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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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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

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Reviews: 2,294 | Ratings: 7,528
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 BeerGuy8315
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Bottle date not evident.

A: Pours a slightly hazy, golden-orange, amber color. One-inch, foamy, cream colored head with good retention. Thick white lacing throughout.

S: Aromas of citrus accompanied by piney and earthy hops. Milder tropical fruit notes of mango and melons.

T: Taste matches the aromas well. Citrus notes of grapefruit and orange rind followed by bitter piney and earthy hop notes.

F: Light-medium bodied, smooth, and crisp with good carbonation.

O: Overall, a great IPA. One of my favorite go-to's since it became available in MN. Well balanced citrus fruit and bitter hop notes. Love this one.

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

I decided to review Racer 5 again because it was served in a different format than before, on cask, which contributed to a unique experience of the beer.

Bear Republic makes some great beers and racer 5 is definitely one of them. The IPA was served at cellar temperature from a hand-pumped beer engine. This service resulted in ale with warmer temperature and lower amount of carbonation, which really allowed the taste of the resinous hops and biscuity malt to come through. Moreover, lower carbonation improve the mouthfeel, making it silkier and easier to drink without feeling as full. The warmer temperature did also make the beer seem to taste sweeter, but the lingering bitterness kept it from being cloying.

Racer 5 on cask was delicious with abundant pineapple, peach and mango flavors, with assertive bitterness and a sweet cracker-like malt background.

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

22oz. Bomber from Dilly Deli poured into a pint. No dating.

A: Pour a light cooper with millions of tiny bubbles. Off white 1 finger head. Good retention and patchy lacing.

S: Piney floral hops. Hops are bursting out of the bottle as soon as I open it and get stronger as I pour. Really looking forward to this. Getting some nice citrus grapefruit.

T/M: Great bitter bite. Man that's good. Packs quite a punch. Grapefruit pops in here and there. Tastes awesome. Malts present themselves enough to save your tongue. Adds a nice sweetness in the back. Medium body and carbonation. Great bitterness hangs out after a very dry finish.

D: Brilliant taste and smooth body make it easy to drink. Much cheaper than I expected, too, adding to it's appeal. I'll be getting this regularly.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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