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 nickss
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a pale orangey yellow with what appears to be a tremendous amount of carbonation (lots and lots of bubbles). Super thick, rocky head... about 2" worth.... lots of lacing.

Wonderful aroma... tones of piney hops...prickly citrus scent... barely noticeable malt background... a definite yeasty touch to it as well.

Delicious! Lots of piney hops, yet not as much an affront to the palate as I thought it was going to be.... very subdued, while at the same time maintaining an aggressive attitude. Yeast becomes more noticeable as I work my way through the first glass, and I can only assume it will continue in this manner towards the bottom of the bottle. Not extraordinarily complex, yet still wonderful.

Wonderful thick mouthfeel... the carbonation becomes apparent in every sip, yet not in the manner I would have thought: it creates a mouthfilling experience while not being explosive on the tongue... it saves the bite from the hops for that. Very nice.... reminds me of a DIPA... I dig it.

Thick, yet not oppressively so. Hoppy, yet not overwhelmingly so. High abv, but not dangerously so. What a beer... I am extremely impressed.

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Photo of GolgiIPAratus
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled: 2.12.06 - bomber

The clear copper orange brew sits beneath a healthy off white head. The foam would slowly recede from the circular edge leaving a round plateau island of froth, much like that of a milkshake. The results of this head are a sticky web of residue to rival any adhesive you could put against it. My glass was a lacey mess the entire way through the drink. Even though I TRIED to wash it off by rotating my glass, by swirling…it only made more.

The aroma was a punch of piney citrus. Wicked west coast IPA stylee. There’s baked sweet bread yeasty malt goodness behind the orange juiciness.

There’s bitterness up front with the piney citrus flavors carrying all out from the nose. There are some flowery textures in there and it’s more grapefruit like in the mouth than the orange in the aroma. Lightly malted backbone peeks through, but this guy is mostly all IPA hops. The bitterness is carried throughout the finish leaving an oily hop slick on the tongue. The beer is low carbonated and full.

Easy drinker. Goes down nice. Not too bitter, despite it’s huge hop profile. Great beer.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic Raser 5
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

* Enjoyed during 02-12-2006 east coast blizzard *

Pours a murky and hazy orange. A touch of bronze with mini carbonation bubble activity. Thick head on top that leaves excellent patterns of sticky lace.

Whiffs of citrus and pepper. Deeply floral nose that is very pleasant.

Juicy, grainy mouthfeel with a superb hop profile. Sweet orange flavors with a slight pepper bite. I love the liberal usage of Cascade hops. Extremely smooth and drinkable.

What else is there to say? This is an awesome West coast IPA. Another great beer from Bear Republic.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle

Golden bronze color. Big clumpy off white that has surprising staying power. Sticky lacing.

Citrus and pine smell. Very nice.

The pine really dominates the taste. Very nice hop profile. Nice compliment of caramal malt.

Very nice carbonation level. Little big of an astringent aftertaste but in more of a nice hop bitterness way.

This one went down supper easy. Very drinkable. First i've sampled from bear republic. It has me looking forward to more. Another of the many fine IPA's. It's tough to pick a favorite because there are so many good ones.

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Photo of fisherman34
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Light orange in colour with lots of carbonation and a bit of haze. Very floral aroma with some mild background notes of orange and black pepper. Medium bitterness, with flavor notes of green hop cone, orange, grapefruit, light (yet fairly sweet) malt, and a touch of pine. A bit light bodied for the style and AVB, but would be a good IPA for warmer weather drinking. Solid.

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Photo of wingnutter
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a beautiful cloudy golden color, with a head that just kept climbling and climbing up the glass until I had to suck some of it back to avoid spillage. What the hell is in the water in No Cal?!?!?!?! Crazy retention. I think I could float a quarter on top of this head. Wow. Nice lacing, too.

Taste is nothing short of fantastic. Excellent hop profile with a malt backbone to match. What a nicely balanced beer! Uber hoppy with just enough malt to keep the hops from breaking out of the gates and becoming out of control. Floral, piney, citrusy....Hop heaven.

This may be the best IPA Ive had the pleasure of drinking. I wish I could get this stuff down here in Florida. I'd always have some on hand. Two thumbs WAY UP. A fantastic IPA from a great brewery.

Excellent drinkability - I could drink this one all the way from the starting gun to the finish line!! Gentleman, start your tastebuds and buckle up, cause Racer 5 takes you on one hell of a ride!!!


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Photo of soulgrowl
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Body is soft yet bold, translucent Bengal-orange-garnet color. Big, fluffy, marshmallowy, ivory-colored head sparkles with lively bubbles. Excellent retention. Lacing looks like cirrus uncinus clouds at the top of the glass, and take on a more cirrocumulus-type form towards the bottom.

Smell: Mostly citric and floral hops, light honey taste, and an almost Belgian yeast character as the beer warms. A pleasant, refreshing aroma remniscent of iced tea.

Taste: Quite fruity, actually, with a white grape juice base and a fairly strong but not overwhelming pithy hop character that subsides mid-sip into a clean, fresh, grapefruity finish. Has a vague peanutty edge.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and frothy, nicely carbonated.

Drinkability: Quite easy to drink. Not too aggressive, and not puckeringly bitter. Good stuff!

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Photo of bennetj17
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Head is fairly thin, and dissipates fast into a decent ring of foam. Carbonation looks pretty active. The color is a beautiful copper/orange, mostly clear. I smell primarily fresh hops, maybe a bit spicy or peppery, but mostly hop aroma. The flavor continues to be hoppy, with a hint of sweet/nutty malt. The finish is dry and only moderately bitter- less than I expected. The mouthfeel is a bit too thin for my liking, but carbonation is adequate. Alcohol is not very present. Despite its shortcomings the beer is still very drinkable. It's a good beer, but it could be great if there were more balance from the malt.

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Photo of Ego
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

found @ DeCicco Market, Pelham, NY

big fluffy white head (no, not mine...the beer), sticky like those octopuses you got out of cereal boxes and chucked at the wall, the head is bumby like a crappy matress, orange with ample carbonation flowing from the bottom of the chalice, very good looking.

hops, next question ? ok... citrusy but not pine or lemon, a bit more floral like sierra nevada pale with a kicker, almost hard to get past the hop blast but there is a nice musty bread tone buried in there as well, nothing yeasty or doughy just a whiff of a bakery in the morning, nothing insanely complex here but more like "here I am bitch"

taste etc...
prickly carbonation abounds, hops hops hops... this can be a touch bitter but that doesn't bother this pilgrim. mouthfeel is really good, medium and carries well over the palette, the ABV is not an issue in the flavor but it does creep up on you.

I have enjoyed other bear offerings to a greater extent, this isn't bad by any stretch but it certainly didn't knock my socks off... I wouldn't be averse to having it again but I won't go silly looking for it.

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Photo of xoqx
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What an outstanding California beer! This seems to be a ubiquitous favorite around the bay area from what many at the phenomenal Toronado bar had to say. This pint was barely amber, almost orangey, and had a stable two finger, dense off-white head that had superb retention – surprising for a 7% brew. Maybe the water in California has different properties than Pacific Northwest waters when it comes to head retention. The smell is phenomenally hoppy. The taste is surprising and original. It’s only 69 IBUs, but I would have guessed in the high 80s. They are using Cascade and Columbus hybrid hops. The later are usually employed early in brewing for bittering, but these in the Racer 5 are utilized more in a finishing role and other breweries could really take a hint from this. They are superb in that capacity. The mouthfeel is bold and sharp and the finish is long and wonderful. It should be noted that there is actually some discernable malt taste lurking behind all the hops and it has a subtle caramel malt body. This is a real drink-em-all-night IPA and one of the most enjoyable of the style I’ve ever had.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark apple juice amber color into my nonic glass - very clear, with lots of tiny rising bubbles. So neat to just sit and watch bubbles appear out of nowhere and rise in rapid streams. Rocky eggshell white head isn't going anywhere with so many little bubbles feeding it! Super appealing looking IPA! Fat, heavy, complete lacing. So much damn lacing as I drink it down - a total wall of white! I had to come back and bump up the appearance to a 4.5 after getting near the bottom - the lacing totally does it for me. Super thick and sticky and enticing!

Big whiffs of grapefruit, orange peel, and pine in the nose - a nose-puckering sour hoppiness. Rather intriguing, a little different from other IPAs in scent, but in a roundabout way I can't describe.

The taste, on the other hand, isn't as aggressive and hard-hitting as the other Californian IPAs I've come to love; It lacks that kung-fu hop bite, and shows its hoppy nature in a sort of reluctant way. Don't get me wrong, it's tasty! Rather smooth for an IPA; Maybe I've been drinking too many Double IPAs? That must be it. The flavor is scored accordingly. The taste has a sweet, grapefruit-pine slickness that doesn't assault the taste buds, but croons them a gentle hop lullaby on top of so-tasty malt sweetnesses.

Mouthfeel is average, just a little above. For so much head and bubbliness, the carbonation is a little off, a little thin. What's left behind after swallowing is nice; A thin, reedy aftertaste. I'd hoped for a heartier IPA body.

I'm waffling a bit on the drinkability; It's good, for sure, but not outstanding. This is a tasty, quaffable beverage, so it's definitely worth a try! Good on Bear Republic!

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Photo of jaluria
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

An very good beer with loads of flavor and a hop profile that can delight the taste buds.

Appears a soft orange-red in color with an off-white colored head that is thick and intense and seems to just sit there for quite awhile. Nice lacing is left behind on my pint glass. Aromas of pine, oranges, carrots, and hops seem to come out nicely. The taste is quite hoppy with a bitterness that is present in every sip. A fair amount of malty sweetness is also present, adding texture and variety to each sip. I felt this beer was too carbonated and hence it was too slick and creamy in my mouth. The drinkability is high as the flavors are enticing and enjoyable.

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Photo of smcolw
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy light amber color; nice eggshell head (one finger thick) leaving a ring of lace with each sip.

Nice fresh floral hop aromas. I note this smell each time I pick up the glass for a sip.

IPA's are inherently unbalanced brews. So I get excited when I get the hop wallop along with a strong round flavor of malt. This beer pulls that off. Excellent body with a slightly high carbonation. The aftertaste is bitter, but floral, hop that lasts a very long time.

This probably makes my top three IPA's ever tried (with Stone IPA and Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale). I would love to do a blind tasting of these three. I could drink this all day.

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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 Prufrock
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

bright golden orange with a touch of dust and a foamy inch of white head that leaves perfect lacing

smell is a great mix of hop aromas: candied grapefruit, peaches, citrus zest, pine and herbs.

pleasantly balanced in the taste. sweet, carbonated mouthfeel with a nice piney hop aftertaste. everything in the aroma comes through in the flavor, which is not overwhelmingly bitter but has a strong, complex hop component. nice juicy feel with a prominent grapefruit rind flavor. very drinkable.

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Photo of Matthew
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out of the bottle a nice golden yellow color with a gianormous white flluffy head and remains throughout drinking the whole beer. Great head retention with nice lacing.
Big hop smell, very piney type aroma with a nice biscuity malt character.
Piney hops are the most prevalent flavor with a nice lemony type taste and a nice balanced malt.
This is a very drinkable ipa and goes down very easy. A great tasting ipa.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a medium golden color with massive white puffy, chunky head.Slowly settled to a thin coating that lasted throughout the glass. Amazing lacing on the side of the glass. Lovely glass of beer. Smell is strong on pine hops mixed with some citrus-like notes. Taste is initially very strong on hops with a nice btterness, bit some malt flavors begin to show through to give an excellent balance. Each taste brings the pleasant aroma, to be finished off with the great taste. Finish is more dry than malty,but the combination is fantastic. Very drinkable. I will have to visit this one again (and again).

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Photo of russpowell
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a light golden, with a massive white head that holds up all they way. Crazy lacing!!

Grapefruity hops smell and alcohol& malt whiff through.

Big piney hops taste balanced malt and dryness. Grapefruit & lemon hit the tongue & throat. Some slight toasty nuttiness in the malt

Smooth, well carbonated & in harmony

Big beer with enough seductiveness to lure you back in, great hops sandwich!! Wish I could fond this at better price than $5 a 22oz bottle

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber at Steve's on University Ave here in Madison. At $3.49 for a bomber, Bear Republic is always an amazing deal.

Pours a murky amber with a finger of khaki head in my weizen glass. Nose is bitter herbal hops with some sweet caramel malt. Taste is pretty well hopped, a little on the bitter side, with some balancing caramel malts and a bit of brown alr nuttiness. Mouthfeel was a little on the thin side, but crisp. Overall a pretty drinkable IPA, not outstanding but worth the $3.49/bomber.

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Photo of germaniac
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden hue, shot thru with red highlights. If clear copper could be defined any better, I don't know the beer to do it. Massive billowing head that sticks to every glass surface it can find. Pure hops in the nose, oily and citrus-like. Hops are upclose and personal in the taste, but a perfect level of malt sweetness manages to rein in the bitterness. Mouthfeel could have benefitted from the brewers using water with a higher mineral content, I think. It might have complimented the hops just a little more, but that's a minor hit on an awesome West Coast IPA.

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Photo of troutmask96
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This may be the Holy Grail of mainstream IPA's. Pours a deep amber with thick, very foamy head that lasts forever. Smell is of pine, citrus, caramel, and alcohol. Taste is forever smooth, with a nice, sweet finish and a nice bit of bitterness. A very drinkable IPA. Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye has long been one of my favorites, but Racer 5 outpaces it...

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Photo of EStreet20
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this once before. Finally picked one up for review.

22 ounce bomber bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - After mishandling the bottle the beer foamed up like crazy on the pour. Nonetheless it has a nice look. A translucent golden yellow with a tiny orange tint. Nice sized head (too big from handling/pour) that def has a ton of staying power and laces the glass nicely. The lace actually looks like lattice on the side of the glass. Head cakes up a little in middle of glass.

S - A nice hop rush here. Mainly floral hops with a little bit of a malty sweetness lending some balance. Nopt quite as in your face as many IPAs I;ve enjoyed before, as I've been on a bit hop bomb kick lately.

T - A nice hoppy bitterness on the sip. A tiny bit of that sweetness again with a tiny spicy kick. Some alcohol warming is present.

M - With the smooth feel and warming this one is right on in the mouth.

D - Pretty good, not my favorite IPA but definitely one to enjoy, especially if you want an IPA with a little sweetness every now and then. This'll keep you coming back for more sips.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber serving, been saving this one for a while. Glad that tonight is finally the night to break it out.

Beautiful pour! Golden/amber body with a slight haze to it. Huge frothy sticky white head that lasts and lasts. Curtains of lace, really impressive. To me, this is, in terms of appearance, a perfect IPA.

Nice hop nose, sharp and invigorating.

Taste is very nice indeed. Spicy and tasty hops are the flavor leaders, balanced with a proportional malt base. This is a very interesting IPA with a variety of fruity, piney and tart citrus flavors to consider. There is also a curious spiciness that kind of reminds me of SNCA. An instant classic in my book. I'm giving it top marks.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy with lots of great carbonation.

Drinkability is very high. Could be a great session beer. Just a little too costly and somewhat hard to find around here. I will grab this one again.

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Photo of jonnylieberman
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out of the ubiquitous bomber into the more ubiquituos pint glass. A monster head that sticks around forever and a golden/pale copper color all please the eyes. Not cloudy, but not bright either. Knowing what I know, i would say their are some volitile hop oils clouding up the joint.

Smells like: Oh man... I've been drinking nothing but German beers for a week (studying for BJCP) and holy shit is this refreshing. Why, I smell pine and citrus and yummy west coast flavors. This beer smells fantastic. West Coast IPAs rule.

Taste: Glorisu Cascade, I have forsaken you.Love it. Fantastic bitterness, no doubt from Centenial and maybe some Chinook. You know how the Bros say that "all 5's should be rare?" Well the taste of Racer 5 is a straight up 5. I cannot imagine a better tasting IPA. Just perfect.Good malt sweetness stands up well to the hop monster. Sharp and then sweet and then bitter. Wow.

Mouthfeel: A bit watrery due to soft water and American 2-row. Still, the swallow is superb.

Overall: I am kicking myself right now because I have been so into Hop Rod that I have ignored Racer 5 for years. Far too long at any rate. Wow. I'm going to be drinking MUCH Racer 5 in the months and years ahead.


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Photo of Naes
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This IPA has a nice golden brown color with a large white head that provides plenty of lacing.
The aroma is of citrusy hops.
The flavor is just as it smells. Hops and citrus. There is a grapefruit presence and a nice bitter finish. The malt is subtle, yet it does surface throughout the sip.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and semi oily.
This is good stuff, just wish it came in 12oz bottles instead.

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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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