Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale
7,708 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: 7,708 |  Reviews: 2,337
Photo of BeerdedEric
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tiny bubbles forming into bigger ones. The head turned into a creamy film. Orange gold body color. Awesome creamy lacing on the glass. It's quite a nice looking beer.

Pine is quite evident in the aroma along with some malts. Really nice combination of the two.

Wow! What a great tasting IPA! Piney hops, citrus, sweet maltiness and a great bitterness at the end. It works so simply together but works so well. Definitely on my top five IPA list.

Light to approaching medium body. Goes down easily with its creamy head. Carbonation helps to meld the flavors together.

This is one tasty, easy drinking IPA. Very close to perfection as far as an IPA goes. Definitely on my top five IPA list.

 694 characters

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

serving - bottle into pint glass

a - hazy golden with nice frothy head. dissipates at a good pace leaving nice lace

s - citrus pine hoppy smell. nice fresh floral aroma. some tropical?

taste - nice hop tingle at first. grapefruity citrus is light with pine notes. alcohol became well more pronounced with each sip. very nice bitter finish that lingers. yum

m - very smooth. light medium.

overall - id recommend this to any ipa fan. wouldn't get a 6 pack but single is nice

 477 characters

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

From growler to pint glass on 3/21/11
*From notes

A: A good, somewhat cloudy 24k gold. It's got a nice 1.25 finger head, followed by high quality lacing.

S: Pine needles attack the nostrils. If I wasn't aware before, I am now: this is a west coast IPA all the way.

T: A good dose of breadiness hits first, but it's merely a formality as the sweet and citrusy hops overwhelm the palate from the mid to finish.

M: Pretty killer - this one feels like it belongs. Good weight and creaminess that tends to be found in the upper echelon of the style.

O: I've been meaning to review this one for a while, and what better way then a growler!

Bear Republic's Racer 5 is one of the top AIPA's for a reason, and is a cornerstone of the style. I have returned to this time and time again, and will continue to for years to come. This one borders pretty close to perfection.

 867 characters

Photo of gundys10
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle

Appearance - Pours a light golden. A little murky, but mostly transparent.

Smell - very hoppy with a little citrus mostly grapefruit coming through and floral.

Taste - slightly bitter with a floral and citrus taste

Mouthfeel - bitter but goes down smooth, but I'm a hophead.

Overall - a very good beer, very available, reasonably priced, and bitter, like I like my beer.

 390 characters

Photo of lechroy
3.59/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22-oz bottle. Served in glass.

A: Hmm, looks like a primary fermenter on day 5. More particulate action than I wanted. Hazy orange hue - 1.5 finger head - lacy
S: Really pleasant delicate hop bite - piney for sure. Nicely balanced with malt touches.
T: I have always really dug this beer. Its quite tasty, but as I tuned in, I was surprised at how poorly the alcohol is masked. Quite a bit. I wouldn't notice it after 2 beers @ 7%.
M: Ok.
O: Yummy, very drinkable beer that is light but potent. Pretty yummy hop blend overall.

 543 characters

Photo of ramseye4
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle
A=Pours a murky golden color, minimal head but with decent lacing.
S=Lots of citrus hops, good malty backbone, some grapefruit and pine resin are faint, but present.
T=Lots of bitter hops hit up front, piney and floral, with some malty flavors. A bit simple. but very well done.
M=Medium bodied and decently bitter
O=Great IPA, readily accessible, and inexpensive. What more could you ask for?

 407 characters

Photo of derekmorris7
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this on a whim..been eyeballing it everytime i hit the wine nation store. Very average in a good way.

A- golden with light soft head..haha

S- not a heck of alot of noticeable notes..lil floral

T- kind of bland lite hop kick

M- clean with a lite cling of pine

 269 characters

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

Well it didn't produce much head but the lacing was ok. The color was orange-tan and it was a little bit hazy.

Smelled of pine and grapefruit with a bit of fruity sweetness and a smidge of earthy funk.

Taste was bold yet understated, great fruity pine and grapefruit, hops, and a smooth malt made for a very well balanced and flavorful IPA.

Feel is medium bodied, slick, tangy with nice carbonation, and mildly bitter in aftertaste.

Drinks very well. A really nice IPA.

 477 characters

Photo of MonkeymooTJ
3.34/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3


3/4" head with a light orange/amber color. "Cloudy" with medium carbonation.


A very inviting array of perfume, floral, and herbal hops. Citrus came through to a lesser extent.


An initial mild bitterness and citrusy punch quickly gives way to a bitter almost flavorless aftertaste


Slight carbonation. Light and smooth without much crispness. Goes down fairly easy


Overall a decent IPA. It has a great look in the glass and an aroma that really makes you look forward to that first sip. The hoppiness is on the mild side. Fits an IPA style, but lacks a little substance. I prefer really hoppy beers and this one comes up just a bit short for me.

 705 characters

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

Bottle poured into a shaker Pint (need more Tulip Glasses!!))

Pours a yellow straw color with good head that lingers

Smell is strong citrus hops

Taste is hoppy without a huge bite of bitterness. Some pine notes to go with the citrus.

Very drinkable IPA. Have to keep my eye out for more of this.

 299 characters

Photo of obrike
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought a 12 pack at Round Rock Specs for 15.99...very nice price.

Easily one of the better IPAs on the market. Bear Republic has two of my favorite beers out there, this along with Hop Rod.

Looks a bit cloudier than most IPAs I've had, but a nice spotty lacing that lasts through the entire glass.

Fantastic piney, citrusy scent, not overly sweet...exactly what a fresh IPA should smell like. Let's you know what you're in store for.

Yum...piney goodness in a glass. Not just pine though...grapefruit, maybe some lemon...malt balance is not as pronounced...and I like that!

Absolutely drinkable, and very affordable. At 7% abv, packs a nice punch, but not too strong, but still quite easy to go through a few in a sitting.

If you're an IPA fan and have not tried this, do yourself a favor and pick some up.

 813 characters

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

This beer pours up a nice golden orange / amber color & a little lacking in the head department. The smell is nice and citrusy... I get orange (unfortunately I have terrible sinus problems and smell isn't my forte).

I can say that after the first taste I was rather impressed. It's hoppy for sure with a hint of sweetness. The hops are piney and resiny with a nice bitter undertone throughout the taste. The bitterness lends to dryness & while both are ever present, there is still a small war in my mouth mid to late taste between the hops and malty sweetness. In my opinion this tastes more similarly to a lot of DIPAs I've had than regular IPAs - and it's right on the verge at 7%.

I never really paid attention to this beer. It is always on the shelf at the local shop, very affordable and doesn't have a stand-out label (I know this shouldn't matter but a label can go a long way in making you notice a beer on a shelf among 100s of others). It's a real gem though - very drinkable; I'll have a few more for sure.

 1,022 characters

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

A: Translucent amber, thin head, moderate carbonation, sediment

S: Hops, pine and grapefruit (smells awesome)

T: Lots of hops. Grapefruit. Balanced perfectly with the malt. Bitter. Finishes dry and bitter. 7% ABV is detectable, but not off-putting.

M: Great. Medium body. Creamy.

D: Good. I finished the 22 oz bomber and wanted more.

This did not let me down. Instantly became one of my favorite IPAs.

 406 characters

Photo of Swedes21
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - beer poured with a good 2 finger white, foamy head.. Hazy ale colour you can see a LOT of carbonation present. The lacing and retention was pretty amazing as well.

Smell - fantastic smelling beer! Lot of smells come to life early , including the pine and hops. There are citrus nodes in there too. very well seperated!

taste - such a powerful beer, hops galore along with a solid pine taste. There is some sweetness to be found as well, overall very smooth with a flavour packed tasting.

mouthfeel - everything in the beer comes fwd more, found the aftertaste was around a lot longer and more overall bitterness.

drinkability - this is a beer for someone who likes powerful IPA's. If you've never had one, wouldnt recomend starting off with this beer. Wish i had more, looking fwd to the DIPA now!

 814 characters

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

Purchased a 6pk at Wegmans in Warrington, PA.
Purchase Price: $10.99
Enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass.

A - Upon examining the unopened bottle, a fair amount of "floaties" are noticed at the bottom of the bottle. After posting a thread, still not sure if this is normal or not. Some say it's from the bottle conditioning and others say the same thing but it also may be an old bottle. Pours a rather hazy, opaque deep honey color. A one finger, white foamy head on the initial pour put it quickly fades. A good amount of carbonation bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass. Decent lacing on the side of the glass after finishing.

S - A very nice aroma of spicy hops and citrus.

T - A very nice tasting IPA. A nice bitter bite from the hops is offset by the grapefruit taste. A decent malt backbone. Overall, decently balanced beer which leans towards the bitter side than the sweet side. The alcohol is well disguised.

M - A well carbonated beer. A slightly bitter aftertaste lingers after each sip.

D - This could easily be a beer that you could spend the night drinking even at the 7% ABV. They go down rather easily.

Overall: A really good IPA. This is my first experience with Bear Republic and I was pleasantly surprised. Recommended.


 1,255 characters

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a copper/gold with a thin white head that has a long lasting layer. No cascading/lacing to speak of.

S-Citrus hops with a slight malt backbone.

T-Hoppy citrus notes of the grapefruit variety with a biscuity malt backbone. Not very complex, but it tastes good.

M-Nicely carbonated, just about right for the style.

D-Not overly hoppy, so I don't think palate fatigue would impact drinkability. I could probably drink a couple of these in a setting.

Overall, this was better than the bottle version because it was fresher. However, there are other versions of the style I prefer over this one.

 603 characters

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

The most upfront component of this complex IPA is the gratefruit flavor. The gratefruit flavor blends nicely with the strong hoppy character. It is not a brew for those that don't care for the citrus / hop bite in an IPA. In the glass the Racer 5 is lovely. It is a gritty golden-orange color. The aroma is light and the mouthfeel is pleasantly bitter. This beer is very drinkable. Give it a try.

 396 characters

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!!!

 375 characters

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.

 695 characters

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.

 976 characters

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.

 573 characters

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.

 602 characters

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.

 1,281 characters

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.

 994 characters

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.

 1,349 characters

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 7,708 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.