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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,290 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: 2,290 | Ratings: 7,507
Photo of ToasterChef
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a cellar temperature 22oz bottle, split between two pint glasses. It has a translucent golden orange color, with a pretty head of pure white foam. It leaves some good lacing on the glass. The aroma is all hops, both citrusy and woodsy. As you would expect, the flavor is also dominated by the hop character. It starts out dry, then builds to sharp bitterness that lingers on after you swallow. You can detect some alcohol, especially in the finish and aftertaste. There are flavors that remind me of fruit and forests. This is as good as an IPA can get. It has a medium body and a higher-than-average amount of carbonation. It leaves a coating to your mouth that evaporates while you let the bitter flavors linger. This is an impressively drinkable IPA. There are hops everywhere, but I never grow tired of them. I wish I had more than this one bottle.

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Photo of Lakes
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My oh my I love Racer 5.

I have this frequently both from a 22oz bottle at Enoteca and on tap at Capone's.

Both from bottle and on tap it's appearance is exceptional. It's color is a bright vibrant golden orange that seems not content to sit in the glass. It's full frothy head beckons to be sipped.

Racer 5's aroma is room filling. It's a buoyant citrus full of grapefruit, tangerine with mild pine notes at the back.

The taste follows the aroma perfectly, filling the mouth with strong rich American hops. A bold grapefruit/citrus blast with bright spots of pine, orange peel and tangerine. The malt backs up the hops but doesn't take away anything. It's like a framework for the hops to rest on. Just wonderful

Mouthfeel is full and satisfying and it's drinkability has been tested and proven outstanding many MANY times.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Beautiful looking beer with a nice, frothy head on top of a transparent, pale-orange/brown colored body

S- Loads of fresh, citrus hops along with some creamy malt sweetness

T- Well balanced for an IPA. A strong grainy malt presence keeps a rush of hops in-check

M- Amazing mouthfeel. Full body and silky carbonation

D- Easy to quickly enjoy a 22oz bottle

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Photo of corey0212
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been one of my "go to" IPAs for a while, and it never disappoints!

Pours a clear, golden/orange color, with a tremendous rocky off-white head, which stays put! Leaves behind a ton of lacing. Smell is piney, with a good amount of sweet malt in the nose. Taste is beautifully balanced, the citrus & pine of the hops duke it out with the malty goodness. Nice bitter & slightly floral finish. Incredibly drinkable IPA, and in terms of what I have easy access to, quite possibly the best.

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Photo of Vansmack
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's 3:51 PM on Saturday March 15, 2008. Tonight I'll be going out to The Hobbit with Niki, Dylan, and Deb. Right now I'm watching the UCLA game. Here is the review:

Appearance: An amber color with perfect coloration all the way through. The head poured smoothely. Definitely an inviting beer.

Smell: Ahhh the smell of lovely hops. Dank/Resiny smell. Almost like walking up to a buddha plant and sniffing!

Taste: To me it tastes extremely hoppy. Tastes a little nutty at the aftertaste. The hops definitely shine through and give you a great euphoric feeling with every sip.

Mouthfeel: This beer is definitely smooth and easy to drink. After one sip, you just wanna keep on sipping!

Drinkability: What can I say... this is an amazing beer. Highly recommended!


Right now it's UCLA 28 Stanford 24 with 3:33 left in the first half.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A winner of an IPA. This was one of the first IPA's my palate decided it liked. Drinking it now, I'm surprised I liked something this bitter and piney. The pour results in a orange body teeming with head. In fact, the head is a tad too robust for me. I like head on my beers, but on an IPA I want an inch or so, not 3 inches. The lacing is masterful, better than anything else I've witnessed recently. If it wasn't for the gushing head, the appearance would rate a 5. Nose is nice and balanced ... lots of caramel malt, and lots of grapefruit and pine. Almost exactly what I want out of an IPA. Taste starts piney, edges into grapefruit, and orange and finishes lemon and caramel. Mouth is massive, carbonation runs rampant, but in an orchestrated fashion, blitzing over the mouth in a mission to please. Mission accomplished.
Certainly a sessionable IPA. I'd be more than glad to do so if I found it in sixers or on tap.

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Photo of nickss
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a pale orangey yellow with what appears to be a tremendous amount of carbonation (lots and lots of bubbles). Super thick, rocky head... about 2" worth.... lots of lacing.

Wonderful aroma... tones of piney hops...prickly citrus scent... barely noticeable malt background... a definite yeasty touch to it as well.

Delicious! Lots of piney hops, yet not as much an affront to the palate as I thought it was going to be.... very subdued, while at the same time maintaining an aggressive attitude. Yeast becomes more noticeable as I work my way through the first glass, and I can only assume it will continue in this manner towards the bottom of the bottle. Not extraordinarily complex, yet still wonderful.

Wonderful thick mouthfeel... the carbonation becomes apparent in every sip, yet not in the manner I would have thought: it creates a mouthfilling experience while not being explosive on the tongue... it saves the bite from the hops for that. Very nice.... reminds me of a DIPA... I dig it.

Thick, yet not oppressively so. Hoppy, yet not overwhelmingly so. High abv, but not dangerously so. What a beer... I am extremely impressed.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a couple of bottles from Jason at Bruisin Ales in Asheville and cracked this one tonight...

Pours a cloudy hazy hoppy looking dull copper with a slowly forming off white head that fades to a small ring... Each swirl renews the head and gives me assurance that is fairly fresh...

Huge pungent citrusy hops blast my sense of smell with this... Big time hops all the way and they're pretty much all citrus....I can't wait to taste this...

Oh, yes... Its pure hoppy deliciousness...very very citrusy and juicy... This is a totally one dimensional hop bomb and that's just the way I like my IPAs...its all I can do to keep from chugging this down so that should tell you something about the taste and drinkability...

Without a doubt, one of the best IPAs that I've ever tried... I'd love to see Bear Republic in TN soon...

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Photo of pat61
4.66/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A slightly hazy gold pour with rapidly rising bubbles produces a thick white to off-white film that produces splotchy flecs of lace. As it pours melon, tropical fruit, light bread crust and slight dank earthy aromas rise from the glass. The palate starts with melon, light biscuit to bread crumb and citrus flavors that linger. The malt flavors have a light sweetness but the hops balance the sweetness well. Hop driven fruit flavors are medium to medium high. The bitterness is medium high but is well balanced by the light malt sweetness. this moderately creamy beer has just under a medium body and has medium to medium high carbonation. This is a full flavored, easy to drink American IPA that is good enough to stock up on.

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Photo of praufs01
4.66/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Cloudy amber with a nice creamy, pillow like tan head. This is one good looking brew.

Aroma - Sugar and pink grapefruit

Mouthfeel - Light small bubble carbonation.

Taste - Fruity, grapefruit and orange zest, that rests on a nice malty base.

Overall - Wow! One of the best well balanced IPA's I've ever had.

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Photo of caddybuyer
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a chilled bomber at fridge temperature into a tulip glass.

A-Slightly veiled apricot with a creamy eggshell head that settles rapidly with some decent attractive lacing.

S-Pungent, delicious perfumey citrus hops, with a whiff of malt.

T-Sweet malts balanced by floral and citrus hops with a nice drying hop twang on the back end. Remarkably well balanced in every way. This is one hell of a nice tasting brew, and could very well be the best tasting IPA I have ever had. I keep debating whether to give this a 4.5 or a 5 on the taste, but the 5 wins out due to the sheer balance of this beer. You must hand it to Bear to not to make the IBU's steal the show here.

M-Medium, but slightly chewy, well balanced carbonation and mouthfeel.

D-This is a very drinkable beer. Big flavor without the big ABV. My "go to" IPA, session brew, cooler filler. There are better IPA's out there, but none so drinkable as this.

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Photo of mempath
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance is just fine, nothing 'special' but nice, nearly clear golden. settles very fast, very little if no lacing

smell steps up the ante...a nice floral-herbal sense

taste etc places all the cards on the table...slam! not overly hoppy at all, but quite a punch with a continued herbal sense keeps the balance in tow. glad i have the big bottle to savor and further unravel the mystery. the expected grapefruit is more like a fresh, slightly grilled grapefruit. something a bit caramelized or something. i really love the unique malt-hop twang that is at once creamy sweet and tangy bitter.

the moderate ABV will keep this from being a deep session brew (as well as it richness)...quite drinkable, esp. for the hopsters...but one i'd rather savor over several hours (as i am doing now)

very recommended. i really scored on my brew hauls this past weekend. can't wait to try the rye hop rod from Bear Republic

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Photo of trappistlover
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is my favorite IPA. It has everything that I expect from an IPA without being "extreme'/ 'imperial'/ 'double": a nice fruity aroma which explodes with great hop flavor. In spite of the hoppiness, it maintains a nice malt balance. I love it!!

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle. Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA has a thin, white head (wide-brim glass) and a hazy, yellow-orange appearance, with some lacing left behind. The aroma is of orange and citric acid, and taste is of piney hops, oranges, sugar, and sweet bread. The mouthfeel is medium and soft, and Racer 5 finishes mostly dry and highly drinkable. Although I think the hop bitterness could stand to be a tad bit harsher, I still love this, and I rate it outstanding.


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Photo of ReelBigwigFish
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass.

A: Light golden amber color, very clear, 2 finger off white head upon a slightly vigorous pour.

S: A bouquet of fruity, floral, and citrusy hops burst forward. Getting whiffs of sweet applesauce. Smells really good.

T: Same fruity/floral hop flavors up front with a good amount of malt to balance it all out. Slight bitter twang on the end.

M: Slightly creamy, medium bodied, somewhat light on the carbonation, extremely drinkable.

O: For a standard IPA, it doesn't get much better than this. Perfectly balanced and hoppy in all the right ways. This is the kind of IPA that you keep coming back to.

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Photo of kernalklink
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow- the aromas alone were enough for a perfect score. Strong pushy citrus hop presence throughout, but very complex. What a tasty hop filled IPA! Almost perfect balance with the slightly spicy malt, nice body and sweetness. A little oily on the finish, but what else can you expect. Hops are strong, but no annoying burning aftertaste, your palate will be safe and satisfied. Extra smooth going down and the light ABV and masterful blending makes this one a very sessionable IPA.

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Photo of CHickman
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured a gold/copper color with a slight haze and a creamy 2 finger snow white head that fades slowly, leaving good spotty lacing.

Smells of juicy citrus and piney hops, with grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, lemon zest, pine cones, caramel, brown sugar, toasted grains, floral hops, herbs, light spices and biscuit or cracker; very nice citrus and hoppy notes, with just enough malts and grains for nice balance. The juicy hops jump out and make a statement, but overall the aroma is spot on and very nice for an IPA. Typical West Coast nose that is quite enjoyable.

Taste starts out sweet with the citrus and floral hop taste and smell, followed by a slight spicy hop flavor with piney hops, citrus hops and floral hops mixed with malt that trails off bitter with a sweet ending that brings out more hops and grapefruit, lemon zest, tangerine, orange peel, pine cones, caramel, brown sugar, toasted grains, biscuit, herbs, spices like pepper and coriander, perhaps even some light cinnamon. This beer works well and is very balanced considering the mix of hop flavors that bombard the senses up front. The flavor has a lot more malt and balance than the nose, and it's very tasty and extremely easy to drink. There is just enough sweet malt, biscuity grains and brown sugar or caramel to even out the taste. There is some lingering mango and coriander that coats the tongue after each swallow, leaving a refreshing feeling. A definite session beer for me, this flows down so easy that the whole bomber was gone in a flash.

Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth and almost oily slick, with a medium chewy feel, very light and almost watery carbonation, with a bitter dry finish, yet the hop combo helps it go down smooth.

Overall a great beer that's packed with flavor and balanced by the slight sweetness, not letting that 7% ABV hit you until then end of the bottle. Each sip got better and brought out more flavor. A great beer on its own or mixed with food, this slides down easy like a fine beer should. A great beer that is steady, always enjoyable, complex and full of flavor; a top notch IPA that is one of the standards for any hophead.

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Photo of granger10
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Upon opening a strong fruity, floral aroma emerges. Noticeable across the room. Intense alpha acid sting follows the fruitiness. It's like an intense hop garden. I'm sure there's malt and yeast there but the hoppy smell is amazing. Pours a hazy orangish color with a large off white sticky head. Head maintains well. Good lacing. Taste is strong bitter at first but soon subsides into a complexity which is quite nice. Lots of herbal character and piney grapefruit hops in the middle. A touch of sweet fruit rides the entire wave. Almost apple like, maybe grapes too. A touch of toffee, some banana. It's complex but straighforward at the same time. Hops control. Bitterness never relents its hold at the top. Depth though is outstanding. Finish is long and dry and bitter. Just all around enjoyable. This is how an IPA should taste like.

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Photo of Floyd12
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap poured into a pint glass.

A- A moderately hazy amber color with a thick foamy and creamy head of about two fingers. The head lingered for most of the beer and left fantastic lasing all over the glass.

S- Very hoppy with a slight malt. Citrusy underones with an earthy grainy smell as well.

T- Strong hard hop taste with a little bit of bitterness but not over the top. Again slightly citrusy but the hops take control without going overboard.

M- Very crisp and refreshing with a long dry hoppy finish.

O- This is one of my new favorite beers. I love this but have only seen this at White Horse in Boston. This needs to expand on the east coast.

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Photo of tyanow
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am addicted to Racer 5. I recently called Bear Republic to arrange for some kegs and I told the lady who works there about my addiction. She replied, "I hear that a lot".

Lighter than expected orangish yellow with a nice puff head that lingers and laces.

Overwhelming (in a good way) citrus hop aroma. Distinctly grapefruit and a slight pine note. The taste is a lot more hop than malt but both are very apparent. The word that always comes to mind is fresh.

It is crisper than you'd imagine a 7% beer to be.

This is a bold beer but remarkably drinkable.

I am not a huge hophead - or should I say I wasn't before Racer 5. In my mind this is right up there with Pliny.

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Photo of Dieseljaxx
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic rarely disappoints. They are one of the most consistent breweries going and definitely have an appreciation for hoppy beers. This beer has a wonderful color, smells delicious and the taste meets those expectations. This is a tasty IPA that provides that crisp hoppiness you get with a good IPA but doesn't overwhelm the palate. This beer is very drinkable and should be consumed often.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a tulip glass:
Pours an attractive, golden gamboge-orange color; clear with an ample carbonation level that fuels a behemoth, cloudy, light tan head. Great retention & lacing make for quite the visual.

Aroma is packed with piney, resinous hops balanced perfectly with big, sweet caramel malts. Fruity citrus, mango, pineapple, and pear round out the mouthwatering scent.

This is one of the better tasting IPA's I've had. There's a big time hop note at the beginning, followed by a smooth, biscuity caramel malt backbone that (again) works wonders for the balance to this brew. Mouthfeel is crisp, bubby, and very refreshing with a poignantly bitter hop finish. Overall, this india pale ale is fantastically complex, and both hop-heads and malt-nuts alike will fall in love with it.

Sign of a truly pleasing beer? My girlfriend, who DESPISES hops (I'm working on that, trust me...), actually enjoyed this one.

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Photo of Scoobydank
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L:Brownish orange color with a thick white full head that sticks around.
S:I pick up a hint of candied apricots mixed in with brown sugar sweet malt
T:Resiny sticky hops that are very floral immediately. At the end there is an awesome candy sweetness.
M: Fills my mouth with full fat bubbles.
D:Another great example of a great IPA baby.

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Photo of jamiesessions
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Clear amber pour contrasts with a nice tan head that almost looks like it could be used in an advertisement for beer. Citrus hops make me very excited to drink. Tastes as great as it smells. Hops are present, and not overpowering, but most certainly present enough to let you know that you are drinking an IPA, and a damn good one at that. I want to keep drinking this all day, and very well could. It's a perfect combo of taste and smooth feeling. This is one of the best beers I've ever had the pleasure of tasting and i cannot wait to do it again

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Photo of JSchn0w7
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

By far the best recommendation someone has ever made to me at a bar. I'm always willing to try new beers as the come on tap at my local bar, but this was by far one of the best. By far is the most drinkable IPA i have ever had. Not an overly alchol taste, sweet with citrus and balanced with hops. It was the perfect combination, about 7.5% ABV and it can sneak up quickly. Another must try.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,507 ratings.
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