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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,281 Reviews
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,281 | Ratings: 7,449
Photo of racer2k
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - Clear copper color which pours a fluffy cake batter colored head. The head quickly dissolves and leaves some light textured lacing on the glass.

S - Citrus, Grapefruit aroma with a moderately strong hoppy but sweet smell.

T - Hops, citrus and grapefruit dominate the initial up front taste but then the flavor shifts to a sweet malty finish that smooths the ride out. Decent balance with no lingering bitter finish

M - Smooth with moderate carbonation.

D - A nice west coast IPA that is balanced unlike a lot of the strong IPA and DIPA offerings from the left coast. A great beer that I would drink again.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking amber pour with a thick finger of head and solid lacing. Smell is caramel malts punctuated by sweet floral hops. Taste is malt driven with a bit of bitterness and some piney hop oils. This taste like it is perhaps past its freshness window, but since there is no bottling date I must assume it is meant to taste this way. Very solid and easy to drink, and actually somewhat tasty, but still it appears faded. Mouthfeel is on the full side of medium bodied and very oily. This one went down pretty easy but lacked the hop profile of a true standout IPA.

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Photo of eporter66
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle into Pint Glass

A - Hazy Golden/Orange with thick foamy 1 finger head. Good lacing down the glass

S - Piney hops with a nice malt sweetness and some citrus

T - This is where the surprise comes, lots of rave reviews about this beer, I am a bit disappointed by the taste. Hops are certainly upfront, but that sweet citrus smell does not translate to the taste. A faint flavor of the alcohol hits, and more bitter hops bite and citrus at the end. As usual, as the beer warms the sweetness comes through, but still not what I would expect. I enjoy the bitterness of this beer, just would like more citrus

M - Really smooth carbonation, one of my favorite qualitites about this beer.

O - This beer gets a very high rating, but taste is what matters most, and I just dont get that nice citrus flavor I have come to enjoy from the west coast IPA's. Certainly has a lot of hop character, good bitterness, but without the citrus and malt, there is not much in the way of balance. Very drinkable for the 7% ABV, I dont usually go much beyond 7%, as I dont care for the alcohol to take over, I like it hidden in the beer.

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Photo of DanJimenez
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured it into a chilled glass and noticed it's beautiful golden light brown color.

It has the typical smell of an IPA and I wouldn't say it's that strong(smell).

Now I don't usually like the taste of IPAs but this seems to taste more like a normal pale ale than an Indian pale ale, which in my opinion, is a good thing.

As for mouthfeel, it seems to be more rich and thick than most of the IPA's I've had the chance to try which gives it a fuller taste and a more satisfying after taste than the usual IPA.

Over all, it is the best IPA I've had the chance to try, if I were an ipa type of guy I would have given it a 4.5 or better.

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Photo of harrymel
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle date: unk

A: Pours a copper ale with single finger of off white foam which remains for a good five minutes without falling. The beer is hazy. Sheeting lacing. Good looker, only better with clarity.

S: malt, pine, resin, citrus, grapefruit, rinds, honey. Huh, better than I had anticipated. Plenty going on here. Good nose.

T: Plenty sweet. Caramel malts, pine, resin and citrus hops on the profile. hints of cotton candy and bubble gum. I've had this beer many times, but have not taken the time to actually assess the profile. Much better than I recall.

M: Medium to heavy body for the style. Low carbonation. Dry finish. Would prefer a little lighter on the body. Otherwise, nice.

O: well crafted brew. Diamond in the rough for me. Always have this beer available, don't know why I've not been hooked to this before - likely due to no bottle date.

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Photo of loosey
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle... a vibrant gold with sudsy one inch head into a pint... really really clear... this thing laces like a foam wall inside my glass

i can smell this shit from where its sitting on the table, which is impressive.. but the extremely floral hop aroma drowns just about everything else out, there is something sweet lurking in there

overwhelming sensation of rolling around in hopbushes with your mouth open, you can taste the alcohol with some pine... a little off balance though.. the finish is lip smacking bitter... creamy, medium to heavy bodied, adequately carbonated...

sometimes when the aroma hop is so prevalent it reminds of my youthful days huffing potpourri scented air freshener while making bombs out of christmas balls, gasoline, and styrofoam to throw at the kids up the block while they lounged on the couch in their front lawn, which can be a detraction from enjoying the beer.. that aside this is obviously a well crafted beer and drinkable to a certain extent, id say more than 2 of these bombers might taint my palette beyond my comfort level for one evening

oh.. this will make your face hot

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Photo of Gyle41386
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Bright light orange pour. One finger of bubbly white foam. Decent retention. Nice rings of lacing.

Citric hop aroma that is very perfume-y. Not a whole lot to the nose aside from that.

Hop flavor touches both citrus and pine, with the pine being more prominent in the finish. Malt flavor is somewhat bready and sweet.

Medium bodied. Fairly light carbonation, not very active on the tongue. Very, very drinkable. An approachable West Coast IPA.

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Photo of Brunite
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Poured a clear golden color with 1 finger of white head.

Smell- Very nice hop aroma, with some citrus notes.

Taste- Really much sweeter than one would expect for an IPA. Not as much hop bitterness a I am used to.

Mouthfeel- Medium light bodied....low on the carbonation.

Drinkability- This was a good beer. Smooth and drinkable. Just felt more like an PA than an IPA.

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Photo of Khazadum
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bomber on my latest incursion into a Chicago Binny's. Was looking for a new IPA to try and heard good things about Bear Republic. Why not try it? Poured many times into my brandy snifter.

The pour leaves a beautiful amount of head that does not leave much lacing as it dissipates. The body is a stereotypical amber color, and when held to the light it matchs commerical apple juice. Not bad, but not the best.

The nose on this is quite enjoyable. It foreshadows a delicious brew. The spicy bitterness of the hops comes through in the very first breath. A slight citrus note is balancing the bitterness. Perhaps, grapefruit in nature.

Flavor Profile
The bouquet was not lying for this beverage. The liquid sloshes around and releases the fruity flavors upon my tongue. They quickly change over into the bitterness of the hops which seems to linger into the finish. The end isn't anything to be ashamed of. It hits the bitter portions of my tongue and seems to hug the sides of it while leaving the rest clean. For a 7% beer, this definitely doesn't show up at all. Not even in the last pours of the bottle do I find a hint of alcohol. This is not to say that it needs it, but it was unusual to not find it.

Oral Sensations
AS IPAs go, I don't expect them to be syrup and I don't expect them to be bottled water. However, this one tends to lead more towards a watery texture than what I've become accustomed to. I think this actually benefits the beer rather than hinders it. As its texture isn't any thicker, it leaves a possibly cleaner finish. I put it somewhere just below some German Pilsner's I've had.

For the price that I paid for this brew, there is no doubt in my mind. Buy it! Now! It is delicious, affordable, and comes in a great size. I will definitely be purchasing this beer again, if not for its solid offering to the IPA style than for its price tag.

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Photo of JamesS
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a decent mid-copper color with some good head and lacing, even if it goes away fairly fast. Nice scent, very hoppy with some nice citrus American hops, and enough malt to keep it from being too "un-sweet." Good taste, mostly hops, with some malt thickness if not some malt taste. Goes down well.

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Photo of dansmcd
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Cloudy orange in body, rich in sediment, no head, no lace.

S - Big hop hit of grass and pine.

T - Very hoppy but not the tropical fruit overload I expected. Some orange and passionfruit but not in excess by any means. Quite dry.

M - Oily and smooth, medium body, tangy and dry. Lingering hop bitterness.

O - Id heard fantastic reports of this so was a little bit disappointed. A solid IPA but I think are many better out there.

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Photo of MatthewWilde
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sample: 1 bottle 2011

A: Lightly cloudy, very minimal internal carbonation, copper orange, tiny foamy head

S: Not incredibly fragrant, citrus fruits, hops, star fruit, all very light but simultaneously present

T: Light and delicious in flavor, definite citrus, pineapple, some green apple, perfect balance

M: Incredibly smooth, almost water-like in viscosity, easy to drink, refreshing, aftertaste is moderate, a bit lingering and drying however

O: A nice and smooth ipa, not incredibly flavorful and fragrant however, but refreshing all the same

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Photo of IceAce
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light-copper body poured with less than one finger of foam due in large part to a lack of skill behind the bar. Lacing was exceptional (80%) all the way down to the last drop.

Aroma: Hoppy / sweet nose with a delightful citrus undertone. The high quality malt also makes an appearance.

Taste: Very bright foretaste with a refreshing role played by the CO². Light on the palate for an IPA with a very good West Coast style finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice malt / hop balance with a complimentary CO² level.

Drinkability: A pleasure to consume from start to finish...definitely recommended.

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Photo of Goldorak
3.71/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Peachy golden, with a faint but fluffy head. It sported a massive amount of chunks, pretty odd for this style. I don't think the bottle was very old, I got it only a few months ago.

Smell: Fresh hop aromas that burst of strawberries then the alcohol creeps in slowly to release notes of pine trees.

Taste: Relatively mellow carbonation, the malt tastes like cookies with a bit of cooked vegetables. The hops show up nice and easy, and slowly grow momentum, without ever going into excess. Almost no alcohol to be found in the taste, somewhat ashy finish, perhaps from the yeast shot. Not my favorite Bear Republic, but a nice sessionable IPA.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.71/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer 5 India Pale Ale....

Appearance-Brown pour, orange as well, nice head that settles perfectly.

Smell-smokey sweetness, oily hop aroma, heavy alcohol.

Taste/Mouthfeel-alcohol, slight burn, really hoppy, some juicyness,. Decent taste.

Drinkability-heavy alcohol but it tastes good and is fairly balanced.

Overall-This is a good IPA, I'm not sure it's as knock your socks off as many feel but I can't deny that it's a good beer.

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Photo of charlieos
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this beer hard to approach the first time I tried it. The second time, after warming up with a lighter beer, I found it much more enjoyable. Very nice hop flavor range. Balance is very much on the sweeter side. Pours an orangish color with minimal head. As pretty serious hoppy beers go, this one is on the heavier, maybe even clunkier side. More of a beer for the dedicated ipa person than a generalist.

In all a good beer, but a forceful beer.

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Photo of tone77
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a small head. Smell is of hops, some citrus. Taste is dominated by hops, some citrus and hints of malts, very flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice.

A: Average-size head, fizzy, white in color with decent retention. The body is a clear golden yellow. Average lacing.

S: Respectable malt presence of hay/straw. The hops are a mixture of Columbus and Cascade and provide a heavy dose of grapefruit, orange rind, flowers and, odd as it may sound, I picked up on a wild onion grass aroma. There is a pleasant earthy yeast character to add to the aroma's complexity.

T: The alcohol is almost completely masked, but not quite. Very subtle tropical fruit suggestions of honeydew melon, guava and passion fruit. Lightly acidic and leaning towards the bitter end.

M: The Racer 5 is light in body and on the thin side. The alcohol comes through more than one would expect from a 7% brew (and particularly so on the finish). A fizzy carbonation adds some structure to the mouthfeel. Finishes bitter.

D: A go-to/fall-back kind of IPA for me. While it will never offend, it certainly won't excite either.

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Photo of Hullabaloo2
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma - The first note that I get is a nice bouquet of floral, almost fruity hops. The fruit like aroma is not that of esters. This is by far the most dominate characteristic of the aroma, but the malt does come through. This aroma is not complex, but is still quite pleasant for the hop lover.

Appearance - A nice deep amber color with an eggshell colored head. The head poured about 1 finger width, but quickly dissipated to an uneven 1/4 finger width. The lacing is mediocre. There is a slight haze that appears to be from hop resins; always a welcome sign in an IPA. This gives clue that there will be an intense hop character to the flavor.

Taste - Very nice floral and spice hop flavor. The flavor of the hops is quite dominant, but the bitterness level is not very intense. The malt provides a nice balance to the hops, but doesn't make much of a showing in the front of the flavor. The hops are nicely balanced, but probably not intense enough for true hop heads. Some alcohol does make itself known.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body with mid-level carbonation. There is no perceived alcohol, and the bitterness is on the lower end of the spectrum for an IPA. The beer goes down smooth. It is somewhat slick on the tongue. There is a small lingering bitterness, but this beer will not "blow out" your palate.

Overall Impression - This is a good IPA. It's very drinkable, and not overwhelming with hops, and bitterness. I see that as a detractor, but many others trying to develop a palate for hops, or who just aren't hop heads would probably love this IPA. The hop aroma, and flavor are very nice. For a 7% abv beer the alcohol is a little to noticeable. This is probably the biggest problem that I have with this beer. Long story short, solid, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly clear golden color (especially considering it's bottle conditioned), decent sized head but fades fast, leaves a ring of lacing along the glass.

Smell is dominated by piney hops with only a slight hint of sweet malt.

Taste is similar to the aroma in that piney hops with accompanying bitterness controls the flavor, not much balance, bitterness stays for quite awhile and doesn't let up, the lack of balance makes it a bit lower on the drinkability, carbonation is good as it should be.

A bit one sided and on the stronger side for a "regular" IPA, there are better IPA's to get that have more dimensions of citrus and grapefruit, whereas this is all pine.

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Photo of themind
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I am a big IPA fan and had read a decent amount about this brew. I picked up a six and went at it. That said I was not overly impressed by this beer. Pliny, Hopslam and others have dominated my taste buds so Racer 5 fell short for me. Don't get me wrong it's a decent brew but I have not sought it out since.

Bottom Line: Decent IPA worth buying if Hopslam and Pliny are unavailable.

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Photo of clingman71
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden with a slight orange/copper hue. It is pretty clear with a generous off-white head that disspipated leaving a thin but noticeable lace. The aroma is of hops, floral, but not overly citrusy. I smell some piney, resiny hop notes. I get an initial hop flavor that gives way to the malt, but finishes nice and dry. The hop aroma builds as I near the half pint mark. This beer has very good everything, but excellent nothing. A very good all aroung IPA, just not quite with the truly great ones.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-yellow gold with a thick white head and some lacing

S-herbs, grains, citrus, and some hops. medium strength

T-comes in with some citrus and some sweet hops and a bit of bitterness, all are equal and slightly dull. the after-taste is of creamy hops and some tangerine. nothing great

M-ceamy medium carbonation with a creamy finish

O-definitely an enjoyable IPA though its not as great as everyone makes it seem to make it. the hops and bitterness seem to be faded. this might only meet hops heads half way.

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Photo of washburnkid
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: disappointing tiny white head fizzled effortlessly to a cap and then down to a ring only seconds later. The brew is amber and golden. At least a cap of head retains and there's a bit of sticky lacing.
S: huge citrus mandarin aromas with caramel malt to balance in the back. The aromas are pretty straightforward.
T: great at first, with huge hop flavors dominating. Citrusy goodness with the malt barely discernible. Then my palate starts cringing just a tad as the Columbus (bittering?) hops become incredibly overwhelming. I like a hoppy beer, but to have this one flavor really be the one to stand out is a bummer. I want mandarins and grapefruits to linger like the aroma promises, and sadly they just do not. With warmth, there's a small bit of wood and more perfumey, but it's just not doing it for me.
M: medium body with medium-high carbonation, which makes those Columbus hops tingle a bit more.
D: it's okay, but I think I'll stick to hop rod rye!

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Photo of hreb
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle served in pint glass. Beer pours orange amber in color, lightly hazed, with a large yellowish-white head. Ample, piney C-hop aroma. Flavor is aggressive and hop-forward, as promised, without being harsh or bitter. Pretty well balanced, with a hint of sweetness in the finish. Just a little bit to the left of fully and dangerously drinkable.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,281 ratings.
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