Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
2,078 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,078 | Ratings: 4,698
Photo of Timtac
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a goblet, was not much head and color was much darker than expected for an ale. Smell is a ridiculous caramel and hops aroma is strong as well, creating a smell that might be requested by me on my death bed.

Like other reviews, I agree the 8% abv isn't noticed, but the caramel, hops and citrus, which may or may not be a product of the 18% rye, balance oh so well. As a huge fan of IPA's, I'd put it against any I've ever had.

 460 characters

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!!

 596 characters

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

 1,294 characters

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!!!

 665 characters

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.

 593 characters

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!

 1,674 characters

Photo of jondeelee
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hop Rod Rye begins with the kind of aroma that makes you want more: deep sugars, redolent with sweet fruit and berry notes (orange, peach, berry, white grape); lightly toasted grains; and just a hint of freshly-baked rye bread.

On the tongue, the first flavors are confectioner's sugar sweet, and last for a mere fraction of a second before the rye kicks in, flooding the mouth with delicious bitterness. Whether due to the rye or the hops, a substantial part of this bitterness is grapefruit-rind tart, and dominates the mouthful from there on out, including lasting well into the aftertaste. Significant malt flavors are also present, cranked up to eleven to keep up with the rye/hops. Flavors here include the fruits from the nose, as well as caramelized brown sugars and Grape Nuts cereal-like toasted grains. The aftertaste is almost exclusively hops and rye. Mouthfeel is a silky-smooth medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer, and has been made by someone who truly appreciates the craft of craft brewing. It's not a beer for everyone, though, as evidenced by, if nothing else, the fact that the liquid is so bitter and tart--75+ IBUs, and that doesn't include the effects of the rye--that when left in the mouth for several seconds (as it is when, for instance, the drinker is writing a review of it) the tongue numbs and tingles. But enthusiasts who don't mind a good bit of bitterness should give this one a try.

 1,470 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bear Republic- Hop Rod Rye

Thanx to Bradford for this!

A- Hazy amber brown with a thick creamy head. Chunky lacing on the glass!
S- Big oily green hops, Pine, Carroway seeds, and caramel malt.
T- Thick creamy caramel malt with a huge dose of green pine hops. A solid rye twang lingers throughout.
M- Sweet and chewy up front with a tart and bitter finish. Slighty fruity aftertaste.

Overall- God damn this was good! The aroma alone would satisfy you! Definitely 1 of my new favorites!!
(Hopefully I can find this in San Diego)

 529 characters

4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absolutely floral perfume for smell. Some fruity notes as well, grapefruit and overripe tangerines.
Pretty red and auburn color, with sediment both sunken and suspended. A creamy rich head persists and coats up the edges of the glass.
What a hop bomb. This beer shows all the things I love most about hoppy brews. The citrusfruit notion, the pine sap, the i-give-in sweetness at the finish. Rye and hops really combine for a great bitterness in a beer. It is genious. This is a favorite of mine.

 499 characters

Photo of bkeach
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Favorite Rye Beer thus far. Smell is very bready and floral. Smells like a brewery (In a good way). Taste is very much the same. Rye comes through nicely, well balanced pretty drinkable. Just delicious. Great mouthfeel and color as well. If you have not tried it just go get it.

 278 characters

Photo of abrand
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW this beer is amazing. Poured into pint glass from bomber

Poured very hazy and orange. Aromas were amazing. Very hoppy with a lot of bready characteristics. Taste was excellent from start to finish. The hops are out of control with this brew. After taste was excellent and lacing along the glass throughout. With 8% I personally couldn't handle more than 1 of these in a session but could make this my go-to beer.

 417 characters

Photo of salcedo
4.91/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass
L: Dense amber.
Slightly cloudy.
Lots of stuff floating in there :-)
Rich, cream colored head
S: Caramelized sugar.
T: Sweet and malty at first, but they don't linger.
Finishes clean with a touch of pleasant bitterness.
Trying to learn what flavors rye adds to a beer, and I think the aftertaste of Hop Rod Rye is a good example.
F: In spite of the strong caramel smell and taste, this is a medium bodied beer.
Well carbonated.
O: I really like this beer. Some people may be put off by the floaties in the glass, but it tastes great. And what's more important, how it looks or how it tastes?

 655 characters

Photo of biggmike
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful dark copper color with attractive white pillowy head that it retained until the end. Nice hoppy aroma that is both piney and smells of grapefruit rind. This stuff just begs to be drank. Taste is very hoppy with a nice malty balance to it. Lacing on glass is excellent, as is the mouthfeel. This stuff is excellent. I will buy again at every opportunity.

 372 characters

Photo of Murph
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a great looking dark amber color with a creamy tan head that holds tight and rings the glass very nicely. Wonderful fruity/piney hoppiness as well as some nice sweet malt. The first thing to hit my tongue was the insane hoppiness of this brew. As the hops begin to back off there are some great fruity esters that give this beer a very nice complexity that is perfect for a fall/winter seasonal. The finish sees the return of the hops as they jump into the foreground again and stick around on the tongue for quite some time. Very creamy and crisp with the awesome hoppiness providing a light and refreshing quality to this brew that makes it extremely drinkable. This is just one awesome beer and I can't wait tot ry some more of Bear Republic's brews.

 765 characters

Photo of shand
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hop Rod Rye pours a hazy red-brown color with a smaller head. The aroma is outstanding, citrusy hops and spicy rye rule here, along with some caramel malts. The taste is just about tailor made for me - it's got a huge hop kick along with a massive amount of rye spiciness. There's a bit more of a pine flavor in the hops than the nose let on, which works excellently with the rye. This is a big and brash beer, which is perfect for me. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and has that hop dryness that can only come from a massive amount of hops. The drinkability is superb. Overall, Hop Rod Rye is really a beer that's just about tailor-made for me. I love rye beers and huge IPAs. This is an excellent beer that really offers the best of both worlds there.

 753 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice clear body, very dark brown, much darker than you standard DIPA, if my memory serves me correctly. Head is fluffy and full, off-white with very good staying power. Egads, there is a lot of hops in the nose, intense, piney, alcohol laced hops. Taste is bold with hops from start to finish, never relenting. The rye adds a different graininess. This is a brash and brazen DIPA, wich I enjoy very much. Well carbonated, and good for sippin'.

 443 characters

Photo of claykeller
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving Type: 22 oz bottle poured into 20 oz glass.

Appearance: Thick with Dark Caramel color. Thin sticky lacing down the glass.

Smell: Great balanced aroma with sweetness and pine.

Taste: Nice hops but balanced enough with malt/rye so that it isn't quite as powerful as double.

Mouthfeel: Silky but not too slippery.

Drinkability: Goes down easy, but with enough hops to make you drink it slow enough to enjoy.

Notes: A great find. I hadn't tried this beer yet, but it is probably my favorite AIPA next to Bell's two hearted and Lagunitas hop stupid. A bit more hops and bitterness than Bell's.

 602 characters

Photo of ckeegan04
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown with reddish hues around the edges. Thin foamy off white head with excellent retention.

S - A sweet and spicey taste simultaneously. Sweet aromas of caramel and a spicey hop/rye aroma.

T - Very sweet up front with hints of tropical fruit. Quickly smacked by a spicey hop bite and rye flavor. Hints of some citrusy hop as well.

M/D - Full bodied and very crisp. Good carbonation and very smooth. Very drinkable.

 428 characters

Photo of velosuds
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Single purchased at local health food store for $1.85.

A-Pours a deep amber-reddish brown color with a one finger, off-white head with average retention and modest lacing. This beer gives ample reason why all good beer should be poured and enjoyed from a glass. Appearance is almost lustful.

S-Prominent citrus hops with sweet twang from the rye malt, I suspect. 20% rye content makes for a very interesting IPA.

T-Very well balanced, yet complex, IMO. Hops are aggressive without overpowering the taste buds. Nice rye malt backbone in finish is subtly sweet. Very distinctive, even surprising. A real treat. Very reminiscent of He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A., which is a 10% DIPA I love. Hop Rod is much more affordable though. No bitter after taste and alcohol content is not noticeable, even at 8% ABV. Extremely well constructed.

M-Very smooth and extremely well balanced. Carbonation is nearly perfect.

D-Dangerously smooth given ABV. I prefer to sip this one, especially since the taste and drinkability improve as it warms.

Not sure this is properly classified as an American IPA. At 8% ABV, it approaches the DIPA style. Moreover, it is vaguely similar to Arrogant Bastard Ale, which is classified as an American Strong Ale. This is one of my favorite "specialty beers." Kudos to Bear Republic. All their beers are exceptional values. I bought this for $6.49 a four pack of 12oz bottles in Northern California.

 1,502 characters

Photo of insomnboy
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tried a bomber of this last night for the first time. I really only have one word to say about the Hop Rod.
Yum!!! I think I might have to go get a couple more for tonight.

 186 characters

Photo of canucklehead
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As the immortal Kinky Friedman would say" Killer B baby". This is one of the best beers I've had in some time mainly because the complexity is stunning. The beer looks awesome with a dark brown body with a bi old head. A hoppy, woody smell with some interesting age notes. The taste is large and many facets. A unique bitterness due to the rye comes off the back end. All in all this is a stunner that demands your attention.

 425 characters

Photo of BigMike
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

"Hop Rod Rye is a high performance,turbo charged,alcohol burnin' monster ale with dual overhead hop injection"

-from the bottle

Pours a deep garnet red and two fingers worth of creamy white head.

This beer has one of the best aromas ever. Very fragrant. Fresh and clean. Spicy, fruity, hoppy, caramel and molasses.

Taste is fabulous. Pineapple, and almost berry like undertones. A nice fresh spicy flavor and a buttery caramel flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth, perfectly carbonated. Creamy buttery smooth with just a touch of bitterness on the finish.

I can't believe this is 8%. Very smooth and easy to drink. I could drink this all day. This has broken into my top 5. I can't believe this is only $7.50 a 4 pack for a beer this tasty.

 737 characters

Photo of laintringulis
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In the word of Kool-Aid Man, "Oh, Yeah!"
Served in a pub glass. This is a sexy looking beer! Pours a crimson amber color with large amounts of yeast and black rye specks that are well suspended. Huge creamy beige head that lasts until the last drop. Large amounts of sticky lacing. Medium plus body.

Smells very strongly of rye, orange/citrus hops. Light earthy smokiness, and a bit of grassiness.

Super rye taste initially that progresses into a citrus hoppy middle and finishes with a pleasant grassy, earthy, citrus hoppiness.

Supremely well balanced maltiness and hoppiness. The alcohol is hidden well for 8%. Nice full mouth feel without being clingy. Very refreshing. If you like rye/rye beer this is the stuff! Thank you to whomever sent this to my husband!

 774 characters

Photo of TheBungyo
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, let's be honest here, this beer pours so damn dark, if it were just a few shades darker, it'd be black. Dark brown with ruby edges and a nice velvety dense head that fires off aroma at you. Hitting you from every angle ... pine, followed by grapefruit and then smooth caramel malt. A sip treats the tongue to initial bitterness followed by a whallop of pine and grapefruit. The malt smoothes things out followed by fleeting grain and an citrusy orange taste. Mouthfeel is big, which is just what I want in a brew like this. Your tongue will say yes to more and more of this but beware, with an 8% ABV, respect is in order. The only Double IPA I've had that can even try to stand up to this is Hercules by Great Divide. Even then though, I wouldn't be shocked to see the mighty Hercules fall. This brew is that tough.

 820 characters

Photo of deuschbag
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

my first review, why not make it hop rod. i am officially in love with this beer. beautiful dark reddish color. the taste is hops galour. alcohol is there but hidden very well. i'm trying not to drink it so fast so i don't get hammered. don't know what else to say but..wow. bear republic has yet to dissapoint me.

 314 characters

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,698 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!