Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,314 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: 2,314 | Ratings: 7,624
Photo of beerdown77
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a nice light brown/orange. The head is moderate with larger pebbles and acceptable retention; the lacing is good as well. The nose isn’t super strong, but the usual smells are there. I wouldn’t call this a hop bomb, but it has a fairly large hop presence, but then a smooth malt finish. This is a solid beer that has a great well-rounded taste and feel. My only criticism is that it seems a little heavy and slimy and I wish there was a little more distinction. Then again, not all beers need to taste like a grapefruit I suppose.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours amber body, with a fuffy coarse white head that dies quickly. Lacing good.

Aromas of the usual pine/citrus/grapefruit.

Taste? I was expecting a hop bomb, but anything but. Well integrated AIPA flavours of pink grapefruit / citrus are more balanced in this instance. Subtle hops are noticeably present but do not dominate - malt backbone evident. Not too bitter overall.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbed.

Overall - good beer - a style I find somewhat 'meh' delivers a more subtle example.

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Photo of gobseulmuhri
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured out of a bottle into a snifter.

a - hazy, golden hue with a half inch head. retention is decent and there's lovely lacing down the glass as it goes down

s - hoppy. first hit is piney resin followed by grapfruit, tangerine, and whiff of sweet tropical fruits. some light and sweet malt is present. overall, nose is not strong, but pleasantly light and airy.

t - again, piney hops and ripe clementines in the foreground with hints of mango and peach. the malt provides a subdued honey, bready background. whoa, this is a sweet ipa! the bitterness is subdued, and there is a very light feel to it - almost as if it's a summer version.

m - is on the thin side with limited carbonation. def wish there was some more carbonation and bitterness to make the mouthfeel more substantial. ehh, one may call it thin, another would call it sessionable.

this is a very pleasant beer. def not a hop bomb, but it's still enjoyable. by far the most sessionable ipa i've ever had.

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Photo of ken2cart1
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1.5 inch frothy head, light orange

s- piney, pungent grapefruit, solid sweet pale malt backbone

t- much like it smells. pungent grapefruit, sweet malt backbone that is apparent. good mix between pine/grass and fruit.

m- leaves mouth dry from bitterness, invites you back for more.

d- very good. decent malt backbone, makes it a lil less drinkable than some west coast ipas

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Photo of IPAescotch
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, not much head retention, light lacing. Not very impressive.

S: Rather fruitful for an ipa, and a delectable hop aroma, earthy like fuggle hops.

T: More like a pale ale than an ipa, but more flavorful than either. tastes like a belgium its so fruity. Hops are noticeable, but more of a cushion for the yeasty flavor than the dominating element.

M: Light and smooth.

D: Extremely. A perfect beer to go with either eating, smoking, or more beer.

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Photo of Knuckles
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I finally crack open a bottle of Racer 5. I had made a trip to Bottleworks a few weeks back to pick up a training kit for my chiropractor (she really wanted to work over the Corona hump she was stuck on, so I offered to help her out). Since she was an amateur for all intents and purposes, I set my sights to the pale end of the spectrum, with two criteria:

1) I had to have tried them, and

2)They had to be available in at least some supermarkets of Western Washington.

So I ended up with a two pronged approach. Side one of the pick a six was Naughty Nellie's (Pike), Wild Salmon Pale Ale (Fish) and Wildcat IPA (Snoqualmie). Side two was Locomotive Ale (Iron Horse), Nightwatch (Maritime Pacific) and Red Seal (North Coast). The point of all this blather is that I wish I had tried Racer 5 before, as I would have substituted out the Wild Salmon (which I don't personally care for, and neither did she) and inserted one of these. This is a perfect bridge beer for those people trying to move from lighter ales (like blondes and goldens) and lagers into the slightly hoppier realms of pales, reds and IPAs.

Appearance: Simply wonderful, and almost the best part of the beer. The color is that color that for no reason at all makes me start singing the "Beverly Hillbillies" theme song ("BLACK gold! TEXAS tea!"), and a gorgeous, fluffy and stubborn white head sitting atop that beer simply refuses to leave no matter how many drinks I take. Good work.

Smell: Sadly, I smell almost nothing. Warm, cold, it's all the same. I smell no malts at all and smell what I think might be hops, but wouldn't bet my sons on it.

Taste: First taste (admittedly cold), put me off. All finishing hops and very little in the front and middle. Way too hot (if I may steal the word from my man BeerPanther. Great adjective, brother. I love it.) on the first kiss. So I let it sit for five minutes or so (it's 90 fucking degrees today, so the time is compressed for de-chillification), and come back for a second try. Ahh...much better. There are the malts I'm looking for. Now I get just a mild malt presence right at the front, the hops are MUCH more subdued, and then the malts and hops slowly dance around each other on my tongue as the finish slowly drifts away. Beautiful.

Mouthfeel: Here, I'm a little confused. I've had an awful lot of Imperial IPAs lately, so my viscosometer might be busted. It feels a little thin to me, but I don't know if I'm really reading this beer correctly. I want to give it a 3.75, but since that doesn't exist I'm going to grade up, because that seems like the right thing to do.

Drinkability: Very, very good. I like this beer a lot, I just wish it had a nose to match its taste. I do wish I had another.

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Photo of beereality
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden with a one finger of white head that dissipates quickly and leaves little spotty lacing. I get a strong hop smell right off the bat. I almost smell some woody accents. taste is of strong hops and little else. Kind of weak support for such strong hop dominance. A slightly bitter finish. Better than most beers, but not as good as my favorites.

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Photo of chaz410
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty stand up IPA. I had the pleasure of having this at the Common Market here in Charlotte NC. Very typical IPA appearance. This beer uses a Columbus hops which is a new hybrid hop that typically would only add bittering aromatics but this also ads some taste. The smell is obviously hoppy with a little citrus zip in it. It isn't overwhelmingly hoppy like a lot of IPAs but it's a nice floral smell. The taste leads in with the bittering hops but the cascade hops really balance it out well and the after taste is not super bitter like your typical IPA. I enjoyed it and really like the contrasting hop notes.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-gold out of the bottle with a big, fluffy head. Aroma of grapefruit hops and fresh-cut pine trees. Smooth hop taste that is tempered by the malt without drowning it. More of a bittersweet West Coast IPA than a pucker bomb. Its toned-down but still has a strong hop flavor. A nice change of pace for hopheads.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Liquor Stop
San Marcos, CA

A clear golden orange and yellow. Moderate head. Decent lacing. Pretty.

Simple, hoppy, citrus aromas.

Citrus along with some bitterness. Well balanced. Some floral notes as well.

Medium bodied. Ample carbonation.

A tasty American IPA.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7-04-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Cloudy orange copper color, 1 finger of foam which didn't last real long. Decent lacing ring with carbonation present

S - Hoppy aroma with a hint of apricots and orange peel, slight malt

T/M - Real tasty brew, taste apricots and orange peel and hops, not a lot of malt, a little gritty due to the hops but smooth's real easy

D - Very easy drinker. I will get this again and recommend it

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Photo of sweethome
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle. Pour- a nice golden color, with plenty of hops floating throughout! I grassy nose with a hint of bready malts. A medium mouthfeel, not quite as full as I would expect for a 7% beer. The hops kick right away. A nice british maltiness is in back, but this is all about the lush hop flavor and bittering. Alcohol is present and provides a warming feel. The hops really build. It feels chewy after about half a glass. Break out the lawn mower, there is grass on my tongue! This not just a cascade-laden IPA.

I wasn't overly impressed on the nose or first few sips, but this beer really grew on me as the hops build and entice for another taste. The alcohol presents well too.

Go speed racer, go!

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber, had a golden straw color with an impressive head, about 3 fingers, & great "map of the world" lacing. Smell was pretty standard IPA: piney, citric, my wife smelled some pineapple. The taste was all that good stuff PLUS a toasty sweetness up front that stood out like a diamond in the rough, didn't have that bite that most IPAs do. Mouthfeel was nice & creamy, like a cask almost (might've kept the bottle a little long before drinking, but definitely to the beer's benefit), definitely softer than your typical IPA. Good & drinkable.

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Photo of kosmoraios
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, pale gold with a 1 finger white head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Aroma is of floral hops and citrus. Hops hit the palate immediately - floral and piney, white pepper, tangerine. Light and clean, this one is at the upper limit of being an IPA without becoming a DIPA/IIPA. Another excellent offering from Bear Republic - if you like this one, try their Racer X.

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Photo of sjverla
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose: Giant citrus hops straight off. They really dominate. Mild esters. Malt is nearly undetectable.

Appearance: Gently hazy amber-gold. About a half-inch of creamy head departs casually and sticks to the glass.

Taste: Lots of it. A little bit of toffee at first, then hops. Fruity and light like berries at the front, then dark, dank, bitter grass down the back and sides. A little grainy like whole-wheat bread.

Overal: A perfect beer for a hophead. The grapefruit bitterness lingers especially well.

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Photo of 57md
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance is a clear yellowish copper color. This offering is slightly effervescent with a finger of fluffy head that seemed to linger forever and left rings of lace behind reminiscent of a nitro-tapped beer. The malt profile seems solid, if not remarkable and the hoppiness is good for a single IPA.

This offering does suffer from an odd trace of booziness which makes it less drinkable than some higher ABV DIPAs that I’ve sampled in the past.

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Photo of bruachan
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from arrowine

gorgeous amber color...i feel like there should be some dinosaur DNA in it. gravelly white head
sweet. real sweet. in fact, a little too much for me. the hops make up for it, but otherwise i'd award a 3.5 for taste. something to hold onto while hanging out with hops is nice, but this is almost cloying. the hopping is nice...website says cascade and columbus. i get the columbus aroma, but i would have picked amarillo for flavor

tasty, but i couldn't drink too many because of the aforementioned sweetness

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Photo of marksto
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati. Never had any Bear Republic beers before; they enjoy a good reputation.

Pours orange with a slight haze, medium head with dense bubbles and good retention. Aroma is mostly hops with a little malt in the background, citrus notes dominate. Flavor displays a nice balance between hop flavor (citrus and a little mint) and bitterness, with a fairly solid malt backbone,

Overall, a very respectable American IPA - nothing I'd go out of my way for but worth sampling if you have the chance.

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Photo of pinotboy007
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very nice cloudy amber with a frothy head that initially leaves dense lacing that subsides. Head re-emerges after a swirl. Obvious carbonation that settles over time.

S - Pine and orange juice.

T/M - Hops bust out and pound palate but quickly gives way to citrus, leather, and a touch of clove. The mouthfeel is damn fine with a splendid creaminess and soft carbonation perfect for today's hot weather.

D - Very. I'd serve this to friends with no mental reservation or purpose of evasion.

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Photo of bgraney
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber, bubbly, sudsy head. Leaves a moderate lacing, not quite a spider web but somewhat impressive.
Mild grapefruit aroma, you have to search deep for the malt background.
Not a hop monster but a dominant relaxed bitterness, smooth & citrusy.
Thin mouthfeel, not much after the initial hop hit. Some grapefruit aftertaste.
If one wanted to drink IPA's all night this would be a good one.

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Photo of dsigmon
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours an amber color with nice big frothy head that leaves a nice amount of lacing as it slowly fades

S: smell is mainly of sweet hops. slight smell of alcohol and oranges

T: nice bitter citrus up front with a nice alcohol warming in the back of the throat. as it warms the caramel and orange flavors come out.

M: quite carbonated but helps leave with a dryer finish. quite oily on the palate.

D: enjoyable and not too hard to drink, high alcohol makes less sessionable

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Photo of Burt
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

Light amber that is hazy, thick head the dispersed slowly and left thin lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell is of floral hops with a little sweet malt. Kind of missing that big west coast hop aroma.

Taste is like a red grapefruit in the beginning, then turns floral and a little sweet in the middle, finishes bitter and some what dry.

Tried this for the first time and was expecting a little more from a west coast IPA. It wasn't a bad IPA, just seemed to be little subdued.

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Photo of Holland
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: light golden color, very slightly cloudy. Small head gives way to very fine lacing and bubble around the edges.

S: lot of pine and pale malt smell, but not much else.

T: first bitter, then with the pine sap (slightly sweet), and finishes with a pale malt on the tongue.

M: smooth and cold, then crisp and delicious at the end. Helps to separate the flavors.

O: solid beer, not all that complex for an IPA. Maybe it's old and the hops have gone with the age. $5 Bomber at Charleston Beer Exchange was a decent deal.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrives a clear dark golden color with a small white head. No real retention though the lacing is great.
Smell is evergreen hops, slight malt and some citrus. Balance is alright.
Taste is malty, restrained hops (especially for a west coast US IPA), piney, some alcohol presence. Decently balanced.
Nearly full-bodied, lightly effervescent, warming and smoothish. Overall, a very good beer, one I would gladly do again.

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Photo of leantom
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's a classic, but I've never had it before today. Here goes:

A: OK. Great head and lacing; very thick-looking. However, the beer is unfiltered and therefore not exactly pretty to look at. Looks of solid hop particles are floating in the solution. Murky orange-amber.

S: Grapefruit, pine, citrus on a mild malt backbone. Rather generic, but still good.

T: Follows the nose but slightly more malt in the taste than in the smell.

F: Thick and rich. Alright for the style.

O: Good beer. Little overrated, but still good.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,624 ratings.
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