Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale
7,828 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,828 |  Reviews: 2,361
Photo of scottum
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale amber with quite the short head for a slightly hard pour of an IPA. Hops are bitter and citrus tinged. Malts are a bit bready and sweet, but do an admirable job of mellowing the hopster. A very mild taste of the 7% still shows through. Overall a very decent IPA. Worth a try.

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Photo of DrewBeechum
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Map Room pint glass.

Beer pours copper orange with a fair haze. Tough soapy and sticky white head hangs onto the glass and

Aroma is piney and deep resin with sticky citrus, sweet orange oils and a light alcohol Grand Marnier like finish.

Flavor starts with a soapy orange bitterness and proceeds through a with a medium malt body with spiced overtones. Finish has a return of the hoppiness this time with more grapefruit and lemon characters.

Overall an excellent example of the style that would drive most of the drinking public running towards the nearest case of Keystone.

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Photo of winomark
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep gold with a wispy, off-white head.

Aroma: Hop citrus and spiciness hits hard. Tiny alcohol and malty notes in the back.

Taste: Lots of hop bitterness and dryness is dominant. Malt makes a tiny appearance to offer some balance. A hop-head's dream beer.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp, but has good body. A wonderful, hoppy finish.

Drinkability: A great IPA; much better than I remember. Would love to make this one a regular at my house.

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Photo of taez555
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a big thick white head with a clear amber body.

The nose was beautiful. Fresh sharp citrus hop. Pepper (not necessarily black), flowers, touches of pine needles, caramel, malt. Basically this is what A.P.A.’s are supposed to smell like.

The taste was nice and creamy. Medium to full bodied. Rich caramel and a big fresh malt taste. Smooth with a high level of bitterness, but balanced perfectly against the malt. The hop flavors, (citrus, pepper, pine, flowers, grapefruit, lime peel) are all present and balanced, but so much more subdued than you might expect from such a big beer.

It ends slightly medicinal but nicely bitter and hoppy.

Overall just an amazing IPA. Very smooth, clean and easy drinking. Lots of big malts, and huge fresh hops, all perfectly balanced and yet so well mellowed it doesn’t overshadow anything else. A must try beer. Yum.

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

Another one of the very fine SoCal IPAs, this one has a great level of hopping that seems perfectly mated to the fine malt base. The clear copper body is covered by a single finger of off white head that laces the glass very abundantly. The aromas are equally well balanced between a fine carmel malt and the lovely floral hops.

The taste of this beer is just great with strong malt and hop presence. The feel is great as well with a nice medium body and a crisp and dry finish. Very good drinkability from this nice brew.

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

Appearance – Very clear, thin-looking body with a tremendous, foaming head that laced and pitted my Ruination glass.

Smell – Sharp, piney hops lead the way here. If there’s a malt balance I can’t find it. This one is all about the hops. Very complex, actually, with some floral and citrus notes.

Taste – The taste sees through the promises of the nose. The complex hoppy flavor comes out at the tongue, but not overly sharp. There’s a tremendous smoothness to this ale that reminds me of NW style IPAs.

Mouthfeel – Very smooth and medium-bodied. This one is also exceptionally dry and refreshing.

Drinkability – Clean and distinctive offering of the style. I brought a few more Bear Republics back with me from LA and am looking forward to giving them a try.

Comments - The brewery is located in Healdsburg, home of the CA Wine Country. It's a beer island in a sea of vino, so woulid probably appreciate a beer-lover's visit.

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Photo of barleypop
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I partook of this on tap at Bear Republic. Its appearance was that of clover honey with not much of a head to speak of.

The nose I can only describe as that of a sticky marijuana plant. Not that I know what one smells like. I’ve been to the Haight one too many times.

The hop flavors come through strongly. I think there is a hop stuck in my teeth! There are some biscuity malt flavors somewhere in the background struggling to make themselves heard. An exceedingly dry finish.

Overall, a bit too hoppy for my liking. Could use a bit more balance. It literally tastes like hops steeped in boiling water. Introducing the worlds first IPA Iced Tea!

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

Draught @ Papago
The beer as it’s poured straight from the tap a cloudless golden amber with the head a majestic crown of white, creamy in texture with a fine sealing coat of lace upon the glass. The floral aroma of the hops greets your senses first, followed by the sweet fresh malt sweetness; start carries on the malt sweetness to the middling top. Finish is perky in it’s acidity, the hops potent and pleasing in their spicy bite, desert dry aftertaste, and one “damn” fine IPA in my books, and one I always keep on hand in the bottle and a great example of a California IPA.

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

Sampled on tap at Redbones.

This IPA poured a hazy, copper color with white foam that settled to a thin coat that clung to the glass a bit. The smell was sweet malt and fruity hops. The taste was sweet and tangy malt balanced with fruity, floral hops, and some hoppy bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel was smooth and very hoppy, though well balanced with malt. The body was medium with modest carbonation. The finish was dry. This was a very nice IPA. I would like to try this in a bottle.

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

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Appearance: Mildly hazed golden orange, a most excellent froth with a web like trail of lace.

Smell: Clean and fresh citrusy hop aroma, hop oil and a pungent coarseness show the bucket loads of hops they used. Light estery alcohol, toasted malt lay meekly underneath the hops.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Nice hard slap of hop to begin with, the pungent bitterness lingers on and on. Lots of hop flavour and a soothing bottle conditioned smoothness that can’t be beat! The maltiness is muscular but laid back with a biscuity flavour throughout. Mild presence for what the alcohol should show though it does warm the body after a while.

Notes: This is one of those Hop-o-licious brews. Sock it to me baby … I love those hops and keep them coming. Paired this one up with a bowl of secret Mexican Surprise Casserole … delicious!

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

Appearance: Orange copper glowing heavenly tone with a massive vanilla cream colored head so massive and full of hops even from a distance wonderful evenly dispersed sketched patterns of lacing very appealing to the eye. Aroma: Extremely pungent but so very appetising almost mesmorizing so I warn thee don't spend to much time sniffing this awesome brew it's so hard to back away the old snout and quit wafting this baby toward my olfactories that are working overtime in order to host this well balanced hop monster. So many enticing and prosperous aromas flying around besides the hops which are breathtaking by the way, but a sweet engulfing aroma is entwined within the massive amount of hops creating the recipe for a succesful big IPA. Taste: Wow, should we even start this part of the beer, might as well it's fucking awesome. I now know why this beer has the surrounding hype that exists when mention it's name the crashing wave of foam carrying bready pine cone infused hops and caramelly sweet malt within the viscous juicly hopped body it's beer nirvana. These beers have truly surpassed everything else certain brewer's have taken it to the next level this beer is no where near the gimmick that some beers attempt to be, but it does so well in soothing my hopheadedness that I can't help but thank anybody that had to do with getting it into my reach. Mouhfeel: The resilent foaming head holds such a fluffy creaminess with each sip followed by a flowing wave of the combonaiton of the body of this beer bringing texture and sensations along the palate that I didn't know could be obtained. Drinkability: It's redamndiculous how friggin' amazing this beer is and how bad I want to order a case from somewhere I would be dangerous with a case of this stuff b/c once this bottle got to the halfway mark I was thinking where can I get more, easily consumed challenging but so enjoyable and drinkable in general.

Since arriving in the Burgh and becoming accessible two blocks down the road this has been by go to hoppy ale, amazing in all regards.

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

Served on tap in an large weisse glass at my local Hard Times Cafe

Appearance: Slightly hazy peach color with an appropriately frothy head. The head could've stuck around a bit longer, but oh well. Excellent lacing as this rather tall glass of beer was consumed.

Sell: A great blend of floral and bitter hops on the nose, with the floral aromatics taking the center stage. Nice backing of pale malt.

Taste: A near perfect balance of malt and hop flavors: not too sweet, not palate-numbingly bitter. Grapefruit notes on the finish. My girlfriend, who has an aversion to bittering hops, kinda liked this one.. maybe she's getting acclimated...

Mouthfeel: Nice medium bodied feel, slightly astringent, but this is an IPA.

Drinkability: Oh yeah. If this is on the tap when I go the place next, I'll probably snag it. This is a rock-solid IPA. Me likey.

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Photo of PatandDavid
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Re-Review 9/5/04

Looks like I had this just a little over a year ago, and this time it was super.

Autumn gold in color, nice malty aroma, sheet lacing. I found the taste to be 100% hop candy. In this I mean the hops were prominent and fresh, but also that there seem to be so much hops packed into the beer that there is actually a candy like note (not syrupy, but candy-like). Very smooth, I had 2 of these which means that I will be making adjustments to my previous tally.

old review:

Had this on tap at Redbones...Color when served was of cloudy apple juice. I didn't pick up too much aroma from this one. Not too much head, but left beautifully striped lacing all through my glass. Taste was very citrusy, fresh, with a nice tart mouthfeel. Not a lot of malty notes in this one. I didn't find it it overhopped or anything, but the one taste sensation was: citrus. Would drink again (actually I have a bomber in my bier kabinett waiting for me). Reminiscent of Rogue Brutal Bitter imo. Pat

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Photo of mikeys01
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance of the Racer 5 is a nice early sunset orange, with a whitecapped frothy white head. Very good clariy on draft. Aroma is good and freshly hopped -probably due to the freshness of the brew - they apparently brew 2 batches a day at BR, with the majority being Racer 5. Also smells fairly fruity, more than expected. Good flavor of citric hops, lightly malted, and pinish bitterness. Very smooth and not too heavy considering it's on the bigger edge of IPA's. Very drinkable, right up there with my other favorite IPA's such as Stone, though the two aren't very comparable. I could drink this stuff all day....

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Photo of far333
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark orangey apricot color with a beige thick, oily looking head that clings to the sides of the glass. Aroma is of hops, honey, pear, and alcohol in equal amounts. Flavor is not very hoppy, but has hints of orange peel and honey and some floral notes. There is a distinct alcohol flourish in the back of the tongue in the finish, and it also lingers afterward. Mouthfeel is a little watery, a bit low on carbonation. Tasty beer, but needs more balance. The flavor is overpowered by the alcohol.

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Photo of LiamStLiam
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

OK, three-fifths of the way through the 22-ounce bombers that recently arrived.

I like IPAs and this one is very good.

Pours a mid to dark brown with a thin, light head.

Very nice, citrusy nose.

I am coming to the conclusion that the Bear Republic folks brew really good beer.

Very representative of the style and a well-done version. I could relax and drink a number of these.

Mid-range hang time and just a touch of metallic finish.

An enjoyable beer.

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Photo of brakspear
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber bottle.

A very good and extremely drinkable Westcoast IPA, dangerously so at 7% apv.

The appearance is a soft and "relatively" clear light orange with a clumpy white head. But for some reason this bottle has sheets of sediment floating. I thought they were hop flower petals at first. They really detract from the appearance, but have no effect on taste or mouthfeel.

The aroma is a nice grapefruit/citrus blend, but not overpowering to scare off newcomers to the hoppier Westcoast IPAs.

The flavors are a very nice blend of malts and bracing hoppiness. A generous malty breadlike flavor gives way to smooth bitterness with just a slight snap in the finish. Very drinkable for a beer of its potency.

I would definitely put this in the stable of cross-overs beers into the more extreme IPAs available on the Westcoast.

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Photo of hungryghost
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper, amber color.
Good bubbly, head. The variance in size of bubbles making up the head, almost give it a lumpy appearance.
Floral hop aroma with a pine musk.
Lingering rings of lace appear, marking each step in the process of emptying the glass.
Sharp hop bite with a slight citrus taste. The hop flavor slowly disipates as a nearly sweet feeling skates across the tounge. Liking hops is a pre-requisite for this one.
At 7% I may not be able to type well after a full 22 ounces.
Maybe I should eat...

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

22oz. bottle.

This is a very nicely created IPA.

A dusky bright amber. Some elements floating in my glass. A huge frothy white head. Very good lacing. Scents are floral and fruity. Hops are mild. A nice malty quality to the scent.

Nice bitter hop bite at first. Then it mellows in to a fruit taste. Some sweet lemon. A malty ending that is smooth compared to the hop bitterness at first.

Mouthfeel is clean and medium bodied. A little density to this IPA. It drinks very easy. A very minor syrup quality to the feel of the IPA. A well thought out and complex IPA. I'll have another.

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

Bright copper color topped by a thick cream colored head. Slight chill haze, active carbonation. Much more reserved and fruity aroma than I was expecting. Instead of smacking you with hops, it's got a bit of balance and some complexity in the aroma. The taste is hop laden, to say the least. Very bitter up front, then a puckering hop quality truly sucks your cheeks together. A nice floral sweetness comes in at the finish, along with a bit of malt. Initial bitter either subsides as the beer warms or numbs the taste buds to leave a smoother, softer flavor experience in its wake. Aftertaste is multiple types of hop notes, with pine, florals, and just down right bitterness mixed with a touch of sweetness. Hop burps start after two drinks, with a nice herbal note to them. Combination of alcohol and hops create a burning warmth in the throat and stomach. Mouthfeel is full and somewhat silky. For the intensity of flavors and moderat ABV, this is an insanely drinkable beer. Very good. I like this one a lot.

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

22 oz bomber bottle. Cloudly dull amber color. Off-white head, not nearly as rocky and fluffy as the XP Pale Ale. Moderate cascade hop presence. Nice citrus and floral notes. Not as juicy and resiny as the other one either, but still a nose full of fresh hop aromas.
Taste is tight, sharp and bitter. Very good IPA flavors. Bitterness is sharp and cuts through the palate. Leaves huge bitter hole on the tongue. Sweet malty undertone. Very gulpable. Easy to guzzle, and guzzle. Resounding hop burps. Cleansing. Very good IPA. I paired this with a grilled barbecue pork chop and horseradish cheddar covered broccoli. It did the job perfectly. Cut right through the tangy barbecue sauce and horseradish cheese. Highly recommended. I wish I had more of these Bear Republic beauties. It was pure pleasure to drink them the last 2 nights.

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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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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 7,828 ratings