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 minnunderground
2.96/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


clear amber color very light tan soapy head with some retention clinging, smells like pine and grass clippings, really a odd smell not like other ipas I have had. Seriously the smell reminds me of something more earthy. taste is a huge dissapointment. Malty with some pine hops at the end to back it up but very weak. Easy to drink since the flavor is weak. Not going to lie, my least favorite IPA I have had.

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Photo of joeworrall
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

tonight I am comparing this beer vs. Lagunitas Hop Stoopid vs. Great Divide Hercules in my search for the perfect IPA.

poured from a bottle into a lager glass, it's honey colored with a nice head. Very un-hopped aroma compared to the other two beers, but the flavor is very balanced: it has a subtle hop flavor with just the right amount of malt. Very easy to drink, in fact, you need to be careful not to drink too quickly because this is not a low alcohol beverage.

of the 3 beers I'm tasting tonght, this is the most balanced, but least IPA-like: the hop flavor is so subtle.

I'll keep searching for the perfect IPA, but I will definitely be drinking Racer 5 again!

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Photo of dhchatfield
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into my Duvel tulip on Halloween night.

A - A beautiful light golden copper. Loads of fluffy head. Nice gentle lacing.

S - Sweet hops. Not too bitter to the nose. I am more of a DIPA guy, so this one seems subdued.

T - Fabulous. Hoppy for sure, but again with a balanced bitterness, strongly offset with a very sweet finish.

M - Fluffy on the tongue, very full across the mouth. Fills the palate with a creamy, sweet lasting impression.

D - The highpoint of this beer. I've had this one at least 5 times before, and tonight I honestly can't remember how many times I said to myself "Man! This is a good beer!"

The fact that this beer is readily available makes it even more appealing to me. If you can't find it, trade for it, call Liquid Solutions, do whatever you can to try it. A truly great offering!

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

Pours a very clear, golden orange color. A sticky, ivory colored head tops this brew. All the carbonation bubbles look like they're having a party. A great and inviting appearance. Aromas of strong, delicious hops. Pine. Hop oils. Citrus. The taste is sweet with intense hops. Intense in an awesome way. The head was thick and creamy and laced amazingly through the 22oz. Great balanced between the hops and sweet malt. A good bitterness lingers. I very muched enjoyed this brew. Will look to pick up another.

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Photo of dmbfrat420beers
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - 22 oz. bomber with racing flag background and golden bear. Nice logo. Hales itself as "an aggressive styled India Pale Ale." Grammar police would tell them that it is aggressively, as it is being used as an adverb.

Appearance: poars a thick white, slightly tan tight head. Slightly tanslucent, orange/amber hue. Nice, nothing special I guess.

Aroma: Hops

Mouthfeel: fairly light carbonation feel. light/medium body with a kind of interesting, silky? mouthfeel. Different from other stuff I have been drinking lately. Exceptional.

Taste: Definitely strong hop profile. I am finding it a bit hard to discern some of the other flavors. Starts out a bit sweet, then the hops kick in with very good flavor. Definitely some bitterness, but suprisingly in control given the overall hop character of this beer. Bitterness hangs on, very good in my opinion. Slight warming sensation down the throat from the alcohol. Felt like there was a little bit of fruit in there, want to say orange, but not really sure.

In conclusion, I don't quite have the expertise to say why this beer was particularly good, but stands out a bit from some of the other IPA's I have had. More balanced than many, has the taste I expect from a California IPA, but not quite as good, IMHO, as DFH 60-minute and some other premiere IPA's. Nonetheless, very drinkable, but then again, American IPA is my favorite style.

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Photo of etenbus
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a huge white head and lots of lacing.

Aroma is a hops bomb. Lots of pine, grapefruit, peach, pineapple, etc. I said this may be the hoppiest beer I've ever had (I live in Missouri, not on the west coast!)

I thought the taste was rather balanced. There's a smoothness and creaminess in the follow through that counteracts the hop bitterness. Apricots, pears, citrus--they all shine through here.

Mouthfeel is not astringent like some hop bomb IPAs. I like that. It is rounded and balanced.

Bring on Racer 5. Glad they finally started importing it to this Anheuser-Busch controlled state.

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Photo of orangedive
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice appearance. 1.5 inch head, off-white that dissipated slowly. Orangish Gold in color. 75% clear.

S - Strong Apricots & Oranges (lots of citrus). Smells deliciously floral and sweet and somewhat hoppy. Not overwhelmingly hoppy, given it's an IPA.

T - Candy-ish. A little like an orange toostie-roll lollipop. It was a little too sweet to be a solid IPA; however, the aftertaste was slightly bitter.

M - Even. Not thin, not chewy, not thick...just average.

D - Easy drinking for a 7% IPA. Goes down smoothly. I imagine it would be a good beer for pairing with food.

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

Poured from a 22oz btl into 16oz Tumbler & 3oz into Grand Marnier snifter. Unintentional conservative pour leaves a very small head which quickly runs for cover but also leaves behind some nice lacing on the glass. Beautiful burnt auburn color.
The nose on this is pretty nice, A little toffee smell from the malt comes through with a nice enchanted forest pineyness and a slight soapy smell.

Nice caramel malt upfront, Then a fantastic grapefruity hop rush, Which then shifts into second gear with an even more intense bitterness then finishes off with a mild sweetness. . Mouthfeel & drinkibility is also exceptional due to the great balance.
All in all this is a top notch IPA. A Very nice job from Bear Republic once again.

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Photo of Vaison
2.97/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic tumbler.

A smooth golden color with a nice fluffy white 2 finger head. The smell was overwhelming with hops and I was unable to detect anything else. My wife commented from across the table that my beer smelled like flowers. The taste was just like the smell, an overkill of hops and and bitter citrus bite on the back end. Carbonation was average and it went down okay. It was an okay drink but not something I would purchase again.

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

Pours a filtered golden, and has a smooth white head with good lacing. Smell is very hoppy, with a slight yeast note. Taste is amazing, very smooth for 7%. Not super sour, but with a good kick. Has a fruityness that is quite light. This is a solid beer!

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Photo of StoryOfTheGhost
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden orange, a bit hazey with a decent white head, and leaves plenty of lacing

S- pine, citrus, bubble gummy

T- Grape-fruit, bubble gum, pine, very hoppy and fresh tasting, with a nice malty balance

M- Medium body, high carbonation, can feel the hop oils. Only complaint is that taste does not stay with you for long

O- I really appreciate how readily available this beer is, and how little it costs for the quality. The only thing that I would change is that I would have it have a bit more body, and be a bit chewyier, but overall, and excellent beer.

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Photo of CA_brewster
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


Poured a slightly hazy golden, copper color with a small white head. Very thin lacing. Unfiltered with quite a bit of sediment in the bottle. Hoppy aroma that tickles the nose and smells delicious. Citrusy, mostly grapefruit. A little resiny and has a slight malt sweetness to the smell as well. Smells nice, no doubt. On to taste, this is a real hop bomb IPA. A strong malt backbone fueling the 7% abv but the hops really dominate this brew. Bitter, but once the palate adjusts there is a bouquet of hoppy flavor packed into this beer. Fruity, grapefruity and some pine. A delicious IPA! but a definite hop head's brew. Light carbonation, bitter but very smooth, some resin in the aftertaste. Bottom line, I love this beer. As far as I'm concerned, It's a damn masterpiece!

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Photo of calise1122
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Been my one of my favorites for years, but just got around to really sitting down with a pint, a pen and a pad. Poured a bomber into a pint glass while rewatching the Obama speech... man, he can certainly talk to a crowd!

A: Hazy and cloudy blonde with a rich white rocky head that seems to grow peaks and valleys by the second. Lines and tracings of lacing hang onto the glass the whole way down.

S: Hops on the nose, nice fresh citric hops that scream of grapefruit and lemon, with some caramel notes binding it together. Really nice, it is what I think a West Coast IPA should smell like (most likely because this is the beer that brought me to the dance)

T: It's a picture. It's a picture that is painted on a canvas of hops. It's a picture that is painted with flavors of caramel, biscuit, grapefruit, raisins, and prunes. It's a picture that you don't walk past... you stop, appreciate and most likely buy. It's a nice picture, it's a great beer.

M: It's sticky and smooth... it's clean and leaves you wanting to take another sip. Just a well constructed body

D: As I mentioned, this has been a bridge for me in the beer world. I was lucky enough to have my first pint of Racer 5 at the Moan & Dove in 2004... It, along with stone and DFH, carried my journey into the wonderful world of IPA's... so yes, this review may stink of sweaty sentiment... but there is no denying the quality of this beer. A fantastic west coast IPA!!!

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

A: pours a copper/orange color with a small amount of white head. Leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass.

S: A lot of hops. get tones of citrus and fruit. very sweet.

T: Matches the smell perfectly. Really sweet, hoppy fruit flavor.Not too bit with but very flavorful.

M: very sweet and finishes dry.

D: Really enjoyed this beer. Passed this beer up one time before and really glad i went with this at dinner tonight. Will definitely be getting this again very soon.

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

a. nice amber color body with good head retention and some lacing.

s. smell packs a nice punch. very floral and sweet. fruity with a bit of the hoppy bitterness too.

t. very nice hoppy complexion with surrounding citrusy, fruity, and piny flavors.

m. mouthfeel is nice with hoppy notes balancing with the light body feel.

d. overall really really tasty ipa. bear republic knows what to do when it comes to hoppy brews. check out hop rod rye if your a fan of this, that beer is incredible. but, that this is a review for racer 5, this beer is quite incredible as well. there's a reason for the hype.

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Photo of D11
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from bottle into tulip

A- pours a very cloudy, light copper color with really no head at all. the thin head that shows up dissipates quickly.

S- HOPS. smelled excellent.

T- all hops. the hops were not sweet/floral but instead nice and thick.

M- really enjoyed the mouthfeel. carbonation is nice and crispness is not overdone. feels good going through the teeth.

O- ok first.. wow. this beer is really nice. i always passed by it when choosing at the store. i think the reason i didnt pay attention to it was the packaging, heh. i heard it mentioned by another BA in a thread and thought i might try it. This is definately one to atleast try. its not complex but not in a bad way, just really good Hops.

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Photo of sderenne
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Kegged 5/08/15 Tapped 5/23/15 Wow the aroma is amazing. Flavor is a buttery,citrusy , hoppy treat for your mouth. I had a 5 gallon keg of this last fall and it was good. This keg is exceptional. Bear republic is creating some amazing beers that may rival or beat their neighbors to the south Russian River.

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Photo of brewbattles
3.19/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

We did a blind taste test between this beer and 4 others to determine which was a better IPA. The beers that were competing were: Stone IPA, Big Sky IPA, Bear Republic Racer 5, Lagunitas IPA, and Full Sail IPA. Here is the video:


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

22 oz. chilled bomber pours cloudy into a 14 oz tulip (shout out to KD Lang) glass. Medium creamy head & a lot of large and small particulate matter, which adds to the glowing amber hue. Not clear at all.

Nose is clean with hops, pine and citrus - maybe cube farm air dulls the olfactories? Hoppy bitter flavor gives sensation of "taking a bite out of a good IPA". Sugary apple delights gustatories and big grapefruit lingers. Straight forward hopped up yummy. Substantially chewy and slick, light chalk on the backside. Makes me hungry.

Outstanding and delicious – I’m in IPA Heaven!

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

Currently on tap in my dining room.

A brief sniff of this elixir is like plunging your head into a box of oranges and lemons. There is the faint odor of a few grapefruits down at the bottom. When you pull your head back you can sense the delicate odors of fresh cut wildflowers. The warm amber liquid, accented by a slight haze, is asking, no, screaming for you to take a taste. As the tender bubbles of carbonation play across your palate you are again reminded of fresh citrus fruits. Then a warmth passes across your tongue, like being curled up in a velvet blanket. This is followed by a tangy, pungent finish that completes the experience and invites you into the next. There will be no speed racing through this pint.

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Photo of ocmpoma
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep orange-gold into my pilsner glass. Settled down with a couple of millimeters of foam which faded out. The beer leaves some great lacing.

The nose is strong. Extremely complex, with lots of citrus and tang and hops, and even some mustiness, all mixing together -- it's a great aroma, one of the best I've experienced in an IPA. And the taste delivers what is promised by the nose: a very rich, very complex and lasting flavor. The bitterness is not only balanced, but enhanced by the complexity of the flavors. There's lemon and candied orange and I get some mint and spices... it's a wonderfully rich taste that's hard to describe fully -- knocks me out with each swig.

The mouthfeel is just a bit thin for such a great, complex beer, but it's so delicious I could drink a sixer if I wasn't careful. An absolutely outstanding beer, one of my favorites.

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Photo of Estocker
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my SN 30th tulip.

... OH NO! It says it was bottled only three weeks ago, but there is almost NO carbonation. It seems I will have to review this one from memory. Good thing I have it fairly often.

Smell: This is one of the best examples of how a hoppy west coast IPA smells. Huge citrus presence makes the pine take a backseat. Although the smell isn't particularly incredible, it is exactly what I am looking for as far as IPAs go.

Taste: No surprise here, tastes like it smells. Big grapefruit taste, some wet pinecones. West Coast IPA to the T.

This is made exactly like a west coast IPA should be, but unfortunately it just doesn't quite compete with the big dogs. Although, for the price, and style-wise, I haven't found anything that matches it.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

75+ IBU's

Appearance: Hazy golden amber color with a very nice, chunky two finger head, which settles down quickly. Thick and chunky lacing. Mediocre visible carbonation. Bottle conditioned, although no visible sediment.

Smell: Very nice citrus/floral aromas on the nose. Nice hop/malt balance. Smells a little like buttered bread in the background. A little on the sweet side.

Taste: Wow! This beer is amazingly balanced. The bitterness is there, but it's not overwhelming. Toasted biscuit notes take up the rear while grapefruit, pine, spice, and other citrus notes take the lead. On the sweeter side as IPAs range. The finish is comprised of lemon notes accompanied by butter. I think this would pair very well with baked haddock sprinkled with buttered bread crumbs and lemon juice.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with average carbonation. Not dry, and not oily. It's right in the middle where a beer belongs.

Ending notes: This is one of my favorite IPAs. It's on the complex side, and it's very sessionable. I will definitely be getting this one again.

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Photo of GNWBC
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the few IPA's i will actually drink,

P: pours a hazy gold with a nice 1.5 fingers of head

S: pine hops, sweet citrus, and a light hit of malt.

T: pine hops, sweet carmel, some bitter orange rind. very tastey.

M: goes down very smooth, but leaves hop resin on the roof of ur mouth.

O: one of a few IPA's i actually enjoy.

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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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