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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,294 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,294 | Ratings: 7,527
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 -

 379 characters

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.

 477 characters

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....

 617 characters

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.

 266 characters

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

I've had this bomber sitting around a long time, and finally got around to drinking it yesterday. Fortunately, old age seemed to have no ill effects. A very straightforward, blatantly American IPA, but a good one; I imagine this would be a nice drink on a summer evening. Powerful grapefruit-heavy aroma and flavour, with some other citrus fruits and pine thrown in. Nice, although I'm not sure I'd choose it over some more interesting IPAs.

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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.

 396 characters

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

Poured into a nonic pint.

A light golden orange pour with a foamy and frothy white head with retention of about a minute or so. Within the actual liquid are some floating bursted vesicles, like from an orange or lemon. Pretty ghastly looking, but not a problem. Lots of webby lacing throughout the glass. Smell is incredibly malt and hop balanced. It begins with a nice malt sweetness and then falls back upon the power of the Cascade and Centennial hoppage and grapefruit. Very California IPA.

The taste is thoroughly and beautifully hoppy. All the way around. Double rainbow. The hoppiness isn't very overpowering either: it's bitter, yet smooth with subtle hints of citrus pith and skin. Very herbal and remedying in character for the night. At the end, the brew leaves a nice clean and slight dry feeling, along with some alcoholic warmth.

Mouthfeel is more partial to being more medium-bodied, with the carbonation at a moderately light level. Drinkability is decently high - quite flavorful and easy drinking. Admirable example of a Cali IPA; worthy of your buy.

 1,073 characters

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

This here IPA is one good west coast example - good malt body, but not too sweet or sticky to get in the way of the dominant hop profile - lots of sweet, fresh sticky green hops here. It's halfway to being a double IPA, or these days "west coast" style about sums it up. Back east here we don't always get regular fresh supplies of hoppy west coast goodness, but when we do, we must keep drinking it over and over until it gets fully impressed on our minds. Only then can we return to defensively enjoying our "well-balanced" east coast beers.

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Photo of clvand0
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper color with a medium head that dies off quickly and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is very hoppy - mostly pine and grassy hops, but there is some citrus there too. Caremel malt flavor with a strong hop presence. A bit sweet.

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Photo of Matty1918
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber.

Poured a golden honey color with a white head. A descent amount of lacing. They head seemed to dissapear to quickly.

A good hops aroma...slight citrus and a slight floral.

A descent tasting IPA. The hops is not overpowering but still leaves that yummy hoppy aftertaste. A good balanced IPA.

A good tasting IPA in my book. I'll buy thin again.

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

I received this beer as part of a trade recently. It's my first Bear Republic beer. I visited the companies website hoping to determine why it's called Racer 5 - but it's not mentioned that I could see. Anyway, on with the review.

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a tame slightly off-white head. It dissapates quickly to a small blanket of foam but it does leave some spider lacing down the glass as it goes down. Carbonation is very small.

The smell is surprisingly light. If you didn't know this was an IPA ahead of time I'd be interested to know if you could pinpoint the style. There is some light sweetness mixed with hoppyness but it's not very strong.

The taste is well done. Caramel like sweetness and some fruity notes are present initially and then it transitions well to a balanced and bitter finish. It's not over the top and you can still appreciate the complexities in the beer. Pine and citrus notes are present in the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a slight prickle from the carbonation. Drinkability is higher than average.. you could put a few of these away without feeling you like you were sucking on a pine cone! Overall - a solid beer and one that I'd have no trouble reaching for again.

 1,222 characters

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

Semi-foggy amber orange color, few visible bubbles, thick appearance with a dense foam which does not want to call it a night any time soon. Sweet nose of white pit fruit and orange to lemon citrus, feels juicy, dewy flower petals, beeswax, manages to stay sweet given its hoppiness, not the longest finish, tactfully concise. Medium-bodied, noticeably foamy as you start to sip, grapefruit, orange citrus upfront, less floral but perhaps more piney and waxy. The hoppiness bolder here in the mouth, brings a mild astringency to the finish. Tries to achieve a lot, at both ends of the sweet/dry spectrum, and mostly pulls it off.

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

Golden in color and very cloudy, with visible particles and tons of bubbles. The head was thin and dissipated rather quickly. Aromas were primarily pine and resin, some floral aromas in the background. This is a beer with great backbone and mouthfeel, medium to full bodied without the sweetness that some American IPA's bring. Overall a prototypical West Coast IPA with bitterness and hops that are pronounced but not excessive; this is one of the beers that drew me to liking this style. Since it is not overly sweet or heavy, it would be pretty easy to put away a few of these in short order, and the 7% ABV should be noted.

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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 Pencible
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried this at a local beer festival, so my notes were minimal. I've tried to reconstruct as much as I can remember...

(No notes on the appearance or smell, so I've simply rated them as average.)

This had a light yeasty taste with tons of hops in the aftertaste. It was more of a pine flavor rather than citrus hops, and the texture was great. The bitterness was almost overpowering - a hophead's dream - making this a decent sipping IPA, but could be difficult for the average enthusiast to enjoy. (I personally enjoyed it quite well.)

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

12oz bottle into a wine glass.

a - pours a hazy amber with a thin cap of sudsy, off white head. foam calms quickly to a thin film and leaves spotty lacing.

s - toasted bread, orange citrus, hay, faint alcohol.

t - citrusy hops supported by a toasty malt base. notes of orange, grapefruit and pine. bitterness lingers for a bit.

m - firmly medium with adequate carbonation. finer co2 profile.

o - a solid beer and enjoyable, but maybe a tad overrated imo. would certainly buy more if i were in the mood for an ipa.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,527 ratings.
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