Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

7,641 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,641 |  Reviews: 2,318
Photo of mattalive
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very impressed with racer 5 ipa. Not being a huge ipa guy i thought i'd finally give it a go. Sure glad i did! Appearance had me thinking i made the right decision right from the start nice reddish-brrown hue with an and above average malty head. Good aroma and tasted even better, excellent drinkability with every mouthful, definitely shoots right into my top five faves!!!

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Photo of IchabodcraneIpa
3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Drank this one straight from the bottle.

The smell of this one was a clean hopped up smell that was not too strong or too weak, it seemed perfectly balanced with the sweet Carmel smell that it had.

The taste of this was a hoppy one at first but not as hoppy and bitter as most other IPA's that I have tried. The hops quickly fade out into a nice calm Carmel like sweetness that is easy to wash down.

The mouthfeel was fairly dry and it was on the lighter side of things to me.

I find this one pretty drinkable due to the smoothness of it's hop flavor and could definitely see this as a good introduction to someone that has not tried an IPA.

Good IPA, but not the hop attack I was craving.

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

Enjoyed on tap at Shakespeare's. Review input from notes.

Slightly hazed golden yellow body. Slight head remaining when pint glass gets to the table. The retention was decent, moderate lacing cements itself to the walls of the glass.

Fairly dominant citrus hop aroma with nice floral backing. Grapefruit up front, with apricot and pineapple just behind. A touch of caramel malt lies in the back.

Dominant citrus flavor up front is balanced by a caramel maltiness which falls just behind. The hops flavor balances the sweet citrus flavors with a touch of pithy bitterness. The caramel flavor is a but too strong for my preference but it does not become distracting.

Medium mouth feel. The hops are a bit oily on the tongue. Finish is fairly dry.

Very drinkable IPA. While it falls short of the top tier I would have no issues drinking a few in a sitting. I do hope we see Bear Republic expanding their offerings availability in Michigan, I will certainly pick this one up.

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Photo of Sbkrogers
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Cloudy, murky, yellow in colour. Excited to see this pour into a glass. Good one finger head, dissapates over a minute or so.

Smell: Hops. Not sure what else I can say.

Taste: WOW! Hops hit you right in the face. Crisp, clean and super sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability, but pretty sweet so couldnt see this being a session beer.

One of my favourites, have only had a few times but this is one of the best beers I've had, regardless of score. Something about the total package that is really excellent.

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Photo of hiku7
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass

A - A slightly cloudy deep orange amber with a white head.

S - Immediate piney smell followed by citrus and melon fruity aromas with a light malt smell coming through.

T - Small malty sweetness followed by a hop blast that takes control and doesn't let go. Eventually, the hop blast settles into your palate into a nice lingering hoppiness that I wanted to taste all night.

M - Somewhat creamy with low to moderate carbonation. Slight alcohol warmth on the back end.

D - Every time I have Racer 5 I want another, but I usually end up savoring one for a while.

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Photo of orangesol
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint. No info was given as to what type of hops were added to the cask. If I had to guess, I would say "TONS!"

A - Pours hazy sunkist orange with a thick pillow of two finger tall white head leaving thick rings of sticky lacing down the glass.

S - I knew I had to get this one when I smelled it from across our table. HUGE pungent hop punch right off the bat with hints of pine resin, grass, and grapefruit. A tiny bit of sweet caramel malt comes thru but this one is really all about the hops.

T - Nice grassy hop bite up front never really leaving the pallet. Light caramel malt and grapefruit acidity offer as much contrast as they can but this one is truly all about the hops. A bit dry in the finish with some lingering hop bitterness. The taste wasn't as good as the nose but I still really enjoyed this one. One of my all time favorites revved up a few extra notches.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Nice light feel with a bit of dryness toward the end. Plenty of hop bitterness in the finish but it doesn't linger for very long.

D - Very good. I really like racer 5 quite a bit and this version was even better. A touch one dimensional with all those pungent hops but that really isn't a bad thing.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured the bomber into a tulip glass. I have had this beer plenty of times and now have sat down to right a review about it.

Appearance: It pours a golden amber/orange color. A white head of foam is produced when poured into the glass and then the lacing from the foam remains on the glass as it is consumed. There is also a decent amount of carbonation throughout the glass as I am writing this revies.

Smell: The hops dominate with a citrus and piney aroma. There is a slight aroma from the malt used to produce this beer.

Taste: The hoppy bitterness hits the mouth and followed by the piney taste. Finished off with a slight taste of the sweet malt. There is only a slight bit of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: This is a medium bodied beer. Also followed with a decent amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a good beer. Very easy to enjoy the 22 oz bomber by yourself or with friends. Very easy to consume and given the 7% ABV. A must try for an IPA fan or one looking to try an IPA.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on cask at Al's of Hampden, served in a Nonic.

The color is golden hued with amber accents and thick collar of light white w/ a light yellow accent. The clarity is lightly hazed and the bead is very fine. I love the array of fruit odors this ipa presents - very citrus and tropical tinged yet is has a moderately high amount of pine from the hops too. I like the grapefruity presence -it is so pungent it is like smashing your face into a pile of grapefruits. The feel is both bitter and yet smooth at the same time, plenty of natural carbonation with a blend of yeast and softness from the oils of the hops giving a slight dry and the malt body adds a gentle sweetness level.

This IPA is delicous, just so tangy and citrus flavored with some herbal elements giving a well round flavor of bitter orange/grapefruit notes that aren't hampered by the malt. The taste of the malt is very dry, only enough sweetness there to compliment the slight pineapple quality. The bitterness level is optimal with a low level of astringency and the hop goodness lasts for a while after the swallow. I could enjoy a quart of this IPA it is so drinkable on cask, I have enjoyed it equally in each delivery method -tap, bottle and now cask, just delicious in every way. I would prefer it on cask as the hops seem so much more vibrant and fresh this way.

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Photo of oline73
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear golden amber color. There is a two finger off white head of which a layer remains.

Smell: Sweet citrus hops dominate with some mild herbal notes. Some of the sweetness comes from the malt.

Taste: Citrus hop bitterness hits the tongue pretty hard initially. There is some sweet malt in the background. The flavor is a bit peppery and the finish is bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and an appropriate level of carbonation. There isn't any dryness at all.

Drinkability: This is a very good beer. I really like the hop profile and will visit it again.

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Photo of centbeerfest
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass at home

A: cloudy with a light caramel/pumpkin color. Short head and compact bubbles

S: hoppy but not overwhekming.

T: crisp with a bit on the heavy side of hops. sour finish with lingering bitterness

M: hearty and will stand on its own

D: Little unbalanced on the hoppy side. Serious beer that won't leave you underwhelmed. As good on the last sip as the first.

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

Had this a few times on tap and from a bottle. This review is from last night at the Kung Fu Saloon. Served in a shaker pint.

The pour last night came with almost no head and the glass wan't that clean... At least they had a beer of this quality available. From the times I've had it before (including with Thanksgiving dinner last year), it has poured with a nice white head. The beer itself looks like a typical IPA... maybe a bit thicker and hazier? Either way, it's not a bad looker.

This beer is dominated by citrusy and piney hops. The first word that comes to mind is resin. However, it's not too bitter. Each sip invites me back for more. It's one of those beers that tastes sticky going down your throat in every right way. The balance of hop flavor and the weight of the beer make this a very solid IPA. I'll never be disappointed to see this on tap.

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

Appearance- Poured a clear golden color with 1 finger of white head.

Smell- Very nice hop aroma, with some citrus notes.

Taste- Really much sweeter than one would expect for an IPA. Not as much hop bitterness a I am used to.

Mouthfeel- Medium light bodied....low on the carbonation.

Drinkability- This was a good beer. Smooth and drinkable. Just felt more like an PA than an IPA.

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

12oz bottle to pint glass.
Pours a standard copper color with a small whispy head. Smells hoppy with grapefruit and orange. Palate is suprisingly balanced. Sweet and bready malts provide a canvas for the citrusy west coast hops. Soft bitterness in the finish. Moderate body and low carbonation. Very solid and tasty IPA that would probably be better fresh and on-tap.

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

Snagged a bottle of this from Julio's. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear super light amber colour with less than a one finger head that faded a bit fast leaving a white cloud and some slight side lacing.

S - Nice oily pine resin here as soon as I opened the bottle. Pine and grapefruit dominate the nose.

T - Just like the nose here. You get that nice west coast hop charactistics with the nice strong pine resin flavours right off the bat followed by some barely there citrus notes. Mostly just bitter pines here with a typical dry finish.

M - Low carbonation here with a pleasantly dry finish.

D - This is a quite nice west coast IPA. everything is really good for this brew. Very drinkable if just slightly one dimensional with just pine being front and center.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.09/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have rarely seen a head this chunky. Super Chunk. So much lacing too. intriguing to watch. Very Clear pale golden body.
Aroma is less potent then i suspected, but citrus is the theme coming through the pipeline here. Same thing with the aroma, it's mostly a citrus show, but there is baked biscuit and subtle caramel in here. Wish i had a bottle date. Has good flavors but the amplitude needs to go up a few levels. I can tell this is a good beer, but i'll pass on it until they get me some bottle dating.

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

Pours a filtered golden, and has a smooth white head with good lacing. Smell is very hoppy, with a slight yeast note. Taste is amazing, very smooth for 7%. Not super sour, but with a good kick. Has a fruityness that is quite light. This is a solid beer!

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

on tap in pint glass

A-poured a yellow/orange sunset color with a nice white 1 finger white head
S- was pine first then grapefruit,some tropical/floral hops and a a sweet caramel mixed with bread

T- was strong pine and floral hops lots of tropical hop flavors it was excellent well done with a little malt to balance out the hops

M-clean and crisp with big pine hop resins well carbonated

D- super easy to polish off the pint a well done west coast ipa..had this in the bottle many times ..but it was so much better on tap

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

No clear freshness indication.

A - clear golden straw, small white head. I can see a lot of floaties left in the bottle, so I'm guessing when I pour the rest of it, it's not gonna be anything as pretty - turns out I was wrong. It's still quite clear.

S - This is the second recent west coast IPA that has this ridiculous bitter smell. I'm beginning to think it's simcoe...kind of smells like pot? but more bitter? Well, whatever it is, there's a lot of it, as well as some sweeter tropical fruit and vanilla notes and some other citrusy hops.

T - What I've decided are simcoe hops are a big part of this taste. The taste is basically exactly in line with the nose, which is something I appreciate. I don't like it that much though. It's a fine IPA, not my favorite. To be specific: bitter, pot-like hops up front, some tropical fruit sweetness in the middle, bitter and dry citrus linger.

M - It's smooth enough, but it's kind of thin for its heft.

D - As much as I am put off by the simcoe (which, admittedly, is only a little bit), there's something very charming about this beer. It's well balanced, and light, and complex enough to keep you wondering. It wants me to drink it more than I want it to be drunk by me. Interesting..

Edit: just visited Bear Republic's website. They don't use Simcoe hops in this beer, but rather Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial. The beer that this reminds me of (Green Flash West Coast) uses the latter three of those plus Simcoe.

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Photo of Brianjames16
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Translucent copper color with a bunch of bubbles racing to the top. Nice two finger white head with substantial lacing on my pint glass.
S- Big IPA aroma. Piny flowery notes jump out and are inviting and balanced.
T- Here's where it gets fun. One of the most balanced IPA"s I have had to date. Hop bitterness is present but doesn't pull away from the subtle earthy flavors. I get a taste off pines, citrus and a bready malt character here.
M- Perfect amount of carbonation makes for a refreshing experience with full flavor. I would say this would fall in to a light/medium body.
D- I wish I had more then this bomber right now. I could have a couple of these without exhausting the flavors of this brew. Racer 5, welcome to my top 5 IPA list.

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Photo of tbraun1
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle to pint glass

A - Bright, hazy golden/orange appearance, minimal head with some lacing as I sipped. A very inviting looking IPA I must say.

S - Getting a little hop spice in there but also some sweet/biscuity malts poking through.

T - Nice hop punch off the bat but the malts in this brew create a wonderful balance. Nice bright hop flavor with a balanced but bitter finish. Delicious.

M - Feels great on the palate, nice carbonation and a clean dry finish.

D - I enjoyed this IPA very much. Was very well crafted and balanced. I could definitely see this becoming a staple in the rotation.

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

The good ol' wife just picked up a 6'r of these for me from Olive Tree Market here in OB for $10.99 - I poured them into an Old Speckled Hen pint glass.

A: Pours a clean effervescent golden, light honey hue with a decent head that sticks around for a few sips leaving good amounts of lacing in my glass from start to finish.

S: Good amount of hop upfront - fresh cut grass and citrus rind balanced nicely with grain and biscuit finishing with a hint of carmel malt - the hop is present throughout.

T: Taste is similar to the nose, but the hop is even more prevalent - resinous, very earthy with a citrus bight. The hoppiness is balanced well with sweet malt, toasted grain, and flavors of fresh brewed herbal and black tea with just a slight hint of booze in the mix as well.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated for the style, extremely dry - not sticky at all with a very slight amount of lingering bitterness from the hop (wish there was just a bit more bitterness).

D: I'm into my third beer from the 6'r - no worries and don't plan on stoppin til they're all gone. Super easy drinker!

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Photo of welldigger888
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from growler to form a nice fluffy head that laced well, Good orange hue with maybe a touch of gold luster.
Ahhh the american IPA, nice malty tones that are complimentary of the american citrusy piney hops.If there is no AIPA in heaven, I do not want to go!
Resonous piney hop forward with smooth interplaying malt sweet bready. The lingering peppery finish drys just right.
Excellant carbonation and a nice creaminess.
The last time I had this I went late into the night in old sac town! Much to the chigrin of my wife, as she left me to stagger back to the motel, LOL. Good stuff here, seek and drink!

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

pours an unfiltered pale orange with a decent head.

smell is piny floral hops. strong hops, definitely an IPA.

taste is smoother than expected given the hops in the smell. definitely bitter and hoppy but with a hint of sweetness that tones is down (and holds it short in my opinion).

mouth is light and fresh. good carbonation.

drinkability is good but not great. I haven't had the beer for a few years and remember liking it more back then than I did now.

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Photo of Jesse13713
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a very light amber. A chunky lacing. Slightly cloudy with yeast floating around in it.

Smell - A slightly hoppy smelling IPA. A light lemon smell with hints of ginger lingering in the background.

Taste - A very smooth honey tasting IPA. Hints of pink grapefruit and ginger. Slight bitters with slight citrus hints as well.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Very tart and bitter. Hoppy and fresh with hints of yeast.

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Photo of kbrady9
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden color, with a thin, white head. Above average lacing.

S- Very straightforward, hoppy aroma. Piney, but does not smell very sweet or malty.

T-As I have come to expect from a west coast IPA, there is little flavor up front save for the hops. Hardly a bad thing, this is exactly the way I like my IPA's. Very hoppy, could almost be disguised as a DIPA.

M-Goes down smooth with perfect amount of carbonation. The hops linger wonderfully after the beer goes down.

D-If IPA's are your thing, then you could sit down at the bar and down a few of these. First time I have tried this beer after hearing great reviews. Very well worth it.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,641 ratings.
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