Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,313 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 2,313 | Ratings: 7,621
Photo of orfeu
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden amber from a 22-oz. bomber with a nice frothy head that quickly dissipates from about an inch to a quarter-inch.

Aroma is citrus zest with an earthy hoppiness. A peachy sweetness creeps in as well.

The taste and mouthfeel are great on this one. I get orange pith with peach nectar and a creamy bready-ness with a slight alcohol fizzle at the end. Aftertaste of grapefruit. The hops are profound, but not overbearing or too bright. A nice balance of bitterness and malty sweetness.

The drinkability is a no-brainer. Smooth and spicy at once, I could go for a couple of these 22-ouncers in an evening. Perhaps this is because I've been all about Double IPAs lately and a regular old IPA would just seem like water. I don't think so, though, because this one is quite bold -- indeed, plenty strong -- but still very easy to quaff.

This one's going on the "get again" list.

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Photo of boudreaux
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Racer 5 pours a deep golden color with hints of red along the edges. A nice thick foamy off-white head that built up to 3 fingers and stayed there for quite a while. Quite clear in my pint glass.
smell: The aroma seemed to leap out at me. It had a wonderful hop bouquet. It was piney, floral and citrusy.
As expected, the first sip or two was bitter with a drying effect on the end.
Taste: the blend of malts, hops and yeast gave this beer a nice crisp taste. Bear Republic put in a generous amount of Columbus and Cascade hops into this beer but held back from going too far with the IBUs. I could pick up an underlying sweetness of the malts when not inhaling as I sipped. But just as soon as I breathe in, the hop sensation nearly masks the sweetness of the grains.
Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy with a full bodied texture.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a peach color with a foamy sticky lasting white head. Thick sticky lace covers the glass.
The aroma of hops filled the room as I popped the cap off of the bottle. Do I really need to say more?
Hops assault the palate and never let up. Citrus and piney. I'll still be tasting this beer tomorrow. Also a hint of peach laying in the background to stand this beer apart from other hop-heavy IPAs'.
Mouthfeel is good. The hops have a sticky feel and make the tongue tingle.
I gave this a 5 for drinkability cause I simply can't get enough of it.
Highly recommended and worth seeking out.
Thank You!!! Dertbert

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Photo of john1947
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just got this from my neighborhood growler shop. It goes down smooth and just hoppy like I enjoy. Used to drink Balantine Ale back in the day. Reminds me if this! Glad my carryout just tapped it finding out on facebook. Now to find some good and hot chicken wings to go with it.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice citrus and grapefruit smells with the same on the taste with a piney lingering bitterness. The best part that really ties everything together is the body and almost drinks like a double ipa. Very nice sweet malts but still very bitter and a strong IPA. At only 7.99 in socal its a definite go to.

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Photo of beerceller99
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

05-05-05 = Racer 5? Why not.
Has a pale amber color with a thick , frothy head leaving a nice lace.
Awesome, strong smell of resinous acidic pine sap and perfumy hops.
Medium full body with a full mouthfeel.
Nice caramel malt taste up front with a medium strong hop bitterness which lasts the entire drink.
Tastes like a double IPA but more drinkable at 7 % abv.
One of the best IPA's out there, only rivaled by Diamond Knots gem in my book.

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Photo of sethmeister
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden apricot color with a thin white head. fluffy sticky lace

Scent is fruity and it wafts from the bottle as i pour. on closer inspection i get tangerine and citrus notes

Taste is sweet citrus - orange, grapefruit, lime, lemon pineapple and tropical notes - and a nice earthy onion hop note. spicy hops! earthy hops! fruity hops! piney hops! malts are in hiding here and i don't even miss them.

Mouth is delightfully soft and creamy, almost like a cask ale. (I did open this bottle at considerably warmer than frige temperature)

this is really an excellent ipa. wish i'd bought more.

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Photo of Sleestak
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber for $2.99 at the local BevMo. Light orange with a sudsy head. Thick sticky lacing as I work my way down. Lots of hops in the smell. Piney and citrusy mainly. Fantastic flavor. Grapefruit, orange, peppery with some malt sweetness. Smooth creamy mouthfeel. I could drink this one all night. This is my favorite IPA and I pick this up often. A definate winner imo!

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Photo of wise456
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

A: Slightly cloudy/hazy golden body capped by a thick two finger head which stuck around for a while.

S: Typical West Coast blast of piny hops with a bit of clove-like spiciness.

T: Wow - much smoother than your usual hop-bomb. This one is crisp and clean like all well-made IPAs but instead of the usual grapefruit-driven bitterness, this beer is driven by a less sour acidic attack normally seen in the style. It is almost like the hoppiness hits the back of the mouth rather than the front of the palate and pleasantly lingers for a while.

M: Medium body, no oily slickness.

D: Sir, may I have another? A unique IPA which disappeared all too quickly and deserves a place in the top shelf of my fridge.

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Photo of Briarscratch
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thank you Bonsreeb85 for this incredible IPA.

Cloudy orange, big aggressive head, leaving thick sticky lace all over the place.

Stong grapefruit and piney hop aroma, smells very strong and resiny.

Oh sweet sweet nectar of the beer gods! Its like a hop orgy in my mouth. Beautifully flavorful and balanced. Bitter citrus packing a little after burn from the alcohol but it's good.

Smooth, light, crisp.

Drinkability? YES YES YES. I've now officially got my buzz on! I really wish I had another.

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Photo of BigMike
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz nonic glass.

Pours a cloudy orangish yellow with alot of yeasty floaties.
A bubbly two fingers worth of white head.

Smell is off the hook with this one. SO many different aromas hitting my nose at once. Pineapple, orange, floral, mango, spice and herbs. major hops going on here.

Nice! This one is a real HOP BOMB and i love it. Taste is just like the smell says and more. Tons of wonderful hop bitterness.

Verygood mouthfeel. Good amount of carbonation. A bit of hop oiliness on the tongue.

Drinkability is great with this one. Its got everything i love in a beer going on. This is one i will be having again, and again.

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Photo of yesferro
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this in a surprise box from an BA'er here who's screen name I don't know.

Pours a light orange with a little bit of head, beautiful! Smells very citrussy, little hoppy but overal extremely inviting. Tastes so many things at once, buttery, citrus, hoppy ooo this is nice! There is an alcohol kick toward the end that I didn't expect but it's not bothersome at all. Overal a great beer, wish we could get it in MS!

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Photo of yzer
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic Racer 5 is an exemplary West Coast IPA.

This is a full-bore brew that puts more mild-mannered "IPAs" like Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada Anniversary to shame.

This IPA has all the creamy off-white head and lacing you could possibly want. The body is smooth and big, leaving me with sticky lips between eager gulps.

The appearance is nothing special and does little to indicate the bold and perfectly balanced taste to come. It's an amber brew with medium clarity and a cream colored head. There is a generous load of yeast on the bottom of each well-conditioned bottle. This IPA is ready to drink right from the store.

The taste is not to be missed. This is a true West Coast IPA with loads of hops that dominate some very sweet and lingering malt. The aroma is a well-crafted balance of pine and malt fragrence. Flavor tones include pine, coffee, and chocolate.

I compare Racer 5 very favorably to the seasonal Sierra Nevada Celebration, but Racer 5 is available all year long.

The Bear Republic label graphics are a little esoteric and reflect the racing proclivities of the owner. I must admit that for me, the label evokes imagery of Bakersfield, comic books and trailer taste which prevented me from trying this marvelous IPA much earlier. Sure, a book can't be read from its cover, but why shoot yourself in the foot and limit your market appeal with label graphics that proclaim, "teen-aged redneck?" For a brew of this quality, WRC or Formula 1 symbolism would be more appropriate.

The tall bottles are nice. They chill quickly.

When it gets down to the nitty-gritty I really don't care how the label on an ale bottle looks. I can't say that for the first-time buyers of premium IPA. Bear Valley Racer 5 is a truly great West Coast IPA and one of my new favorites. Thanks to some very talented and uncompromising brewers at Bear Republic!

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Photo of MVassar
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Whoa. This is an impressive beer. Poured it into a snifter so I could really get my nose into it.

Gorgeous reddish-orange color, with a little sediment. Very active head that spills from the open bottle. In the glass, very stubborn, with some beautiful lacing.

Scents of grapefruit peel, hops, pine, even some fresh squeezed orange juice, just jump from the glass. Exceptionally fragrant beer.

Serious hops in the mouth. Wow. Some citrus, malt, and bread keep things nicely balanced. Delicious.

NIce oily texture, with just the right amount of carbonation.

Quite simply, I could sip this stuff all night.

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Photo of earthling
4.71/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Racer 5 must be consumed as fresh as possible. It's a classic dry-hopped California IPA with loads of citrus hop aroma. It has a strong bitterness, though it's well balanced with a pretty heavy malt. It's at hoppier end of IPAs, though it isn't going to blow your head off. A great regular drinker.

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Photo of jsh420
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

pours golden orange with a 1+ finger head that coats the glass with lacing all down the glass

smells of pine citrus hops with a good amount of malt

taste - this is the best of both worlds - west coast pine & citrus hops but is very balanced - it has a nice malt backbone to fall on

mouthfeel is light/medium with low carbonation so pts off for that

drinkability is great - this beer is in my top 5 of all-time great ipa's

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

So freaking psyched to finally get ahold of this one....

A - Poured a deep orange amber, great two inch head formed on top and left a ton of lace down the glass once it finally decided to let go. Nice carbonation, great overall look, just like an IPA should.

S - Huge citrus hops, and a ton of pine. Some sticky sweet notes as well. Very fresh taste, lots of resiny aromas. Really great smell.

T - Perfect. Just a phenomonal fresh, sticky, resin hoppy bomb of delight. Such a sticky pine fresh taste, lots of fresh cut grass and orange peel. Some light sugar, but a bomb al the way.

M - Super smooth and very very sticky. A bit thick. Very nice carbonation, could put this down all night long with ease.

D - Damn near perfect. Not strong enough to be a sipper, a little heavy though to throw down a ton, but otherwise just about perfect. I would love to try this one on tap, seems like it would be perfect.

Overall this totally lived up to my expectations. It was just great. I would love to have this again and again. I am glad I have a couple more bottles. Just a damn fine IPA if I have ever had one.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer recommended to me by the BA community to be a highly drinkable IPA

A - Hazy light copper in color. Golden could easily be seen with a nice foamy white head. Slight yeast bits hope doesn't inflict review.
S - Grapefruit straight up. Then citrus and other malts are smelt.
T - Wow an overwhelming yet great hops taste. Loved it!
M - Refreshing yet dry. Just what expected from this IPA.
D - Man I need a case of this! A+!

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

An amber to golden color, with a half inch white colored head. The strong scent of grapefruit and pine strike the nose at first sniff, that is followed by the mellow fragrance of malt at the end. The malt comes out at the start of the taste, then it blends to an intense grapefruit, grassy, earthy bitterness takes over and dominates till the end. A thin watery feel at bthe front, it then gradually becomes more of a medium bodied feel. This a really good IPA, bringing a strong aroma and excellent flavor, which are the backbone of a great beer, makes this one outstanding.

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

Clear light copper. Very fine white head settles to a complete cap leaving nice lacing.

Nose is citric hop over a slightly rich biscuity malt. Very well-balanced.

Balance carries through to the palate. Lots of malt, and lots of wonderfully extracted hop flavor. Finish is long, and well-balanced between hop bitterness and malty sweetness.

Very soft beautiful bottle-conditioned mouthfeel really keeps the hop bitterness in check. Simply excellent. Its nice to find an American IPA that has the malt to balance, not just support, the hops.

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

This is a wonderful beer. Sitting in Healdsburg, pondering the bicycles and pondering this beer. So rich, great balance of malt and hops, but the finish - bordering on one of the best IPA's. One of life's pleasures.

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

Had on tap into pint glass. great looking IPA- nice burnt orange color sith slight haze. Good off white one finger head, leaves good lacing. Smell is of citrus and pine, with slight alcohol finish. Taste is divine. This is a true IPA, or at least what I wish I could always have when I choose an IPA. Great Hop bitter bite, but finishes fairly smooth- great balance here. Bear Republic does it again for me!

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

Pours a nice dark golden color with a firm white head. Big citrusy aromas (grapefruit and maybe a bit of zesty lemon). Taking a drink, the big hoppy flavors assault the palate, but in a very good way. Mid palate I get citrus, followed by a lightly sweet maltiness leading to a lasting bitter finish. Eminently drinkable, this is a perfect example of the west coast ipa style. Highly recommended.

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Photo of JamisonM
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: bright orange not much of a head with good lace but head and head retention could be better

S: grapefruit and grapefruit rind and zest along with a bit of pine

T: fresh clean hops well balanced with a crisp finish taste is way better then smell, taste is unreal.

M: med to light body perfect with good carbonation

D: drink this all night long it wont get old

overall: one of the best IPA's I have ever had this beer is sick easy to see why so many BA's love this beer because its great and one of the best IPA's I have ever had.

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Photo of Sbkrogers
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Cloudy, murky, yellow in colour. Excited to see this pour into a glass. Good one finger head, dissapates over a minute or so.

Smell: Hops. Not sure what else I can say.

Taste: WOW! Hops hit you right in the face. Crisp, clean and super sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability, but pretty sweet so couldnt see this being a session beer.

One of my favourites, have only had a few times but this is one of the best beers I've had, regardless of score. Something about the total package that is really excellent.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,621 ratings.
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