Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
Liked This Beer
4.22 w/ 4,723 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,723 |  Reviews: 2,080
Photo of Crosling
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bronze in color.

Resiny, spicy and fruity hops in the nose along with sweet and toasted malts and nuts.

Low carbonation. Tons of cinnamon, dark fruits and spices. Very creamy. Fantastic hop flavor.

I would like another.

I hope I will be able to sell this soon.

 272 characters

Photo of Yancey82
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of seand
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep color with a small amount of bubbly light tan head. Just a thin layer with some patches of bubbles retains, but it's enough to leave pretty good lacing.

S: A fairly rich sweetness, with a touch of rye that I'm sure I can only detect because I'm specifically looking for it.

T: It's quite smooth, with a full sweetness moving into a huge hop finish. Maybe there's some rye but mostly I taste hops.

M: Full bodied, somewhat chewy, medium carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable for a big beer.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hop Rod Rye is a delightful beer with an inviting, rounded mouthfeel and a pleasant malty nose. But I can’t say as my palate is sufficiently attuned to the nuances of rye malt as to either explicitly identify it as such or even to enjoy it. Perhaps I just haven’t yet come to appreciate the style. But the rye content of Hop Rod makes only a modest contribution to the overall flavor profile, and I haven’t found any compelling value for it. Hop Rod may be the first rye beer I’ve ever knowingly consumed and I’ll be certain to make further overtures to the style in the future. But for now the style itself has shown me little of interest and the variation is too modest to justify the effort.

That said, I certainly enjoyed Hot Rod. It is clear with a warm chestnut color. It forms a good lumpy head of off-white suds and leaves behind a fair tailing of lace. The finish is crisp and culminates with a succinct pinch of bitterness. The aroma is dark and molasses-like, yet also strangely piney. The taste is relaxed if not compressed, and I’m wondering now if the bomber I drank was particularly fresh. The bottle indicates that this is a seasonal ale but it doesn’t say which season.

The flavor definitely takes a turn away from the taste of pure barley malt – it’s a little earthier or peaty. But the disparity is meager and I can’t say as I appreciated the merits of this distinction to any notable degree. I also didn’t grasp the muscle car potency of the hop infusion, which alleges to measure out at 90+ IBUs. Perhaps the rye took the edge off the hops. It was definitely hoppy, but not that hoppy.

One more thing – I felt virtually no effect from the alcohol. Strange.

 1,703 characters

Photo of Intimidtor
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bear Republic makes another great beer. Poured into a pint glass and noticed about a finger width of head. Pours a nice amber color and smells inviting. This beer nice with moderate bitterness. Strong lingering flavor that would go great with a steak. Recommended if you get the chance.

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Photo of Contra
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this with an excellent Reuben sandwich. Seemed appropriate, and went well together.

Pours with massive mountains of head that has peaks and valleys. Copper red color, slightly translucent at the bottom, thicker in the middle. Extremely hoppy with a desirable bitterness. more on the floral side, as opposed to the pine flavor. Still has a nice mix of both. Very intense, perhaps too much if your not into IPAs, but perfect for those who are.

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Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is brown, nearly the color of iced tea, with a light tan head. Not a particularly attractive beer upon pouring, but lacing is very good. Hops dominate the smell, with citrus and pine. The taste is more balanced - caramel sweetness from malts, spiciness from rye, bitterness from hops all combine for an interesting flavor profile. Piney hops are more noticeable than other flavors. Mouthfeel is prickly on the tongue. Very enjoyable, and one of the better rye beers I've had.

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Photo of Newmerator
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

pours a deep mahogany, great head and retention. some red hues to the color as well, head was a light burnt cream color.

Smell is wow so spicy and hoppy with flavors of caramel and pine. This is one complex brew. I think I smell some cherries in the back, or some dark sugars (might just be the caramel though).

taste was unreal. One of the better beers from one of the better CA breweries. a bit spicy. that taste of rye really started to come out as it warmed up also. it was pretty heavy but light in the mouth. i'd definitely grab one of these at a bar if avail.


 578 characters

Photo of readbaron
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with a finger and a half of sticky, frothy, off-white head. Excellent lacing.

Lots of bitter, floral, resinous, piney hops.

Taste is really nice. Hop forward, lots of pine, then a smooth transition to the rye backbone, and a smooth (for a hoppy IPA) finish.

Very good mouthfeel - smooth, almost creamy.

Overall- another tasty beer from bear republic.

 377 characters

Photo of ross84
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of beerorRIP
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a bomber to a clear pint glass: yields a small 0.5 finger head which reduces to a ring of foam on top. the body is a very nice deep ruby red looking color (don't think grapefruit juice). some nice lacing sticking around.

a nice hoppy smell greets me. pine with some citrus, and some grainy smells - a touch of caramel and the rye i'm thinking?

this is unique. plenty of hop flavors and bitterness in here. starts piney and citrus, turns to some caramel and spice of the rye before the bitter dry finish. mmm. i do recall the draft of this being even more vibrant!

carbonated for certain, but still a somewhat medium body and oily feel to it. it's fitting for a unique tasting beer like this.

this is shockingly easy to drink, even at 8%. good thing i only have one bomber here.

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Photo of deereless
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The color of a weak coffee, the first beer of this 22 oz. bomber is crystal clear though I see some sediment on the bottom of the bottle, there's a thin layer of thick head - 3.75, S: Significant hop aromas, very dry and crisp, some spiciness as well - 4.00, T: Strong hop bite, lots of pine and a touch of grapefruit rind, extremely dry, a good deal of spice on the palate as well as a hint of sweetness - 4.25, M: 4.00, D: A very drinkable IPA, enjoyable all around and one I'd happily drink again - 4.00

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Photo of rajendra82
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bomber was received from meathookjones in a trade that took place a little while back, and I am finally getting around to trying it now. The beer had a lovely coppertone hue as I poured it into the goblet, and the head on top was deliciously creamy, and beige with a thickness of about 2 inches at the beginning. The head was a bit short lived, but the copious lacing left on the sides of the glass while departing was a constant reminder of it.

The aroma was primed with piney and citric juicy hops, bready rye malt, and perfumey alcohol. The taste was like buttered rye toast with a touch of honey dunked into tea made of hop leaves. The mouthfeel felt a bit thinner than the alcohol in the aroma first suggested. The aftertaste was peppery and dry, and left me longing for the next sip. This is a very well crafted beer that will be missed due to its local unavailability. But for now I’ll pour me another glass.

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Photo of boogyman
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark amber color with a finger of head that stays around for a few minutes. Stays a bit bubbly through the whole drink. Lacing is fairly sticky.

S- Oh how I love the hops. I personally like the hop presence more then the rye but overall I still like the smell of this beer quite a lot. There is also a nice grapefruit smell that comes with the hops.

T- For a standard IPA the hops are quite strong in this brew which is a big plus. I don't quite have a taste for rye, but I think I can pick it out and it is quite a nice compliment to the hops.

M- Tangy bubbly smooth goodness going down. Only a very slight alcohol burn that is masked by the hops and malt.

D- I most definitely could drink this over and over. I am starting to understand why this is near the top of the ranks of the American IPA. Will be picking this up again.

 843 characters

Photo of OttoBomb
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz (355m l) bottle into a Dogfish Head signature glass (June 23, 2010). No freshness dates that I can find.

Eyes: Pours a an expectedly ruddy darkish orange, the rye is visible immediately in terms of color, thick haze and a dirty foam cap. Strong retention and lacing.

Nose: A abundance of citrusy hops, with an undertone of the dry rye malt.

Tongue: Similar to the nose, a very hop forward palate is paired with the much lighter dry rye and malt dimensions. The rye supplies a nice dry component that actually pairs well with the massive hop punch.

Mouth: Almost a DIPA level tongue scorcher for what is considered an IPA. Very dry aftertaste with a bitter finish.

Libation: 8% ABV might be enough to push this into DIPA range, but this is quite drinkable. One of the very first rye IPAs to become distributed, and is stil one of the very best.

 868 characters

Photo of iJyuken
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mulder1010
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bomber poured into a tulip

A-- Poured a deep dark cherry brown. Quite clear and nice cherry red tinges to the sides. Two finger light brown head that quickly receded to film but left very nice web like lacing on the sides of the glass. Good head head retention to this.

S-- Pretty inoffensive nose really. Rye and soft cherry to this. Very faint floral hop smell to this.

T-- Floral hops and a little pungent, mixed with a bit of cherry sweetness. Different sort of interesting with the rye.

M-- Pungent and sweet. Quite unique. Rye adds a lot to this in a good, yet different way. Quite filling, rich and lighter than other IPA's. Lacks the bitterness of others but it is the uniqueness that makes this good.

O-- Grows on me as I drink on with this. Quite interesting and different but very good. Keeps alot of the essence of what an IPA is but the rye adds a new dimension to this with the sweetness and richness of it

 928 characters

Photo of SethB2
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a clean, transparent deep ruby color with a huge oatmeal head that would probably last until the next milenium if I gave it a chance. I have said it before, but BR knows how to brew a beer with an impressive head. This thing is thick as all hell.

S - Citrisy hops dominate, with the rye playing a subtle, yet unique background role.

T - I have said before that this beer could easily be classified as a double IPA, and I stand by that. Very aggressive hop up front, followed by one of the smoothest malt profiles I have ever had in an IPA. Extraordinarily balanced with just the right combination of roasted grains and bitterness with a slightly sweet combo coming into play.

M - Silk

D - Good. Another great beer from Bear Republic.

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Photo of DJScroggins
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a bomber of this at the recommendation of a friend.

Dark amber. Creamy mocha head that fades quickly. Thick lacing.

Fruity (smells a bit of apple pulp), citrusy hops. The rye is subtle but there.

Don't get much of the sweetness in the taste, but rye is more pronounced with bitter hops. Mildly bitter finish. I expected a more bitter/dryer finish, but was pleasantly surprised as rye sort of just settled on my tongue as the hops faded.

Relatively heavy body. Smooth. Light carbonation.

I adore rye ales and enjoy IPA's. This is a worthy hybrid of the two. It's definitely still an IPA, the hops an grapefruit are still in control, but the rye plays nicely in the background. A beautiful looking beer and such a pleasure to drink!

 745 characters

Photo of
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle

Crystal clear, dark copper color. Light tan head - large and rocky. Lively carbonation.

Very citrusy aroma. Slightly sweet as well, caramel, peach & pineapple.

Sweeter than expected taste. Hops rather subdued. Rye comes through mildly. Biscuity. As temperature increases, fruit flavors (peach & pineapple) come out along with some caramel. ABV very well hidden, just a hint comes through. Excellent balance. As I drink, a peppery taste starts to build up.

Medium bodied. Low to medium carbonation. Drying, but smooth and very drinkable.

An excellent beer! I prefer more hops, but this is incredibly well balanced. Rye adds a nice little extra. Sessionable, but ABV would get you.

 707 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into an Allagash cervoise glass.

A: A gorgeous two fingers of thick head with good retention. A brown-red body is unusually dark. Clearish, with some bubbles. Heavy lacing.

S: Sweet malts, citrus hops, and a touch of spice that is unlike any rye I've encountered before. A sort of caramelly pine. Good.

T/M: Full, rich, and decadent. The 18% rye bill shines through by providing spicy edges and a dry aftertaste that is unexpected after the huge barley base. The maintaste -- excepting the edges -- is distantly sticky and lightly bready, sort of like biscuits and molasses. Piney hops complete the picture.

O: An excellent beer, far better than I remember it being. Recommended, and would drink again, though not what I typically expect from a Rye IPA (less spicy-dry, more thick-sweet).

 822 characters

Photo of IckyT2012
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of whartontallboy
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful beer. Pours into a chalice with a dark copper color and a huge foamy off-white head that recedes at a glacial pace and leaves a ton of lace. The only other brew I've had that looked this pretty lately was the Bear Republic Racer 5. Beautiful.

Smell is hoppy and piney with a little hint of the rye, but it's light. The 8% alcohol comes through in there, too.

Taste keeps up the good work. There's a pretty obvious rye flavor in here, especially in the finish and aftertaste. However, what comes through more clearly are the hops, which is nice and expected for a DIPA. The malt sticks in pretty nicely, and the rye twists it in such an interesting spicy way that really reinforces the bite of the hops.

Mouthfeel is medium, smooth, and creamy. The hops are incredibly aggressive and present, but this is an excellent DIPA with an interesting
quirk from the rye. I prefer the Racer 5 from Bear Republic, but this is damn good, too.

 965 characters

Photo of Jekyll
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

American IPA or DIPA or rye IPA?!?! Who the hell knows? So judgement based primarily on not pinning it down to a specific style. Great spicy bitterness from the rye and amazing hop presence throughout. Not much balance so I can see why many would not identify it in the DIPA category as a strong malt backbone is required by some to qualify as a good IPA. I can't pin down the style and can easily identify it as all the 3 I mentioned as well as dare I say an American strong ale to boot. Good solid beer my only qualm and it is a small one is I tried this in a 22oz bomber and the mouthfeel and flavor seemed to dissipate on the last 1/2 of the bomber. Not sure if this is available in 12oz bottles but if so I would like to re-visit it in that format. Nonetheless no matter the "identity" of this beer it is a very satisfying experience. Couldn't taste the alcohol at all but after finishing it and typing this up it is slightly sneaking up on me. Excellent job Bear Republic!

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Photo of jdoncbus
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. poured into pint glass. Three finger head, brown color with significant lacing.

Nice rye and hop fragerance with a mellow maltiness.

Starts off with a nice rye backbone followed with citrus-orange rounded out with an excellent balance and moderate bitterness. Outstanding flavor with an oily feel, very pleasing.

The alcohol is hidden very well and could relax with a couple of these bombers to kick off the night.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92% out of 100 with 4,723 ratings
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