Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,077 Reviews
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A high gravity IPA brewed with 18% rye malt. Hop Rod Rye has a floral hop aroma and subtle caramel notes with a slightly earthy and spicy rye character.

2009 California State Fair – GOLD
2003 California State Fair – GOLD
2002 Real Ale Festival (Chicago) – GOLD

Added by Quaffer on 03-27-2002

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Reviews: 2,077 | Ratings: 4,714
Photo of NICKV1117
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say? An exceptional beer. Very wet at first then turning to a dry finish. Mouthfeel is not too carbinated. Citrus and piney flavors along with a deep caramel. Very drinkable as are most of the Bear Republic line. If you love hops, you can't go wrong with this one. Cheers.

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Photo of Tahoeman1971
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This very may well be the best beer I have ever had. I love the Racer 5 from Bear Republic and this extends the impressive ability of the brewery. The beer has the perfect balance between hops and mellow fruit character. It pours a beautiful color with a nice 2 inch head that laces for the entirety of the consumption. This is exactly what American micro brewing is about.

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Photo of HoustonTX
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful dark ruby, with a large attractive white head. Carbonation looks just right, and the lacing is extremely sticky. The smell is absolutely phenomenal. Fresh piney hops, pushed up against a nice malt backing, with a large share of delicious rye bread. Now on to the taste. My initial thought is, "Damn, this may be the perfect beer." Upfront has a very quick bready malt snap. Mixed in with a good deal of rye. The malt/rye lays on the palate for just a second, and soon gives way to a strong piney bitterness. The pineyness lingers until the very finish, where it is meet with another wave of malt and rye. This is in my mind, a perfect IPA. The flavors work perfectly together in intervenious harmony. This beer is truly a masterpiece. The mouthfeel is just right, and the drinkability is incredibly dangerous. 8%?? Where?

This is the epitomy of bold IPA's. Perfect flavor, nice hopping, and a solid malt backbone. A divine nectar sent from the gods above! Much thanks go out to IntriqKen for giving me the opportunity to try this brew.

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Photo of cncbofh
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The first beer I've given all 5's.

Poured with perfect 1 finger carbonation. Creamy and bubbly. Clear Red color.

I wouldn't normally call sediment pretty - but oh yes... these green flecks of hops make me smile.

The Rye is there - spicy and malty and slightly sweet - just very subtle. The taste is out of this world. Raisiny malts mixed with citrusy hops, and a final bitter bite that reminds you exactly what you are drinking.


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Photo of nlmartin
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer came to me by way of trade with dhchatfield. Thanks again! This would be my new go beer if it was available in Cincinnati.

The beer was poured into a pub glass and shared with my wife.

Appearance: The beer has a dark amber coloration. The beer has major amounts of particles floating in the beer. I swear it looks like rye seeds are floating in the beer. The head was a massive craggy creamy biege coloration. The head never gave up during the entire session. The beer left thick rings of pancake like lacing on my glass.

Smell: When I popped the cap on this beer I knew I had a winner. While still in the bottle my nose was assaulted with major rye and cascade hops. Upon pouring this beer in the glass. My initial thought was sorry honey you aint getting any of this. The beer had major rye bread smells. The cascade hops produced perfect citrusy lemon and lemon zest. Pine needles bring up the rear of the smell.

Taste: This may very well be the mother of all Rye beers. Gods this beer is loaded with rye upon breadyness. The flavor made me wish for some ham and cheese on rye bread. The citrus nature of the hops dominate the piney hop flavors.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is slightly bigger than medium body. The beer is well carbonated. The hops have a pleasant lingering oilyness. This beer is really something special. I enjoyed the beer from the instant I opened the beer. I would highly reccomend this beer to my other BA's.

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Photo of Vancoubeer
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome beer. Looks like an amber but tastes like an IPA. Hoppy blend of stuff put into this brew makes it a great one. I will get it again. Had it after a malty sweet beer and is amazing in contrast. I wonder where the rye is. Perhaps if it gets a bit warmer.

10 min later: definately can taste the rye. It gives it a bolder taste. Kinda bready with a kick.

Like I said. Awesome.

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Photo of Brad007
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this in a trade with telejunkie.

Color: Pours a beautiful amber color with a decent two-finger head. Ample carbonation.

Aroma: Very hoppy and floral. Cascade hops and rye always see to go together well.

(side note: I homebrewed a rye pale ale with cascade and amarillo hops).

Taste: Very hoppy and floral upfront. Unfolds with beautiful rye kick, followed by flowery hop bitterness. Smooth. Spicy. The rye adds another dimension to this IPA. Somewhat bready and delicious.

Mouthfeel: Spicy and bready. Floral and hoppy. The bitterness of the hops lingers on the palate.

Drinkability: Very, very drinkable. From the start, you're treated to a very nice floral hop kick with the rye adding to it. One sip and you should be hooked.

Verdict: Magnifico! This is one IPA I would love to try again and it gives me something to aim for in homebrewing.

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Photo of Jordan
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Good god. Hop Rod Rye is royalty in peasants clothing. Assertive and mature hop/rye characteristics. A tricky trilateral balance between the three key ingrediants. Somehow this brew is able to maintain an equilibrium. The hops is undoubtedly seated top of the pyramid, but a keen sense can easily distinguish the awesome barley/rye essenses. Silky and lubricating mouthfeel. Notes of toasted barley, wood, resinous hop cones, and of course... rye. A prost to Bear Republic, undesputed brewery of the west coast.

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Photo of soultrain
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into an Ommegang Chalice.

A-reddish dark amber, the word "garnet" comes to mind, hop/ yeast chunks abound in a great way... thick beige head, rocky as all hell, though not quite Duvel in it's impressiveness, it's damn close...Christ what a head...mooncrater fascination and everything...crazy lacing lasts long after the glass is drained.
S-Dry hopped ale scent/sweetness/bitter fruit astringent hop smell which I love; smells like an invitation to a ritual, and it is. Since my first review, I have reaccessed my initial "smell" number.... I actually docked the smell 1/2 point because, in my imagination, it could be even more enticing if it was even more pungently hoppier...but that's bullshit; let's dwell upon what actually exists on earth, here, now: this beer smells awsome; it is unique in it's aroma, and to dock points off from this beer because of some imaginary hop notion, would indeed impoverish the language, and atrophy the soul of beer advocacy. I have yet to encounter a beer related scent that is more enticing, yes, even in Stone Ruination.
T-Rye makes it's presence known here, but in a not overpowering way: in fact the way it appears is very subtle: a slight sourness/ a slight breadiness, and then in the fantastic protiens that make up the head of this tremendous beer! Seriously balanced malt/hop ratio is obvious though, but in my present acolyte state I cannot discern what the malt is (besides Rye) or what the precise hops are...seems to me that grapefruity cascades (+ some serious I.B.U. hops of the California variety) are in the house to some great degree....middle is really juicy...god this is good...8% alcohol is totally absent. and I mean ABSENT from the palette; this Bear Republic brewer obviously knows his stuff..semi-dry finish....Aftertaste is sublime and demands repeated sips, gulps, bottles....This beer probably goes well with some foods; but it is best consumed by itself....to be contemplated as the work of brewing art that it is....IMHO.
M-Perfect. Wouldn't change a thing. All beers should have this mouthfeel....really...
D-Sublime Drinkability. S U B L I M E. Damn!
CRUX: ESSENTIAL RYE HOP BOMB EARTHY GIFT FROM THE GODS. This is ALWAYS in my DBF, as this beer is in my top 5 beers of all time. This beer is a masterpiece, and as a creation it's as fine, essential, and profound as: air conditioning, James Brown's back catalog, penicillin, Jackson Pollock, anesthesia, the selected poetry of Ranier Maria Rilke, air bags, Bose speakers, and Blue Note vinyl records. Damn!, it's poetry time!:

But because Truly being here is so much; because everything here
apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way
keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all.
Once for each thing. Just once; no more. And we too,
just once. And never again. But to have been
this once, completely, even if only once:
to have been at one with the earth, seems beyond undoing.

Ranier Maria Rilke, 9th Elegy.

**NOTE: It took me at least 12 bottles to come to these scores. When I first tried this beer, it was my first "rye beer" and I thought it was a great "one note" IPA. That "note" was a good "note" though, akin to the "one note" guitar solo in Neil Young's "Down By The River," but further bottles have revealed that this is indeed "the gift that keeps on giving," and very complex IPA worthy of serious consideration. I have been totally seduced by this "perfection in a glass" fantastic Rye IPA. Is this review too long? Yes, even I think so, but I find something to appreciate in each new bottle, and cannot imagine tiring of this beer, ever....TOP, TOP NOTCH STUFF!


p.s.: as of Nov. 2006, this is still my favorite beer, uh, ever!

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Photo of alpinebryant
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A: Poured a medium brown amberish color, huge head, stuck around for the entire drink, and left lots of lacing on the glass

S: Delicious Rye with some grapefruit and hop scent

T: Unbelievably refreshing. I wish more Rye beers were made, and I cant wait to make my own rye beer for comparison

M: Medium body... Great for what this beer is offering

D: I could drink this all night long. Very balanced and drinkable. One of my favorite beers after one bomber

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Photo of JDFish
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled poured into a pint glass:

A: A deep sienna coppery color, tannish 2 finger head and great lacing

S: Music to my nose. The full gambit of malts coupled with sweet and sassy hops and just a hint of alcohol.

T: Absolutely perfect balance. On a blind taste test, I would not guess 8.0%ABV. I love this beer. A strong hop presence balance with spice and sweet malts. Feels great in the mouth and all the way to the finish

O: Umm...In my amateur opinion, this is the greatest beer in the world. I can't imagine improving it in any fashion. Some folks may ask for a stronger flavor, but not me. I love this brew and I recommend to everybody!

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Photo of Dave1999
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark red in colour with a thin white head that quickly dissipates leaves some lacing on the glass.

Can smell grapefruits and of course the rye is very distinctive.

Almost no carbonation very smooth on the way down.

Tastes like grapefruit, very bitter and a big rye taste. The flavour of this beer is huge.

Overall this is one of my favourite beers, its delicious and I could definitely drink a few of these even at 8% abv, and I have.

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Photo of bohemiandonut
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A careful pour into a blasphemously chilled glass explodes with the densest, thickest cappuccino foam I've ever seen. The beer is ruby red mahogany with luminescent orange highlights.

I already know Bear Republic for some of the greatest IPA aromas in the world, but this takes the cake. Juicy candy grapefruit and orange dominate a subtle herbal/pine backdrop. As with Racer, sweetness teeters on the novelty with bubblegum, cotton candy, and powdered sugar on fried dough. Just the kindest hint of spicy rye is noticeable on this level.

Rye is more noticeable on the taste, rounding out the bitter hops and sweetness with its distinctive savor. The rye also adds a welcome bit of fullness to the Racer 5 profile, which was prone to the occasional metallic twang. This is a smoooth drinking beer, rich and creamy but not sticky. At $4 a bomber, this makes its way onto my top shelf. A helluva an IPA with as much to ponder as anything oaked, barreled, or double malted. Absolutely worthy of its place. Incredible.

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Photo of ROMER79
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Very thick dark brown color with a thick white/reddish brown head

S: A rich wiff of hopps, caramel, and pine

T: Very hoppy with the rye flavor bursting in every sip with a hint of caramel to follow

M: Very crisp easy to gulp or sip

D: I totally agree with the fellow below. I too could drink this all the time and not get sick of it. BR did a tremendous job with this one. Hats off!!
P.S. It's on tap at the Grey Lodge in Phila, PA

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Photo of TonyC
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not going to give the same ole type of review for Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye. No way! This is my most favorite beer in all the lands. From the opening aromas of rye and hops gently wafting into the air, to the wonderful dark pour and oh so wonderful rocky, creamy, off white head that stays with you like a best friend, and leaving the most wonderful lace, to the malty/bready/caramel rye flavor and truly perfect balance of hops and carbonation, to the finish that begs you to take another sip, this beer is king. Bear Republic is a brewer that has never let me down. Hop Rod Rye is hoppy rye heaven in a bottle!

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Photo of at7000
4.99/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First beer I have ever given a perfect score to. This beer will spoil your taste buds, I promise you that. Not sure what they have done here, or how much the rye plays a part, but this is one killer beer, in every respect. If this beer were a little cheaper in cost, it would become my main beer.

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Photo of Hamsteroceros
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into Sierra Nevada tulip glass.

A- Deep, deep reddish amber color that I wish more IPAs could pull off. Decent head that left moderate lacing.

S- Everything I love about West Coast IPAs is here: grapefruit/citrus, zesty, piney. The rye cuts in nicely as well.

T- Just incredible. Bitter then sweet, bold yet balanced. The malt sneaks in late more as the beer warms. That tangy rye bite I was hoping for balances the rest really, really nicely.

M- In general, I find the major drawback to a good IPA is a lingering astringent/acidic "stripping" in the mouth. It seems like the better a beer tastes, the more pronounced this effect. With all the huge flavors in Hop Rod Rye, I was expecting that here but NO! This beer is so clean and smooth on the finish.

D- I am thrilled that this is a year-round release. I will have many, many more of these.

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Photo of masikon
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is absolutely perfect if ever there was a perfect beer. I'm changing my favorite style to American Double IPA based on this. Pours a rich amber to mahogany with a rich sea foam head that lasts and clings everywhere. Nose is full of delicious citrus hops, some subdued candy malts and a slight alcoholic pepper. Taste is divine, a solid perfectly executed wall of hops slams the palate with grapefruit, zest, pineapple, and candy sweetness in the background...no foul grassyness or over the top bitterness here. Bear Republic has reminded me with this beer of why I love beer, a true masterpiece....im gushing...I can't say enough.

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Photo of EnJeiBee
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - A dark copper brew that poured with a pillowy 2-finger head and quite a bit of sediment. It left fabulous lacing as well

S - Fabulous spicy/ sweet rye malt backbone is accompanied by upfront piney hops

T - Amazingly balanced and enjoyable! Very sweet and fruity upfront with a hop presence that kicks in just before the profile is too sweet to enjoy. Spicy rye and caramel malt flavors come in alongside the perfect pairing of hops

M - Smooth, creamy and enjoyable. The mouthfeel is slightly bubbly on the tongue, but not so much that you notice it in the appearance.

O - One of the best AIPA's I'll ever have (I'm sure of it!). I would highly recommend that any beer lover try this and go out of their way to find it!

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Photo of donniecuffs
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(From notes)

A: Dark brown/slight reddish hue, with a tan'ish head (thin), but one that laced nicely.

S: BIG bouquet of pink grapefruit, mango, tangerine, lemon, pineapple, caramel apple, toffee, maltiness, pine, allspice, etc. Wow.

T: Perfect balance of all of the aforementioned flavors throughout, with also a prominent caraway flavor and earthy finish. Unreal.

M: Creamy, medium-bodied beer, with little carbonation, but which went down oh so easy.

D: I think I drank three 16oz pints in 30min. This is a tremendous beer.

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Photo of Trueant1
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Has the appearance a fresh brewed root beer. Nice frothy head.

This smells Incredible! Pine hops that are very air-o-matic! Followed by rye, spice, sweet fruit.

The taste is incredible!!! Very bitter pine hops up front. These hops are incredibly accompanied by sweet sweet malts. I do not know what they did here, but it is incredible. Must be the 18% rye to accompany the intence hops. WORKS in my book!

The mouthfeel is perfect. Medium bodied, sweet but not sticky. Bitter through the drinking experiance.

I usually only rate certain stouts this high but this hop/rye bomb is the BOMB!!

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Photo of mempath
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

deep orangey-caramelish amber with creamy, cream-colored head that sports very carbonated bubbles on the side, but the sea-foam/pancake-batter-looking top sinks ever so slowly, lacing thick and creatively. very nice nose of immediate grapefruit/tangelo and a hint of an incoming piney tsunami...another swirl for another sniff i notice the head (STILL hanging on at 2 fingers) looks like a rootbeer float or something. pretty amazing.

taste is pretty intensely complex...but don't think about it too much. i will, i think, after i simply enjoy it...i want to be more familiar with it when i want to waste time figuring out WHY i like it so much. yep, caramel-malty splash hits first but a nanosecond later the hop whiplash is there. for all the hop/ABV instensity, the rye and malts just stay in the jalopy and refuse to bail out! i get a nice bitter finish that only makes you want to keep sipping the creamy yet crisp masterpiece that this is.

drinkability, at this ABV is theoretical...taste it and you will want more, hophead or not. as said before, there is incredible AND intense
B A L A N C E...it's the only way i could every enjoy this much malty sweetness...the hops always keep the car on the road, at high speed!

everything is pretty much stellar here.
very highly recommended

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Photo of Emerson1310
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just purchased one of these at TW in Alexandria. Drank from a Bells glass, chilled to perfection

A: Deep coppery-red with a light brown 2-finger head. Nice, foamy lacing when glass is tilted.

S: definite hops, grapefruit and malts

T: Grand!! Slightly bitter up front with lots of grapefruit and very little pines or resins. Some malts and a bit of rye (I wonder why the rye??!!) Finish is smooth and dry with no hop build-up.

O: This is a keeper!! Abundantly available here, even in the groceries, It is reasonably priced and a real hop-hog. I like this beer to no end!! At 8% ABV, almost a DIPA and a sessionable on at that!! To the bear I say: RRROOOAAARRR!!!

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Photo of bball208
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This smells like waffles, molasses, and biscuits.
Absolutely beautifully crafted. The sweetness of maple at the front of the mouth, the incredible balance of malt, booze, molasses, and bready biscuits all come together perfectly and caps off with a refreshing bitterness that makes you want to repeat the sweet and smoothness you get at the beginning. Highly drinkable. This beers aroma ends up melting right into the flavors as it warms up. Some rye ales have great aroma but tastes one dimensional. This one offers aroma and taste. Just a superb beer, have it at 55-60 degrees. Phenomenal.

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Photo of beercam
4.93/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hop Rod Rye...

A Specialty Ale indeed.

Two pours of a 22 oz. into a 16 oz Fremont Brewery can pint. This bottle is very fresh, with an expiration date of late April 2016.

L: This shone with a forest-fire red upon pouring. Meanwhile, a persistent and tufty head of fine foam billowed and roiled luxuriously. The lace was mesmerizing and extensive while the liquid looked sticky and and syrupy. Supreme aesthetics here, folks.
S: It slipped by undetected by my olfactory radar at first. Slowly did I begin to discover this fruity, rye-y, quintessentially hoppy smell (pines+citrus+_), which was pungent and present and involved.
T: Rye. Right upfront. Almost a pepperyness to this rye, a bit smokey, strong, then bulldozed by a crash of adventurous hop intensity. There was a true cacophony of flavors here, perhaps descending down from the great white north, or wherever hops land is, and aqueously descends upon my tongue. This in itself was deeply disorienting, intoxicating, and along with this very strong beer, punching in at 8%... On to other reasons why I drink this beer..
F: Viscousy. Sharply carbonated at a bit below room temperature, could've, should've been colder, but it was really nice flavor wise warmer. It lingered on strongly, with physical mouth presences of pepper and something wheaty. Feel was really smoooth. This is classic, classic rye.

O: This is a courageous, successful and masterful brew of a very rye-y recipe at 18% a commercial batch. For me, beyond this level of rye proportion in a beer can taste quite sour. And I don't drink sour beers.... yet.

Try your hardest to find this beer. It's perfect. Thank you Bear Republic. Cheers!

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,714 ratings.
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