Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

7,643 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: 7,643 |  Reviews: 2,318
Photo of Celtics76
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a Star Wars Cantina glass. Orange-Gold in appearance, which is the way an IPA should look.

Well, it certainly smells great. Similar to Loose Cannon - scent is dominated by pine with a touch of citrus. As for taste, near perfect balance of flavors and bitterness. The bitterness sticks around for a few seconds after each sip which I like.

I've heard great things about this beer and it did not disappoint. However, I rank it behind Stone and Loose Cannon but not by much.

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

A-Pours a nearly transparent rusty amber with big thick foamy white head. Head eventually dwindles to 1 finger and leaves behind plenty of lacing in the glass. Lots of bottle conditioned yeast is at the bottom of the bottle-when that is poured in it adds lots of flaky yeast sediment and more of a translucent haze.

S- Before I even completely removed the cap a big whiff of citrus, mostly grapefruit, and piny hops hits the nose. This smell is a powerful smack in the face of hop aromas and great! The slightest bit of caramel malt also pops through at the end of the nose.

T-Surprisingly much milder than the smell. Lots of citrus hop flavor upfront with virtually no malt backbone (though I know it has to be there). The piny cascade hops really come out for the finish and are very refreshing-citrus hops take a backseat to these. What lingers is a light-to moderate bitterness and a big dose of refreshing piny hops. Hints of caramel malt sweetness too.

M-Low carbonation and oily body. Very smooth and creamy. Great.

D- Despite the near absence of balance this is a very good IPA. I love the bottle conditioning and the overall smoothness of the body. Not really the best tasting IPA I have had...but it's still very good; and probably in my top 5. Great West Coast IPA.

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Photo of 1fastz28
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

man on man i've had some good beers past week. this one is no exception. pours a slightly cloudy golden orange color with a marginal head, and some decent lacing. the smell is darn good has a wonderful spicy and piney hop aroma. the taste is also very very good, its surprisingly smooth for a dIPA but has enough bitterness and alcohol warmness to make it unique. a real treat of a beer, glad to try it, and hope to have again.

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Photo of wknight167
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apearance - Pours a cloudy (with suspended particles) amber orange with a 1 finger white head with decent staying power and some really nice lacing.

Nose- Sweet orange, grapefruit and pineapple all jump out individually and are accompanied by a floral presence.

Palate- The large amount of hops is not quite enough to hide the generous malt bill as it seems a good amount of emphasis was on hop flavor which is by no means a bad thing. Spicy citrus with toasted notes. Alcohol is fairly well hidden.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation level

Drinkability- I'm going to have another right now.

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

Pours a golden color with some reddish hue to it, a good-sized fluffy white head. Very slight lacing left behind.

Aroma is citrusy hops, mostly grapefruit, also some orange. Very minor piney notes, and a slight earthy malt in the back.

Very well balanced flavor of citrus, pine, bready malts. Nothing overpowering, all of them well defined and a good progress from one to another.

A nice amount of carbonation, smooth, medium body leaning towards light, finishes dry.

An extremely pleasant, drinkable brew, great balance, not overpowering in any way but thoroughly solid and flavorful. Would highly recommend this brew to all comers.

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

A: very opaque mild orange color, lots of yellow hues. nice white head, great retention and lacing.

S: huge sweet oranges and tangerines from the hops, shine through the best.

T: great sweet citrus hop flavor, mostly oranges. wonderful IPA with a great light caramel malt backbone.

M: medium bodied. lightly carbonated. rather creamy mouthfeel.

D: extremely drinkable IPA, top notch in my opinion.

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

I poured it into my pint glass. It has a dark golden amber appearance.

The first smell that jumps out at me is some resinous piney hops, there are some sweeter hops to balance it but the resinous bitter hop smell is pronounced at 40 degrees.

The taste is glorious, lots of hops. It starts fruity floral but finishes bitter and resinous. I would say It is perfectly balanced.

The mouth feel is pretty light, for all the flavor Racer 5 goes down pretty easy.

As it warms up it becomes more enjoyable.

Overall I knew this was a fresh bottle and when fresh this is a must try IPA.

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

Racer 5 and MNF, what a great combination.

A- Golden amber in color with nice head retention and moderate lacing in a Pinot wine glass.

S- Citrus and honey

T- This has become one of my favorite beers. Racer 5 has gained popularity in the Philly area and deservedly (sp?) so. Very hoppy , grapefruit, honey and nice malt spine holding it all together.

M- Moderate viscosity and carbonation. Very pleasing to the palate.

D- I could and have drank this beer all night long

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to trying this beer, been hearing about it forever.

Had on tap at Max's in Baltimore. Nice golden orange color, very pungent hoppy smell.. always a good sign. Nice and bitter and the hops are definitely upfront, but manages to stay well balanced and makes for a smooth beer that's dangerously drinkable. A very good IPA and worthy trying for sure.

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

A - Redish gold color slightly hazy. Ample head sticks around & leaves light crystal lacing.

S - Pine, fresh garden veggies and hints of juniper. A little scent of malt sweetness sneaks by as well.

T - Soft piney hop bitterness attacks the tip of the tongue with spreading out across its breadth. The malt fights through briefly and futiley before being crushed by a bitter hop finish.

M - Light body, smooth carbonation, nearly mouth puckering bitterness.

D - Amazingly drinkable considering the ABV & IBUs. Like this brew in a 22 oz bottle, but nearly amazing on tap.

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Photo of wl0307
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The most casual and unrelated-to-beer-like beer label I've ever seen this beer has... Got this bottle by courtesy of another BA based in NY City, Bultrey(Ben), and I couldn't find any best before date or anything like that on the bottle. It's supposed to last for a long time~~I reckon?

Appearance: served in a big tulip-shaped wine glass, it pours a slightly cloudy orange amber hue, coming with an extremely foamy, thick, off-white beer head which lasts quite well. Low carbonation detected.
Smell: extremely heavily hopped--profou...ndly perfumy and floral hops exploding right under my nose, along with aggressively fruity (sweet buttery lemon-cake, ripe peach+plum+apples) aroma...it's powerful yet not overpowering, as the deeply-sweet and grainy flavour of malts sustains well following the hop parade.
Taste: oily-hoppy and richly candyish-malty mouthfeel from the very beginning... a bittersweet nutty plus some grapefruit-zesty taste prevails right afterwards, underlined by a rounded, orange-peel oily flavour sitting firmly at the background, leaving a warmish mouthfeel of fruity hops and lingering but not overly strong bitterness. It's so satisfying and settled that almost no particular alcoholic touch is left behind. The balance b/w malts and hops is good, though for me the mouthfeel is a bit overly sweet.
Drinkability: absolutely an explosive and powerful American IPA for me--a delicious present from Bultrey!

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

Bomber lacking a freshness date pours a hazy copper, with a solid head and great lacing.

Nose is big, hoppy and juicy, with lots of apricot. I love taking a whiff of that immediate release of aromas from an IPA bottle.

Flavor is very clean, bitter and hoppy. Lots of citrus, with the slightest bit of peppery spice. Fruity and perfumy, but not sweet. Definitely a dry, west-coast IPA. Mouthfeel is smooth, if a little thin. Great carbonation. No detection of the 7 percent ABV.

I would assume this bottle isn't too old given the level of hop flavor, but I wouldn't call it super fresh, even though my review yields an "A". Sky's the limit for this drinking man's IPA.

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

I've been drinking this beer for years now and it's always been a favorite of mine. It's really a classic west coast IPA in my opinion. The body is full yet also light enough to be quaffable. The bittering is just right with a piney aroma and citrus flavor. It's good to know that this beer is so widely available on the west coast because its a quick choice for easy drinking. A great standby beer. It always kicks up a good fluffy head and goes down real easy. Bear Republic is one of the best breweries in northern California and Racer 5 is a good reason why.

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

Poured an attractive golden/orangey color with nice head that hung around for a while. Aroma was nice; very hoppy with notes of pine, citrus, and grass. Taste was very much the same with the same hoppy flavors up front, but ended with a nice malty finish. Mouthfeel was excellent and lacing on the glass was good. This was extremely drinkable and one I will buy again.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an IPA glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright golden orange with a moderate amount of carbonation. Solid finger of white head that settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A juicy and piney hop forward aroma with a scent of citrus fruit and pine. Upfront citrus hop scent of orange peel, grapefruit, tangerine, apricot, and lemon. Earthy hop hints of pine resin and grass. Malt hints of grains, cracker, and wheat with yeast. A pretty nice aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a juicy and earthy hop forward taste with notes of citrus fruit and pine. Ripe citrus hop notes of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, tangerine, and apricot. Earthy hop notes of pine resin and grass. Nicely bitter. Backing malt notes of cracker, grains, and wheat along with some yeast. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy and fairly oily with a drying finish.

Overall: A very good West Coast IPA. Good ripe citrus and pine flavor.

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Photo of btuthill
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours glowing amber from 22 oz bottle. Enormous, creamy, delicious head grows with time. The taste is fantastic -- for lack of better descriptors, it tastes like a west coast Two Hearted Ale. Mouthfeel is smooth, a little sticky, and lingering. I would gladly drink this regularly, and probably will. Great new (to STL) IPA for the rotation.

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Photo of randeezy74
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of JNForsyth
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zeff80
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear orange color with flecks of red. It had a soapy, white, one-finger head that left nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled of floral, sweet hops, almost candy-like. It also had a malty aroma.

T - It tasted very sweet with a citrusy hop kick. It was well-balanced between the hops and malt.

M - This beer was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D- This is a very good IPA. I loved the smell and it was well-balanced, not overpowering.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A dark golden/copper color. An aggressive pour yielded a big 2 thumbnail length foamy head and frothy lace that retained all the way through.
A clean aroma that was hard to discern at first. Eventually, I picked up some light fruity tones, citrus and peach, and, even more of a cracker like and sweet malt tone.
This brew has unbelievable balance. The hops presence is felt all over, in the mouthfeel and in the finish. Yet, the sweet malt backbone is also so omnipresent that it is very much a 50/50 split. The lingering aftertaste is dry and resinously(is that a word?) hoppy. Medium to full bodied almost chewy in the mouth. Soft carbonation brings out the flavors. This beer is so smooth, I feel like I could drink a sixer in one sitting. Tasty and delicious. A simple and near perfect balance of malt and hops. A masterpiece.

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Photo of Xavi809
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Reema
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rembrant
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour...well...it's a cloudy yellow. You can get head with an aggressive pour but soon end up with a small island of foam. It does some lacing and viscosity film on the glass. This looks a lot like a pour of Founder's Double Trouble...or a urine sample. Not a "picture book" .

Aroma Oh...never mind the looks. I've yet to meet a more aromatic brew. In my wide wine chalice this is like a flower garden next to an Italian restaurant surrounded by pines,cedars,junipers and sweaty naked women. Great scents and I'd had a cold all week so my last few reviews I had to work to define any aromas.

Flavor The Malt bill sneaks in to do a moments tease of caramel,brown sugar,coffee,but the hops are the headliner act and as best I can tell almost every type I'd ever encountered seems to be playing in this band. Floral,Fruity,Pine ,Cedar..whatever, they all get their moment. The "Wine Country" aesthetic keeps Bear from taking this to excess,it's not as big as a Hop Wallop but is at least that complex

Mouthfeel....The malt bill is backup vocals but does the job in mouthfeel, which is rather rich for an IPA. Carbonation is just perfect. Aftertaste is good with multiple hops and a bit of dark roast coffee at first,then a lingering cascade type finish.

Drinkability. Bud,you could pound these till they drag you away. Not session ABV but it's built to drink. They did the hop stuff more for complexity and elegance than sheer bitterness. Refreshing yet profound.
I regret I'd skipped over this so many times. I'd had several Bear Republic beers in my decades in N Cal and now, after moving away I finally tried Racer.

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Photo of ncvbc
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Talisker for letting me try this top-notch beer. I poured it out and fell in love immediately. Amber in color with a reddish hue that tells me this one means business. Somewhat hazy after the second pour leaving a mammoth creamy head and superb lacing. Carbonation is on point as well. Hops burst through, mostly piney and a small hint of citrus in the background. More hop attack on the first sip which is well balanced by malts. It's a bigger hoppy flavor for an IPA which is rather refreshing to me. Tingly, yet smooth mouthfeel. I almost started to gargle but swallowed instead. This beer is great in all categories and I could probably have a couple bombers. For what it is, this is one hell of a beer and one that I would love to get my hands on more often.

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Photo of bigdog3838
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,643 ratings.
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