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: 4,706
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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Photo of BDLbrewster
3.43/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thank you Damienblack

Pours an oily-sap like shade of reddish amber, about 65% visibility. Small head from a violent pour, soapy lacing all around.

Smells of rich rye up front along with syrupy, pine resin hop notes. If you dig deeper, there are also sweet sugary notes down there as well.

Toffee and super mild caramel right away, followed by a moderate punch of balanced grapefruit pith and pine resin. The ample hop crunch overshadows the rye flavor I was hoping for, it is indeed there, but just not as upfront as I was looking for after smelling this one. Nicely rounded bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel was a huge let down. Almost no carbonation to speak of. Not very syrupy (good thing,) and medium bodied which was nice for the style. But virtually no carbonation once so ever. Hence the 2.5.

Drinkability isn't great, but it is good. This is filling me up quick, but there is almost no hint at the 8%. Solid offering.

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Photo of nicnut45
3.44/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a beautiful dark ruby red. Nice off white halo, and a soft head coats this beer. Lacing is maintained throughout.

Aroma- Not as big as I thought it would be. I think the rye aroma kind of subdues the hops in these beers. Theres your typical citrus aromas, but this kind of has a danky earthy rawness to it, and it is muted. You have to splash this one around just to get a whiff.

Taste- Earthy dirt like tastes take over. The rye in this contributes to the somewhat unpleasent bitterness. Although I have to say the alcohol presence isnt offensive whatsoever. I have to take a big whiff to draw any other flavors from this. The rest is just some mild sweetness from the malt.

Mouthfeel- Average at best, medium to low carbonation.

Drinkability- I was really looking forward to this beer due to the high ratings on BA. But I am sad to say I will not be buying this one again. Maybe it is just west coast IPA's they seem overly bitter with no hop taste or good aroma.

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Photo of beveritt
3.45/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Had a pint of this recently at Mulholland Brewing Company. Arrived in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Very little head, small islands of light tan foam with medium lacing. Red/brown in color, deep ruby if held to the light.

Smell: Sweet at first with hints of grapefruit hops.

Taste: Long bitterness throughout, start to finish, both from hops and the rye.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation. Average body.

Drinkability: Average. I usually am not a fan of rye beers, but this one does not have such a pronounced rye grainy bitterness.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.47/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 22 oz bomber and poured into a GI tulip Glass.

A - A rather dark mahogany with a slight hint of deep orange and gold. Actually one of the darkest IPAs I've ever seen as the primary color is a dark red and not an orange or gold. Has a nice big, tough head that sits on top and reminds me of the color of caramel. Can see a few trails of carbonation coming up but not too much. Tons of lacing left behind and have to say one of the most unique and best looking beers I've seen of the style.

S - Smells of candied grape fruit and also a bit of a syrupy sweetness. Smells more sweet and less hoppy than I actually expected.

T- At first, I get a big whiff of bitter hops that quickly fade into a sweet, tangerine orange and caramel malt. The hops come back in the end but they are not really that noticeable. It seems to be that the malt characteristics of the brew were more dominant than expected. This is a way reminds me of a DIPA where they tried so much to keep the beer balanced that in the end, they eliminated much of the hop flavor. I do want to point out that despite the prevelance of the malt this is not a sweet beer at all. The hops do seem to make themselves known in the aftertaste I find myself with that familiar hoppy, bitter taste sitting on the tongue after the rest of the beer goes down. I almost have to say where this is one beer where I like the aftertaste more than I like the actual taste of it in my mouth which is a bit odd but the way I feel.

MF - A rather nice creamy feel to it. Only a small amount of carbonation that is nice to cut the sweetness. A bit cloying as I can feel the syrupy-ness sitting on my mouth after I drink it. The afterfeeling is a bit astringent but only mildly.

D - Overall, this is a nice and easy drinking beer but not one that really stands out. Has only a small hint of hops really and has the caramel malt, which is not overpowering, but makes the beer sweeter than I expected and wanted it to be. It is good but probably not one that I would reach for again for the reason that there are easier drinking beers and ones that stand out a bit more.

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Photo of Brunite
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A deep copper with an off-white head. Lots of lingering lace.

S: Mostly hops. No notice of the rye.

T: No malt....no rye...lots of juicy citrus hop flavor.

M: Medium body.

O: Meh. I love IPA's. I love Rye beers. Despite it's high ratings....I find it a poor blend of the two. Average beer.

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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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