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Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,078 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: 2,078 | Ratings: 4,698
Photo of FormatKid
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of those beers I've been waiting to try ever since I started getting into craft brew. I actually managed to grab a bomber of this from State Line in Maryland, and I am happy to say it did not let me down.

The body of this beer is quite a bit darker than I'd imagined, completely brown practically with some hints of amber and red. The head is off white and sticky, fat globs of lace are spread about sporadically. The nose is explosive with hop aromas, pine, citrus (grapefruit), pineapple. The underlying malt was broken up a bit by the aroma of rye. The first thing I notice upon tasting is that the typically thick, sweet malt backing was softened up by the rye, gaining it a bit of complexity. The bitterness levels were aggressive througout with the finish being dominated by sharp spikes of those lovely hop flavors, pine, apricot, pineapple, grapefruit... The mouthfeel is perfect, soft with light carbonation, neither too slick or clingy. What a great beer, next time I see it I will be sure to stock up.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - reddish brown, 4 fingers of mocha head that melt down with lace clumping on the sides and surface. Refilling to top off the glass creates a sculpted, thick cap like a cappuccino.

Aroma - interesting blend of hops and a soapy, sweet grain. Fresh smelling despite having aged for 9-12 months. Hop florals win out, but a nice blend.

Taste - rye grain sets up a nice contrast for the hops while at the same time providing a malt base that's got some distinct flavor itself. The hops are intense but not overly bitter. A great blend of sweet and spice on the hops. Finishes with a sweet note, a little chocolaty and a trace of alcohol, then a warm, intense rye grain aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - really smooth on the palate, a resiny coating leaves a juicy hop sweetness behind.

Drinkability - abv is well-hidden. A well made beer in every respect and one to enjoy again.

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Photo of yen157
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep reddish copper brew, pretty hazy and a sticky off-white head of medium-fine composition. Gorgeous West coast hopping regiment more than obvious. Big and resiny. Yum! A little bit of sweet malt shines through. Brash hop flavor an bitterness are apparent on first sip. Slight rye flavors are present , too, along with residual sweetness. Wow, this beer has a brass set. Real nice medium body, pretty light carbonation. Excellent.

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

This is a rather good IPA. It pours a moderately dark amber color. The head was nice and foamy. The smell is delightfully hoppy. The taste is a pleasant mixture of hops and malts, with the hops nicely winning out. A very enjoyable beer. Definitely worth giving a try. Enjoy.

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

This beer pours a dark copper has a two finger head with good retention and some sticky lacing. The aroma is of floral hops with hints way in back of rye grain. The taste is loaded with hop bitterness from start to finish but if you let it warm up a bit you can taste the rye in the background. This beer is full bodied, oily, and quite smooth.

Reflection: Hop junkies should be happy with this one, it has a great kick to it and its still very drinkable!

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Photo of nogoodreason
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It pours out fairly dark, not quite brown but some ruby highlights highlights. Towards the end there are what I believe to be (very) little chunks of hops floating in this beer. Sounds unappealing, but in truth it adds to the experience.

Nose is of gold old American citrusey hops with a strong malty backbone. Sweet, but not overly so, with a rather inviting spiciness. There's an odd, almost roasty bitterness detectable.

In your mouth, it's full, not particularly thick, just full and smooth, smooth, smooth. Carbonation adds a trace of creaminess and goddamn, it's nice.

There's a distinct hop bitterness with rich, caramelized malt presence and that lovely rye tang which adds so much depth. That odd, almost roasty bitterness is there again in the finish, must be a result of rye intertwining with hops(?). It's plenty sweet but never sticky, rather remaining delicate and refreshing while intertwining with the grapefruit flesh and forming a delicate candy like presence to complement the intense hop bitterness. The hops, The hops, it's hoppy as hell and plenty bitter yet it never seems vulgar or hopped simply to be hoppy. Ridiculously drinkable for such a big beer. No alcohol presence is ever noticeable.

At the end, the rye gets more assertive taking on a slightly spicy character behind the grapefruit flesh, caramel malts and a perfect lingering hop bitterness.

Really a unique and special ale. A great example of the creativity and talent of American craft brewers. A new favorite.

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Photo of alexgash
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Had a pint of this at the Yard House in Costa Mesa. Zero atmosphere, but very clean tap lines.
Fresh out of the tap this beer is even better than out of the bottle. Still has the same brick-red body and creamy tan head. But the spicy, piny, resiny hop aromas are even more pronounced and appetizing. The caramally maltiness still holds its own though. Hop and malt flavor are also enhanced. I just love the spicy character throughout--even in the malty sweet beginning. I just wish I could get this on-tap more often.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle courtesy of Gueuzedude. Many thanks.
Aroma seemed fairly simple hops quality of grassiness and slight citrus. I didn't pick up much malt.
Dark amber of deep gold, brown and red. Big full steady head that became rocky. Left a great trail of lacey rings. Some setiment on the bottom and that showed in some cloudiness as poured towards the end of the bottle.
Flavor is a hop monster to be sure. Pleasant grassy taste up front that grows in intensity in the middle then bursts to an intense bitterness for the very long finish. The touch of malt is nice, but not outstanding and too quick and incomplete.
Great fullness from high carbonation, but it's largely soft and allows for some smoothness. Nice feel overall.
The excessive bitterness of the finish mellows a little as it warms, plus the malt charater increased simultaneously, but neither is enough to make this exceptional. I never really picked up on the rye qualties.

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Photo of Redrover
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bomber with a nice & informative label. My wife & I split this big boy.

Beer poured a very dark bronze with a fluffy off-white head. Nice lacing.

Nice aroma of pine, fresh citrus and a bit of dinner roll smell. Yummy!

Taste is bitter yet balanced by some sweetness that comes in during the after taste. Lots of pine and grapefruit taste in the forefront. I’m not sure what the rye adds, but the beer is tasty. More caramel and alcohol emerges as you work through the beer.

Nice smooth mouth with a very nice level of carbonation. A little tongue numbing at time. Easy to drink but the high ABV would keep this from being a session beer.

My first beer from this brewery and it is a winner! I will look for more from these artists.

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Photo of clvand0
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Pours a dark amber color with a tall and creamy head that sticks around and leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is ... hops - citrus mostly. The flavor has a caramel malt backbone, but is dominated by the hop flavor. The rye gives it somewhat of a chewy, grainy feel. Interesting.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very unique color. I have called beers muddy and murky before (and likely will again) but this beer's appearance really defines those words. It also poured with an ever so slight head that never quite went away. The aroma is of rye bread (remember, rye?) and makes me want a pastrami sandwich. The flavor is hoppy, but sweet and not bitter. The rye aroma also come through in the taste and it makes me think I am chewing on a piece of rye bread. Very unique and different. The overall flavor is very rich and fragrant--it permeates all the way through the finish.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Show Room Label Lore: Single labeled 22 oz. Brown bomber. Made with 18% rye. “sediment warning.” 8.0 % ABV Seasonal Ale.

Start yer engines! Dark coppery slightly hazy russet pour with delicate beading up the sides of me pint. Some floaty sediment particles floating around topped off by a rock solid craggy, surface of the moon head cap of khaki tan tight bubbles ½” thick that wont go away if you asked it to. Lace paints the inside of the glass. Second yeast pour released a hootnanny of scrod chunkers.

Intake and Exhaust: Blasts of Pine resin oily hop goodness and malt power bordering on nutmeg scents. With an aromatic scent such as this, one needs to be intrepid to taste.

First Spark Plug Sparks: Grounded deep malt back to the overwhelming hops eruption. Deep resinous hops oils and biscuit malt wheat bread backing. Acidic feel is syrupy sweet and tacky. This is a flavor playground. Pez powder and syrupy acidic lemon rind & oranges. Aftertaste is a lingering acidic sizzle and grain. The rye is a beguiling deceptive ingredient that reveals itself only in the most subtle way of graininess.

Handling: Hand me a steak knife and a fork. Thick full body. Quite filling on a chilly nite t’nite. This is a sluggable big powerful beer. Scary Drinkability factor since another bomber (if only to be so lucky) would go back in a 2000 RPM engine rotation.

Cross the finish line: Half 2IPA, half BarleyWine. Big and bold. 8% ABV. Reminds me of Alpha King with more malt towards DFH 90 minute. What an excellent top notch beer. A delight. Obtained in a trade. Must get more. My toungue is D-U-N. Look at my smile. Any enamel left? The IBUs would give Ruination a run. Rev ‘em up. Thanks to JayT for the bottle.

Beer is good. Happy overly hopped 2IPA beering.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out of the bomber a deep brownish read color with a nice creamy head on top. Quite an interesting color for an I2PA. Unique. The nose on this one is upfront with lemon and grapefruit hopiness along with some caramel and grain, which I'm guessin is rye. A bit subdued.

The first swig is a bitter blast of grapefruity citrus hops along with a nice caramel malty backbone that works its magic to keep everything together. The rye imparts a unique flavor that ties in nicely. Finishes with a lingering hop biterness that will kick your palates ass...how many IBU's is this?

Mouthfeel is nice...medium body and smooth velvet creaminess. Drinkability is awesome here...the alcohol is well hidden and it tastes so damn good. Easy to gulp and a great treat for the hophead in all of us. My advice is to find it and try it!

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

This is the darkest IPA I've ever seen. Is that good or bad? Creamy head strays left of white. This smells like hops. Tastes good. Very odd, I'll lend that to the rye. Hop flavor devastates this brew. The high ABV hide nicely behind all that flavors. I've been drinking this for a while now and will continue to.

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Photo of Bruiser81
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color, almost like dark mahagony. Thick creamy head, tan in color.
Lots of hops in the aroma, along with some citrus and carmel.
Taste is very hoppy to start but as it warms a little bit of carmel malt begins to show. Not as much rye in the flavor as I expected but this is the first rye beer I've tried. It's certainly there though. Very tasty beer. Wish it was available here.

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

Pours a deep amber with a almost creamy-like head that leaves sheets of lace down the glass,the rye really comes thru in the aroma along with a dose of grapefruit these aromas melded very well together I already knew this was gonna be a hoppy brew before even tasting.Like a few of the others who reviewed this one the first few sips hit pretty hard with some bigtime bitterness but mellowed after awhile with that late rye touch making this very refreshing.Glad to get a chance to try this a very nice beer would love to have on tap again sometime.

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

Pours a dark amber with a thick froth. Doesn't appear much like a pale ale.

It initially hits with a stong dose of caramel malts (possibly caravienne???) and a lot of citrus and pine-like hops. Very bold and enticing. After several weeks of drinking pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest brews, I'm ready for something bitter and hoppy. Wow, this is bitter! But I like it. Not for the faint of hop-heart, this brew slammed me with a constant dose of malt flavor, hop flavor and then that hop bitterness kicks-in. The rye is in there, mostly it seems on the finish. Overall, the bitterness seems a little harsh, and my own preferences would tone it down just a bit. Then again, sometimes we just need to get a good kick in the arse, and this brew will do just fine for that.
Mouthfeel is a little slick, but it has a lot of body, which it needs to stand-up to all of the flavors. Overall, this is a good beer, with a lot of complexity. The name is quite fitting. t's also probably only for those who like strong hop bitterness.

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Photo of rastaman
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. This is great. All the hallmarks of an American strong are there, lychee, pine and gapefruit. loads of hops. Dryer than most in its style. Nicely bitter finish, some burnt tea leaves, great balance. A quality beverage. Lots a hops, but it seems more interesting than most hopped up beers.

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Photo of oracle
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle server in a shaker style glass

Pour a deep mahogany, with large creamy tan head that left heavy lacing.

Smelled heavily of hops. Strong acohol present in the nose as well (at 8% this is not surprising).

Complex taste, strong hops, but also a mixture if sweet malt and carmel. Long drawn out finish. A great beer with a steak.

To tell the truth, I find this beer to be remarkably similar to, Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Barleywine, which I also like quite a bit. It's not quite as intensely over-the-top hoppy.


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

pours a very nice dark and crisp amber colour wuth a giant sticky tan head that looks creamy and inviting. it looks more like a turbo charged red ale than what i'd expect from a double ipa, but certainly no complaints, as it looks great all-around. the smell is a solid bread and rye with hop throughout. this one's a bit dirty and sweet smelling at times as well too. the flavour hits you with a surprising aount of malt and bitterness before moving into hops, dirt and tree bark and then some full on rye flavour at the finish. the hop burps are quite yummy with the rye taste mixed in. this one remains tasty throughout whilst not being overpowering, which is nice. another winner from bear republic, which seems to produce (in my eyes) a consistent string of very good brews, but can't move into the 'blow me away' range...yet.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Foamy white head that has great retention, giving way to some strong lacing after letting it sit for about five or ten minutes. Dark auburn in color with shades of red.

A very strong hop aroma; piney, oily, and some citric aromas. There's also a mellow clove-like spiciness which I attributed to the rye.

A great juicy Double IPA! The flavors are grapefruit, lemon, and hop oils at first that give way to a burnt toffee aftertaste. The rye is almost nut-like and very warming. It balances out the over the top hop flavors well. A medium malty sweetness is also present that provides a great bitterness.

This is a big hop beer and it is thick on the palate. Any Double IPA with this much flavor though is expected to be a bit thick and heavy. At 8%abv this one goes down very smoothly.

A great beer for the style, especially if you're a hophead. This is one of the better Double IPA's out there and it's unique as well. This is something that should be sought after.

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

Had this on tap at The Moan and Dove in Amherst, MA.

Brown liquid, almost completely opaque with no head. Aroma was of floral hops and a sweet smell reminiscent of brown sugar (although this could have been the malt).

Taste matched the aroma, with the bitter hop flavor dominating. However, what was interesting was the way in which the flavors emerged. The taste starts off bitter with the brown sugar flavor coming through in the background. Suddenly, the flavors then stop like a caesura, temporarily canceling out one another to nothingness. Then the bitterness and dry finish come back in a rage. Very cool effect.

Drinkability is only limited by the ABV. A nice beer. I have a bottle of this as well and am curious to see how that will taste as compared to on tap.

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

Pours a mahogany hue wth some orange streaks and a massive light tan head with big pillowy sheets of lace on the pint.
Aroma of citrus and resiny hops with caramel underpinnings. Got maybe just a hint of the rye used.
Flavor of caramel malt and spicy rye followed by a barrage of powerful Northwestern hops. So bitter almost has metallic quality.
Mouthfeel is a tease of sweet malt followed by palate destroying, tongue numbing, IBU train wreck of flavor. Wow !, might be the most purely bitter beer I've ever imbibed.
Drinkability is good but begs to be drunk withsome spicy food but still great on a stand alone basis.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Wow! I definitely got my money's worth with this beer. I see its in the American Double IPA category.... wow! Can it be?

It's a rye ale. But the beer is so drinkable! There is definitely a copious amounts of hops in this beer... but you would never know. Beautiful, clean malt taste in the beginning and throughout blanket the hops, but don't subdue them too much.

What balance for such a strong beer. Kudos to the folks at Bear Republic. I will definitely recommend this beer to others!

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Photo of rajendra82
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bomber was received from meathookjones in a trade that took place a little while back, and I am finally getting around to trying it now. The beer had a lovely coppertone hue as I poured it into the goblet, and the head on top was deliciously creamy, and beige with a thickness of about 2 inches at the beginning. The head was a bit short lived, but the copious lacing left on the sides of the glass while departing was a constant reminder of it.

The aroma was primed with piney and citric juicy hops, bready rye malt, and perfumey alcohol. The taste was like buttered rye toast with a touch of honey dunked into tea made of hop leaves. The mouthfeel felt a bit thinner than the alcohol in the aroma first suggested. The aftertaste was peppery and dry, and left me longing for the next sip. This is a very well crafted beer that will be missed due to its local unavailability. But for now I’ll pour me another glass.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,698 ratings.
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