Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,076 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: 2,076 | Ratings: 4,705
Photo of cbl2
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11/15/2004 $4.99 22 oz. 8.00% No best by date (says seasonal, but apparently is available year round).


Pours a startingly clear brown with hints of ruby, accompanied by a half inch of tan cream. Glorious to behold.


This may rival Stone's IPA for aroma! Smells more like a grapefruit than some grapefruit I've had. Hints of malt present themselves as well, but hops take center stage. Very fresh.


Mouthfeel is phenomenal. Smoothest IPA ever. This is perfection in a bottle!!! Hops are up front in your face citrusy, with a nice sweet malt background. Not sure if the rye accounts for smoothness, but this is dangerous. At 8% alcohol, this one packs a punch quickly, even though it tastes so good going down, you want to keep drinking. Wish this could be a session brew, but it's too strong!

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Photo of alexgash
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Had a pint of this at the Yard House in Costa Mesa. Zero atmosphere, but very clean tap lines.
Fresh out of the tap this beer is even better than out of the bottle. Still has the same brick-red body and creamy tan head. But the spicy, piny, resiny hop aromas are even more pronounced and appetizing. The caramally maltiness still holds its own though. Hop and malt flavor are also enhanced. I just love the spicy character throughout--even in the malty sweet beginning. I just wish I could get this on-tap more often.

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Photo of aCharlie
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - slightly hazy dark brown & amber
S - Floral, pine... more of a subtle hop smell, not too much rye
T - Noticeable amount of hops, with a clean/balanced rye
M - A typical strong IPA/rye
O - The balance of hops and rye work very well together. Mature beer, appropriate amount of hops, malt, and rye - all well combined, and well distinguished.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.86/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance: color is a clear ruby, there are lots of bubbles within the beer, which pours a thick, bouncy head that has superb retention.

Smell: aroma is very hoppy, with powerful notes of grapefruit and pine. Rye pepperiness lingers there as well.

Taste: citrus hops burst forward, followed by pine and rye spiciness, as well as malty burned sugar that beautifully balances the faint, hoppy bitterness.

Mouthful: body is on the lighter side of medium, not crisp but not creamy either, but moisture from the thick head lingers on the back of the tongue on the way down.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.86/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'm in love with this great brew and need to get more ASAP! Pours a dark copper with a modest head and a small ring like lace that retains throughout. It seems that this one is unfiltered as you can see some sediment. No problem, as it does not affect it negatively. The aroma is malty sweet with hints of caramel, chocolate, syrup, toasted bread and a tiny bit of alcohol towards the end. The taste is a malt lover's dream. A firm malt backbone with toasty bread flavors and caramel. Yet, this sweetness is never at risk of being cloying. Make no mistake about it, this one is also a bit of a hop bomb. This is evident in the finish and aftertaste which is a perfect marriage of dry, bitter and sweet. There are also elements of spice coming from the rye. I like my IPAs to have a good balance between hops and malts and I'm so impressed by the perfect balance this one has achieved. What a feel! It is full bodied and chewy yet so drinkable. I just finished it and I'm sad because I wish I had more. Reminds me a lot of dogfish head IPA 90.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: This one pours a copper ruby tone with something floating inside could be yeast could be hop particles and forms a decent thicket of cream toned head with brilliant patches of lacing spread thick and evenly. Aroma: The combonation of piney and floral hops blended with the rye are such a great combonation here, this is one of those classic beers buttery hops in your face but not over done what a great scent I would buy soap that smells like this if it was available. Taste: So much hop flavor yet not too much bitterness it's like they added hop extract or something to make the perfect blend of pine, this isn't all hops the malts make an appearance here they act as sweetened butter coated on lucious steamed hop buds with the rye here to accent all of the flavors this is by far the best rye beer I have ever tasted b/c they didn't try to make the rye the dominant flavor. Mouthfeel is medium in body but the smoothness of this beer going down is impeccable perfect amount of carbonation so easy drinking this one deserves awarded across the board. There is no hype behind this beer and by the quality and great flavor of this beer I am sure that the rest of the Bear Republic lineup in my fridge is going to be just as prosperous. A 22oz. bottle of this goes down effortlessly if this ever made in a keg to the east coast it would be first in line for my newly converted kegerator, awesome brew a hop suspension is going on with specks of hops floating but oh the joy that comes from sampling this beer, thank you to whoever brewed this fine nectar for the beer gods of blessed thee.

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Photo of stingrayvr6
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Local 44 in Philly. Beautiful amber color with fantastic creamy, off white head. Excellent retention and sticks to very inch of the glass. Smelled oily and citrusy. Incredibly smooth and citrusy, and fruity but sharp and bitter from the hops and mellows out with the rye. Very bitter with a balnaced and lingering finish and strong rye taste in the finish. Absolutely excellent.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My local trader, tone77, and I did another pick-up/drop-off the other day and this time our roles were reversed - I dropped off while he was at work. More bottles for me to keep the numbers aligned with The CANQuest (TM). So be it!

From the bottle: "Hop Rod Rye is a high performance, turbo charged, alcohol burnin' monster ale with dual overhead hop injection, made with 18% rye."; "Brew Master Notes - Don;t drink & drag. Sediment at bottlom of bottle may be the result of the truckload of hops in this non-filtered ale."

I do not understand how I have never reviewed this beer until now. I even visited them with UncleJedI and PurpleHatJoan and they sent me a patch for the latest jacket. It is time to make this right!

My slow, gentle pour still got me a finger of light-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity, thanks to my pour. I will stir up the lees at the end to see what I get. Nose was grapefruit and black pepper, owing to both the copious hops and all of the rye. Man, but the mouthfeel was full, with a spicy intensity that makes me want to remind you to be sitting down when drinking this beer! That was a Public Service Announcement, courtesy of yours truly. Stone likes to think that we are "not worthy", but even as a self-avowed hophead, I may not be worthy of this one. It just exploded in my mouth with citrus and black pepper and swallowing did not help, since it was so dry that I immediately gasped and reached for the water. Oh my! To say that this was good would be an understatement. Put another way - it may not be for everyone, but if you like American IPAs and you appreciate what rye can do for a beer, you should try this beer, if you haven't already. I have a feeling that this review at this stage is either a) gilding the lily or b) preaching to the choir or c) some of both.

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Photo of TEXTONE
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look-Dark Amber w. red huge very nice head retention with lacing down to the bottom of the glass
Smell-Hoppy, malty sweet hard to get a really good read on this due to smells from the restaurant.
Taste-Dark malt, hoppy as hell slight coffee flavor, many flavors just roaming all around the pallet, well balanced beer. Warm and tingly on the tongue dry crisp bitter tart aftertaste.

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Photo of GJ40
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 22 oz bottle purchased at Whole Foods on Westlake in Seattle, WA. No noticeable best by date.

A - A deep copper, almost brown color with a very slight haze and a moderate beige head. This beer leaves behind a very nice lacing.

S - A nice firm earthy, rye aroma with some piney hops mixed in.

T - A very balanced beer with both a rich malt and a citrusy bitterness. I love the way the caramel and earthy malts intermingle with the characteristically west coast hop flavors. I tend to prefer the hop bombs but this one has it all and makes it work.

M - A substantial, creamy beer with just enough carbonation to do the job.

D - This is one of my favorite beers. Well done Bear Republic!

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Photo of DrJay
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, toffee/red colour topped by a thick, fluffy, off-tan head. Excellent retention and stickage that leaves a very thick lace on the glass. I could smell hops as soon as I started pouring the beer. Plenty of citrus and floral hop aroma, to the point of being perfumy due to quantity. Malt is in there as well, a little bready, with an almost gingerbread quality that also shows up in the flavour. Complex hop flavours that are in balance with each other and are absolutely amazing. Grapefruit hop flavour is present all the way through, with a bit of pine resin, some hop spice, and orange. Maltiness is slightly grainy and quite drying. Assertive bitterness, just short of aggressive, that balances very well with the malt. Long, dry, bitter finish. Full bodied with medium carbonation and a rich, creamy texture. This is really, really good beer. The combination of rye with the high hopping rate works very well.

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Photo of 1fastz28
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

another one of the beers i've seen at the beer shop and passed over mistakenly thinking that i've already tried it, and boy am i sad that i missed this one, for its exceptional. pours a beautiful deep amber color with a big foamy head that laces a decent amount. its smell is legendary, the hops smell as fresh as the ones i use to homebrew with in my fridge, the hops are piney and pungent, just awesome aroma. taste is just as good, a wonderful array of hops are complimented with a nice malty balance. overall its just an awesome beer, and with it being only 4-5 bucks for a bomber it is a very good deal too.

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Photo of markaberrant
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - deep red, very clear, rock solid tan head leaves thick sheets of lace behind

S - thick caramel malt, slight toffee, with spicy rye, fruity, light citrus hops, it all combines to create some leafy earthiness, very enticing

T - hops come through a bit more at the tip of the tongue, but still balanced with the tasty malt profile, that is not cloying or sweet, just MALTY, the finish brings in a smooth chocolate element that is intertwined with alcohol and bitter citrus that lingers for a long, long time

M - just about the perfect weight for this beer, medium body and smooth carbonation keep it from being syrupy, hop resins stick to the insides of the mouth and accentuate the dry bitterness, alcohol warmth is mild and smooth

D - drinks exceptionally well for a bigger beer, yet is still immenently complex

Damn near perfect execution on this beer. My favourite rye beers are always on the darker, maltier side with a decent body and american hops, and this one nails it. There is a fair bit of hops in this beer, but they are not front and center, in fact I'd say they provide the accent to this beer, not the malt.

I can't think of any negatives, I wouldn't change a thing, but I don't want to give it a perfect 5.

Find this beer and drink as much as you can!

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Photo of beertunes
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into bubble pint glass. Poured a bright, clear reddish-mahogany color with about an inch of light khaki colored head that left a medium-heavy amount of lacing. A sharp hop nose that has an underlying earthiness. The expected hop flavors are present but with addition of rye they have a little something extra to hold onto, which in turn allows the hops to better express themselves. The blend of barley and rye gives this beer a distinctive, pleasant and satisfying flavor. The body is full and satisfying, something missing in most IPAs. As with most IPAs, this beer will burn your tastebuds, but unlike most IPAs, there is more flavor to be had. You will be feeling the effects if you have several, but this is as drinkable as an IPA can get. I highly recommend this beer, worth a lot of effort to get.

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Photo of letsgopens
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This IPA pours very woody ruby brown with gorgeous ruby highlights. The off-white head holds pretty well with just a bit of spotty lace. After the head recedes it can be rejuvenated with a quick swish or by freshening up your glass from the bottle. Phenomenal looking with that luscious woody visible texture that often implies deep sprucy, bitter, hops.

Huge, sharp, piny, hops. Spruce; sticky and resinous in the nose. Talk about anticipation. Some nice caramel malt and bitter citrus. Bright and semi-sweet with some distinct breadiness and light toffee. Pungent and mouthwatering. I don't think it gets much better than this. Everything I look for in an IPA and more. Unique, complex, and wildly aromatic.

Heavy, floral and bitter on the tongue. Hops, hops, and more sprucy, piny, resinous hops. The well pronounced caramel malt provides a slightly sweet and substantial canvas for the hops. Ok, more about the hops; spicy and herbal with lots of citrus tied in as well. Citrus contributes in a big way. Orange and bitter grapefruit pith. Cracked black pepper and coriander. Interesting spicy rye focuses in the middle. Juicy and slick in flavor and texture and not dry. I'm actually going to tie the flavor in with mouthfeel as far as the review is concerned because of how well they compliment each other.

The hops linger so well throughout the finish and beyond that they dominate the texture of the brew. The fact that these huge, boisterous flavors can be balanced so well is a large testament to this beers craftsmanship. Lingering floral hops come through with a clean slick finish. One of the all time best beers I've ever had. An absolute treat to consume and to evaluate. A masterpiece of malty, hoppy deliciousness.

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Photo of johannasclimacus
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was surprised at how dark this beer pours. I thought I saw one poured a few weeks ago that was a much different hue, but realized when I got mine that I was mistaken. The appearance is dark as many have noted, a deep reddish brown.

The appearance is also of a very creamy, smooth ale and the taste fully backs this up. The taste is a dynamite combination of malts and hops; it was just simply a tasty beer that didn't last long.

At 8%, this could be a very dangerous beer. But that is only a compliment to the outstanding taste and drinkability that Hop Rod Rye brings to the table. Excellent job by Bear Republic.

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Photo of hero27
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber. Listed 8% abv. Says on the bottle it's made with 18% rye...interesting.

Rapidly forming head of khaki foam. Mostly clear amber color.
Elegant hop aroma.. floral hops are strong, but not overdone and won't take the paint off the walls like some hop aromas will. Very fresh, spicy hop flavors up-front that blend in ridiculously well with the earthy Crystal malt presence...quite smooth going down, also. Damn, this stuff's incredible...every flavor works in harmony, with the hops, malt, and rye doing their part to make one insane beer. This brew is the real deal.

An exceptional Double IPA, with a uniqueness that will keep you coming back for more..

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4.84/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

GOD DAMN, this beer hits the spot every single time. Might be my favorite bomber to pick up on a whim, and it's 5 bucks. Achieves such a fine balance of malt and hops to the point where you can almost pick one or the other to focus on, but both are still respectfully present. Casual but classy; solid from start to finish with no fuss . This beer is marriage material.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok...I'll try to do this intelligently but I've had two 22 oz bottles and that may not be possible.
Pours deep, deep brown...almost black.
Heavenly head of sable color that stays with a pretty lacing throughout the drink.
I smell grapefruit...probably the hops.
Taste is heavenly....tingly hops with slight grapefruit aftertaste....wonderful blending of hops and malt...almost perfect. Nothing overpowers...just a heavenly blending.
Light carbonation...high octane but no high burn going down.

I enjoyed this brew totally...maybe too much. In my mind this was 'the perfect beer'. Heavenly blending of malt and hops....aftertaste is clean and nice. If it was only half the alcohol I would drink a sixer...as it is, I may anyway and regret it tomorrow.
My favorite.
I'm inclined to give it 5's all over because I love it but will be honest in my ratings.
I had to make a note after finishing about my 10th of these (no...not at one sitting.
This beer has the most incredible head I have ever seen in a beer. It is almost stiff in intensity and the entire two fingers will last through then entire drink. You litterally can sculpt the head of bubbles you will get with a pour all the way to the bottom of the glass. While being the stiffest head I have ever seen from a brew, it is not a bad thing at all...I enjoy this extra touch of heavenly richness the head imparts.

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Photo of Mavajo
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a ruby-brown color with a billowing cream head - absolutely gushes up the glass. Good retention and great sticky lacing.

Aroma is of hops and bready malts, with perhaps a hint of rye - though that could just be power of suggestion. While the nose was good, the taste was phenomenal. What a wonderful flavor profile here - you've got a great malt backbone with the rye bringing a nice smoothness, and then the hops cutting through it all. Delicious.

The mouthfeel is superb as well. Medium to full bodied with creamy smoothness.

This is a tremendous beer. I wish Bear Republic distributed here.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Duvel tulip glass...

A: Pours a dark combination of mahogany and molasses with a nice thick inch of head perched on top. The lacing is gorgeous.

S: Scents originating from the rye base flow freely through the aroma. They couple with a truckload of citrus hops. Mainly grapefruit. Roasty caramel malts and pepper come through with the rye. There is a promising pungency emanating from my glass.

T: MMM...Delicious. First off, the alcohol is extremely well masked. Next this beer is incredibly balanced. The grapefruit jumps right out at you as soon as you sip. The roasty malts and spices come through later and leave an incredibly satisfying taste on the pallet. The hop bitterness is just enough to tingle the tongue, without crushing out the other flavors.

M/D: The mouthful is nice and sticky, medium to high carbonation. You get exactly what you would expect from looking at it and watching it pour.

I don't know if I have ever had an IPA quite like this. The rye base adds an unreal element to the beer. The complexity is through the roof, as the brewer must have gone insane to mix the proportions of these ingredients. Its part IPA, part winter warmer (?), part DIPA, and all delicious.

To think that I paid $5.49 for this beer, and I got the worst deal on the entire page really says something about this beer. For the price, you'll have a really hard time finding an IPA that even comes close. This beer has the entire package. Delicious, balanced, and complex. A truly enjoyable drinking experience that I can't wait to recreate in the near future.

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Photo of joezak5
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel tulip; a deep, almost shadowy ruby with an obscene billowing beige head that tops the glass smoothing over to a meringue finish... no dropping before it dissipates within, beautiful lacing and retention... a staggering sight.

Smell: Sweet and sticky hops, slick and oily with a spiced loaf of marble rye in the background.

Mouthfeel: Light and delicate on the palate, sweet and oily with a pine like floral kick.

Taste: Unreal sweet hop bomb... smoothed out with a creamy caramelly malt but hops are king here... sweet and spicy finish that makes me want more.

Drinkability: A beauty I never would have tried had it not been for the best of BA list... tucked away at $5 at Wegmans in Princeton, NJ... I've find my joy when Nugget Nectar is not around...

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Photo of gwood
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz poured to a Sammy Smith Imperial Pint...

Pours a deep crimson red with accents of mahogony when backlit. The pour was a bit too agressive and I ended up with a massive three plus fingers of thick, sticky, frothy off white head that formed valleys and peaks as it began to settle from being so rudely awakened. The head refuses to give up on this brew, lacing it's way in glittered heartbeat ring patterns ALL the way down to the bottom inch of my pint glass. What a sexy brew...can't wait to try it.

Hops climb out of this beer in droves. Strong citrus notes followed by a good deal of malt hanging on the tongue in the middle, followed up by a long crisp finish. This beer really improves in character as it warms up a bit, seems to bring out some of the rye charateristics more, quite a nice change from the sweet middle present in some of the other beers in this style. I think that it is really one of the key factors that sets this beer apart from some of it's peers.

This is a highly drinkable, medium bodied, ass kicking, name taking IPA from our good friends at Bear. May they continue to give the world great gifts for many years to come.


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Photo of goschool
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The creamy off-white to orange head atop its deep, dark and cloudy copper-red body releases huge pine aroma. The first sip is fantastically ferocious. The rye adds a tangy and spicy flavor that's reminiscent of bourbon. This brew is very hoppy, with rye and a wee bit of malt (sweet toffee/caramel flavors are in here they're just a little shy and intimidated by the hops) to make this so complex. This stuff is super drinkable; I feel like I could finish a keg of this by myself- I'd sure like to try.

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Photo of B33R501
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

wow. real simple, one of the best beers in the world. for the longest time my goto beer, ive had this so many times, but now that im getting into huge stouts and barrel aged beers i dont really have a goto anymore. available year round, quality, consistent, reasonable price. $7.50 per 4 Pak, last year it was an insane $6.50 per 4.

pours beautiful dark amber almost purple? i'll have to check color charts one day to better describe if. Tonites 4 Pak must be very fresh, the hops jumped out of the bottle on first smell, on warming it's morphed into the usual malty, elegant floral perfume like beer it usually is. taste is very complex, big caramel malts, followed by citrusy, floral earthy hops that linger on the palate what seems like forever. apples and pears now, let it warm and the spice comes out, the rye malts making their presence known. before I forget this is also the most drinkable beer in the world. I've had it so many times, never a hangover, never a dissapointment.

I don't know what else to say? If I could drink one beer, and one beer only, this would be the one. tribute to the brewers art.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,705 ratings.
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