Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale
7,807 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: 7,807 |  Reviews: 2,357
Photo of SheepNutz
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber poured into a pint glass. It pours a slightly hazy reddish-orange with 1 small finger of head. There is a little bit of lacing left on the glass. The smell is a rich hoppy floral aroma, with some fruitiness also. The taste has good hops, and isn't overpowering, like some bigger IPAs. There are also some cirtus notes, and just enough malt for balance. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth. The drinkability is very nice for being 7%. A good offering for hophead rookies.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.44/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale gold colored IPA with a large foamy head. Aroma is malty and spicy. Lightly malted, heavily hopped. A highly hopped IPA, yet there is a definite malty overtones. Nice balance of hops and malts. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is bitter with some malt sweetness.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Originally sampled on 13 May 2002. I am writing this review from my notes. This is a nice drinking IPA. It is certainly better than average with a good hoppy nose and flavors. Others (Stone, DFH, Victory, Bells) are better, but I wouldn't pass this one up

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

Appearance: Dark gold - light orange amber, a tad lighter than its American IPA peers. Off-white head that leaves plenty of lace.

Smell: Grapefruit, pinepapple, a little citrus and pine.....all the glory that is Cascade!

Taste and mouthfeel: Hopheads rejoice! Bear Republic has managed to extract a ton of PNW hops flavor into this brew with only a scant amount of bitterness. All the aforementioned smells translate to the palate backed by a sweet, bready, lightly kilned maltiness. Creamy, slightly chewy mouthfeel, yet a bit lighter than say, a Stone IPA. Good Stuff!

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with an orange hue. A fine creamy white head, while not big, holds on well. Pouring out the bottom half adds the sediment which clouds up the issue. 2 appearances, 1 beer. Bonus points!

Aroma is reminiscent of hop monsters past. Major floral smell, almost candy-like and some pine notes in there.

Taste is brief, but solid malt up front, then the hops prevail. They don't force their way onto the palate too soon, but wait for just a moment before blending with and transitioning from malt to hop. It's not necessarily balanced, but it doesn't have to be, it's really not supposed to be. The fact that the hops share the stage at all is noteworthy. If you've not had the likes of Hop Ottin, Ruination, Hop Devil, or Dogfish 90 Minute, then this will be a shock. Otherwise it's really a tasty IPA with a well-defined hop bite that is as much sweet as it is bitter due to some creative and delicious malt infusion. A good pick for the intermediate hopster.

After drinking about 10 ounces from the glass, I swirled and poured the remaining 8 or so from the bomber. Adding that sediment softens the hop profile considerably, making the taste as balanced in an IPA as Two Hearted Ale, though considerably less intense. 2 tastes, 1 bottle. Bonus points!!

This doesn't taste like it's 7%, I could handle 4 of these easily before I figured out I should've stopped at 3. A unique taste every hop lover owes to them self to try.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought from the fridges at Gaslamp Liquor in San Diego, seven hours in my carryon, a couple of weeks in my fridge, reviewed 45F-70F.

This is a very pretty looking beer. The big, cream-colored head is dense in the middle with coarse bubbles around the edges. Lacing is monstrous: thick, 3-D sticky scary clumps. The color is a slightly hazy pure amber. Very fine carbonation and fine sediment on the last pour.

Hop-o-rama! The nose is darkish sweetish malty... quite complex. The front is like fresh squeezed hop juice with some caramel sweetness. The middle is creamy with a little toffee and a touch of chocolate. Very thick and a little oily. Delicious hop bitterness dominates the finish, but there's more to it than that. There's a little grass and something else I can't quite put my finger on (but it's good). The aftertaste is quite grainsy with some nice alcohol warming.

What a great, tasty beer. It's intriguing... I can't quite grasp the complexity. But I'm going to ding it a little on drinkability: with the thick body I was satisfied with one.

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Photo of beernut7
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This tasty IPA pours with a slightly hazy amber color and a slight lace on the glass. Mild buttery and floral spice aroma. The complex flavor involves a stronger malt presence especially bringing out a caramel roundness paired nicely with a moderate bitterness and a mild spice compared to the style. Quite drinkable and very well-balanced. There is a distinctive toffee flush through the finish.

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Photo of BierReise
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I didn't find this IPA as nice as the Alesmith but still an excellent brew. Deep copper color with ample froth which lightly laced the glass. Nose is hoppy with pine really standing out. A gentle bitterness which is nice and the way I personally like IPA's to be. Good to the finish with consistent flavor throughout.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: hazy orange, ripe peach, with a good, white, and actively bubbly head of foam atop. Aroma: instantly sharp and spicy, with spikey hits of citric fruit, grapefruit, peach, apricot, plus pine, and flowers, and more. Intense!
Hop attack begins in earnest on first sip and never wants to quit! A torrent, no, a blizzard, no an ever-loving bitter monsoon! A definite threat to the senses!
Tingly, spicy, and ever-so-tasty!
This would go great with food, I think, but I also think that it would go great with anything, anytime!
Body feels thin, though, compared to the massive hop-heaviness on the palate.
More malt, please, sir!
There are many layering effects, though, and many rewards for this souped-up ale.

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

Appearance: Pours a light amber with great clarity. It forms an off-white head that's foamy and rich, and a full finger deep. It fades to a small cap, but laces the glass well. Adding the yeast dregs doesn't really change the look much.

Smell: This brew has a great hoppy aroma with lots of pine, citrus, and grapefruit. A touch of sweet caramelly malt is present.

Taste: Full flavored with a fair amount of hop bitterness, but lots of hops flavor. Great use of dry-hopping here... Hefty doses of piney resin, grapefruit, and a touch of a floral taste. It induces pine-soaked burps... There's a nice malt backbone, which is slightly sweet with a strong caramel flavor. A bit of a toasted, bready character is in there too. A touch of alcohol on the tail end. Very well balanced, this is a damn good IPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with a smooth, crisp mouthfeel. Has the perfect amount of dryness to arouse my hunger. It's just right...

Drinkability: This beer is very drinkability for a 7% India Pale Ale. If it wasn't for the higher strength, I could sip this all night.

Another fantastic brew from Bear Republic. The more I try these California micros, the more I want to move out there...

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Photo of Bierman9
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A gift from The Man...Gusler! A hard pour produced a voluminous, ever-so-slightly off-white head, which settled into a lasting 1/4" topping. Bubbles were tight and fine, and lacing was ample down the glass. The color was a medium golden, with a bit of particulate hovering about within (though not enough to distract in any way, at least for me, anyhow).

The nose was quite pleasant, with a suggestion of bready malt trying to come forth. It was put in its place by a healthy dose of grapefruity hops. A real nice combo.

Body was well within the medium range, and it had a bit of chewiness to it. The golden nectar slid smoothly over the tongue and belly-wards.

I just received this via parcel today, and being impatient, I didn't give it much time in the fridge to chill. Nonetheless, enjoyed at about 50-55F, it had a wealth of flavors. A bready, crackery aspect is present at the outset, yet the dominant driver here was the hops. A plethora of Cascade-like tastes bombard the tongue, and just linger and linger. There's no getting rid of the hop aftertaste, not that you'd want to. A pleasing, warm sensation develops in the belly, too! This one can park in my winners circle!

Thnx again to Gusler for supplying me with my first taste of the Bear! Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.3
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5


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Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brownish golden color with an off-white head that leaves lace. Some sediment that's suspended in your glass.
Hop aroma seems to be citrusy, piney, and floral all at the same time. Malt and a touch of alcohol underneath the hops.

Taste is controlled by the hops. Again there seems to be piney, citrusy, and floral tones to them. Although the hops win out this beer is definitely not one-sided. A good malt backbone shows it's sweetness.

Good mouthfeel from the medium to full body.
Drinkability is good for a beer this substantial.

Overall this is a real nice IPA, but it didn't take it to that next level for me like I though it might.

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Photo of bditty187
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coppery-bronze/amber hue (the first pour was translucent, the second was much more hazy) with a healthy, slightly off-white head, fair retention and rings of lace. The nose was inviting with plenty of hoppy goodness… faintly piney… leafy with more obvious citrus notes, some caramel malt too. The palate is ideal, assertively hoppy… plenty of piney/citrus influence… the malt provides a solid foundation, albeit a distant but noticeable one (especially the caramel suggestions). The carbonation is perfectly lean. Medium body… oh-so drinkable! Awesome! The abv is hidden. The finish is hoppy, oily yet leafy and dry; appetizing… it leaves you wanting more! This has to be one of the best IPAs on Earth.

Highly Recommended!

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

This beer poured a nice amber cold color and formed a huge foamy white head that left circular lace coating the glass as is slowly, very slowy subsided. Some steady carbonation is also present to account for this. An aroma of malt, hops and some burnt caramel present. A flavor of malt, hops and caramel. A slight burnt aspect and bitterness to the finish. Slightly sweeter than most IPAs I drink, but a good beer.

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

Golden caramel color. Aroma shouts "hop-city" right up front. Flavor is a soid dose of hops, immediately followed by sweet malt. A touch sharp up front, then the subtle floral hops flavors emerge. The finish is moderately sour and astringently bitter. Well balanced - highly hoppy but not overwhelming. Drinkability is quite good. This is my first Bear Republic beer and already I'm a fan.

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Photo of Darkale
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A magnificent IPA from Bear Republic. Pours a copper-orange that seems like a Florida sunset. Very large head that slowly fades, foamy, uneven, pocked like the top of a root beer float.

The aroma is sweet and hoppy, and the taste is huge malt and hops together, mixed into a creamy swirl. The parting shot is a thin sour bitterness that just makes you want to do it again, like a 12-year old looping ten times through the same ride at the county fair.

Excellent lacing, all over the sides of the glass, and in strange shapes, like pale Rorschachs. The head recedes but stops at about 3/4 of an inch, and lingers longer than you might think possible.

This is a highly interesting beer, reminiscent of HopDevil in its mix of hops and creaminess, but with that added odd twist of bitter. Another winner -- another unique and tempting beer -- from Bear Republic.

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Photo of wofat
3.62/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This IPA pours golden with a slight amber tone with a constant, champagne-like strands of carbonation from the bottom of your glass, culminating in a large, frothy head that sticks around longer than expected.

The aroma is a full on assault of fruit-like hops. I was hoping that the flavor would somehow meet up with my expectations after smelling this beer, but it starts with a moderate carmel maltiness transitioning to a too mild hop flavor and overdone bitterness. I personally would have liked a bit more hop flavor in this IPA, rather than just the lingering bitterness that this brew provides. The bitterness of the aftertaste in this beer is a bit overwhelming to the mild sweetness of the malt.

This is a tasty IPA, but fell below my expectations. Drinkability suffers due to the lack of real hop flavor and hearty, lingering bitterness.

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

A well-stored bottle pours a surprisingly crystal-clear deep amber body (I can see my fingerprints through the glass on the first pour - the second becomes more hazy). The aroma of fresh piney/citric hops greets you immediately. The full and creamy vanilla head needs a few moments to settle just so you can fill the glass; and once calmed holds fairly well. It drops but keeps a solid 1/4" of foam across the surface and leaves excellent layers of lace until the very end. The nose expresses piney/citrusy hops over a gently caramelish malt. It's very nice, and not overdone as some IPAs can be! A moderate carbonation combines with a firmly malty body to leave it creamy and smooth in the mouth. The flavor re-itereates what the nose indicated with a rich, caramel-soaked malt that's infused with piney/citrusy hops. A firm bitterness balances this big beer without going over the line; and leaves it quite drinkable (still, it is a bit filling). Really well-balanced! It finishes dry with a swiftly disintegrating maltiness followed by a flash of bitterness and then some residual piney hop flavor. An exceptional beer that's well worth seeking out.

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Photo of hyuga
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The usual IPA orangish amber in color, and nice and clear. Great white head that stays extremely well! It's well presented. Big points for that. Pine hits you first when you take a whiff of this. A big malt backbone comes through underneath it. As for the taste, it's rather smooth for an IPA. No overwhelming bitterness, but it maintains the big character flavor profile that I like. Hops do play a big role though. In the front, some rind-like and leafy hop character makes its presence known. Malt stays in the background, but it's like a cloud over the sun in Phoenix, you don't pay it much heed but you know it's there making everything more comfortable for you. In the middle and back, malt is ready to come out more, and it's got a very nice "buttery" sweetness to it. A bit bready. The bitterness shows up in the finish, nice and crisp. Well, I think this is a very enjoyable IPA, I'll definitely have it again, hopefully more than a few times. It seems a bit underrated to me. But it's all in one's own taste, right? I'd say definitely give it a try and see for yourself!

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

This beer came in a 22oz with a cool label. The beer poored a beautiful copper color, which was a surprise for an IPA. The smell and taste are all IPA though. Great Citrus smell and flavor. Also, the maltiness isn't sublte, which I like. This is a big beer, though most of the bitterness is actually in the aroma. There isn't a strong bitter body to it, though i'm not sure what the IBU level is. I'll definately have this again.

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Photo of cokes
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smoggy golden orange with a thick ivory headpiece. Good retention and spastic lacework.
Nose full of buttered grapefruit on metal spears. Likeable, but could use more.
Full flavored and straight-foward. Begins with lightly toasted caramel drizzled bread. Touches of grain and hay towards the middle. The final half is dominated by hops. Loosely floral, with heavy fruit tones. Obviously grapefruit, but with sugared kiwi and tart oranges as well. Just slightly bitter, but quite juicy in the hopping. Sort of a one-note brew. Interesting at times, but fails to leave much of an impression.
Body is spot-on. Thick and creamed. Carbonation is almost nil. Nice.
A good, if standard, IPA

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Photo of aracauna
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice shiny copper body with a good head. The aroma is sweet and citricly hoppy. The flavor is nicely malty with a lightly sweet breadiness that makes me want more of this. The problem comes in the hops that, while nicely bitter, lack a certain zing and has a slightly medicinal quality. Man, I hope I can manage to figure out this malt profile and the one in Anchor Liberty for my own homebrew when I start next week.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrived in a 10 oz. glass with just a miniscule layer of creamy white head that just barely sticks to the glass. Color instantly reminded me of apple juice.

Smell: Very citrus-like...grapefruits.

Taste: A well-balanced pale ale. I could really taste the grapefruit bitterness. Finished with a touch of sweetness before the hops add some bite.

Mouthfeel: Less crisp than I expected. It was a fuller, smoother, and creamier than I expected.

Drinkability: A well-balanced pale ale. Not as assertively-hopped as some of my favorite IPA's, but not bad. Personally, I just like my IPA's a little hoppier.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.47/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear orangeish/gold in color, with a thin but persistant head. Big, tart citric hop aroma -- very crisp and lemony, with an underlying caramel sweetness. Flavor too is big on hops, citric in flavor with a very bitter finish and an aftertaste combining biscuity malt and fruity hop flavors. A bit of a solvent-like flavor mid-palate, which is a bit distracting, and unexpected for a beer whose alcohol level is quite moderate. Crisp and drinkable, but not one of my favorite IPAs.

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

I thoroughly enjoyed my first 3 Bear Republic beers, so when I spied the Racer 5 IPA hiding behind a Stone IPA (of all the beers!?), I snapped up a couple of Bottles.
A 1 Pint 6 fl.oz Bottle, with a ¾ wrap around paper label that has the BR Bear and a big Red 5 pinched off the front of someones racing car no doubt.
Head is massive, beautiful just-off-white color, it later settled down to a more manageable 1” deep honeycomb. The lace left on the glass walls was fabulous and so reminded of that I saw left on the slate walls of Yorkshire Square Fermenters towards the end of the fermentation cycle. Large bubble laced, crispy, rocky spatterings, that when dried - need chiselling off.
Nose is – Wow, yes definitely HOPS. Freshly harvested hops, mixed with a smell of freshly mown lawns. I am sure there will be grassy hop stains on the inside of my nostrils. A deep cloudy* peach/orangey amber hue showed off some very fine particles of yeast, and no doubt some hops fragments, when illuminated by incandescent light. The head has now settled to a workable ½” rock-pool encrusted collar.
* The haze is most probably 100% attributable to my childish impatience - I couldn't wait to let it settle when I got back from the Beer Store - I just cracked it open as soon as I got home.
Immediate mouthfeel is medium. As a Hophead, I found the taste is anticipated by a highly excited tongue, long before the beer even enters the oral cavity. Superb. Highly hopped but not excessively, as I find some beers are. There is no “shock hop” here, just an aggressive IPA that will suit the more discerning hop-head palate, rather than the beginner. Finish is dry, with soft spices lingering in the end. Carbonation was quite low, very akin to many English Real Ales so I did not find this to be a problem at all. Drinkability is high, very high - I love this beer, refreshing and very morish.

California has some incredible Breweries that produce stunning high quality craft beers, and Bear Republic is most definitely one of them.
Highly Recommended. Another Great CA-IPA (Yet Again!!!!).

P.S. S**t, I've just realized this beer is 7% - Take Care!

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 7,807 ratings