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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale
7,727 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
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Ratings: 7,727 |  Reviews: 2,342
Photo of Axic10
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark golden with a finger of fluffy off white foam.

Smell: Bitter earthy hops, resiny, citrus aroma and some sweet malt notes come through as well.

Taste: Bitter hops, grapefruit and a hint of tangerine mixed in there, finished with a malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and drinks very smooth.

Drinkability: Often gets lost in the talk of all of the great west coast ipas, but this is a very good ipa that is a good deal for the price. Very enjoyable.

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

this stuff is highly underated. pured hard into tulip and sniffed with deligh. resin hops. delicious in every sense. more resiny hops and a strong bite. not off balance quite delicious. I will drink many more of these. always easy to find and cheaper than many other choices.

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

Poured into a New Belgium snifter

A - Beautiful! Golden sunset with tiny yeast flakes floating. Some head and decent lacing

S - Hay, citrus zest, candy sugar, a flower I can't pin point and a bit of pine

T - Awesome. Not to big or to small. Lots of hops, nice amount of malt. It explodes with citrus, sugar and pine and never quits

M - A bit to fluffy and carbonated for my taste but still good

D - Middle of the road. Easy and not so easy. Depends on palate and mood

Final thought - I used to think this beer was just okay. Now, I am starting to think it is pretty neat

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Photo of JSchn0w7
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

By far the best recommendation someone has ever made to me at a bar. I'm always willing to try new beers as the come on tap at my local bar, but this was by far one of the best. By far is the most drinkable IPA i have ever had. Not an overly alchol taste, sweet with citrus and balanced with hops. It was the perfect combination, about 7.5% ABV and it can sneak up quickly. Another must try.

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Photo of JonathanG
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Variability within the 6-pack, as far as some sediment in one of the bottles. Would've rated appearance higher if there was consistency in the appearance.

Mouthfeel is lighter than some IPAs at the same strength, so this one is a bit easier to drink overall, i.e.: you can drink more than one fairly easily. Not as viscous or syrupy, and a bit drier/cleaner mid-palate overall.

With that being said, the first one I drank, I was only O.K. with. A bit different flavor profile than what I had been drinking lately in the IPA category... a bit more grain/cereal notes to it, so that threw me off. I had another one yesterday and liked it a bit better, even though it had minor yeast/sediment inclusions at the bottom of the bottle when I pulled it out of the refrigerator. I didn't remember seeing sediment a couple of days earlier in the previous 2-bottles?

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

APPEARANCE: Pours a beautiful, slightly hazy, dark amber with a thick two finger head with great lacing that you have to wash off.

AROMA: A noticeably piney and citrusy hop scent permeate this beer.

FLAVOR: A definitely noticeable strong grapefruit, citrus hop note with a lighter piney hop taste. A great sweet, honey, caramel, malt flavor to finish, with some continued hop bitterness. Flavors definitely pop more as this warms, ideal temp is 45-50º per the bottle.

PALATE: A great IPA, with noticeably piney hop bitterness, balanced perfectly with a nice sweet malt note and dry finish. It's no wonder this brew has won many awards.

MOUTH FEEL: A light to medium carbonation, very creamy feeling.

NOTES: An enjoyable light to medium carbonated 7.0% ABV IPA that keeps you coming back. The alcohol is hidden until it's too late, and the beer is smooth as can be.

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Photo of robbrandes
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, poured to an initially marginal head, but pretty good retention. Nice bronze-orange color, smell is a great blend of citrus, pine and just enough maltiness. Taste - paired this with some chicken divan and french bread - de-freaking-licious! Well-rounded palate with more than enough hoppy goodness to cleanse the palate.

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Photo of Hatzilla
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle dated 11/24/10 into a tulip. Bottle pours a nice 2 finger head with decent lacing. Yeast/hop particles float about the liquid, due to bottle conditioning. The scent is a pleasant medley of pine and grapefruit. Taste is citrus/pine with some bready malt and bitter grapefruit on the back end. Mouthfeel is medium with nice carbonation and very smooth. Drinkability is top-notch. I can always knock down several of these. One of my favorite IPAs, and always easy to find in my neck of the woods.

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Photo of CuttDeez
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- very nice golden amber pour with an incredibly lacy head.
S- Huge nice citrus smell and some sweet malty notes taht are mixed with incredible pine.
T- Awesome amount of hops and a great complex citrus forefront. There is definately a good malt backbone to this not overly bitter brew
M- Very very smooth medium bodied brew and a good level of carbonation
D- not the most drinkable ipa I have ever had but still very easy and enjoyable. The smell really brings you in and your not left with an incredible bitter aftertaste

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Photo of zodiak3000
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- golden/honey in color. strange, ive had this both clear and w/ hop haze out the ying yang. did they change the recipe or brewing techs? lacing is the best ive ever seen, spider-web all the way through. i think this comes from the amount of wheat they use in this recipe...

S- resin, floral, pine, grapefruit, touch of candy sweet malt coming through, but mostly hops. not really as pungent as i remember a few years back...

T/M- bitter hops really hit with a nice punch on both the front and back end. very clean, mouthfeel is really smooth with a mild caramel body. hops dominate in a balanced good way...

D- if you like hops this is your ipa. drinkability is awesome for 7%abv. almost session like. not too heavy, but not light either. have no problem achieving my hop fix with this bad boy...

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

12 oz bottle into DFH snifter

A - Pours a light orange-copper with a a finger of white head. Nice retention and lacing. Looks nice.

S - Sweet grapefruit hops and a bit of pine. A background of caramel malt is also present.

T - Blown away by tropical fruit hops and caramel sweetness. Perfect balance. One of the best of the style. Approaches Sculpin territory, but not quite. Similar to a Double IPA.

M - Medium body and impossibly smooth. Nice carbonation. Goes down so easily.

O - One of the best IPAs around. I'm actually excited when I see it on the draft list. That said, it is a huge under-performer in the bottle. I've never had a bottled Racer 5 that can come close to comparing to having it on tap.

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

12oz bottled on 11/18/2010, reviewed on 1/22/2011.

Pours a dark golden, not quite amber...decently pale-looking, with a head that isn't too big but leaves some good lacing.

Smells like grapefruit, pineapple and other citrus-y fruits.

Taste is heavy on the citrus without being either sweet or particularly overwhelming. No real malt components going on here, but that doesn't mean it's an intense hopbomb. I've had this on draft before and recall the hops being a lot more pungent. This is crisp and dry start to finish and full of citrus flavors without a sweet, mouth-coating aspect.

Mouthfeel is quite thin. As mentioned, none of the sticky-ness you expect form some West Coast IPAs.

This is a fantastically drinkable IPA--not something that makes me go "wow," but good enough that I'd want to go for another once I'm finished and good enough to make me wish it were cheaper here.

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Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark yellow/light-orange with thin,white head that fades quickly,leaving good-sized sticky lacing.

Aromas of hops up front, with malt sweetness backing it up. Sweet bready malt, citrusy hops kick in upon first sip. With a medium body,average carbonation.

A solid IPA, another great West Coast/California brew. And coming from wine country,no less. Would have again, when I see it. Hope to acquire some of their other brews as well.

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Photo of spree92
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice yellow-laced, golden IPA. Not a very big head but did leave nice lacing behind. A lot of citrus hops on the nose brought up on the end by a bit of oak. Had a very floral flavor. Bitter on the taste buds and smooths out to a great balanced finished.
At 7%, you can tell it is a big IPA but not overwhelming the food at hand.
Bear Republic is on par with any other brewery in Cali (in my opinion).

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Photo of trevorjn06
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jan 20th 2011: The first time I had this beer I hated it and it got my lowest rating of all the beers I've reviewed, however this is a highly rated IPA with a lot of hype around it so I decided to give it another shot.

Pours a golden/light copper color with a thin head the recedes to a fothy layer on the surface.

Aroma is quite nice, lots of fresh hops, grass, fruit, citrus, flowers, pine, spiciness and a bit of pungent-ness make up the nose. There is very little malt showing up here, but it's a strong IPA so to be expected.

Taste is some pale malt, grassy/hay-like hops and plenty of bitterness (though not so much as to overpower the sweetness). There are some pungent, flower-like flavors and a slight hint of caramel. The finish leaves sweet, grassy hops, spice and bitterness on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied with average carbonation.

Overal this is a much better beer than the first bottle I reviewed. It is not quite up to the hype that I have heard but it is an inexpensive 22 oz. Bomber at $4.50. I would drink this again but wouldn't seek it out.

June 22 2010: Pours a nice IPA color :P It's golden/amber with one finger of head that recedes quickly.

Smell is up front West Coast hops with citrus, grapefruit and pineapple. There is a distinct cheddar aroma that I find very unpleasant, it seems to overpower most of the malt aromas though I detect a bit of sweet maltiness back there.

Taste is pretty well balanced, lightly sweet and grainy with moderate hop bitterness (for the style) and some nice floral and citrus notes. HOWEVER the cheddar aroma comes through here too, it's just not pleasant. There is a bit of pine on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation.

Overall I was very let down by this beer, I had high expectations and there are some good things going for this brew but the cheesy/cheddar thing ruined it. I bought a bomber and couldn't finish it.

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Photo of StlHopHead77
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a super cloudy,vibrant orange with a staunch,rocky,2 finger white crown that resulted in sticky,spiderwebs of lacing.

S-Straightforward fresh citrus(grapefruit,tangerine),soft pine and green hops.Some caramel malt notes also.

T-Pink grapefruit,Mandarin orange,pine resin,toffee and biscuit.Super,super clean flavors.I almost imagine the hops being manicured down Bonsai tree style.Just very structured and proper.No rough edges.

M-Nice and bright with adequate carbonation and a
fruity,oily feel.Medium bodied and refreshing.

D-Ridiculously approachable and a good "starter" IPA.Definition of sessionable.

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

Reviewed from notes 1/19/2011

A: citrus, hops, and a small hint of malts

Ap: golden orange with a 2 finger offwhite head, head lingers, awesome lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, very crisp

Af: hops, malts on the back-end, very clean and dry

O: a very drinkable IPA


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Photo of wolfinthemirror
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle in a tulip glass. Very hazy, definitely unfiltered as there is a lot of sediment in the beer. Not a lot of head, but i poured it gently to avoid some of the sediment at the end of the bottle.

Smells very floral, dank and citrusy. I'm picking up a lot of straight forward grapefruit pith, and not much else. Great smell.

Like the smell, there is a a lot of grapefruit and citric hops. Fairly bitter and definitely hop forward, but there is also a bit of sweet caramel like malt to balance, though not much. The more i drink it though, I'm starting to find some Piney flavors in addition to the citrus. Starts very strong and flavorful but gets a little watery towards the end as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, somewhat low carbonation, and a little gritty.

Highly drinkable beer. Smooth, tasty and refreshing. After one i'm already beginning to feel a buzz from the 7% abv. Overall, this is a very solid hop forward IPA.

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

Poured a hazy, dark orange color with noticeable solid sediments into a pint glass from a 22 oz bottle with ABV on the label.
Solid 2 finger head that dissipates slowly leaving behind some very nice lacing along the glass. This beer looks beautiful in the glass.
Aroma is a very nice blend of malts/biscuit, sweetness mixed with pine, some citrus and floral hops. Carbonation of the Racer 5 is very good.
This is a very well balanced IPA. The taste is a perfect blend of malts and hops. The hops are evident up-front, followed by a sweetish/malty taste and a perfectly hoppy finish.
Lacing persists throughout the course of this beer.
Delicious and perfectly hopped, this IPA is very easy on the palate. Of course, by this I mean, easy on the palate of someone who enjoys the flavors of hops. This is definitely not for the weak of heart. One of my favorite IPA's that I can have anytime at anyplace.
Highly recommended and a must-try for every hop-head.

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Photo of tmoore600
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Everything was good, just not excellent.
Initial smell and apperance were very pleasant.
Actually enjoyed the beer right out of the bottle, but as the smell began to fade, so did the drinkability.
Would choose another west coast IPA next time around.

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

C: Golden. Light haziness like a wheat beer.

S: Very hoppy. Scent of mild sweetness.

T: Sweet with a bitter finish. Light/Medium body.

M: Smooth and well rounded like a hefeweizen.


How badly do you want another? (HBDYWA?): 6 out of 10.

The first time I had this beer, I was very impressed. Since then I've had it a few times and I've noted that it becomes less impressive over time.


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

Honored to review one of my favorite IPAs. I've had several Racer 5s from tap as well as numerous bottles and bombers usually into a pint glass. Pours slightly hazy amber with off white one finger head. Nose of citrus and piney hops with a hint of malt. Flavor is incredible- hits harsh and bitter but subsides into an incredibly smooth aftertaste. Nice citrus (grapefruit) and pine elements. Palate is great- despite its "pale ale" status, it is actually quite rich and by no means watery or thin. Lots of alpha acids and great palate make this a definite winner any day!

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber bottle poured into pint glass. No bottle date listed, or that I could find.

A: Deep orange clear color. Nice head from the pour and good retention. Bits of yeast in the glass and bottle post pour, might be older bottle or as mentioned in other posts "they like yeast"

S: Lovely, fruity hop aroma. Smells delicous.

T: Flavor is good. Nice citrusy hop flavor at the start to match the nose, and finishes with the distinct bitterness. Nothing overpowering though. Strong up front, but easy at end.

M: Somewhat watery. Appearance of being clear, not hazy holds true even in the mouthfeel.

D: Very drinkable. The 7% ABV is there, as I felt it after drinking the bomber, but I could have definitely had another one.

Overall, a solid West Coast IPA. Obviously there are many better choices from that area but this is quite nice.

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

Can't believe I never reviewed this one. Picked it up so I can cross this one off the list.

Pours a light amber color. Slightly hazy but mostly clear. Nice sticky IPA type head created by the hops. Very nice lacing.

Aroma of citrus and pine hops. Typical California IPA aroma. Wish there was a bit more but not bad.

Taste is excellent. Hoppy but well balances for the style. Hops are the front runner with a pine/grapefruit taste dominant. Slight malt flavor rounds it out.

Mouthfeel is slightly on the thin side but not bad. Great carb.

Overall i love this beer and it's one I try to pick up every once in a while. Might pick up a keg to have on tap since I see it around alot.

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Photo of djbreezy
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle date appears to be 11/05/10 - not sure how I feel about this...

appearance - pours a medium amber with good transparency like an ipa should have, large foamy head that grasps to the side of the glass as it settles, excellent retention

smell - floral hops with some pineapple notes, slightly citrus, earthy and grassy notes

taste - definitely a balanced ipa, there are some semi bold resin notes as well as strong pineapple tones in here, while the malt has a solid foothold in the flavor profile as well

mouthfeel - a solid medium/full body that is well carbonated, leaves some lingering, some bite as well

drinkability - this is a solid ipa, a bit weak on the hop side of things for a west coast ipa however, that being said, it showcases the complexity of the many hop varieties used

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 7,727 ratings
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