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Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
4,724 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
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Ratings: 4,724 |  Reviews: 2,080
Photo of titosupertramp
4.05/5  rDev -4%
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 -4.5%
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 +3.1%
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 +0.7%
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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Photo of cbarrett4
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a stunning surprise. Pours with a deep red/brown hue, good foam and excellent retention, nice lace.

Smells of IPA: pine, citrus, malts, and a little spice. The flavors are nice with pine and citrus up front, framed by the rye and lightly roasted malt. Very complex palate. Texture is nicely balanced with alcohol, bitterness, acids, all in sync.

Definitely a big boy, but not over the top as some IPAs can be. The rye adds a lot. I couldn't pound these one after another, but it is nice to sip and enjoy one.

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

A: Really dark ruby red mixed with brown... let's just call it burgundy. Lots of particles in suspension. Tan head that laces like few beers can. My glass is a lacy mess. Absolutely gorgeous.

S: Immediate west coast hops. Smells like cascade: grapefruit, orange, lemon citrus fruits. Pretty large malt backbone to boot. Smells bready and slightly spicy (like rye bread go figure). Very inviting.

T: Tastes even better than it smells. It is really well balanced. Both bitter and sweet from the truckloads of malt and hops used. It tastes malty and sweet all the way through, then you swallow and then comes the hop bite and the dryness of the alcohol to persuade you to take another sip. The rye is a very nice touch that brings a light spiciness to the palate. A nice change in pace from your standard IPA. Alcohol is nowhere is sight. Probably the most complex malt I've ever tasted in an IPA.

M: Heavy mouthfeel with light carbonation. Feels sticky and nourishing. I've had lighter imperial stouts to say the least.

Damn, this beer hit the spot. Flawless execution of a rye IPA. I was at first skeptical of the high ratings of this beer, but this brew sure can back it up. Highly worth checking out.

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

Picked up a bomber in NY and shared with a couple friends.

Appearance is a dark brown body with a good sized head. HRR has a smell filled with rye, bread, some mango or other fruit too. Taking a sip from my pint glass and I am hit with some malts and hops, first off. From there, there is a sweetness from citrus and maybe some caramel. More malt and some bitterness also hits the palate. MF is med-heavy. Alcohol content on this one can easily sneak up on you, it is well hidden.

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Photo of omnigrits
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Highball.

A. Dark brown with a decent off-white head that fades but still leaves good lace.

S. Plenty of hops, a little rye spiciness, and unless I'm mistaken a slightly meaty aroma.

T. Superbly spicy and bitter, but with a background sweetness that cuts through the hops and the rye. Fantastic bitter finish.

M. Full bodied, dry.

O. Whoever built this beer knew what they were doing. Comparing to style guidelines it's up there with the best. On a personal level it's absolutely one of my favourites.

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Photo of dgilks
3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear mahogany colour with a creamy light tan head. Great lacing.

Spicy rye teams up with some caramel and fruity hops.

Sweet malt with a touch of spicy rye, light toffee and floral hops. It’s okay but lacking something.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Fine.

A decent beer but I’m not digging it. It lacks depth and clarity. The hops and the malt create something a bit muddy. Prefer it in the bottle.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark brown/amber body with a huge light brown head.

Smell - Hoppy. Grassy. Plain IPA.

Taste - Malty hop. Balanced. Good balanced flavor.

Mouthfeel - Watery. No effervescence.

Overall Drinkability - Good, balanced, strong ESB. Regardless of what they want to call it. Good IPA gateway to ESB's or vice versa.

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Photo of PrivateEquity
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Very solid lacing and frothy head. Deep brown color with hoppy haze.

S - Strong herbal hoppy aroma.

T - I love malty IPA's and this does not disappoint. Rye maltiness works well with the hop profile. Bitter aftertaste is just right. Taste of roast tea and grapefruit.

M - just a very solid mouthfeel. Right amount of body, right amount of carbonation

O - Absolutely fantastic IPA. Huge hoppiness dwells swelly well with rye spicyness

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

A: A dark brown/red color with a white head.

S: citrus, pine, rye.

T: Hoppy, then sweet caramel and then bitter with some rye flavor.

M: medium-to-full body. A little carbonation.

O: Tasty brew. I haven't had this one for a a while, but will now try to seek this one out more often.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Big light tan head sprung up from a dark body. This beer is so dark it could pass as a porter. Lacing coats the sides of the glass. Head still persists after several minutes. Hops and rye in the smell. Smells maltier than most Cali IPA's. Creamy mouthfeel. Taste is similar to a porter, but of course with rye and hops.

It's been a while since I've been this impressed with a beer. Very good stuff.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

Dark ruby--a gorgeous color. Thick, persistent khaki head and gobs of lacing down the glass.

A pungently hoppy, slightly spicy, and sweet aroma. This nose really touches all the bases--it's quite extraordinary. There's grapefruit rind, rye spiciness, sweet baking bread, some dark fruit--it's unique and powerfully pungent.

Sweet fruits, molasses, grapefruit/citrus hops, and bitterness round out the flavor. It's varied and complex, getting better and better as the beer warms to room temperature.

The mouthfeel is just a touch too syrupy, though it doesn't detract much at all from the enjoyment of the beer.

A great beer, and one of my first loves.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.92/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hop Rod Rye begins with the kind of aroma that makes you want more: deep sugars, redolent with sweet fruit and berry notes (orange, peach, berry, white grape); lightly toasted grains; and just a hint of freshly-baked rye bread.

On the tongue, the first flavors are confectioner's sugar sweet, and last for a mere fraction of a second before the rye kicks in, flooding the mouth with delicious bitterness. Whether due to the rye or the hops, a substantial part of this bitterness is grapefruit-rind tart, and dominates the mouthful from there on out, including lasting well into the aftertaste. Significant malt flavors are also present, cranked up to eleven to keep up with the rye/hops. Flavors here include the fruits from the nose, as well as caramelized brown sugars and Grape Nuts cereal-like toasted grains. The aftertaste is almost exclusively hops and rye. Mouthfeel is a silky-smooth medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer, and has been made by someone who truly appreciates the craft of craft brewing. It's not a beer for everyone, though, as evidenced by, if nothing else, the fact that the liquid is so bitter and tart--75+ IBUs, and that doesn't include the effects of the rye--that when left in the mouth for several seconds (as it is when, for instance, the drinker is writing a review of it) the tongue numbs and tingles. But enthusiasts who don't mind a good bit of bitterness should give this one a try.

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Photo of SpaceMadness
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown. Just like a brown ale with creamy head that dissipates from 2 fingers to a trace around the glass. Nice lacing.

S- Hoppy. Slightly spicy. Floral notes.

T- Everything I look for in an DIPA. Bright bitterness, floral tastes, rye spice, sweet malt, carmel undertones.

M- Similar to a brown or amber ale. Silky smooth.

O- Brilliant marriage of hop bitterness, malt sweetness, and rye spice. All the mouthfeel, color, and sweetness of a brown ale; with a bright hop flavor. I imagine I'll be back to the beer store sometime this week to pick up another 4 pack. Worth every penny. Find it; drink it.

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Photo of rudzud
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at Julio's. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep, dark burnt copper colour with a big almost 3 finger fluffy light brownish white head that leaves massive clumps of side lacing and slips down to leave a quarter inch blanket.

S - Nice clean hop aromas. With just a hint of rye.

T - Kinda like the nose. Good malts and bitter hop notes with a light rye spice at the end.

M - Nice amount of carbonation but its still a sipper thanks to the higher ABV.

O - Yeah, have yet to have a bad Bear Republic beer. Didnt enjoy as much as som eof their other ales though.

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

On tap at Bear Republic Brew Pub.

A: Light brown/ amberish color with a very nice thick head that left great lacing all the way down. Looking at this, my initial thought would not be an IPA but an Amber.

S: Citrus at first but then the rye comes along with a bit of caramel malt.

T: Hop kick on the first sip but then you get a rye spiciness, and a bit of caramel to finish. Awesome.

M: Thick and heavy on he tongue. Very good carbonation.

O: Absolutely awesome. I really like this beer. It is different from any IPA I have tried. This is one I look forward to order quite often.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Dark amber color with a thick off-white head that does not want to settle. Sticky lacing coats the side of the glass.

S: Spicy rye and floral hops up front, with undertones of caramel and dried fruit. Hops present a bit more citrus and pine on the back end.

T: Flavors up front are intense with notes of grapefruit and pine, along with some fruity notes. Caramel, toast, and rye are present in the middle, leading the way for a dry, bittering hop finish.

Notes: Complex, yet very well-balanced, this brew has got it all. Medium to full-bodied, and has a mouthfeel and finish that lasts forever. It's awesome stuff! Easily my favorite offering from Bear Republic that I have had thus far.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.66/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from my bomber a semi-opaque dark brown that shifts into mahogany amber highlights when held closer to a light source. Very bubbly light tan colored head rises up to two fingers when poured aggressively, but dies down rapidly, albeit with some quite impressive lacing. The body is on the thicker side of medium heft, and carbonation is spot-on.
Upon opening the bomber, I am greeted by the aroma of intense grapefruit peel and pine resin over the top of a strongly spicey rye malt with a subtle smokey earth tone accentuated by mild peppery hop tones in the background. So at first, everything is amazing. However, five minutes later, all of the juicy citric hop aroma has evaporated (not hop flavor, the hop aroma) and all I am left with is the rye malt smell and earth tones. I find myself disappointed in the lack of sturdiness of the citric aroma elements, something that really hurts the balance of this beer's nose.
Tastes of heavy hearty rye pumpernickel bread at first, joined up by the bittering wave of a standard hop bomb of boiled pine sap and grapefruit pith. I've not had a beer like this in quite some time which wears its "Rye-ness" on it's sleeve so proudly. I would even call it -educational- for providing an easily identifiable textbook example of what Rye malt should taste like. Spicey, earthy goodness all around with a heavy wallop of bittering. I'm OK with this.

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Photo of JNewbs
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Mahogany/Amber, huge head and great retention. Strong lacing throughout the glass.

S - Spicy, hoppy. Some notes of citrus, pine, and other hoppy flavors.

T - Bitterness from the hops was offset perfectly by a balance of spiciness from the Rye and sweetness from the malt. It was crisscrossing my tongue left and right (or was it right and left?), but somehow I didn't mind. An unapologetic hop bomb, the balance still made for a great beer.

M - Thickness from the malt and creaminess in general. Delicious.

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Photo of fsvan
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into New Belgium globe.

A- Very dark for an IPA. Copperish red. Dark enough that it's hard to see through. Looks like a wee heavy, almost. A finger or so of clinging head.

S- A very interesting smelling IPA. Some pine-y hops, a little rye, a little sweetness, and a bit of a bite from the 8%. The pine and alcohol come out more as it opens up.

T- Underwhelming, to be quite honest. Very bitter, but not a ton of flavor in the hops, just the bitter bite. Some sweetish, rye and pine on the finish. I have to say I expected more.

M- A little light and watery. Not awful, but not a selling point.

O- A very unique IPA that is hard to pin down. It is good, but not the same league as Racer 5. Maybe the bottle has some age on it, but with no dating I'll never know.

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

On tap at St Augustines in Vancouver.

A: An inviting semi-transparent brown liquid with 1/4" cream coloured head that left a nice lacing.

S: Has quite a yeasty smell that is rather prominent.

T: Began bitter on the tongue which turned into a sweet and malty finish.

M: Thick viscosity with a medium to low level of fine carbonation.

O: Interesting IPA made with 20% rye malt.

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pint glass. Can't find a bottling date.

Pours a deep amber, a finger of light stone colored foam. Nice retention and solid sheets of lacing. Smells like spicy rye, malt, piney hops, and lemon. Taste is a bready rye with some lemon, finishing moderately bitter. I don't know if the hops are supposed to be this restrained, or if this is just an older bottle. In any case, I was expecting more hop presence. Mouthfeel is creamy, with a medium-full body and medium carbonation. Overall, this was pretty good, but a heftier dose of hops would take this to another level.

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Photo of syrupjoe
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pint glass

Pours with a two finger caramel cream head. Beer is a dark rusty amber with a decent amount of particulates.

Smells very sweet, caramelly, piney, citrusy, and a bit toasty.

Taste is somewhat sweet, piney, citrusy, and a bit grassy.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, not as biting as most IPA's. Low carbonation.

Overall a very solid beer - don't usually drink rye beer but couldn't really tell it apart from any other really good IPA. Would buy this more often if I could!

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 4,724 ratings
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