Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,282 Reviews
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,282
Ratings:
7,467
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
17.42%
 
 
Wants:
339
Gots:
1,280
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,282 | Ratings: 7,467
Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a 6pk at Wegmans in Warrington, PA.
Purchase Price: $10.99
Enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass.

A - Upon examining the unopened bottle, a fair amount of "floaties" are noticed at the bottom of the bottle. After posting a thread, still not sure if this is normal or not. Some say it's from the bottle conditioning and others say the same thing but it also may be an old bottle. Pours a rather hazy, opaque deep honey color. A one finger, white foamy head on the initial pour put it quickly fades. A good amount of carbonation bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass. Decent lacing on the side of the glass after finishing.

S - A very nice aroma of spicy hops and citrus.

T - A very nice tasting IPA. A nice bitter bite from the hops is offset by the grapefruit taste. A decent malt backbone. Overall, decently balanced beer which leans towards the bitter side than the sweet side. The alcohol is well disguised.

M - A well carbonated beer. A slightly bitter aftertaste lingers after each sip.

D - This could easily be a beer that you could spend the night drinking even at the 7% ABV. They go down rather easily.

Overall: A really good IPA. This is my first experience with Bear Republic and I was pleasantly surprised. Recommended.

Cheers!

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Photo of Rast
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Round two of the Great Snowstorm IPA Taste-Off (Ed. 2014)

At least 1/4 inch on the ground. Typical, or perhaps archetypical, for an IPA: golden good. Bottle-conditioned and hazy as heck. Lovely foamy head. Nothing particularly smell-nice or taste-nice, just good ol' fashioned hop love. Bitter and balmy. Mouthfeel is especially nice: rich and inviting. Extra-sessionable for a bitter 7-percenter. Obtain multiple.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Racer 5 pours a slightly hazy straw color with a thin white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly leaving only a few spots of lace behind. A hoppy aroma full of pine floats over the beer.

Each sip of this thin to medium bodied beer is somewhat chewy with a light tingle on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is very hoppy with notes of pine and hints of pepper. A biscuity malt flavor in the background helps to balance out all the hops. Some piney bitterness and a hint of malt remain when the beer is gone.

This is a very tasty beer, but not for those who don't like hops.

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Photo of beagle75
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy, light amber color with over one finger of lofty and persistent off-white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass, and suspended hop solids are distributed throughout the column.

S: Hoppy pine and herbaceous spice find balance with caramel and juicy orange citrus. Intensity is consistent throughout, perhaps even increasing as it warms in the glass.

T: Begins dry, with refined pale malt and aromatic hops--consisting of grapefruit and herbaceous flowering plants--in balance, unfettered by only very strained acidity. Mild astringency decorates the toasty middle, lending an impression of volatile fusel alcohols on the palate. Moderate bitterness emerges in the finish, lingering alongside the honest herbaceous grapefruit aromatics found in the beginning.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, simultaneously wet and creamy on the palate developing into a sublime smoothness, with moderate carbonation that keeps the texture from becoming heavy or lifeless.

D: Certainly deserving of top-tier status amongst West Coast IPAs, Racer 5 may be one of the worthiest and most appropriate benchmarks by which to measure others of the style. Not only are flavors bright and clean in a way that is not at all self-conscious, they are nicely balanced. It bears similarities to Port Wipeout IPA and Ballast Point Big Eye IPA (especially to the former).

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Photo of kojevergas
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7% ABV confirmed. Bottled 03/21/13. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard branded silver pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've had some great beers from this brewery before, and this has a great reputation - plus it's fresh.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger vibrant beige colour head of nice cream, nice thickness, and good (~5 minute) retention for the fairly high ABV. Body colour is a vibrant clear translucent pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. About what I'd expect from a good beer in the style, though the colour could be fuller and more vibrant. Light even lacing as the head recedes. Excited to try this. No overt flaws in the appearance.

Sm: Lovely varied floral hop notes. Hop oil. Nectary hops. Pale malts. Grassy character. Light pine. The oily hop character (Columbus) is dominant - just what I want from a good IPA. Well hopped and balanced. Pleasant, fresh, appealing. This is exactly what an IPA should smell like. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Very inviting. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Great stuff. Oily hop notes mix well with lighter nectary hop notes and moderate floral hop character. The body is simple flavorful pale malts, lending it a refreshing taste. It lacks the citrusy gush I want it to have, but it's well constructed and damn well balanced across the board, with hardly any hop bitterness coming through at all. What little hop bitterness there is comes through just a bit on the climax and in the third act; it's not perfect balance but it's impressive. No yeast character comes through, nor does any alcohol. Lightly grassy, highlighting the pale malts. Love the hop choices here - especially columbus. I'd like to see what amarillo does to the flavour profile. Beautifully balanced, beautifully executed. A tasty IPA with good depth of flavour, complexity, and subtlety. This is how you brew an IPA.

Mf: Soft, smooth, oily, a bit nectary, and wet. Refreshing. Lightly crisp. Feels custom-tailored to the flavour profile. Perfect carbonation. Very well executed, evoking care and effort.

Dr: Damn drinkable. I'll definitely be getting more of this and will happily buy it by the six pack. If I bought beer I'd already tried on a regular basis, this would be right up there - or probably above - Lagunitas as my IPA mainstay. Up there with Sculpin in terms of quality and availability. Bravo, Bear Republic. I'm beating myself up over waiting so long to review it. This is how an IPA ought to be: balanced and flavorful, with subtlety and complexity. Very well done.

B+ / VERY GOOD

***
08/24/16 2nd impression:

Racer 5 is a go-to IPA of mine, a stellar brew that bests others in its category.

Fruity without venturing too deep into tropical territory. Floral, balanced, and slightly resinous. Slightly oily hops.

Refreshing and approachable.

B+

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Photo of ztaylor1
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- amber colored and dellightfully hazy, a light tan head dies to a beautiful film.

Smell- very balanced notes of pale and biscuity malts with very strong citrus notes. Citrus hops are dominant but floral and pine are there too. Very balanced.

Taste- the hops cut through quickly and the malt holds up the rear which is a bit unexpected but not unpleasant. A bit astringent, with a bite.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied with a sneaky carbonation, not defined at first, but after a second it prickles the palate.

Drinkability- the balancing act of this beer makes it so drinkable.

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Photo of phisig137
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber color, with a frothy 2 finger head that slowly falls leaving behind abundant lacing.

Aroma is filled with citrusy hops, and a slight hint of caramel sweetness.

Flavor is well balanced. Not outrageously bitter, but solid amounts of citrusy hop flavor, backed by a decent malt backbone. Very enjoyable, and easy to drink. Mouthfeel is smooth, and bubbly.

Very nice beer overall, although I notice a trend in Bear Republic beers.... they all seem to use the same two or three hops. Not a bad thing, just something I noticed.

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Photo of MysticRuler
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A surprisingly nice IPA. I wasn't expecting much given the high volume production, however, the West Coast Hops shine, as usual. Nice balance of sweet maltiness (but not too sweet which is a problem with alot of IPAs) twinned with hoppy bitterness; its a very drinkable IPA. Superior to a number of higher rated IPAs out there.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 3 floyds pint glass.

A- One finger head dissipates quickly to nice bubbly ring around the glass, moderate carbonation, hazy yellow orange color
S- Very nice aroma, hops, citrus, pine, malt aromas, peach, grapefruit, good west coast representation.
T- Sweet bitterness upfront, citrus, grapefruit, big malt backbone, little too malty for an IPA in my opinion.
M- Light/Medium mouthfeel, dry aftertaste.
O- Nice solid IPA, little too malty for my taste, was expecting the hops to be more pronounced, still overall it was a tasty beer.

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Photo of DIM
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a cloudy straw yellow color with some amberish highlights. It was served to me with some thin white froth.

s: Aromas of fresh citrusy hops that were a little grassy and some tingly caramel sweetness.

t: The big citric hops wanted to shine, but there was just a little too much caramel sweetness. Very good overall though.

m: Prickly, oily body and active long lasting carbonation.

d: I wasn't in the mood for a DIPA and I think this borders on one. Just a little too sweet for my taste.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look - A beautiful slightly hazy golden apricot color
Smell - Tons of floral, spice, citrus, sweet malts
Taste - Taste follows the nose. Very floral, spice notes, earthy, a splash of citrus, some dankness on the back end

Overall - If you love beers like DFH 90min, Two Hearted and Victories Hop Devil you'll definitely like this one. A very well done IPA. It's just not the tropical juice bomb that I personally love.

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Photo of JonathanG
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Variability within the 6-pack, as far as some sediment in one of the bottles. Would've rated appearance higher if there was consistency in the appearance.

Mouthfeel is lighter than some IPAs at the same strength, so this one is a bit easier to drink overall, i.e.: you can drink more than one fairly easily. Not as viscous or syrupy, and a bit drier/cleaner mid-palate overall.

With that being said, the first one I drank, I was only O.K. with. A bit different flavor profile than what I had been drinking lately in the IPA category... a bit more grain/cereal notes to it, so that threw me off. I had another one yesterday and liked it a bit better, even though it had minor yeast/sediment inclusions at the bottom of the bottle when I pulled it out of the refrigerator. I didn't remember seeing sediment a couple of days earlier in the previous 2-bottles?

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Photo of djhowell
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It has a hazy amber body with a good sized, bright white, thick head that fades quickly. Leaves lots of lacing.

S Not very aromatic, mostly pine, a hint of citrus.

T This is sweeter than I expected. Piney hops dominate up front, a little more citrus next, and finishes with some mild bitterness.

M Smooth, and lighter than most IPAs I've had. The carbonation is ample and works well with it.

D I like it, it's very drinkable and I would not have guessed at the 7% ABV. It's not as hoppy as I had anticipated based on what I read here. I bought a single bottle but I think I'd like to try and find a few more.

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Photo of CaptainIPA
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap @ Romans' Pub on 5-22-08.

Pours a hazy orange amber with a one-finger, pitted, off-white head. Takes lacing to a new art form with sheets of sticky froth that languish throughout the session.

Floral hoppy nose with aromas of pine and citrus.

Opens with a malty sweetness that quickly transitions to a sharp and bitter middle. Moves on to notes of pine, grapefruit and citrus rinds. Finishes crisp and bitter. Overall, a nicely balanced amalgam of bitter hops and sweet malt.

Chewy mouthfeel. Smooth and sessionable. Take a couple laps and pull Racer 5 into the pits for a high-performance bitter fix.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: hazed orange with a bit of particulate that can be seen. head is a bit disappointing, off-white half inch sized head dies quickly without very good retention. and it aint the glass. some lacing.

S: hints of bubble gum mix with pineapple and toasted malts. rich in munich perhaps? something bready and rich, but not until the hops make their presence felt. bits of pine work into the hop medley, but this thing is mostly tropical.

T: tropical fruit. mangos and watermelon. very similar to the nose, after the hop attack the palate moves into a slightly chewy toasted malt flavor. however, bitterness does remain throughout. lingering bitterness and dry finish.

M: pretty moderate carbonation on a medium bodied brew.

D: pretty light drinking AIPA considering the 7%ABV nametag. well balanced while accenting tropical american hops. not my all time favorite, but certainly in the conversation of great AIPA's.

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Photo of PhilsPils
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

At one time, I thought this was a really good IPA but either I have been subjected to way better brews or this beer has changed. Either way, this will probably be my last Racer 5. Plenty of bittering hops but not enough aroma/dry hops to make it anything other than good quality middle of the road. Too many other IPAs waiting to be tried to get any more of my business.

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

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass
bottled on 3/29/12 in my refrigerator for the last 2 months

A: Crystal clear deep gold color with a 1/2 finger white head that drops quickly to a film on the surface, nice amount of lace. Looks like an IPA
S: A honey sweetness with some "American" hops
T: A sharp, yet smooth hoppiness that lingers on the back of the tongue. There is a light honeyed-citrus flavor along with some pine. It becomes sweeter as it warms and some of the sharp bitterness fades.
M: Very crisp, but a little round, nice amount of carbonation.
O: Very easy to drink and easy to reach for a 2nd or 3rd, but the alcohol level would make that a little dangerous. I suspect that if I drank 3 of these, then finishing the six pack would not be a problem (until morning). I suspect that this was a "better" beer a couple of months ago, but it is still excellent, very nice. Worth seeking out for any American IPA fans, I would purchase again.

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

A tumbler glass served at Al's of Hampden.

A: The IPA is an amber orange color, translucent with a small band of head that doesn't lace.

S: The aroma is chocked full of hops, bitter pine primarily. The oily aromas stand out above the malt backbone.

T: Sweet mamma jamma, this is hoppy. Pine is resinous, oily as it coats me mouth. Bitterness is sharp, peppery without the a spicy finish. Underneath the hops, the caramel malts are more than up to the task, balancing out the ale with a bready body. The hops din't stay silenced for long though, returning to leave a sharp flavor on the tongue.

M: A heavily hopped IPA that seems too strong at times. A little more balance never hurts anyone.

D: I limited myself to one glass. It seems a little to boozy to be enjoyed in multiple servings.

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

i had this from the cask at the blind tiger, and i had just recently gone thru of a sixpack of bottles - i gotta say i like the bottled racer 5 better - my bottle review would be similar to other posts here - i enjoy this beer - the cask version was extremely mellow -
lighter carbonation and not so much of a hop bite - drank it like water against blind tiger's 7 pepper chili -

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Photo of BB1313
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a hazy golden color w/ nice fluffy head and decent lacing. To me, this is a straight forward IPA. Citrus nots, slightly piney, a little resiny. The flavors are nice, but pretty subtle, slightly malty. I'm questioning how fresh this bottle is. Although it's carbonated well, it's more on the thinner side. Drinkability isn't bad, but the flavors seem to be wearing off.

I'm not sure if this was the freshest bottle, so I will seek it out again and I'll make sure it's fresh. Everything about this beer was right on, it's just everything was subtle and not in your face, which is how I like my IPAs.

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

on tap at Redbone's

Light toast color served with just a bit of white on top.

Faint sweet scent.

Some bready malt dominated by snappy lemony bitter bite, that develops a suggestion of fruit.

Light-bodied and easy to drink, a nice, straight-forward IPA that really grows on you. Yum

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

Well it didn't produce much head but the lacing was ok. The color was orange-tan and it was a little bit hazy.

Smelled of pine and grapefruit with a bit of fruity sweetness and a smidge of earthy funk.

Taste was bold yet understated, great fruity pine and grapefruit, hops, and a smooth malt made for a very well balanced and flavorful IPA.

Feel is medium bodied, slick, tangy with nice carbonation, and mildly bitter in aftertaste.

Drinks very well. A really nice IPA.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours golden orange with a slight amber hue. Frothy white foam that leaves nice lacing.

S- Floral pine hop nose with some sweet honey and malt scents. Some typical citrus notes as well.

T- Nice piney hop flavor initially. Sweet caramel malt backbone balances nicely leading to a pleasant finish. Not much alcohol flavor to speak of. The hop bitterness seems to be a combination of citrus esters and pine tastes but balanced very well by the malty sweetness.

M- Medium/light bodied. Smooth and well balanced (all most too much for a hophead).

D- Nice IPA to get someone into the style. The hops are very much present but not dominating.

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

pours a somewhat hazy orange-yellow with a large egg-shell bubbly head, good lacing.

smell of light grapefruit, caramel, citrus, earth, and some pine.

taste is refreshing, grapefruit, touch of caramel, some pine, citrus, very bitter, and sweet malt, end is bitter.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,282 ratings.
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