Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
4,725 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,725 |  Reviews: 2,080
Photo of schmitter
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a deep amber with very dark notes and a bubbly one finger head.

Smell is citrusy, slightly sweet.

Taste is malty and sweet at first, with a very smoky and hoppy finish. This really isn't too hoppy, but there is a great hop presence. Really an enjoyable beer and not too much of a hurt on the wallet.

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Photo of ironarrow42
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep reddish-amber beer with a short-lived pale beige head. Scattered dots of foam remain on the glass by the end.

S: Crisp, citric hop aroma wafts from the glass with floral & pine notes.

T: Bitter up front, with toasted & deeply caramelized malts, but mostly dry in nature. Some fruity esters. Accent towards the hops, but with great balance. Lengthy finish with lingering bitterness and grapefruit peel. My tongue feels like its coated by hops! Towards the end as it warms, I pick up an almost cocoa-like aromatic undertone.

M: Heavy side of medium bodied with a good mouthfeel and a light carbonation bite.

D: Tasty & substantial beer, I savored this slowly. Not one I'd have several pints of at one go!

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Photo of jera1350
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle is dated 3-11-09. I missed that before I bought it.

Extreme deep scarlet brown color with huge fluffy two finger light tan head that holds its position firmly. Lots of lacing down the glass.

Sweet piney, floral citrus hops. The rye is also making its presence known here. Glorious.

Really nice balance of rye malt and hops. I think due to the age of this bottle the hops have faded a bit, but none the less they are still pretty pronounced. Nice piney hops which are crisp and clean finishing.

Smooth and crisp. There is a slight chewiness to the beer. Definitely medium bodied.

Great drinkability for a beer of 8% ABV. I could session this, but pay for it later. I absolutely love rye IPA's. It is such a great combination and this one is cerainly in the top three of the category. I will be seeking out a fresh bottle of this and rereview.

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Photo of mwa423
4.74/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid two fingers of head with lacing that sticks to glass. Color is a very clear dark amber. Lots of pine and citrus on the nose with some sweetness from the rye.

The taste is fantastic with the rye malt really bringing out the citrus hops. The rye has a bit of a caramel aftertaste on the very end.

Overall this is a strong beer that really hits the taste buds hard and while I could drink the four pack the hops would numb the tongue after the second.

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Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I will admit, this used to be my favorite beer about a year ago when I first got into craft beer. But for some reason, I never really drank it very often. Since they decided to release it in 4-packs, I decided to give it another go.

A: Pours a real deep amber, almost brown color. Very clear. Head is tan and leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S: Smells rather sweet. Lots of caramel and notes from the rye. Hops seem somewhat earthy and floral. Not very strong, but pleasant.

T: Good, but not nearly as good as I remembered it being. This is not a complex or overpowering brew at all. Very balanced and somewhat on the sweet side. Hops are very subdued but exhibit flavors of citrus and some earthy hops. Malt is much more prominant with caramel and rye flavors dominating. Bitterness is very tame. Somewhat flat tasting compared to some other IPAs I have had lately.

M: Medium bodied. Somewhat creamy. Finish is very clean with some crispness.

D: This does drink rather easily. A little heavier in the mouth compared to some IPAs, but still drinks very smoothly. Could drink a few in a session.

I have to admit, this one just doesn't hold up. It is still good, but when comparing it to the likes of Founders, Great Divide, or Hoppin Frog, this one kind of loses out. A bit overrated and just seems to lack a certain punch that most great IPAs have.

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Photo of sudsface69
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a beautiful, mahogany brown with a fine, off-white head

Aroma - Complex. Dark fruit, touch of pineapple, brandy-soaked cherries, bold, funky hops, maybe even a little bit like pumpernickel bread - a really nice, deep, intriguing set of smells going on in this one

Taste - not shy on the IBUS or the ABV. This is a pretty big beer. But, oh boy, what a tasty treat! Bold, hoppy, fruity, almost vinous,...this one really fills the mouth with flavor. A little kiss of sweetness and a touch of a floral thing going on as well. Big, expressive, really nice!

Mouthfeel - Pretty much perfect carbonation for me. No complaints here.

Drinkability - I'm on my first one right now. I'll have to see how I progress through this 4-pack, but as I've usually found out the hard way, if it's sold in a 4-pack there's probably a good reason for that. Although right now this is going down pretty darn well!

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Photo of BigMike
4.88/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

"Hop Rod Rye is a high performance,turbo charged,alcohol burnin' monster ale with dual overhead hop injection"

-from the bottle

Pours a deep garnet red and two fingers worth of creamy white head.

This beer has one of the best aromas ever. Very fragrant. Fresh and clean. Spicy, fruity, hoppy, caramel and molasses.

Taste is fabulous. Pineapple, and almost berry like undertones. A nice fresh spicy flavor and a buttery caramel flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth, perfectly carbonated. Creamy buttery smooth with just a touch of bitterness on the finish.

I can't believe this is 8%. Very smooth and easy to drink. I could drink this all day. This has broken into my top 5. I can't believe this is only $7.50 a 4 pack for a beer this tasty.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11oz sampling. Poured a reddish-brown color with a towering, frothy creme colored head with good retention and good lacing. Some large yeast chunks sink to the bottom of the glass, but do not affect the clarity of the ale. Aromas are bold rye malt with some citrus hints as well. Taste reveals loads of rye up-front which immediately tingles the tongue with a peppery effect. Caramel flavors are also present. Citrus notes are present as well with a large dose of pine on the finish. Mouth-feel is medium bodied with a nice oily resin towards the finish. Balance is tremendous here and really channels all the flavors across the palate. Although complex, it comes across simple, which aids its drinkability. Alcohol is well concealed. It's been awhile since I had this one and is definitely one I will go back to again and again. Great quality ale and great value as well!

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Photo of andrewm190
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bear Republic strikes again! I feel awful to be so late to the wonderous wold of BR; they have created two of the best beers to cross my taste buds. The Hop Rod Rye smells delicious, tastes smooth, with a powerful, but not overbearing, mouthfeel. At the very reasonable price, there are few "select" beers at much higher prices that simply could not compete here. Bring me more Bear Republic, they create massive winners.

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Photo of UDbeernut
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle poured into a pint glass

a: nice deep amber color, 1/2" foamy off white head with good retention. Reduces to a lacing cap and rings.

s: piney and citrusy hops, caramal malt and slight rye aroma. Very interesting.

t: caramelized malt and rye up front with a big hop explosion on the end. Excellent, on of the best IPA's i've had.

m&d: medium bodied, slightly slick and creamy. Very drinkable with 8% ABV, I had 3 in my session with no problems.


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Photo of Briarscratch
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bonsreeb85 for this tasty brew.

Pours a reddish brown with a big, slightly tan head up front that reduces to a thick frothy crown sticking all over the glass.

Smells of resiny hops, sweet caramel and rye, alcohol fumes

Taste is hops up front followed by the hint of rye and malty sweetness with a lingering bitterness that hangs on the tongue. Very well balanced.

Oily mouthfeel that tingles all over and sticks to all parts of the mouth. Medium body.

Great drinkability for an 8%. Taking it slow though. I've let it warm up to room temp and the flavor is just awesome. Highly recommend.

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Photo of tegelaar
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poors a dark copper brown. Minimal head and lacing.

S: Smells fresh and sweet with a hint of Rye. Lots of hops present as well.

T: A perfect blend of sweetness, tons of hops, and a dash of rye.

M: Nice hops bite, but at the same time very smooth. Carbonation is prefect.

D: Could drink it all night - very dangerous for the abv.

This one is a pleasure.. a world class beer.

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Photo of Gtreid
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark amber color. The pour produces almost two fingers of creamy head that retains extremely well and leaves sheets of lace.

A: Really nice sweet hoppy aroma. I get some citrus, mainly grapefruit and sweet orange, but I also get some big bready malts, maybe some honey, and alcohol.

T: Taste is pretty good, very malty IPA. Sweet malts, and the rye upfront and then the citrusy, and grassy hops make there presence felt at the back end. Finishes very bitter and dry.

M: Medium body, creamy. Good amount of carbonation gives it a little kick.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is above average, could have a couple of these bombers. Overall, this is one fine IPA. I really enjoy a good Rye and wish other brewers would pursue this ingredient. Very good. Skal.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you Bear Republic for putting these out in 12oz bottles, i've been waiting to review this because im leary on the freshness of bombers.

A- Hop Rod Rye is darker than your average IPA. This has a dark copper look almost looking like a lager. A nice one inch of off white foam rises up & sticks around a bit before settling down. OK lacing.

S- A delicate balance of hops, rye and malt, well balanced. The hops give off a slight citrus vibe while some sweet malt gives off caramel, not overkill though. Some light spice blends well with the rye.

T- This fresh bottle displays all the ingredients in one swig. I get the citrus hops backed by the malt followed by rye. The rye is not as prominent as I remember it from bombers years ago, but a good amount is here. Getting some toasted bread from the malts plus grains.

M- A pronounced medium feel from this, HRR is a bit thicker than your average IPA as well. The carb addition is not high and melds well within the body. The finish is spicy with a soft bitterness and dryness.

D- Not sessionable, but I would do 2-3 12oz in a night if I focused on it. Now that these come in a smaller package, I will be bying more of it on a semi regular basis here and there. Im not blown away by HRR, but this is a damn fine bier.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been looking forward to trying this beer for a while and it did not dissapoint! Poured a darker gold with a nice white lace. The smell wasn't as Rye as I thought it would've been. Sweet though. The taste was honey sweet, very delicious, and there was a touch of bitterness maybe from the rye instead of the hops. Extremely drinkable and the price can't be beat!

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Photo of cmoon
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this from a 22 oz bomber into a large glass mug made to fit. Appears as a dark amber, but in lower lighting can appear completely black.

The smell and taste is complex, the smell being more subtle--a sort of roasted grain sensation. The taste is heavy and perhaps off-putting to any one who isn't a fan of coffee of darker beers. There's an initial clean hit of hoppiness that quickly gives way to the rye taste eluded to in the title. Like Arrogant Bastard, this really doesn't belong to any particular style, so expect to be surprised by the heavy complex taste.

The beer has an oily texture to it that clings to your mouth. It might be good to pair it with something else (some sort of food, or a glass of water) to help offset beer. Here's where the comparison to coffee comes again, because like a good, rich cup of coffee, sometimes it is overpowering and you need something to cleanse the pallet before having more.

The Hop Rod Rye is a magnificent beer, but also characterizes both the strengths and weaknesses of the Bear Republic brewing company. These folks make make strong, distinctive beers that are highly individualistic and uncompromising. They also, often have a lack of polish to them that you've probably come to expect from a lot of other beers. The Hop Rod Rye is probably an 'acquired taste', but given time, this one has more to offer than just about any other beer in its price range ($4).

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Photo of JAA
3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes to BlueOkie for this one. I was looking forward to trying it.

Appearance is nice, dark gold body, thin off-white head. Great lacing, head sticks around as a thin cap to the somewhat hazy body.

Smells A little sweet with some floral hop aroma. Notes of sour rye malt. a bit of maple kicks up the sweet side. A quite pungent odor.

It has that sweet rye malt taste that is absolutely balanced by the prodigious use of hops. Hops are zingy and tongue tingling throughout the finish. The rye malt isn't exactly my cup of tea, so this was only slightly above average for me. A bit of bourbon also becomes apparent as it warms.

Mouthfeel is good, not great. Not creamy, but right what you would expect from an IPA. Like i said, tongue-tingly in and throughout the finish. Slightly bitter, not overly so.

Drinkability is good. I guess it all comes down to how much you like the rye malt flavor. I probably won't seek this one out again, but i will enjoy the rest of the bomber, thoroughly.

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Photo of mugglesandhops
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 22oz. bottle into a pint glass. Ruby red color, thick creamy head. this beer is darker than I was expecting. Great lacing as well. Smells very fruity, artificial grape smell, floral. Taste fruity as well, big hop kick in there. Medium bodied, lots of carbonation. I had a tooth problem when I drank this and for some reason this beer killed my tooth, I never had any problems with other beers but this one was very painful but I couldn't stop drinking it.

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Photo of BDLbrewster
3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
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 Epicedion
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Deep, dark amber, almost brown. Bright carbonation creates a thinnish head that lingers. I liked the wine glass for this one, since it let me agitate the beer and bring more carbonation out.

S: Not very powerful. A little fruity, and a little sweet. Some alcohol. Nothing stands out as remarkable, but it's kind of nice and mild, so I give it good marks.

T: Very earthy. There's a blend of sweet fruit and sharp bitterness. For some reason it makes me think of a Belgian dubbel. I've had this beer a couple times now, and I really can't get enough of it.

M: Perfect. Sparkly. Medium and smooth. Long finish that remains nicely consistent with the taste of the beer.

D: I could drink this one cold on a hot day or cellar temp on a cold night. Or anytime, really. It's a very interesting, complex beer that also happens to taste good and go down nice and smooth.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured in a altbier glass.

Very nice fluffy head over the top. Deep brown color with a hint of red to it. A very nice hoppy nose with a bit of a hoppy note to it. There's something sweet on the nose as well, maybe honey.

Amazing taste, very complex with all sorts of hoppy notes and a great hit of rye as well adds to the bitterness. It sticks around in your moth awhile and it's got some very rye bread flavor to it.

Overall this is an amazing beer with all sorts of different notes. After having my first one the flavor has been haunting me for weeks.

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

22 oz. bomber from nyrangerfan...(5/10/09 freshness) poured into, what else, my SN pint glass...

Massive head of tan foam with some decent lacing. Very rocky, slightly pillowy. Burnt amber body with some orange hues burning around the edges. Great head retention!

Spicy hop domintation with some peppery notes. Mild citrus with a huge malt and grain profile. Very sweet and spicy.

Defenite rye complexities that seem to overpower the IPA aspects. Stong malt presence up front into a sweet and citrusy finish. Grainy throughout, but the flavors begin to grow on me. Bitter, bitter, bitter finish...

Great carbonation...thick and oily.

Dangerously drinkable with no alcohol being noticed at all.

A hands down great beer. Enough said...

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Photo of Fish113d
3.97/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a chilled 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass

Pours a red-mahogany color with a nice billowy pinkish-tan head forming on top to about 2 fingers. Fairly hazy to look through...not too much light peering through.

A sweet, floral hops hits my nose. Lots of sugar on the aroma. A bit of a "funky" smell as well that is a bit sour, but I can't dispell what that may be.

Sipping reveals a big hops flavor that is both fairly bitter, but smooth, not too piney. Fairly bitter up front but sweetens up as it goes down with a bit of alcohol coming through. Interesting to say the least. Good floral aftertaste. Yum!

Very smooth ale. Unbelievable actually. Carbonation is so well balanced it's silly!

Great bottle of brew I picked up for $5.50...can't do much better than that. Wish I had 2 bottles!

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Photo of morimech
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a massive off-white head that has good retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass. Surprised by the amount of malt in the aroma. Some citrus hops is also detected. I found it well balanced with a solid caramel malt base. Citrus and pine lets you know there is a healthy hop bill. The rye is detected in the finish with an exotic spiciness. No hint of the 8% ABV. Found it dry overall. Chewy texture, medium body, good carbonation, and all seemed well matched. This beer manages to balance three distinct qualities between malt, hops, and they rye. Bitterness as well as ABV is high so that limits drinkability.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - brown/burnt orange color w/ a velvet-like tan head.

S - i can't stop smelling this one! huge nose on this bad boy, lots of spicy/citrus hops and a carmalized candy-like sweetness. some alcohol comes through, but the spice carries the torch

T - lemon/citrus hops up to the plate 1st, only briefly though. the spice and the rye really ppull through over the huge malty, almost smoked backround, w/ a very bitter finish. this is damn near perfection people. the flavor lingers for a second leaving you wanting more

MF - low carbonation, massive full body and a smooth, creamy and slightly cloying feel.

D - the amazing taste makes you want to take sip after sip(not chugging friendly) i had 22oz. and could do another one easily. respect the 8% though.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 4,725 ratings
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