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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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,294 | Ratings: 7,530
Photo of Tupperwolf
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark apple juice amber color into my nonic glass - very clear, with lots of tiny rising bubbles. So neat to just sit and watch bubbles appear out of nowhere and rise in rapid streams. Rocky eggshell white head isn't going anywhere with so many little bubbles feeding it! Super appealing looking IPA! Fat, heavy, complete lacing. So much damn lacing as I drink it down - a total wall of white! I had to come back and bump up the appearance to a 4.5 after getting near the bottom - the lacing totally does it for me. Super thick and sticky and enticing!

Big whiffs of grapefruit, orange peel, and pine in the nose - a nose-puckering sour hoppiness. Rather intriguing, a little different from other IPAs in scent, but in a roundabout way I can't describe.

The taste, on the other hand, isn't as aggressive and hard-hitting as the other Californian IPAs I've come to love; It lacks that kung-fu hop bite, and shows its hoppy nature in a sort of reluctant way. Don't get me wrong, it's tasty! Rather smooth for an IPA; Maybe I've been drinking too many Double IPAs? That must be it. The flavor is scored accordingly. The taste has a sweet, grapefruit-pine slickness that doesn't assault the taste buds, but croons them a gentle hop lullaby on top of so-tasty malt sweetnesses.

Mouthfeel is average, just a little above. For so much head and bubbliness, the carbonation is a little off, a little thin. What's left behind after swallowing is nice; A thin, reedy aftertaste. I'd hoped for a heartier IPA body.

I'm waffling a bit on the drinkability; It's good, for sure, but not outstanding. This is a tasty, quaffable beverage, so it's definitely worth a try! Good on Bear Republic!

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Photo of jaluria
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

An very good beer with loads of flavor and a hop profile that can delight the taste buds.

Appears a soft orange-red in color with an off-white colored head that is thick and intense and seems to just sit there for quite awhile. Nice lacing is left behind on my pint glass. Aromas of pine, oranges, carrots, and hops seem to come out nicely. The taste is quite hoppy with a bitterness that is present in every sip. A fair amount of malty sweetness is also present, adding texture and variety to each sip. I felt this beer was too carbonated and hence it was too slick and creamy in my mouth. The drinkability is high as the flavors are enticing and enjoyable.

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Photo of smcolw
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy light amber color; nice eggshell head (one finger thick) leaving a ring of lace with each sip.

Nice fresh floral hop aromas. I note this smell each time I pick up the glass for a sip.

IPA's are inherently unbalanced brews. So I get excited when I get the hop wallop along with a strong round flavor of malt. This beer pulls that off. Excellent body with a slightly high carbonation. The aftertaste is bitter, but floral, hop that lasts a very long time.

This probably makes my top three IPA's ever tried (with Stone IPA and Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale). I would love to do a blind tasting of these three. I could drink this all day.

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Photo of Goldorak
3.71/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Peachy golden, with a faint but fluffy head. It sported a massive amount of chunks, pretty odd for this style. I don't think the bottle was very old, I got it only a few months ago.

Smell: Fresh hop aromas that burst of strawberries then the alcohol creeps in slowly to release notes of pine trees.

Taste: Relatively mellow carbonation, the malt tastes like cookies with a bit of cooked vegetables. The hops show up nice and easy, and slowly grow momentum, without ever going into excess. Almost no alcohol to be found in the taste, somewhat ashy finish, perhaps from the yeast shot. Not my favorite Bear Republic, but a nice sessionable IPA.

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Photo of Prufrock
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

bright golden orange with a touch of dust and a foamy inch of white head that leaves perfect lacing

smell is a great mix of hop aromas: candied grapefruit, peaches, citrus zest, pine and herbs.

pleasantly balanced in the taste. sweet, carbonated mouthfeel with a nice piney hop aftertaste. everything in the aroma comes through in the flavor, which is not overwhelmingly bitter but has a strong, complex hop component. nice juicy feel with a prominent grapefruit rind flavor. very drinkable.

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Photo of Matthew
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out of the bottle a nice golden yellow color with a gianormous white flluffy head and remains throughout drinking the whole beer. Great head retention with nice lacing.
Big hop smell, very piney type aroma with a nice biscuity malt character.
Piney hops are the most prevalent flavor with a nice lemony type taste and a nice balanced malt.
This is a very drinkable ipa and goes down very easy. A great tasting ipa.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a medium golden color with massive white puffy, chunky head.Slowly settled to a thin coating that lasted throughout the glass. Amazing lacing on the side of the glass. Lovely glass of beer. Smell is strong on pine hops mixed with some citrus-like notes. Taste is initially very strong on hops with a nice btterness, bit some malt flavors begin to show through to give an excellent balance. Each taste brings the pleasant aroma, to be finished off with the great taste. Finish is more dry than malty,but the combination is fantastic. Very drinkable. I will have to visit this one again (and again).

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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 Golden2wenty1
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber at Steve's on University Ave here in Madison. At $3.49 for a bomber, Bear Republic is always an amazing deal.

Pours a murky amber with a finger of khaki head in my weizen glass. Nose is bitter herbal hops with some sweet caramel malt. Taste is pretty well hopped, a little on the bitter side, with some balancing caramel malts and a bit of brown alr nuttiness. Mouthfeel was a little on the thin side, but crisp. Overall a pretty drinkable IPA, not outstanding but worth the $3.49/bomber.

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Photo of germaniac
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden hue, shot thru with red highlights. If clear copper could be defined any better, I don't know the beer to do it. Massive billowing head that sticks to every glass surface it can find. Pure hops in the nose, oily and citrus-like. Hops are upclose and personal in the taste, but a perfect level of malt sweetness manages to rein in the bitterness. Mouthfeel could have benefitted from the brewers using water with a higher mineral content, I think. It might have complimented the hops just a little more, but that's a minor hit on an awesome West Coast IPA.

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Photo of troutmask96
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This may be the Holy Grail of mainstream IPA's. Pours a deep amber with thick, very foamy head that lasts forever. Smell is of pine, citrus, caramel, and alcohol. Taste is forever smooth, with a nice, sweet finish and a nice bit of bitterness. A very drinkable IPA. Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye has long been one of my favorites, but Racer 5 outpaces it...

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Photo of EStreet20
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this once before. Finally picked one up for review.

22 ounce bomber bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - After mishandling the bottle the beer foamed up like crazy on the pour. Nonetheless it has a nice look. A translucent golden yellow with a tiny orange tint. Nice sized head (too big from handling/pour) that def has a ton of staying power and laces the glass nicely. The lace actually looks like lattice on the side of the glass. Head cakes up a little in middle of glass.

S - A nice hop rush here. Mainly floral hops with a little bit of a malty sweetness lending some balance. Nopt quite as in your face as many IPAs I;ve enjoyed before, as I've been on a bit hop bomb kick lately.

T - A nice hoppy bitterness on the sip. A tiny bit of that sweetness again with a tiny spicy kick. Some alcohol warming is present.

M - With the smooth feel and warming this one is right on in the mouth.

D - Pretty good, not my favorite IPA but definitely one to enjoy, especially if you want an IPA with a little sweetness every now and then. This'll keep you coming back for more sips.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber serving, been saving this one for a while. Glad that tonight is finally the night to break it out.

Beautiful pour! Golden/amber body with a slight haze to it. Huge frothy sticky white head that lasts and lasts. Curtains of lace, really impressive. To me, this is, in terms of appearance, a perfect IPA.

Nice hop nose, sharp and invigorating.

Taste is very nice indeed. Spicy and tasty hops are the flavor leaders, balanced with a proportional malt base. This is a very interesting IPA with a variety of fruity, piney and tart citrus flavors to consider. There is also a curious spiciness that kind of reminds me of SNCA. An instant classic in my book. I'm giving it top marks.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy with lots of great carbonation.

Drinkability is very high. Could be a great session beer. Just a little too costly and somewhat hard to find around here. I will grab this one again.

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Photo of jonnylieberman
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out of the ubiquitous bomber into the more ubiquituos pint glass. A monster head that sticks around forever and a golden/pale copper color all please the eyes. Not cloudy, but not bright either. Knowing what I know, i would say their are some volitile hop oils clouding up the joint.

Smells like: Oh man... I've been drinking nothing but German beers for a week (studying for BJCP) and holy shit is this refreshing. Why, I smell pine and citrus and yummy west coast flavors. This beer smells fantastic. West Coast IPAs rule.

Taste: Glorisu Cascade, I have forsaken you.Love it. Fantastic bitterness, no doubt from Centenial and maybe some Chinook. You know how the Bros say that "all 5's should be rare?" Well the taste of Racer 5 is a straight up 5. I cannot imagine a better tasting IPA. Just perfect.Good malt sweetness stands up well to the hop monster. Sharp and then sweet and then bitter. Wow.

Mouthfeel: A bit watrery due to soft water and American 2-row. Still, the swallow is superb.

Overall: I am kicking myself right now because I have been so into Hop Rod that I have ignored Racer 5 for years. Far too long at any rate. Wow. I'm going to be drinking MUCH Racer 5 in the months and years ahead.


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

This IPA has a nice golden brown color with a large white head that provides plenty of lacing.
The aroma is of citrusy hops.
The flavor is just as it smells. Hops and citrus. There is a grapefruit presence and a nice bitter finish. The malt is subtle, yet it does surface throughout the sip.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and semi oily.
This is good stuff, just wish it came in 12oz bottles instead.

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Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of my friend Joe B.

Poured a rich gold color. Thick off white head of fine bubbles. Nice lacing that sticks around.

When I first smelled it I got the distinct scent of honey. This gave way to a citrus laden cascade hop aroma. Almost like sweet pink grapefruit.

The taste had a sweet malt undertone, but followed by a big grapefruit rind bitter punch. Piney hop resins with a hot alcohol finish on the exhale. Again, I could not shake the clover honey flavors as well.

Mouth feel is medium bodied. Some sharp carbonation.

Drinkability is good. At 7%. Pretty big for a regular IPA. This however would not stop me from finishing my bomber. An excellent IPA. Would love to be able to get this on a regular basis.

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

This is "just" and IPA??!?!?! All indications lead towards a DIPA. Tons of yeast carbonation, cloudy body and circumference lacing. Pungent orange and citrus flavors, and a nice alcohol kick (DIPA again). Nice and hoppy, slight bitterness towards the end. Chamomile and spice accent its warming alcohol.

Not at all what I was expecting. On the east coast we hear so much about his hop bomb or that "extreme" beer. IMO, this is the one beer that qualifies as both. Great beer.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Double deucer bottle fills a glass with a first pour as crystal clear amber hues, carbonationless, topped with a sticky khaki tightly packed head cap, leaving impressive lattice lace in the glass. The last pour was loaded with scrod chunckers floatin' around.

Initial scents of a bold floral bouquet. Huge scents of cotton candy sweetness, ambrosia marshmellow and jello aromas.

First swigs: Citrus orange pel and Pez candy tart. A sizzle of thick piney hops. Dry lingering finish with a dusty citrus sizzle. Robust floral nose compliments the bright hop characteristics. This is darn near a double IPA, really.

Feel is full bodied for an IPA. Thickness stems from the hop content loaded to the max.

Last swigs:
This tastes fresh! No freshness date. What a cheap treat! $3.99 a 22 oz'er.

Beer is good. Happy big hops IPA beering.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, copper color with a finger and a half of head that sticks around fairly nicely. Nose is nice and hoppy, with good sweet citrusy and some sharper piney notes. It is balances by a modest caramel backbone. Flavor is dominated bot the hops initially. More sharpness in the pine flavor than sweetness from the citrusyness. The sweet caramel backbone comes through more after the swallow, followed by a moderate hoppy bitter that grabs and hangs on, drawing me back for more. Tasty beer. Feel is moderate to thick with a moderate carbonation. Nice and chewy. Just looked at the ABV. 7% is nowhere to be found. Burps are much stronger in the caramel than hoppyness. This bomber is going to find its way to empty very fast. Enjoyable.

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Photo of 1whiskey
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass. Stunning honey-orange color that almost glows. Huge fluffy white head that leave chunks of clinging lace on the side of the glass. Now that's a pretty beer!

Marvelous nose. Very clean, sweet aroma. Extremely floral, perhaps rivaled only by NBB's Trippel. Would make a great perfume.

Big hoppy flavor hits your tongue right away. Almost immediatly afterwards, you notice a wonderful honey-sweet malt backdrop balancing everything out. Incredible. More floral esters are noticable as well. Some lingering bitterness remains on the palate, but this finishes pretty dry and clean. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Very soft and light mouthfeel. I would go so far as to call it poetic. This really is incredibly smooth for such a highly hopped brew. Ideal carbonation level.

I've been meaning to try this for a some time, and now I can't believe what I've been missing out on! This is perhaps more floral and less spicy than your traditional west coast IPA, but who cares? This is one outstanding beer. My hat's off to Bear Republic, I was truly blown away.

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Photo of pjwilson
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: i just a got a tulip glass (finally!) so i figgured i'd try out with some racer 5. Wrong glass for style but hey, this one special IPA. looks a dark orange to deep amber color... held to the light it lightens up quite a bit. I would have liked to see the head last longer but it lasts a few minutes. the lacing was pretty good on this one..

Smell: my that's good. you really get a great hop smell on this one. reminds me of pliny the elder. yet this is from a bottle. the hops smells very fresh and quick glance at the website shows that the aroma hops are columbus. mmmm columbus. yes i smell the grapefruit people talk about. also orange..not much trace of the malts...but they aren't missed.

taste: there are the malts. sweet malts that balance right with the hops. the aftertaste washes over you with a mild bitterness. yep this is a balanced beer. there is enough complexity here to keep things interesting. it really feels like the malt and hops are dancing on my tounge....
mouthfeel: just the right mix on this one... watery and chewy at once. i can't of anyway else to say it but yeah....
drinkability: for an ipa this is a sipper....not like say...celebration ale which is a beer that is gone after two sips. no, this an ipa to drink like a beligum and slowy enjoy.
This beer is like a double ipa in character...it's just so well put together. It justifies being only in bombers. (actually in sonoma i saw it in 6 packs but that ruins my point :) i toyed with giving this all 5's since it probably the best ipa i've had...but i guess there is a hair of room for improvment.

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Photo of Terp96
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My old standby for IPAs, this is one of the best. I can only get it in 22 oz. in MD. Pours a hazy orange/yellow color with slight head. Nice bouquet. Orange peels, pine and yeast. Hoppy taste with a nice malt and yeast finish with is a welcome change from a lot of IPAs. A very balanced and drinkable beer. The higher abv doesn't show up in the taste making this one a little too drinkable. Another hit from BR.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Awesome IPA!

Poured a gold color with orange highlights. Thin, fizzy white head, very good nice lacing.

Very strong hop aroma, powerful. Woke me up when I took a whiff.

Awesome malt flavor, very smooth. Hard hitting hop finish, so bitter that it's sweet. Nice cirtus, like grapefruit in there.

That hoppy bitterness sticks to the back of you tongue. I like this one.

This is one of my favorite IPA's. Nice balance, very drinkable.


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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've sampled the Racer X on cask, so I expected this to be a smaller, less hoppy version - and it is - though I expected a bit more hops overall. Pours a golden amber from the bomber, very sweet floral citrusy aroma, hops are noticeable but not overpowering. Flavor is initially sweet, with vanilla and pineapple flowing. Hoppiness is present throughout, though not with a lot of bitterness and actually a butterscotch, malty caramel presence seems to take over in the finish. Very thick and coating and a bit heavy for an IPA. Carbonation is light and reminiscent of a hand-pulled cask pour. The big malt profile balances this quite nicely. As a hophead I still prefer the more hoppy, bitter X. However, as a west coast IPA, this is quite tame in terms of hops, and could be a great crossover IPA.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a very cool 22 oz bomber.

Appearance: Deliciously golden orange, great color. Lot’s of fun junk floating around. Beautiful froth. Looks great!

Smell: Clean citrus hops. Mild scents of inorganic salts, acid, and alcohol. Coarse.

Taste: Mild hops, mildly bitter citrus, oven baked biscuits

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Mildly warming. Not very exciting.

Drinkability: High. Very, very easy to drink only I won’t be drinking much of this one. I can think of at least 5 IPAs that are better and more affordable.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,530 ratings.
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