Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

4,720 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,720 |  Reviews: 2,079
Photo of olfolxholme
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A - Poured a 12 oz bottle into a Deschutes Tulip Snifter. Very little head, but some bubbles around the edge persisted. Decent lacing. VERY DARK beer. Murky, almost. Has an enticing garnet hue when poured, and is a very dark copper when held to the light.

S - nice fruity hop aroma at first. becomes a more earthy hop aroma later. it's a bit of a hop assault sometimes.

T - good hop flavor backed with an interesting malt/rye flavor. definitely has that hop assault character from the nose... but also has the malt/rye backbone. it's interesting. i like it, but you would have to like hops to enjoy this beer. i guess that's why it's an American IPA, right?

M - Pleasant mouthfeel. Bites a little, but settles nice and smooth and has a lingering resin presence.

O - This taste more like an Imperial IPA than an American IPA, but I like Imperial IPA's. Depending on what you were looking for, though, this might not be your perfect "American IPA." That might sound like a strange comment, but hey, just trying to put this beer in context. It reminds in some ways of Hop Czar from Bridgeport, but with a tastier malt/rye background. I like this beer a lot and would recommend it. It's not one that I will usually pick over others, but I get why this is so popular. Try it!

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

A - Pours a rich red/mahogany color, with a very puffy off white had with great retention and lacing. Good looking beer here.

S - Good amount of grapefruit in the nose, a bit of resin and pine, some bready malt, and just a perfect amount of rye that reminds you of a very light, rye bread.

T - Starts off a bit sweet, a touch of lemon and citrus before fading into a good amount of bitter, piney hops. Again, there's a good rye bread backbone that's a bit faint but balances out the brew nicely. Another bit of sweetness on the finish.

M - Sticky mouthfeel, but overall very smooth. Alcohol is hidden nicely here.

Overall - Very solid IPA. It wasn't outstanding, but it was just a very well constructed beer.

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Photo of zac16125
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hop Rod Rye
22 oz bottle poured into a mug
No born on date or other distinguishing numbers

A: Pours out a very dark amber, almost brown, with reddish hues when held up to the light. 2 fingers of very light khaki almost white head, with good retention. Leaves a good amount of heady lacing. Probably the darkest standard IPA I’ve had, but a very pretty beer when held next to light.

S: Big citrus hop aroma; tangerine, grapefruit, and lemon zest. A significant sweetness on the nose as well, with caramel malt and a ripe fruit/ fruit sugar sweetness. A touch of alcohol as well. Very, very nice.

T: The taste is similar to the nose, with a balance of hop bitterness and malt sweetness. At first the malt presence was a little too much for my liking. There was a big caramel malt sweetness up front, followed by a hop bitterness on the backend. But as I drank it, the sweet malts subdued and hops started to dominate, in a good way. The whole spectrum of hop flavors came out, citrus up front (orange and grapefruit were prominent) followed by piney hops characters to finish off each sip. A very tasty beer.

M/D: Perfect amount of carbonation that gives it a lively mouthfeel but doesn’t distract from the flavors. Medium bodied with a moderately good drinkability, I could and would have more than one but the heavy malt presence would probably keep me from drinking them all night.

O: Overall a very good IPA. The great aroma stands out particularly. American IPAs are one of my favorite styles, and although this isn’t the best one I’ve had (my top 2 being Sculpin and Stone) it is very good in its own right and certainly worth a try. I recently had Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA, and I think this one is far superior. Definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of tdm168
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brownish amber. There's a 1/2" of dense, foamy head that cascades when first poured. Great retention. The nose has notes of deep, bready malts; peppery rye; and floral, citrusy hop aromas. The taste is deep, rich bready, biscuity, barley malts with some rye undertones. There's a great hop character that is balanced and adds floral, spicy, piny notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and perfectly carbonated.

This is great. Perfect balance, nice hop character, intense, smooth malt character. Nicely done Bear Republic.

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

On-tap at Big Star.

A- A translucent copper with a two finger head that leaves some sheets of lacing.

S- Citrus hops with grapefruit and orange zest, pine, floral hops, peppery spice and bready malt.

T- A nice balance of citrus, pine and floral hops with a bready malt finish as well as some peppery spice.

M- Medium carbonation and body. A bit sticky mouthfeel that finishes dry.

O- A good offering that is basically a more hoppy rye beer. Not my favorite rye beer, but another good year-round brew from Bear Republic.

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Photo of EnJeiBee
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - A dark copper brew that poured with a pillowy 2-finger head and quite a bit of sediment. It left fabulous lacing as well

S - Fabulous spicy/ sweet rye malt backbone is accompanied by upfront piney hops

T - Amazingly balanced and enjoyable! Very sweet and fruity upfront with a hop presence that kicks in just before the profile is too sweet to enjoy. Spicy rye and caramel malt flavors come in alongside the perfect pairing of hops

M - Smooth, creamy and enjoyable. The mouthfeel is slightly bubbly on the tongue, but not so much that you notice it in the appearance.

O - One of the best AIPA's I'll ever have (I'm sure of it!). I would highly recommend that any beer lover try this and go out of their way to find it!

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Photo of beerdown77
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one poured a lot darker than I was expecting. It has an unfiltered haze to it along with a nice big, tan head. The nose is most notably sugary, but the hops and the grains come through as well. I haven’t had many ryes, so I am still figuring them out. I do feel a difference in the body. For an 8% beer, it seems like this beer should be much heavier; somehow the rye has a less oppressive presence than a heavy malt version. The beer is very caramely, but then bitter hops to follow to round this one out. I cannot get over the clean feeling this beer has in the aftertaste. This brew boasts a great aroma, crisp yet complex flavor, and a clean bite finish…easy drinker considering. Note: This beer only contains 18% rye, so it isn’t a dominant flavor.

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

Pours a very nice ruby red with a bit of a purplish hue in there as well. Slight off-white head. Aroma of pine hops, hints of citrus and big bready and caramel notes. Flavor beings with bittering pine hops before moving to to sweeter grapefruit notes. Huge, thick caramel malt comes next and stays until the finish. Hints of black cherry and raisin as well add to this really big malt that battles with, but complements this well-hopped brew. Spiciness and more bittering pine hops finish this one out with some rye shining through late and more as it warms. Really thick, substantial, yet drying mouthfeel.

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

A- Aside from the chunks of sediment in this, it looked absolutely gorgeous. The sediment was one of the worst I've seen yet. I enjoy the look of a hazy unfiltered beer, but this was just chunky and gross. I had to run it through a french press mug before I could consume it. It now looks like the Duvel of IPAs. I'd give it a 5 if it looked like this to begin with.

S- Very enticing. Initially it's grapefruit and pine, but it settles into a pine/rye mix. It fades a lot over time though. When I popped the bottle open I got a little giddy, but near the end it was hard to smell at all.

T- Hop forward, but led by the malt. The very first thing you taste is the hops, but then the malt takes hold. Shortly after some pine can be grasped again. Caramel malt plays a big part in this minus the expected caramel sweetness.

The finish is sharpened in the later half of the drink as the flavor embeds itself onto you.

M- Medium full body. Carbonation is very unintrusive. The finish is fairly dry and sticky.

O- The perfect blend to encourage easy drinkability. Alcohol seems like it should be there but isn't.

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Photo of NICKV1117
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say? An exceptional beer. Very wet at first then turning to a dry finish. Mouthfeel is not too carbinated. Citrus and piney flavors along with a deep caramel. Very drinkable as are most of the Bear Republic line. If you love hops, you can't go wrong with this one. Cheers.

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Photo of Dodo2step
4.79/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P- Wegmans

A-reddish with amber tones to ir with a decent head. It dissipates quickly though. Light lacing.

S- wow a nice nose, pine, mint and some citrus. a great complement and i smell it over and over. well done

T- wow, wow wow the taste is so smooth and has the same flavors as the nose. i cant say much more and thats a good thing.

M-smooth, creamy, i could drink it forever. It lingers in the mouth but not a bad linger, but one that you dont want to go away. I agree with the bros when they say it massages the tongue.

D- opne of the best IPA's i have had and would love a case of it.


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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.35/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$5.49 for a 22oz bottle

A: deep mahogany color, creamy off-tan head
S: milder nose, spicy malt/hops with noticeable malt
T: not as hoppy as traditional IPA with more spicy/malt balance, well-balanced
M: malty with piny grapefruit finish back of the tongue

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

A: Large light tan sticky head. Very dark deep amber body.

S: Sweet hoppy smell. Hint of something else sweet, like caramel.

T: Subtle hops. A little less so than the smell. Extremely balanced hop/malt/yeast flavor. Slightly bitter. A little pine aftertaste.

M: Rich, fills the mouth. Perfect combination, not dry.

O: Outstanding IPA. Darker, richer and more balanced than I am used to.

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

Bear Republic’s Racer 5 was pretty tasty, but this is the bottle that has excited me the most. Thanks for the trade, tripelhops; I have a feeling this one’s going to be epic.

A: This one starts out sexy, pouring a luscious ruby red. On top is two-finger white cream, leaving awesome lacing as it falls. The color mix gives a sensation of red velvet cake: a mouth-watering crimson and cream allure.

S: Incredible! The malts are so damn sweet, a dark testament to plum, raisin, black cherry, apricot, and caramel apple; it’s a complex sugar buzz, and deeply satisfying. There’s a great balance of crisp pumpernickel from the rye and a slight smokiness, too, but they can’t help but play second fiddle to the juicy sweets. This nose can only be described as umami – savory as hell!

T: Sweet and fruity on the front of the tongue, with a sour kick, even. I love it. It’s mostly raisin and dark caramel, strung together by a yeasty thickness. Hops are big and bitter, and they pop in just in time to keep the palate from getting too malty (showing near-perfect balance). Afterwards, the rye comes in; and it’s so deliciously evident. Smoky, bready, and spicy, it delights the palate with a wonderfully forward earthiness. The last tastes are akin to a brown ale: nutmeg, caramel malts, hazelnut cream, and coffee. They overwhelm the aftertaste, which has a resiny hop hint, a small bit of grains, and an alcoholic bite on the side. Wow – in the short time I’ve been drinking it, this has become one of my absolute favorite beers.

M: Smooth, rich, and perfect for the palate. The alcohol’s warmth mixed with the slight fizz makes this even more interesting, too. In all, though, it’s just insanely drinkable!

O: What a ride! I would have never guessed that this beer would have fit my exact taste profile so perfectly, but it most certainly did. Hoppy yet sweet, roasty yet fruity; this really should be a more powerful force in the beer world. Hop Rod Rye is destined to go down as one of my “desert island beers,” and that is not something I take lightly. Keep ‘em coming, Bear Republic.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hop Rod Rye is a deep brown into black colored brew, which shines a deep amber color when held to the light. There is a lot of microscopic sediment floating throughout, so it must be bottle conditioned. Topping the beer is a small, bubbly tan head. Lots of lacing.

The nose has a whole lot of hops in it, a bit of alcohol (Hop Rod Rye is 8.00% ABV), with some rye and other sweet malts.

The taste starts with a lot of sweet caramel malt, and a lot of rye grains, some brown sugar, into some nice hops, probably some Zeus hops along with the more common west coast varieties. Nice citrus, grapefruit, floral and bittering elements. Medium bodied and wet.

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

22 oz bomber poured into Sam Adams glass. Pours a deep amber with tightly bubbled 3/4 inch head. This beer is beautiful to watch as rivulets of lacing cascade down after each sip. Caramel aroma with citrus hops. Very well balanced malt profile hides the 8% alcohol nicely with fantastic pine/citrus hop blend. Really like the way this dances lightly on the front of the tongue but finished off rather thick. Overall I'm a big fan of this beer and Bear Republic. At 8%, I'm not sure why this isn't considered an Imperial IPA. Maybe the most impressive aspect of this beer is the price - a world class Imperial IPA at $4.99 a bomber!

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Photo of Humulus85
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to tjkinate for this one...

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my trusty nonic. Produced a very, very nice, cream head that bubbled up slowly, from deep in the brew, much like a Guinness. It left great sticky sip rings all the way down the glass. Deep, auburn color, with some bright ruby tones when held to a light. Very nice.

Smell is strong, yet sweet, with some raisins and bread. Behind it though is an intriguing sting to the nostrils, that I suspect is from the rye.

This is a very good, but slightly perplexing brew. Strong piney hops hit you up front, but immediately yield to nice sweet malt, with faint chocolate and cocoa notes. Then this boozy sting hits, but it's the tastiest boozy sting I've had in a beer. It tastes like someone threw in a shot of bourbon right before I drank it. Very nice.

Heavy but smooth, with a moderate amount of carbonation. Smooth and drinkable, but still heavy. The booze warms the belly halfway through the pint, but on this cold Saturday, that's not a bad thing.

Overall this is a very good and intriguing beer. To me it tastes like a good American Strong Ale with a shot of bourbon thrown in for good measure. While I can't say I'll drink on a regular basis, I will recommend it to any one looking to try a different tasting strong ale, or any fan of rye beers. Cheers!

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Photo of SawDog505
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured the no dated bottle into my 13 oz tulip. A rust red, with a fluffy white head, plenty of lacing. Smell is mild pine, a little flower, and a little breadyness. Taste is all that, a little subdued, but good. Easy drinking for it's abv, wish I new the age of this beer. I think it may be on the older side, for a hop head like myself. Nice body, would like a little more life in it. This is solid, but wanted more out of it. Will definitely get some again.

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Photo of minterro
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In a six pak from Big Ten Party store in East Lansing.

A & S: a very piney hoppy scent, a bit of sweet malts. Dark red colored beer, that is translucent. The head is a light tan that pours about a fingernail and dissipates slowly to there was just a light coating on the top. The lacing clings to the glass pretty well.

T & M: really interesting taste and very big and intense tasting. Piney hops and sweet malts at first but, finishes smoky, bready rye-ness, and hints of fruit (maybe grapefruit). The rye bitterness is very prevalent in the finish. Very smooth, creamy, rich beer. About a 6 out of 10 for body and medium carbonation. Beer is super filling, not very easy to drink.

O: really interesting twist on the American IPA style. Pretty abv for the style, and fairly well masked. And for 2.59 it was a steal for a custom six pack.

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

My first tasting from Bear Republic, gotta say, pretty damn good.

A: Pours a deep reddish brown with a lighter orange and yellow perimeter. From a hard pour, into a standard pint glass, comes a thick one finger head with decent retention and lots of frothy lacing.

S: Very hoppy, lots of pine with sweet malty undertones.

T: Less hoppy than the smell led me to believe, the beer is quite smooth and sweet. As the sips continue the hops become more prominent and build on one another. Even with the elevated bitterness the beer remains smooth and highly drinkable.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, coats mouth nicely.

O: I don't know why it's taken me this long to try any beers from Bear Republic, but after this offering, I will be tasting many more from them soon.

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

A slightly chilled bottle is split between two pint glasses. Big brown head tops a dark copper liquid. Some visible carbonation. There's a very pleasing aroma of citrus hops and rye. Very good flavor! Bitter throughout, but never too strong. I'd describe the hops as having citrus and pine characteristics. Rye is tasted and gives a good kick. Despite the higher ABV, there is any taste of alcohol. It goes down very easily without much coating. What is left behind has some rye spiciness that I like. Overall, this is a very impressive beer. It's too bad I can't buy this locally. I'd keep some on hand at all times.

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

22oz bottle, no freshness date I could find.

A- Deep nutty amber in color with a rocky one inch head. Good retention, and left a nice plateau that stayed all the way down. Lacing has a lot of stick. Impressive appearance.

S- Bitter hops and a strong spiciness, from the rye I assume. Some raisin and dark fruits underneath.

T- I was surprised by spiciness, and at only fifteen percent rye. I'm sure some is from the hops, there's obviously a lot, but not at all overly bitter. Surprisingly clean finish with only a slight lingering bitterness. Well balanced for having so many strong flavors.

M- Full and slightly dry with prickly carbonation. Unfortunately I didn't get the massage, but pleasant none the less ;)

O- A unique brew, definitely glad to have the experience. Don't know that this would be one of my go-to beers, but I will surely enjoy one from time to time. I would certainly recommend it.

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

This beer pours a nice reddish color with a big off white head that lasts a while, laces the glass as it recedes and leaves a cap on the beer. the smell is definitely hoppy up front pine and fruit notes, followed by the rye malt aroma. the flavor follows suit lots of hop flavor and rye malt with a nice bitter finish and a little bit of fullness form the malt. mouthfeel is definitely a little more than i was expecting but it works. overall a very very good beer.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.3/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a dark brown with a slight tan head. Rings of lacing left on the glass, and almost no retention at all.

S - Malts, rye, barley.

T - Creamy roasted malts, vanilla ever so slight in the backround.

D - Lower carbonation, average body.

O - Yawn, not so much to be excited about here.

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Photo of JDFish
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled poured into a pint glass:

A: A deep sienna coppery color, tannish 2 finger head and great lacing

S: Music to my nose. The full gambit of malts coupled with sweet and sassy hops and just a hint of alcohol.

T: Absolutely perfect balance. On a blind taste test, I would not guess 8.0%ABV. I love this beer. A strong hop presence balance with spice and sweet malts. Feels great in the mouth and all the way to the finish

O: Umm...In my amateur opinion, this is the greatest beer in the world. I can't imagine improving it in any fashion. Some folks may ask for a stronger flavor, but not me. I love this brew and I recommend to everybody!

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,720 ratings.
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