Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

7,678 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: 7,678 |  Reviews: 2,328
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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Photo of tbrown4
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask at Race Street Cafe in Philadelphia before a show at the Electric Factory with some other beer geeks. I've had this in bottle several times before, never before on cask.

A - Clear, gold, fluffy white two finger head.

S - Typcial IPA aroma, fairly floral. A mild sweetness.

T - Very focused and defined hop flavor. Quite enjoyable. Sweetness flavor matches the intensity of the aroma. Just enough to balance out the hop bitterness.

M - Feels about average.

D - I could drink this one all day. It was a nice treat on the hand pump.

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

On-tap at La Jolla Brewhouse, 2/22/11.

A: Pours a burnt orange with very little head visible when the waitress brought it out. It's possible it was just a bad pour. Lacing stuck to the glass fairly well considering the non-existent head.

S: Citrus fruits and piny hops. Not extremely strong, but a pleasant nose.

T: Hop bitterness up front, which mellowed nicely to the end of the palette. After the bitters assault, the sweetness of the citrus really comes through. Moderate malt flavor and high bitterness. Tastes great.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation. Slightly creamy texture.

D: Moderate. Not entirely sure I could session this beer. After I finished it I was looking to try something else.

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Photo of aval89
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a nice cloudy orange.. about an 1/8inch of head stays around to make a nice appearance with beautiful lace on walls.. very nice looking IPA ..

S: nice citrus aromas (tangerines).. floral hops with faint tropical fruits.. malt backbone adds a sweetness tone..

T: floral hops, orange/tangerine citrus flavors pull through.. lemon peel bitterness on the finish..again some faint tropical fruits with a healthy dose of malts.. but still hops dominate ..

Mf: light medium body with a smooth almost creamy feel.. but yet still has a crispness to it.. nice

D: very good drinkability.. these things go down too quick ;)

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Photo of Fenris244
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had today at the saucer

Coppery in color, 1 finger head great retention, left a thin patch work of lace when it had subsided.

Very lemony in aroma, lemon zest and lemon pulp, pine apple and resin aromas were pretty strong as well.

Very fruity IPA and pretty cool, lemon and citrus in flavor with more of a lemon peel bitterness than what I usually come across in an ipa. Great malt biscuit like note on the finish, overall the flavors balance out well.

Smooth and the bitterness gives it a nice bite, quite refreshing drinkability is above average for me, the fruitiness I got from this ipa helps it stand out makes it a staple when I go to the bar

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Frothy soapy white head graces the glass by about an inch, but quickly dissipates to leave minimal lacing, more like a fake snow sprayed on the tulip glass.

Strong grapefruit and other citrus on the nose, a decent amount of hop oil and composting grass, just great smelling.

Sweet, with mild barley bread and evenly spaced with hops, nothing too extreme, I expected a good kick from this but it is relatively mild for an IPA. Some ground pepper as well as red pepper and cayenne which is a surprise, as well as the fume promised grapefruit, I might just say this is the damn best IPA I've had in a year, sorry Avery. Just balanced and sweet, like a rose garden in fact I taste rose petals as well.

Great wet and medium heavy mouthfeel, refreshing with a semi light carbonation load.

I would recommend this to all!

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

12 oz bottle served in a GI IPA tulip - welcome back to Wisconsin, Bear Republic!

A - Cloudy, rich amber, relatively large white head, and very good lacing

S - Grapefruit, floral hops, and clover honey

T - Floral hops, lots of grapefruit bitterness --> caramel malts and more hops, a touch of apricot --> pine needles and orange rind on the finish, with a touch of malt backing up the bitter.

M - Medium-bodied, good carbonation

D - Yes, a sessionable 7%er

A perennial favorite, Racer 5 sitting on the shelf at Barriques Fitchburg was a sight for sore eyes. This is a fantastic IPA and always a worthwhile purchase.

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Photo of patriot76
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a pint glass

A- Cloudy amber in color with sediment. Nice 1 inch very dense head. Looks good and not too carbonated.

S- Great smelling beer. Floral hops combined with malt, brown sugar and rye. Smells more like a rye ale instead of an IPA. Can smell some alcohol as well. Extemely appetizing smell.

T- Right away you get the very nice floral hops with rye. A very smooth middle leads into a smooth yet nicely bitter finish. Although this is a full bodied strong IPA, it is very smooth. No grapefruit ending, rather bitter hops and lingering rye. Drinks a bit more like a rye ale.

M- Very smooth mouthfeel all around. This is not in the class of IPA that gives you cotton mouth. Low carbonation. Instead of the beer going to the back of palate as per usual with many, it seems to be everywhere.

D- Very nice, balanced and drinkable for a beer of this magnitude. All around a nice complex and flavorful beer that puts a different spin on an IPA. Not a traditional IPA, but very good none the less.

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Photo of jtd1969
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply the best IPA on the planet. I have had so many, but yet, this one is still my favorite. The clean coudy harvest tone look, awesome. The head is usually thin in length but dense thickness.(if that makes any sense) Tons of citrus tones in smell. Awesome hop smell with floral with light fruit, slight pine. Fruity/floral big hop upfront with a clean finish. So easy to toss them back as the hops never overbear you. So tasty... If you enjoy IPAs, try one ASAP

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Photo of mikeg67
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours hazy-orange with a lasting, white head. Aroma is of citrusy hops and bready, biscuit malt. Full, smoother than usual for IPA body. Citrusy hops balanced by bready malt on the palate with some hints of ripe fruit. Medium, not so hoppy finish. Very pleasant, delicious IPA.

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Photo of Fluke828
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Had this on tap with a frothy finger and a half head. Some serious lacing throughout.

Smell is intoxicating floral and pine with some citrus and serious hops.

Taste backs up the smell only with a big time bite of bitterness throughout. Very hoppy but not as fruity as I was expecting, judging by the smell. Piney and resinous for sure with a bitter bite that lingers into the aftertaste.

Felt smooth going down again with the strong bitterness present that really balances out the carbonation.

Drinkable and enjoyable, and it was quite good, especially to an IPA enthusiast such as myself but I must need to have several others to see what all the hype is about and buy into it. Would have it again...

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Photo of evanlarkin
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up in a trade with hopz4life. Thanks man!

Straw gold and clear with about 2 fingers of head. A slow dissipation leaves a thick lacing.

Piney and resinous, but still citrusy, like oranges maybe. I expect a sweet taste based on the smell.

Piney for sure, with a very balanced bitterness. Sweet and malty. Not very much booze, but some zest remains in the aftertaste, reminding me of how it feels after biting into a lemon peel. Not sour though.

Full-bodied, lacking nothing. Creamy and not crisp, but very soft.

Reasonable. It's not my personal #1 IPA, but it's very good nonetheless. If I'm looking for hops with less fruit, this is probably the one for me.

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

Appearance. Golden-amber with a finger of fluffy, white head that leaves some nice lacing.

Smell. Pink grapefruit rinds, piney hops, and a little roasty malt.

Taste. Pink grapefruit, bitter piney hops, ssome pineapple and tangerines with a hint of roasty malt.

Mouthfeel. Medium bodied with smooth, medium carbonation.

Drinkability. A good drinker. Medium bodided but 7% is concealed nicely. This bomber is going, going, gone!

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

enjoyed on tap at Paddy's in Springfield, MA (was out with the late night crowd, very pleased to find this gem on tap)

Served into a Pint Glass (only glass in use in the whole place- everything else was plastic)

A - dark amber with a nice bubbly 1" head, cool looking beer

S - citrusy hops with a nice pine sappiness present, a good IPA-nose

T - good hop notes of citrus, pine, as well as a dank earthy quality....this reminds me of Green Flash's IPAs in taste-- maybe the Columbus hops?

M - perfect for my IPA preference, medium to full with a coating bitterness at the end

D - high, would make this a go-to six pack when I make it into NY or MA, but lack of freshness dates on bottles means I usually steer clear....great beer tho

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,678 ratings.
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