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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,076 | Ratings: 4,705
Photo of JRhode
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle in a Palm Tulip.

Awesome deep amber/red with an amazing creamy head that sticks around. A beautiful beer.

Citrusy hop aroma with a smidge of rye. Fruity, spicy.

Tastes massively hoppy withe some caramel malt and rye too. Creamy. Nice carbonation to keeps things lively. Hop bitterness lingers awesomely.

Drinkability is high, craving another. Not a heavy beer despite all that is going on and 8% abv.

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4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass, producing a nice thick head with lots of lacing. The color reminds me of filtered cranberry juice.

Floral pungent hops cut with a spiced rye edge dominate the smell.

Tastes not quite as good as it smells, IMO the alcohol and hops are not balanced as well as they could be.

Light swishy mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Drinkability is good for an 8 percent beer, and I like the idea of using rye as an ingredient. All in all good, but definitely not my favorite beer from Bear Republic (go Racer 5!).

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Photo of soco7tyx7
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep copper brown with a thick soapy off-white head with lacing throughout. Thin film of head till finish

S - A nice balance of hop and malt, but heavy on the malt. Sweet rye and tart dark fruits

T - Very malty with a citrusy hoppiness up front, in the body and in the finish. Hint of licorice and dark fruits. Finishes bitter with a lingering hop character. Rye malts very present. Very robust and full of flavor

M - Medium body, crisp, smooth

D - Incredibly tasty and super enjoyable. Loving every sip. I could definitely drink a ton of this and at the alcohol level, it would be dangerous! Alcohol is well hidden. Awesome beer hands down

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Photo of jonstep
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice caramel color light carbonation and a cloudy appearance.

Smell: a sweet smell with a notice of spiciness.

Taste: A deep sip of the beer is a pleasure for the palate. It has a good tangy taste, but is not overpowering, and is a well balanced blend of flavor and spiciness. The aftertaste is rather pleasant too.

Mouthfeel: The feel was excellent. Not too heavy, but had a smooth feel to it. I think the carbonation was perfect.

Overall: this a good tasting beer, which will be the reason for my next beer purchase.

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Photo of mike24
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a dark rich reddish amber with a sticky off white head

S: floral hops up front and a toasty sweet malt underneath

T: spicy and sweet when it first hits the tongue, citrusy hops come in and round out with the alcohol bite. very complex flavours, can't make all of them out. finishes with hop bitterness and a burnt sweetness, like a roasted marshmallow maybe.

M: soft and smooth on the tongue, fairly big body with pretty light carbonation, enough though. sweet without being syrupy.

D: pretty good drinkability, a bit heavy to have more than a couple though.

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Photo of positiverpr
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a:beautiful amber/brown. nearly crystal near. medium carbonation. beige 1/2" head with medium sized bubbles that was rather short-lived. good frothy lacing.

a: sweet and cascade laden fragrance. noticeable caramel malt. a hint of alcohol. typicalbear rep. yeast smell.

t:medium bitterness. less hop flavor than expected but what is there is very singular in presence(cascade). mid-tongue savory/spicey rye rears its head but less than i would expect from 20%. as it warms the malt profile is more obviously caramel laden with some biscuity/bready notes. the classic bear rep. yeast profile is unmistakeable and as in most of their beers, it distracts me.

m:medium body. nearly frothy combo of carbonation and mouthfeel. rye adds some creaminess. moer residual sweetness and body as it warms.

o:very drinkable for the abv. for me the house yeast profile of bear rep bears is too much. the same flavor dominates their beers(not black bear stout). the profile could also be related to their water/hop profile and interaction. this is a good beer that i would buy often.

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Photo of johlendorf
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

220z bomber

A = Dark reddish amber. Thick head with clingy lacing.

S = Piney hops all over, sweet floral goodness.

T = Rye and strong piney hops. Some grapefruit but the pine dominates. Sweet for an IPA.

M = A little heavy up front, but mostly crisp and clean.

D = Rightly done for the style & ABV.

I really like it. Solid and unique IPA.

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Photo of AimToCheat
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark copper color with a medium thick head and lots of lacing.

Smell: Hops, Pine, Sage, Spice

Taste: A very complex IPA. Rye and hops finishing with a nice wave of malt and oily pine.

Mouthfeel: Almost oily for lack of a better word. pine and malt linger.

Drinkability: This is one of my favorite beers. Goes down nice for a 8% beer.

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Photo of BillHaverchuck
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a dark amber color, almost a hazy brown

S - grainy and breadlike aroma mixed with citrus hops

T - caramel flavor followed by a rye grapefruity taste

M - nice body and carbonation

D - very drinkable, very balanced flavoring masks the taste of alcohol

This is a great bomber, very hoppy yet balanced by the rye malt.

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Photo of BearslikeBeers
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark gold color with a small white head that laces up the side of the glass. The smell is nice, fresh, hoppy and almost a little starchy at the end. It smells very rich for lack of a better term. The beer is initially sweet and a little fruity up front, less carbonated than most IPAs, and then the real profile starts to set in. The rye is very rich and malty but the hops really define the aftertaste. Very dry and very bitter finish. A little flat and syrupy but a really nice balance of the rye and the hops definitely would purchase this one again.

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Photo of youcantmakeme
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

To me this one is slightly above okay, I liked it its not my favorite though and don't think I would buy it again. I like it more than an torpedo which I found similar but this one kept changing on me from hoppy to sweet, on my fourth pint bottle I even got a hard cheese and soy sauce. I did like the boozy end it gave me sometimes. I like my Ipa a bit on the light side, easy drinking and not too sweet so I have to give this one a slightly above OK rating which is good but not great.

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Photo of Jekyll
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
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 jph424
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Brown with hints of red

S - Hops, caramel, smells delicious

T - sweetness up front, can definitely taste the rye, strong floral hoppy bitterness on the finish. Bigtime malt backbone to support it.

M - Terrificly thick

D - Very tasty brew. 1 bomber would probably be my limit though as the ABV and powerful flavor would probably be too much to have a few.

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Photo of tgncc
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice aroma, mainly of citrus hops, rye bread, and fruit. The appearance was a reddish brown, off-white head. the head persisted, and there was some lacing. Very attractive. The flavor was citrus hops, sweet malts, dark fruit, raisins, and some rye seeds (not as much as I might have thought). The finish is pure citrus hops, and lingers on the palate. Medium thick mouthfeel. Very drinkable, and enjoyable. Good beer for this season (fall).

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Photo of ironarrow42
4.07/5  rDev -4%
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 Hopalong29
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber with nice 1/4 in. and lacing that sustains throughtout.
Nice aroma of citus and pine.
Creamy with light carbonation.
Slight bitterness on back end. More drying than I care for.
Definitely on the "won't let you down" list for Hopheads.
With the alc content, not a good idea to imbibe too many.

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Photo of travelfrog
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at my favorite pizzeria/watering hole. A very impressive looking beer, dark amber in color, with an nice, long-lasting head.

The aroma was striking -- among the best I've ever sampled. My nose was a bit stuffy with the cold weather, but no more after a whiff of this. Fresh hops came through loud and clear, along with enough sweet malt to round out the experience.

The flavor can give even the most jaded taste buds a workout, starting out with a full-spectrum hops flavor, followed by a mellow maple-malt finish.

Mouthfeel was very good. A nice texture to go along with full flavor.

It's tough for such a bold brew to be drinkable, but the brewers did a creditable job. Aside from a slight acidity on the roof of my mouth, I had few complaints.

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Photo of kreeper
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark amber brown, fluffy head, lacing,

S: bright citrus hops, spicy, smells fresh

T: hops and rye malts blend together for some spice,

M: lighter body, expected a real heavy beer almost like double ipa.

D: easy drinker any time of the year. will drink often.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Bcaulin
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into new Sam Adams glass.

Excellent deep mahogany color. Deep reddish brown that looks great when held up to a light. Nice head that had pretty good retention. Great lacing.

Tons of hops in the nose. Much more than I initially expected. Almost smells like a completely straightforward west coast IPA with its citrusy notes. There's definitely a little something extra in there that makes in in its own category.

If you taste it before it warms up (I'm guilty -- I couldn't wait) you really get a great hop flavor, but not a whole lot of depth. The rye flavor really doesn't come out until you let it open up a little. Once it does, it moves into an absolutely great taste. You gotta love hops for this one, but its definitely not a gimmick IPA -- the rye adds a great balance.

Extremely smooth and delicious. I could easily drink a couple of these, and if it wasn't for the 8%, I'd be thrilled to drink more than just a couple.

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Photo of bjacobsen
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip.

Before I review, I have to share that my first real craft brew epiphanies happened at a wedding in Sonoma Co about 2 years ago. I was drinking Russian River (Santa Rosa) and Bear Republic (nearby Healdsburg) at the rehearsal dinner and reception before I knew how lucky I was. I just wanted an interesting beer and these were the local choices. I was so impressed that I have never ordered a BMC since.

A- Pours a deep mahogony. It is almost black with just a faint redness that makes me want to remind it, "You're a hoppy, not a malty ale, OK." Nice off-white head to it with a lace, no doubt from the assertiveness of the hop profile.

S- Floral hops up front with a sweeter, grainier malt scent that was already balancing what was no doubt going to be a tasty beer.

T- Delicious! I knew what it was ( A rye based American IPA) going in to it, but I still love the "this beer tastes so different than it should" effect. Reminds me of one of Stone's anniversary ales (Black IPA) that I found to be equally tasty and beautiful. Hoppy up front with a sweet malty(maybe rye incluenced) middle leading to a dry finish. Maybe, just maybe, a bit of warm alcohol lingering.

M- Hop Oils are present with a complimentary grainy-resiny mouthfeel. This has an easy carbonation to it that lends to its element of surprise.

D- I do love the hops, so I would say that this is quite drinkable. It is a tad high on the ABV spectrum but I could/would honestly open a second bomber, if I had one.

Being from California, I am fortunate that Bear Republic Beers are so tasty and readily available in my area. The full line is always on stock at multiple locations.

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Photo of exparte
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Strong and pleasing aroma of sweet and spicy malt with citrus hops. Very American in both malt and hops. I'm guessing the pineapple and pine aroma comes from the same Columbus and Cascade hops that's featured in their Racer 5 IPA. The rye makes the beer slightly spicy and considerably darker than the IPA. It pours a deep reddish orange with a big fluffy off-white head that lasts long beyond the final drop. The taste is a fine balance between the sweet malt, spicy rye, and citrus hops. No component outshines the other. It's full bodied with a smooth texture and a lingering bittersweet finish. This beer is full and satisfying with a delicately balanced character that allows you to fully enjoy each drop which is remarkable for a style in which so many others punch you in the face with just one element. This is definitely my new favorite Double IPA. Highly recommended.

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Photo of pugdogbeer
4.74/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is a big, dirty beer with attitude to be loved.

Just opening the bottle released an overpowering smell of hops, hops and more hops with a chaser of rye smell.

A dark beer with a load of lace and attitude. After first mouthful I could feel the piney taste of hops stuck to the roof of my mouth.

This is not a beer for sipping as a big mouth will just be a massive hop explosion of taste.

The kicker is the rye. I felt it just complemented the amount of hops to give a big balance.

Amazing beer - but best left to last as anything else will be completely tasteless as Hop Rod Rye will claim your palate for its own!

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Photo of henryd30
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Darker than expected - nice dark ale color, slightly opaque, with a fine-bubbled head that left some stringy lacing.

S: Catch a little rye, as expected - can sense the hops which adds a citrusy element, and can smell a little carmelly roastiness as well.

T: Quite complex - hit with hops, initially, then some sweet maltiness, and finishes with rye/bitters.

M: Smooth warming heat, with some prickly carbonatino.

D: Great complex flavors makes it a joy to drink - high ABV makes it a slight challenge. I'll happily go down trying.

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Photo of at7000
4.99/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First beer I have ever given a perfect score to. This beer will spoil your taste buds, I promise you that. Not sure what they have done here, or how much the rye plays a part, but this is one killer beer, in every respect. If this beer were a little cheaper in cost, it would become my main beer.

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Photo of dweideman
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Anam Cara

Medium white head, mostly lasting. Clowdy orange-red hue. The aroma was mostly of the bittering hops with some sweetness coming through. Sweet beginning taste with the huge hop flavor coming through in the middle and at the end in a big way... Detect a small grapefruit flavor on the palate as it lingered in my mouth. Light to Medium bodied with a dry texture and lively carbonation. Wonderfully hoppy IPA style -- hopped to the extremes.

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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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