Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,282 Reviews
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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: 2,282 | Ratings: 7,467
Photo of Tinfoilrcr
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mentor for sending me this one as an extra!

A- pours a hazy gold, with about an inch of head from a bomber. The white head dissipates quickly leaving behind larger bubbles along the outer rim of the beer, along with lots of lacing.

S- I get lots of hops with a subtle malty and possibly a spicy zest in the background.

T- Lots of hops upfront, but the initial flavor is tamed by the malts that finish it. Lots of earth mixed in with the malts. Goes down very easy.

M- substantial mouthfeel, but very well balanced without leaning too much to any spectrum.

D- Dangerous. Good easily sit down and have a few of these.

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

Everyone loves the Racer 5. It's no secret.

I was fortunate enough to get this on cask at Local 44 in West Philly and I kind of wanted to either get naked or punch everyone else in the bar, or maybe just sit quietly and enjoy my beer, after I tasted it.

It's got a lot going on; obviously it's going to be hoppy, but the hops' malty buddies are just sitting right along side the hops giving you a big grin and all their thumbs up. Orange & caramel seem to star here, book ended by a drier hoppier taste typical of most IPAs as well as some lighter citrus and if you smell, if you really sniff just hard enough, some floral notes. Seriously, this beer has everything.

All I can tell you to do is get a beautiful cask pour. Just get it! GO. BYE.

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

Pint glass on tap in San Francisco restaurant.

Orange color with small head, less than half inch upon pour with very little lacing. Who cares, this stuff tastes incredible.

Incredible citrus aroma, not an in your face grapefruit smoothie, just a wonderful citrus, hoppy smell.

I am an IPA novice, not having yet had the opportunity to try some of the better examples, but can't imagine any being better than this. The bitterness, the smoothness, drinkability were all exceptional. I wish it were available in Indiana, this would be a regular without question. Great beer.

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

This beer poured a glowing apricot with a few suspended clear bits floating around in it. The head was slightly off white and looked like a frothy meringue that left a little lace behind.

Smelled of juicy nectarines and grapefruit with a little pineapple sourness along with a pleasant hint of bubble gum.

The taste began with a dry citrus hops that immediately fell to a peach and apple fruitiness. It then picks up some almost lager like doughiness giving this beer a superb clean finish.

The mouth feel was light with a full mouth of bubbles.

Although this is an IPA, it was the smoothness of the malt in this beer really stole the show. This one’s delicious, and I highly recommend it.

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Photo of jbone78
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this one in Asheville, NC at Bruisin' Ales.

Pours a hazy/yellow with a good head retention. Smells a little sweet, but like a citrus/hoppy sweetness. The taste of this beer is on spot! This is my kind of IPA, it is full of hop flavors without tons of bitterness. This makes me like this beer. As for Mouthfeel and Drinkability, this is one to drink at a Happy Hour!

Great IPA. I am going to be in N.California in about six months, I will visit this brewery.


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Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a perfect light copper, clear as day and very appetizing. Head retention is ok but not great, only thing saving this from perfect. Nice lacing though.

edit- came back after leaving about quarter a glass in the kitchen after 3 hours....still had carbonation....crazy I know. But definitely made an impression, still tasted great too!

S- smells of citrus and pine, very yummy, a hint of sweetness as well. like putting your face in an orange and grapefruit while in the middle of a forrest. Reminds me of Skiing trees for some reason? needless to say unbelievable.

T- man this is good stuff. very hoppy but not over powering, definetly taste the pine, the taste lingers and still tastes good. would only need a little more sweetness to be perfect. but close to it.

M- well carbonated but a little slickness.

D- overall a very good beer, wish they had better availability, a go to IPA for sure.

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

Racer 5 poured an amber/yellow with a good rocky off-white head. It had good clarity for the most part, considering the bottle fermenting yeast floating around in there.

The nose had excellent hop complexity. Oily grapefruit and orange, pine, and some soapiness. The malt balances pretty well but doesn't take the emphasis from the hops. It wasn't overly strong though, but fresh and clean.

The flavor had that extra oomph to it, lacking from the smell. Very resiny and soapy, the hops had everything; floral, spicy, piny, and citrus. The complexity of the hop profile was excellent, covered every base I could think of. The malt backbone kept out of the spotlight but the presence was none to shabby to say the least. It was toasty and semi-sweet, with even some chocolate and coffee tones chiming in as it warmed up. The alcohol was well masked.

The feel was very lively. It had a good chewy thick feel to it, the bubbly carbonation kept it crisp and interesting. The dry finish lingered long and kept me wanting another sip to quench and ponder. It is definitely a no dillly-dallying IPA, awesome flavor.

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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 _alex
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA is a fantastic "gateway" beer for those considering new styles of beers. If you are interested in trying craft style American brews, this one opens the doors to a new take on beers. The taste is mild hoppy, no bells and whistles, and is a solid IPA.

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

Appearance - Hazy amber body, frothy white pancake batter head with good retention.

Smell - Strong bitter lime peel and hop.

Taste - Hoppy kick in the tongue.

Mouthfeel - Great, creamy mouth and full bodied.

Overall Drinkability - Best IPA I've had so far.

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

A fantastic IPA. Cloudy orange/copper pour with a thick white head. Hop aroma shines with a bit of sweetness in there. Flavor is grapefruit, toasted malts, and kind of a woody taste. Very drinkable!! Excellent balance in this beer, will continue to purchase this one.

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

From notes:

Eye: Great head sixe and retention. Color is off white, tannish tones in there. Color of the beer itself is orangy-amber with yellow hints, very clear and alive with carbonation. One good looking IPA. How come beers at bars don't look this good? Well I think its the sanitizer, though I don't see any lacing here.

Nose: Very nice, citrus flower aroma right up front. This is what I want from an IPA. Glorious, Glorious hops. There is some malt to support, but it can't discern what its attributes are. I just know that there is a a smell behind the hops(that doesn't belong to hops or yeast)that supports them. Just great with the hops, overall..wonderful.

Tongue: Bitterness hits the palate first then a wave of hp flavors-citrus, floral, and some fruit. Like the aroma the malt flavor isn't too pronounced, but its there to support and give substance to the hops, which make up the rest of the beverage. Finish is bitter and tastes of citrus hops. Its interesting to note how the citrus flavor of the hops mix with the sweet malt to create a real unique sweet(not in terms of palate) flavor profile found here.e

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: This is one I'll buy again, what a great IPA. Goes down smooth and the higher level of alcohol is hidden quite nicely. Carbonation at first seemed a bit high and too prickley, but is actually quite fitting given the characteristics for the rest of the beer. This is one tot try, get out there and find it. I'll most likely be getting this again, most likely when I'm in the mood for a good IPA. One of the better IPAs I've drank.

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

Slighty hazy orange colour with a generous, fluffy head. Good retention and lacing. Toasted, malty aroma with mostly pine and some citrus hop character that is more on the orange side. Also just a bit spicy. Excellent balance with plenty of bitterness balanced by bready, biscuity malts. Hop flavour is strong pine, citrus, and spice, without being over the top. Sweetness backs off towards the end, which lets the resinous bitterness come forward, along with more orange hop flavour, and a bit of alcohol warming appear. Finishes off-dry. Body is a little on the heavy side, moderate carbonation. Bottle conditioning seems to contribute to the creamy smooth texture, which improves even more as it warms. Very nice...

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

22 oz. brown bomber with no date I could find.

Clear light copper in color with a white clinging big bubbled froth that laces and rings down the glass.

Pine, pancakes, pineapple, grapefruit, and caramel notes in the nose.

Medium bodied, initially crushed velvet smooth, the mouthfeel turns oily and slick with a blasting grapefruit taste as it develops. Resinous pine sap, herbal notes, and candy sweetness show as it warms. A cracker-like malt backbone plus the sugary sweetness hold up well to the hop onslaught.

Although I favor the Amarillo/Warrior hop flavors, it's hard to beat the tried and true C-hop flavors for AIPA's. One of my favorite examples of the style.

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

22oz bomber in to pint glass.

A: Pour a finger of light head that quickly disapated. Nice golden orange color

S: Like heaven. Citrus and all hops.

T: Strong hops taste at first followed by a mouthful of citrus and piney undertones.

M: Very smooth, a little more carbinated than I remember from my last tasting, but now overpowering.

D: VERY drinkable, goes down easily on a warm "winter" night in California! Fantasic IPA.

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

Light golden amber with a creamy off white head....laces and stays up pretty well.
Smells great...piney citrus..floral..pretty intense.
Tastes well balanced ....great big sweet malt with amazing grapefruit-pineapple punch...perfect combination. Good and bitter finish.
Mouthfeel also just right...medium, with good carbonation.
Drinkable?...I could have spent the night with this one.

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

Got this one on-tap at the Flying Saucer in Houston. I had tried it before in the bottle, not exactly impressed. This was a completely different experience.
Golden orange standard IPA hues with a lively head and really sticky lacing.
Smell is big and juicy floral and citrus hops with sweet grapefruit.
The taste was tremendous. Besides the incredible hops and citrus, I even found a sweeter sensation of peaches and mangoes.
I am very impressed with Racer 5 on this second try. I'm a lover of DIPAs and I find this IPA almost there. Lots of hops. Lots of character. Great IPA.

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

The nuances of IPA are really getting to me lately. Bottle after bad bottle it seems there are too many amazing cali IPAs to count and too many bad bottles to cry over. This particular bomber of Racer 5 has some sort of cryptic freshness code but it tastes so sweet and drinks so g.d. gushy I've got the urge to verbal.

Perhaps the perfect look for standard IPA. Honey pale, active head and damn near masterpiece lacing. Smells like Bubbalicious - Mango, Cotton Candy, or something equally nostalgic. If this were a strain of chronic it would be all I'd buy.

Taste is arctic wind, cleansing citral grains all blown out in a storm replacing Greenland with South Florida.

I could drink this all night long.

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Photo of gundys10
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle

Appearance - Pours a light golden. A little murky, but mostly transparent.

Smell - very hoppy with a little citrus mostly grapefruit coming through and floral.

Taste - slightly bitter with a floral and citrus taste

Mouthfeel - bitter but goes down smooth, but I'm a hophead.

Overall - a very good beer, very available, reasonably priced, and bitter, like I like my beer.

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

22 oz Brown bomber, no freshness date.

A- Pours a nice hazzy dark honey colored ale with 1/2 finger white head that settles quick but laces nice. visible carbonation.

S- Hops hit the nose first with a hint of honey and grass. sweet hints of malts pull through the end.

T- bittering hops all the way, grapefruit rind with a grassy quality to it. not fruity at all but earthy and strong. If i didnt know any better i would say this is an Imperial due to the amazing strength the hops put off.

M- Feels like an IPA should always feel, Medium/thick/oily mouthfeel with moderate carbonation that tingles on your tounge but is not overwhelming.

D- Amazing taste, amazing abv, amazing everything. Extremely solid brew that i will drink over and over and over again.

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Photo of bkett01
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First, thank you germaniac for the beer...

Poured into a pint glass with a quarter inch head over an inviting hazy orange/amber brew. Appears well carbonated and packs an overwhelmingly hoppy aroma. Combines a fresh green and citrusy scent.

I was suprised how smooth this was off the first taste, but it finished strong with a hoppy kick of a finish. A crisp orange/citric taste stands out over a very mild malt presence. This beer clearly focuses on the hops and is one of the more drinkable IPA's I've had at 7%. With a smooth yet lively mouthfeel provided through the hops and carbonation, I'd recommend this IPA to any of you out there.

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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 johnpmitchell
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance is nothing special. Very little head, although decent retention.

What it lacks in appearance it more than makes up for in smell. The smell is somehow all hops yet not overwhelming. A bit floral This is what beer should smell like.

The taste and mouthfeel is more of the same. This is a big beer with a very hoppy flavor, yet not sticky. No bitter aftertaste.

Overall this is one of the best IPA's around, and worth drinking any chance you get. Does not get old.

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Photo of peck95
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one fine beer, by far the best standard ipa I've tasted so far. How I wish I could try this on tap or buy some within my area.
The appearance is nothing special a nice tannish color with a small head and little lacing
The smell is expectational like smelling a freshly opened bag of vacuum sealed hops.
The taste is also awesome a very piney taste with a rich malt complement
This is a very smooth and drinkable beer for the amount of hops, malts, and alcohol involved.

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Photo of drewbage
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Map Room pint glass.

Beer pours copper orange with a fair haze. Tough soapy and sticky white head hangs onto the glass and

Aroma is piney and deep resin with sticky citrus, sweet orange oils and a light alcohol Grand Marnier like finish.

Flavor starts with a soapy orange bitterness and proceeds through a with a medium malt body with spiced overtones. Finish has a return of the hoppiness this time with more grapefruit and lemon characters.

Overall an excellent example of the style that would drive most of the drinking public running towards the nearest case of Keystone.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,282 ratings.
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