Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,313 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: 2,313 | Ratings: 7,621
Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle without a date. Equally parts hazy and carbonated, a golden-tinted beer with some sudsy lacing and a thin, retained head. Smell is pretty average at best, basic malt and hop profile, not that pungent. But this was stored at room temperature so I could see how it may have fallen off. Taste is a little more complex with several different hops highlighting what is a very refreshing, semi-dry finish. A little bitter component at the end, standard of many good IPA's. This is simply a good beer. Nothing too mindblowing, but definitely like it and would drink it anytime. Cheers.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Better upfront to confess my bias: I don't like ale loaded with hops as an escape from the work of learning how they interplay with malts.
So, Racer 5 gets a brief review.
First, I had it in their brewpub in Healdsburg several years ago and that experience was good.
Second, this was on one of my lists.

I now note when a beer is listed in one of my three books comprising my classical beer education.
"1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", page 471.

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Photo of wowthatbeerisgood
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smell is mild and flavorful. At 7.5%, it's pretty strong, but you can't tell. Goes down smoothly. Very pleasant and mild. If I hadn't had Stone's Enjoy By DIPA last night, I probably would have rated this higher. A solid IPA. Now that I am in California, this will be my go-to 6 pack.

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Photo of kik
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Average smell and look, but bold, bitter flavor. Fairly carbonated but on the smoother side going down and overall a solid ipa, but nothing blew me away.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear golden pour with a touch of amber. Outstanding head volume and retention, world class lacing.

Outstanding nose of citrus hops, rind and pine with a subtle dank tickle underneath.

Almost medium body with a smooth texture that has an oily component. World class carbonation with a bursting effervescent middle and a finely bubbled prickly finish.

The flavor profile is quite outstanding and is masterfully balanced. It begins with a blended hop flavor (heavy on the pine and rind) that slowly tails off into a subtle dank element. Orange arrives along with the subtle dank notes as the middle approaches over a succulent balancing sweetness of bready biscuit and light caramel. Bitterness is moderate and perfectly balanced. The finish delivers a very slight alcohol note and associated astringency. A slow fade of sweet orange rind lingers.

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Photo of vikinggary28
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass mug from a 22 oz bottle. Typical amber colour and thick off white head that hung around for awhile. Smells of hops and slight citrus. Taste very smooth, hoppy/fruity/citrusy, not overly bitter. Goes down smooth. Zum Wohl!

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Draft, yard house LA. Mini Boston shaker.

A: clear bright orange gold, lingering 1 finger white head. Moderate carb. Outrageous lacing.

S: grapefruit and resin. Tart. Nice.

T: immediate fruity, slightly sweet, hoppy goodness. I had a sample of this once ages ago and loved it. It is still that good. Quintessential west-coast IPA. A little heavy on the bitterness in the finish, but still manageable.

M: solidly midweight, moderate carb. Very clean.

O: quintessential west coast IPA. Really could not ask for a better, bolder, fresher example of awesome IPA-dom.

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Photo of lwillitz
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle into Belgian ale glass

A - 3 fingers of creamy white over a cloudy body of golden orange, moderate visible carbonation, nice web of lace

S - floral, citrus, touch of pine; delightfully hoppy

T - citrus, tropical fruits, pine, touch of pepper, nice bready malt presence; complex and delicious--exactly what an IPA should be

M - highly carbonated, chewy full body, smooth, very nice!

O - right on for the style--just a very good IPA all around

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Photo of BigGold
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had for breakfast in Oregon courtesy of my brother back in 2013, poured from 12-oz. bottle into opaque white plastic tumbler, and most recently in Texas, poured from 12-oz. bottle into reviewable tumbler. This is great stuff, and not just for breakfast.

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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 anvindr
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I feel solidly meh about this beer. I saw some people calling it out as better than RRs Blind Pig so i tried them side by side and Blind Pig blew it out of the water in every way. The nose on this thing is underwhelming and a little strange. i couldnt put my finger on what it was. the appearance was cloudy and the taste was pretty middle of the road as far as i am concerned. definitely not a bad beer but nothing special or anywhere near Blind Pig or Union Jack

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Photo of crisis1290
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co. is a decent tasting IPA. Nice hit of citrus/grapefruit as soon as the bottle was cracked open. Great golden amber to orange color on the pour. It has a nice medium-bodied feel ! Citrusy up front, piney on the backend with just enough bitterness. The flavor stays with you after it finds its way down . Clocking in at a 7.5% ABV, this one could catch up to you with the quickness. I do like this but I will chose a Bells Two Hearted over this one , but that's just me.

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Photo of smanson56
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass a medium yellow orange color. Not as dark as a lot of west coast IPA's. The nose has some tropical fruits along with some piney resins. The malt was not really present in the nose. The taste was that of a good American IPA lots of citrus from the hops along with a nice bitter finish. The mouth feel was good. A better than average American IPA IMO.

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really nice basic IPA. It didn't blow me away, but it did hit all of the things you want in a good IPA. Nice nose with fruity notes and good balanced flavor with backend bitterness.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a bronzed golden amber to orange color with a light transparency allowing a fine carbonation to be seen rising at a moderate pace. One finger white foamy head displaces and is replaced by some messy stringy lacing.
The smell had a wonderful burst of bitter piney/resinous hops to citrusy hops. An evenly settled caramel malt is pretty far in the background of this beer.
The taste was purely bittersweet all throughout the entire consumption. Never lost a step in the movement of this down my throat.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium in body with a fantastic sessionability. Carbonation feels good for an AIPA and for me as enough hops burst on the scene to lead the charge for who's to claim the harshness on my tongue - hops win - which is good!
Overall, AIPA fans in the distro of this, you'd better "race" out there to get this when its fresh. Why? Because you don't have to stand in line just to try it.

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Photo of cyguyjg
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was fortunate to have this on draft. However, the lights in the pub were low so I didn't get a good look at it. Nonetheless it had a light but persistent head. The taste was amazing. Very smooth and thought the hops were evident, they were also subtle... satisfying to perhaps all but those who must have the hops forward Double and Imperial IPAs. This would make a great session IPA if not for the moderately high ABV.

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Photo of pbaltodano
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had the pleasure of drinking many IPAs and this has been my favorite for over a year and a half. My liquor stocked the 22oz. and I requested the 6 pack glass bottles which is $11.29 out the door. The 22s are $5.40 so obviously the 6 pack is a better deal. This beer has it all. It has those amazing citrus notes as well as a deliciously bitter taste. Not for those who don't like a strong beer as 2 12oz. bottles will leave you buzzed if you down it fast enough. Whenever this is not in stock (which pisses me off) I reach for a Ruination as it's the only other beer that satisfies my IPA craving. Super reluctant to grab anything else (and feel like I am cheating on Racer) and you better believe my glass recycling is all racer bottles!

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a pint glass at steiners in sonoma. Solid overall IPA, and one of the 1st....but not refined or enough depth to be the best. Strong citrus pine and resin smell with a bitter undertone to the taste. Needs better balance of hops and possibly a mix of hops smell/taste to take to the next level

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Photo of Strat58cat
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Solid. The only word that I can think of to describe this classic IPA is solid. It's solidly in the middle of the IPA paradigm. The execution is solid. It's one of the most famous west coast IPAs for very good reason.

The look is very promising. This India pale ale pours a golden orange color, moderately hazy. The head is a delicious foamy eggshell color that foams up elaborately, retains, and laces. They've spared no expense on the malt, the head makes clear. All kinds of good stuff seems to be in store.

The aroma is a strong point of Racer 5. They've nailed it. It achieves the tropical grapefruit aroma that I'm looking for. I know tropical grapefruit is not a thing, but in the best IPAs they achieve it anyway. The aroma is perfectly modulated - neither overbearing nor weak. It stays righteous until the bottom of the glass, never fading or getting catty. Barely detectable, just behind the citrus scent of the hops, the malt conveys a pleasant biscuit aroma.

The taste of Racer 5 is solid. It's a mainstream west coast IPA flavor, initially strongly citrus from the hops but backed up proportionately with a subtle yet very appealing biscuit flavor. The description biscuit is overused in my experience, but this is truly it. I've never really enjoyed a biscuit-like malt except with Racer 5. As you might expect, since both are from the California wine country, Lagunitas and Racer 5 have a similar aesthetic, sharing their beautiful citrus hops bouquet and the effort to balance the hops with a significant malt. Racer 5 out runs their wine country competition in the Stone-like appealing dankness of their IPA and the flavorful biscuit malt that backs the hops up. Like Lagunitas, Racer 5 is a very easy drinking, pleasant and enjoyable IPA. The fabled bitterness of IPAs is no doubt present, but it's in sync with the expectations from the flavors and so is purely enjoyable.

The feel of Racer 5 is fine. It's not watery, but medium-bodied. It does not come across as thin-feeling like Rebel can, but doesn't quite have as much body as I seem to feel with Lagunitas.

Overall, Racer 5 is a fabled west coast IPA for good reason. It's extremely good. Like Stone, it costs a few dollars more for a 12-pack than some other appealing and widely available options, but it's worth it. Maybe it's not worth springing for one of the true paragons every trip, but every now and then . . .

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Copper colored with good clarity. There's an inch of off white to light tan rocky head. Aroma is pungent citrus and tropical hops. I taste plenty of citrus hops, but this is also balanced with plenty of light malt. The mouth is a bit chewy and sticky.

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Photo of ksimons
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy amber color with white head that sticks to the glass. Aroma of caramel malt, tropical fruits, and citrus. Taste is similar to the smell, super drinkable with caramel malts, tropical fruits, citrus, and earthy hops. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Overall a very enjoyable and drinkable IPA, the glass is empty before you know it.

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Photo of DaveDay5
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. . The latest in my IPA taste comparison (bottles). Heads and shoulders above any others I've tried. Amazing from first sip to finish. Deep gold with clear, subtle carbonation. Piney citrus hops presence in the nose and a rich malt backbone. The flavors mixed and mingled on the tongue in a way that I couldn't wait for the next sip to see how it would taste. Excellent IPA. Definitely recommending this and drinking it again.

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Photo of Safa1
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Somewhere in between the last spring sample and the newest autumn sampler rush at the beer store, this beer became my go to. Its a pale ale more in the style of Sierra nevada pale ale as opposed to the torpedo...Get it? Its a like India Pale ale that is the absolute BEST BEER THAT YOUR MONEY CAN BUY. It clocks in at 7.5 and is usually less than 5 bucks. Its good. Its so good that I usually buy one with whatever else I am buying at the time, Like today. I bought sixers of ace pineapple, and Michelob Amberbock, as well as the new DOGFISH PUNK...I got a 22 of Racer 5. Its perfect for that, get beer, start or enjoy a racer 5 somewhere early or middle. Its good/great and cheap. Ballast Point is worth every fucking penny, but sometimes it hurts to spend 50 bucks on 5 22 ounce beers, or 14 god damned dollars a 6 pack, of cans....[email protected] six pack....Next time you want to do that...Get a couple of 22's of racer 5. Thank me later.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a hazy orange golden color with a one finger off white head that hangs around for a little bit before gently dieing. Lacing was kinda messy.
The smell had a really nice blend of tropical and citrus fruits with a really light sweet malt in the background.
The taste follows the smell very nicely and leads into the aftertaste and finds it's way into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium on the body with a decent drinkable feel to it. Bitterness does hit nicely as an AIPA.
Overall, really nice AIPA, super glad to try, I'd definitely have again.

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Photo of Bone53
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Best By 12/01/15

Appearance: hazy orange golden color with a two finger creamy off white head that sticks around. Plenty of lacing. One of the better looking IPAs my eyes have laid on

Smell: A wonderful bouquet of tropical and citrus fruits and pine with a subtle sweet malt undertone

Taste: Tropical fruits upfront, pine midpalate, finishes piney and citrusy. I get more malt in the taste than the smell

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied; Super smooth and creamy with a dry bitter finish

Overall: I could see this being a top tier IPA back in the day, and i probably would have rated it higher even five years ago. There are newer IPAs with a better hop profile, but this is one of the better oldschool ones. The look and mouthfeel alone are worth picking this up.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,621 ratings.
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