Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,303 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: 2,303 | Ratings: 7,577
Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light amber with a thick creamy white head that stuck around for a long time and left a little lace on the side.
The aroma is like a freshly crushed simcoe hop cone. A bit of earthiness but a nice piney hop aroma with a bit of a toasty malt aroma blended in.
The flavor begins with a nice piney hop bitterness which segues into a very clean toasty malt flavor and the finish is very clean with almost no hop bitterness lingering. This is a superb example of the IPA style.
The mouthfeel is perfect for the style and It shows that the brewers put a lot of work into this beer as the malts balance the hoppiness both in sweetness and in viscosity.
I would love to have this beer as readily available as SNPA.

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

Poursn hazy orange-apricot with a huge frothy head that leaves intricate lacing.

Smell is citrus hop with excellent peach character. The malt backbone adds stability. Very juicy.

Taste is much more mild and balanced than expected. Once again the floral/citrus hop character stands out. Caramel malt and mild fruit add balance and complexity. Finish is mildly bitter and spicy.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Slightly oily, and very smooth.

This is a really good IPA. Very smooth and drinkable. Hops are aggressive, but not overpowering when compared to the malty fruitiness.

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Photo of vtfan77
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice deep golden color with a surprisingly modest head that dissipates quickly. Good lacing, as expected.

S- Lots of piney and citrusy hops in the nose with a noticeable malt sweetness.

T- A bit of sweetness up front before the hops hit with an orange rind bitterness. Toasty malt quickly follows and continues into the aftertaste. Bitterness is surprisingly low on the finish.

M- A little thin in this department, but still nice and smooth.

D- Very good drinkability thanks to the excellent balance. The ABV is the only thing that would keep me from making a session of this.

Very nice beer, although not in the realm of the truly elite IPA's in my opinion. Still a great everyday IPA that is good drinking and won't break the bank. Recommended.

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Photo of Viggo
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden/orange, thick white head forms, lots of lacing, great retention, head lasts until the end. Smell is rad, pine and grapefruit up front, pineapple, toffee, citrus, superbly balanced. taste is grapefruit and pine, pineapple again, oranges, maybe some vanilla, nice and full flavoured. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low to medium carbonation, some warmth going down. Very clean bitterness in the finish, great balance. Excellent IPA.

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

Pale gold in color with overly generous head. Lots of Belgian lace as I drink it. Sexy.

Nose is fruity with pine, maybe apricot.

On the palate the peachy/apricot/mango whatever sweetness is quite pleasing, and of course the blast of hops to round things out. Surprisingly very drinkable for such a big IPA. Fuller bodied than I had expected. Preferably drink this one on its own. No food please.

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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 dbalsock
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a light caramel color with about one finger of white head.

Smell: Very citrusy, although I couldn't pick up any grapefruit like I was expecting. Also, the hops smelled raw, like they were still on the bush. Pretty interesting, but not overly enticing for me.

Taste: It tasted much like the smell, except it was more balanced than the nose let on. A malty sweetness creeps along the palate, definitely adding to this IPA by giving it some balanced character.

Mouthfeel: This brew was light bodied and bitter. Nothing in the mouthfeel stood out to me.

Drinkability: I found this fairly drinkable due to the balancing in the taste. Also, I didn't detect a lick of alcohol, which is pretty impressive for a 7% abv. For some reason I get the feeling that this is better from the bottle.

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Photo of FlyFisher2782
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer pours with an awesome amount of light and fluffy head that stays around a long time. No kidding, I got at least 3 fingers of head, with a conservative pour.

Carbonation in this particular brew was very high, in fact a bit too much for me, it interrupted the srinkability slightly.

As far as IPA's go, this one is a cadillac, very smooth, the grassy hop smell hits you when you open the bottle and doesn't dissapoint. However, the hops do bite you late in the palate and they give way to an ultimate finish of malty biscuit.

Definitely a piney IPA finish that is very nicely rounded out for a smooth drinker. Rare case of a very drinkable IPA

This is a very smooth and drinkable IPA, personally a little too soft for my tastes but nonetheless a good brew.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a golden orange with a rocky white head. Very slight haze.

S - Mostly piney hops with a little bit of grapefruit and grass.

T - Piney but the grapefruit and especially the grassy flavors become much more apparent. This one is very grassy in the taste.

M - Well carbonated with a nice dry/bitter finish. I keep getting these grassy burps after each sip.

D - A nice IPA that emphasizes the piney/grassy hops. This one goes down very easy for 7%.

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Photo of mynie
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great IPA pour. Perfect, large head atop orange bomb pop opaque at the top and hazy honey bottom.

Excellent, eye opening layered zest hops. Grapefruit and citrus and caramel and pine all pour at you in buckets.

Tastes like resinous pine that moves into huge, giant grapefruit and then a more subdued dry hop. All backed up by a wonderful caramel. The hops are gigantic and the malt is perfect.

World Class.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I went to Red Bones for dinner tonight. Red Bones always has an excellent beer selection. This was served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden with a creamy thin white head that clings to the glass leaving nice lace.

Smell: A nice, strong, citric hop aroma is dominant, with a more subdued bready maltiness.

Taste: Sweet bready and toasty malts and an intense tart citric hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, tingly carbonation, with a lightly oily texture.

Drinkability: Very refreshing, the alcohol is also well hidden.

Overall: A very nice IPA. The toasty and bready malts balance but don't steal focus from the hops.

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

Poured a hazy light orange with a creamy long lasting white head.

Smell is full of intense grapefruity hops

Taste has a bit of light caramel malts, but is quickly taken over by the strong mix of Grapefruit, Juniper, and minty hop flavors.

Mouthfeel leaves a nice clean and refreshing feeling with a nice little coating of hops.

Tasty and easy to drink, a very nice IPA.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle from bleedingshrimp as part of 120/190 BIF. Thanks for the opportunity, been meaning to get to this one.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/4" beige head over the clear golden amber brew. Pillowy head lasts nicely, with heavy but sporadic frothy lacing. Aroma is lightly lemony hops with an undercurrent of controlled sweetness. Taste is upfront a nicely balanced flavor of grains and citrus hops, which slowly gives way to allow the hops to gain center stage. Mouthfeel is smooth and clean, and drinkability is superb. One of the more controlled West Coast IPAs, I like it.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat cloudy amber, finger of nice white head. A thin layer remains for some time, and leaves good blotchy lace. Fresh grapefruit dominates the nose, with some maraschino cherry, and muted darker notes of wood and damp earth.

Tastes mostly of grapefruit and pine, with some maraschino cherry again, and a slightly astringent, woody finish. Good bitterness, not over the top. On the dry side. No noticeable alcohol. A well balanced and refreshing IPA. Get a bottle!

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Photo of WeymouthMike
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear amber color with a healthy white head

S- One smell that stands out is strawberry

T- Piney sweetness

M- Somewhat thick with little carbonation

D- Easily finished a bomber and wish it were a six pack. Great IPA offering and one that I would pick up again, also a bargain price.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had from the tap at Sunset in Allston, Ma. Presented to me in tulip glass the beer was a slightly dark golden/yellow color with one finger of frothy white head and little to no lcaing throughout the sample. No other outright signs of carbonation were to be seen.

The nose only has a suprisingly subtle hop bill to it. The aroma is more earthy and slightly floral. Hints of hoppy citrus come through but overall rather tame.

The taste features a hop profile that is bigger in the nose, but still rather subdued for the style. Some associated bitterness but far from a stinging hop bomb. A rather hearty malt balance lends to a slightly sweet taste in the finish with some slightly floral flavors. Overall the taste is well balanced, a characteristic not shown by most beers of the style. Rather mild in body and hop character as well.

Medium body and crisp to the finish.

This beer is certainly enjoyable and certainly very drinkable, but it pales in comparison to others of the style. The beer's balance is quite good. I would have like some more assertive hop character and bitterness with this one. A good beer on the whole, but not high among my favorites for the style

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Photo of phisig137
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber color, with a frothy 2 finger head that slowly falls leaving behind abundant lacing.

Aroma is filled with citrusy hops, and a slight hint of caramel sweetness.

Flavor is well balanced. Not outrageously bitter, but solid amounts of citrusy hop flavor, backed by a decent malt backbone. Very enjoyable, and easy to drink. Mouthfeel is smooth, and bubbly.

Very nice beer overall, although I notice a trend in Bear Republic beers.... they all seem to use the same two or three hops. Not a bad thing, just something I noticed.

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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 wedge
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours orange with some haze from the bottle-conditioning and strings of carbonation. Thin, sticky, creamy head on top is a permanent fixture and leaves thin sheets of lacing. Smells very appealing - freshly squeezed citrus hops, candied and rich. Juicy citrus hop flavor with sugary malts to balance. Oh yeah, this is very delicious. Drying rind with a floral sweetness in the end. Solid medium mouthfeel with fine carbonation and a smooth bitterness.

A fruity, juicy IPA...all out hops yet, this is far from one dimensional. Pure, fresh squeezed Cascade and Columbus hop juice. Top notch.

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

Many, many people have reviewed Racer 5, and while I usually don't bother to review something that has been extensively reviewed. However, for this beer, I just had to, as it's a damn near perfect basic West Coast style IPA.

22 ounce bottle, ~$3.49 at BevMo, into a beer clean pint glass.

Pours bright medium orange, with a fairly dense white head. Visible carbonation with small tight rising bubbles.

Aroma is slightly spicy malty sweet hoppy: just what an IPA should be.

Taste is primarily spicy, pine, citrus hops, with a perfectly balanced sweet malt back, and finishes with a nice piney hoppy swing. Just what an IPA should be. Middle and finish has a tingly, fairly carbonated mouth.

Immensely drinkable, beautifully balanced, fresh and citrus hop beauty. Not a hop bomb, but rather a perfect delivery vehicle for great hops and sweet malt.

Great for everything from a lawnmower beer, to a session beer, to a nice dinner beer for spicy (or not) foods, to a sit-and-watch-a-movie dessert beer.

I generally don't give 5s unless a beer just blows my mind, and Racer 5 is *just barely* below the border for this. But it's damn near perfect, and awfully close to 5s in every category.

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Photo of SethB2
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's about time I reviewed this wonderful beer.

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A - Hazy golden oranged with a massive head that climbs the glass. When the head finally goes away (after a long, long time), a butt load of lacing is left in its wake. Perfection.

S - Hops, citris and pine mostly, covering a toasted malted quality.

T - One of the most balanced IPAs on the planet. Starts with a bitter punch to the tongue, but very delicately begins to balance out. Usually balance means that the beer gets sweeter, and this one does too, but not nearly as much as one might expect.

M - Good stuff. Medium and a tad oily, but still finishes a little dry. How the hell is that possible. I don't know either.

D - Great.

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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.

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Photo of ReDave
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An orangeish amber color, with a creamy head with hints of brown in it. this head won't quit, all the way down. Bear Republic sure has it's head retention down! Great Hoppy IPA. Not the hoppiest, but a great solid IPA. Nice malty balance. Another very drinkable offering from Bear Republic!

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Photo of BradBLR
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another great beer from Bear Republic. Beer poured a deep amber gold color, with a THICK yellow head. The head on this beer was amazing, lasted the whole beer and when I was done the was a chunk of foam in the bottom of my glass. Like a little prize at the end of the beer. The smell was a nicely balanced hop, malt smell that was not too strong.

The taste was a strong hoppy flavor with a medium malt flavor. The mouthfeel was great, it was like hop oil coated your tongue after each drink. Carbonization was good and the beer was nice and thick.

All I can say is try this beer. Bear Republic bottles like NO ONE else and it is a pleasure to drink any of their beers.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tangerine color with fine suspended haze and a very nice of white head. Lace is nice and sheety above excellent retention...a good quarter inch. Wow...I've had this before a long time ago but I don't remember it being so hoppy and sweet...and quite as awesome. Aroma is really balanced and beautifully hoppy. Sweet malts and citrusy cascade hops everywhere. Has an additional candy orange feel to it. Very pleasant hops, and a nice bitter dryness especially through the finish. Mouthfeel has a smooth effervescent quality. Drinkability is fantastic.

This is now up there with my favorite IPAs. Great balance with a lot to offer.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,577 ratings.
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