Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

7,639 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: 7,639 |  Reviews: 2,317
Photo of Arbitrator
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. 11/24 freshness date, so it's about 3 weeks old.

A: Pours a brilliantly clear sunset orange topped by rocky off-white head. Great sudsy lacing and register marks down the sides of the tulip.

S: Tons of beautiful citrus. A pure orange pith aroma backed by grapefruit and tangerine. It's also strongly earthy.

T: A pronounced, earthy bitterness, though it's not substantial enough to be a detriment to the flavor. Sweet pale malt provides a backbone against which citrus flavors brace themselves to assault the palate. Lovely washes of orange, grapefruit, tangerine. The finish has a small burst of pine needles.

M: A tad more bitter than I like, but it's not pronounced enough to leave more than a little residue. Medium body with moderate sweetness; it counters the bitterness and supports the hop flavors nicely. Good carbonation.

D: I had this shortly after Heady Topper. While HT is a DIPA and this is an IPA, I was surprised by how well this one held up. It's a neat reminder of how good some off-the-shelf beers can be next to their limited-release counterparts.

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Photo of CBlack85
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Duckworths in Charlotte, served in a pint glass.

The beer is an amber/orange/copper color with a big off white head that slowly recedes leaving behind sheets of lacing that cover the glass.

The nose is full of big, in your face, citrusy hops. Just a beautiful aroma. Not much else going on, but really nothing else is needed. I am dying to get a taste of this beer.

The taste does not disappoint. The flavor is big and full of orange and grapefruit with just a hint of pineapple. I also get a second hop profile that is more piney and earthy. The malty base of this beer is small and unintrusive, just big enough to make its presence known, but not enough to detract from the focus of the beer... Citrusy Hops. Medium bodied and well carbonated, smooth mouthfeel and incredibly easy to drink.

A really well crafted IPA, very smooth and inviting. Definately one of my favorite IPAs now.

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

22 oz Bomber

When trying new beers I am constantly looking for ones to add to my permanent rotation. This IPA makes it to the top portion of that list.

Aroma is what you would expect from an IPA.

Poors light orange, nice lacing.

Taste - A great balance of Hops and malt, a very smooth and balanced beer.

Drinkability - I would consider this a session beer, at 7% it is nothing to take lightly but the taste and quality of this beer would suggest that it is 9%+.

One small thing to mention, this beer was strongly recommended to me and I held of because I thought the labeling looked cheap and generic. I wish I wouldn't have waited.

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

330ml bottle poured in a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear orange golden color forming a medium, creamy and thin bubbled beige head. Good retention forming lots of thin and pointy lingering lacings in the glass

S: Sweet pale grains. Very fruity. Strong notes of sweet pale grains, piny hops, grapefruit. Citrus orange zest, pine and flowery hops

T: Follows the nose: Strong notes of flowey hops, orange zest

M: Light body, medium carbonation and nice bitter and grassy aftertaste

D: High. To be drunk in gallons (preferentially, sitting in a pub around the San Francisco bay area :p)

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Photo of HoppyPopster
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out light amber in color. There was not a lot of head upon pouring, perhaps a bit old? Smells of flowery hops. This beer is so delicious. Not too high in Alcohol, the sweet malt and bitter hops are in perfect balance. Racer 5 is one of the easiest drinking IPA's I have had!

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Photo of grittybrews
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a light straw gold with a finger of loose white head. Very nice aroma dominated by floral hops and pine.

Moderate carbonation and a refreshing, light mouthfeel. Extremely floral character for an IPA with a mild, subtle honey malt sweetness to balance. Just enough citrus bitterness on the finish to keep you coming back.

Wish I hadn't waited so long to try this IPA -- really nicely done!

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

First beer from Bear Republic. Received it in a four-pack sampler with Dale's Pale Ale and two NC installments from Foothills: Hoppyum (IPA) and Seeing Double (DIPA). This baby was right in the middle of all of 'em, alcohol-wise.

This beer was extremely light, bordering upon sunshine yellow. Although I only have a 4.5 ounce portion of this stuff, the head is frothed nicely, and the very last of it simply will not recede...even after about fifteen minutes of dormancy.

Very floral smell...I'm not a big smell guy. Gimme taste or give me death.

...And it delivers. I wrote down at the bar: "All of the hops and none of the bite." I don't know how Bear Republic has done it, but they have somehow managed to mellow the hops to where I still get the nice bitterness, but no punch-in-the-mouth at the culmination of each swig. Very impressive.

Carbonation's good here. The keg's very fresh. Slightly syrupy, but not overly so. Exactly what I would expect from a brew sitting at seven percent.

I could definitely session this stuff. If I could find a sixer of it anywhere, I could easily knock it out in an afternoon. Don't know what that says about me, but...hey, I just love good beer.

Don't know much about Bear Republic, but let's say I'll definitely be coming back to this company. Next, I want to try their Nor Cal.

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Photo of daftafne
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this for the first time at a Goose Island tasting event. Poured into standard pint glass. It has a robust, billowing creamy head that lingers. Has a straw gold color with moderate clarity. The hops are very present in the smell. Wow, the flavor is perfect; Pretty well-balanced with the hops being a bit more present than the malt. The malt hits first and is a bit sweet and syrupy. This gives way to the bitter hops and finishes with a lasting biting flavor. Moderate carbonation. I could have a number of these. The quintessential IPA.

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Photo of ericj551
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 pours an ever so slightly hazy light copper with a nice white head that leaves beautiful lacing. The aroma is sweet, almost melon-like malt, and tons of orange and grapefruit hops. Tons of hops squeeze into the flavor, citrusy and herbal. Nice light malt sweetness is well balanced by the bitterness. Overall this is a delicious IPA, I feel like they crammed the flavor of a DIPA into an IPA.

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

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

A: Orange-brown color with a nice off-white head.

S: Hops and crisp citrus.

T: Pleasantly hoppy with tastes of citrus fruits

M: Medium body, smooth, hoppy, but not too strong in that regard.

D: Very drinkable; one of my favorite IPAs.

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Photo of perrymarcus
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

pours a slightly cloudy, dull yellow tone with a finger, finger and a half of a frothy, off-white head. very good retention and lacing, but ultimately the presentation is middling to slightly above average; nothing really to write home about in a style chalked full of great ones.

strong citrus hops (grapefruit) are out in front in the nose, followed by a few pine and floral notes and then a malty presence in the background. solid, inviting aroma.

taste IMO exceeds everything else about this beer... which, if you're going to excel in one category this would be the one to do it. nice balance between the citrus/pine hops and the malts. very tasty.

medium-bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation... great drinkability. i could easily session this beer. not to be confused with a session beer...

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Photo of pburland23
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Beer pours a coppery amber with a faint head that quickly recedes and leaves a generous amount of lacing.

In my opinion, Racer 5 is one of the best smelling beers on the market. One whiff revels a cascade of piney and citrus hops aroma. It's the quintessential West Coast IPA aroma.

Taste is highlighted by an aggressive hops bitterness but is balanced out my the malt.

Medium bodied mouthfeel. For a beer topping out at 7.0%, Racer 5 is ridiculously drinkable. In my opinion, this one of the best IPAs available at the moment. It never fails to deliver.

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

I poured this into a Sam Adams pint from a 12oz bottle.

A: light amber with an orange hue. Slightly hazy with a foamy head

The aroma was pine mixed with citrus. There was also a malty smell in the background.

The taste was similar to the aroma. It had a dry sour hop taste that included pine and citrus rind. This also had a good malt profile that provided a nice caramel roasted flavor. For the most part the ABV was not noticeable in the taste.

M/F: light carbonation

Drinkability: give me a 6-er and I'm good

Overall: this is one of the better American IPA's that is readily available. The malt profile is what makes this one stand out for me. I like the interplay between the sour hops and the malt. It is simple but it works.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burnished amber colour with off-white head, moderate upon pouring, good retention. Lace is very good indeed. Thick, curtainy, like a funeral veil. Slow bead; yeah looks pretty good.

Smell is citric. Very hoppy with slight resinous notes. Lemon, lime, slight woodiness and a hint of wax. Slight malty undercurrent. Raisiny edge to the malt. Quite nice, but not mind-blowing as an IPA.

Taste is quite nice. Malty for the most part with raisiny edges and an apricot tinge, cake-batter sweetness and then hop notes come in midway. Citric and quite tangy, without a lot of complex hop flavour but provides a nice floral finish that hangs around pleasantly. Again pretty good but could use more hop flavour.

Nice and filling mouthfeel, good texture atop a nice body. Suits the style and the flavour well.

A good solid IPA. It isn't blowing my mind, but there's lots of nice West Coast hop character and a good balance struck for nice easy drinking.

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Photo of crestwood37
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have tasted a lot of IPAs and this one is top notch. For a higher alcohol content, it is very drinkable. The taste is not too strong - smooth with a hoppy feel to it.

I am disappointed that I only have five left in the six pack. I would love to give it a 5.0 rating for drinkability but I do not believe I can truly justify it yet.

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

Pours a light orange yellow color. A huge fluffy head with ok lacing, very white and very American IPA at its heart.

My nose it a touch congested but I think I'm able to smell well enough to judge this. There isn't a huge hop aroma, but it certainly is there. Grape fruit, lemon, zesty, yet a sweetness from the malt.

The taste is very hop forward. A huge hop presence biting the tongue giving off grape fruit notes all over the place. The finish has a distinct almost buttery caramel malt flavor which I really like.

A good bite, crisp hop finish and a lingering malt flavor at the end. This is darn drinkable an darn enjoyable to drink.

A true shame I can't get this locally and only have this one bottle. Reminds me a good bit of stone IPA but the malt has more a role in this one and well I can't say one is better or not but I'd love to make a choice between them from time to time.

This is an IPA at its best. There are many that could be describe this way but I think this one does a few things exceptionally. First, the carbonation is just wonderful. Second, while having a wonderful hop forward attack the malt shines wonderfully in the back. Finally, the mouth feel here is beyond exceptional. Cannot recommend this beer more and the price as I recall was extremely reasonable.

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

89th review on BA
bottle to pint

App- Very nice bright pale orange with some yellow highlights. Had a nice two finger head on it.

Smell- Very nice hop profile with a piney smell (IMO) as well. Smells like a good IPA should.

Taste- Very smooth IPA. Very good finish with a crisp bite to it. Im suprised by how smooth it was. Didn't think Bear Republic did this good of an IPA.

Mouth- Nice med. carb body with a great slightly bitter finish

Drink- Why didn't I have this before. Very nice beer. Could easily session this.

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Photo of mbarbuto2002
3.77/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Nice amber color with a 1 finger head.

S- Hoppy, hints of grapefruit.

Taste- Just enough bitterness without leaving a lasting impression.

M- Carbonation only sticks around for a few seconds, smooth going down.

D- a very drinkable IPA. Not as much "pop" as a lot of other West Coast IPA's.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my SN 30th tulip.

... OH NO! It says it was bottled only three weeks ago, but there is almost NO carbonation. It seems I will have to review this one from memory. Good thing I have it fairly often.

Smell: This is one of the best examples of how a hoppy west coast IPA smells. Huge citrus presence makes the pine take a backseat. Although the smell isn't particularly incredible, it is exactly what I am looking for as far as IPAs go.

Taste: No surprise here, tastes like it smells. Big grapefruit taste, some wet pinecones. West Coast IPA to the T.

This is made exactly like a west coast IPA should be, but unfortunately it just doesn't quite compete with the big dogs. Although, for the price, and style-wise, I haven't found anything that matches it.

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Photo of kk73
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my glass.

A - Pours a nice pretty clear honey yellow with a creamy white one finger head. Head slowly disappears into white foam with a little lacing.

S - Smell is of piney, grassy hops and some sweet malt.

T - A piney, grassy, almost spicy hop bite upfront balance with a slightly sweet malt finish. Some alcohol detected.

M - Medium body with good carbonation. Crisp and clean.

D - A very good high production west coast IPA. Definite a go to beer if it were available here in the 50th state.

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

22oz bottle, unknown date.

Pours hazy amber with a one finger off-white head that leaves some spotty lacing and holds a small foamy cap.

Aroma is pine and citrus, grapefruit rind, oranges, pineapple, some floral and grassy hops, some bready and caramel malt underneath. Good strength.

Flavor is bitter citrus, grapefruit and grapefruit rind, oranges, some resinous hops, a small caramel malt backbone with minimal and short-lived sweetness finishing dry with good bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, oily and slick, medium carbonation.

Very good IPA, just wish I knew how fresh this was. Seems to be within a reasonable timeframe for freshness but who knows?

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz poured into a pint glass

A- A light amber, somewhat orange, very thin head that stays for a while, and forms a nice lacing around the glass.

S-Grapefruits, orangey,apricots.

T- Great tasting IPA. Not too hoppy, very sweet apricot smell towards the end of the sip, but very great tasting, and not to bitter.

M- The mouthfeel of this beer is very creamy, somewhat carbonated but the great feel at first takes away the carbonation.

D- Great beer, definitely would love to drink again! Very different from other IPA'S..

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

22oz bomber at fridge temp poured into a standard pint glass. no freshness date.

pours out a hazy golden orange color with some decent looking white head. lots of sediment. good retention and some spotty lace.

lots of resiny, sticky, dank hops in the aroma. lots of floral and citrus going on. the hops smell wonderful. a nice sweet caramel malt backbone struggles to be noticed through the hops.

wonderful floral and citrus hops blend with a nice sweet caramel malt, definatly more hopforward though. fiery alcohol makes it all come together.

feels great on the palate, just like an ipa should, aggresivly bitter, resinous, sticky lingers for while. medium bodied, carb feels just right, a touch tingly.

i just want to keep sipping and sipping, great drinability. and 5$ a bomber makes this very sessionable. one of the best IPAs going...go get yourself some!

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

Poured a bomber into a wine glass.

A-Quite a bit of sediment in my pour. Blond color when held into light.

S-Smell is heavy citrus grapefruit. I am also tasting a touch of alcohol, grass and lilac flowers. There is metallic in the aroma as well.

T-Mostly bitter grapefruit in the front but not to intense. All around mild and pale.

M-Very nice mouth feel with balanced carbonation which leaves the mouth cleanly and promptly.

D-Very drinkable ipa.

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Photo of drewba
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - transparent, sparkling golden yellow with huge, frothy bubbles and a two finger head.

S - grapefruit, lemon zest, resin, grass, a little ethyl alcohol.

T - Front of the flavor spectrum is a slew of fantastic floral and citrusy hops. Lots of lemon, grapefruit and a hint of mango. The grass in the aroma is definitely here in the taste. The malt profile shows up as a cracker flavor with a hint of sweet caramel.

M - Crisp and at the same time satisfyingly creamy.

D - Awesome crisp and juicy with a clean, semi grapefruit and mixed citrus bitter finish makes for a highly drinkable beer. As expected, letting this warm a bit pumps up the bitter finish, still very nice. The $4 per bomber price tag also exponentially helps drinkability, wish I could give this a 6/5.

I did this review in about 15 minutes, versus the normal hour or so it takes me to review. I think that's a testament to how straightforward, clean and delicious Racer 5 is.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,639 ratings.
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