Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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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
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Ratings: 7,748 |  Reviews: 2,348
Photo of rjochman
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a copper/orange color with a small amount of white head. Leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass.

S: A lot of hops. get tones of citrus and fruit. very sweet.

T: Matches the smell perfectly. Really sweet, hoppy fruit flavor.Not too bit with but very flavorful.

M: very sweet and finishes dry.

D: Really enjoyed this beer. Passed this beer up one time before and really glad i went with this at dinner tonight. Will definitely be getting this again very soon.

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Photo of breadnerd
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours bright gold into a my pint glass. This bottle was stored at 60 degrees, so I've got quite a bit of head here. Some haze.

Lots of pine and grapefruit on the nose, a bit floral too. Very pleasant indeed.

Great hop character. Lots of bitter, but I think it's fairly balanced with hop flavor and residual sweetness. Hop flavor lingers on the palette, but not in an unpleasant way. This is a fairly balanced IPA.

Hard to say, it might just be because this particular bottle is more on the room temp side, but I would like more effervescence. As the beer continues to warm, I get more of a syrupy finish.

A good beer all in all. I will be sure to drink it again, only a little colder and faster.
More drinking, less typing....

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

This pours a hazy orange with a white head that fades in the snifter. The small bubbles don't leave any lacing. On the nose there is a bright pine presence, not overwhelming, probably due to a sweeter mixture of figs and such below the hops. On the tongue it's predominantly grapefruit. In the mouth it's a little thin, but with a pleasing carbonation that keeps the hops around after the swallow. It's quite drinkable, and I think it's a pretty good example of an IPA.

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Photo of Mancer
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The bottle poured out a hazy golden orange body with a two finger high off-white head. The foam dissipated into a thick and sticky lace that coated the top of the beer and smothered the glass. Large rinds could be seen floating about the beer. The initial aromas were of citrus, pine, lots of resin, and hints of yeast. The initial flavors were citrus, resin and pine with a bitter and dry bite. It had a medium body with light carbonation which provided a nice bite.

Overall, this is fantastic. This will be my go to IPA for the time being. I think the checkered flag on the front of the bottle suits this podium finishing beer.

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

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

Pours a nice golden color with a white frothy head, sticks to the side of the glass all the way through. Big citrus hops, lots of grapefruit and mango. Solid. Taste follows suit... citrusy hops with a good amount of bitterness. Finishes pretty dry and clean, giving it great drinkability. I could definitely get most of the way through a sixer if I had a little motivation. Very solid IPA, and one I pick up when I get the opportunity.

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Photo of breyton490
3.06/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bought a 12 pack of 12oz bottles in Jan 2011 on the east coast.

Nice hop aroma, similar to what I remember when having this on tap in Heldsberg.

Very clear appearance, nice big rocky head.

Nice bittering, very good IPA, but not very drinkable. Mouth feel was thick and syrupy. Alcohol taste evident.

I don't think I could drink more than one or two bottles in a sitting due to the heavy, sticky, syrup texture of the beer. Prefer the dryer finish found in a Sierra Nevada or Russian River IPA (RR IPA or Blind Pig)

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

This is a great beer there is nothing else to say. just buy it if you see it. This kind of beer does not last long on the shelves. the smell, taste and mouthfeel is outstanding form beginning to end.
the consistency is jut amazing. Im very impressed by such a quality!

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Photo of mbusster88
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours clear orange color with white head. Some carbonation on the glass but not a ton. Head is small bubbles and rather thin.

S: Grapefruit, tangerine, some mango like notes as well. Good hop characters in the nose, very citrus but also some floral notes.

T/M: Well the taste is just like the nose, fantastic. Great consistent fruit notes that really show well. Great amount of hop profile really well done. Easy on the palate, very cleansing but not overly bitter.

D: Loved this beer, I have had it many times and I keep on coming back to it when I want an affordable and consistently good IPA.

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Photo of gabedivision
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a snifter glass.

A- Looks like copper swimming in a glass. Very little to no head, little carbonation.

S- Hoppy Hoppy Hoppy! Strong citrus hop smell, could wake the dead. Bitter and sugary. this smells amazing!

T- Mash up of different fruits, mostly citrus, bitter hop goodness. Mild floral touch.

M- Sweet, mild and dry.

D- This beer is extremely drinkable. I often pass it up, i will not be so unwise next trip at the beer store. One damn fine IPA.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a golden orange body with a bone white head. Patterns of lacing at the top.

S - Wow! Cascade with some spice! Tangerine, ruby red grapefruit, some honey herbs, tart strawberries, tangy mango, over-ripe pineapple, sugary yeast. Basically heaven.

T - A burst of candied grapefruit, tangerine, sweet lemon, mango, and green pineapple. Has some wintergreen pine mixed in as well as some herbal spice notes. All of this encompasses a rich and honey kissed pale malt that seems to soothe the soul. Bitterness is tame and resides on the edges of the flavor giant.

M - Medium body, actually kind of a lush feel,

This beer lives up to the hype. I've been putting off trying this beer for a long time because of the label. Boy was I wrong...Basically a tropical citrus wonderland resting on a crystal caramel malt crust. The herbal and evergreen balances out the huge hop profile wonderfully. This a flavor assault...period. The great thing about the hops is the flavor and not necessarily the bitterness. The malt is perfect and is in perfect unison with the hops. This beer is a flavor giant and you should not let this pass you up. Don't judge a book by it's cover....lesson learned.

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

Decided to finally review this the other night...I thought I had already reviewed it since it is one of my go-to IPAs for everyday drinkin. Pours slightly clear amber color with a medium white head. Scent is extremely sweet and hoppy with a lot of pine. Smells AMAZING! Taste is citrusy (grapefruit and orange) with nice fresh hop flavor. I also get a light malt backbone (very light---this is the west coast afterall). The pine flavors dominate throughout, making this one tasty IPA. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and very complex. Drinkability is very high. This beer is AMAZING fresh! It can turn for the worst rather quickly though. Definitely one of my favorite IPAs when fresh.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah...Racer 5. My gateway beer into pungent sticky hops. This beer is responsible for letting me know the potential Hops and IPA's had to offer after a few so-so ones.

A - Golden orange, a bit cloudy but not murky. Good head retention

S - The first beer that let me know beer could smell and taste similar to chronic dank weed. Now I know why the tap-handle is colored Rastafarian. Awesome, I love it. Pine, oranges dominate, hemp and a sweet malt backbone that holds it together. A musty citrussy nose for sure.

T - Showcases hops upfront. Oranges are the main focus of fruit, followed by hints of grapefruit, sticky pine and hemp. This beer fresh is a treat and 100% walks the line of bordering DIPA territory in terms of a heavy hop forward profile for a single IPA. Before Pliny was bottled, this beer is what Northern Californians bought to satisfy their quality hop fix with. To me, this beer is like a sloppy Pliny in flavor. Many similarities.

M - Very nice and crisp. Sweet malt backbone is there but overshadowed by the hops. Just a bit resinous...lingers like a DIPA would on the palate which is aces for me.

D - Very good. Can put down numerous pints in a sitting without batting an eye.

Final Thoughts - This beer used to get much more praise from hopheads 3 years ago and before. Along came the Sculpins being bottled and the Blind Pigs and Union Jacks and I feel Racer 5 fell a bit by the way side the these. Make no mistake, a fresh racer 5 is arguably as good as all the other over hyped single IPAs mentioned here on BA. I'd never turn one down.

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Photo of jc85
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Poured a hazy golden color with 1/2 finger of white head. The yeast sediment could be seen floating, there was alot of it.

Smell- Nice hop aroma, with some citrus notes.

Taste- Really sweet hoppy beer, some bitterness on the backend, but not too much to be bad. It was a good mix.

Mouthfeel- Low carbonation, and a little sticky. Medium light bodied.

Drinkability- This was a really good beer. It went down smooth, but you could still feel the slight burn of the alcohol.

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Photo of Hellabeerguzzler
3.57/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a - decent. Nice copper, slightly cloudy (hello!) w/ not much carbonation although enough for me. The shittiest label I have ever seen. It looks like a poor take on a retro label that just was anything but enticing - but heck, it's just a label. Wouldn't have touched it had it not been recommended to try.

s - a little piney, hops not very sharp at all but sweet smell with some breadiness in there. A little wheaty for me as an IPA but regardless, still very nice.

t - delicious. very well done. hop-forward, piney sweet hops with some balance and malt. All in all a very nice beer.

m - coats the mouth heavily and stays with you for a bit.

d - drinkability is very good. I'd drink it again but have to deduct just a little bit for the mouth-wrecking it gave me. I'd drink it again but would stop at 1.

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

Poured from a bomber into my chalice. Avoided this one because of the cheesy label graphic... lesson learned.

Not too much head, solid lacing. Clear dark gold color with little bits of yeast suspended within.

Popped the top and put my nose to the bottle. Instantly knew this was going to be an excellent beer. Hop oil to the point it almost smells bitter, sweet citrusy and wonderful.

Tastes like a true IPA, bitterness abounds and changes flavors as it warms. Grapefruity bitter goodness, raisins, etc... it's hop-tastic.

Feels nice and thick on the tongue, lets its presence known.

7 is my favorite number, and i could drink a few bottles of this easily. Each time i put the glass down i find myself reaching back for it. Shame i went for the bomber and not the six pack.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a shaped pint glass. This brew appears a pale golden color that is clear with some small particulate floating around in suspension. Almost 2 fingers of fluffy white head swells atop this brew and slowly recedes leaving an entire wall of webbed lace upon the glassware.

The aroma of this brew is citrus hops that comes across a little sweet with some fruity and floral indications and a very light malt backing. It has a faint tingle of alcohol included.

The taste is grassy bitterness, lightly herbal and rind like with quite a bit of citrus fruity bitter flavoring. It has a mild malt sweetness which balances this brew out before it finishes dry and a little sharp. The alcohol is readily evident and increases the sharpness of the finish.

This is a well rounded brew that is medium in body with a modest amount of carbonation. It is quite drinkable and balanced. This is another bear republic offering that I have passed by multiple times without giving a try. I have no idea how fresh this offering is but I would love to have this again as fresh as possible.

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

12. 0z into a pint glass.

The look is a hazy golden yellow with particles floating homogenously throughout. The head is white and creamy with a decent lacing.

Smells ridiciously sweet, I can tell its going to be quite viscous. Caramel malts with fruity hops taking a backseat, I can barely tell that there are any hops present through the smell. This would be an interesting beer to smell in a blind taste test.

Dayummm, this beer is sweet. Very sweet caramel malts with some dark fruity character, maybe fig or a rasiny influence. The sweet, fruity malts are immediately met with a strong citrusy hop character that seems to slowly aasimilate into the malt. This is very interesting, the hops and malts are both extremely powerful, it's as though the hops wrap themselves around the malts and then slightyyyy overpower them giving a pleasantly strong bitterness that almost anyone can enjoy. The finish, is silky smooth, sweet, bitter, earthy and overall fantastic.

The mouthfeel is great, viscious, and creamy for an ipa due to the high concentration of malts. I would even venture to say it has a slightly chewy quality to it. The carbonation is perfect as well.

If the beer wasnt so sweet I could drink this all day. The profound malt character gives it a heavy feel which is very enjoyable, however, a drawback is that it makes it nearly impossible to drink more than 2 in a session.

Overall this beer is fantastic, definitely a unique ipa thats a similar to a double ipa. If it had not been for the overwhelming malt character, this beer may have been 5's all across the board. While the hop character was strong, it was a little disappointing to see some of the the hops hidden behind the sweetness. I feel like a little less sweetness could be a literal perfect ipa. BUT, it still made for a truly fantastic beer that I would recommend to anyone.

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

A - Hazy apricot color with a moderate sized, creamy, slightly foamy, white head. Good retention leaving a nice, creamy lace.

S - Great citrusy aroma of grapefruit and orange along with a large floral aroma. Some peach and other fruity aromas as well. A touch of caramel backbone and only the faintest of pine. Very juicy and a great aroma making my mouth water.

T - Very floral flavor with citrus playing a close second. Has a good lasting bitterness as well. Has a decent caramel and bready malt in the background. Nice hoppiness with some lingering bitterness.

M - Medium body with a good level of carbonation. Has a slightly slick feel.

D - Goes down very easy with a nice hop and malt balance. A slight astringency and a lingering bitterness.

Notes: Pretty good IPA. Solid with a good level of hoppiness with a decent level of bitterness and malt to balance it out. Pretty strong floral/herbal flavors with citrus being second. Very tasty and would gladly have another. It may not be my absolute favor IPA, but it is up there.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1st Review

A - Pours that golden straw IPA color with some slight orange hues. Medium frothy head with nice lacing.

S - Hop aroma is amazing. You get that great citrus-tangerine zing from the heavy late and dry hop additions associated with many of the great West Coast style IPA's. Touch of bready caramel malt sweetness underneath.

T - Tastes as good as it smells with an inital citrus and pine hop combination from the heavy use of American C hops. Has a nice bitter bite to it with the balance of soft caramelized malts. Lightly floral with some slight alcohol spice in the end but really well hidden otherwise. Just a great all around IPA.

M - Moderate to lighter body with a nice creamy texture. Residual sweetness and resinous with an upper level of hop bitterness. Finishes with a nice drying which balances things nicely.

D - A classic West Coast style IPA that never dissapoints.

Racer 5 is definitely a staple in my lineup. A great all around IPA. Being in CA it is a relatively cheap purchase for a bomber ($4) and never dissapoints when I need my Lupulin fix!

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Photo of Avantyawn
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice coppery ambery murky IPA look to it. Very good. Nice head and lacing as the beer goes down.

S: The smell is truly impressive! More piney than citrusy. Very earthy, with bright floral notes. Fresh, sharp hops are the name of the game here.

T: Bright hoppy. earthy, grapefruit citrus at the end. Bitter and smooth finish, almost toasty at the end. The smell is slightly more interesting than the taste, yet still, a very solid IPA.

M: Starts thick, hoppy, and bitter. Ends thin , clean and watery. I like the start more than the finish.

D: I could easily pound 3 or 4 of these in a row. The clean smooth finish and the surprisingly undetectable alcohol taste at 7% leaves this a dangerously drinkable brew. Well done!

Note: I wish this were more readily available in 6 pack form in NYC. 5.99 a bomber , I don't think so, especially when their superior and stronger Hop Rod Rye is 5.99 a bomber, but a 9.99 6er I'd pick this up to mix it up once in a while. Hard to say I would pick this up over Smuttynose IPA at 9.99 'round here.

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Photo of Glibber
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice looking beer with some carbination and a decent head that left plenty of lacing on the glass. Plenty of hops and a nice subtle pine taste that was not overpowering. Felt very good in the mouth and was quite smooth going down despite the up front hoppiness. Some citrus flavors helped this beer stand out among other IPAs I had recently.

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