Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,282 Reviews
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,282
Ratings:
7,466
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
17.42%
 
 
Wants:
339
Gots:
1,280
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,282 | Ratings: 7,466
Photo of Wisconsuds
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, let me say that IPAs are usually not my go-to style. More often than not, I reach for a porter or a stout. That being said, on to the review.

I've had this on tap as well, but will be reviewing from a 12oz bottle pour. Settled nicely into my Milwaukee Brewers pint glass. A dark golden orangish glow filled it immediately, with about an inch or so of white, foamy, crackling head. Glorious.

Fruity notes of pine, lemon, and a blast of fresh hops overload my senses immediately. The freshness literally packs a wallop.

The taste, oh the taste. At first, your tongue gives way to a piney citrus character. It sits for a few sweet seconds, then gives way to a sharp, bitter note in the finish. This beer is remarkable. So much complexity upon first few sips. Drinking this beer is like riding a carousel. Hops, sweetness, slight bitterness; repeat. (For best results, do not drink riding on a carousel)

A medium-body to the beer just makes you want to drink more. The perfect amount of carbonation here. Not overbearing as some IPAs tend to be.

By far my favorite IPA. Could drink these forever and not grow tired of it. Alcohol is VERY well masked at 7%. If you can pick some up, I highly recommend doing so.

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

Tried this beer at Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon in North Olmsted, OH. Was served on tap in a pint glass.

A - Racer 5 is clear and light gold in color. Mine came with a light foamy head that produced decent lacing on the glass. Overall the appearance pleasing, but nothing impressive. It looks like a much lighter beer than it is.
S - The nose on this beer is a little lighter than other comparable IPAs like Bell's Two Hearted. It has a nice piney, citrus hop smell with really no detectable malt.
T - Taste is much the same as the nose. Piney, citrus, hoppy with a little sour finish. The flavor reminds you of grapefruit. Overall the flavor is very clean.
M - The mouthfeel of this beer is light and crisp. The slightly higher alcohol content doesn't seem to give this beer any heaviness and really you get no sense of malt in the mouthfeel. Overall it's actually refreshing.
D - Drinkability is where this beer really shines. The lightness and crispness of this beer, combined with the citrus hop bite that isn't overdone makes this beer enjoyable without being tiring. This would definitely be a good session beer, although the 7% ABV might make it a shorter session.

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Photo of scotvega18
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Pint Glass

A - Poured a slightly hazy golden color with some yeast sediment and a thin off-white head. Standard for a bottle conditioned IPA.

S - Some great, great, sweetness and fruitiness. The classic "Bear Republic spicy flare" is in there, and works incredibly well with the overall citric mango, pineapple, and grapefruit in the beer.

T - Rather than being a "classic west coast IPA" that finishes dry and bitter, this starts out bitter and just builds to a fruity- and sweet flavor. The hops works so well with the malt that it ends up being very difficult to pull individual flavors out.

M - Nothing special, the carbonation helps the yummy nectar go down.

Notes - There are some who would choose to knock this beer for lack of complexity, but the truth is that this beer really is one of the great in the single-ipa department for how well everything is blanced and melds together. That may contribute to a lack of depth, but honestly, how complex do you want thing thing to be? A great example of a bottle conditioned IPA.

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Photo of PatDreadful
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Victory Tulip.

Appearance: A light brown/dark orange hazy body throws up a huge tight head that is sticky as all get out.

Smell: This is firmly a West Coast IPA. Lemon zest, grapefruit and candied orange dominate the nose. This is exactly what I was hoping for! I do detect a bit of the malt but my nose refuses to let go of those beautiful citrus notes.

Taste: Bright! The lemon smacks you across the mouth and opens you up for some wonderful pink grapefruit notes. There are hints of some earthier hops but they are never fully realized. The malt backbone makes a cameo before that oily bitterness creeps up on you. I have never had an IPA where the bitterness actually "creeps". Very nice!

Mouthfeel: The body is light and higly carbed. The result is a nice and refreshing pint.

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Photo of apants007
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

poured form a bottle into a pint glass.

a: clear reddish amber. light head goes away pretty quick.

s: a little orange, some hoppy burn. not much.

t: more of the orange. nice blend of bitterness. tastes nice without leaving too much to think about. kinda like a dirty orange crush.

mf: decent carbonation. thick but not syrupy. again pretty good. not great.

not going to be my beer of choice. not mad at it but not super excited about it either.

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Photo of Mooch273
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/8" head retention, light gold color.

A: citrus, but mostly piney hop aroma.

T: slight honey with hints of an over-ripe orange that adds a sweet citrusy flavor. Bitter pine after-taste.

M: smooth with good bitterness; not much alcohol presence; appropriate carbonation for the style.

D: Great warm weather beer; easy to finish several at a single sitting. Overall, a very enjoyable beer that I would be happy to share with friends.

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Photo of trpng0bily
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich golden honey, approaching orange, with a short white head and moderate lacing. There is ample yeast, tiny specks, suspended in the beer, imparting a regal thickness to the brew. It looks like what I would imagine to be nectar of the gods.

Piny hops, but with a distinctive sweetness that seems to be of the hops, not malt. Also a hint of citrus.

First and foremost bitter, crisp, outdoorsy hops that stick around for a good minute after a swallow. There is a breadiness to this beer, along with a slightly dry finish that goes nicely with the hop bitterness.

For an almost hop monster, this is quite drinkable. It stays crisp, with barely a trace of the syrupiness that bothers me in a lot of hoppy brews.

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Photo of maskednegator
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden. Agressive pour results in puffy head, which slowly deflates, leaving great lacing on the glass.
Smell: Floral, citrus hops. A ton of them.
Taste: Big grapefruit up front fills the sinus, mellow maltiness follows, balanced by a pine-sol hop bitterness in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, slightly acidic
Drinkability: I love IPAs, so this is an all-night beer for me. Others may be put off by the a lingering metallic finish. Some would think it's like sucking on a rusty penny, but I compare it to licking a 9 volt battery.

Verdict: 8/10. You can find this in many bars in San Diego, so I often recommend it to my friends. It's only a $4 bomber (insane for a bottle-conditioned beer). Reserve a little in the bottle, and drink it separately. Yeast is good for you

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Photo of Lakes
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My oh my I love Racer 5.

I have this frequently both from a 22oz bottle at Enoteca and on tap at Capone's.

Both from bottle and on tap it's appearance is exceptional. It's color is a bright vibrant golden orange that seems not content to sit in the glass. It's full frothy head beckons to be sipped.

Racer 5's aroma is room filling. It's a buoyant citrus full of grapefruit, tangerine with mild pine notes at the back.

The taste follows the aroma perfectly, filling the mouth with strong rich American hops. A bold grapefruit/citrus blast with bright spots of pine, orange peel and tangerine. The malt backs up the hops but doesn't take away anything. It's like a framework for the hops to rest on. Just wonderful

Mouthfeel is full and satisfying and it's drinkability has been tested and proven outstanding many MANY times.

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Photo of Briarscratch
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thank you Bonsreeb85 for this incredible IPA.

Cloudy orange, big aggressive head, leaving thick sticky lace all over the place.

Stong grapefruit and piney hop aroma, smells very strong and resiny.

Oh sweet sweet nectar of the beer gods! Its like a hop orgy in my mouth. Beautifully flavorful and balanced. Bitter citrus packing a little after burn from the alcohol but it's good.

Smooth, light, crisp.

Drinkability? YES YES YES. I've now officially got my buzz on! I really wish I had another.

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Photo of alf212
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden yellow. Small but persistent head.

Smells florally with a buncha citrus

Tastes like the nose with a little malt coming in the middle. Bitterness is moderate and leaves a nice aftertaste. It's more citrusy than florally taste wise

Mouthfeels nice n slick nearly chewy. Goes down easy

Overall good IPA. Typical flavors done well

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Photo of centbeerfest
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass at home

A: cloudy with a light caramel/pumpkin color. Short head and compact bubbles

S: hoppy but not overwhekming.

T: crisp with a bit on the heavy side of hops. sour finish with lingering bitterness

M: hearty and will stand on its own

D: Little unbalanced on the hoppy side. Serious beer that won't leave you underwhelmed. As good on the last sip as the first.

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Photo of beerdrinker4life
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got to pick up an extra big 22 oz bottle of this stuff when I was in Rhode Island. Excited to try it after the clerk told me it was big on hop flavor!

For some reason my pour was almost flat. I swirled the bottle and agitated it a bit more then poured. Helped a little.

Nice hop aroma! Super citrus and flower smells like a perfume almost. Very sexy.

Taste was more malt than I expected. Good balance though. Seemed more intimidating in the nose.

Great mouthfeel on first few sips. Best when cold in my opinion.

Overall a good IPA. I think I like the Smutty better.

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Photo of RedBeerchetta
4.89/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap recently and was taken aback at how fresh the hops smelled and tasted. I was at the Dogfish Head brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, MD recently and had their 90 minute IPA that had been put through "Randall the Enamel Animal" (look it up if you don't know of it). I had never tasted a brew with such a fresh hop smell and taste. This glass of Racer 5 was second to that. It was so fresh tasting (pine, herbaceous hop scent) that I had to ask if they had a Randall (the used to, but don't anymore).

Racer 5 has always been one of my favorite IPAs but this keg was outstanding. Hoppy without being very bitter (though that would be ok). A unique and special IPA that would please hopheads and newbies alike.

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Photo of imperialstout27
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pub glass.

A: Nice golden orange with off-white 1 finger head. Hazy with a little bit of very tiny fuzz floating around. Head dissipates in a couple minutes and leaves a decent collar that remains throughout. Medium lacing.

S: Lemony citrus. Also some tangerine. Sweet maltiness lightly appearing under the hops.

T: Hell ya! Very juicy hop flavors with a good malt structure that's not overly malty. The hops are very forward but nicely balanced for the style. The sweetness knows just how to be the canvas without usurping the stage from the very prominent hops. The hop profile of this IPA really works for my palate; it's not super bitter, but it is super flavorful with a nice spicy, resinous characteristic. Alcohol asserts itself as it warms. There's also an enjoyable graininess in the aftertaste, along with the predictable bitterness.

M: Very nice feel that's medium to full for the style. Unlike some IPAs, there's actually some grain in this recipe. Smooth on the palate with an adequate carbonation level.

D: Quite high, although it can get a little sweet and boozy as it warms. But at optimal temperature, I can easily drink the bomber and more.

Overall, a very good IPA that has a good malt backbone without being overly sweet. Delicious hop profile.

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Photo of saztheorybook
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Beautiful golden brown with a thick yellow-cake head that drops off pretty quickly but leaves some pretty nice lacing.
S- Reeks of fresh hops, spicy and herbal with the tiniest fruit character.
T-There is a surprisingly deep malt character, a low hop bitterness but loads of fruit and floral tastes in the hop itself. A nice rounded and subtle yeastiness is there in back as well.
M-Pretty smooth and rich. For the number of streams of bubbles on this beer, there is very little carbonation bite. This is how I dig 'em.
D- Dangerously quaffable. Now I know why people talk about this one so much. I'd probably take a 90 Minute over this, but for the price, yeah, I'll have another twelve.

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Photo of fbinla
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours white head that dissipates very quickly, amazingly clear light amber color. Nice bold hop smell. Strong but controlled bitterness, then easy malt flavors followed by the pine/citrus bitterness that lingers in your mouth with a touch of sweetness. Mouth feel is good, if the bitterness wasn't keeping it under control you could say it's slightly syrupy. Carbonation is perfect.

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Photo of Buggabeer
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow this is a very good IPA! The color is a nice amber with a nice head which quickly diminishes leaving a beatiful lacing around the glass. The smell is awesome not over powered by hops as some others do. The taste is exceptional one of the best IPA's I've had. I wish I had another one however sadly I don't. This beer is truely worth getting.

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

I was fairly new to the craft beer world when I was introduced to Racer 5. That was over 6 years ago and this beer has been a staple in my rotation.
It has a harsh bite at first sip. Nothing subtle about the boldness of its flavor.
The texture gets stickier as the temperature drops. Its very sweet and bitter all at once and leaves a very hoppy after taste.

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Photo of Adam5150
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy gold, with a tint of red, and a medium sized white foamy head. Excellent lacing. Strong floral and citrus hop aroma, well-balanced w/ a smooth malt finish and a bitter aftertaste that goes down smoothly. Medium mouthfeel. Refreshing and very drinkable IPA.

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Golden copper color with off-white head which reduces to nice lacing.

S: Grapefruit initially jumps out of the glass then leads to pine & more sweet citrus hops.

T: Citrus upfront leading to a sweet malt with a little bit of bitterness at the end.

M: Medium-bodied smooth & creamy with a slightly bitter & dry finish.

D: Extremely drinkable & smooth. I was expecting more bitterness for an IPA, but still very good.

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Photo of ddean
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance-
An attractive amber-orange. Not much head, but oddly enough, it tastes more carbonated than it looks, if that makes sense.

Smell-
A nice piney hop note, though more subtle than I'd like, even when the beer is warmed up.

Taste-
Quite a delicious West Coast style IPA. Big, crisp, piney hops, but with a slightly sweet maltiness---I get orange with maybe a little brown sugar.

Mouthfeel-
Smooth, with a nice, long lingering of the malt.

If you like Lagunitas, Stone, and other big West Coast IPAs, I'd recommend this one, and like these other representatives, it has a substance to back up the hop punch. Cheers.

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

I call this beer "the most convenient backup." When I go into a bar for the first time I look at the lineup just like every other beer geek. I take my time to scope the varieties and countries of origin. If I see Racer 5 up there I at least know that I have a beer that I will enjoy and will keep me planted on a bar stool for a few minutes. Racer 5 is easy to drink and it's murky volume allows for a great texture. Although 7%, the alcohol is not incredibly present which generally leads to multiple pints. Hops are significantly present with a touch of citrus. I love that this brew can serve as an everyday choice or become a great session beer depending on how I'm feeling. I would always suggest Racer 5 as a great starter I.P.A. and Bear Republic has been consistent with this beer for many years.

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Photo of cquinn17
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz poured into a Duvel tulip

A- Hazy burnt orange, small head with little retention, a little lacing

S- Lots of citrus notes up front followed by a little biscuity malt. Mostly hops though.

T- Tastes as citrusy as it smells. Lots of hops with a bitter dry finish. Great taste.

M- Really coats the mouth in hoppy oils. Slick mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation to back it up.

O- Great example of a west coast IPA. I could drink this everyday and it left me wanting another, too bad I got it as a single in a mixed 6 pack :(

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Photo of crimsonfloyd
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong scent of pine. Taste is hoppy, with hints of resin and a mild orange aftertaste. Bitter but not overwhelmingly so and balanced by a smooth mouthfeel.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,282 ratings.
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