Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,294 | Ratings: 7,531
Photo of Roke87
3.76/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, chilled and poured into a Duvel tulip

Appearance- Pours a very hazy golden yellow, average pour yields a tiny half a finger of white head that very quickly dissipates to a very small ring that does leave lots of lacing throughout the glass till finish.

Smell- light hop aromas mixed with some pine as well, fruity grapefruit citrus aromas as well and a strong malt smell dominate the aromas.

Taste- Just like the smell this one is not overpowered by the grapefruit and hop although it is much more present in the taste, on the contrary the malts take over this one from the start then give way to a resiny pine flavour mixed with that citrusy hop flavour as well. Finishes kind of sweet and a bit bitter with more of that bready malt flavour in there.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied with below average to almost no carbonation in sight, this is a crisp and easy drinking IPA, and finishes a little dry though.

Overall- To be honest this beer was overhyped a little too much by my go to liquor store guy, I guess I was expecting more from it although it was not bad in anyway at all. There is a big hop presence although not overpowered and equally balanced by a nice malty flavour. I would pick this one up again although I would not go out of my way to get it, happy I tried and didn’t overpay for it but unless it was under $8 a six pack I don’t think I would revisit it, there’s just too many other east coast IPA’s that are miles ahead of this one.

 1,483 characters

Photo of Spider889
3.76/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Golden straw colored and crystal clear. Very light head with minimal retention. The lacing was fairly impressive for an IPA.

I found the smell to be a little lack-luster. Not very potent or inviting. What I could get were hop oils and grapefruit rind.

The taste is very crisp and clean. This is a very balanced beer that really showcases the hops. Little to no malt profile though.

The mouthfeel is light and crisp. The beer is well carbonated and delicate enough to allow the hop profile to dominate while leaving no after taste or unwelcome lingering bitterness.

This wound up not being my favorite IPA but the drinkability is pretty good. The beer is light and easy going for 7%. While I might limit myself to 1 or 2 of these in a sitting, I could easily see others drinking much more than that.

Overall I am just not a huge fan of this west coast style of IPA that has very little malt profile. This is a very good beer but I prefer a little more complexity in my IPA.

 1,017 characters

Photo of rundocrun
3.76/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12-oz bottle. Very thick, loose layer of yeast sediment on the bottom of this bottle-conditioned beer. I unavoidably got a little bit in the glass during the pour but hey, a little yeast never hurt anyone right?

A - Pours a coppery golden color with burnt orange highlights. A finger of white head forms and then fades to a thin layer on the top of the beer. Moderate amount of lacing on the glass as I drink it.

S - Piney, resinous hop aroma is most noticeable with undertones of honey sweetness. Overall, not an extremely pungent beer though.

T - Creamy, malty sweetness up front that's almost honey-like in it's smoothness. The bitterness, piney-ness and citrus peel character of the hops hits hard in the middle and lasts through to the aftertaste. This is unlike any IPA/APA I've ever had, honestly. I've never experienced something so smooth and drinkable (a by-product of the bottle-conditioning) yet still maintaining the über-hoppy presence that one hopes for in this style.

M - Medium body with a juicy, lush finish. As mentioned earlier, this beer has an incredibly smooth, creamy character to it that lends to its drinkability.

 1,176 characters

Photo of Ezone024
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at gales in petaluma CA. pours a hazy orange color with a 1 finger head..lots of lacing as you go. smells of earthy grapefruit and slight booziness.

the taste is very full it really punches you in the face with your first sip. the maltiness isnt very distinguished but it hits the back of your throat right before the citrus hops take over.tastes like a wide variety of hops were used in making racer 5.

very good west coast IPA a little boozy though. can drink a few but not too many.

 494 characters

Photo of BeanBone
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A nicely hazy golden-orange body capped by a little over a finger of whitish head that endures well and leaves great lacing.

Aroma: Lots of bright, juicy, citrusy, and mildly piney hops over a sweet caramel body.

Flavor: Up front, juicy, citrusy, slightly resinous, and mildly bitter hops take the lead. Underneath, a biscuity caramel malt backbone keeps everything grounded. It's a rather balanced proposition, though the hops are the primary focus here. The moderately-high alcohol content is masked well, leaving no trace. Biscuity malt and piney hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: For hop fans, this is as an easy drinker as any IPA with a seven percent kick.

Verdict: Racer 5 is a solid, balanced, and drinkable American IPA and another satisfying brew from Bear Republic. A little more focus on the Cascades, and this could really be up there for me.

 941 characters

Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Orangy copper body with a one finger head. Good amount of lacing on the glass! Not too carbonated.

S- Hops! Piney hop smell. A little orange zest. Nothing was pungent about the smell.

T- Piney hops. The hops in the brewing process include Cascade and Centennial, so being piney in taste is no surprise. The hop bitterness is at 75+ IBUs according to Bear Republic's site. Also the beer has a peppery spice. The hop bitterness hits hard initially. As soon as that hop bitterness comes along, it fades! The finish is not bitter at all. Quite frankly, it finishes dry, leaving your mouth wanting more. Exceptional for an IPA!

M- Bear Republic describes the beer as being full-bodied, but I think it's defiantly a medium body and feel. Not too heavy, but nothing that allows the beer to be gulped!

Overall this was a wonderful IPA. I normally shy away from IPA's because they can be almost too intense with the hop bitterness, but this beer got out of the way quick enough for the bitterness to be pleasant. I would drink this IPA anytime I'm in the mood for a hoppy beer.

 1,076 characters

Photo of twbrewer
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a amber/orange color with very little head but has lots of bubbles.Good lacing.

S-Sweet sticky caramel malts mixed with sweet citrus hops.A hint of vanilla and maybe a maple syrup aroma.

T-The taste is exactly like the smell,almost too sweet.

M-Lighter than expected.Upfront it is almost prickly yet smooth.It does have a slightly bitter and dry finish.

D-This was not what I expected for an IPA.I could get hooked on these but bet that supply will be limited in my area.

 483 characters

Photo of Bitter_Echo
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, yellow copper, almost honey looking drink, with a low head, with little lacing. Smells malty sweet over bitter notes, but not getting prominent Cascade hops as advertised, or any of the other mentioned, but probably wouldn't know it. Bitterness does not sustain long but is there, somewhat muted, and appears modulated by the grain bill a bit. Not a 'nose forward' IPA. Oh, and mouth-feel is fine, with discreet carbonation, but not at all scrubbing. I've since had this fresher, and rated it higher on second try.

 530 characters

Photo of Brad007
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden-copper color with floaties (?) and a thick head that fades down, leaving lacing.

Aroma is full of floral hops and biscuity malt in the nose. Standard for the style.

Taste is full of floral hop bitterness upfront with a strong alcohol warmth and not much else showing up in the middle. Bready, biscuity flavors do make an appearance though.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering hops and malt and alcohol warmth. I'm not sure what the floaties are but they don't seem to affect the taste much as I can tell.

Not bad but it would probably be better fresh. Again, it's a case of me not reading the bottling date before buying. Still a decent IPA though.

 663 characters

Photo of Jeffsta1
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Pretty good beer.
Light head, transparent golden color.
Hoppy, zingy acidity, citrus.
Long, relatively intense, bitter finish.
Not a favorite (Bell's Two Hearted kicks its butt) but far from bad.

 195 characters

Photo of usmittymc
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Hazy golden oak pour with a rocky off-white head that reduces to a thick cap and leaves gobs and gobs of lacing.

S: Pepper, citrus. Very, very hoppy nose. I like.

T: Just as advertised by the nose, peppery, citrusy hops. Nice bready malt back balances things out nicely.

M: Moderate. A little bit of hop oil makes it a tad slick, but not in a bad way.

D: This is a great IPA to have around. I tend to prefer the bottle conditioned IPA's (2H Ale, Bridgeport, et al), so I will add a few more bottles of this to my beer cabinet. Actually, the similarities between Bell's 2 Hearted Ale and Racer 5 are striking, both even have numbers in their name...hmmmm

 710 characters

Photo of denver10
3.74/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a firey orange golden with prickly white head and some lacing. Aroma is solid and enjoyable but not great and can get lost in the forest of great aromatic IPA aromas; juicy orange, its rind, doughy bread, and some grass. Flavor offers some nice sweet and juicy orange and its rind, some doughy bread, and a touch of some florals....so similar to aroma but a bit more filled out. A medium bodied, somewhat creamy, active mouthfeel. Overall, a very nice IPA. I dig it.

 472 characters

Photo of jjanega08
3.74/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= pours a very nice amber color with a nice thick creamy three finger head that's got great retention and awesome sticky lacing.
S= not as impressive as the look. A little weak. Some grassy hops come through as well as some citrus.
T= a little weaker than expected also. Just more hops I suppose. Some grass and mild citrus hops. Nothing bitter extreme or offensive about it. Decent but for an ipa I think it should bite back a little more.
M= very nice creamy and a little dry in the finish.
D= great. This beer wasn't what I expected it to be but its still very nice. I think its somewhat mild and tame but still very good and ill likely have it again.

 655 characters

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

Reviewed from notes. Consumed 1/30/09

Poured from a 22oz into the girl friends prized oversized wine goblet. Firm pour yields 1/2 inch of very fine white head. head drops rapidly forming a thin skim that concentrates around the edges of the glass. Moderate lace. Color is a clouded deep orange amber with very fine suspended sediment.

Nose- Orange zest, ruby red grapefruit, and some very light biscuit.

Taste- Very nice. Smooth at first with lots of vibrant bright citric hops. Orange and grapefruit are very prominent. Some light biscuit notes, although just a hint. I wouldn't go so far as to call this balanced, but it is meatier then quite a few IPAs that I have had. Finish is very, very long and substantially bitter.

Mouthfeel- Active, acrid and tangy.

Drinkability- Great.

 787 characters

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.

 652 characters

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.

 565 characters

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.

 1,127 characters

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.

 639 characters

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.

 861 characters

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

 1,127 characters

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.

 488 characters

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.

 384 characters

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.

 1,908 characters

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.

 301 characters

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.

 435 characters

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,531 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
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!