Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,281 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,281 | Ratings: 7,454
Photo of hopsbreath
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

So...I've had this beer a few times on cask/draft and was at the beer store today when the guy brought a fresh case out to the floor. For $4.29 I said "what the hell" and grabbed a bomber. Only just now I looked at my old reviews to find out what I gave this beer a 3.25 and said "what the hell"? This beer is way better than that. Its time for a re-review.

Pure gold crystal clear body has a 3 finger creamy butterscotch head when poured down the middle into my Portsmouth snifter. A good but not great cap is a little wispy and great but not fantastic lacing decorates the glass as the drink recedes. I really do love these lighter colored IPA's.

Mmmmm...hoppy, hoppy, hoppy pine oils and bright citrus are the stars with no meddling malts to get in the way. Good stuff going on here.

Palate destroying hop oils, spruce tips, grapefruit peal, and bare minimal malt make this a stand out. Is this as good as IPA's taste? For my buds its a resounding YES!

Its a little sticky and gummy but the carbonation is spot on from the bottle. This is the one area where I believe the cask version falls short. The cask is just a little too soft in the mouth.

Damn, this goes down faster than a prom date who hit the spiked punch a little too hard! I really need to stock this more often when its as fresh as this. All I can think about my previous review is that the bottle must have been old. Since Sculpin isn't available around here, this might just be my IPA of choice at the minute!
Twelve ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. A couple fingers of fluffy white head show up atop the mostly clear gold body. Appropriate lacing shows throughout.

Earlier Review: 3.25 overall

Smell is sweet tangerine, hop oil, and wildflower honey. A little better than average but nothing I haven't smelled before.

Taste has a little old biscuit, sweet citrus, and grapefruit pith. Some metallic aftertaste rears its ugly head on the finish.

Mouthfeel is a little sticky on the finish with moderate mouthfeel and appropriate carbonation. Drinkability is a little gummy but the 12 ounce pour was not hard to finish.

I won't be buying this one again. There are to many other IPA's out there I prefer to this one. It was worth a try, but that's it.

 2,242 characters

Photo of boogyman
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a light golden color with a small head that dissipates quickly and the the lacing looks pretty good .

S- Wonderful citrus with some piny notes are prominent on this brew as should be for any good IPA.

T- Strong pine with a fruity citrus taste mixed in to make this a awesome IPA. Bitterness is just right and lingers on the tongue for a good long while.

M- Has a good carbonation feeling but goes down smooth at the same time. There is almost no alcohol burn to speak of.

D- Quite an awesome beer indeed. Could easily have many of these in one sitting. Will definitely be getting more of these next time I get the chance.

 634 characters

Photo of shand
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Racer 5 pours a crystal-clear golden color with a light head that retains well. The aroma is a citrus bomb, this beer's got a heavy citrus nose, primarily grapefruit and tropical fruits. The taste is yet another burst of hop flavor, it's got the strong citrus from the nose hitting first along with a massive bitter presence that strikes after a few seconds. The malt hangs to the back, anchoring everything well while letting the hops shine. The aftertaste is a great, lingering bitter resinous hop. The mouthfeel is lighter and well-carbonated, it drinks like an APA. The drinkability is amazing. Overall, Racer 5 is a top-tier IPA. It's just very satisfying and has a unique flavor profile that stands out from the pack.

 723 characters

Photo of JMad
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a bottel to a glass goblet...
Pours a murky golden yellow, had some yeast floating around.
Smells mostly of grapefruit hoppiness.
Tastes of citrus, grapefruit, has a nice subtle bitterness.
Feels medium bodied and is nice and tangy.
This one of the great IPA's it's bottle conditioned hoppy nectar.

 303 characters

Photo of faernt
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a nose! I try to do things in sequence but, this beer has an aroma that I expect only on tap, I'm in a bottle here and glad that Bear Republic has made it to Chicago. It's golden and today is big IPA day here at the ranch so Racer 5 howdedoo! What a beautful golden color.

This beer tastes wonderful. I enjoy Goose Island IPA on tap at the Clyborne pub and this is right up there with it except a bit stronger. A medium body mouthfeel and a high drinkability. Huge hops is such a hot weather thing.

 506 characters

Photo of sinistersteve
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, is there anything this beer cannot go with. This clean looking amber beer seems to accent nicely with whatever you're eating. Full hop flavored, yet not too over powerful with hops. Nice citusy aroma that tickles the nose. Thin head and not much lace in the glass. Another great product from Bear Republic. This is one beer that you cannot go wrong with if you love IPA's.

 377 characters

Photo of engagechad
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as a single from Total Wine in Richmond, VA - dfh snifter

Pours an orange tainted yellow with perfect head. Hazy appearance as a result of the yeast, looks nice though, no chunky floaters. Whippy head, amazing lace.
Smells a-freakin-mazing. Big, sharp citrus nose from the 4 C's (cascade, chinook, centennial and columbus). The nose on this is incredible. Taste follows, perfect hit of carb that tickles the tongue, then smooths out on the finish.

Overall this is an IPA for IPA lovers. Seriously, the label is just dern silly but you must try this beer if you like hops.

 585 characters

Photo of Sam21
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into pint glass.

*Note* I'm a hop head so if this thing tastes anything like it smells as I pour then I'm going to love this.

Appearance - Deep gold copper body with a nice white head that leaves nice lacing. Some suspended sediment.

Smell - Big juicy grapefruit and a malt presence with hints of grape and caramel. Nice lively aroma that jumps out of the glass.

Taste - Very hop-heavy balance with the caramel malt poking through the citrusy bitterness where it can. Flavors mingle nicely and the bitterness lingers for a while. Big juicy IPA.

Mouth Feel - Full bodied with delicate carbonation. Coats the mouth in sticky bitter hoppy heaven.

Drinkability - An all around kickass IPA. Right up there with Smuttynose IPA and 90 min on my list. Great grapefruit dominant hop balance with a big body. A big, burly, lip smacking IPA. Unbalanced, but this is how I want my IPAs to taste.

 895 characters

Photo of smithflipper
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at rattle n hum nyc.

taken me so long to review this beer, a long time favourite.

pours a light catching plae amber colour, great head, lovely sticky lacing down the side.

piney citrus hops on the nose, then some passionfruity aroma leads onto a sweet malt.

lychees, passionfruit and pine, so fruity, lovely biscuity malt flavour with a nice bitter finish.

could drink this all day long in any weather.

 414 characters

Photo of uvascotto
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Deep, clear crimson-brown.

S - Hops and more hops, with something else that I can't quite put my finger on.

T - Complex, hops-dominated flavor but with a wonderful balance of flavors.

M - Perfect consistency of the fluid-phase, coupled with an appropriate level of carbonation.

D - A downright pleasure to drink and the bottom of the bomber is truly an unwelcome sight. This is what beer is all about.

Without question one of the best AIPA's I've had, and as a highly-biased drinker of AIPAs to all other styles, that's saying something. If you lie this one, Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye is also a winner for many of the same reasons.

 653 characters

Photo of circus_cat
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice apricot hue to the body. Could also be described as light amber, almost orange. Mine got a two finger soapy eggshell head which is dissipating at a moderate speed and leaving a lot of lacing.

S: Hop bomb on the aroma. *Satisfied sigh* Just when I was feeling like a really juicy IPA. Website says it's brewed with several hop varieties but I'm really getting the Cascades on the nose. Bigtime grapefruit with a little mango in the background. A floral character. Caramel malt backbone. The nose has got me excited to try what seems like a quintessential well-made standard West Coast IPA.

T: Fruity pebbles at the tip of the tongue followed by bigtime citrus and floral tastes through the middle. Bitter hop end. Very nice.

M: Medium bodied, not too tepid but definitely nice and subdued on the carbonation front. I'd like it to coat the mouth a little more, but it's refreshing.

Comment: While 7% isn't huge by the big IPA arms race standard you see in the craft beer world, it's nothing to scoff at either. They do a good job of masking it. Again, this tastes like a quintessential floral, citrus-rich West Coast IPA--if you're a hophead like I am, you'll like it.

Update: I was shocked when I discovered this had 75 IBUs! Felt more hoppy than that.

 1,266 characters

Photo of tozerm
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had one of these after a hard days work. The hops were definitely prevalent but not overpowering. There was enough malt backbone to balance it out and keep it out of "hop bomb" range for my taste. Nice 1/2 inch head. Great copper color. Tight bubbles coming out of solution. It had a great, floral hop nose that really invited you into the glass. Very nice beer.

 362 characters

Photo of allengarvin
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Into a pint glass, this is a slightly hazy copper color with a small head but nice lacing. Exceptionally nice aroma, with a big spicy, perfumy (almost cologne-like) hop presence. Malt underlies it, but hops dominate. Flavor is beautiful, with waves of bitterness and earthy hop flavor. Sweet malt is hidden underneath but makes for a nice balance. Lingering dry finish. Lots of carbonation, but a surprisingly not-heavy body.

Very nice IPA, very drinkable, despite the strength. Just as much a hop explosion as Dogfish Head's, but whereas theirs tend to be heavy beers to savor, this is one to be quaffed.

 608 characters

Photo of budsboy
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazy deep amber with a sticky looking white head.

Smells great. Piney hops, wet bread, caramel and alcohol. Great combination. The hop aroma is very strong and welcoming.

Really nice piney hop flavor. Warming alcohol. Carmel and toffee malt flavors are there, but subdued by the over-the-top hops. Really nice. Lingering oily hop flavor and malty sweetness on the lips is really nice.

Full bodied, oily mouthfeel. Substantial.

I could get into real trouble with this beer because the taste begs me to have another. Just what I'd hoped for and one of the better AIPAs I've had. Ruination, DFH 60 and 90 Minute fans would like this.

 652 characters

Photo of ttu94
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from HotterThanHell. After spending the week in Bavaria this beer is a shock to the system. No subtlety here, this is an AIPA and nothing else. Pours a cloudy orange with a good creamy white head. Has a very strong citrus hop smell (that I like). Taste is that of an AIPA but incredibly smooth. Very malty with a citrus hop kick. Not too bitter in the end but very enjoyable. The 7% ABV is a little noticable aftter finishing a whole bomber.

 457 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. with no freshness date. Pours a bright orangey/copper with a fairly thin off-white head that doesn't leave much lacing. It becomes cloudy on the second pour. Mostly tropical and sweet in the nose - pineapples, grapefruit, oranges, a strong sweetness, and a bit of nostril-burning alcohol in the back. The flavor is about the same with a hefty sweetness and grapefruit, pineapple, leafy/oily hops, and some nutty/biscuity malts. It is both quite sweet and bitter at the same time with both lingering for awhile. At the beginning it has a medium body but it becomes thicker and creamier as the beer warms up. A solid IPA that I could easily make a session out of.

 668 characters

Photo of fields336
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy orangey yellow, with a finger of tight carbonated white bubbly head. dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving a good sized ring around the edge of the glass. the lacing stays around on the sides of the glass.

S: Oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, tons of citrus, a good amount of malt and some sweetness as well. some grassy hops maybe in the background

T: Hits your palate with a wave of citrus and then smooths it away with a delicious bready malty backbone. citrusy hops tickle your tongue after the beer dissipates.

M: Medium bodied with really nice carbonation

 570 characters

Photo of coalcracker
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an moderately gold color with great head retention and very active carbonation. Lacing noted with consumption.
Smell: Pleasantly pungent citrus hop profile with some notes of grass and pine. Very aromatic. Just a touch of bread behind those hops.
Taste: Hops and malts both noted upon first moment of tasting with the hops soon blowing by and above any malt presence. Hops are strong and a bit bitter here- citrus is the main characteristic- grapefruit especially. Malts are indeed present with a solid bready background, but are definitely pushed to the background. Bitterness persists for long after the tasting.
Mouthfeel: Medium in body with the mildly tongue-curling bitterness.
Overall: A great IPA here- strong and assertive. Would love to try this on tap.

 782 characters

Photo of silentjay
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours an orange-copper, a rigorous pour is needed to create a decent head, but it sticks around and laces well. tiny bit of sediment is visible from the bottle-conditioning.

smells of flowers and citrus with a lot of grapefruit.

Tastes like a west-coast IPA is supposed to. lots of citrus, bitter, with a slightly sweet yet very acidic citric aftertaste. a bit of pine can be detected in the finish.

Mouthfeel is great for an IPA. enough carbonation to bite your tongue, but bottle-conditioned and smooth going down.

Drinkability is great, as well. Citric, bitter, sweet, acidic, and smooth combine to make one great IPA. 7% alcohol is hidden well.

One of my favorites. probably the beer that I have had the most of over the past year, a very consistent brew that I'm sure to visit again and again. I love the bottle-conditioning, the up-front citrus followed by a bit of pine and oh-so pleasant bitterness. Highly recommended.

 934 characters

Photo of dgilks
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 pours a wonderful deep gold with a nice fluffy white head. Very good head retention.

Great, clean citrussy hop aromas. Lots of powerful grapefruit and passionfruit. Really, really good.

Really well balanced with a not overpowering bitterness which is at a good level with lots of candy like mandarin, passionfruit and citrus sweetness. A good sweet malt bill also holds up well here. Really good and one of the best IPAs I've had.

Good full body with average carbonation holds the flavours up well here.

A great drinkable IPA with lots of flavour, great aromas and good bitterness. A really top notch IPA.

 617 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this a couple months ago, and it was an exceptional memory as one of the better IPA's. If you look at my profile, you can see that I like to have lots of different hoppy beers. For this one to stand out; it has to be exceptional.

On the pour I got a ton of pine smell off the top. I poured it into a tulip glass to pull in as much as possible in smelling.

Racer 5 tastes better than it smells. I sipped this beer over more than an hour to savor it. You continue to get the pine, but it is not over-whelming.

It is great balance in mouthfeel. There isn't much bitterness, and the after-taste is a pleasant lingering of hoppiness.

This is an excellent beer. I recommend picking up a fresh bottle at a store near you.

 726 characters

Photo of calise1122
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Been my one of my favorites for years, but just got around to really sitting down with a pint, a pen and a pad. Poured a bomber into a pint glass while rewatching the Obama speech... man, he can certainly talk to a crowd!

A: Hazy and cloudy blonde with a rich white rocky head that seems to grow peaks and valleys by the second. Lines and tracings of lacing hang onto the glass the whole way down.

S: Hops on the nose, nice fresh citric hops that scream of grapefruit and lemon, with some caramel notes binding it together. Really nice, it is what I think a West Coast IPA should smell like (most likely because this is the beer that brought me to the dance)

T: It's a picture. It's a picture that is painted on a canvas of hops. It's a picture that is painted with flavors of caramel, biscuit, grapefruit, raisins, and prunes. It's a picture that you don't walk past... you stop, appreciate and most likely buy. It's a nice picture, it's a great beer.

M: It's sticky and smooth... it's clean and leaves you wanting to take another sip. Just a well constructed body

D: As I mentioned, this has been a bridge for me in the beer world. I was lucky enough to have my first pint of Racer 5 at the Moan & Dove in 2004... It, along with stone and DFH, carried my journey into the wonderful world of IPA's... so yes, this review may stink of sweaty sentiment... but there is no denying the quality of this beer. A fantastic west coast IPA!!!

 1,439 characters

Photo of RyanK252
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Eureka Burger Fresno

A: Pours a lightly hazy deep golden yellow with a nice creamy off white head that laces very well.

S: Big sweet tropical fruit and citrus hops with a little malt in the background.

T: Follows the nose, pineapple orange and grapefruit, a little pine in there, all well balanced with malt sweetness.

M: Medium body, low to medium carbonation.

O: My go to brew. Deliciously drinkable.

 419 characters

Photo of LCB_Hostage
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass (many, many times over the years)

A: Deep sunny orange, with a moderate, dense white head. Nice lacing that lasts the life of the beer and beyond.

S: I pop the cap and hold the bottle up to my nose and it makes me smile. A crisp, artful blend of citrus and piney hops predominate with yeasty undertones. This is what beer should smell like.

T: As with the aroma, Bear Republic has found an almost perfect blend of hops for my palate. There's enough malt and alcohol in the mix to make it "beery" but the hops hit your tongue and leave a lasting impression without an overly bitter aftertaste .

M: Crisp and refreshing with enough carbonation to wake up the tongue and disperse the flavors.

O: Needless to say, this is one of my favorite, go-to beers and has been since my first bottle. A solid hop punch, but balanced enough not to kill the palate. I can't say there aren't better IPAs out there, because I haven't had the pleasure of trying them all. But given the relatively modest price and widespread availability, this is a beer that will always be represented in my fridge.

 1,123 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a cloudy orange color. The head is large, thick and somewhat creamy. The lacing is thorough and thick. The aroma is pleasing and rather complex with citrus and pine both being prominent. The taste leans a lot more toward pine than citrus. The mouthfeel is exceptional for an IPA. It is medium bodied and very creamy while still being very lively carbonated. Overall, this is a great IPA, one I wish was available in Minnesota.

 442 characters

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,281 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.