Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

7,627 Ratings
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: 2,315 | Ratings: 7,627
Photo of legalpete19340
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Came looking copperish orange with more than a finger of off white puffy head. The head stuck around and always lay as a skim on the brew.

S: Beautiful floral and citrus hop aroma. Some light freshly baked biscuits. I mean this things smells like a fresh sunny day. Very powerful scents coming off here.

T: The hops smack me upfront with bitterness then apologize with more of that perfect citrus and floral elegance through to the end. This thing is juicy with hoperfection. There is enough malt here to stand this thing up but it never overpowers the hops. It just sits there and provides a few biscuity notes. Finishes very slightly sweet and crisp with bitterness.

M: Nothing special here but the right amount of syrupyness and carbonation to support the drink.

O: I cant believe the score on this but the brew was near perfection for me. Juicy hoppiness with the right amount of malt and bitterness. So floral and citrusy. I drank two.

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Photo of jmfc8237
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass with a bone white head about an inch thick. Left tons of lacing which was very sticky and streaming. Color was a clear honey.

Aromas of earthy hops are abundant as well as a sweet malty background. Lots of complex citrus as well. Orange grapefruit and sap.

Bam there it is. Holy hops batman! This is a one way ticket to flavor country. Really unique bouquet of hops and has a imediate bitter resignation. Although it's in your face it's very well balanced with the malt profile.

Overall it's extremely drinkable and palpable. Two thumbs up.

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

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Radiant orange, slightly hazy body topped with half an inch of fine, white foam. Nice carbonation, decent retention and good lace.

S: Rich, cool, abundant hops: smooth citrus with some soft floral notes. Great.

T: The hops are dominant, but not overpowering, with a nice balancing influence of caramel malts. This is a straightforward and simply delicious beer.

M: Smooth carbonation and a medium body.

D: I still find it hard to believe that this beer is 7% - it's so smooth and balanced that I could drink it all night.

Notes: Racer 5 is undoubtedly a top-notch IPA, with juicy hops and just enough sweetness to keep things from being one-dimensional. I only wish it were available in CT - it might be my go-to IPA.


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Photo of WMEugene
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a golden color with a nice head that dissolves to a thin layer and great lacing.

S - Nice, strong citric and piney hops. A nice malty backbone as well. A great smell for an IPA.

T - Much like the nose, strong piney and citric hops balance with caramel malt to form a great IPA that is surprisingly well-balanced.

M - Light bodied (a little lighter than I would like). It is very smooth and drinkable though.

O - Bear Republic's Racer 5 IPA is a great American IPA. If you want a great example of the seemingly ubiquitous style, this is it.

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Photo of MOShepp
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium gold in color with a big off white frothy head, lots of sticky web lacing.

Aroma of grapefruit, biscuit, peppery and maybe some pine.

Tastes malty at the beginning with bread then the hops kick in with resiny pine, citrus, herbal notes and very well balanced. Nice long finish.

Tons of hops but it doesn't rip your tongue out. Great beer.

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Photo of Lupe
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden orange with a frothy white head. Awesome retention and sheets of lace cling to the sides of the glass. Visually appealing to say the least.

Clean and fresh citrus hop aroma with a toasted maltiness lying in the background. Grapefruit, lemon, and orange really shine.

Big juicy citrus kicks things off. Nice slap of hop bitterness. Grapefruit, orange, and lemon all come through. Hops are balanced well by the toasted grain and biscuity maltiness. Alcohol barely shows up at all. Flavors meld very well and the beer is nicely balanced. Very smooth flavors. Finishes with lingering hop bitterness and lemon zest.

Medium-full bodied, smooth, and a little creamy. Not too crisp, but not heavy either. Great drinkability - could definitely stick with this one for a while. Possibly my new favorite IPA.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't believe I hadn't picked this one up yet... I got obsessed with their Hop Rod Rye and really overlooked this one. Glad I finally decided to try it. A near perfect beer. Appears a cloudy yellow amber color with a dense head that lasts until the very end, leaving nice rings of white lacing on the glass. Smells quite hoppy, a mix of grapefruity pine and citrus. The taste is actually perfectly balanced, a must for a truly great IPA, though the hops come get you first. As the smell suggested, piney and citrusy, which sounds pretty typical and we've all seen those words in just about every review of an IPA, but there's a bit more to this one. Nice lemmon and orange peel zest, and a bit of dry dustiness. The deliverance of this beer is key as well; perfectly smooth mouthfeel, nice and dry yet thirst-quenchingly refreshing. I wish this beer came in sixers or growlers, because I could easily pound a half gallon of this delicious nectar. You might call this the "De Ranke XX of America", but this beer stands strong by itself as a unique west coast IPA.

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Photo of brianjay
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tall glass...
A crisp, glowing gold with a light brown hue, topped with a white lace which splashed around the glass, hanging on the sides, and slowly sliding down; low carbonation, just enough to keep it lively.
Notes are simple and complex: the subtle, earthy hops scent in front of a quiet biscuit malt. This combination also makes its way onto the tongue. The natural, pine and floral (with some bitterness) of the hops take over however. The bread flavor of the malt hangs around, only to be slowly washed away by the hops, whose dry, tart finish left me wanting more.
Easy and smooth in the mouth, yet exciting and invigorating the taste buds. Everything balances out perfectly in this IPA.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Beautiful hazy orange hue with a bright white head floating on top. The heads fades away leaving some of the stickiest lacing I've ever seen.

S- BAM!!! Grapefruit, orange zest, honey, mango and pineapple! Just the right amount of pine underneath, with a touch of sweetness from the malts.

T- Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice... nice piney hop flavor. Really fresh Cascade and Amarillo hop flavors. I love the sweetness that the malts impart. This is really fantastic!

M- Sweet and bitter mingle well, and do a wonderful dance on the tongue. Very fruit forward with a nice sweet piney backdrop. The first beer where I can really taste the cannabis connection.

O- This is a brilliant IPA! I have a feeling that this is going to be my new go to India Pale Ale. I'm really digging and wishing this one wouldn't end!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours slightly fogged orange amber with a great crème head and a lot of lacing on the way down. Nose is very piney hops. Flavor is super hops. Stays full and unwavering. Feel is smooth with a thicker liquid body and a good carbonation. It feels just as good as it tastes. This is pretty damn drinkable and pretty damn good.

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Photo of BenderR
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Awesome tasting Beer! Smooth for an IPA. Great hop flavor. One of my top favorites, I'm very glad it's sold in Central Massachusetts. No after-taste, crisp finish, nice color, great with bar fare. Has a nice punch of Alchol %. Highly recommended to my family and friends.

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Photo of beercam
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Optimal drinking temperature is just below room temperature in my opinion for this one. The label aesthetic sucks. I love it.

Great American Beer. Try one!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazed tangerine-amber. Since the label says that the beer is bottle conditioned and that 'yeast is good', I imagine that my last few pours will cloud things up nicely. The head is the color of rich cream and is a little frothy, yet stiff. I anticipated a lot of lace and am not disappointed. The cap falls slowly and unevenly, leaving thick sheets and chunks of lace all over the glass. A superb look.

The nose is as wonderful as I'd hoped: big, juicy, citrusy hops running rampant. There's a second variety in there as well, something that gives a slightly more pungeant, earthy aroma. A quick check of the Bear Republic website tells me that Cascade and Columbus hops are in use. Cascade have the upper hand in the aroma; I hope the same is true on the palate.

I enjoy the flavor quite a bit, but the Columbus hops are too prominent. While they don't completely overshadow the citrusy goodness of the Cascade, they do change the flavor profile just enough to keep me from loving it. Anderson Valley's Hop Ottin' is all Columbus hops and I learned from drinking that beer that it's not a hop that thrills me. There's a fair amount of sweetish pale malt that's not intrusive, but it is noticeable. The finish is long and increasingly hoppy and the body/mouthfeel is full and buttery smooth.

Racer 5 is somewhere between an IPA and a DIPA in terms of flavor, body and ABV. While I do have some quibble about the choice of hops, the quality of this beer is not to be doubted. A little heavier with the Cascade and a little lighter with the Columbus and this would easily be one of my favorite IPAs. Now, if they would only bottle Racer X.

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Photo of Ryanbob
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Sparkling copper with a sticky off-white head that isn't in a hurry.

S- sweet malts and hops.

T- This is a very smooth, balanced IPA. Piney hops balanced by creamy malty goodness. Not much bitterness in the finish, a little earthy and some sweetness in the aftertaste. No noticable alcohal. Exceptionally drinkable, could creep up on you fast.

Mf- So smooth, velvety soft, almost syrupy, nice bite, not too much carbonation.

N- What a great beer! Too bad I can't get sixers of this, I would keep it around at all times. Good for any season, heavy enough to stand up to spicy food, but refreshing enough for something light. This is the shit.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am just getting ready to go for my annually dreaded Christmas shopping so a beer before is definitely in order. I sure am glad I grabbed this bomber. Racer 5 pours with a medium sized head that drops to a thing coating. The lacing sporadically marks the glass. Has a clear peach color

The nose is loaded with hops. Notes of pine, citrus, tropical fruits and than some!

Tastes exactly like the nose. Lots of tropical fruits, citrus, pine and some spiciness that I really enjoy.

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Photo of Brian14608
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I guess I love the west coast IPA's where there is a blast of citrus and piney tones. The big bubble head was one to two finger depending on the pour. The lacing was like a steam of clinger-ons without rings. But whoa, the fragrance is my kind of IPA whereas the blast is complex and delightful grapefruit and piney resins. The taste is equally good. I love this beer. The price is right and the lack of alcohol presence is just mt style. Try this one soon.

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

I finally got off my butt and tried the much acclaimed Racer 5 from BRB Co.

A - Deep deep orange body with a minimal but lasting off white head. Nice lacing.
S - Wonderful array of scents like orange, strawberries, grapes, flowers. One of the best smelling beers I've ever had!
T - Strong hop bite. Citrusy, flowery flavor. Good balance of sweet and sour.
M - Fairly full.
D - Very drinkable for the marvelous flavors, though I'd probably stop at one due to the powerful hop kick.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,627 ratings.
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