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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Reviews: 2,077 | Ratings: 4,715
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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Photo of IceAce
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep sienna coloring with excellent clarity topped by a single finger collar of dense, tan foam. Lacing is of the very best quality

Aroma: While the hops (of course) dominate the nose, one can detect the underlying notes of the high quality malt

Taste: Initial impression...hops. Mid-taste...hops. Finish...hops. As the brew warmed the mid notes of malt and rye were more easily detected.

Mouthfeel: A 'thick' and satisfying mouthfeel with very good body

Drinkability: Well above average as long as you do not need to use your taste buds for anything else in the immediate future

Hop Rod is brewed with 18% flaked rye and is a 'must taste' for self acclaimed hopheads

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Photo of Southernbrew
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light brown with a big sudsy head.

Powerful hop aroma, even 1 foot away I'm picking it up. Big grapefruit smell and a light rye smell. A pleasant light sweetness is mixed in as well.

Full bodied, very smooth with a light carbonation. A nice blend of flowery and citrus hops show up first that's combined with a light caramel flavor. The middle loses the floweriness and becomes bitter with an alcohol flavor that isn't especially strong. It finishes off with a delightful dry bitterness.

A delicious IIPA, I didn't really notice the rye flavor, but it's still very good. I like how Bear Republic crafts these very well balanced IPA's, it's nice to be able to drink something afterwards and still taste it.

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Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional IPA grapefruit highly hopped with edge of rye, which made it quite interesting. Amber. Very drinkable to the point of drop off. Hop burps citrus aroma. Malts for balance.Roast tea, bitter aftertaste.
Had this nearly three years later, it was in my basement for half a year or so, Very bitter with some rye, but did not like it as much. Still very drinkable.

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

on tap at Redbone's

Deep coppery red with off-white crema. Strong sweet piney scent. Rich and full bodied malt, with lots of resiny pine hops and lingering sweetness. Reminds me of Arrogant Bastard. Oh yeah, this is delicious stuff, but where's the rye?

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

Pours a nice dark amber with a very spacious, foamy eggshell head. Tons of retention and nice lacing. Smells quite citrusy with a nice amount of biscuit and lemon grass coming through. Tastes like a premium IPA should. Not a huge hop kick in the nuts, but a very balanced, strongly hopped beggining. This is followed by a slight malty reprieve, then turns back to grapefruit, lemon, and rye. Mouhtfeel is rather large and the body is moderately chewy. The alcohol is hitting me hard on this. Grand IPA.

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Photo of arizcards
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Piked up a bomber at TJ's recently. Bear Republic is my 2nd favorite brewery anymore. Look out Stone!

This dark reddish brown brew poured a nice head leaving a nice lacing down my 22 oz glass. Smell is wonderful, of glorius floral hops, grapefruit, and rye. Taste is excellent. I have paired this off with tortilla chips, con queso cheese sauce, and hot salsa. The high alcohol content is masked extremely well by a wonderful blend of rye, sweet malts, and a ton of hops. My tounge feels totally alive as a result of a more than generous share of hops. This is an extremely drinkable beer but as my credo goes, "Beer will always be my friend as long as you don't abuse it"!

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Photo of ngandhi
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gigantor. Robust hops -- the rose of Centennial, the grapefruit and tropicalia of Cascades, the dry lemon of Amarillo, and astringent pine; I have no idea if those are the hops that are actually here, but it makes no difference in the end what the names are.

Hop Rod Rye blooms with flavor. Apparently quite malty, but never aggressive with sweetness. Malts peek in and out as if this beer is being seasoned as I drink it. Loads of fruit from the hops. Dry, pressing bitterness on the finish is intense, but more evocative than anything else. It lingers and, after some time, pains me. Yet it brings more hop flavor -- never washing out. Some grain. Rosemary. Herbal.

Rye berries as it warms. The spicy grain of the rye is a perfect match for the toturous hops, to the point where all of this beer's flavor seems to be coming from the hops. There's an indescribable finesse to these hops -- you taste all that West Coast goodness, but there's something more. To my surprise, this is the rye which, once the beer really warms, comes off as pumpernickle, but is so delicate and such a fantastic complement that I don't think I would have known what it is without the label.

And, oh yes, that bitterness again. Oh, the effort it takes for me to not move the back of my tongue, to not excite it and awaken those raw hops yearning to make me cry. I think it has been destroyed. Think of this beer as an exercise in anatomy. I've read about the four main regions of the tongue; Hop Rod Rye excites them all, makes them each individually recognizable and simultaneously stimulated. This overload of a single sense has forced the rest of my body to shut down to compensate. I can't hear any more and everything I see looks like a hop bud. And my tongue is numb. Really.

The finish goes on for centuries, asymptotically approaching a final, bran-melting bitterness that, in the end, is tamed by tremendous hop flavor. An unnerving balance of extremities. Well, unnerving at least.


Relax, relax.

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Photo of thinkbreakfast
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

App: Very deep amber, almost brown. Head is thick and light tan; sticks to the glass all the way down.

Smell: A mixture of overripe fruit and hops. Spicy. Cake like malt. Alcohol comes through as well.

Taste: Very spicy fruit flavors. The hops come through and kick you in the face. Alcohol is plesantly apparent. I can't get over the spice factor.

Mouthfeel: Definately thick. The head is still there till the last drop and adds to the creamy feel. Aftertaste is great bitterness.

Drinkability: A few of these will put you in your place. But the taste leaves you wanting more.

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

After all the good beers I have had from Bear Republic I was excited and had high hopes for this one when I found it on the shelves. This came in the usual 22ozer from BR with a hop rod car on the label. This poured out a nice dark amber color with a good sized rocky beige head. Nice rings of lacing were left around the glass as I drank this. Aroma is full of hops as the name would suggest as well as a bready malt presence. I could also smell the rye distinctly after a few sips as it warmed which added nicely to the aroma. The taste opens up with light malt sweetness and hints of rye before the hop rod drives through your palette and deliver a good does of earthy hops and a nice bitter rye aftertaste. This beer is perfectly balanced, not overpowering in any aspect but not weak in any either. This has a nice medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Drinkability is very high and no sign of the alcohol can be detected. Fantastic beer from Bear Republic as usual and I highly recommend it to all.

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.36/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Maybe, the great things I'd heard about this bear had unreasonably bolstered my expectations but I found this RyePA to be a bit of a let down. It was bitter, acrid, and overly hopped. While there was a hint of rye in the aroma, and an undeniable rye component to the beers flavor. Overbearing, and uninteresting hop flavors dominated. Yes,. the hazy brown-amber brew looked excellent beneath a white, and somewhat lacy head. Unfortunately, I found little else within this bitter brew to garner my interest.

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Photo of CBFanWish
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bear Rupublic has proven itself one of the nations premier breweries time and time again. The have taken the term "big beer" seriously and i think will continue to do so.
Hop Rod Rye is one of those great big beers that are brewed out there in the Bear Republic brewery in California. It is a fine example for it's style and always will be.
Pours a thick, almost unfiltered looking hazy amber colour with a thick head that just cascades from the glass, no matter how much care you put into the pour.
The aroma is strong with the rye, It's almost all that is smelled. I'm happy that the yeast isn't as pronounced as it could be. Rye bread isn't my idea of a good drink.
The taste is also very strong with rye. There is a nice hoppy bitterness that lingers on the tongue for a few seconds after the sip has been taken.
Not a bad beer, in fact, it is a fantastic beer for it's style. The only area that I ha to give it below a 4 is drinkability, just because I really don't enjoy the rye beers as much as I probobly should, but to each his own, I guess.

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

Pours a nice, solid amber color, and, has a solid, white, frothy head.
Smells nice, sweet and hoppy all together.
Intial taste is a push of hops to the forefront, followed by the sweetness of rye and finish of for a nice balance.
Very balanced, becuase while the flavors don't mix, the do combine and finish out nicely. Medium mouthfeel contributes to it's drinability.

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

Finally found this one on special at the pub, so I couldn't resist after reading the stellar reviews. I don't know why but I was surprised at the hop presence in this beer. I guess the name HopRod didn't click. It was a good surprise though, totally made the night.
Arrived at the table looking mighty appetizing with its deep red glow, and creamy perfect head. Was greeted to a wonderful citrusy hop aroma and a slight rye character. Hops weren't overpowering like with their Racer X, but were definitely in the forefront. The taste is predominantly west coast hops but finishes with a semi-sweet rye note. Extremely balanced and drinkable. I really wanted another, but another 20 oz. pint would've done me in. Until next time.,,

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

The beer poured crystal clear deep amber with a yellow, moussy and everlasting head which laced the glass from top to bottom.

The aroma was malty and hoppy with citrus and fruity aromas and rye.

The flavor was malty with a slickness from the rye and a substantial bitterness that shines through the flavors. The bittering and maltiness along with the mouthfeel work together to keep the beer from becoming overly bitter or overly sweet.

The finish was dry with a pleasant yet muted hop bitterness lasting into the aftertaste. The body was medium, actually just a bit more, but not quite medium full.

A great beer!

22 ounce bottle.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 22 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is amber, with a good thick white head. The smell is the dry rye mixed with a citrus hop. The taste is a citrus and pine/grassy hoppiness with a strong rye dryness laying underneath of it, and a very slight alcohol; the aftertaste is a strong rye. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, this is definitely a beer I could have quite a few of.

Probably the best rye beer I've had. A rye pale ale, for lack of a better term, with a good dry backing to the citrusy West Coast hops. I just hope that I'll be able to see Bear Republic beers in Western PA soon!

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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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