Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

4,715 Ratings
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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,077 | Ratings: 4,715
Photo of bayougutter
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served about 55 degrees from bomber to snifter.

Medium aggressive pour revealed a one and a half finger off white head. Clear dark brown with reddish hues coming thru.

Smell was straight up hop at first then the malty rye came. A little toffee- caramel to

Taste was soooo good, just so well blended with the hoppiness and malts. Still a little toffee too. Not as hoppy as the smell. Quite impressed.

Mouthfeel was just right letting the taste coat the palate oh so good.

Overall this is a top ten for me. I'm DIPA, stout,Barley wine lover but this one was great. Give it a try, you won't be let down.

Edit: The last five or six bombers I've had were filled with too many floaties. Not attractive and affected to taste.

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pint glass. Can't find a bottling date.

Pours a deep amber, a finger of light stone colored foam. Nice retention and solid sheets of lacing. Smells like spicy rye, malt, piney hops, and lemon. Taste is a bready rye with some lemon, finishing moderately bitter. I don't know if the hops are supposed to be this restrained, or if this is just an older bottle. In any case, I was expecting more hop presence. Mouthfeel is creamy, with a medium-full body and medium carbonation. Overall, this was pretty good, but a heftier dose of hops would take this to another level.

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Photo of jooler
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks really dark and malty. But not malty as it looks. Initial taste is somewhat bland with a hint of malt. It's meh but it does have a great mouthfeel

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Photo of FallinDeck
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Body has an amber/ruby color to it.
Nice tan head with superb lacing all the way down the glass.
The light hops smell didn't impress me all that much. Maybe my sniffer wasn't up to par this day?
The mouthfeel was rather heavy, with a dry hoppy/spicy taste. It had a Great lasting kickass spice finish taste.
I couldn't do more than 2 pints, so the drinkability suffered there.
Here's a first for me... Yes a burpability factor of 10. HAHA I can't believe I'm writing this... but really a great taste of nothing but some spicy hops.

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Photo of bluHatter
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Thick malty dirty brown. Mine left a small head.

S: Tangy sweet, some citrus - almost candy sweet... like red licorice. Lots of thick spicy hops. Very interesting. The smell here might be the highlight.

T: Bitter up front, with a very strong hoppy after. Grapefruit lingering long after the swallow. A little intimidating, but it has a nice front. If you keep drinking this it'll taste fantastic - but the aftertaste really kills.

M: Thick, very thick with tiny bubbles that hide behind the flavor. This will bite me later, for sure. But it's very creamy - very IPA.

O: This is interesting, I'll give it that. I am impressed. This is a serious IPA that deserves respect. Quite delicious.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

very deep amber pour with 2 fingers of off white head. nice lacing.

smells of caramel, earthy notes, slightly copper smelling with a bit of a booze odor.

very bitter up front with a taste of roasted grains, slightly fruity (strawberries), with a bit of a caramel like backbone. definitely tasting the roastyness of the rye.

medium body with a slight creamy feel, mild carbonation.

overall this is a pretty good example of a rye ale. very tasty, very well balanced, and very deceiving - no idea this was 8%.. had to do a double take!

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

"Hop Rod Rye is a high performance, turbo charged, alcohol burnin' monster ale with dual overhead hop injection, made with 18% rye. Brewed in the style of an American Rye IPA, available as a year round release in 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a billowing creamy frothed head of a maple cream color over a moderately hazy deep mahogany amber body with plenty of flecked sediment ranging from opaque to black in suspension. Retention is very good and lacing is light and streaked. 4.25

(Smell) Aromas of bready, tangy rye malt and biscuity caramel syrup up front with a lesser note of herbal, spicy and piney hops secondary. Potency is medium-high. 3.75

(Taste) Dense bready rye and caramel body sweetness up front, fairly clean tasting but the viscosity is certainly there. Lesser emphasis on resinous, piney and herbal hops, somewhat faded. Fairly tasty, although I think the bottle is a bit dated. The rye flavor and character is forward and well carried through. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is moderately syrupy, medium chewy and mildly dry. Carbonation is mellow, generating a mild frothiness and a soft crispness. Body is medium+ for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to hoppy bitter, although the impact of age on this bottle in particular has the sweetness taking the front stage. Alcohol presence is mild and there are no significant off characters. 4

(Overall) I was a bit disappointed to find following this review that this bottle was a good bit past its prime, but still very promising with lots of rye flavor, texture and a solid malt body. Paired with a substantial hop flavor and bitterness, this would be no doubt be a fantastic beer. Will re-review at the next opportunity as Bear Republic is not currently distributed to Georgia and I got this on an out-of-state trip recently. Check your dates people! 3.75

Bear Republic Brewing Co.'s
Hop Rod Rye Specialty Ale

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Photo of Bone53
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 7 month old bottle into a snifter at around 45°F

Appearance: Dark copper color with a frothy two finger off white head

Smell: Sweet malt and a hint of citrus hops

Taste: Same as the nose. Resiny on the palate

Mouthfeel: Medium body with slight bitterness

Overall: This is so old it's not credible. My fault for not looking at the date but stores should atleast have these beers on sale. Tastes more like a decent Scotch ale than an IPA. I will seek out a fresh bottle to compare

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Photo of katan
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, not dated.

A - Pours a dark amber, almost brown color. Strong head formation, which is light white in color. Head is well retained. Little lacing. While thick, not much hazing.

S - While I was gauging the appearance, the smell was already evident. A combination of grassy and earthy notes with some more floral hops flavors. Smell is rather edgy.

T - Not much of a "chord" of flavors on this beer. The flavor is dominated by a single attribute. Starts fairly light, switches to and finishes with some more sweet notes. All around a sweet ale. The aftertaste has some of that edgy rye flavors that I was looking for.

M - Has a fairly amount of thickness. The unfermentables created by the rye are noticeable. Almost oily at times. No carbonation bite.

D - Fairly easy to drink, without overwhelming me in both alcohol and flavor. Although the rye edginess does begin to wear, overall I wouldn't find this beer tiring.

An interesting beer - not sure how this fits in the American IPA category. Hard to give this beer a quality rating based on its category, but in general not bad at all.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby red with a firm creamy whipped tan head. Slight haze with some bubble raising in the middle. Lots of pungant citrusy hops win out over some sweet caramel and spicy rye aroma. Again, the hops are the major player, but the rye character is worthy of your attention. Both together create a wonderfully blend of citrus and spice that would please the most disearning hop head. Body may be a bit thin, but that my make this sort of a refreshing beer. After drinking the whole bottle, I can feel the hop resin in my mustache. That has to count for something.

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Photo of chilly460
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Two fingers of foamy tan head, on top of a very dark amber/light brown body. Retention is very good. Sticky bubbly lacing lines the sides of the pint glass.

S - Plenty of floral hops, there is grapefruit, and bready malt. Alcohol is noted on the tailend, pretty balanced brew.

T - Hmm, prickly, grassy hops hit first. Definite heavy on the rye spiciness as well, almost a black pepper kick in the back of the throat. Nutty taste to the malts.

M - This has a nice level of carbonation and medium body, normal for the style.

O - Solid brew for sure, just not sure I'm into rye beers, they spiciness always kills them for me. Well crafted with a big hop profile, but well balanced, some good complexity here.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a 11oz tumbler at Playground in Santa Ana. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger width off-white head, reddish brown color. Nice looking beer.

S- Dark malts and rye. Darker, warmer smell. Some bitter funk to it.

T- Warm and malty, finishes sweet with the rye nose assisting with the fullness of the flavor.

M- Fairly light bodied with a chewy wet texture and a bitter finish.

O- Very good beer. Better than the sum of its parts.

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Photo of callmescraps
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this awhile ago, and remembered it fondly. First time I'm having it as a BA'er, so we'll see how it stands up.

Appearance - Hmmm. Darker than many IPA's, I'm blaming the rye. It's a deep amber almost dark ruby color. A nice inch of foamy head. Pretty clear. It looks nice, but not that beautiful glow of some IPA's.

Smell - Hops. Some definite pine. Also some citrus. But a real malt back there. Definitely an herbal smell. Almost some caramel or burnt sugar lingering.

Taste - Wow, lots of caramel malt flavor. Way more than expected. Almost woody, at times. A sweet semi-caramel or toffee finish. A little hop burn as well, with some of that pine. Very nutty flavor. Almost some pepper.

Mouthfeel - Pretty solid. Good carbonation, good coating.

Drinkability - Not bad, but I'm not in love with the nuttiness. I'll enjoy this one. Also, the pepperiness builds.

Interesting beer, but not a super favorite. Good, but not really great. Was hoping for a cleaner hop flavor.

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Photo of ADR
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap, Anam Cara, Brookline, MA...

Clearish amber color with a nice head of 1/2 an inch. Laces fully with intricate patterns all over the glass. Smell was more muted than anticipated, hops dominate but there's a touch of graininess and almost a nut tone. Feels light to the tongue but with plenty of flavor presence and solidity. Slightly minty flavors, closest to spearmint, acidic with scouring resiny hops. The malts are interesting, combine with the hops to give a wood sense, but aromatic and biting, almost like cedar. Different, but for me, not incredibly easy to drink. Still, a challenging beer to pick up when the mood strikes.

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Photo of gregshead
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a darker red w/ a finger of foamy white head that dissipates but leaves a little foam around the edge.

S: Sugary malt smell with some grapefruit hops.

T: A red ale taste w/ a grapefruit bitterness. Nice dry aftertaste. Rye is noticeable but not dominate.

M: A little on the syrupy mouthfeel despite carbonation being at a good level.

D: Enjoyable but is not my style of IPA. I'd choose Racer 5 between the two. Nothing wrong with this one, just doesn't fit my love for the crisp clean IPA or the juicy/citrusy IPA.

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Photo of JAA
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes to BlueOkie for this one. I was looking forward to trying it.

Appearance is nice, dark gold body, thin off-white head. Great lacing, head sticks around as a thin cap to the somewhat hazy body.

Smells A little sweet with some floral hop aroma. Notes of sour rye malt. a bit of maple kicks up the sweet side. A quite pungent odor.

It has that sweet rye malt taste that is absolutely balanced by the prodigious use of hops. Hops are zingy and tongue tingling throughout the finish. The rye malt isn't exactly my cup of tea, so this was only slightly above average for me. A bit of bourbon also becomes apparent as it warms.

Mouthfeel is good, not great. Not creamy, but right what you would expect from an IPA. Like i said, tongue-tingly in and throughout the finish. Slightly bitter, not overly so.

Drinkability is good. I guess it all comes down to how much you like the rye malt flavor. I probably won't seek this one out again, but i will enjoy the rest of the bomber, thoroughly.

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Photo of airohead2001
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - great looking beer - deep amber, copper in color with a one finger head and excellent lacing.

S - piney and citrus hops dominate with the smallest hint of alcohol

T - a good beer, but certainly not one of the best IPAs I've had. Bitter hops upfront as well as in the finish. The citrus aromas that dominate the smell seem absent in the taste. IMO, this brew could use a bit more malt to balance out the bite of the bitter hops. I've seen this bottle for months at the liquor store, so maybe some of the taste has faded...

M - perfect mouthfeel for an ipa: not too thin, not too chewy, just the right amount of carbonation.

D - this is certainly a drinkable beer, limited only by the persistent bitterness of the hops upfront as well as in the finish. Even so, I would certainly enjoy this beer again for $4.99 a bomber, but it would be better if there was a bit more of a malt backbone.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the Comet.
A very dark amber brown in color with a nice two inches of head sitting atop. Smell is very malty. Lots of roasted caramel malts and just a hint of hops. More of the hopping profile comes across in the taste, but this is a malt bomb. Easy drinking and really smooth. Decent beer, but I prefer the Founders Reds Rye.

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Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to a trade from gemutlichkeit. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a big crystal mug.

A: Gorgeous, deep brown body with tints of amber and an orangish hue. Big, frothy head that did not go away.

S: Big time pine. A little overwhelming to the caramel and grapefruit undertones that can be found hiding deeper in the smell. Overall smells great though. Definitely hoppy.

T: Again, a little overwhelming on the piney hops for me. Definitely picked up some citrus hops, caramel and some toasty malt in there too. A thick, creamy mouthfeel tingles your tongue. Finish is bittersweet.

D: It took me almost an hour and a half to polish off this big beer. I couldn't really see having more than one or two.

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Photo of AChamberlain
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark and tea colored. Foamy head, that was super sticky. Lacing all over the pint glass. This is going to sound obvious: Hops, Rye, Malt in the aroma and you know what, the flavor as well. A nice sweetness up front with a balanced hop and rye bitterness in the end. Tasty overall. Medium bodied, right on for the style. Easy to sip, easy to sort of "pound." An all around enjoyable beer I wish were on tap more around here.

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Photo of MickeyD
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One and a half finger width foam, dark brown in color with lots of bubble from carbonation.

Definite floral and pine notes

Spicy hop bite with a slight caramel notes

When aerated in the mouth more caramel malt comes out but fairly thin.

Good beer but more of an IPA than a hybrid hoppy/rye. I would have loved to taste more spicy/caramel rye and malt. If you want more malt taste serve very cold from freezer. I was surprised with the rye. I expected more spice. Maybe if they would have aged in oak or something? According to the bottle they used 18% rye so I don’t know. I’m not a brewer.

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Photo of albern
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This IPA is a bit over the top for my tastes. The hop bitterness is quite biting, ultra piney, almost like pine tree residue. The beer looks good, has a nice caramel amber color. The beer has a very nice off white creamy head, good retention and lacing. The nose is very pungent piney hop.

There is no real citrus or acerbicness or fruity burst in the hop to balance out what seems to be just too much really piney, really bittering hop. There is a nice bready malt base underneath, with lots of caramel, lots of full palated malts. I keep coming back to the almost charred quality of the piney hop and how that imbalances this beer. There is almost an oaky or slight whisky quality to the beer as it settles in. The IBU's must be in the stratosphere with this ale. There is a slight ABV throatiness. This is a full bodied beer, decent carbonation, and very strong.

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Photo of SteveO1231
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popped a 22oz. bomber.

Poured a cloudy orangy/red into my tulip glass. Very dark for a double IPA.
Very thick foamy tan head, great lacing.

Nice bitter hop scent with citrus smells.

Pretty smooth at first, the bitter hop finish really doesn't kick in until the very end. Very nice, rather thick. This one is unfiltered, lots of yeast sediment.

The bitter hoppy citrus peel finish does not linger very long on the palate making this one pretty crisp, balanced IPA. High yeast taste. Alcohol warms the belly.

Very drinkable despite high ABV.


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Photo of nick76
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is very hoppy and spicy with a cedar like element. There is also caramel, yeast, and alcohol. The appearance is deep amber with a large foamy head. The flavor is bitter and like the aroma. The palate is is average for the style. Overall it's a nice beer but too astringent.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No bottle date present. Purchased in a 4-pack in Wilmington, DE.

A: Pours a deep amber with then off white head that goes away quickly. Some lacing on the glass. OK carbonation. Like other Bear Republic beers, lots of floating sediment in the bottle.

S: I get malts and some piney/earthy hop aroma from this one. It doesn't jump out at you as much as I expected.

T: As some other reviewers mentioned, this has a solid malt base initially that leads to a good crisp hoppy bite at the finish. The hops are earthy. I also get bready yeast....sediment?

M: This is medium bodied with a crisp finish. Not too coating, but some chewiness.

D: 8% was hidden pretty well. I drank this fairly quickly and didn't get destroyed by the ABV. I could drink a few in a sitting.

Overall, another solid brew from BR. Really enjoy their line but wish the floating sediment wasn't there in most of them.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,715 ratings.
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