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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,076 | Ratings: 4,706
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark iced tea color with a 1/2 beige head that fades to a film. Very little lacing.

S - Pine hops and slight malt aroma.

T - Bitter pine hops with slight malt taste.

M - Slightly flat. Coats the mouth.

D - Not too good. Hop dominates but tastes off.

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.2/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into nonic. Pours deep orange to brown with floaties and a fairly tall off-white head. Aroma is grapefruit, pine, and floral hops, caramel, and rye spice. Taste is similar with light malt sweetness followed by a wave of high hop bitterness and some rye spice on the finish. Individual flavors that I enjoy, but the combination in these proportions seems off. Medium-full bodied, creamy and sticky, soft carbonation, bitter finish.

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Photo of hoppheadIPA
3.22/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had to see what the hype was all about. Pours into the glass a dark orangy red color with a beautiful 1" fluffy head that laces the glass brilliantly. Smells hoppy and fresh witha a bit of malt. Taste let me down, ALOT. Something wasn't right at all. Maybe I got a bad one or something. The hops was right up front with the rye but there was a bit of a funkiness with it. Maybe I'll get another and see. Drinkability was low due to the taste. This doesn't compare to other IPA's at all. Sorry for the bad review, but it didn't do much for me.

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Photo of snogglethorpe
3.23/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Despite the name, there's absolutely no hint of rye flavor. I really like the taste of rye in beer, so was disappointed to discover this.

Beyond that, it's not bad, but not really great either. There's some nice hop flavor in there, but none of the forwardness and bold flavors one usually expects from an American IPA, and no obvious subtlety to compensate for that lack. It just didn't seem very interesting.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.23/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks for the brew Randy. Poured into a pint glass. This one pours a dark brown with a thin layer of white foam.

Lots of rye in aroma with a little bit of candied orange. I would immagine that is from the hops but it seems a bit weak. A little bit of caramel in the aroma. The rye is really the best part of this. The flavor is a lot like the aroma. Good rye flavors but not enough on the hops for me. Candied orange and a little bit of caramel.

The feel is a little sticky with decent carbonation. A little heavier than I would like. Overall not to bad here. Nothing really exciting. The rye is good but the other flavors are simply underwhelming.

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Photo of diechipmunk
3.23/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into an Imperial Pint, nice bronze color with bit of ruby glow. Thick 2-finger head that hangs around and left a good lacing.

S - Strong earthy smell; hops, pine and Grapefruit backed and malt. I got a smell of something that reminded me of a gym bag - not necessarily bad, although it sounds that way, is that the rye? It's only my second rye beer.

T - Bready/malty sweetness with resiny hop bit that clings to the tongue. Grain flavors come through in the middle with a lingering finish of spicy/peppery hops. Still a bit of mustiness - possibly the rye. It's different (to me), but not unpleasant, but it is strong.

M - Rich, smooth, resiny, very silky throughout. Lingering.

D - A very drinkable brew, complex layers of flavor and no alcohol intrusion from the 8% ABV.

This beer is good quality, and complex. The taste is not my favorite, at the moment, but that is personal preference. I'd drink it again although I don't plan on stocking my fridge with it.

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Photo of alaimoa
3.25/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz un-dated bottle poured into Teku:

A: deep amber/brown, brownish head with glistening lace
S: pine and resin dominated to me with sweet molasses in the mix
T: pretty bitter hop and resin kick in the front with a molasses sweetness. I find the aftertaste a bit unappealing with a dry pine. As far as a RYE Ipa it is good, I prefer the imperial and APAs a bit more
M: alcohol very well hidden, smooth

Overall a bit of a disappointment given the overall rating. Very bitter hop/pine malt with a fairly unappealing aftertaste. It is just okay, wouldn't seek it out again but would drink it again

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Photo of claspada
3.28/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

The aromas are of sweet and carmel malts, followed up with nice earthy pine from the hops with a splash of citrus. Defintely some spiciness from the rye as well.

The taste at first is a nice hop explosion that is mixed with the sweetness from the malts, you taste the rye more that what you can smell. The balance is somehow off here though. There too much sticky bitter hops in the finish for my liking. I would rather nave the spicy/bitterness from the rye and hop aroma in my rye ales personally. The mouthfeel is just too abrasive for my taste. Adequate carbonation.

Overall this may be a good beer but it is just slightly unbalanced for my liking. Definitely bitter, spicy and really hoppy. Not enough malt backbone to be a complete winner for me. I have had many ryes and prefer others.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.3/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a dark brown with a slight tan head. Rings of lacing left on the glass, and almost no retention at all.

S - Malts, rye, barley.

T - Creamy roasted malts, vanilla ever so slight in the backround.

D - Lower carbonation, average body.

O - Yawn, not so much to be excited about here.

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Photo of Scoobydank
3.33/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Once again, thanks to my boy Franksandbeans for this puppy
L:Thick frothy 3 finger off white head. Sentiment everywhere on this one. Tiny little bubble continue floating up the sides of the glass forever. The color itself is a dark ruby red.
S: I had to take a few sniffs of this and struggled with each smell. What I did pick up was fairly clean hops with a slight roasty chocolate?
T: I tried this beer both warm and cold. What I found cold was very lack luster. The hops were nice and shapr on the back with a slight grainy nuttiness. Kind of seem watered down to me. once a tad warm I picked up very very light chocolate with a nice solid malty sweetness.
M:Kind of thin water like feel to me. Decent roundness
D:Good. Seems insanely light to me. I expected a lot more. Once the beer gets warm I appreciate it 100 times more.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.33/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darker reddish amber color and the head protiens are hanging on for quite a while, very nice retention, frothy consistancy and good lacing. Man, i wish i knew the age on this one, i may have succombed to an old bottle of Hop Rod, but unfortunantly i have no idea, and as such i can only review what is in front of me, which is a semi moderate hoppy pale ale that shows alot of balance and a creamy and syrupy mouthfeel, with the Rye giving it a differant feel then your average ipa. Nothing exciting going on, some interesting notes once again just with the rye, but an otherwise average beer. I really hope this is a faded bottle, i really hope companies start printing dates on bottles.

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Photo of claytong
3.35/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I wasn't impressed, I was hoping for more rye taste, but instead I got bitter and a bit more bitter. I've been on a rye kick and this one helped me get off it. It was very disappointing especially for the price.
If you live in Colorado go to Averys to check out their new rye beer, amazing.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.35/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$5.49 for a 22oz bottle

A: deep mahogany color, creamy off-tan head
S: milder nose, spicy malt/hops with noticeable malt
T: not as hoppy as traditional IPA with more spicy/malt balance, well-balanced
M: malty with piny grapefruit finish back of the tongue

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.36/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Maybe, the great things I'd heard about this bear had unreasonably bolstered my expectations but I found this RyePA to be a bit of a let down. It was bitter, acrid, and overly hopped. While there was a hint of rye in the aroma, and an undeniable rye component to the beers flavor. Overbearing, and uninteresting hop flavors dominated. Yes,. the hazy brown-amber brew looked excellent beneath a white, and somewhat lacy head. Unfortunately, I found little else within this bitter brew to garner my interest.

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Photo of gyllstromk
3.36/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber with a nice light colored head and good lacing. The color contrast between head and body make for a pleasant effect when swirled.

Not much hops on the nose, but definitely a sweet malty flavor. A bit smokey as well.

Somewhat of a creamy feel.

In my opinion, Bear Republic's Racer 5 is a much better offering to the IPAs. In fact, I really question the IPA label from beer advocate, since nowhere on this bottle is it labeled as an IPA, nor does it taste much like one. I'd classify as an amber or brown based on the mix of malts and hops.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.37/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasted at the Oregon Brewers Fest 2003 on 6/25/03...

Appearance: dark brown, thin sudsy layer of head, good clarity

Aroma: huge hit of grassy-green hops overpowers a very subtle malt thread and even more subtle rye scent

Flavor: the biggest flavor element is a bloom of piny hops (must be dry-hopped), the malt sweetness peaks thru the hops just before the dryish finish, hop bitterness is at a nice level, can't really detect the presence of rye

Mouthfeel: medium body, fine carbonation, slight astringency from the hops

Overall Impression: A bit disappointed. Good beer, but I'd like to actually be able to taste the rye. Sorry... the non-hophead strikes again.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.37/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at BJ's in Fremont.

A: Dark brown / amber color with slow carbonation up the glass. Has a half-inch off-white head that recedes within a few minutes into a film on the glass, with some lacing as I drink. Not as impressive as I remember the bottle being.

S: Pine and grapefruit are the two strongest aromas. I also smell some caramel malt. A little rye and grass.

T: Hop bitterness in pine and grapefruit varieties smash the mouth up front. Floral hops are also detected in mild quantities. The mid-taste sees an evolution of caramel malt and small rye bite, but it's nowhere near as strong as it was in the bottle. The finish is all sticky hops, with a dry aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied, with low carbonation and a very light rye bite. Slightly oily and has a very sticky flavor.

D: A quality IPA on tap, but if you hadn't told me it was supposed to have rye in it, I might have missed it entirely. I may stick to the bottle on this one...

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Photo of samie85
3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is reviewed from notes; originally reviewed 4/24.

A-Pours a deep mahogany with a one finger light tan head into my tulip glass.

S-Grapefruit and pine hop notes with some caramel creeping in.

T-Bitter grapefruit upfront with pine and caramel in the middle. It finishes dry and bitter.

M-A little thin bodied with medium carbonation and a slick mouthfeel.

D-It's by no means a bad beer, but the bitterness makes it a little one-sided. Also, where's the rye??? I was expecting at least a hint of it, and I'm not picking up on it at all.

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Photo of njbcmatt
3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tall glass from a 22.

A- The first thing I notice is chunks, floating, and not a small amount. I get it, it's an unfiltered beer, but man, is it hazy and I never find floating chunks, be it hop residue, rye, yeast, whatever, appealing. The color is a dark gold/amber, head is a yellowish cream color and retains nicely.

S- Prominent hoppy aroma with floral and fruit notes. Much more appealing than the appearance, I'm actually excited again.

T- Unfortunately, excitement was short lived. Bitter hoppiness prevails. I don't see the balance from the malt that I'd expect. I'm not sure I really like what the rye is bringing to the table, either, compounds the bitterness a bit, I think. It seems appropriately alcohol-y, but I'm missing something on the malt end

M- It lingers for a little bit, then fades, leaving a little too much bitter hoppy aftertaste

D- Meh. Given the ratings, I was expecting much more. While I'm not the ultimate hop head, I do appreciate many super hoppy beers, this just isn't one of my favorites. I think it's adventurous and unique, but I doubt I'd drink more than one of these and would go after a Racer 8 or one of BR's other brews.

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Photo of bgraney
3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep red, mild carbonation, white foamy head.
Surprisingly, not much hop aroma, mostly a yeasty/biscuity aroma.
Tasty hop bitterness, lemony with a definite alcohol hit, somewhat sweet.
Leaves behind an enjoyable lemon tang that lingers throughout the mouth.
The sweetness may prevent multiple glasses but I think a couple is a good idea.
I should point out that I had this on tap recently and that would have received higher ratings than the bottled version.

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Photo of 1759Girl
3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance> Nice warm dark amber colour, with a creamy vanilla head. lively.
Smell> Super hoppy, lots of malt. Smells a lot like Stone's IPA
Taste> It's very balanced, with a nice hoppy middle finishing out with malty goodness... but something tasted a bit chemically or perhaps metallic. It eventually became so noticeable that I had to stop drinking it and give it to someone else. Sad, but true. I'm really sensitive to slight tastes and smells.
Mouthfeel>Pretty decent. Medium, not overly carbonated.
Drinkability> I found it undrinkable personally, but since the guys I was drinking with found it drinkable, I have to say average.

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Photo of bamadog
3.42/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not much else interesting on tap at Fries the other night, so I went to the cooler and this is what I pulled out. Not too bad. Pour is from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep coppery/caramel color; comes with a solid one finger head (off-white/lightest tan) that has OK retention and fades to a full, yet uneven, skim; body is cloudy and there are odd shaped clouds and spots of lacing.

Smell: Very weak - I can barely decipher what scant scents I'm smelling - some faint whiffs of hops and grainy rye, but that's barely detectable.

Taste: Nice flavors that are almost pungent; decent bitter/earthy hop presence and the toasty rye flavors combine to make a solid tasting and nicely bittered ale; a nice malty sweetness sneaks in as it warms a bit.

Mouthfeel: mild/soft carbonation; body is smooth and almost creamy; leaves a thin coating on the tongue and roof of the mouth - film feels a little dry, perhaps because of the 8% ABV.

Drinkability: Moderate - I enjoyed the solid bitter aspect, but I really wish there was a smell to compliment and enhance it a bit; other aspects of the beera are solid as well; 8% ABV is a bit high for many of these in a night.

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Photo of mcallister
3.42/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark burnt red with a pure white highly carbonated head and very tight lacing.

Big big hop aroma. Can smell the hops from 2 feet away. Obvious rye notes, and a burnt caramel background.

The large amount of hops leaves a somewhat grainy mouthfeel but not necessarily bad. Hop flavors are very tannic and somewhat cloying. Very piney floral flavors with a light rye backbone.

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Photo of chugamugofsud
3.43/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was a little too bitter anjd without the subtlety that I generally look for in a rye, not horrible though. Poured out of a bomber into two pint glasses and shared with a friend. The brew actually tasted better as it warmed, I'd recommend not keeping it too cold.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.43/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

GLASS: Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
DATED: 2 23 09

Pours a dark, golden copper color. Three+ finger head of thick, craggy foam. Retention is excellent. Lacing is thick and clumpy and super sticky.

Huge grapefruit notes dominate the citrus hop presence. Oranges and lemons tie for second. Nice pine notes. A slight hint of rye spice. There is a nice undertone of caramel malts.

Wow, the malts are fighting a losing battle, here. Huge notes of pine and grapefruit attack first. Other citrus hops notes follow. The rye spice comes to the surface, briefly. The finish is bitter. Quite harshly bitter, IMO.
I find this to be way too out of balance.

Great medium body on this one. Very smooth with a light amount of creaminess sneaking in. Quite nice.

Sorry, but for me the hop bitterness is extremely off-puting. This is just way too out-of-balance for me to find any enjoyment here.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,706 ratings.
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