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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,294 | Ratings: 7,528
Photo of CharlatanSin
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is my golden standard for IPAs. Now that a store a few blocks from me has started carrying it, it's finally time for a review.

Poured from a bomber into my Swarthmore College pint glass.

A: A very nice amber, more orange than yellow. A big, foamy off white head that retains and leaves big league lacing. I like my IPAs hazy, and this one is too clear for me, but very attractive nonetheless.

S: Hops, naturally, rule the day. A big hit of pine (my dad: "It smells like a Christmas tree"), with a good deal of grapefruit citrus. Definitely gets my mouth watering.

T: Bitter, sweet and delicious. The hops come at you with pineapple, grapefruit, pine and floral notes. A little bit of bready malt in the middle. The finish is bitter, dry and looong.

M: Sticky and dry. Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

D: As I said, this is probably my favorite easily attainable IPA. A fixture in my fridge that I can (and do) drink all night.

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Photo of Sevoking
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

I was first taken back how little carbonation it had. Too a point that I thought something may be wrong. No need to worry, though...it was there & in perfect balance. Color was a mild copper w/ loads of particles floating throughout. Smell was pleasantly citrusy. The taste was complex to say the least. I was expecting to be blown away by bitterness, but the hoppiness was well-balanced w/ a smooth, citrusy aftertaste. I could barely even detect any alcohol content. Each drink left me w/ wanting more. Unlike some IPA's that overwhelm you w/ bitterness to where you might stop at one 12oz, Racer 5 leaves you wanting more.

Definitely would try this again. Top 5 IPA for me.

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Photo of daftafne
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this for the first time at a Goose Island tasting event. Poured into standard pint glass. It has a robust, billowing creamy head that lingers. Has a straw gold color with moderate clarity. The hops are very present in the smell. Wow, the flavor is perfect; Pretty well-balanced with the hops being a bit more present than the malt. The malt hits first and is a bit sweet and syrupy. This gives way to the bitter hops and finishes with a lasting biting flavor. Moderate carbonation. I could have a number of these. The quintessential IPA.

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Photo of Barracudas
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the brewpub. A very well done beer with complex flavor and nice aroma. Will seek this one out if available at the bottle shop. Highly recommended!

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

God damn dude. This is one hell of an IPA. I'm not easily impressed either.

This beer's head retention clung to the glass for dear life and wouldn't let go all the way to the last sip.

I could smell this beer as it was being poured. Nice earthy, piney, hop aroma. So very inticing.

There is a nice sweetness upfront followied by a great earthy, piney, hop bitterness. Give me MORE!

This beer had a nice mouthfeel, more towards four, but the taste is a little more thatn 4.5, so I balanced it.

I could drink this beer all night and all day. Very nice. Don't know how this beer is in the bottle, but it is one hell of a treat on tap.

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Photo of happybear
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- dark golden color with good lacing

S- hops, hops tons of hops, clean citrus smell heavy with grapefruit and pine follow through

T- bitter hops, well balanced

M- left my mouth dry and sticky? if that makes sense

D- drinks well and despite ABV of 7%, you can drink in session

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Photo of DijonKetchup
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 12 oz Stella tulip

Great coppery pour, good head retention. Excellent blend of aroma hops, very inviting. Could be tad on the weaker side. First sip the beer seems unassuming, but it proves to be one of the best I have had. Great bitter levels, not too much for an IPA, but enough to remind you this is West Coast. Great mouthfeel, plenty of Munich malts in this beauty. This has to be one of the best balanced IPAs I have ever tried - some piney, some citrus, some deliciousness.

Only 'weakness' if you want to call it that, is a slight lack of nose. Otherwise, The Poster Child for West Coast IPAs.

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Photo of JustShutUpStupid
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

I don't like the Speed Racer label but looks are not important when drinking beer. Like other people I have gravitated to drinking this beer on regular basis. This is definitely one of top taste, ABV, price and always cold beers at the store where I am at in California. Please don't change anything with this beer. Enough said. Enjoy. Update, still drinking it and other beers. Nothing has changed, still the best of the best based on taste, ABV and price.

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Photo of mrfreakybig
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

This is one of my favorite IPAs. I never turn down a chance to drink it. It’s delicious, hoppy, bitter, fruity, floral, and is always a great way to spend a few minutes, a couple of dollars, and the end of a day.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From XXXII. In Teku glass. At home, back from Gines’ feria. Strong bitterness at end of sip balanced with an adequate amount of fruityness at its beginning that also lingers -even stronger- after it. I miss a more refreshing feeling

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Photo of DevilDogBeer
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 poured a nice dark tan color from the bottle and had a nice head form at the pour. Unfortunately the head faded to a thin wisp, but it did lace the glass. The smell was a wonderful bouquet of earthy and spicy hops. There aroma was crisp and clean and adds nicely to the overall enjoyment of the beer. The taste did not disappoint. It first touches the tongue with good carbonation and then the earthy hops are right there on the tongue. The beer finishes nice with the spicy hops leaving a pleasant aftertaste. This beer has a great body for an IPA, not too thick and definitely not watery. A very drinkable beer and easy to enjoy. A great offering from Bear Republic!

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Photo of walser
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer in winter is like tasting an Andrew Wyeth
painting. I was not able to have my scotch or
wine tonight, but the fact that there are beers
like this available in a US. gas station
on Christmas Day gives me hope that
we are actually progressing
as a society. The economy can collapse,
the culture can deteriorate, society can
become broken down, but there are brewers,
like medieval monks in California brewing
craft beers that are like a spiritual
exercise, like vespers, or an ode to lost

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Photo of Safa1
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Somewhere in between the last spring sample and the newest autumn sampler rush at the beer store, this beer became my go to. Its a pale ale more in the style of Sierra nevada pale ale as opposed to the torpedo...Get it? Its a like India Pale ale that is the absolute BEST BEER THAT YOUR MONEY CAN BUY. It clocks in at 7.5 and is usually less than 5 bucks. Its good. Its so good that I usually buy one with whatever else I am buying at the time, Like today. I bought sixers of ace pineapple, and Michelob Amberbock, as well as the new DOGFISH PUNK...I got a 22 of Racer 5. Its perfect for that, get beer, start or enjoy a racer 5 somewhere early or middle. Its good/great and cheap. Ballast Point is worth every fucking penny, but sometimes it hurts to spend 50 bucks on 5 22 ounce beers, or 14 god damned dollars a 6 pack, of cans....[email protected] six pack....Next time you want to do that...Get a couple of 22's of racer 5. Thank me later.

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Photo of Callenak
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A staple in my fridge, about time I review it.

A - Pours a golden caramel with a consistent white head.

S - A hop tribute. Citric hops, with a little piney to it too.

T - Perfect. Lot's of west coast hopiness with out a lot of body and maltiness to it. This is what an American IPA should be.

M - Light bodied, good carbonation.

D - As I said before, this is a staple to me. If some how I could only be stuck drinking one beer fort he rest of my life (perish the thought) this would be it. I love Racer 5. I had a solid appreciation for beer for many years, but this is the beer that turned me into a geek. Thank you Bear Republic.

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Photo of Trueant1
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light orange into the glass. Sits darker and a little cloudy. Some floaties on the bottom. A nice creamy head that leaves incredible lacing globbing to the sides of the glass.

Citrus smells abound. Some typical ipa evergreen. Pineapple.

Tastes clean and fresh. The acidic hops and resulting pine flavors make this a Double Ipa in my book. Sweet, smooth, and creaminess qualities come through the pine acids.
A great Ipa in my book!

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Photo of GilGarp
4.74/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 4/22/09. Very excited to see this beer make it to Colorado. Let's see if it's really any good...

Pours into the Sam Adams glass with a hazy pale orange color. It takes some effort to get and head on the pour but stright into the glass seems to work. It's creamy white goodness - nice and sticky.

Aroma is heavenly with lots of great citrus. Sugar crusted orange zest, lemon, and grapefruit all come through. It smells like a perfect IPA.

Taste is seriously hoppy but not overly bitter. It has a great sweetness initially but then the resiny hops come in with lots of pine and citrus. The malts are there to keep it all in check but this really is a showcase of hops all the way. I sense a bit of honey sweetness but it never gets in the way. If anything, it enhances the beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth but between the full body and the massive hops it comes across almost sticky. Carbonation isn't too high and it goes down with just a bit of burn.

Overall this is just a great IPA. Nothing but great things from start to finish. It may seem expensive at $10 a six but it's worth it every time.

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Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.74/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours into a pint glass a beautiful hazy yellow-orange with a big off-white head.

Delicious notes of thick pine needles and lemon zest. Sweet malts balance against the assertive hop character very nicely. This is very easy on the nose.

I'm surprised by how bitter the Racer 5 ISN'T. Compared to the nose, the hops are more refined, less "in your face" than you would expect, but still pleasantly hoppy, and perfectly in line with the style. The sweet, fruity, thick bodied malt tastes roll along the tongue so smoothly, I almost want to compare it to a sweet milkshake (lol), but that wouldn't be quite appropriate. Very delicious, nonetheless. Easy drinking, medium-thick bodied, velvety smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of therica
4.74/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Talk about impeccable!

A= poured in a clean 1/2 liter glass stein, it was coming out of the bottle in twisted swirls of golden-ORANGE?!?! The stein filled nicely with... ORANGE Ale?!?!? Very little head, probably because I poured very slowly. Orange beer, it looks amazing!

S= hit in the face with huge aroma from a foot away! Amazing. A complete explosion of hops florals and heaven. Mandarin orange. It's literally like getting hit in the head with a floral-hops hammer. After a few minutes this very nice strong scent of bready malts came through, as well.

T= following the Smell, the Taste is ALL THERE. Florals, Mandarin orange, nice hops bitters but perfectly balanced; sweet malts, fruity traits, various come-and-go hints of various candied fruits galore.

M= clean, with slight dryness and light bitters, more fruit and florals than after you eat an apple or an orange or maybe a fresh combo-fruit salad. Lots to savor. I feel like I just ate a fresh tropical fruit breakfast bowl of apple, orange, papaya, mango and grapefruit, topped with shaved coconut. Whoaaah....

D= Bear Republic states that they do everything, huge. And thus they have. However, expect a 6-pack of 12oz bottles to cost you about US$2 more than most other micro's. Worth the treat.

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Photo of nickapalooza86
4.74/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottles 8/27 so just over a month old, not bad for this beer around these parts, had previously reviewed it in my younger days but decided to see if my tastes have changed and delete my old review for a new.

Pours a hazy light orange color, half a finger of white head, nice lacing.

Smell is orange, lemon, grapefruit. apple, pine sap.

Taste is damn near perfect, lemon, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, resin, pine bitterness, almost a minty hop coming through in the backend. finishes very bitter, with underlying sweet malt.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side of medium, fine carbonation fills it up nicely.

Great beer, wish I could find it fresh around here more. Would be a staple for sure if I could.

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Photo of ddean
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An attractive amber-orange. Not much head, but oddly enough, it tastes more carbonated than it looks, if that makes sense.

A nice piney hop note, though more subtle than I'd like, even when the beer is warmed up.

Quite a delicious West Coast style IPA. Big, crisp, piney hops, but with a slightly sweet maltiness---I get orange with maybe a little brown sugar.

Smooth, with a nice, long lingering of the malt.

If you like Lagunitas, Stone, and other big West Coast IPAs, I'd recommend this one, and like these other representatives, it has a substance to back up the hop punch. Cheers.

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Photo of Mark
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber gold in color with a chunky pure white head that left exceptional lace patterns. Fresh hop scent, taste was very nice, not overpowering like some domestic IPA's. I thought just right. Carbonation was on the low side, much like English ale. A great IPA, easily the best domestic one I have had. While I will buy it again and enjoyed it totally, drinkability rating was lowered due it's fairly high alcohol content and it only coming in those damm 22oz bomber bottles. Enjoyed it with a deli sandwich. This beer gets better and better, I have just upped it's rating due to realizing how great this beer is. Tremendous appearance, aroma, and taste. yes it's my favorite IPA, and my favorite domestic brew! A total winner.

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Photo of Rimmerman
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is amazing in any form. Bottle, draft, someone poring it into my hands. Anything!

I give basic descriptions. I mainly care about taste, obviously

A- Perfect IPA appearance. Not too dark but not too light.

S- Hops leaning on the citrus side. Little tropical.

T- Amazing! Pefect balance, yet still hitting you hard with hops! I don't know how they do it

M- Mouthfeel is smooth and easy to drink.

O- This is my favorite session IPA. (My idea of session is 7% or lower) LOL. This is my go to IPA. Haven't found a better single IPA yet.

Serving type: Anything!!! I just want it!

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Photo of orfeu
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden amber from a 22-oz. bomber with a nice frothy head that quickly dissipates from about an inch to a quarter-inch.

Aroma is citrus zest with an earthy hoppiness. A peachy sweetness creeps in as well.

The taste and mouthfeel are great on this one. I get orange pith with peach nectar and a creamy bready-ness with a slight alcohol fizzle at the end. Aftertaste of grapefruit. The hops are profound, but not overbearing or too bright. A nice balance of bitterness and malty sweetness.

The drinkability is a no-brainer. Smooth and spicy at once, I could go for a couple of these 22-ouncers in an evening. Perhaps this is because I've been all about Double IPAs lately and a regular old IPA would just seem like water. I don't think so, though, because this one is quite bold -- indeed, plenty strong -- but still very easy to quaff.

This one's going on the "get again" list.

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Photo of boudreaux
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Racer 5 pours a deep golden color with hints of red along the edges. A nice thick foamy off-white head that built up to 3 fingers and stayed there for quite a while. Quite clear in my pint glass.
smell: The aroma seemed to leap out at me. It had a wonderful hop bouquet. It was piney, floral and citrusy.
As expected, the first sip or two was bitter with a drying effect on the end.
Taste: the blend of malts, hops and yeast gave this beer a nice crisp taste. Bear Republic put in a generous amount of Columbus and Cascade hops into this beer but held back from going too far with the IBUs. I could pick up an underlying sweetness of the malts when not inhaling as I sipped. But just as soon as I breathe in, the hop sensation nearly masks the sweetness of the grains.
Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy with a full bodied texture.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a peach color with a foamy sticky lasting white head. Thick sticky lace covers the glass.
The aroma of hops filled the room as I popped the cap off of the bottle. Do I really need to say more?
Hops assault the palate and never let up. Citrus and piney. I'll still be tasting this beer tomorrow. Also a hint of peach laying in the background to stand this beer apart from other hop-heavy IPAs'.
Mouthfeel is good. The hops have a sticky feel and make the tongue tingle.
I gave this a 5 for drinkability cause I simply can't get enough of it.
Highly recommended and worth seeking out.
Thank You!!! Dertbert

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,528 ratings.
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