is of floral hops with a little sweet malt. Kind of missing that big west coast hop aroma.

Taste is like a red grapefruit in the beginning, then turns floral and a little sweet in the middle, finishes bitter and some what dry.

Tried this for the first time and was expecting a little more from a west coast IPA. It wasn't a bad IPA, just seemed to be little subdued.

 507 characters

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

12 ounce bottle picked up over in Westchester, NY.

Appearance is a cloudy orange color with a large head.
Its`s smell has grapefruit, resin, caramel, floral hops...it is indeed an inviting aroma. The taste has quite a bit of hops, more grapefruit, pineapple too, biscuit, a very enjoyable ipa. MF is medium with quite a bit of carboantion. A very good IPA from Bear Republic.

 377 characters

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Alright, this beer is on the Top 100, and I’ve been lusting after its supposedly refreshing hoppiness ever since I knew it existed. Thanks to tripelhops, I’m finally getting a taste. Thanks, dude!

A: Nice, hazy golden-amber color on this one. It’s a bit thicker than most IPA’s I’ve seen, but it’s not without a good shine. The head is a nice, white micro-bubbles, and the lacing is even more impressive; thin, webbed strands of film encircle the glass. Lovely look.

S: Much more malt-forward than I was expecting; they’re much stronger than the hops. Caramel and dark fruit come out big and syrupy first, much like a Belgian Dark Ale. If just given the nose, I don’t think I’d be able to identify this as an IPA. Light floral notes from the hops are just evident towards the end of the nose. Very mild, especially for a big Cali IPA, but the aromas are unique and inviting.

T: This one has an excellent base of plum and caramel-apple tastes in the malts; unexpectedly rich, but in the best way. Some hints of fruity sweetness make their way forward, to the tune of citrus and melon rind. The bitterness that shows up is mellow, never overtaking the main malts. They add some fruity tanginess that’s followed by a slow moment of alcohol warmth. It finishes out with some astringency, but there’s also some Sam Adams-style cheap grains, too. A unique palate, for sure.

M: Pretty thick for 7%. Very little carb leads this one to nowhere special, especially when you consider how much the aftertaste needed a distracting bit of pop.

O: Well, it’s far from perfect, but it’s damn tasty. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one were called a Belgian-Style IPA; it has that dark smell and malty flavor that I’d expect from an import. Very nice. It makes me even more excited for the Hop Rod Rye in my fridge!

 1,833 characters

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 7,711 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.