Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

7,679 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,679 |  Reviews: 2,328
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From growler to pint glass on 3/21/11
*From notes

A: A good, somewhat cloudy 24k gold. It's got a nice 1.25 finger head, followed by high quality lacing.

S: Pine needles attack the nostrils. If I wasn't aware before, I am now: this is a west coast IPA all the way.

T: A good dose of breadiness hits first, but it's merely a formality as the sweet and citrusy hops overwhelm the palate from the mid to finish.

M: Pretty killer - this one feels like it belongs. Good weight and creaminess that tends to be found in the upper echelon of the style.

O: I've been meaning to review this one for a while, and what better way then a growler!

Bear Republic's Racer 5 is one of the top AIPA's for a reason, and is a cornerstone of the style. I have returned to this time and time again, and will continue to for years to come. This one borders pretty close to perfection.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oddly enough, I'd never even heard of this one when I got to the dive bar in DC that had it on tap. Looked nice, a fairly deep amber color with slight haze and nice looking carbonation. Nose is nice; lots of grapefruit, some deeper malt notes, a good bit of fruitiness as well. Taste is delicious, a really excellent beer. Lots of bitter grapefruitiness, sweet malt, in basically a perfect balance. Feel is fairly thick and tasty with near-perfect carbonation. Overall, I was really blown away by this one. One of the best IPAs I've had.

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Photo of swfeidt
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden orange with little bits of sediment floating around. A thin head but it left a big puddle of lace throughout the whole beer.

The nose is a subtle blend of mild fruits (mango,orange,grapefruit) with a piney hop resin mixed in. A slight malt sweetness as well.

Fruity hop blast but not a large bitterness that comes with west coast IPAs. Well balanced hops with a toffee malt flavor backing. Massive hop characteristics but its not a slap to the face.

Drinks easier than most IPAs. It has a mild carbonation and is very refreshing. Went well with a nice cut of sirloin.

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Photo of riored4v
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 8/25/08

Poured into a pint glass. Clear, copper colored body. Off-white head about 1 finger thick.

Smell is fantastic. Slight spicyness but mainly a citrus aroma. Mild malt sweetness with caramel notes.

Taste.. hops! Hops definitely make themself known in this IPA. Strong citrusy, grapefruit bitterness upfront. Nice malt sweetness to back it up in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light in body with and oily texture. Good carbonation.

Drinkability is god/excellent. No real alcohol presence and very well done IPA.

Overall its a good drinkin IPA. Stong on hops but enough maltiness to mellow it all out.

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Photo of vdread
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
bottle to glass

a beautiful hazy orange with a tight little off-white head. amazing lacing! rings all down the sides of the glass. the smell punch you in the face. strong orange and citrus in the smell as well as the taste. sweet and spicy citrus hops steal the show while bready malt balances it out. the mouthfeel is smooth and easy going down. i could drink these all day. damn good beer.

until recently i'd never heard of Bear Republic. i've only had two of their brews and i'm already a huge fan! i love the bold hops flavors they bring to the table. racer 5 and hop rod rye are now my IPA of choice, if only they were a bit cheaper.

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Photo of Bobdope
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was in San Diego, CA at the Yard House when I ordered this one. I got it poured from draft into a half yard glass. It was smooth with a really nice citrus ting. The beer left a nice full lacing on the long yard glass. This offering has a nice clean, fresh taste that leads to a really great social beverage. Awesome head retention.

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Photo of Estarrio
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a translucent, coppery, golden, brown with a small white head. The head disappeared rather quickly.

Aroma of sweet malts, oranges, and piney hops.

Sweet malt taste with orange and grapefruit flavors. Big orange taste up front with the grapefruit lending to the aftertaste. The sweetness is balanced by potent and piney hop presence. Ample amount of hops to feed my hophead addiction. Nicely hopped and extremely well balanced with the sweetness. The 7% is well masked.

Well carbonated with a nice mouthfeel. Texture is slightly syrupy up front with a little dryness in the finish.

This is a highly drinkable IPA, due to its extraordinary balance.

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to AndySR15 for the trade on this one!

Pours a hazy amber color with one finger of creamy white head that left sheets of lacing on the walls of my imperial pint glass. The smell of this beer hit me as I was pouring it. Big scents of citrus fruit and an earthy grassy scent that both equally vie for your attention. A slight bit of sweet malt is also trying to make itself known on the nose as well. The flavor profile is a duel battle between the sweet caramel malt and the citrus and pine flavor of the hops. Neither flavor dominates each other and this flavor profile is well crafted and well made. The mothfeel is a bit thin, but overall it is medium bodied with lower than average carbonation. The drink ability on this beer is impressive, and it leaves me wanting Bear Republic in Indiana.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 pours a hazy amber color with about one finger worth of off-white head that just doesn't want to go away. It dies down but never completely disappears...which is different from most of the IPA's I have had.
The hop aroma comes through as citrus with a little pine scent. Very nice smell.
The taste isn't as "hoppy" as I would have thought...but it does hit you as you swallow.Not too bitter. Very smooth IPA. Only a slight prickly feel on the toungue. ABV hidden nicely by the hops.
I could easily have more than one of these. Excellent example of an American IPA.

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Photo of DNICE555
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an english pint glass. Decent white head with an average amount of carbonation. Hazy grapefruit color. Some nice lacing rings the glass even after I've finished.

This beer smelled very good. Citrusy, tangy, piney hops.

Taste was right on point. Crisp clean hops with some zing to them. Not overly piney and not very bitter.

Medium body with some nice citrusy high notes.

Very drinkable. Just have to be careful of the 7 percent abv that is barley noticeable.

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Photo of avaldivia
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bear Republic Brew Pub.

A: Hazy golden straw color with a very nice thick head. Left great lacing all the way down.

S: Grapefruit goodness. Smells very hoppy. Has me excited.

T: Hoppy bitterness on the front nice bit of malt on the end followed by lingering tingling on the tongue. I get grapefruit, pine, lemon just to name a few flavors.

M: Light and smooth. Very food carbonation.

O: Pretty much the only IPA I buy six packs of regularly. Really enjoy this beer. It is a perfect representation of a west coast IPA.

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Photo of drunkmonk
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy orange, nice thin lacing. Impressive clumps of stickage all the way down the glass. Pine sap, mint, and citrus aroma's. The nose is all about the hops here, with nary a hint of cracker maltiness. Crisp mouthfeel, with lively carbonation. Hops attack and scour the tongue, with and array of citrus and pine resins. This is a hopheads dream. No hint of 7 % abv. Dangerously drinkable. So happy to finally see this available here in NC. This immediatly goes into the regular rotation along with Foothills, Founders, and Stone as a killer hop fix. Great stuff.

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Photo of Terp96
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My old standby for IPAs, this is one of the best. I can only get it in 22 oz. in MD. Pours a hazy orange/yellow color with slight head. Nice bouquet. Orange peels, pine and yeast. Hoppy taste with a nice malt and yeast finish with is a welcome change from a lot of IPAs. A very balanced and drinkable beer. The higher abv doesn't show up in the taste making this one a little too drinkable. Another hit from BR.

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Photo of draheim
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up today because I wanted to try it again and also want to compare it to a Bell's Two Hearted while I still have a couple left.

22oz bottle (no dates or codes) poured into a tulip.

Pours a nice transparent golden/amber with a 1-finger white head. From a foot away I pick up that classic aroma of grapefruit and pineapple. Bring the glass closer to my nose and the aroma bursts out of the glass, all those great tropical aromas. There a faintly dank hop smell as well that I've picked up in a lot of IPAs.

Taste follows nose. Fruity, a little sweet, with some hops to balance things out. This is really a fine American IPA: neither overly hoppy nor overly sweet. Mouthfeel is very satisfying as well.

Overall I'm really happy with this beer. I could drink this again and again and may start regularly stocking my fridge with it.

Now to my Two Hearted comparison (which won't be part of this review)...

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Photo of thatsfine
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap poured into a pint glass. Pours a beautiful dark gold color with a one-finger head. Nice lacing down the glass.

This smells very nice. It's got a strong scent of the West Coast hops. Citrus and pine. There is also a scent of sweet malts. Excellent.

Oh man... this is just about perfect. There's a lot of hops in this, but the sweet malts in this make it quite delicious. Even without the sweet malts this would be outstanding.

The mouthfeel is normal for the style. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation with a nice coating on the tounge. Well done.

This is a great West Coast IPA. Might be the only IPA I like more than Union Jack, which is why I had a few pints. Very happy this is available at my bottle shop. Will buy this often.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden color with almost no head at all. Kind of surprised by that.

S: Beautiful. Lots and lots of citrus hop aroma and a fair amount of mango as well.

T: There's a ton of really nice hop bitterness here with just enough malt to hold it down. The hops hit right away, hard and piny, and they are drawn out forever. There's a touch of tropical sweetness towards the end and then a nice and fairly clean finish. Really nicely done.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into oversized wine glass.

A: Pours a hazy bright golden-honey orange with a thin bright white head that quickly disappeared into a faint collar and film leaving some streaks of sticky lace. There were some tiny flakes of sediment present in every pour.
S: Big grapefruit and citrus aroma with notes of pine. Most of the malt is overpowered.
T: Follows the nose with a more balanced malty taste. Light cracker-like flavor. Good bitter punch at the finish. Loads of lemon notes as well. Nectar like quality. Aftertaste is a tad sweet like tropical fruit.
M: Medium body with a slick and slightly watery mouthfeel. No alcohol present.
D: Amazing for an IPA. One of the best go-to beers out there.

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Photo of DoppleJock
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Poured light amber with 1-inch head. Lots of lacing.

S: Hops, hops, hops! Some cut grass and floral esters. Smells really nice.

T: Hop bite right away, quickly followed by some nice piney/citrus notes. Medium bitter aftertaste. Tastes amazing.

M: Super smooth. Just the right amount of hops without being tongue-scrapingly bitter.

D: Pass the bottle, please. This stuff is really good.

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Photo of mater
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into my newly acquired Stone imperial pint glass.

A-Pours a hazy orange color with lots of floaties. A nice 1.5-2 finger head that leaves a nice layer and excellent lacing.

S-Smells delicious, but it isn't overpowering. Grapefruit, Orange, pine and hops.

T-The hops get you first, then I get a strong grapefruit and orange taste. Can't taste any alcohol at all.

M-Leaves a nice coating in the mouth. The carbonation could be tamed a little, but it doesn't really hurt the tastiness of the beer.

O-Probably one of my top 5 most readily available IPA'S in Ohio. If you haven't tried this yet, get some!

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Photo of Huffaroma
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hadn't heard of this brewery and decided to try their IPA.

Aroma-A very nice hop balance with a distinct mango/pineapple fragrance.

Pour-Had a good head built off nice and light.

Taste-Had a wonderful taste of hops balanced to my liking. It began with a small bite of hops but through the middle balanced out and finished with another good bite. It thought this was a very well brewed IPA.

Overall I will probably buy this again, Thanks Bear Republic!

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Photo of TheSignPost
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome! This beer is an extremely pleasant surprise. It pours a golden honey color, not super clear, but you can tell it means business. The aroma is perfect. Hoppy and clean. And then the taste backs it up. This one talks the talk, and walks the walk too.

Very very good.

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Photo of Streetcore
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle

A: Pours a hazy golden with a fluffy white head.

S: Ripe citrus, some tropical fruit, pine.

T: Citrus, pine, herbal, spice, light malt body.

M: Crisp, nice lingering bitterness.

O: Tasty IPA, with a great nose. I'll be buying this again.

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Photo of axisjones
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amberish orange with a touch of cloudiness. A nice fluffy head sits on top with a decent lacing on the way down.

The smell is quite wonderful. Typical of a west coast IPA, you have the strong cascade aroma, pine, grapefruit, citrus, floral, with just a dash of passionfruit.

Once again, this is definitely in the West Coast IPA family. I have always found this group to have more juiciness and citric flavors and this is no exception. While it is in the company of great west coast IPAs, it is unique. A crisp bitterness carries a bit of spice which is balanced by a biscuity malt all the way through. While still on the hopped the hell out end of the spectrum, it is well balanced and the finish is lingering.

Highly drinkable. Had a bomber on a hot day and it went down like candy. I was begging for more. Another great west coast brew. Perfect for sessions or whatever. Super versatile, flavorful, Racer 5 is always a good choice. If you are begging for more hops, Racer X is your answer.

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Photo of CBFanWish
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At the Henrietta MacGregor's I had one of these today. It wasn't my first time, but I haven't reviewed this one yet.
Bear Republic is a brewer that defines quality. They take great time and effort in the concocting of every beer that leaves the brewery. Racer 5 is no exception.
Pouring a wonderfully hazy copper colour and blanketed in a beautiful white, frothy head, it is everything a good IPA should look like. The head lasted quite a while and left a spider web of lace as I drank the beer.
The head released a strong floral aroma of roses and also a soft citrus scent. This led to an easy to drink, yet complex taste. At first I noticed a sweetness accented by a floral and grassy feel. It finished with a bittersweet citrus taste. It's wonderful what hops can do.
Racer 5 is one of the IPA's that is really putting micro brews on the map. It is a quality ale that is, without a doubt, everything a good IPA should be. I found it easy to drink and rather refreshing.
Who is this beer for? The people who would enjoy this most are the more discriminating drinkers. Someone who truly appreciates a complex ale such as this. I would also suggest that someone who is just starting to build their palate stay away from this until they develope a strong palate for hops. This is a true west coast IPA. There is little balance in order for the hops to make their pressance known.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,679 ratings.
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