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Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,077 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: 2,077 | Ratings: 4,699
Photo of Zorro
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

.Pours a clear red brown brew.

Smell is sharp and pleasant cascade hops and a bit of malt and caramel.

Taste is malty with a rye grain flavor and a pleasant bitter finish. Cascade hops flavor is there but doesn't dominate all the other flavors. Has a kind of salted rye cracker flavor to it.

Mouthfeel is good.

A nice strong brew! Not for those who do not like a super hopped brew. A beer that will be added to my regular beer rotation.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at AJ's in Henrietta, NY. Bottled on date of 12/5/13, so it's a little bit old. Should have checked the date.

Pours a tawny amber brown, with a half inch white head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like caramel, rye, and a bit of pine. The hop aroma seems diminished.

At this age, this is still a somewhat decent rye ale, but it's not an IPA anymore. There's some slight hoppy pine bitterness, but it's mild. There's the spicy, grainy rye flavor I would expect, with some caramel and molasses. The malt flavor is at the forefront here, at this age, but it's not that interesting.

This one has a bready mouthfeel, with a lower amount of carbonation. It's kind of drinkable, I guess?

I'm disappointed. If I get a newer bottle, I'll re-review this.

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

Poured from 22 oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: dark tawny color with hints of ruby; 1-finger tan head which hung in there well.

Smell: nice collection of citrusy and spicy hops.

Taste: not the hop bomb I would have guessed from the name; in my opinion, this is a good thing. There is plenty of malt backbone to give the hops room to shine; it reminds me almost of a strong dark Belgian. The hops are spicy on the front and remain on the tongue that way, but toward the end mellow out into a nice floral flavor. Great stuff!

Mouthfeel: nicely carbonated, medium body, and very creamy. Love it!

Drinkability: dangerously drinkable. Strong but balanced, this could get me into trouble.

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

On tap at Max's on Superbowl Sunday....

The beer pours a hazy, orange/amber color with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose the beer is very IPA-like, with lots of floral citrus and lime. On the palate the beer is quite delicious, with the rye flavor quite noticeable. The rye gives the beer a somewhat dry aspect, but also some additional complexity. There is plenty of citrus as well, and the beer is surprisingly light on its feet for such a hoppy beer with 8% abv. The beer comes across as quite drinkable, with a cascade of bitter all through the finish. Just delicios.

Another very fine beer from Bear Republic.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark ruby brown with a well structured firm head that is tan. The head never really disappears and their is excellent lacing as well.

Very fresh smell of rye blended with some spicy hop aromas. A slight smell of alcohol as well.

The taste is very powerful and clean, but also a little simple. I love the bitterness, but it lacks a little bit of complexity. Spicy hops up front followed by a pronounced rye flavor, some creaminess, and finally a long slow bitter burn.

Mouthfeel is very good. Creamy, nicely carbonated, good body.

Very drinkable- especially for an 8% abv. Nice long flavor that keeps you wanting more. Really a very good beer.

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

Definitely more of a rye beer than Founder's Red's Rye (which should certainly be classified as an IPA). This one could fit comfortably under either category.

Compared to the Racer 5, there's more bitterness, but not as much hop flavour (which is rounded out with the malts).

A: Deep, deep amber/dark-caramel; fluffy, slightly off-white head, some retention, great lace.

S: Pine, floral, citrus, toffee, jaggery, dark rye bread.

T: Pine, citrus & spicy hop flavours are upfront. Dark rye bread and a little caramel balance out the flavour. Bitterness is quite assertive, but not harsh. Warming alcohol in the finish. The EXTREME fusion of flavours is truly exceptional!

M: Moderate to full body, moderate carbonation, slight acidity. Well attenuated with a relatively dry finish.

D: Incredible for its strength, but certainly a hop-heads delight.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A fresh cask on at the Horse Brass in Portland. Pours dark reddish amber. The white head is gigantic and takes many minutes to completely recede. Lacing covers my glass as it recedes.

The nose is a stunning explosion of citrus hops, with an added twist of spicy rye. I'm not a big cask IPA fan, but it really brings out the rye in this beer. The malt backbone is solid, being mostly sweet caramel. No alcohol is present in the nose.

Bitterness is at a medium level. The concentrated hop flavor is grapefruit and pine, with some rye, which tastes fantastic. The finish is citrus bitterness and spicy, with a low level of alcohol.

The beer is medium bodied with a creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

This is one of a handful (2) of rye IPAs that I've had, and I find that the subtle spiciness works extremely well with the citrus hop flavor and aroma. I'm also not a big cask IPA fan, but this was very good.

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Photo of dar482
4.69/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

There's a rich dark copper, ruby color. The beer starts off with a strong hop and tropical fruit aroma along with tons of apple with a spice rye aroma to it too.

The grapefruit taste pops at the tongue quickly. Then there’s a malt/rye finish that rounds off the beer nicely and brings some amazing sweet tones. It hits with a dry bitterness at the end that hangs around for a while.The taste is piney and bitter, but well done. The crisp from the rye helps the bitterness and gives it some smoothness.

The rye is amazing to help out the body and giving this semi-creaminess to the beer.

The dryness in the end detracts from the beer slightly, but it's pretty different from non-ryed IPAs. Definitely recommend this variation to the style. Everytime I have this beer, it just keeps getting better. The rye and maltiness along with the slight punch of hops sells this beer for me.

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Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears as a ruby/copper vivacious brew with some small bubbles creating a small off white head which fades shortly. It looks pretty good! In fact, it's almost excellent with the exception of the heavy heavy sediment and lack of carbonation after about a minute. The lacing is lovely as it leaves a nice perfect ring which lasts for most of the duration of enjoying this brew.
Smells of faint maltiness with some amarillo hops coming through, along with a faint nutiness.
The taste is pretty decent as it hits most of tastebuds up in the front and the middle and the dryness lingers all the way to the back. Not a real full bodied mouthfeel but it is up there as far as filling it out. It is also quite drinkable. Again, the only thing that I didn't really like about this well done brew was the heavy sediment and the lack of carbonation.

Finger licking good!

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Photo of jdhilt
2.36/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours with a two-finger bubbly white head that fades slowly leaving a ton of lace. Clear amber color. Medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Medium carbonation. Starts crisp and finishes hoppy, very little malt sweetness. $4.60 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, Ma.

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Photo of rudzud
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at Julio's. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep, dark burnt copper colour with a big almost 3 finger fluffy light brownish white head that leaves massive clumps of side lacing and slips down to leave a quarter inch blanket.

S - Nice clean hop aromas. With just a hint of rye.

T - Kinda like the nose. Good malts and bitter hop notes with a light rye spice at the end.

M - Nice amount of carbonation but its still a sipper thanks to the higher ABV.

O - Yeah, have yet to have a bad Bear Republic beer. Didnt enjoy as much as som eof their other ales though.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, brownish cherry-red, perfectly clear, with a huge pillowy head of beige foam. Lacing is out of this world, clinging like crazy to the edge of the glass. Little carbonation, and the viscosity looks high. Awesome looking beer.

Amazingly powerful and complex nose - aromas of pineapple, sweet citrus, molasses, rosewater, and tantalising hints of vanilla, resin, wintergreen and cut grass. Oh my. The plethora of flavours presented here is extraordinary. Such a wide swathe, but all intermingling, bouncing off one another, in a seeming anarchy that makes a peaceful whole. What a wonderful smelling beer - possibly the most blissfully aromatic brews I've ever sampled.

Taste is also fantastic. A delicious initial sour character bites the front of the tongue, before a welling up of juicy, luscious hop bitterness cushioned on a base of almost fruit sweetness. Tangy, slightly sour finish that leaves you wanting more, more, MORE. Mouthfeel is very nice, with a very slight effervescence on the tongue which coincides with the crescendo of hops.

Wonderful, wonderful beer - what a top notch drop. This will easily be one of the hardest things I have to leave behind here in the States when I return to Oz.

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Photo of corby112
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber/chestnut brown color with dark ruby edges and a two finger frothy, pllowy off-white head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the pint with large rings and chunks of soapy lacing.

Sweet hoppy aroma with a nice combination of sweet citrus, earthy pine, rye and caramel malt. Dank oilly fresh hops are bursting through with hints of pine needle, tropical and citrus fruit. Hints of grapefruit, pineapple and citrus peel countered by sweet rye and malt.

Chewy body that is much fuller than expected with a blast of bitter and sweet hop flavor up front that lingers throughout into a dry finish. Bitter earthy pine needle is countered by sweet tropical and citrus fruit notes as well as the sweet rye and malt backbone. Hints of pineapple, grapefruit and citrus peel counter the dry bitter character and are complimented excellently by the sweet rye and malt profile. There's also a creamy presence mid-palate that adds to the complexity and mouthfeel. Excellently balanced with a well masked ABV resulting in an extremely quaffable hop bomb. Excellent!

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Photo of clayrock81
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint glass of this and received a leathery brown with rubish tints that gave off a rocky yet quickly receeding three-finger head with a lace ring. A mix of both intense tropical citrus notes such as banana and orange, coupled with some roasted, toffee and caramel malts - must've been the rye kicking in. A thick, almost full-bodied beer with a very dry backbite. A great hop bite with citric, earthy hops pounding the tongue and a stoutish, caramel aided roasted malt taste follows. Unfortunately, a slight alcohol burn derides some of the tastiness. I guess the rye can be thanked for both (the mix of tastes and the burn). While very affordable and I enjoyed me brew (not for the faint of palate), I don't see myself sessioning this one.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a bright, cranberry-amber with a huge, firm rocky beige head that was fully lasting throughout the course of the drink. Visible carbonation was light-medium.

S: a huge fresh citrus and grapefruit aroma as well light pine.

T: a very nice balance of hops and malt with a smooth bitterness of citrus/grapefruit. There was some sweet malt and pine resin that combined with the dry crisp nature of the rye palate. On the finish and fade was a beautiful dry citrusy flower hopping, that was sweet and bitter. Overall incredibly balanced with the dry crisp rye complimenting the flowery hop finish with a well rounded hop bitterness and flavor that was not coarse like many other ipas.

M: medium-full with a nice viscous nature, slightly oily with almost no carbonation detected.

D: Amazing drinking ipa that was well balanced with a refined dry citrusy/grapefruit and flowery hopping that provided an smooth and even bitterness with a great finish.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep ruby red with a firm creamy whipped tan head. Slight haze with some bubble raising in the middle. Lots of pungant citrusy hops win out over some sweet caramel and spicy rye aroma. Again, the hops are the major player, but the rye character is worthy of your attention. Both together create a wonderfully blend of citrus and spice that would please the most disearning hop head. Body may be a bit thin, but that my make this sort of a refreshing beer.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a deep amber slightly hazy body with strong carbonation and a thick creamy light tan head.

S- Nice citrus hop aroma with a bit of grassiness. A hint of spicy malt finishes the smell.

T- Nice creamy maltyness with a powerful bitter grapefruit hoppiness that has some resins and pine notes. Also a nice pepper spiciness that adds to the burst of hop flavor.

M- Creamy mouthfeel with a slight astringency at the finish but very faint. No alcohol warmth noted.

D- This is a big hop monster with a great creaminess and nice spiciness from the rye. It is well balanced malt and rye that gives a backbone to the great hops. I'm glad this comes in a bomber cause a 12 oz would be to small.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle a deep amber gold with a large head of foam that dissipated slowly leaving a nice billowy layer that stayed for the entire session.

The smell is very hoppy with a bunch of grapefruit and spices hitting my nose very nicely.

The taste is big on hops up front. Nice flavours of grapefruit and spiciness hit my palate causing me to make a smacking noise. ;^)
There's also a bit of malt presence that sweetens it up just a tad mid way through and the finish is the closest this brew comes to being balanced but...no matter how you slice it, this is one hella good tasting IPA that really satisfies in every category. Oh yeah, aboot the 8%abv...not a factor!

Bottom line: This is a world class IPA. See it? Buy it.

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Photo of beertunes
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into bubble pint glass. Poured a bright, clear reddish-mahogany color with about an inch of light khaki colored head that left a medium-heavy amount of lacing. A sharp hop nose that has an underlying earthiness. The expected hop flavors are present but with addition of rye they have a little something extra to hold onto, which in turn allows the hops to better express themselves. The blend of barley and rye gives this beer a distinctive, pleasant and satisfying flavor. The body is full and satisfying, something missing in most IPAs. As with most IPAs, this beer will burn your tastebuds, but unlike most IPAs, there is more flavor to be had. You will be feeling the effects if you have several, but this is as drinkable as an IPA can get. I highly recommend this beer, worth a lot of effort to get.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark red with a one finger head. Short retention and splotchy lacing.

S: Sort of peculiar... some malty caramel, some floral hops, and ... applesauce? Maybe the spiciness of the rye is doing strange things to my brain.

T: Comes across as more of a Red Ale / Amber than an IPA. Rich bready malts with a touch of caramel. Bitter, but not overly so.

M: Medium-heavy body, but with a clean finish. Lingering malt and floral hops.

O: A little hard to know what to do with this... The brewery calls it an IPA, but it's way out of style guidelines. Seems to be a pleasantly hoppy Amber to me. It's a fine average-plus beer, but I'm not really sure what it's doing on the Top 250.

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

Served at Al's of Hampden.

A: The IPA is very dark, many hues away from the standard copper color. This is more dark caramel, approaching brown ale territory. The pour seemingly lacks nitro, as the head was negligible at best.

S: The nose is hoppy, muted a bit (perhaps a little long in the tooth), but still heavy woth pine and citrus. The muted hops allow the rich carraway and spicy rye to shine though. And man, I love those rye beers.

T: Much like the nose, the hops are bold but not as bold as they could be. Piney citrus, oily and thick, can be avoided. Again, the rye stands out more than normal, adding a rich peppery spiciness that overtakes the hops mid-sip. The dark bread, emboldened, is chewy, with carraway spice livening it up. I really like that the rye is prominent. The bready finish incorporates the resiny hop bitterness that has been lingering throughout.

M: The IPA is spicy, not in the hot way but in a rich, dark bread way. The emphasis on rye presents a stark contrast to the sharp hops, allowing both to play off of each other.

D: A meal in the glass. Bitter hops, chewy malts. The ale can't avoid its booziness though, so strength is an issue (albeit minor).

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Photo of cjgator3
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

Pours a dark copper color with a nice light tan head. The aroma is sweet malt, caramel, hints of rye and a good dose of hops. The taste features a solid malt backbone with a really nice hop profile. Another delicious beer from Bear Republic. Rye beers have quickly become a favorite of mine, and this is one of the better ones. Highly recommended.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a murky brown colour with a very large frothy beige head. I can't make out much carbonation due to the darkness of the beer and there is some terrific lacing. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - hops, malts, caramel, oranges

Taste & Mouth - wow.. first sip and I'm in love.. this beer is really good. The mouthfeel is full-bodied with an amazing creaminess and the perfect level of carbonation. The most dominant flavours are sweet and sour citrus mixed with malts and lots of hops. There is also a dark fruit flavour, perhaps plums or cherries. Other flavours include caramel, chocolate, and rye. The beer finishes with a bitter sweet caramel hop aftertaste.

Drink - This one is pretty far up there on my list of favorite beers; it is very tasty and highly drinkable. I'll seek this one out again and stock up on it for sure.

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

A: Clear dark red color. Poured a 1 finger tan head with good retention to a thick bubbly skim. Laced in broken rings

S: Floral, earthy hops aroma. Crystal malt and some peppery spice. Alcohol.

T: Crystal malt and citrus. More pronounced floral hops; slightly resiny. Sweet malt lingers ahead of a sharp bitter.

M: Medium to full body. Medium carbonation. Coating ahead of dry and slightly hot finish.

D: Big beer thats easy to drink.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a Lagunitas wide mouth glass. no bottling date.

Pours a dark reddish brown with a very light head. Very mild hoppy smell with a hint of rye, but not much to go by. was expecting more from the nose. taste is a tad hoppy, with a good balance of malts. its nothing spectacular but quite alright. good feel...medium bodied with light carbonation. easy to down this one and the 8% isnt detectable.

overall its a solid beer, but nothing worldclass in my eyes. it'd most certainly be better fresh, got this at a local store but with no bottling date im not sure how fresh it is. would like to try this on tap.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,699 ratings.
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