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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,077 | Ratings: 4,715
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Andrewharemza
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle brought from coolwines, Hazy dark orange beer with a two finger creamy head. Citrus, grapefruit, caramel, orange peel, rye, light carbonation. Very nice.

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Photo of HoppedChef84
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Heavy hop slam with a great malt flavor I'm sure it has something to do with the rye volume. Nicely done here, especially since I've been burnt out on ipa lately. Still has the hop resin I love, but presents in a sweeter light.

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Photo of 57md
3.86/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light copper in color. Decent hoppiness on the nose but no real essence of rye is present. The rye notes comes through in the flavor profile, however, and the hoppiness takes a back seat. A pleasant fruity notes pokes through on the finish to nicely accompany the hop bitterness.

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Photo of jooler
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks really dark and malty. But not malty as it looks. Initial taste is somewhat bland with a hint of malt. It's meh but it does have a great mouthfeel

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

Best by 6/30/15
Drank 3/8/15

Pours out a deep dark orange with a big thick off white head. Sticky lace everywhere.

The namesake rye is present along with some pungent orangey hop, floral, and some sweeter caramel malt.

Prominent bitterness and grapefruit in the front with rye and caramel coming more mid and back. Ends dry with lingering hop. Has some nice body and carbonation.

It seems hard to find freshish BR around here but when you do you are rewarded with a great drink.

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.2/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into nonic. Pours deep orange to brown with floaties and a fairly tall off-white head. Aroma is grapefruit, pine, and floral hops, caramel, and rye spice. Taste is similar with light malt sweetness followed by a wave of high hop bitterness and some rye spice on the finish. Individual flavors that I enjoy, but the combination in these proportions seems off. Medium-full bodied, creamy and sticky, soft carbonation, bitter finish.

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Photo of salcedo
4.91/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass
L: Dense amber.
Slightly cloudy.
Lots of stuff floating in there :-)
Rich, cream colored head
S: Caramelized sugar.
T: Sweet and malty at first, but they don't linger.
Finishes clean with a touch of pleasant bitterness.
Trying to learn what flavors rye adds to a beer, and I think the aftertaste of Hop Rod Rye is a good example.
F: In spite of the strong caramel smell and taste, this is a medium bodied beer.
Well carbonated.
O: I really like this beer. Some people may be put off by the floaties in the glass, but it tastes great. And what's more important, how it looks or how it tastes?

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

"Hop Rod Rye is a high performance, turbo charged, alcohol burnin' monster ale with dual overhead hop injection, made with 18% rye. Brewed in the style of an American Rye IPA, available as a year round release in 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a billowing creamy frothed head of a maple cream color over a moderately hazy deep mahogany amber body with plenty of flecked sediment ranging from opaque to black in suspension. Retention is very good and lacing is light and streaked. 4.25

(Smell) Aromas of bready, tangy rye malt and biscuity caramel syrup up front with a lesser note of herbal, spicy and piney hops secondary. Potency is medium-high. 3.75

(Taste) Dense bready rye and caramel body sweetness up front, fairly clean tasting but the viscosity is certainly there. Lesser emphasis on resinous, piney and herbal hops, somewhat faded. Fairly tasty, although I think the bottle is a bit dated. The rye flavor and character is forward and well carried through. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is moderately syrupy, medium chewy and mildly dry. Carbonation is mellow, generating a mild frothiness and a soft crispness. Body is medium+ for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to hoppy bitter, although the impact of age on this bottle in particular has the sweetness taking the front stage. Alcohol presence is mild and there are no significant off characters. 4

(Overall) I was a bit disappointed to find following this review that this bottle was a good bit past its prime, but still very promising with lots of rye flavor, texture and a solid malt body. Paired with a substantial hop flavor and bitterness, this would be no doubt be a fantastic beer. Will re-review at the next opportunity as Bear Republic is not currently distributed to Georgia and I got this on an out-of-state trip recently. Check your dates people! 3.75

Bear Republic Brewing Co.'s
Hop Rod Rye Specialty Ale

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4.84/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

GOD DAMN, this beer hits the spot every single time. Might be my favorite bomber to pick up on a whim, and it's 5 bucks. Achieves such a fine balance of malt and hops to the point where you can almost pick one or the other to focus on, but both are still respectfully present. Casual but classy; solid from start to finish with no fuss . This beer is marriage material.

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

Enjoyed from the 22 oa bomber in a pint glass. This sturdy ipa pours a copper brown with a firm white head that slowly dies down to a thin foam layer with fantastic lacing. Nose of heavy citrus hops, grapefruit, orange zest, lavish caramel malts, and spicy rye. Flavors are a full on hop and rye assault on all sides with caramel malts sweetening out the spice of the rye and the bitterness of the from the hops to culminate in a symposium of a bitter sweet monster. Bitter hop and spicy rye is calmed by thick caramel flavors on the aftertaste giving balance to this fine ale that finishes wet and bitter. Creamy mouth feel and moderate carbonation makes it highly drinkable with alcohol warmth coming in on the back, especially as it warms.

I am no hop head by any means, but this is most excellent and highly quaffable!


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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,715 ratings.
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