Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,076 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: 2,076 | Ratings: 4,706
Photo of jeffboo
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice spicy,hoppy beer from the West Coast. This one is a dark copper color with a nice tan foam. Very fresh hop aroma with a mix of both floral and citrus smells. Body is medium/full with a very spicy, complex flavor profile with toast,rye bread,smoke, and caramel malts rolling with the hop flavors. A very easy to drink hybrid IPA with lots of flavors to challenge the tastebuds.

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

Poured for me from the tap and filled nearly to the top without much head, which is something I don't like, but this one has good head retention so it's not so bad. A reddish mahogany beer with a whitish head. Lots of lace is left on the sides of the glass. The aroma features generous "west coast" hopping of a pine cone character and also more than a hint of citrus. Rye is noticeable along with the malt in the backbone. Smooth in the mouth, even a bit creamy. Maltiness at the very front of a rye grain character, followed very soon by a big piney hop bite, and then filled out with a big backbone of rye character. Hints of citrus all around. Bitterness comes out on top at the end for a crisp, dry finish. Excellent beer, my favorite from this brewery, although I actually prefer the bottled version of this one. Makes sense though, it is bottle conditioned, unless my memory is playing tricks. Highly recommended.

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

Very dark amber-brown apperance with a sweet smell. Smells sweet with the hops coming through. Feels amazing in your mouth with a malty smooth taste and unbelievable hops overpowering the tastebuds. Also taste spices and rye throughout the beer. Overall an amazing beer that I will likely have to try again soon.

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

Hazy red-amber with a three finger bubbly rocky head, well carbonated, and the head just lasts and lasts.
Very hoppy aroma, citrus and floral.
Hoppy (orange and grapefruit) and grainy taste, interesting. Almost a bran flavor note. Alcohol esters are noticable. Rye bread taste follows the upfront flavors after you swallow. Caramel, and toffee flavors.
A little rough edged, I couldn't drink it too often, but it's an interesting brew.

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

Pours out a deep mahogony color with a nice healthy off white head and tons of yeast floating around in there. A smell reveals a hefty caramel maltiness with a strong hop presence in the background. Taste is fairly sweet for a beer named "Hop Rod." There are no doubt some bittering floral hops in there, but a sweet maltiness rules this ale. Great malts & great hops. My friend just mentioned "This is really good." He's right. Nice slick mouthfeel and immensley drinkable. This borderlines on the perfect strong session ale.

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

As with all the Bear Republic beer's I have had this one followed suit with an incredibly rocky, fluffy and thick head and rendered the appropriate full lacing on my glass from top to bottom. Nice deep mahogony color with plenty of particles of unfiltered hops and yeast. The nose was of firm and fresh hops and a hint of rye. Taste was great with the hop slam hitting you with all the usual suspects, pine, citrus and a grapefruit rind biting finish. Nice malt backbone to hold up to the hops . Awesome.

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Photo of Realale
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Full clear deep mahogany brown. Extremely fine 1/2" beige head stays throughout the pint leaving excellent lacing. A truly beautiful beer.

Nose is leafy citric hop over slightly bready, slightly spicy malt. Bit of yeastiness, slight touch of clove add complexity.

Medium full in the mouth. Very nice base of bready malt. Excellent hop flavor and bitterness throughout, but maintains its balance well. Touch of chalkiness distracts a bit on the finish. Great length.

Stunning soft creamy bottle-conditioned mouthfeel. Bear Republic really, really nailed the mouthfeel on this one. Quite drinkable for an 8% brew. Highly recommended.

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Photo of frank4sail
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this rare "Bear of a beer" in these parts via BA brother Boilermaker88 Cheers my friend..

Fresh "spring morning like grassy nose" with a little pine tree as well. Cherry/peach color with a huge lasting pale pink fluffy airy head... what retention.. stiff peaks. Big hoppy piney, chewy, grapefruit taste with a malty rye bread backbone. The finish really brings out the bready rye notes in the beer which helps to try and balence the brutal hop punishment on the tongue. Medium to fuller chewy coating mouthfeel. The next time I get to the west coast.... I will be seek these out with a vengance... my kind of beer. Makes a cornbeef special look like babyfood. A hop monster with unique craftmanship...

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Photo of Stingray5
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber pours a beautiful dark ruby with a white head. Lots of fresh, fresh hops in the aroma. Thick mouthful with moderate carbonation is very pleasing. Taste is a balance of big hops and big malt. Hops, as in the aroma, are very fresh. While my first few sips were smooth, the hops began to take on a bit of a harsh quality. Not sure how much of this could be the rye, though. Only the drinkability suffers as a result. Finishes with long lasting hoppy goodness, but a little too dry. No indications taste-wise of the abv.

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

This BR brew pours out a dark reddish/ruddy, rusty brown colour with a nice tan/beige head of foam. The aromas are of sweet and roasted malts, citrus-y, piney hops and alcohol spinged spiciness. The taste lives up to the hype with a big, bolshy, excellent malty backbone for truckloads of hops to play upon. This brew has a lovely fresh cut hop finish, and an after-taste that will not only give you hop burps, but excellent, malty hop burps. The mouthfeel is thick, but not cloying or over the top and the drinkabiity is excellent for an ale of this size. 8%ABV, wow you could have fooled me. An interesting and excellent brew from BR

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Photo of Naerhu
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge tan head, brown read body, great lace.
Mostly pine hop aroma.
Cannot tell what makes this a rye. Cannot taste any rye.
Medium body and long lasting elegant finish.
This beer's selling point seems to be its hops, not its rye.
Spicy maltiness that I imagine is attributable to the rye. An elegant light sweetness.

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

Wow, what a beer.

Has a great head that sticks around, with a dark rich colour, and a nice hoppy aroma.

The taste starts off with a large floral attack and finishes with an wonderful bitterness.

I could drink gallons of this stuff even with the high abv.

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

This is my first taste of a Bear Republic Ale. I will be trying more. The head was marvelously thick almost merienge. Looking thru the glass the ale is a dark amber not quite pristinely clear. The aroma has a great hop floral boquet. A good hop sweetness a the begining of the mouthful and a good hop bite on the swallow.

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

Not knowing what to expect from a rye beer I found this one to be quite a tasty surprise. It pours a clear dark brown color with some ruby hues mixed in. The ivory head quickly dissolved to a ring around the surface leaving a good amount of lace behind. A hoppy aroma of citrus, pine and pepper hovers over the beer.

Each sip is medium bodied and packed with flavor. Hops dominate with grapefruit and pine, but there's a nice caramel malt hidden in the background that balances everything out. It finishes bitter leaving a hoppy flavor behind.

This beer is moderately drinkable and full of flavor. Hopheads will find it tasty and Maltmen will appreciate the balanced flavor.

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

Twenty two ounce brown bottle, no dates.

Dark auburn colour, with fast moving lines of carbonation. Dense off white head retains very weel, leaving lace behind as it slowly settles.

Bright grapefruit loaded hop aromas invite a sip.

A great bif IPA, with a sour rye twang that takes it someplace very tasty. Loads of sweetness, & a hoppy finish loaded with pine & grapefruit. Medium bodied, farily brisk carbonation. Highly unique, and quite delicious.

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

Deep dark brown amber topped in a large coating of off-white head. Huge nose filled with hops. There are floral and citrus aromas as well as some spices in there. There is a little bit of malt sweetness that is detectable as well.

You start off with a blend of citrus and floral flavors that is pretty intense, but not overpowering. It gets a touch of sweetness to balance. It then gets a little toasty, but it doesn't seem to have as much rye character as others. It is all about the hops here. The body is pretty full, and it is smooth all the way down. The 8% is hidden extremely well. It is easy to drink, and even though it is on the thicker side, it doesn't seem like it after a pint. This is a marvelous brew.

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Photo of taez555
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a white head with a dark amber/brown body.

The nose was very inviting. Dark citrus hops. I serious in your face grapefruit peel citrus attack. Any hint of malt is completely overshadowed by this ambrosial smell of hops. It’s quite breathtaking.

The beer was medium bodied with a smooth creamy mouthfeel. A serious citrus hop punch sits atop the malt. Tight cascade/centennial hop taste. Wood, citrus, black pepper, pine needles, sharp sharp sharp citrus peel. A perfect balance of caramel malt against the hops. What’s really interesting is the how you can actually taste the rye malt in this beer and how it’s matches the hops so well. Basically you wouldn’t notice it unless you tasted for it. You’d just assume whoever made the beer did an amazing job with the hops.

Overall just another great beer from Bear Republic, even if it does taste an awful lot like Sierra Nevada Celebration.

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

Appearance – This one is a beautiful cloudy brown in color and just clear enough to view the sediment floating around. The head was absolutely gorgeous! It foamed up quickly, lasted a while, and tried to leave a little lacing.

Smell – The lovely aroma of piney and floral hops are mixed with a bit of citrus and a hint of the promised rye. The fragrance is sharp yet balanced. Nicely done.

Taste – The balancing malt sticks its chest out just enough to balance. The complex hops from the nose come on wonderfully here, mixing with the subtle rye notes to form a symphony of flavors. This one does the almost impossible task of establishing a sharp, crisp, strong hop flavor then bringing it to the drinker’s lips balanced and smooth.

Mouthfeel – Crisp and sharp yet refreshing and smooth. This nearly full-bodied rye-tinted IPA is a mouthful for sure.

Drinkability – When I partake of my occasional whisky indulgence, I usually go for straight Kentucky or Tennessee rye. This ale couples that wonderful flavor with a tremendous IPA offering. Hats off!

Update – Cvschaller brought an ’04 vintage over to my place for a pizza party. I really do love this ADIPA. It’s a unique and fully satisfying take on the style.

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Photo of dweideman
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Anam Cara

Medium white head, mostly lasting. Clowdy orange-red hue. The aroma was mostly of the bittering hops with some sweetness coming through. Sweet beginning taste with the huge hop flavor coming through in the middle and at the end in a big way... Detect a small grapefruit flavor on the palate as it lingered in my mouth. Light to Medium bodied with a dry texture and lively carbonation. Wonderfully hoppy IPA style -- hopped to the extremes.

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

Wow, this rocked in the bottle. I think I liked it even better than when I had it on tap. Pours a nice dark copper, with a very creamy head. Left sheets of lace throughout my glass. The aroma has to have been the piniest seeming beer I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. What I noticed is nice carbonation, actually a real tongue tingler (go ahead, just stick your tongue into the glass). It's almost all hops, but it's riding on a smooth malt base. Great palate cleanser. I liked this one! pat

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

Dark copper body topped by a thick tan head. A few "floaties" in the beer, but not too much. Sweet hoppy aroma, simialr to Stone Ipa or Two Hearted ale. The sweetness is more of a floral aroma. Overall very clean smell. The taste is very crisp. Nice malt backbone, strong bitterness, and sweetness from the malt, alcohol, and a little bit of resiny hop sweetness. Then that rye aftertaste blends very well with the residual hop bitterness. Hop burps start almost immediately. The mouthfeel is solid, very smooth yet not overpowering. Drinkability is very good for a 8% ABV brew. Goes down pretty easily. No need to share this bomber. Another very fine beer from bear Republic.

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Photo of mikeys01
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I sampled my first bottle of Hop Rod Rye purchased on the East Coast (MA) this weekend, from a 22 oz bomber. Appearance is a nice deep amber with flashes of garnet. Aroma is robutly hoppy, but blended with waves of rye malt and a little grapefruity sweetness. Taste is sharply hoppy at first but is very mellowed immediately with very smooth malt and has a very nice dry finish. Leaves just little bit of lingering hop tang in you mouth at the finish....

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Photo of rabidawg
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brilliant ruby with a nice, sticky beige head. Quite carbonated. Left tons of irregular lacing.

Smell: Very clean hop aroma, more evergreen than citrus. Nice rye spiciness in the background. Nary a hint of malt, and what's there is certainly drowned out by the massive hop aroma.

Taste: Initially tastes almost a little salty. Foams in a very uncreamy fashion in the mouth. Rye comes through after the swallow, fighting with and holding up quite well against the huge hop infusion.

Notes: This would be severly unbalanced without the rye, but I don't think balance is what BR was aiming for here. Great beer, possibly the most hopped I've ever had.

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

It pours an old worn leather with a solid beige head and loads of lace. A strong floral hop aroma dominates while strong smells of rye crackers and whiff of alcohol creep up. This potent brew is just bursting with unrestrained flavors. Wild malt (6 row?) and edgy rye flavors are completely separate from sharp grapefruit, zesty orange peel, light lemon and a hint of metallic tanginess. A touch of toffee sweetness does little to counter sharp flavors, but that's ok. All of these sharp edged flavors are accompanied by a constantly noticeable alcohol kick. This beer is unrelenting in its wild character and never mellows or sweetens further, even when it warms. I love this stuff!

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

Pours a deep mahogany, with a huge tan head that lasts, lacing very nicely. Aroma is big fresh hoppiness, slight smokiness, and maybe a hint of rye in the back. Flavor has a tinge of smoke, an even smaller tinge of rye, and a huge wallopping hop attack, very bitter, a little spicey, and lingering on just about forever. Medium to full bodied, lightl hints of alcohol on the 2nd half of the bottle. A tasty and large brew (maybe a RyePA?).

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,706 ratings.
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