Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
4,725 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,725 |  Reviews: 2,080
Photo of aficionado
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of justintcoons
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of mater
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of bombadil
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Jspriest
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bear Republic : Hop Rod Rye
Bottle claims "made with 18% rye"

Appearance: Pours a rich amber color with an off white pillowy foam. Mostly clear, though unfiltered, the yeast was reserved in the bottle.

Smell: West coast citrusy pungent fruityness with some alcohol lofting up as well.

Taste: Nice and hoppy upfront. Peppery rye spice, paired with pine and grapefruit zest. Malt or perhaps rye grain provides a small roasted note. Ale yeast giving off fruity notes. The alcohol is hidden well behind layers of hoppy, rye influenced goodness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, crisp, clean and refreshing. Some hop oils are noticed.

Overall: A nice twist on the Rye/IPA style. Big rye, bright citrusy hops, subdued malt character and easy to consume.

 755 characters

Photo of JDizzle
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A: dark, off white head, good color

S: sweet, hoppy, carmel, but hits you with hops.

T: piney hops, bready, sweet carmel, brown sugar, bitter, a little rye, but well balanced.

M: bitter after taste with high carbonation thats a little too much, but for the ABV, it's pretty drinkable.

Overall a solid beer from BR. I love Racer 5, which is a better beer, but this is a solid go to.

 414 characters

Photo of bubseymour
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Very dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger very interesting and contrasting pale white head. Excellent lacing.

Smell - Wonderful complex smell. Hoppy, malty and everything in between. Very sweet smelling as well.

Taste - Starts sweet and finishes with crisp piney bitter bite. 8% ABV is very well disguised. .

Mouthfeel - warm and buttery

Overall - Very good American IPA but the bitterness lingers too long in aftertaste for me to really love this beer. I can revisit this one plenty in future however.

 523 characters

Photo of Bookseeb
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance has a rich amber color with minimal head leaving spotty lace. Smell of rich malt, dark fruits and a rye note in the back. Taste has an upfront dark bread rye, rich malt, piney, grapefruity and a good spike of balanced hops. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Maybe my first rye beer and it's very enjoyable.

 326 characters

Photo of Forb
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle...

Appearance: Deep amber in color with a minor off-white head.

Smell/Taste: BEAUTIFUL! Earthy pine hop aromas paired with a sharp grapefruit element hit the nose. Unbelievably clean. Rye is prevalent within the complex spice atmosphere of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Comes across with a mellow creamy body that sits medium to full bodied on the palate but finishes with a clean, crisp refreshment that doesn't fall heavy.

Overall: A unique balance in between an IPA and a DIPA. Clearly a passion at work within this brew.

 546 characters

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Body is medium dark brown with a tan head. Poured to 3/4 inch of foam into a Duvel tulip. Leaves tons of lacing on the glass. Eventually dissipates to a ring of foam.

Sure smells of rye and piney hops. A little cocoa as well.

Tastes of dark rye bread, with a bit of charred malt and some cocoa notes and piney hops. Finishes dry and hoppy with a lingering bitterness.

Body is medium and carbonation is spritzy, a little creaminess in the mouthfeel but also some crisp carbonation makes it very refreshing to drink.

This is a delightful rye beer, very enjoyable to drink. A well balanced combination of rye malt and hops. Best rye beer I've had.

 652 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with a one finger tan head.

A little bit of citrus hop smell, some caramel and a good rye spiciness. Smells very nice and balanced.

Starts off with some citrus hop character. Rounds out into a malty middle with a spicy/piney hop finish. Again well balanced flavors.

Mouthfeel and carb are good.

Solid fairly complex and incredibly well balanced beer. Neither the hops, malt or rye are overdone, yet all make a nice presence.

 448 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a dark amber color, mostly brown in specific lighting. The heas was nice looking and tan in color. The smell of the beer was more hoppy than anything else I could pick up on the nose. The taste of the beer was also quite hoppy, I was hoping to pick up on some more Rye than anything else but I continue to struggle with picking up the Rye in most beers. The aftertaste is bitter and yet sweet almost all at once. The mouthfeel of this beer was pretty nice, well carbonated, stings the tongue a bit, leave a bitterness on the sides of the mouth. Overall this beer was pretty good.

 603 characters

Photo of MDDMD
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-dark amber to brown color with light tan thick head and decent lacing

S-citrus with pine and malt aromas and some bitter hops

T-nice caramel malt and ctrus with pine notes and nice hppy flavor. The rye gives it a unique character which Ilove in these IPA's

F-medium body with moderate carbonation

O-a great IPA with excellent flavor and balance

 350 characters

Photo of rangerred
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap.

Appearance is a clear ruby read. There is a thick light tan head that hangs around for a long time.

I get a nutty smell from this one along with some caramel. There is a sharp piny/citrusy hop aroma.

This beer definitely hits hard with the hops. They dominate the flavor up front but there is a wonderful spicy maltiness that comes though to balance things out.

Overall this is an awesome beer and one that I would never guess is 8% abv. It is extremely balanced. Wish it was available where I live.

 511 characters

Photo of Tucquan
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2011-09-09 in Pittsburgh, PA at Fat Head's (from notes)

A - Mostly-clear caramel (with a hint of red), a 1.0-finger head and good lacing.

S - Mild caramel, hop floral and spice.

T - A bit of a hop bite up front, which smooths out to a spicy, mildly sweet rye malt. Then the signficant grapefruit zest teeters on balancing with the rye sweetness until finally beating the sweetness into submission.

M - Medium body and light carbonation. A little prickly and resinous but mostly smooth. I preferred it on-tap or in the bottle to cask.

O - I always enjoy this beer and it's combination of rye spice and hops.

 623 characters

Photo of Noxious26
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured in a pint glass.

Beige head is 1/2 inch on the pour. Recedes to a few islands and a thin ring around the edge. Dark reddish amber, almost brown and a little hazy. Lots of lacing.

Aroma is resinous and piney. Hints of citrus, caramel and a herbal medicinal quality.

Big slam of hops at the start, but it's restrained by a strong malt backbone. Piney and citrusy off the start with caramel and nuts in the background. Hops slowly overtake the malt as we approach the finish. Long lasting after taste of pine resin hop flavours.

Full bodied and a little oily. Mild carbonation and pretty smooth. Too oily to be velvety.

Very nice. Interesting juxtaposition of flavours and nicely balanced. Bravo!

 717 characters

Photo of paperbackfoster
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - An amber pour with lively, nitro-like carbonation brings up a two finger head that reduces to a clumpy head. Very sticky retention, characteristic of rye.

S - Spicy sweet. Herbal, almost medicinals, come through from the rye and the bitter hops alike. Strong grassy smell with a chili pepper astringency. Sweeter malt notes, biscuit with honey, and a slight hint of yeast.

T - Dry, spicy, woody, delicious. The rye character is deep and earthy, with the spicy pop you’d expect. The hops stand on their own in this Rye IPA, too, with a nice pungent profile and herbal finish. Malt by no means takes a backseat, coming through with a rich, toffee base. This beer has a lot going on, but it’s not too out of control.

M - Medium-high carbonation, dry, acidic. Definitely sticks around on the tongue.

Overall - I'm easy to please when it comes to rye beers, but this is still outstanding in its field. A great hop profile of an IPA, perfect balance of caramel malt base for a pale ale, rye used as a spotlight spice, and the sweet tones laced within a bitter back end make this one of the best you can ask for. This is my fallback rye, and a bit of a standard for measurement.

 1,185 characters

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

Wow, what took me so long to try this. Pours a nice two inch head into my chalice, brown sugar colored foam and rich dark brown body. Smell the malty richness with pine needle accents. Taste is very complex for this rich IPA. Malty carmel not any rye bread taste, thankfully, but bread like as far as the body of this beer goes. A wonderful hop sandwich with a suntan. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodies, better than a stout. Overall one of my favorite American IPA and certaijnly challenges Arrogant Bastard for best in show. WIll be seeking this one out for future mini sessions.

 581 characters

Photo of bluHatter
3.71/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Thick malty dirty brown. Mine left a small head.

S: Tangy sweet, some citrus - almost candy sweet... like red licorice. Lots of thick spicy hops. Very interesting. The smell here might be the highlight.

T: Bitter up front, with a very strong hoppy after. Grapefruit lingering long after the swallow. A little intimidating, but it has a nice front. If you keep drinking this it'll taste fantastic - but the aftertaste really kills.

M: Thick, very thick with tiny bubbles that hide behind the flavor. This will bite me later, for sure. But it's very creamy - very IPA.

O: This is interesting, I'll give it that. I am impressed. This is a serious IPA that deserves respect. Quite delicious.

 694 characters

Photo of rickyleepotts
3/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I know, I say this every time we drink… but my travel schedule has been insane. Don’t blame me. Well, okay, blame me for the last one. We were in Florida. But we drank a LOT of beer. Didn’t write on any, but drank a ton. Anyway, we are back… for the rest of the week, anyway. Hoping to get on some sort of schedule. I might hold my breath for this one!

Let’s see if I can remember where we left off. Oh yeah, my plan for drinking. Here we go:

In the Glass: The head is thick, and sits atop the beer with authority. It seems thick from the bottle, and when the head settles it still seems thick and frothy. I like a thick head on a beer, as that means the beer itself will more than likely be thick and smooth as it goes down.

Nose: The beer smells like an IPA. I am not picking up much, if any, of the rye that they talk about. But I am sure it’s there in the mouthfeel and the aftertaste. The nose isn’t as big as I had hoped, and does not stack up to most American IPAs that I drink. The tasting notes promise for some big flavors. Let’s see!

Flavor: The beer is immediately carbonated. I don’t expect that, that’s for sure. It’s also very subtle on the tongue. It doesn’t really kick in until the beer goes down your throat and sits there on your tongue for a few minutes. The flavors at first are nearly annoying, yet come back toward the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel: I HATE the mouthfeel… initially. It’s VERY carbonated, and I hate a carbonated beer But as it settles and slides down your throat, it calms down a little bit and then settles with a great aftertaste. I just can’t get over the initial bubbles. I don’t expect that, especially with such a thick head. That sort of hurts a little!

Aftertaste: This is where the beer comes in. It nearly saves the day for the brew. The aftertaste also lingers, which I love in a beer. Especially a beer with so much bitterness. Considering how many IBUs this brew has, I expected more flavor and a more bitter aftertaste, but I’ll take it. I will take it for the time it sits there.

The beer is good, but not great. It’s just average, and for a rye I expected more. The aftertaste almost brought me back over the top, but can’t save those initial bubbles. The beer does have a big ABV, and while that is not obvious, after a few of these, and an 8% ABV, you will feel them when you stand up. With a label like that, I wanted more. Not upset, just wanted more. Either way, wherever you are tonight, bottoms up!

 2,507 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours out a dark reddish brown - rust - and sports a good two-finger head of mocha colored foam. Lacing is minimal, but it's there. Looks pretty good.

S: I get this wonderfully citrusy, resiny, spiced, and piney aroma. The pine is distinct, the citrus on the other hand is hiding a lithe - maybe lemon and grapefruit? Smells like it has a great body.

T: Upfront I get the carmel, malty sweetness which is quickly taken over by the "hop" part of the name. The hops come across as tropical in the taste, and I didn't get that in the smell. Well done! The bitterness shows itself, but isn't assertive or over-powering. This is a beer that hop-heads will like, but is palatable for a wider audience as well.

M: Medium body and a moderately low level of carbonation bring this beer to a place I love. It just feels right, and is perfect to me. I love it.

D: 8% is quite high for me at this point, been drinking a lot of session beers. This, however, is quite palatable and easily drinkable. Great beer overall.

 1,012 characters

Photo of OutFox
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a wine glass.

A - Dark reddish brown. Darker than you would think. Huge fluffy off white head with good retention and great lacing.

S - Citrus sort of smell upfront from the hops then you get this bready malty rye sort of smell thats so well balanced and attractive.

T - Jesus this is good. Same as the nose just amplified in that perfect sort of way.

M - Perfect. Not too heavy and not to light. Perfect session sort of beer.

O - I would have written a more descriptive review but Im pressed for time. Bear Republic nailed this beer in every sort of way. Go buy one now.

 602 characters

Photo of jsprain1
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours much darker than I expected. Reddish-brown with a thin head to it.
S- Some of the hoppy rye ales I've had haven't worked because they work against each other instead of with each other. This was a nice combination though. I got a bit more rye on the nose, really got a fair amount of a spicy tangy quality. There's a bit of a piney hop aroma as well.
T- I'm quite pleased that the hops didn't overwhelm the rye character. I muted pine flavor is definitely there but it works in tandem with the rye. Fairly well balanced.
M- Sticky, low on the carbonation. Substantive body. Hides the alcohol well.
O- A good effort that I enjoyed quite much. I wouldn't necessarily put it in the very upper levels of beerdom, but it is still definitely worth a try.

 757 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 10/19/11

Appearance: Pours an unexpectedly dark amber color, borderline brown - nice little beige head that sticks around - sticky lacing, above average

Smell: Relatively sweet malt base, some caramel but the rye is not that apparent - the hops shine through the interesting malt profile with a ton of citrus, some pine, and some floral notes

Taste: Unique - the rye twang is quite obvious, but it isn't excessive - it adds that characteristic bready, grainy, flavor, but there are a lot of caramel malts to balance - this malt profile is on the sweet side, but it is well-balanced by the hops - nice amount of citrus, bitterness - somewhat of an herbal, spicy component that may be from the rye, from the hops, or from an interaction of the two

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, smooth with a somewhat dry finish, but a little sticky

Overall: Why... Why didn't I drink this years ago?

I've had so many opportunities to try this, but I've somehow missed it time after time. Now that it is finally distributed in Rhode Island, I knew that I needed to get some. This really is a great beer. It's surprisingly balanced, with an interesting sweetness that is perfectly in the gray area between "sweet" and "too sweet." Overall, however, I think I still prefer Racer 5.

 1,291 characters

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 4,725 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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