Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,309 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: 2,309 | Ratings: 7,603
Photo of lpayette
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber.

Appearance- Golden yellow. huge head with tons of lacing.

Smell- Big floral hop aroma. Citrusy- mostly grapefruit. Orange and orange peels.

Taste- Very typical big IPA taste. Grapefruit is a powerful force as it is tied to the hops which are dominating in a good way. A bit of caramel flavor as well.

Mouthfeel- Quite smooth. Adequate perhaps perfect carbonation. Can't imagine it being better.

Drinkability- Quite drinkable for a strong IPA. One that would be worth having/seeking out again.

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Photo of ByTor2112
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep gold color almost orange. Huge clumpy head that slowly dissolved with peaks and valleys. Deep piney citrus aroma. This IPA is impressive right out of the gate Sweet malt body and mouthfeel with an intense bitterness that dominates but is still balanced. This is a killer IPA that gives you everyting= Killer aroma, great malt body with a wide variety of hop aromas, flavors from the beginning to the finish. This is my first beer from Bear Republic and I am impressed. Almost sessionable for hop-heads and at 7%, not too alcohol heavy. A CHOICE offering.

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this one over the summer at Redbones, and I gotta say that I wasn't exactly impressed with it. Everything deserves a second chance though right? So anyway, this one pours a sort of plain amber color. What made it really pleasing is that the head sticks to the glass like crazy, along with the just barely visible sediment floating here and there. Smell at first seemed slightly metallic, then with another whiff, gave way to some citrusy aromas, really juicy smell. The citrus is accompanied in the taste by a literal attack of hops on the palate. These are some really aggressive hops, that never quite seem to end. The initial citrusy presence seems to end with a more earth based ending. The mouthfeel is medium in body. Drinkability is great, but i guess thats assuming that you really like hops, cause this one definitely has them. Im really glad I gave this beer a second chance. I think i will get it again folks.

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Photo of loving44
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark orange amber from the bomber. Large bubbly head fades to a creamy white head... about an inch.

Smell: lots of citrus, mainly grapefruit and orange. Zesty. Sweet with some pine.

taste: sweet malt along with bitter hops up front, juicy and powerful but not overpowering. This has a wonderful balance of hops and malt with a refreshing bitter kick.

Mouthfeel: very creamy and light. low carbonation.

Drinkability: This is one of the better IPAs that I have had. This is a hoppy beer but it's no hop bomb, just a very refeshing ans tasty IPA.. I saw this beer in lots of liquor stores, and beer stores and even the local grocery stores many times yet never tried it. My advise to you: pick one up!!! You will not be let down, I could drink this everyday.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this one up outside of LA at Liquorama while there to do a job. Time to give this one a try.

Appearance: Pours a pretty cloudy burnt orange color with an aggressive 1" of off white bubbles on top. The head is thick and looks like it is going to be around for quite some time...especially since there are boat loads of bubbles rising to maintain it. A couple minutes after the pour, there is still a huge head on top of this one. There is boo-coo's of lacing left on the glass after drinking leaving sheets on the glass.

Aroma: I get a whole bunch of citrus in the nose with lemons and grapefruit in particular. Deep within it, there is a bit of caramel malt, but the hops are in charge of the aroma through the massive head.

Taste: The flavor has a big introduction of hops with all of the citrus that I got in the nose, but there is a big malt presence to this beer also to give the hops some resistance. There is big malt here, but even bigger hops. The malt never takes control of the flavor profile, but only compliments the hops. It is interesting about this beer in that there is a big floral hop contribution that is apparent late in the finish to go with the citrus hops and the alcoholic warming. The finish of this beer is never aggressively bitter, but there is still a boat load of hops in this one. I like the fact that they actually let it finish hoppy, yet not really hugely bitter and dry with a chalky feeling on the back of the throat. As the beer warms a bit, the malt comes out a bit more and leaves you with a mildly syrupy impression on the back of the throat to enjoy late in the finish.

Opinion: I am not a hophead, but I am really impressed with this beer. Yea, it has the essential huge hop character, but it still remains drinkable. I don't really know what else to say. This is a pretty fricking good beer, and I would certainly drink it again. Nuff said!

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

Picked this bottle up in Spokane.

Pours a bright golden orange color, with a rocky two finger head, that settles very slowly to a thick, quarter inch head, leaving behind a very thick sheet of lace.

Smell; lots of pine and citric hops, as you would expect, with a soid backbone of caramel malts. There's also a bit of a herbal/grassy aroma. The more i smell this the better it gets.

Taste; as expected the hops are the main part of the flavor profile, with a bit of pine, grapefruit, oranges and those grassy notes. The caramel malts have enough of a presence to offset the hop bitterness a little, with a touch of a biscuits. mouthfeel is medium bodied, and very smooth, with just a great drinkability.

I can't believe I ddn't pick up more of this beer. This has to be my favorite IPA that I've had so far.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear golden amber with a giant foamy head. The lacing is great and this has a ton of carbonation. The smell is all citrus hop aromas that are very nice. A nice American IPA that doesn't go crazy with hops. don't get me wrong,this is hoppy,but it's not overly bitter. The citrus flavor and aromas dominate this beer. The taste is very crisp with light bitterness and a very drinkable citrus flavor,grapefruit? This is a truely great beer that should not be missed. A 7% beer that could be a session beer. Cheers.

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Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

A: Medium amber in color. Pours a 2" head that is fluffy and pillowy. Lots of lacing as I proceed.

S: Pine tar, hop oil, citrus/grapefruit, massively hoppy scents. In fact, the layers of hop scents are all I can smell. Enough to wake a guy up in the morning, but I would have liked some indication of the presence of any malt at all. After tasting it, the aroma does not reflect the balance of the beer.

T: Citric acid, pine sap and oily hop bitterness smacks the palate, making this one take off with a bang. Slight malt sweetness toward the end, mitigating the hops and the late alcohol burn. Excessive in the best way possible; something in the water out in Cali?

M: Really good presence, feels lighter than some of the other high-hopped IPAs I've tried. Keeps the refreshing qualities of a regular Pale Ale.

D: Definitely a hop-bomb, but I love that. The malt sweetness disappeared as I drank, but that's just a function of palate destruction. I really, really liked downing this bomber. Tomorrow after work, I will really enjoy downing another.

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Photo of Cresant
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this undated 22 oz. brown bomber into a Stone IPA glass. It took three pours to empty this bottle due to the enormous head created each time, four fingers or more. Head was frothy and bright white. Eventually head faded to a cap leaving clumpy fingers of lace. Body was clear golden, light copper until the last pour when the yeast particles clouded the drink.

Smelled great. Floral, grapefruit. Herbal. Mild alcohol presence. Rich aroma with staying power, nice.

Tasted refreshingly bitter. Very juicy citrus. Rinds and pith. Slightly minty. Dry lingering finish. The last third of the beer was perhaps richer and yeastier/more bready than the earlier pours. Quintessential West Coast IPA.

Mouthfeel was zesty, medium bodied.

Easy drinking. No problems with the bomber. I will seek this out again.

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Photo of TechMyst
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

CONTAINER TYPE: Bottle (Conditioned)
FRESH: 2785G Consumed 9-22-06
PURCHASED @: Binny’s
COST: $4.49
HEAD: foamy active 2 finger; slighly yellow; mostly diminishing
LACE: even the head laced on this bad boy; small foamy bubbles on a bed of large ones; streaking lace
TRANSMITTED- Translucent amber
AROMA: floral hops
MOUTHFEEL: medium; very fizzy
PALATE: resiny; after I poured the sediment into the glass it became oily
START- lightly sweet
MIDDLE- moderate bitterness
FINISH- heavy bitterness; not a harsh aftertaste; smoother than HopDevil not as smooth as 2xHearted

COMMENTS: Decent balancing for 69 IBU’s; TONS of huge floaties from the sediment. Very good IPA

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Photo of cerveza5150
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

AP: Pours amber in color, with a decent head. Lots of carbonation.

S: Good piny/citrusy hop smell with a little sweetness from the malt.

T: Sharp pungent hops give way to a little caramel from the malt. The finishing hops kick it into overdrive at the end, but don't overwhelm the ale.

M: A little too much carbonation. The hops lingered on the palette and the beer ended up finishing dry and clean.

D: I could easily see myself downing a few pints at the local pub with this one. Bear Republic has never let me down and this IPA doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - deep amber color, lots of suspended sediment, big off-white head with good retention and great lacing

s - big citrusy hop aroma, slight sweetness as well, good body of biscuity malt

t - sweetness up front with the hops hitting soon thereafter, body is a slightly grainy maltiness, finish is long and bitter

m - moderate carbonation, medium-bodied, somewhat dry finish

d - extremely drinkable, could drink this brew all night, but somewhat limited by heavy hops

Been wanting to try some of Bear Republic's offerings for awhile, and my trip to San Francisco has finally enabled me to do so. Racer 5 did not disappoint. An excellent IPA that I'll definitely enjoy a few more times before I leave the Bay Area.

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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 tattooedtolley
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orangish/golden in color, foamy head leaving nice eyecandy lacing.

Smell: Citrusy and piney hops, lovely hop aroma.

Taste: Love the hops here, nice cross between the two hop flavors. Plenty of bitterness. This one is really just for us hopheads.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body, crisp carbonation.

Drinkability: For those of us who love hops this thing is going to go down easy and fast. Buy a few of them.

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Photo of mmcave
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden amber, with high lights around the edges. Pure white head that is decent, looks as though it might stay a while. Smell is floral, mild bitter hops presence, some citrus, maybe even hints of pine apple and mango. Taste is well balanced, bitter hops and mild spices shine through the fruit favors nicely finishes with a hint of bitterness right before the fruit. A little sticky, but just the right amount. This is a swell beer, I was a little thrown buy the packaging's unappetizing colors scheme, but once I tasted the beer I could careless. This is a super IPA, one of the better California beers I've had. I will definitely be drinking this in the future..

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Photo of Enola
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This IPA is super hoppy. The beer is a fairly dark orangish color. There was a thick off white head. The smell is hops all the way. The taste is very hoppy. This is about the hoppiest beer I have had. It is right there with Masala Mama and Asheville Brewings Red Light and Shiva. There is a lasting bitterness that leaves a nice aftertaste. The beer is very smooth and there is no indication of the 7% abv. Drinkable indeed.

Served a just under room temp. Many thanks to Dertbert for the bomber.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a peach color with a foamy sticky lasting white head. Thick sticky lace covers the glass.
The aroma of hops filled the room as I popped the cap off of the bottle. Do I really need to say more?
Hops assault the palate and never let up. Citrus and piney. I'll still be tasting this beer tomorrow. Also a hint of peach laying in the background to stand this beer apart from other hop-heavy IPAs'.
Mouthfeel is good. The hops have a sticky feel and make the tongue tingle.
I gave this a 5 for drinkability cause I simply can't get enough of it.
Highly recommended and worth seeking out.
Thank You!!! Dertbert

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Photo of Callenak
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A staple in my fridge, about time I review it.

A - Pours a golden caramel with a consistent white head.

S - A hop tribute. Citric hops, with a little piney to it too.

T - Perfect. Lot's of west coast hopiness with out a lot of body and maltiness to it. This is what an American IPA should be.

M - Light bodied, good carbonation.

D - As I said before, this is a staple to me. If some how I could only be stuck drinking one beer fort he rest of my life (perish the thought) this would be it. I love Racer 5. I had a solid appreciation for beer for many years, but this is the beer that turned me into a geek. Thank you Bear Republic.

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

Back-to-back with the hop rod rye. The hop flavour in this one is over-the-top! You've gotta be a hop head to enjoy this!

A: Golden-bronze with a fluffy white head; only a little retention, but it leaves a nice lace.

S: Plenty of citrus & pine with a touch of floral hop aroma; a little toffee & candied fruit.

T: Plenty of pine & citrus hop flavour (the Columbus & Cascade provide a well-round hop flavour). Toffee & candy-floss/candied fruit; balanced with an assertive (but pleasant) bitterness. There's a slightly warm dryness to the finish, but the alcohol is really well hidden.

M: Slightly heavier than moderate body is pleasantly creamy & slightly acidic. Moderate carbonation.

D: Great drinkability (for the hop initiated).

Truly an all-round GREAT beer!

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Photo of timtheenchanta
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy copper liquid with a large rocky head. Huge chunks of lacing on the glass. Large spots on top of the liquid as well. Gorgeous.

Huge citrusy nose with a hint of piney hops and some sweet malty sugary notes.

Fabulously smooth beer. Bit sweet grapefruit hoppiness balanced by a smooth malt bill. This is a truly wonderful beer. Absolutely delcious.

Thanks to jj21 for this fine beer.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a thick, rocky head that leaves great lacing

Smell: Cascade grapefruit and a bit of crystal malt caramel, underneath

Taste: Lays down a malty backbone that is quickly joined by bitter and citrusy tones; a touch of residual sweetness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body, slightly sticky, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An all around fine IPA; not out there like some more recent IPA concoctions but excellent, nonetheless

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Photo of cbl2
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/30/2004 $4.99 22 oz. 7.00% No best by date.


Pours a lovely light copper with about an inch of white head. Plenty of carbonation adds to the beauty of this ale.


Plenty of hops in this one, as it should be. This creates some citrus overtones, though the predominating aroma is that of fresh cut pine trees.


A nice piney resin flavor hits the taste buds first, followed by a softening citrus sweetness. A nice dry woodsy finish wraps it all up. A good offering in the IPA department, though not the best I've ever sampled.

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

A- poured a little to hard and got a 2 1/2" close to white head. A clear orange copper color and looks high in carbonation. Head stays for long time and goes into a very nice big lacing.
S- Just loads of citrus hops. Not much malt just hops dominate the smell.
T- What can I say about this besides loads of hops. I'm loving it. Then you get a very nice bitter aftertaste while having the bitter taste in mouth already. I think I could pick up some floral hops also.
M- Full body, Light/medium carbonation
D- Great beer. It is one of my favorite IPA's. Really wish I could get it here.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy copper color with a medium sized off white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma was piney, and full of orange and grapefruit citrus. A very nice aroma. Taste was dominated by grapefruit hops taste. Seemed very abrasive with the hops and alcohol and a little more malt would have made this world class.

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Photo of rayjay
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle.

Pours a huge head, off-white and real foamy, probably 3 fingers. Excellent head retention. (In fact, when I finished my beer, there was still a huge head at the bottom....In fact, there was still a head in the morning!!!) Pretty orange color and see-through.

Side note...I've been drinking this beer for years, and every bottle I've poured has has an INSANE amount of sediment, I mean chunky as hell, even more than Chimay White... THIS bottle, however, had a small amount of very fine sediment. Did they change their techniques or did I buy a freak bottle?

Smells of perfume. Pungent, fruity, piney, and citrusy hops all rolled into one.

Taste: bitter, but oh-so-round around the edges. Loads of fruit: ruby red grapefruit, tangelos, mangoes, lychee, fruit cocktail with corn syrup. Malts, including carmels, are simply along for the ride. Gives me the slightest headache from the perfumey hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth. Not overly sweet or heavy. Drinkability is very good. No problems here.

Widely available around here. I often overlook it. This one, and the Hop Rod Rye, should not be missed. Cheers.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,603 ratings.
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