Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

7,657 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,657 |  Reviews: 2,322
Photo of Duff27
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark golden/light orange. Huge three-finger slightly off-white head that last a ridiculous amount of time in all it's glory. Literally looks like an ice cream float with the head. Lacing is above average as well.

S- Citrus, citrus, and more citrus. I love it.

T- Hellacious grapefruit. Citrus. Some pine. Hop profile is awesome..."Lingering bitterness"

M- Medium mouthfeel, perfect amount of carbonation for me.

D/O- What an awesome IPA! Would have no qualms with putting down a few of these given the opportunity. Racer 5...you my only friend.

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Photo of halo21
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: I poured this strong into my tulip glass; its a nice golden haze yellow to orange with a thin solid inch thick white cap that dissipated . Decent lacing on the way down with small active carbonation.

Smell: A whole bunch of hops coming at you in a number of ways; citrus - mostly lime and lemon rind - followed by a dose of alcohol.

Taste: Big hop flavor followed by a nice, mild toasty malt balance. This one brings a whole bunch of hops; the cascade coming through nicely to me. There is a nice toasty buscuit finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium creamy bodied with a drying finish.

Drinkability: High; potent but very smooth.

Notes: An amazingly good beer that lives up to its hype. A balanced hop bomb that is quite drinkable with perfect mouthfeel.

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice creamy one finger head. Pale golden in color. Smells heavily of American hops, some sweetness. Tastes of creamy sweetness, piney citrus bitterness and finishes balanced and clean. No lingering bitterness. Medium carbing, medium body. Quite drinkable with the creamy hop malt balance. Nice job Bear.

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

Received from Dim. Thanks!

A: Honey colored, great carbonation, some lacing.

S: Nothing overpowering, but nice subtle citrus notes and sweetness

T: Excellent bitterness. Grapefruit, honey sweetness..a little spicey when it warms. Taste is the highlight of the beer.

M: Dry, but in a good way.

D: While 7.0% ABV isn't terribly high, there's no traces of alcohol here. Extremely drinkable and very enjoyable. Great example of a West Coast IPA.

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Photo of peacebone116
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from my tap at home into an imperial pint glass; last cleaned the tap 3 days earlier.

A: Small creamy head with carbonation clinging to the inside of the glass in beautiful effervescent rings. The body is golden and clear. Fairly light in color.

N: Citris; grapefruit and orange; with a slight hint of pine needles.

T/M: Citrus, pine, and a honey sweetness that is almost like peach or pineapple. (This sweetness really comes to the forefront when I eat a jalapeño.) Rich and flavorful with little lingering bitterness, as with many IPA. This has a very complex taste for a single IPA, in my opinion. There is a light touch of maltiness, but this remains fairly hidden due to the great hopping.
This beer is a bit thick on the mouth--very oily--but it goes down very easily. It is hard to believe this has 7%ABV!

Considering that this is locally made (for me) and it is so delicious certainly explains why I continuously opt to put 15-gal kegs in my kegerator! Cheers!

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

Poured into a 12 oz Stella tulip

Great coppery pour, good head retention. Excellent blend of aroma hops, very inviting. Could be tad on the weaker side. First sip the beer seems unassuming, but it proves to be one of the best I have had. Great bitter levels, not too much for an IPA, but enough to remind you this is West Coast. Great mouthfeel, plenty of Munich malts in this beauty. This has to be one of the best balanced IPAs I have ever tried - some piney, some citrus, some deliciousness.

Only 'weakness' if you want to call it that, is a slight lack of nose. Otherwise, The Poster Child for West Coast IPAs.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Look: hazy orange color. Its slightly cloudy as you'd expect from a bottle conditioned beer. The head is a little thin at about one finger. Its white and doesn't last for very long and doesn't leave much lace.

Smell: If there's any doubt that hops are closely related to marijuana, smelling a Racer 5 should remove that doubt. Big nose filled with huge, citrusy hop aromas and serious earthiness.

Taste: big hop flavor. Citrus flavors are out in front with some pine and earthiness and the malt lurking in the background with honey, toffee and bready flavors. This is one of the hoppier IPAs I've had, which I like.

Feel: medium bodied, just right in terms of carbonation, and very bitter. I wouldn't call this a balanced beer at all. Its a little dry.

Drink: had no problem finishing my glass, but probably wouldn't have that many of these because of the bitterness.

Overall, this is a hop head's dream. If you like hops punching you in the mouth like I do, go for this guy. Definitely worth picking up. Cheers!

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

I had this beer on tap at a bar in San Francisco. It was in a pint glass and poured to be a copper color. It smelled of citrus and pine. This beer was very crisp, hoppy, and flavorful. It was medium-bodied. Medium carbonation with this beer and good drinkability.

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Photo of keith712
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber poured into a 1.5l hefeweizen glass (I know, but I like the scoring inside it for the head/bubbles).

Appearance: Medium golden amber, light to medium head that thins out but hangs around a bit with a steady 1/8" head and lacing. Good looking beer as it should be.

Nose: Big hops of course, as an IPA should be. Some citrus/grapefruit in there, and a touch of something sweet? Malts? A little pine for good measure as well.

Flavor: Booyah! Good hops attack immediately, followed by a citrus tone and even slightly sweet (not sugar sweet) with some yeasty malts in there! Interesting! Finishes very clean and leaves a sweet lemon presence. Wow. Going through the glass as it warms, definitely the malts come out a bit more and it gets slightly sweeter. Again, not a bad thing.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is OK, just enough. Slightly thick at first but dissipates fast leaving me wanting more. The hops, while strong, also dissipate fast. Almost...creamy, like an imperial IPA...

Drinkability: Dangerously so! As it finishes so clean it is very easy to grab another mouthful. I would never know that this is a 7% abv beer. Surprising, I thought it would be a slower drinking IPA.

Summation: I like. I like alot. I am still learning IPA's so I guess I expect the good ones to be very similar, then something comes along and surprises me. This IPA seems simple (in a good way) but actually there is more there than meets the eye (or palate). The character changed over a 20 minute period, maintaining the original presence but getting more complex at the same time. Nice. I give this a very solid 9. YUMMEE.

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Photo of awalk1227
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 11/8/10 Yay for a bomber of this stuff!

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass

A: Pours a clear, pale orange with a pretty finger of white head.

S: Fresh hops, pine, grapefruit, a hint of orange juice. Some caramel malty sweetness comes out as it warms.

T: Alcohol very well hidden here. The slightly caramel-sweet malt backbone is there to be just enough support, and then the pine and citrus blend together beautifully. The finish is both bitter and fruity, something I don't come across often with IPAs. The synergy between citrus hops, pine bitterness, and malt is great!

F: Medium, nice and full coating. Just chewy enough. Great body that keeps me sipping.

D: A big IPA for sure, and I could do a few of these in a night. I saw some sixers of this, I may pick one up to take home for Thanksgiving break in my craft brew deprived hometown.

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Photo of JMOvechkin
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

A: Beautiful, cloudy, rich, amber color throughout with a thick inviting head. I felt like it was going to speak to me.

S: It smells like my birthday. My birthday smells like dank citrusy hops with a pinch of flowery esters, it gives me goosebumps.

T: This beer is complex AND simple. There are more flavors then I can pick out but the citrusy and slightly herbal hops take me to my happy place. Every sip leaves me wanting more. The robust flavor is balanced and smooth.

M: Heavy and strong. This is what an IPA is supposed to feel like.

D: Leaves you craving more. Just as you start to grasp everything about the flavor its time to swallow. I have had this beer many times, I love it, it loves me and I will definitely drink it again and again.

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Photo of juju7
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A class IPA. Great look; head retention was fantastic, sexy lace. A nice mixed nose of grass, pine, hints of tropical fruits and nicely integrated malt notes. Solid bitterness and a full, well balanced mouth feel. Aftertaste is long, persistent and pleasant. Overall a really sexy beer that has balance and flavour in spades. A good benchmark.

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Photo of Greggy
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a 1/2 finger sticky off white head with some clinging lace. The body is light orange/honey colored with ample yeasties holding still in suspension.

S- Good bits of pineapple, grapefruit, a bit of green apple skins, also slightly herbaceous.

T- Starts out with a very balanced malt and hopiness with notes of pine, some breadiness, alcohol is felt prior to the finish. The finish has a bit of dry maltiness but a lingering bit of anise which is kind of odd.

M- The body is big but the carbonation feels a bit low.

D- Overall, a decent IPA. I wouldn't likely have again.

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Photo of mjsheehan08
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

--from notes

I have had the chance to drink this beer on a number of occasions, and it always pleases. Really a great beer after it warms down a bit. Great citrusy hops. Holds the glass great, and delivers a great, dark amber color and a really fresh aroma.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a light golden/copper color with orange highlights. A little over a finger of white head, which isn't too impressive but the retention is fantastic. Lacing is persistent and clings all over the glass for the duration of the beer.

Smell: I detect some biscuity malts, and after that a lot of citrus, with some floral and piney hops. Very crisp and fresh. Makes me look forward to the first taste.

Taste: Once again, boatloads of citrus (orange, pineapple, lemon) up front and in the middle of the swallow. Very crisp flavor, with a bit of floral hops and even more piney hops on the back end. Slightly bitter finish. Super refreshing and great taste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: A bit under medium bodied with good carbonation combines for a smooth mouthfeel. Overall, one hell of an IPA. Every time I have this I'm impressed. This beer possesses all of the qualities that I'm looking for from this style.

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Photo of shambeano
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

shared with a mate
A- pours a golden amber, about a centimeter of head, wich slowly subsides with a tiny bit of lacing.

S- slightly minty but massive pine dominates.

T- slightly biscuity malt sweetness, but then the same piney, slightly citrusy, maybe a tad of passionfruit hopes really shine through. a fair bit of bitterness in there but its backed up by a fair bit of malt. very nice.

M- slightly thick, bitternesss really at the back of the throat, really long finish, with a slightly dry end.

D- very drinkable, dry finish makes you want to have another sip. long lasting bitterness too.

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

This is delicious... I highly recommend it.

Nice foam head that last... leaves foam rings through the drink. Pours golden-yellow with a slight cloud.

Beautiful aroma. Nice citrus notes of grapefruit and pineapple. There are also hints of pine.

Taste is crisp. Has a lemony-citrus finish.

Medium body... true to category.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into shaker.

This beer pours a nice darkish, murky yellow and has a very nice rocky white head. Its smells of the typical piney, fruit hops with little noticable sweetness. Taste is excellent with hops up front and a touch of malt in the background. The mouthfeel is medium body with a nice creaminess to it. Very drinkable and the ABV is at a good point. This beer is delicious and extremely well balanced. I am glad that it comes in bombers and 6 packs!

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

Appearance: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass. Pours a light golden color with a creamy white one-finger head. The retention is good; the lacing is really good. Some columns of carbonation are visible, as are some yeast chunks at the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Great citrus hop aroma. I'm getting some lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, and a pretty pronounced yeast aroma for an IPA (which I like!). Good balance between the hops and the malt backbone. The aroma seems to get sweeter and more floral the longer it sits.

Taste: Creamy texture and delicious! There is a pretty good punch of malt on the front end, but the hops grab hold of your tongue towards the end, ushering your taste buds into a pretty dry, bitter finish. I always enjoy it when what you taste at the beginning of the sip is far different than what you get at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with a creamy texture and a dry, hoppy finish.

Drinkability: Very hoppy, but drinkable. Enough variance in the flavor experience to keep me interested and coming back for more.

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

Racer 5 India Pale Ale has a slightly-cloudy, light-orange colour and a good head and lacing. The smell is quite strong and is mostly of citrussy hops. Some malt is noticable to begin with followed by bitter hops and a delicious citrussy tang. This is a really good IPA.

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

A-The beer pours an amber/dark golden color with some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. It appears that the sediment is hops rather than yeast.

S-The beer has a strong hop nose. In one sniff, you can pick out resinous vegital aromas in the background that follows a ripe fruit smell that is further surpassed by the citrus aroma of domestic style American hops. It's complex to say the least.

T-You can taste and initial malt sweetness that is followed by a definate hop bitterness that fills your mouth. As you swallow the beer, the bitterness fades towards the back of the throat.

M-It has a medium body that is accompanied by a moderate to low carbonation.

D-The beer is approachable for a new beer drinker but still retains enough characteristic hop aroma and flavor to be unique. It is a solid example of what an American style IPA should be.

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

12 oz bottle to 12oz sam adams glass. 1 finger creamy off-white head, good lacing beginning to end of drink, Mildly hazy golden honey color clears up in a few minutes.

Smells of Big piney Hops, mildly sweet/sour orange zest, grapefruit, malts and mild fruit sweetness...very nice!

Taste is pine hops, then mild orange zest, orange peel with a nice smooth malt. Orange and malt sweetness lingers nicely with the hops.

Mouthfeel is lite-med body, tight tiny carbonation zip, hop bite and dryness on tongue with mild alcohol warmth.

Great Drinking ipa. flavors are well balanced. I especially enjoyed the lingering mild sweet orange peel notes & hops that linger after the finish. A definite keeper!

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Photo of SuperNova777
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 10/21/10

A:Pours a hazy orange color with a fingers worth of bubbly white head, very nice
lacing left down the glass.

S:Fills the nose with delicious citrus, tropical, and grapefruit hops. Nice sweet malts are included in the mix, very inviting.

T:Just as the nose suggest big juicy citrus/tropical hops hit the palate up front followed up by some balancing sweet malts. The backend is left with a small but pleasing
bite of bitterness.

M:A very nice body with excellent carbonation, refreshing to say the least. Palate is left a little dry but begging for more.

D:This was a super enjoyable bottle that I received in a trade, juicy hops really come
thru but are balanced out quite nicely. Easy to drink, very tasty, and as far as I know
reasonably priced. I wish Bear Republic was distrubuted in Indiana because this
would be one of my go to beers.

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Photo of Messiahbolical
3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Here's my first Beer Advocate review, picked this one up in a 22 oz bomber at Bevmo for around $4.

A - Pours a beautiful cloudy light orange color, massive amounts of lacing sticking down the sides of the beer indicating that this beer is extremely fresh. Mild carbonation. Looks great... one of the best looking beers I've had.

S - Picking up lots of citrus notes right off the bat, orange and lemon peel present with large pine undertone throughout each sniff. Not the most intense smelling IPA out there, but smells pleasant nonetheless. I just wish the smell was a bit stronger though.

T - A mild, malty sweetness hits right away for split second then fades away with a following pine bitterness that sticks to the back of your tongue and slowly fades away. This really reminds me of a hoppier Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, it's damn good. Not themost balanced IPA I've had, but it tastes damn good and is right there near the top as far as flavor goes.

M - Surprisingly light for the style and goes down smooth.

D - Despite it being light for the style, the beer looses points here for moderate ABV% and bitterness that stays around for a while. It has decent drinkability, but also definitely not sessionable. Mid of the road for this category. Also, it's a bit pricey compared to some other comparable beers so I don't know if you'd want to spend that much to session this anyways.

All in all, it's a pretty good beer though. I'd definitely pick it up again if I wanted a solid IPA that goes down smooth and isn't overly bitter. I liked it alot and I'd recommend it to any IPA fan. It's worth a try, pick it up if you see it.

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Photo of Jemonster
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: First of all, I don't know if I got a funny bottle or what, but this beer was straight up chunky. Not "just a little sediment at the bottom", but large off-putting blobs of what I hope and assume was yeast throughout the glass, in suspension, after I poured it into a stein. I actually strained it into a another glass.

S: Good mostly. Sweeter smelling than most IPAs.

T: Very good! Clean and sweet with the hops coming through strong at the very end in the aftertaste.

M: Creamy and rich.

D: I could session these, but I would have to take the time to strain it. Ugh.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,657 ratings.
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