Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,294 | Ratings: 7,528
Photo of scottbrew4u
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours from 12oz. into pint glass a straw, golden-orange color with a slight haze. A modest white head settles out pretty quick.
Great lacing though all the way down the glass.

S: Pine sap, grapefruit, lemon peel, and fresh grassy aromas from the fresh hops. Toffee, bread and toasted grains fill in the malt profile. Some peppery spice in there too.

T: Bitter first with a mouthful of wet hops flavored piney, citrus, herby and grassy. Roasted malt is noticeable but overtaken by all the hops in there. Finish is tilted toward the bitter side and spicy.

M: Medium body and crisp, tight bubbles and some alcohol warmth.

D: Almost like drinking liquid hop juice but yet not overwhelming. There is a decent malt backing but the flavor comes off all hops. It is easy to drink and pairs well with aged cheddar or other aged hard cheeses.

 841 characters

Photo of etenbus
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a huge white head and lots of lacing.

Aroma is a hops bomb. Lots of pine, grapefruit, peach, pineapple, etc. I said this may be the hoppiest beer I've ever had (I live in Missouri, not on the west coast!)

I thought the taste was rather balanced. There's a smoothness and creaminess in the follow through that counteracts the hop bitterness. Apricots, pears, citrus--they all shine through here.

Mouthfeel is not astringent like some hop bomb IPAs. I like that. It is rounded and balanced.

Bring on Racer 5. Glad they finally started importing it to this Anheuser-Busch controlled state.

 596 characters

Photo of Czequershuus
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a fairly clear pale orange with an average head. The aroma leads with pine, supported by orange peel, grapefruit peel, underripe mango, and some caramel. The flavor leads with bright pine and resin, some dank notes, rounding into citrus peel, as well as vanilla and caramel. The mouthfeel is lighter than some West Coast style IPAs, and all the better for it. Overall I have finally found a West Coast IPA that truly works for me - not too sweet, lots of bitterness, great pine dominant hops with citrus accents and a few other notes. I can see why this is a classic.

 583 characters

Photo of taez555
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a big thick white head with a clear amber body.

The nose was beautiful. Fresh sharp citrus hop. Pepper (not necessarily black), flowers, touches of pine needles, caramel, malt. Basically this is what A.P.A.’s are supposed to smell like.

The taste was nice and creamy. Medium to full bodied. Rich caramel and a big fresh malt taste. Smooth with a high level of bitterness, but balanced perfectly against the malt. The hop flavors, (citrus, pepper, pine, flowers, grapefruit, lime peel) are all present and balanced, but so much more subdued than you might expect from such a big beer.

It ends slightly medicinal but nicely bitter and hoppy.

Overall just an amazing IPA. Very smooth, clean and easy drinking. Lots of big malts, and huge fresh hops, all perfectly balanced and yet so well mellowed it doesn’t overshadow anything else. A must try beer. Yum.

 894 characters

Photo of canoehornpoint
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light, hazy amber with minimal head and minimal carbonation. Wonderful aroma of pine and citrus with a bit of maltiness in the background. Up front pine and citrus followed by some mild fruit flavors and finishing ever so slightly tart. Very drinkable beer, light on the palate with a bit of a lingering aftertaste.

 323 characters

Photo of Ricochet
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Chunky! Lots of head with lots of lace. Dark cloudy orange with tons of yeast particulate.

S: Wow. I just reviewed a Michigan Brewing IPA and it didn't smell like an IPA. This does in spades. Sweet, acidic , butterscotch, grapefruit. Splash! I'm swimming in hops! Tops in my book.

M: It's creamy. The carrot stick aftertaste is spot on. The bitter in the mouth, spot on. This is as four as it gets.

T: Lagunitas makes a beer so hoppy, it is like drinking liquid hops. I love it, but it lacks some of the complexities that makes a truly awesome IPA. This has those elements. Alcohol mixes well as grapefruity hops make the bitter, mix with carrot stick and thick malt and add a glowing, sweet, floral orange touch, and you have a damn good bottle.

D: Yep. I'm surprised there are so many reviews when this is the first time I've seen this in my local. Fresh from the tap, this would probably be outstanding.

 916 characters

Photo of DMXLOX22
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Picked up a single of this brew at my local establishment, Civera's in Drexel Hill. Heard good things about this one from a few friends. Kinda excited. Let's see how this goes.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, golden color that leaves behind a nice 1-1 1/2 inch head that is somewhat thin, but also quite appealing. Really left a nice, tight lacing around the glass almost all the way down. Inviting.

Smell: Grassy hops is the most dominant smell that comes first upon checking it out. Decided to a take a second round. Earthy hops are still abutment, along with a citrus zest. Pretty much sums up a perfect IPA. Some maltiness backs all the scents up making it very well-balanced.

Taste: Upon first sips, a perfect blend of citrus hops, grassy, earthy, malts can be tasted. Second taste is a pretty nice taste of lemon zest, orange peel and some other fruitiness that really makes the bitterness stand out even more if thats possible. Very nice, good. I really enjoy the taste and the earthy hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, smooth finish. Somewhat dry finish. Good stuff. Well balanced.

Overall: Coming into this brew, it came highly recommended and I must say I am glad I chose this brew. Fills the palate with earth tone hops and an undertone of citrus flavors. Quite nice overall, really enjoyed this brew. I would totally try again and have already started recommended this brew to friends. Can't wait to try again. Cheers!

 1,431 characters

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

This was a great beer for sure. It poured a amber color with a big cloud like white head that left tons of lace down the glass. The smell was very bready but at the same time the citrus notes from the hops crept in as well. The taste was alot smoother than I was expecting, with a nice creamy mouthfeel, great malt presence and a nice biting but not too bitter hoppiness. This a very tame west cost IPA IMO but a very sessionable one nonetheless.

 446 characters

Photo of mikey711
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Bright orange hue with a nice fluffy head. good retention and a little bit of lacing

S: Juicy citrus fruit notes, mango, lemon, pineapple and a little grapefruit as well. slight maltiness in the background as well

T: The hops are gooey and delicious. very nice mixture of pine and citrus notes. there is a slight malty sweetness as well which is very pleasant.

M: A touch of heat and slightly rough around the edges and a hint of alcohol heat is present, but i am being nit picky

D: This is one of my favorite IPAs. its pretty sessionable because of the light body, but the hoppiness is very present without being overwhelming

 633 characters

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.

 630 characters

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.

 746 characters

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.

 576 characters

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.

 706 characters

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.


 480 characters

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.

 904 characters

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.

 1,111 characters

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.

 576 characters

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.

 275 characters

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.

 261 characters

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.

 267 characters

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.

 1,588 characters

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...

 718 characters

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.

 682 characters

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.

 428 characters

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.

 388 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!