Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale
7,782 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: 7,782 |  Reviews: 2,354
Photo of Fluke828
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Had this on tap with a frothy finger and a half head. Some serious lacing throughout.

Smell is intoxicating floral and pine with some citrus and serious hops.

Taste backs up the smell only with a big time bite of bitterness throughout. Very hoppy but not as fruity as I was expecting, judging by the smell. Piney and resinous for sure with a bitter bite that lingers into the aftertaste.

Felt smooth going down again with the strong bitterness present that really balances out the carbonation.

Drinkable and enjoyable, and it was quite good, especially to an IPA enthusiast such as myself but I must need to have several others to see what all the hype is about and buy into it. Would have it again...

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Photo of evanlarkin
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up in a trade with hopz4life. Thanks man!

Straw gold and clear with about 2 fingers of head. A slow dissipation leaves a thick lacing.

Piney and resinous, but still citrusy, like oranges maybe. I expect a sweet taste based on the smell.

Piney for sure, with a very balanced bitterness. Sweet and malty. Not very much booze, but some zest remains in the aftertaste, reminding me of how it feels after biting into a lemon peel. Not sour though.

Full-bodied, lacking nothing. Creamy and not crisp, but very soft.

Reasonable. It's not my personal #1 IPA, but it's very good nonetheless. If I'm looking for hops with less fruit, this is probably the one for me.

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

Appearance. Golden-amber with a finger of fluffy, white head that leaves some nice lacing.

Smell. Pink grapefruit rinds, piney hops, and a little roasty malt.

Taste. Pink grapefruit, bitter piney hops, ssome pineapple and tangerines with a hint of roasty malt.

Mouthfeel. Medium bodied with smooth, medium carbonation.

Drinkability. A good drinker. Medium bodided but 7% is concealed nicely. This bomber is going, going, gone!

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

enjoyed on tap at Paddy's in Springfield, MA (was out with the late night crowd, very pleased to find this gem on tap)

Served into a Pint Glass (only glass in use in the whole place- everything else was plastic)

A - dark amber with a nice bubbly 1" head, cool looking beer

S - citrusy hops with a nice pine sappiness present, a good IPA-nose

T - good hop notes of citrus, pine, as well as a dank earthy quality....this reminds me of Green Flash's IPAs in taste-- maybe the Columbus hops?

M - perfect for my IPA preference, medium to full with a coating bitterness at the end

D - high, would make this a go-to six pack when I make it into NY or MA, but lack of freshness dates on bottles means I usually steer clear....great beer tho

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Photo of MrHirschybar
2.17/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From a 12 oz bottle into 8oz beer glass and 4 oz beer glass - split

A - one glass nice clear amber color / 2nd glass murky orange amber color with tons of sediment and floaters - no shaking or hard pour -

S - Very nice citrus smell, no hop bitterness or maltiness present at all

T - Light hop bitterness with very light citrus after taste - this tasted like leftover hop water -

M - Very light mouthfeel - little to no carbonation -

D - Tried this at BevMo on tasting day a while back and don't remember it being bad - actually bought the 12oz single that day to try at home - maybe this is an old bottle, bad cap, faded out? Didn't see a date on the bottle on the look I gave it - kept it as I like to keep the labels -
I'll change the review if I get the opportunity to try this again at home from a bottle in the future --

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

A: Poured into my pint glass, this IPA pours a golden yellow with a white capped head. This brew is leaving excellent lacing, which is why it is deserving of a 4.5.

S: The aroma is classic IPA, but just is lacking the strength that I've come to appreciate in a West Coast IPA. The hops are leaning towards fruit and citrus notes, with very little pine.

T: The flavor is excellent for an IPA and hops are pronounced. What sets this apart is it's malty sweetness that comes from the pale malt. A good balance is key with this brew.

MF: With the amount of pale malt, I was expecting a little more body in this brew, but it is just on the hairy edge of a 4.5.

D: At 7%, and with it's incredible balance, this brew is definitely a good drinking IPA.

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Photo of ms11781
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz poured into a pint glass at Stars in Hingham, MA.

Pours a golden orange color with a thin, foamy white cap for a head. Exceptional lacing left on the glass from top to bottom.

The nose is very hop forward. Tons of citrus aromas and a huge presence of piny, resiny hops. A bit of sweetness as well but nothing compared to the hops.

Surprisingly balanced compared to the nose. Definitely still a huge hop presence with great citrus notes leading the way but there is a great sweet malt flavor that balances the hops. Slightly bitter finish with some pine notes but nothing overpowering.

Medium body with lower carbonation. Finish is a bit bitter with some piny, resiny hops but they don't stick to the tongue. Definitely a smoother IPA.

Drinkability is very good. Strong hop flavors with a light enough body for multiple pints but nothing too overpowering.

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Photo of tone77
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a small head. Smell is of hops, some citrus. Taste is dominated by hops, some citrus and hints of malts, very flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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

A: Pours cloudy yellow with light orange hues. Paper thin head, but weak pour on my part.

S: Hops are present and do dominate the smell, but not as pungent as some other IPA's. Strangely the malts of the brew comes out strong and fight for control of your nose as well; more so than other IPA's as well.

T: Exact opposite of smell. Hops, hops, hops, and more hops. Very bitter all the way through. Some slight malt in the middle; followed by an extremely bitter finish.

A strange twist on an IPA for me. The smell was lacking the characteristic grapefruit/hops smell that I tend to notice most frequently associated with American IPA's. The taste is very balanced for being as bitter(75+ IBU's). From the pour, to smell, to tasting this beer was a wonderful ride that being constructed so well culminate in an award winning brew. 7% ABV is the only thing that keeps it from a session. GREAT BEER BEAR REPUBLIC BREWING CO!!!

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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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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 7,782 ratings