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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,720 |  Reviews: 2,079
Photo of Emerson1310
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just purchased one of these at TW in Alexandria. Drank from a Bells glass, chilled to perfection

A: Deep coppery-red with a light brown 2-finger head. Nice, foamy lacing when glass is tilted.

S: definite hops, grapefruit and malts

T: Grand!! Slightly bitter up front with lots of grapefruit and very little pines or resins. Some malts and a bit of rye (I wonder why the rye??!!) Finish is smooth and dry with no hop build-up.

O: This is a keeper!! Abundantly available here, even in the groceries, It is reasonably priced and a real hop-hog. I like this beer to no end!! At 8% ABV, almost a DIPA and a sessionable on at that!! To the bear I say: RRROOOAAARRR!!!

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

Part two from my recent trade with David, thanks man! Enjoyed this one in an oversized nonic.

A: Dark amber, with a mild haze and a light khaki-ish head that appears creamy and sticks to the glass fairly well.

S: Hmm...I get lots of bready malt but there is also a lot of spices, pine, and sharp pungent hops. A hint of malt sweetness as well...and maybe a touch of alcohol.

T: Starts off with blood orange, grapefruit, and pine; middle of the tongue it transitions into the rye and bready malts, and then your palette seems to shift gears as the beer (with a lighter body than I expected) glides effortlessly away and all you're left with is pungent, spicy dryness.

MF: Near perfect for an IPA; light body, wet feel, just enough carbonation, and good finishing dryness.

O: Really impressed, this is a well crafted beer that does a ton of stuff right. The nose and appearance are all decent but then Bear Republic kicks it up a notch with the taste and mouthfeel. Just top notch stuff in my opinion.

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

Tasted sept. 3rd 2011 (from notes)


A - Translucent blood red, one finger off white head and a bit of lacing

S - Sugar, citrus, very fruity, toasted, tons of floral hops, sweet yeast, nice earth and just awesome

T - very nice hops, sweet, a bit spicy, silky yeast, tons of sweet malts, very floral, pine, citrus, wood, earth, a bit fruity and slightly toasted

M - full bodied, low acidity, well balanced, nice complexity and long finish

D - drinks like every hoppy ale. The hops aren't in your face but they are awesome. If you like hops, rye and good drinking beer. Just like Nike, do it!

Final thought - bear republic, I love you. 8% and only $4, noire!

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Photo of JayS2629
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, dark amber with a thick white head that fades slowly and leaves big rings of lace.

The aroma is of orange, tangerine, and pine resin with rustic, spicy, rye bread. Some floral notes.

Freshly baked bread, caramel and spicy rye build a backbone that is filled with a bouquet of orange, tangerine, grapefruit, and peach. Accented with strong pine resin. Delicious.

Smooth, creamy with a grainy edge that finishes dry. Very balanced.

Awesome beer.

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Photo of SkitzIrish3
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first time trying a beer that used rye (to my knowledge) so keep that in mind. But to other newbies...

Hop Rod Rye pours a medium-dark brown with a good layer of foamy white head that dissipates gradually and remains clinging to the glass.

Floral, citric hop aroma on top of a level caramel/toasty malt base.

Whoa! Great first taste. The reviews are good with this one but I try to be skeptical until I taste it myself. I'm not disappointed!

A good blend of the toasty malts, citric hops, alcohol, and what must be the rye. A black cherry taste to this is the most surprising. Great balanced mouthfeel, great balanced taste.

Probably the best beer I've had since Arrogant Bastard Ale a couple of months ago. Worth the price of this bottle!

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Photo of Jimmys
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a dark ruby. practically brown. head isnt exactly impressive. about half an inch and doesnt stick around for long. not AIPA looking at all. at least there is some good lacing.

S: aroma is dominated by a blend of rich malt aromas and a significant american hop smell. caramel and bits of fruit. a floral blend mixes with the sweetness.

T: a refreshing bitter splash starts the palate off. hints of bubblegum. moves into a almost dough-like breadyness. dry rye comes into play right in the middle. raisins. finish is slightly more on the bitter side, but there is a sweet presence as well.

M: almost creamy with a smooth carbonation on a medium/full body. the mild carbonation helps some of the more complex malt flavors shine through.

D: not to get too caught up in classifications, i wouldnt exactly call this beer an AIPA. however it is still a tasty, unique brew with the added complexity of the rye and heavily hopped body.

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

A- A dark red pour with a one finger egg shell head that dissipated very quickly. Lacing hung to the side of the glass for most of the session.

S - Bitter fruit and rustic spice. Very complex. Gives a good idea of what to expect in the flavor. Rich fall spicyness, juicy hops, and even a touch of booze are all present.

T - A beer of many layers, it begins with a general succulent hop flavor and then jumps to that iconic rye spice flavor as you swallow. The aftertaste is of black cherries, dark spice, sweet malt, and a touch of alcohol.

M - A superbly balanced mouthfeel. Not to heavy, but a little thicker than expected. The higher carbonation help even it out. Great mouthfeel on this beer.

O- A great offering from Bear Republic. These guys do the middle-of-the-road amber style ale with great precision and offer individualistic flavor profiles in each (red rocket, etc.). This one is very balanced with a great fruity hop flavor and spicy malt finish.

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

A: dark amber to reddish brown color, it pours with a decent head that leaves a thicker lacing. It's pretty sticky. Looks thick for the style.

S: wonderful aromas of citrus, bitter hops, caramel sweetness, and pine

T: same as smell, with everything balancing beautifully. Very complex taste.

M: awesome take on the IPA, this is medium bodied and very thick for an IPA. That pairs well with the sticky nature of this beer and the carbonation and hops.

O: balanced, yes. This is a very solid beer. I will definitely have it again if I can.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

A: Pours a deep brown/mahogany with an amber hue, pours with a finger of thick head that is light tan and lingers nicely, pours slightly hazy
S: nice scent typical of rye ales, bread and a slight sweetness like molasses
T: interesting taste, maltiness but with something else underlying, kind of like whiskey but without the bite, smoked wood possibly, not sure, has a certain warmth to it
M: very little carbonation tingle, smooth beginning to the end, leaves a lingering aftertaste of the beer that stays on as a reminder
O: i enjoy the brew, nice warmth to it, smooth, great depth, great representation of the style

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Photo of ManuelHerrera
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic is always a treat, and Hop Rod is a wonderfully complex beer that stands on its own as an anomaly beer.

A- Pours a murky ruby red with a decent frothy head and lingering lacing. Taken from a bomber that's thoroughly vintage.

S - Bitter hop aroma permeates upon first pour, but let it sit for a while and as it warms up you'll get hints of sweet plum and cherry. Already seeming like a less than straightforward ale.

T - Hop bit will be the immediate flavor, but this beer require patience on the palate. As the flavors open up, malted chocolate, cherry, and bourbon oak flavors create an incredibly complex flavor profile. The yeastiness lingers long after the finish.

M - Complex but light enough to be palatable. It's a challenge but worth a little effort.

I'm happy to say Bear Republic never disappoints! Well worth a try, you'll be happy you did.

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

12oz bottle into pint.
A: Pours a dense tan two finger head, with good retention. The body is a hazy amber, with slow carbonation. Lacing is left in thick swaths.

S: Big hoppy nose, with a underlining malt body and traces at the nutty rye character.

T/M: The body is rich and holds many complex elements. Rye gives a dense, chewy mouthfeel, while the hops bring the mind to a lighthearted brew. Citrus hops dominate and lower levels of bitterness compared to hop flavor and aroma. the linger is hoppy, but rolls towards the malt side.

O: Overall this is a very well brewed beer, with a great balance of rye, malt and hops. This is a very good show case of the hoppy rye red from the west coast.

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Photo of dragonWhale
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of my old school favorites..It's been quite some time, so let's give it a whirl. Coppery, sexy, yes. Citrus, booze, caramel, and pine on the nose. Don't remember it being this boozy smelling. Definitely can taste the alcohol as well. Bitterness comes first then the malt, bringing some caramel and booze, followed by citrus hop finish with a twist of rye. Surprisingly alcoholic. I guess I didn't know it was 8% before..Those crazy Californians. Probably won't get another bottle of this til I know it's a different batch. Not knocking it too hard because of my past with it until I have another try.

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

A rich cherry wood red colored beer with a big light tan colored head that just sits there.

Big hops aroma consisting of dark fruits, some citrus, a floralness, some slight sweetness and a lot more complexities coming through that I can discern,

Nice hops taste, slightly bitter with some caramel malt mixed with the dark fruits and slight citrus that the aroma has, a very full and rich taste with a lot of complexities.

Good hops taste, yet has more balance than some of the more hoppy beers I've tried.

Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of peacebone116
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a tulip glass on 7/29/2011

A: Brown with red hues. An attractive finger of white head sits on top, quickly retreating to the sides of the glass, forming a thick layer of lace. There is a bit of sediment floating in the center.

N: Nutty & citric.

T/M: Bitter and piney coupled with a nutty spiciness Note of dark fruit (fig) and toffee in the middle. Sits on the lighter side of heavy. Finishes bitter and oily.

Very nice rye beer with a hoppy slap. Not quite what I would call an IPA though.

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

22 oz from the Beer Junction in West Seattle poured into a pint glass.

A: pours a nice brown amber that is more brown at the top, more colorful towards the center-bottom. i got little head of the foam, probably due to poor pouring. medium cobweb lacing that appears quickly and leaves less hastily.

S: HOPS and RYE, obviously...liquorice, cinnamon, limey aroma.

T: caramel, almost sour mash vibe, hop heaven, the infused, unfiltered rye leaves a pumpernickel after taste.

M: staunch on-bringing yet mellow afters, alcohol not completely hidden by all the hops - seems more than 8.0%.

O: a damn good IPA (i.e. Hop Monster). the 18% rye mix seems to lend all compliments and no distractions to this unique California "specialty" ale.

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Photo of match1112
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: dark amber with a two finger off white head. head lasts a little while and leaves minimal lacing.

s: tons of citrus, mainly orange with some grapefruit and lemon. a touch of caramel malts in the background.

t: mainly orange and caramel malts. has rye and grapefruit with a touch of lemon in the background.

m: medium body with a good creamy feeling to it.

o: probably my favorite rye beer to date. everyone should enjoy.

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

I had this beer this week for the first time, and i was very pleased by it. I bought it in the bottle and poured it into a pint glass. The appearance was very amber brownish with a nice light brown whitish head on it . It had a nice refined taste to it of barley malts and hops on the front end followed by more hops and a hint of citrus. There was a fair amount of lace left on the glass when i was finished. Overall this beer was one of the best rye's I've had and im looking forward to trying a lot more of the bear republic line!

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

Appearance: Oh man… I must hurry through this to taste it, the way this thing looks already has me way too excited. On the pour, the foam frothed, stormed, danced, and swelled to three fingers of creamy head that is a nice off-white color.

There is considerable lacing clinging with all its strength to the side of the glass as the head slowly descends. It’s down to about a finger now.

The body is deep amber with pumpkin skin highlights. It is easy to see the sediment from the hops used in the beer floating lazily among the strong pillars of carbonation zooming to the top.

Smell: This Hop Rod's tank is full on the little green cone essence. The bright citrusy twang is evident before my nose is even over the glass. Plenty of grapefruit, orange, and some lemon zest permeating from the glass. What really makes this baby rev is the sugary hints right behind the hops, it makes this beer smell smooth. How feel is accomplished in smell is beyond me, but the sugariness is a wonderful touch.

Taste: Incredibly rich flavors accompany the hop zing that explodes around the tongue. The rye for instance, is strong in the front of the drink that smoothes it out as the grapefruit and orange hops are kicking around. The malts are oh so subtle too, just a little of the caramel malt backs up the rye as the drink starts to finish.

And does this thing finish. It is long and deliberate. It feels like the hops are actually gaining strength slowly after the swallow. It is bitter and it is dry, but as someone that wanted a strong IPA, this is perfect.

Mouth feel: The dry finish crashes with the smoothness of the drink, creamy and definitely medium bodied. It just feels good man.

Overall: American IPA? Maybe American DIPA. The higher alcohol content and extreme dose of hops in the bottle make the case for this in a big way. Oh, and it is absolutely delicious.

Two Hearted was my favorite IPA, until I cracked this one open. The extreme hops and subtle feel of the rye and the caramel malt notes really push this one into a category all its own.

Find a way to try this beer if you love IPA’s.

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

22oz to pint glass
*Notes from 08/14/11

A: Hop Rod Rye pours a dark amber color with some lighter caramel tones around the edges. First pour was nearly headless but second did offer up a nice 1 finger froth of khaki tan foam. Nice drapes of lace too.

S: Sticky pine sap and citrus aromas up front. With a bit of a sour dough biscuit that follows.

T: Tangy citrus fruits. Pine resins. Almost lemony. Medium bitterness throughout. Caramel nuttiness. Rye brings a bit of raisiny spice to the mix. Nice dry crisp finish on it. Really well rounded and very tasty.

M: Very creamy, light, smooth body with a bit of a sticky mouthcoat. Dry finish & somewhat of a bitter pucker effect.

D: A really well balanced brew with great texture and drinkability.

I think Bear Republic makes some fantastic beers and this is no exception. A hoppy amber that offers up something pleasantly different with just enough Rye in the grist.

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Photo of liamt07
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with Steve, 650ml into two tulips.

Pours a deep red, with some nice mahogany hues. An offwhite head of a couple fingers forms, leaving some nice lacing and moderate retention. Nose holds rye, tropical fruits and some grapefruit. A beautiful malt profile, holding rich caramel, rye bread and graham cracker notes. Taste has again some nice rye and caramel character, bitter grapefruit and orange again. Strong lingering bitterness. Good full mouthfeel, light to moderate alcohol notes and exceptional drinkability, a sort of IPA+ due to the ABV. Quite excellent and I can only imagine this being divine on tap, as I believe freshness may have detracted from the fulll experience here.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.23/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks for the brew Randy. Poured into a pint glass. This one pours a dark brown with a thin layer of white foam.

Lots of rye in aroma with a little bit of candied orange. I would immagine that is from the hops but it seems a bit weak. A little bit of caramel in the aroma. The rye is really the best part of this. The flavor is a lot like the aroma. Good rye flavors but not enough on the hops for me. Candied orange and a little bit of caramel.

The feel is a little sticky with decent carbonation. A little heavier than I would like. Overall not to bad here. Nothing really exciting. The rye is good but the other flavors are simply underwhelming.

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

A: Deep amber with red highlights when held to light. Two fingers of slightly off white head. Leaves behind a lot of lacing and a nice looking film with large bubbles around the edges. This would get a 4.5, but it has tons of floaties. If I had been aware of them, I would have been more careful in the pour. Next go round, if I'm able to avoid them, I'll rescore.

S: Big orange citrusy hops and caramel malts. The smell is soft and sweet, but pretty potent at the same time.

T: Like the smell, not overly complex, but very enjoyable. Mainly orange is what I get out of the hops, sweet caramel from the malts. A very nice balance between the two as one doesn't over power the other. Has a nice spicy character from the rye.

M: Full and creamy, almost chewy. Leaves a sticky coating.

O: Good beer although I was surprised to see this in the IPA category. I would have pegged this as a hopped up red ale. At any rate, this is a very tasty beer that I'd be happy to drink again.

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Photo of fastd03
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an exceptionally hoppy beer. I have yet to try any other bear republic beers, but this is certainly a good start. Strong and hoppy, it fits the standards I set for a beer well, and has an attractive dark color. I have had smoother beers, but overall it goes down relatively smooth with a hint of carbonation (but not so much as to make my stomach bubble). I have had better beers, but this is certainly fairly high on my list.

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Photo of Raven3464
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The beer pours a very dark amber color, almost brown, with a creamy head. There is very little carbonation.

Smell: Citrus (maybe grapefruit) dominates early followed by a sweet pine aroma.

Taste: This beer tastes much better than it smells. It's both bitter and sweet due to the ridiculous west coast hop injection. There is a sourness upfront which fades into hints of citrus and spicy rye. This ultimately develops into a pine taste. The aftertaste is extremely bitter.

Mouth feel: Very dry and spicy with the right amount of carbonation.

Overall: A very good west coast style hop bomb. Take a very good IPA, add some rye and more hops to make it super bitter; you'll get this masterpiece.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass...

A-Pours a very hazy deep amber with a massive 3 finger cream head that dissipates to half a head with decent lacing...looks like tea i would say

S-Smells wonderful, like a Imperial very fruity and floral...sweet malts and some spice very nice maybe some bread and yeast as well...

T-Wow...very smooth and tasty, very dry and fruity nice malts and a tad of spice, well balanced and refreshing...I think the rye does wonders here...

M-Medium/full body with medium carbonation, very dry and bitter with a wonderful spicy dry finish that lingers forever...

O-Very nice and balanced beer here, definitely not a 6 pack beer but a bomber here and there would be nice...love this beer...

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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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