Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

4,719 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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,719 |  Reviews: 2,078
Photo of NMA
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a pint glass,this beer is a deep amber brown with nice clarity.has a nice creamy white head which refuses to go down and leaves some nice lacing.

nose is citric and spicy with a whiff of caramel malt.taste is very similar to the nose,a nice smooth citric/grapefruit hop profile which transitions to a nice earthy spiciness from the hops and rye,finished with a smack of caramel sweetness.

this is an incredibly drinkable beer.reminds me of alpha king but a bit more complex and intense.i'm glad they started to release this in four packs.

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Photo of pmccallum86
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark red colored body with a large light brown thick bubbly head.

Smell is of bitter hops, caramel malts, and rye.

Taste is like the smell with a rye malt flavor up front followed by a bitter hop kick in the finish. Nice unique IPA.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a bitter finish.

Good drinkability, good beer.

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Photo of Birchgrove77
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle purchased at Binnys and buried in the back of my beer fridge.

A: Very brilliant copper colored with red-orange hues against the right light. Beautifully fluffy creamy mocha colored head that laced from the top of the glass to the bottom.

S: Nice citrusy aromas with the occasional piney notes depending how far you buried your nose into the pint glass. A very distinct sharp, almost acidic, toasted grain character. I presume this is from the 18% rye. A very nice syrupy/malty aroma lingers at the end. An infrequent caramel character also exists.

T: Fantastic! Began with a grapefruit/tangerine hop character which progressed to a very nice piney finish on the back of the palate. The rye provides the a bit of a spice note and a sharp finish. Alcohol presence is very well hidden, somewhat noticeable as the beer warms, but plays well with the rye character. Thought I notice a very slight molasses character.

D: Even though I've had this before, the alcohol snuck up on me pretty quickly. This would be a perfect beer for enjoying the last beautiful day of autumn, or any other time for that matter.

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Photo of PlayitAgain
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with a almost creamy-like head that leaves sheets of lace down the glass,the rye really comes thru in the aroma along with a dose of grapefruit these aromas melded very well together I already knew this was gonna be a hoppy brew before even tasting.Like a few of the others who reviewed this one the first few sips hit pretty hard with some bigtime bitterness but mellowed after awhile with that late rye touch making this very refreshing.Glad to get a chance to try this a very nice beer would love to have on tap again sometime.

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Photo of alovesupreme
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark red almost brown in color with excellent creamy head that lasts until the end.

Piney, a little soap, and fruity.

Very hoppy, Piney, citrus, a little malt with a lingering bitterness.

Excellent mouthfeel, very creamy, so smooth that I dont even know its in my mouth until I taste the hops.

Excellent Ipa, I will have this again soon.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

These California beers travel well. This is a definitely departure form all DIPA I've tried.

Glowing red, tanny head, awesome lacing that appears, as the beer as is tilted and doesn't stop...it really doesn't.

Kind of reminds me of a corned beef sandwich with ground stone mustard. Comes out and bites you right away. Bready, caraway, ridiculous hops. Ends with a pleasant bitter bite.

I don't think I've ever finished a bomber as quickly as I have this one. Alcohol is virtually non-existent, yeah right. No really, it disguised wonderfully.

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Photo of edchicma
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bear Repuiblic does it again! A super creamy head..murky brown eye candy! A definite lemon hop presence wafts the nostrils...continuing into the taste which is initially very hop intensive, but mellows toward the finish....which leaves you wanting more. If you realize that this brew is hop intensive and a sipper, then drinkability is fine...high abv further suggests "sipping". The mouthfeel was great...with a soft dryness throughout.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a very nice dark and crisp amber colour wuth a giant sticky tan head that looks creamy and inviting. it looks more like a turbo charged red ale than what i'd expect from a double ipa, but certainly no complaints, as it looks great all-around. the smell is a solid bread and rye with hop throughout. this one's a bit dirty and sweet smelling at times as well too. the flavour hits you with a surprising aount of malt and bitterness before moving into hops, dirt and tree bark and then some full on rye flavour at the finish. the hop burps are quite yummy with the rye taste mixed in. this one remains tasty throughout whilst not being overpowering, which is nice. another winner from bear republic, which seems to produce (in my eyes) a consistent string of very good brews, but can't move into the 'blow me away' range...yet.

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Photo of twbrewer
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Poured a deep amber color with a small light tan colored head,very little lacing.

S-First scent is sweet hops but as it warms the sweetness becomes more a pungent aroma.Slight scent of alcohol and something that reminds me of candi-sugar.

T-Nice bitter hop kick at first then a rich and robust malt flavor.Rye bite thats slightly bitter in the aftertaste.Becomes sweeter as it warms.

M-Medium bodied beer with a prickly mouthfeel at first but again as it warms it smooths out.

D-Interesting.Well balanced,loved the taste and the feel but seemed to be light in the smell.It did however pair well with Pink Floyd's 'The Dark Side Of The Moon'

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into Crooked Stave tulip. Pours a deep amber brown with a finger of head. Big spicy hop and rye aromas...very hot hop aroma. Taste is a bit spicy hop and rye, but quickly mellows out to a really nice brown sugary malt with a great almost sweet hop balance. Some citrus and more pine notes, but mostly sweet sugary malt. Really nice finish and mouthfeel. It smells very aggrestive and "hot" but it actually is very well balanced and finishes nice. I typically dont enjoy rye IPA's but this one is an exception.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a murky brown colour with a very large frothy beige head. I can't make out much carbonation due to the darkness of the beer and there is some terrific lacing. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - hops, malts, caramel, oranges

Taste & Mouth - wow.. first sip and I'm in love.. this beer is really good. The mouthfeel is full-bodied with an amazing creaminess and the perfect level of carbonation. The most dominant flavours are sweet and sour citrus mixed with malts and lots of hops. There is also a dark fruit flavour, perhaps plums or cherries. Other flavours include caramel, chocolate, and rye. The beer finishes with a bitter sweet caramel hop aftertaste.

Drink - This one is pretty far up there on my list of favorite beers; it is very tasty and highly drinkable. I'll seek this one out again and stock up on it for sure.

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Photo of CHickman
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish brown in color with a 2 finger foamy beige/tan head that lasted a while and left great lacing and a creamy ring around the top of the glass; the lacing didn't move unless a sip of beer flowed over it.

Smells of big hops up front, with piney hops, citrus hops, grapefruit, sweet malt, orange peel, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, grass, hay, apple and some wheat; very pungent hop aroma that was surprising to me nice since I was expecting more rye.

Tastes of piney hops, citrus hops, grapefruit, sweet malt, orange peel, coriander, caramel, brown sugar, pepper, cinnamon, grass, hay, tart apple, flowers, rye, spices and what seems like syrup towards the end; really hoppy overall with the rye coating the tongue after the other flavors wash away. This is a different kind of IPA and I like it and its light spicy approach. The sweetness and the sharp rye spice leave a clean yet almost fruity flavor lingering and make for a nice niche IPA.

Mouthfeel is creamy and very smooth, with very light to no carbonation, a medium body and a snappy tart finish that screams of the rye. There are hints of alcohol, but they are so mild that it's not a distraction.

Very tasty and quite drinkable, especially for IPA fans who like a mix of malt and other ingredients like rye with their hops. This is no ordinary IPA and should be enjoyed for the specialty beer that it is. A definite recommendation.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Solid brown color (with fairly large pieces of suspended sediment), a nice tan/light brown head, decent carbonation, and big sheets of lace. Big hop and malt aroma. A big huge flavor of malt and hops -- an incredible balancing act. Hops are piney and sprucey. Not sure the Rye really stands out due to the bitterness. Medium-full (leans full) bodied, creamy, and smooth.

More of a big huge American IPA/Strong Ale (a la Stone Arrogant Bastard or Rogue Mogul Ale) -- I prefer the Hop Rod.

Per label: Made with 18% Rye

($5.39 / 22 oz.)

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Photo of kels
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beer pours into my pint a rusty shade of dark, coppery brown. It is somewhat hazy with decently visible carbonation running throughout, sustaining the well-retained 1/2 finger of tan filmy foam. Spotty lacing streaks the glass.

Smell: Aroma is pretty light, but distinct notes of really toasty, almost roasted rye and slightly citrusy hops. The toastiness almost smells a little smoky, but not in a clear or overpowering way.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The thing I appreciate most in the taste of this beer is that it is satisfyingly bitter without overwhelming the palate. The rye is really toasty and crispy and provides a great backdrop to the hops that to me taste a lot like citrus rind and pith. A little bit of grassiness comes through as well. There's a slight sweetness that also balances out the dry, roasty bitterness, too. The feel is moderate, with some bright carbonation and a sticky residue.

Drinkability: Really high. There's a lot of flavor in this beer, and it's really full and satisfying.

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Photo of Jake_Ramrod
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I've always been a Red Ale fan, so I was excited to get this in trade from a nice lady in CA. Adding in the rye flavor was a pleasant surprise and worked really well. A really nice beer and one of the best red ales I've had. Enjoyed out of a tulip watching my UK Wildcats whoop that butt.

A: This beer is somewhat cloudy and is a light mahogany-red beer topped with a creamy white head about a half inch in height. The head receded quicker than I would have expected for the carbonation present

S: The smell has a wonderful caramel malt sweetness plus a bit of citrus in the hop character. I have to agree that this nearly smells like a barleywine.

T: I love the flavor of this beer - not too sweet and just a hint of bitterness. The malts lend to a very drinkable beer and the rye grain and hops gives it a funky kick in the end. This has a complex flavor and yet remains extremely drinkable. Tons of flavor.

M: This has a great mouthfeel as the rye leaves a lasting impression that just keeps on going. A bit oily, but it really works.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. IMO, this would pair really well with some Asian food, curries, and meats. It remains a complex beer and yet is completely drinkable and balnced. All the flavors work harmoniously together. Well done and I'll be hunting these out.

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Photo of glazeman
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. This is one of those beers that I've heard is good, and always see sitting on the shelves at the various beer stores around town, but that I have always walked by and thought, "Oh, I'll try that sometime soon" but keep passing up. Well that time has come...

A: pours a dark brown but fairly red when held up to the light. A vigorous pour yields a half finger light tan head that has sub-optimal retention but nice lacing.

S: Rye and nuts, but not a very aromatic beer.

T: As the name implies the rye really comes out in this beer and is quite good! For some reason it reminds me a lot of raison d'extra but without the big alcohol kick. Perhaps this is because this beer has flavors of plums/raisons in addition to the rye. There is a nice hop finish that balances out the sweetness that comes out up front.

M: Pretty good feel. Nice level of carbonation. Medium bodied.

D: Wonderfully drinkable. The alcohol in this beerl is hidden well, it's not overly sweet, and tastes great. I would love to have this more often...luckily it's easy to find.

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Photo of metsfan1
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of warmstorage
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle, about $5 from BevMo, Natomas, Sacramento.

Appearance: deep copper to almost light brown, moderately hazy. Rocky off-white to light beige head, with significant lacing. Very attractive!

Aroma: tangy, somewhat sweet, caramel/candy notes. Nice smelling, but you wouldn't know it was an 8% semi-DIPA style.

Taste: Tangy, with that sweet cloying flavor that rye imparts. I love rye, and love to brew with it, so my impressions might be skewed, but I think it's delicious.

Mouth: Moderate body, but fairly slick and full finishing. Slightly tingly carbonation, and moderate alcohol warmth in the finish.

Overall: Tasty -- I like the stuff, a lot. It's consistently delicious, very drinkable, and is an excellent value for the price.

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Photo of cichief
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber.

A- Poured a deep reddish-brown nearly opaque, with a light brown head.

S- Strong hops in the nose, very flowery, a little citrus.

T- Powerful, very hoppy, but balanced, a little sourness from the rye.

M- Very well carbonated, medium-thick on the tongue, no noticeable alcohol burn.

D- At 8% ABV, I wouldn't have many of these, but they are nice.

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Photo of LiamStLiam
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

OK, second Bear Republic review of the day (already had the Big Black Bear Stout).

From one favorite style to another, stout to hop-head.

The first thing I thought was, "wow, hops exploding on roof of mouth). The first rush of taste was as good as my favorite, Hop Devil.

After that, other tastes begin to push through, including the rye. Interesting, but not something I would drink a lot of. Didn't seem to sit all that easily.

Very tasty.

I thought the color was an amber, but folks seem to see this one in different ways.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown-red with a rocky head. Sour rye and cranberry nose. Bready malt with wine, ginger and dark fruit but little sweetness. Big tart hit of grapefruit hops at the end. Chewy body, frothy carbonation. Hot from the 8%.

I'm not sure I like what the rye gives here, but that could just be me. Either way, it does burn too much. No more than one in an evening.

2nd tasting: Dark amber with trailers from custard head, resiny caramel nose, raisins and Demerera up front with sappy California hops, lots of chew.

Solid construction with surprisingly barleywine-like qualities. Can't find much hops or rye, so I have to suspect the age. This will require a 3rd visit.

3rd tasting: Chestnut with creamy pitted beige head, orange + skunk nose, some bread cut by BIG fresh tangerine juice with hint of papaya + pine, grassy finish baby aspirin linger; medium, round, chewy.

Finally got this decently fresh (10 weeks out from 9.27 bottling) and what a difference. Rye is much more supporting role than feature: wouldn't swear that grassiness wasn't dry hopping. But easy-sipping DIPA that never hints at 8%. Fits right in to that BR signature simple quality. upping Taste + Overall.

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pored from a 750oz bottle into a pint glass. Logo has an old jalopy with flames on the side.

Appearance - Pours a murky reddish color with a lovely clumpy three finger head crowning the top. So clumpy it looks like brain. After the head went down, huge white clumps cling to the side of the class. Still a thick patchy layer of head left on top of the beer all the way to the end

Smell - Lots of hops, somewhat of a spiciness to it. A faint malt is hidden somewhere in the back behind some citrus notes as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Crisp and hopy up front, but it blends nicely into a smooth creaminess before finishing slightly bitter on the back end. Hops relaxed a little bit, and it got hella creamy and malty as it warmed. Spicyness kinda kicks in on the aftertaste as well.

Drinkability - Beautiful combo of hops and malt. Not too much of each, just a great balance. I'm gonna sip on this one as long as I can.

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Photo of CBFanWish
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bear Rupublic has proven itself one of the nations premier breweries time and time again. The have taken the term "big beer" seriously and i think will continue to do so.
Hop Rod Rye is one of those great big beers that are brewed out there in the Bear Republic brewery in California. It is a fine example for it's style and always will be.
Pours a thick, almost unfiltered looking hazy amber colour with a thick head that just cascades from the glass, no matter how much care you put into the pour.
The aroma is strong with the rye, It's almost all that is smelled. I'm happy that the yeast isn't as pronounced as it could be. Rye bread isn't my idea of a good drink.
The taste is also very strong with rye. There is a nice hoppy bitterness that lingers on the tongue for a few seconds after the sip has been taken.
Not a bad beer, in fact, it is a fantastic beer for it's style. The only area that I ha to give it below a 4 is drinkability, just because I really don't enjoy the rye beers as much as I probobly should, but to each his own, I guess.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,719 ratings.
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