Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,314 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

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Reviews: 2,314 | Ratings: 7,623
Photo of pumptrick
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this stuff is highly underated. pured hard into tulip and sniffed with deligh. resin hops. delicious in every sense. more resiny hops and a strong bite. not off balance quite delicious. I will drink many more of these. always easy to find and cheaper than many other choices.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Long sought after bomber, finally acquired across the Wisconsin border. Pours with amazing clarity, a light bronze color, and a large creamy head that fades after sitting for a minute to a creamy layer. Smell is bursting with citrus hops, lemon zest, and floral hops, an explosive array of hops. Taste starts out with hops, transitions into floral hops, and closes with more hops and some doughiness. Starts smooth, then eviscerates your hops craving. Excellent beer. Mouthfeel is perfect for the style, well carbonated and smooth. A very nice beer.

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Photo of HoppyPopster
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out light amber in color. There was not a lot of head upon pouring, perhaps a bit old? Smells of flowery hops. This beer is so delicious. Not too high in Alcohol, the sweet malt and bitter hops are in perfect balance. Racer 5 is one of the easiest drinking IPA's I have had!

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Photo of altctrlsdelete
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Finished my session with one of these tonight. Not billed as an IPA, which has led me away from this beer in the past. An IPA this beer unquestionably is.

Lots and lots of hops in the nose, with lots and lots of lacing left behind to remind me of just how flavorful and thick this beer is. Not something for those who don't appreciate the beauty and power of the hop, and thus something made specially for me.

My only complaint about this beer is that I've not tried it before. From now on, when this is on the menu and there's nothing new that jumps out at me, I won't have to spend 5 minutes deciding what I want to try.

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Photo of mrandolph
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was a cask version, and a case where the brewers made a great effort to match the beer with the medium. The beer presents as a very clear golden color capped with a dense, creamy white head, almost like cool whip, in a good way, which hangs out for a long time.

The aroma is citrus followed by malt. The flavor starts bitter, reminiscent of lemon zest. The middle is sweet malt and it finishes bitter but not dry with sweet flavors as an aftertaste. The mouth feel is dense with good head and a medium body, denser than the color suggests. My overall impression is that this beer is well crafted to excel in the cask beyond what it does in the bottle, and I feel privileged to have gotten a taste from cask.

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Photo of RedBeerchetta
4.89/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap recently and was taken aback at how fresh the hops smelled and tasted. I was at the Dogfish Head brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, MD recently and had their 90 minute IPA that had been put through "Randall the Enamel Animal" (look it up if you don't know of it). I had never tasted a brew with such a fresh hop smell and taste. This glass of Racer 5 was second to that. It was so fresh tasting (pine, herbaceous hop scent) that I had to ask if they had a Randall (the used to, but don't anymore).

Racer 5 has always been one of my favorite IPAs but this keg was outstanding. Hoppy without being very bitter (though that would be ok). A unique and special IPA that would please hopheads and newbies alike.

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Photo of slaters5050
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite IPA. Just claimed a permanent spot on the tap. Has a great orange color and an easy drink as far as IPA are concerned. It has become a favorite at the restaurant in a very short time.In fact, people have traveled to Slater's 50/50 for the sole reason that we have this beer on tap. Real bitter real hoppy real good!

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is currently my go-to for a session beer. MAINLY because I am in the mood for IPAs and this is the best one I can get in a case at my local liquor store. For the record I just opened my.. 5th 12 pack case of it tonight. Thought it proper to give it

Vigorous pour yields a less than impressive head, and nothing is worse than bad head.. but is there really such think? Where were we? Oh yes, a beer review. On the up side, lacing is usually good with this beer. I'm on my 5th case of the stuff, trust me : )

Smells good. Not overpowering. Pine and citrus are the dominant scents coming through.

OK. Taste. Wow. It's got everything you could want in a session IPA. Hops are there, and tangy, but beautifully balanced by the malt backbone. It's really as simple as that. And this is why I am on my 5th case of the stuff.

Mouthfeel is nice. Medium body. The malts hold the hops in check and it never develops into a sour twang that some IPAs can evolve to.

Stupidly drinkable. This is my 5th case of the stuff. Until Russian River starts selling Pliny by the case, this WILL be my go-to session beer until the weather starts to cool off and I start looking for browns, porters, and stouts.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - A nice dark golden with sediment floating. Really nice head retention and tons of lace. Impressive.

S - Citrusy hops, delicous. Wow, smells great.

T - heavenly. Bitter up front at 1st taste, and then it moves into a floraly hops and citrus flavor. Just damn tasty.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Not crisp, but smooth.

D - fantastic. This is one of the best IPA's I've ever had. It's up there with Cigar City's Jai Alai in my opinion. A Tier 1 IPA. Give me more!

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a gorgeous hazy orange copper with a nice airy(and weirdly uneven) cream colored head and mezmerizing layered lacing. The smell produces a WOw! Fresh citrus smells and an assload of hops w/light malts. The taste bitchsmacks you with hops right away but I also enjoyed the slight matly sweetness all in the same taste. There is definately piney goodness and a hint of caremel in all that sweetness. I know it is only 7.0 abv but this warms my throat right away for some reason. So Smooth. The mouthfeel is awesome and creamy, I could drink a million of these. Sorta syrupy though. Really dissapointed this isn't served on tap at my local MacGregors anymore.

By the way the head ROCKS! Right now there is a frickin cavern developing above the beer. Hard to describe but amazing. haha actually i want the foam to fall down and become beer.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330ml bottle bought online from Beersofeurope.co.uk

Poured a nice golden yellow colour. Slightly off white head poured big thick and foamy. Tons of carbonation rushes to the surface maintaining a thick rocky covering throughout... lots of sticky lacing...

Aroma - Juicy and maybe slightly tropical fruits (lemons, limes, grapefruits, pineapple), light pine, light palm sugar / caramel sweetness, sea salt, light toasted malt, fresh cut wet grass, light herbal notes, quite floral (lillies maybe ?), white pepper...

Taste - Nice juicy floral hop bitterness perfectly balanced by some light caramel maltiness, light floral honey sweetness, good fruitiness (oranges, grapefruit, light pineapple, apricot), herbal notes, perfumey, sea salt traces, faint soapy hints...

M&D - Smooth and creamy with a little sharpness underneath. Light / medium bodied... supremely quaffable..

Overall - An exquisite IPA and quite possibly the best i've had... My first Bear Republic brew and it lives up to the hype... highly recommended...

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Photo of Chico1985
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(just copy and pasted notes from notepad, didn't feel like editing it)

pours a beautiful pumpkin orange, bubbly creamy white head. hazy sediment visible when held up to the light. leaves sporadic, sticky lacing. 4.5

excellent classic IPA smell. fruit and hops up the wazoo, grapefruit and citrus heavy especially. 4.5

such a great balance of hops and malts here. grapefruit and pine, biscuit, caramel, warm baked goods. a tropical candy like sweetness. the hops aren't overpowering which lets the flavors truly shine, something I really look for in an IPA. 5

mouthfeel is so good, super creamy. works very well with all the flavors here. absolutely no alcohol taste, truly drinks like a dream. carbonation level is perfect. 5

drinkability is obviously great here. 12 bucks is maybe a tad much for a 6-pack, but I will continue to buy this again and again. Bear Republic certainly knows how to make an American IPA - Racer 5 and Hop Rod Rye are both among the best, most notable ones available. This is easily my favorite go-to for this style. 5

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled this from a 22oz bomber.
Pours out a clear amber-orange color with an extremely sticky white head that left rings of lace all over the glass. The aroma is filled with citrusy hops and screams huge hop additions. The taste is packed with a great hop start but smoothes out over the tongue wonderfully with a perfect balance of bitterness. The semi-high ABV in this is well hidden but makes a presence letting you know that it is there very sublte in the finish. The smoothness of this beer is incredible for having so much hop flavor. The intense hops in an IPA that are normally too much for malt-lovers, is so well balanced, that this is a perfect beer for those who want to explore the world of the hop-heads. I personally can not get enough hops, and this one (not being a IIPA) is just phenomenal. As far as the IPA style goes, I have yet to find one that is as well crafted as this.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%

Appearence - 5.0
Aroma 4.75
Taste 5.0
Mouthfeel 4.50
Overall 4.75

Pours a hazy golden could with a 2 finger width foamy head. Head retention and lacing are moderate. Grassy, citric aroma. Resin. Hoppy. Great malty flavor that blends nicely with a grassy hoppy bitterness. A slight grapefruit, citric taste at the end. Great bitter aftertaste. Slightly soapy. This has been and still is one of my favorite beers and breweries overall.

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Photo of Brianjames16
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Translucent copper color with a bunch of bubbles racing to the top. Nice two finger white head with substantial lacing on my pint glass.
S- Big IPA aroma. Piny flowery notes jump out and are inviting and balanced.
T- Here's where it gets fun. One of the most balanced IPA"s I have had to date. Hop bitterness is present but doesn't pull away from the subtle earthy flavors. I get a taste off pines, citrus and a bready malt character here.
M- Perfect amount of carbonation makes for a refreshing experience with full flavor. I would say this would fall in to a light/medium body.
D- I wish I had more then this bomber right now. I could have a couple of these without exhausting the flavors of this brew. Racer 5, welcome to my top 5 IPA list.

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Photo of montageman
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Schlitz chalice.

Can't get this beer in Michigan, so I'm kicking myself for not getting more of it when I was recently in Toledo. This is a powerful IPA. Huge bitter hop kick in the pants - relentless. Not balanced, but that's OK. It's all about the hops. Not something I could drink all of the time, but definitely one I'd love to have in my normal rotation. Highly recommended.

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Photo of jdrury245
4.84/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright copper/orange color. It had creamy 2 finger off white head.

The aroma of pine orange, pineapple and lemon filled my nose with delight. Th aroma was smooth and fresh. A very fresh smell.

Nicely hopped with a sweet bitter citrus malt taste in the beginning and then the hops bite back. Some notes of pine.

Medium bodied. Highly carbonated. The bubbles tickle my mouth.

Great drinkability! This tasty gem can be enjoyed anytime.

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Photo of dickroop
4.84/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Stopped in at RFD in DC, and saw this among the 30 on the tap list. Had to try it, SO glad I did. I know I'm an incorrigible hophead, and my ratings reflect my preference. But hey, there's no accounting for tastes...

This was served in a tumbler with almost no head. The color was unusually light, a sandy-colored yellow, not quite clear. But AHHHH, the smell... the nose on this brew was indeed exceptional, one of the richest outpourings of floral, citrus hops that I have ever smelled. Right up there w/ DFH at the brewery. I drank, I moaned, I loved it.

The flavors were hops, hops, and more hops. Some hints of grassiness and some smells and flavors that remind you that the hop plant is related to the hemp plant. Rich, aromatic, yummy. Enough malt to balance it (if you're a hophead), but not enough to distract from the main attraction. The mouthfeel was medium-light, the finish was clean and bitter and flavorful, the beer was not just drinkable, it was gulpable, inhalable, guzzlable. I Coulda woulda shoulda got another one, BUT I as in a 30-tap establishment and I felt the need to sample more of their offerings. But I will look for this again, in bottle, on tap, whereever, whenever. Recommended, for sure.

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Photo of bringonthehops
4.84/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle. Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: 2" dense head. Racer 5 is caramel colored, with a hint of hazy orange. The head left substantial lacing down the glass as the beer was consumed.

Smell: Hello hoppery!! Nice orange and grapefruit notes weave their way through the waves of hops that pervade the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy bodied. A bit resinous.

Taste: Immediately, the hops are bracingly bitter (they do soften out a bit as the beer warms). The hops quickly step aside to reveal a resinous mid-pallate that is predominated by hops. It's really hard to find any element of sweetness in this beer. Grapefruit rind predominates a finish that lasts more than 30 seconds, with hints of the 7.0% ABV providing sturdy support. Racer 5 is surely one of my favorite IPA's. It's full and bold enough to shine above many Double IPA's I've had, and at 7.0% it doesn't hit you quite as hard.

Drinkability: I could easily drink 3 or 4 of these in an evening...but I'd probably pay for it the next day. This is not a light beer, and probably wouldn't be the best choice for a session beer, no matter how badly you want it to be. Besides not being a wimpy IPA, this beer is entirely drinkable!

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Photo of crowsoup
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my desert island beer. If I was allowed only one beer to bring with me to a deserted island, this is it! Not just my go-to beer, but damn near my favorite ever. Damn near.

Of course I'm a little biased due to having an intense love of Healdsburg, CA, so take this all with the appropriate grain...

Beautiful amber pour, nice, white head, quality lacing as the glass quickly empties. Complex taste, but not so complex that it's overwhelming. A slight bit of spice on the front end followed by a super clean finish that leaves me begging for more. There is a malty presence which I might usually find annoying, but this is balanced so perfectly that I find myself enjoying what could be considered a slight drawback.

This is simply the most solid American IPA I've found this side of the Russian River. Buy it, drink it, be it.

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Photo of timtheenchanta
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy copper liquid with a large rocky head. Huge chunks of lacing on the glass. Large spots on top of the liquid as well. Gorgeous.

Huge citrusy nose with a hint of piney hops and some sweet malty sugary notes.

Fabulously smooth beer. Bit sweet grapefruit hoppiness balanced by a smooth malt bill. This is a truly wonderful beer. Absolutely delcious.

Thanks to jj21 for this fine beer.

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Photo of ClavinCliff
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this for the first time on draft in Virginia and have been on a quest to find a place to buy it. Picked a few bombers up in Webster, NY a few weeks back.

Pours a deep orangish copper color. Hazy in clarity. Nice white head forms right away. Very good head retention for the first few minutes, it then settles down to a nice lacing on top of the beer. A good floral smell, hops are right up front. Maybe a little fruity note, apricot, maybe hint of orange? Mouth feel, slightly sweet start but the hops kick in almost right away. Oily feel going through the mouth. Good bitter hops note but not too much, alcohol (7%) is well hidden but does help balance out the hops, you do feel the hops on your teeth between sips. All in all I had forgotten how much I love this beer. May need to stack it up against the 90 min when I get home in a battle royal for my top IPA. If you are a hop and IPA fanatic then go get one of some Racer 5, a supreme example of a West Coast IPA. I have got to figure out a way to get this stuff in GA.

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Photo of PatriotsRule
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very hoppy, like a forbidden forest of hops. Yum
A: Gold. Ample head is essentially white and the lacing is sweet too. Great carbonation!
S: Hops hops and more hops! Oh so subtle pine and citrus fruit notes
T: Hops! Extremely delicious. A little piney
M: Crisp and drinkable. Hops are present throughout the experience
O: Fairly balanced if you love hops like I do. Other than the hops though, not much shines through in this brew... It is exciting and refined, very appetizing, light and easy to drink!

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Photo of ReservaPrivada
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type : 22oz Bomber that I picked up for $4.99

First this beer is a hell of a steal at $4.99 for a 22oz bomber!!!

A- A slightly hazy orange with little to no head. Mild Carbonation.

S- I could smell this beer the minute I opened it. Juicy juicy hops overcame the dinning room. Very citrus aroma with a subtle pine and resin in the back. Very little malt pick up

T- Not what I was expecting at $4.99 This beer is incredible. Right up there with Smuttynose and Ithaca Flower power. It reminded me specifically of flower power. The hop profile is very similar! Very delicious and has started to quench my thirst!

M- A little lighter than I would like or expect from a IPA. Perhaps they slimmed on the grain bill. No taste or smell or malt or grain. Very smooth and tingly from the mild carbonation. Overall a great mouthfeel. This is my first time having this and I put it down rather quick :)

Get this beer! You will love it, and if you paid what I did for it you will be in one of those WIN WIN situations! Cheers!

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Photo of ABOWMan
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My mouth is watering in anticipation of tasting this beer. I've poured a small amount in my pint glass from a good height to bring our it's aroma, and it's wonderful. Fruit comes to mind ... orange, and apricot, both really ripe and also pleanty of piney hops.

I can't wait any longer and take a sip and am rewarded with an upfront sweet fruity note, followed by the wonderfully bitter bite of hops. They are in perfect compliment with one another. Not all hops like some of the IPA's out there.

Craving more than a sip, I pour the rest of my bottle into my pint glass and see an ample two fingers of fine bubbled tan head. The ale itself has an orange tint with a little bit of a yeast "halo" that develops into a slightly hazy brew. There are signs of uniform lacing around the walls of my glass.

The mouthfeel reminds my a little of a late harvest muscat, thick and full bodied, but not oberbaring or coating on my palate. The flavor lingers sufficiently and reminds me that I need another sip ... or perhaps a good swig better yet. I am not disappointed as the flavor profile keeps reminding me of why I like this beer so much.

If you haven't tried Racer 5 and you like IPA's, I encourage you to crack one open. You won't be disappointed. I beleive that this might be the gold standard of American IPA's.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,623 ratings.
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