Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 2,077 | Ratings: 4,715
Photo of Radcpa
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep amber appearance with a good tan/blond head that desipates quickly. The aroma is sweet with a faint hoppy fragrance. The taste is a very smooth fruity with a faint hoppy flavor.

 184 characters

Photo of hman43
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours dark amber in color with some plum hues.

Smell: It has strong aromas of rye, dark fruits, plums, hints of caramel and low spice.

Taste: It has flavors of rye, plums, grain, earthly elements, spice, and caramel.

Feel: It has a moderate body to it with a moderately high bitter finish. It has a moderately high carbonation level as well.

Overall, this is a flavorful ipa with a complex mixture of malts and hops with rye highlights throughout the taste.

 474 characters

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

$ 5.40 (Including tax)/bomber ($ 0.246/oz) at Central Market, Alamo Heights, TX
Undated bomber at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter
Aroma – spicy, typical of rye; fades but remains
Head large (Maximum 4.2 cm, semi-aggressive pour), light tan, creamy with rocks, diminishing to a two mm ring with legs and a heaped partial layer
Lacing excellent – wide rings of tiny to small bubbles; rings connected by stalactites
Body dark amber, clear
Flavor – rye forward and malty, bitter finish; no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, almost oily, lively carbonation

An excellent rye IPA! Cheap at twice the price!

Appearance 4.5, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.5, Overall 4.5

 690 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown in color and somewhat murky in complexion. There's a sold inch of tightly packed, creamy brown head on top. The aroma is an enticing blend of piney hops and spicy rye malt. The taste is aggressively bitter piney hops with the spicy, earthy rye malt appearing in the middle of the palate. After that you get more bitter piney hops. The mouth is dangerously creamy, smooth, and quaffable considering the strength.

 427 characters

Photo of Marius
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at home. Clear dark amber pour with a thin beige head. Smells like caramel, resin, grapefruit and chili peppers. Tastes like grapefruit, red peppers, spices, brown sugar. Medium bodied with medium carbonation and a smooth mouthfeel.

 239 characters

Photo of Czequershuus
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep choclate brown with a very solid and well structured head. The aroma is replete with resin and pine, mint, violets, roses, and a touch of maple. The flavor begins soft and floral, especially redolent of violets, moving into subtle woodsy spice, baslam, sandalwood, and rich breayd, almost cookie like malts, like an oatmeal raisin cookie. The finish is solidly bitter, with resin, pine, camphor, and mint. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, but never heavy. Overall this is a great beer, complex, full of unique and interesting flavors. I love the way is starts so soft and ends so bitter.

 618 characters

Photo of TBoneJones
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Terrific rye IPA. Brown/ deep ruby pour, creamy top, citrus nose with underlying rye.
Taste is yummy citrus IPA with well-placed rye flavor. Some spicy notes and it is earthy.
Caramel malts.
Feels nearly perfect. Creamy-full and well-carbonated.
A world class rye IPA for sure.

 281 characters

Photo of pat61
4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours tea colored brown with a slight chill haze under a 3” off-white to cream colored foam cap that takes 5 minutes to reduce to ½” and coats the glass with sticky lace.

S: Rye spice and grassy resiny hops scented with a touch of a meadow smell after a soft rain blending earthiness, grass, vegetation and light floral.

T: Rich malts, biscuit and rye with a fairly assertive hop accent growing at the finish. Some grain or hop driven astringency at the finish. As it warms caramel notes become more prominent and rye flavors develop and create a strong urge for pastrami and German mustard.

F: Very creamy texture supported by soft carbonation that makes its medium body feel light and airy.

O: Loaded with layers of flavor that achieve a delightful balance.

 775 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an IPA glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber red with a lot of rising bubbles. Big two finger off white head which slowly settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: An earthy and spicy hop driven aroma with a scent of rye, grass, and caramel. Earthy and floral hops with a scent of grass and pine along with subtle citrus hints. Barley malt with a big scent of rye spice along with hints of caramel, biscuit, grains, and toast with yeast. A very nice aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, an earthy and spicy hop forward taste with notes of rye, caramel, and grass. Strong hop presence with earthy and floral notes of pine resin and grass. Subtle citrus notes. Barley malt with a lot of rye spice and notes of caramel, biscuit, toast, and grains along with yeast. A very good bold taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Spicy and fairly chewy with a drying finish.

Overall: A very good twist on an IPA. Really good mix of rye and hop flavors.

 1,023 characters

Photo of Tenessee_Jed1972
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Looks almost like a scotch ale after pouring. Deep, dark red color. Ruby-esque. Tastes pretty hoppy but even the hops in this IPA are dominated by the rye. Holy rye! A very enjoyable beer if you like rye/hop forward offerings.

Bought 1 bottle to try... Would buy again.


 280 characters

Photo of Wiffler27
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours dark amber with a thick creamy head, looks pretty good.

smell is mild yet contains sweetness and slight spice.

taste is hot and spicy, nice rye burn. full flavored beer, finishes spicy with a nice burn.

this isn't bad but i've had much more mellow rye IPAs. this may be a little more spicy and burning than i enjoy.

 324 characters

Photo of Guppy314
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Unabashedly Hoppy, but there is also a caramel taste. It is very comparable to a HopDevil (Victory Brewing), which I felt was "crisper". Overall, its aroma is awesome, but this Hop Rod was a bit "harsh" at the end of bottle.

 225 characters

Photo of Ri0
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter. It has a rich, brown color similar to ice tea with a 2.5 finger sandy head. Leaves behind a pretty good amount of lacing on the glass. Rye malts and piney hops sit in the nose. A sweet, malty taste opens up and then leads into a slightly bitter hop taste, before being slashed and settled by the rye. Great taste, and kept well in check. Mouth feel is medium and stick with great carbonation. It's easy and a pleasure to drink. Overall, a well made delicious IPA with a sold spicey finish from the rye.

 535 characters

Photo of BeerSamurai34
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Just ok for me. I think this is really popular with many, but rye IPAs just are hit or miss for me. This one had good hop character, but the hop profile just didn't work with the rye for me.

 190 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours light brown to auburn. Easily darker than most ipas. Its a heavy malt ipa. Aroma does impart notes of rye, toffee, c hops.

Taste, very good when fresh, as they get older the toffee and wood like rye malt notes become less sweet and more heavy on the mouthfeel. Fresh can have that bright feel, which is nice. The rye is minorly sweet, pepper edge to it. Strong alcohol, moderate tree and citrus notes.

 415 characters

Photo of beercam
4.93/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hop Rod Rye...

A Specialty Ale indeed.

Two pours of a 22 oz. into a 16 oz Fremont Brewery can pint. This bottle is very fresh, with an expiration date of late April 2016.

L: This shone with a forest-fire red upon pouring. Meanwhile, a persistent and tufty head of fine foam billowed and roiled luxuriously. The lace was mesmerizing and extensive while the liquid looked sticky and and syrupy. Supreme aesthetics here, folks.
S: It slipped by undetected by my olfactory radar at first. Slowly did I begin to discover this fruity, rye-y, quintessentially hoppy smell (pines+citrus+_), which was pungent and present and involved.
T: Rye. Right upfront. Almost a pepperyness to this rye, a bit smokey, strong, then bulldozed by a crash of adventurous hop intensity. There was a true cacophony of flavors here, perhaps descending down from the great white north, or wherever hops land is, and aqueously descends upon my tongue. This in itself was deeply disorienting, intoxicating, and along with this very strong beer, punching in at 8%... On to other reasons why I drink this beer..
F: Viscousy. Sharply carbonated at a bit below room temperature, could've, should've been colder, but it was really nice flavor wise warmer. It lingered on strongly, with physical mouth presences of pepper and something wheaty. Feel was really smoooth. This is classic, classic rye.

O: This is a courageous, successful and masterful brew of a very rye-y recipe at 18% a commercial batch. For me, beyond this level of rye proportion in a beer can taste quite sour. And I don't drink sour beers.... yet.

Try your hardest to find this beer. It's perfect. Thank you Bear Republic. Cheers!

 1,674 characters

Photo of Catracho5
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a deep rich mahogany with a caramel colored head, some head retention, lots of lacing, decent amount of carbonation streaming off the bottom, this beer has a very rich full appearance, looks really good.

A: Lemon like citrus, hint of pine needles, rye spice, no alcohol on the nose, great balance of aromas, not too hoppy, not too spicy, smells solid.

T: Hit of lemon/grapefruit like citrus up front, spicy rye in the middle, moderate amount of citrus peel bitterness in the middle, touch of bread/biscuit from malts, adds a nice balance, big dry finish with lingering flavors of citrus and rye, very balanced, very drinkable.

M: Big mouthfeel, full, creamy, dry finish.

O: I really love this beer, first beer I have had with rye, love the balance of hops, rye, and malt, has lots of flavor, creamy mouthfeel, just overall, a world class that I especially enjoy in cooler weather.

 935 characters

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

Look: A slightly hazy medium copper body, witht bubbles that glom on to every inch of the glass. The substantial, creamy head is of a pale khaki color.

Smell: Strong toasted malt gives way to a sweeter caramel character as the beer warms. The rye definitely comes through on the nose, curbing the caramel sweetness, along with resinous and earthy hops. Nice balanced complexity.

Taste: The sweet caramel is evident right away, and only becomes more prominent in the finish. It is balanced by the complex hop profile, which combines herbal earthiness wth a citrus element perhaps made more obvious by the sugary base. The rye creates an element of peppery spice that works well against the softer notes.

Mouthfeel: The strong hop and malt flavors are well supported by medium body and medium carbonation . The dryness is detectable only after the swallow, at which point the tongue begins to prickle.

Overall: A tasty, well balanced beer which uses rye to bring a unique spicy kick to juxtapose the unusual sweetness. Some may be put off by the high level of caramel. For me, it verges on being slightly too sweet, but overall, I think it does well to even out the hoppy spiciness.

 1,187 characters

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.

 487 characters

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

clear amber brown, with a big head that stays for a minute. nose; hops and light rye. taste; big caramel and hops upfront, followed by some grapefruit citrus and lightly spicy rye. aftertaste is sweet caramel, light syrup and very light rye/bread. the titular rye is applied sparingly considering most rye ales' tendency to be pepper-fests. carbonation is good, and although it's medium, the mouthfeel is a little thin for what i was expecting - it would be interesting to see this brew with a little more of a malty backbone. overall, this drinks like a red ale and ipa combined, with the sweeter profile of the red more dominant and is a much more subtle rye beer than most carrying the label.

 700 characters

Photo of Reema
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 12 oz bottle into a shaker pint

Pours a dark hazy amber/brown color. Smells lightly of toasted bread, hops, pine resin, and fresh baked bread. Taste reflects the smell with a slightly larger hops presence, major toasted bread, slight malt sweetness, with a minuscule spiciness somewhere in the middle. It's different and I like it a lot. Medium-heavy feel, with medium-light carbonation that works very well with the toasted bread and malty sweetness. Overall, this is a very good beer with great bready and malty characteristics without sacrificing or impeding the hops flavors. Highly recommend.

 612 characters

Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The hops are super potent here. The rye really let the hops stand out and man do they. Tropical citrus and pine pungent hits you in the face, leaving you in need of water by the time you finish. Good ipa, overrated though.

 222 characters

Photo of SaulFox
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Resembles iced tea with lacing. Muted floral hop aroma. The hop bitterness is nicely balanced with malt. Does not feel like an 8%. Glad I gave it a go.

 151 characters

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

Pours a slightly hazy dark bronze under a one-inch thick off - white head which leaves good lace. Pine and grapefruity hop aroma. Bitter and mildly rye spiced with some caramel and faint toffee. Solid.

 201 characters

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.

 686 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,715 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.