Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,309 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,309 | Ratings: 7,604
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.

 643 characters

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.

 441 characters

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.

 543 characters

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.

 263 characters

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.

 374 characters

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.

 629 characters

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.

 627 characters

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.

 317 characters

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.)

 539 characters

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.

 518 characters

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

Second beer of the night last night at the Yard House, Dedham, as my drink with appetizers. Served on tap into a pint glass. Bright yellow color with a fizzy white head and plenty of carbonation. Smell was hoppy, but not overly powerful. Taste was much more agreeable than I expected. While I am not a huge IPA fan, this one tasted excellent. It had hops, sure, but it didn't blow your palate off. Just a nice dose of hops that tasted great. Mouthfeel was not overly bitter like some IPAs, but instead was smooth and crisp. This IPA was a surprise because of how much I liked it, and it rose to the top of my list of the style. Very well made beer for all types of craft beer lovers.

 683 characters

Photo of hoptualBrew
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber w/ my roommate. Pours an incredible clear light copper color with a nice off white head. Smells of mixed tropical fruit, sweet pale malts, and a pungent bittering hop aroma. Taste follows the nose but definitely not as heavy on the palate as on the nose. Lighter body makes this brew seem quite sessionable, but I would recheck the abv on the bottle before doing so. Could use a bit thicker body but overall pretty solid IPA, but nothing to trade for imo - unlike some other Cali (D)IPAs.

 495 characters

Photo of kpoole25
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle (from make your own variety pack) to glass. Color is about like apple juice, head was a bit thin. Classic IPA smells, fruitiness and citrus. Good balance on the taste, I usually get malt up front and hops in the back and no different here. Bitter but not the biggest, which is fine with me. Pretty standard west coast IPA.

 335 characters

Photo of BrewSomerville
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Orange peel, pine sap, grapefruit, peachy.

Looks: Copper/amber in colour. Tight head, but poor head retention. The head was a dull white. Some good lace. It was a bit foggy.

Taste: Pine, grapefruit, orange peel... hmm familiar? There was some tangerine in there too. Honey, caramel, maple sugar (the malty flavours were there, but not dominant). The bitterness was not overly aggressive, but did build up. Oily, resiny... I think I can taste the lupulin glands.

Mouthfeel: Lots of small bubbles. Creamy & smooth. Medium, but on the heavier side of medium bodied.

Overall, this was a really tastey Beer, and a great example of a North West Pacific I.P.A.

 664 characters

Photo of crimsonfloyd
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong scent of pine. Taste is hoppy, with hints of resin and a mild orange aftertaste. Bitter but not overwhelmingly so and balanced by a smooth mouthfeel.

 156 characters

Photo of cokes
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smoggy golden orange with a thick ivory headpiece. Good retention and spastic lacework.
Nose full of buttered grapefruit on metal spears. Likeable, but could use more.
Full flavored and straight-foward. Begins with lightly toasted caramel drizzled bread. Touches of grain and hay towards the middle. The final half is dominated by hops. Loosely floral, with heavy fruit tones. Obviously grapefruit, but with sugared kiwi and tart oranges as well. Just slightly bitter, but quite juicy in the hopping. Sort of a one-note brew. Interesting at times, but fails to leave much of an impression.
Body is spot-on. Thick and creamed. Carbonation is almost nil. Nice.
A good, if standard, IPA

 688 characters

Photo of theghost3
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is burnt orange with an intferesting thick white head with very light orange tones. Smell is strong of citrus, specifically grapefruit, apricot, and floral/herbal hops. Taste is very strong of grapefruit and herbal hops. It is interesting in that it has a crisp, almost sweet flavor at first, then has an acidic bitter taste as it goes down. Overall, a nice IPA that has a bite to it.

 395 characters

Photo of zac16125
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer 5 IPA
bomber poured into a mug
no born on date or other distinguishing numbers

A: Pours a slightly hazy light golden amber, with just over 1 fingers width of bubbly egg shell white head, which takes a moderate about of time to dissipate and leaves lots of cob-web lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Big citrusy hop aromas, most notablely grapefruit and tangerine. There is also a malty sweetness, and a subtle hint of alcohol which is rare for me to pick up on in the scent of an IPA.

T: First off, the flavors are not as strong as the aroma. Also, not as much bitterness as I like in an IPA, and what is present is mostly piney hop bitterness on the backend. The upfront taste is citrus hops, but it is mild, almost subdued. No flavors really stand out strongly, but if I had to pick one I’d say lemon zest is the most prominent. I’m not saying the taste is bad, but its nothing special IMO. It lacks the complexity and depth of flavor that I look for in a great IPA. To me, the taste is very similar to a weaker version of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. Again, not bad, but not as much going on with the palate profile as I would like.

M/D: Light to medium bodied with a good moderate amount of carbonation. Smooth and very easy to drink.

O: Overall, this is a good IPA but nothing special. A nice appearance and aroma aren’t really backed up in the taste which to me comes off as generic and middle of the road. I will say though that you can’t beat the price (around $5 for a bomber) and I do plan on trying the Hop Rod Rye which most seem to agree is the best Bear Republic offering.

 1,605 characters

Photo of VinoGuy
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Golden color, pour with a decent head. Soft slightly sweet floral aroma of hops and suggestion of crystal malt. Clean taste with a smooth mouth feel and even balance between hops and malt. No overly present taste of alcohol. Hints of spice on the finish.

 254 characters

Photo of jhu1995
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very pale orange color. Medium, white head, with plenty of lacing as the beer is consumed. Smell was mostly citrus with some peach flavors showing in the background. Taste was similar to the smell. Light to medium body and pretty drinkable. I have a tendency to get bored with hoppy beers after one or two of them, but this one kept my interest long enough that I would grab another.

 392 characters

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,604 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.