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
7,748 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: 7,748 |  Reviews: 2,348
Photo of Lauthaha
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer taster.

Appearance: Beer is a clear, golden color with active carbonation visible through the glass. Head is a frothy, 1/2 finger coating on the surface of the beer. Lots of bubbles and medium lacing. Looks good!

Smell: This beer smells very, very beautiful. The word "creamsicle" comes to mind. A sweet malt base provides ample room on which citrus zest and a perfect mix of bitter/floral hops build a fortress of awesome.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The beer is creamy from the get go, with a tangy bitterness coming from the hop oils about mid-sip. Subtle sweetness from the malt (caramel) can be picked up in between attacks from the hops. Beer rinses rather smoothly leaving a hop-assault reminder on the tastebuds. Very bitter, you've gotta love hops to love this brew.

Overall: Definitely worth a try, but only if you're into IPAs and their compadres. I almost wish I had bought a six-pack of these (rather than the single that I found), but there'll be another chance, I'm sure.

 1,021 characters

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

A - I don't know whether I was supposed to, but I decanted the beer into my glass, leaving the yeast sediment behind (I'll probably drink it later). It pours a transparent golden-orange with a top of white foam that's not in a hurry to leave and which drops nice trails of lacing down the side.

S - Earthy hops, biscuity malt. A nice, relatively subtle (for an IPA) aroma.

T - Lots of earthy hops, with some citrus as well. Not incredibly bitter, but plenty of hops flavor. It's balanced by a rather simple malt backbone. There's not a lot of complexity, but it's a very well-crafted, non-extreme IPA.

M - Smooth, punctuated by moderate carbonation.

Overall, I feel like this is a somewhat quintessential IPA. It's not extreme, not overly bitter or sweet, not pushing any limits; it's just a solid, well-crafted beer. Very "to style", but nothing that really makes it stand out to me.

 888 characters

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

Poured into my favorite Surly pint glass. A bright orange that is clear and not cloudy at all. Medium carbonation bubbles. The head is not very large, maybe a finger, and bright white in color. Lace is starting out a bit sticky, and retains it's stickiness all the way to the end.

Smell is of citrus hops and sweet. It kind of smells like an orange.

The taste is at first a bitter and sweet hop punch. I think maybe a lemon with sugar flecks. There isn't much malt character, but that is what I expect from a west coast IPA. There is just a bit of bready tastes, way late.

Mouth is great for the style. A bit spritzy in the carbonation, but full bodied and there to the end.

I have mentioned in other reviews that I think my pallet is changing over the years. This beer is a perfect example of my theory. Racer 5 has been readily available to me for years and I have enjoyed it for as long, but as I sit here to write down what I am experiencing I realize it is kind of a one trick pony. Which at on time I really enjoyed, and still do, but not quite as much as I once did. I think that it is only fair to give it a score based on it's entire life with me not just tonight. Highly recommended!!

 1,198 characters

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

A: Golden color with almost no head at all. Kind of surprised by that.

S: Beautiful. Lots and lots of citrus hop aroma and a fair amount of mango as well.

T: There's a ton of really nice hop bitterness here with just enough malt to hold it down. The hops hit right away, hard and piny, and they are drawn out forever. There's a touch of tropical sweetness towards the end and then a nice and fairly clean finish. Really nicely done.

 435 characters

Photo of rsdaugherty
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into pint glass
A – Slightly yellow 1+ finger head leaves nice lacing on the glass while receding to a thin layer, hazy orange/light amber 4
S – Dank grapefruit hops with pine & florals also, minimal biscuit/malt/caramel undertones 4
T – Hops are bountiful and lead here, slightly sweet bready middle with an orange zest/hop resin finish, nice balance for a hop-head like me and a taste I will seek out again for certain 4.5
M – Wonderfully smooth IPA, light to medium body with a whole milk viscosity, very good carbonation throughout the glass really added to the enjoyment of this beer 5
O – A contender and now on my best of IPA list, alcohol not even on the radar, very drinkable and (short) sessionable, looking forward to my next glass and more BR beers 4.5

 781 characters

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

So I just finished trying a Schlitz...and simply needed to grab a beer I know I would like!

A - Pours murky tangerine with a healthy head. This bottle had an outrageous amount of yeast accumulated, which I guess adds a little something.

S - Not too powerful, but a sudsy soapiness is meshed with citrus tang for a healthy IPA aroma. Some yeastiness notes as well.

T - Spicy pine hop flavors come through at first with a thick butter flavor making this IPA a little bit creamier in flavor. Unabashedly a California IPA, with a bit more of oak and pine earthy flavor.

M - Creamy with the typical hop bite making Racer 5 unique. Almost chewy at points.

Overal Racer 5 is a standby in the IPA culture, worth a look.

 717 characters

Photo of beagle75
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy, light amber color with over one finger of lofty and persistent off-white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass, and suspended hop solids are distributed throughout the column.

S: Hoppy pine and herbaceous spice find balance with caramel and juicy orange citrus. Intensity is consistent throughout, perhaps even increasing as it warms in the glass.

T: Begins dry, with refined pale malt and aromatic hops--consisting of grapefruit and herbaceous flowering plants--in balance, unfettered by only very strained acidity. Mild astringency decorates the toasty middle, lending an impression of volatile fusel alcohols on the palate. Moderate bitterness emerges in the finish, lingering alongside the honest herbaceous grapefruit aromatics found in the beginning.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, simultaneously wet and creamy on the palate developing into a sublime smoothness, with moderate carbonation that keeps the texture from becoming heavy or lifeless.

D: Certainly deserving of top-tier status amongst West Coast IPAs, Racer 5 may be one of the worthiest and most appropriate benchmarks by which to measure others of the style. Not only are flavors bright and clean in a way that is not at all self-conscious, they are nicely balanced. It bears similarities to Port Wipeout IPA and Ballast Point Big Eye IPA (especially to the former).

 1,417 characters

Photo of BeerPhan86
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has always been one of my favorites and a definite go-to when I want a really tasty, well balanced IPA.

A - Pours a hazy straw yellow with a 2 finger foamy white head. Appears to be very well carbonated with some noticeable sediment in the glass.

S - Grapefruit and earthy hops with a nice bready malt backbone. Slightly sweet aspect to the aroma as well.

T - Good amount of sweet malt up front followed by bitter, piney hops and citrus hops. More grapefruit and sweet citrus in the finish, which is dry and slightly boozy. Definitely a hop-forward IPA but surprisingly bitter and just slightly skunky but in a good way. It might cause you to make a funny face at first.

M - A bit overcarbonated and sharp feeling with a medium body. I could do without the sediment, careful pouring this one.

D - Perfectly sessionable IPA, if you're into that sort of thing. Too expensive for me to waste though, I want to appreciate each sip.

Overall, this is a great IPA and one of my all time favorites. There are better examples out there but this is in my top five. Give it a whirl!

 1,085 characters

Photo of SupaCelt
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely golden pour with a radiant orange glow. There are chunks of ingredient floating in suspension. White head fizzled up and rolled away. Sparse lacing drapes the glass.

The nose holds juicy lemon citrus and grass notes atop some really pleasant pale malt tones. Just a hint of caramel.

The flavor is delightfully light and fairly crisp in terms of the malt base. The citrus and grassiness flourish before the dry and bitter end resets the palate. There is a freshness that works very well without being vegetal or offputting.

The mouthfeel is light and works well with the flavor profile.

Overall, this is another great west coast ipa. The golden colour and lightness of the body as well as the fresh and dancing hoppiness exemplify this variation. Brews at this point in the spectrum allow enthusiasts to experience some dynamics within a style that can take on some interesting variances in characteristics, but often gets pegged as mundane. From the golden end, where this delicious treat marks its territory, to deep copper and all points in between, the ipa style can still raise an eyebrow. This is a very enjoyable brew. Glad to see it on the shelf in Michigan now!

 1,180 characters

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a nonic glass.

A-Pours a hazy dark orange with one finger of off-white head

S-Citrus, piney, and floral hop notes.

T- Excellent balance between juicy citrus, piney, and floral hops. This IPA has a very nice bitter hop bite. Good malt backbone on this hop monster. I am picking up on some woodiness as well.

M- Pretty smooth with nice sharp bitterness on the finish

O- This is a fantastic IPA that packs a nice bite and has great balance between all the different hop flavors. This is now one of my favorite IPAs.

 545 characters

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

Had this on tap on vacation a year ago. Just bought it in the bottle, watch'n Nascar with Racer 5. Living the dream.

Good golden, slight unfiltered haze, white head, lotsa lace, balanced carbonation.

Smooth citric hop balance slightly with a sweetned malt, breadyness.

Very well balanced IPA with good ABV. Easy drinker. Good with a steak, burger or fried pub grub. Oh ya, a Nascar race works too.

 400 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - A nice dark golden with sediment floating. Really nice head retention and tons of lace. Impressive.

S - Citrusy hops, delicous. Wow, smells great.

T - heavenly. Bitter up front at 1st taste, and then it moves into a floraly hops and citrus flavor. Just damn tasty.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Not crisp, but smooth.

D - fantastic. This is one of the best IPA's I've ever had. It's up there with Cigar City's Jai Alai in my opinion. A Tier 1 IPA. Give me more!

 478 characters

Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Hazy copper orange body. No head even with a hard pour.

S: A simple nose of grapefruit, caramel, & dry bready malts. Not as hop forward as I hoped.

T: Bitter citrus hops followed by sweet & bready malts. Although balanced, the flavor is slightly weak. Dry & bitter finish.

M: Medium body, decent carbonation, & crisp mouthfeel. Very refreshing.

O: This one seemed a bit off for the style. Got it from the store's cooler so I think it was fresh, but this one seemed slightly weak and more hop forward. I would drink this again, but believe there are much better American IPAs out there.

 592 characters

Photo of legalpete19340
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Came looking copperish orange with more than a finger of off white puffy head. The head stuck around and always lay as a skim on the brew.

S: Beautiful floral and citrus hop aroma. Some light freshly baked biscuits. I mean this things smells like a fresh sunny day. Very powerful scents coming off here.

T: The hops smack me upfront with bitterness then apologize with more of that perfect citrus and floral elegance through to the end. This thing is juicy with hoperfection. There is enough malt here to stand this thing up but it never overpowers the hops. It just sits there and provides a few biscuity notes. Finishes very slightly sweet and crisp with bitterness.

M: Nothing special here but the right amount of syrupyness and carbonation to support the drink.

O: I cant believe the score on this but the brew was near perfection for me. Juicy hoppiness with the right amount of malt and bitterness. So floral and citrusy. I drank two.

 947 characters

Photo of JayAre46
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass no freshness date observed
A - Hazy orange with particles floating around remaining active pushing through the delicately floating living monsters like nemo in the middle of a jellyfish swarm.which i don't remember happening from other bottles ive had but anyway not bothersome, 2 fingers of white head reducing down to a nice layer of bubbles clinging to the glass.

A - Citrusy hops, sweet fruits maybe suggesting pineapple, subtle malt presence in the nose.

T - good malts up front bread like, then comes pine and less citrus hop flavors some orange peel flavors for a dry taste, good bitterness in the finish. for a west coast brew this is almost balanced in comparison to other west coast ipa's

M - Medium carbonation that Prickly on the tongue like microscopic paramecium's sharing pogo sticks with arrowheads on the bottom, wait where am i? smooth maybe not but still pleasant.

O - can't go wrong buying this one for $5 a bomber. this is a good ipa and i enjoyed the different malt presence, not my favorite ipa but i don't know what is. I wouldn't mind some more tropical flavors for deviation...

 1,153 characters

Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy apple cider orange with very puffy 3 finger head that thickens and dissipates very slowly, leaving a good amount of lacing. Beautiful beer.

S - Good amounts of grapefruit, orange, and zest up front. A bit of piney hops in the background. Some hints of banana in there as well.

T - Very, very sweet up front, I even puckered just a bit. But then the piney hops force their way in and remind me how much of an IPA this is. I love a good IPA that takes the chance to try and knock me on my ass. The sweetness was again that grapefruit and zest. Very nice.

M - Quite thick, leaves a thick coating in the mouth. Alcohol completely hidden. Kind of leaves a bit of a phlegmy feeling the back of the throat.

Overall - A fantastic IPA. I really enjoyed this one. I thought it was a little too sweet at the beginning but the bitter hops really helped balance it out. The mouthfeel left a bit to be desired, but I thought this was a top IPA.

 951 characters

Photo of andrewinski1
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip. Giant head that leaves a lot of sticky lacing. The straw color is slightly hazy.

There is a powerful hop aroma with a bit of pine and lots of citrus and pineapple; the last of which is emphasized by the light malt sweetness.

The flavor is a nice balance of slight malt sweetness and crisp hop
Bitterness; resulting in a dry finish. The hops give off a bit Of a soapy flavor on top of the typical citrus flavor.

The body seems a little on the heavier side for an IPA, but the beer still has good drinkability.

An awesome IPA when fresh. Yum.

 564 characters

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

Served on-tap at the La Jolla Brewhouse in CA. The beer was served in a pint glass, and it pours a clear yellow-gold color with a thin, filmy head. Well rounded aromas of sweet malt and light hops, with citrus and slight spicy highlights. The flavors are bitter and sour initially, with a bit of green and peppery taste at the end. The body is creamy and buttery; very smooth. Hoppy and tart aftertaste, which is very pleasant, and an easy, smooth finish. A very tasty brew!

 474 characters

Photo of jerskine
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: very nice cloudy orange hue with about half an inch of foam and lots of lacing

S: you can pick up on some lemon and grapefruit scents, maybe even some caramel; not much hop aroma

T: very crisp citrus taste with hop flavor bursting through at the end

M: very crisp and clean; perfect level of carbonation

O: Bear Republic beers all have a very distinguishable taste; it's the essence of California. No matter what your preference is, definitely check this one out.

 470 characters

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

I'll try to keep this short just to piss off those who think every review needs to be overflowing with mounds of flavors, nuances, smells of various fruits.
Bottom line is, this is a fine West Coast IPA. Mellow, smooth, light citrus, well balanced.
If you want details, read other reviews or go to their website.
Very enjoyable and too drinkable. Not a sipping beer unless you possess tremendous restraint.
I don't.
Bomber finished in a flash.

 444 characters

Photo of GoatmanBrewsMD
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Nice golden color with about a finger width of white head.

S- Picked up on some grassy and citrus notes. It wasn't as hoppy as I was expecting it to be.

T- Definitely an IPA. The hops hits you first with those grassy and citrus flavors. Then some mild biscuity malt flavors follow. But the hops dominate this beer flavor.

M- Good carbonation in the bottle. Very light in body.

O- A good IPA. But not great. I'm not sure of how fresh this one was but I'm sure it would be better the fresher you can get it.

 541 characters

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

22oz bomber (dated 2/17/11) poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours a very hazy golden yellow/really light copper. Looks exactly like an apricot preserve. I get about 1.5 inch frothy head that bubbles away slowly. Tons of lacing.

S: Grapefruit, pine, caramel, some tropical fruits (pineapple, maybe a little apricot).

T: The tropical fruit is in the forefront, though it doesn't exactly burst onto the palate like some other IPAs. As the carbonation fizzes out the pine comes out of the background, though not all that strong. There's a good bit of bitterness with it, but nothing too powerful. It's balanced. Unfortunately the juicy fruit flavors start to fade fairly quickly from the middle to the finish, leaving with a very light malt body and some light pine bitterness. Finish is a light, clean moderately bitter pine and pineapple. There's a touch of sugar to lend a little juiciness up front, but it fades and overall the malt bill is very light. I do like IPAs that aren't sweet and malty, but this seems just a little too week on the malt/sweetness side.

M: Moderate to light carbonation, light to medium body (though very murky and unfiltered). There is a nice smoothness and ample pine resin from the middle through finish.

O: For a single IPA, this is great stuff. It's nothing extreme, just juicy tropical fruits with a good balance of bitterness and a light malt body. I tend to love the more extreme IPAs, but this is really solid for what it is.

 1,464 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.31/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint. No bottling date. Shared with schen9303.

A: Standard pour yields a 1 finger frothy off-white head with great retention. Beer is a clear deep goldenrod. Lacing is spotty and stringy with moderate stick. A good looking beer overall.

S: Nose is caramel, pine, cane sugar, and slight hints of citrus. Moderately aromatic but rather subtle considering the style.

T: Opens honey, cane sugar, and tropical fruit. Lychee, pineapple, and citrus. Sappy and piney hops in the middle though its lost much of its bitterness. Yeasty towards the end and slightly spicy. Resiny hop bitterness finally peaks its head in the end. Bitter, dry aftertaste. This one's not hoppy at all and actually very mellow. Makes me think its not totally fresh but I can't be sure without a bottling date.

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and watery in the mouth with a slight prickle going down. Finish is dry with a dry aftertaste that lingers. Very nice feel here. The perfect combination of carbonation and smoothness.

O: I'm a bit dissapointed by this considering the accolades that it gets... to the point where I question the freshness of the bottle I had. Taste overall was just too mellow with nothing really standing out. Definitely worth another visit in my opinion.




 1,341 characters

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


Appearance - The beer pours a slightly hazy amber colour with a huge size frothy off-white coloured head. There is low amount of carbonation, and there is some really good spider web lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 4-5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, tangerine/grapefruit

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and the beer feels slightly thin on the tongue. Most of the taste is made up of caramel mixed with hops and grapefruit/tangerine juice and zest. The beer finishes with a hoppy and malty sweet aftertaste.

Drink - Definitely one of my favourite IPA's but I might have ran into an old keg. It seemed to have a more toned down flavour than it did from the bottles I've had in the past.

 784 characters

Photo of veinless
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just about a half-finger white head tops this cloudy orange beer. Head doesn't retain well and leaves spotty lace on the glass. Deep color of the beer is approaching brown, but is still in orange territory.

Big mango and citrus aroma up front, with sticky caramel behind not anything to be trifled with either. Really pleased with the balance of grapefruit with tropical scents, as it's full and sweet smelling while still being crisp and refreshing on the nose.

Boy the taste is a huge tropical caramel bomb at the start, and the citrus does little to stop the rush of sweetness. Eventually pine and hoppy bitterness take charge and lead the beer to the dry finish. Stickiness remains from start to finish, and is at a pleasant level at the end. This beer approaches too sweet at the beginning, but it never gets there so all is well.

Mouthfeel is very sticky, very full, and only slightly carbonated. This is a very malty beer, and the caramel malts add a lot more to the feel than the hops. The finish is nicely bittersweet. Drinkability is helped a lot by that, and also by the fruity beginning to each sip, although the sweetness may put some off. I'm sure this beer when really, really fresh is a hop monster to be reckoned with. Definitely one of the better single IPAs on the market along with Surly Furious.

 1,319 characters

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 7,748 ratings