Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

4,717 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,717 |  Reviews: 2,077
Photo of Petey_the_Quiet
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of sammo
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Rogorama
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of KiMiRaiK
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of BG24
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Duvel tulip glass...

A: Pours a dark combination of mahogany and molasses with a nice thick inch of head perched on top. The lacing is gorgeous.

S: Scents originating from the rye base flow freely through the aroma. They couple with a truckload of citrus hops. Mainly grapefruit. Roasty caramel malts and pepper come through with the rye. There is a promising pungency emanating from my glass.

T: MMM...Delicious. First off, the alcohol is extremely well masked. Next this beer is incredibly balanced. The grapefruit jumps right out at you as soon as you sip. The roasty malts and spices come through later and leave an incredibly satisfying taste on the pallet. The hop bitterness is just enough to tingle the tongue, without crushing out the other flavors.

M/D: The mouthful is nice and sticky, medium to high carbonation. You get exactly what you would expect from looking at it and watching it pour.

I don't know if I have ever had an IPA quite like this. The rye base adds an unreal element to the beer. The complexity is through the roof, as the brewer must have gone insane to mix the proportions of these ingredients. Its part IPA, part winter warmer (?), part DIPA, and all delicious.

To think that I paid $5.49 for this beer, and I got the worst deal on the entire page really says something about this beer. For the price, you'll have a really hard time finding an IPA that even comes close. This beer has the entire package. Delicious, balanced, and complex. A truly enjoyable drinking experience that I can't wait to recreate in the near future.

 1,580 characters

Photo of Kinsman
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Second Review: After my first review last week (see below), I wanted to try this again, but buying it from a different store to see if I could get a fresher bottle.

Appearance is about the same, but the aroma and taste have definitely been improved. I've found the ink used for their bottling date to be rather hard to read, but still I can see this one, a 12 oz bottle, was bottled on June 28, 2010. At two months, the hops are still plenty fresh. The rye still provides a slightly stronger malt presence than most all-barley malt IPA's but it compliments the hops well. Overall a very enjoyable beer thats even better when the hops are still noticeable.

Poured from 22oz bomber into glass

Dark amber body with red highlights capped by a super sticky light-ivory colored head. Light bubbles quickly work their way up along the walls of the glass as they feed into the head.

Moderate malt presence in the aroma, with the rye certainly contributing to this but also a solid caramel malt note. A slightly floral hop character starts to make its way through but was not as strong as I expected.

As with the aroma, the taste came across as more malty than expected. Caramel malts came through strong as well as a good bit of bread-like flavors. Where are the hops though? There is a nice bitterness but not nearly as floral or citrusy as the typical west coast IPA.

Mouthfeel was a bit on the heavy side but very smooth.

Overall a very drinkable beer that I absolutely enjoyed, especially the rye character. However, the hop character did not seem to match that of an IPA. It improved as the beer warmed, but at no point did the beer seem like an IPA.

I really wanted to give this beer a better review, but the aroma and taste did not match the style for me. Hopefully this was just an old bottle with faded hops, and I'll make sure to give this beer another try with fresher hops.

 1,891 characters

Photo of socalbrewlvr
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 22oz bomber at Riley's here in Madison for $3.99.

Pours a dark garnet/mahogany color with a few fingers of tan, rocky head with some good lacing and retention. On my second pour a film of rubbery-looking yeast plopped into my glass, kinda strange. Looks more like a scotch ale to me. Nose is strong, rich floral/piney hops with sweet tropical fruit notes. Taste starts off with a hearty pine-hop kick but as it warms transitions into caramel malt, sweet pineapple, apricot and citrus. A faint rye bitterness can be detected but I wouldn't have guessed there was rye in it without the name. Mouthfeel is rich and smooth. This is a highly drinkable DIPA, the alcohol is well-hidden. Nice balance between sweet malty/fruity and bitter hops here. Another winner from Bear Republic.

 792 characters

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: A much different color than the typical IPA. More of a dark mahogany.
S: The hops immediately jump out at you. This is going to be good!
T: An incredibly complex medley of bitter hops along with some other unusual IPA flavors that must come from the rye malts.
M: This beer plays around on the tongue.
D: One of the best beers that I've ever had. I love IPA's and this might be my favorite. I will come back to this beer again and again.

 492 characters

Photo of Skabiski
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of EricCioe
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a great looking mahogany with pretty red highlights at the edges, a nice frothy two finger ivory head rising with the pour and leaving good lace. On the nose there is a combination of the spicy rye with a big hop presence manifesting in citrus fruits with maybe just a bit of pine resin. In the mouth there comes some somewhat dry malt base, but the rye adds a nice fuzzy edge of spice to it. All the while there is an overriding grapefruit note that adds some spice to the rye. The body is medium and the feel is ultra creamy, coating the palate in a pleasant way and leaving a long finish. This is a very nice variation on the IPA theme, with the rye adding a good deal of interest to a style that's been done to death.

EDIT - Had this side by side with Ruthless Rye at a tasting last night. Comparatively, it wasn't as dry as Ruthless, and there was a bit of sweetness that seemed out of place creeping into the taste.

 933 characters

Photo of Envelopes
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of frank4sail
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this rare "Bear of a beer" in these parts via BA brother Boilermaker88 Cheers my friend..

Fresh "spring morning like grassy nose" with a little pine tree as well. Cherry/peach color with a huge lasting pale pink fluffy airy head... what retention.. stiff peaks. Big hoppy piney, chewy, grapefruit taste with a malty rye bread backbone. The finish really brings out the bready rye notes in the beer which helps to try and balence the brutal hop punishment on the tongue. Medium to fuller chewy coating mouthfeel. The next time I get to the west coast.... I will be seek these out with a vengance... my kind of beer. Makes a cornbeef special look like babyfood. A hop monster with unique craftmanship...

 708 characters

Photo of TheDeuce
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye....

Appearance-dark brown to black, decent hazy head foams up, active carbonation gushes through the glass, it's ok.

Smell-bready as expected, a whoosh of alcohol and plenty of hops. Lots of aroma.

Taste/Mouthfeel-hops hit with a flourish, piney taste, bready character to the beer, not really tasting anything that distinct that would make me realize it's a rye, but still a great tasting beer.

Drinkability-I had no trouble finishing mine, strong beer but definitely drinkable.

Overall-once again, I couldn't really determine that it was rye based on the taste alone, but still, this is a great beer from a brewer that I've really come to respect.

 682 characters

Photo of mzwolinski
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark amber in color with a slight chill haze and a silky, diaphanous head. A bit of chunky yeast hop sediment is hard to keep out of the glass. The aroma is sinus-clearing -- very fresh hop aroma, undergirded by a bit of toffee/caramel malt. These mild malt notes start off the flavor as well, but it's not long before the palate is overwhelmed by a huge blast of hop oil. The rye lends a lightly bready flavor to the beer which helps smooth the flavor out on the way to what is acually a very balanced finish -- ever so slightly dry, with nice spicy and piney notes which linger into the aftertaste. A terrific beer for hopheads, with a body that is oily, moderately carbonated, and fairly full for the style.

 710 characters

Photo of Stoutfan23DJ
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of WolfsbaneBloom
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of Pellinore1
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of CaptainPancakes
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of jjboesen
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Will Rogers never met a man he didn’t like; I have. However, I never met a beer from Bear Republic that I did not like. This tasty ale, fuel injected with 18% rye, pays homage to the California hot rodders of the 1950s, is no exception. The initial pour sets off a cascading head that reaches the glass rim before subsiding into a chunky vanilla froth. When this ends, there is a translucent liquid of copper. Gentleman, start your engines!

There are subtle notes of caramel apple on the nose while the palate is plastered with a semi-sweet toastiness (rye toast?) that fades with a hoppy rush. (Let’s go to the hop.) If drunk at the proper temperature, this brew provides a well defined balance makes this a surprisingly smooth hot rod to ride. A few quaffs and we are ready to race Bob Falfa out on Paradise Road.

 820 characters

Photo of muddyh2oblues
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

A: Pours a deep brown/mahogany with an amber hue, pours with a finger of thick head that is light tan and lingers nicely, pours slightly hazy
S: nice scent typical of rye ales, bread and a slight sweetness like molasses
T: interesting taste, maltiness but with something else underlying, kind of like whiskey but without the bite, smoked wood possibly, not sure, has a certain warmth to it
M: very little carbonation tingle, smooth beginning to the end, leaves a lingering aftertaste of the beer that stays on as a reminder
O: i enjoy the brew, nice warmth to it, smooth, great depth, great representation of the style

 643 characters

Photo of andrewjraab
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a copper brown with a healthy crisp white head. Nice lacing and head retention.

S - Heavy malts, caramel, raisins, baked bread.

T - Robust malty full bodied malty flavor, bready, crackers, rye, dry mouth feel, nice balance of hops.

O - This is a meal on wheels - big rich flavors. This is a must try.

 315 characters

Photo of SlothB77
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,717 ratings.
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