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 jibbyvonjibb
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a hazy brown, with particles swirling around, allowing little light to go through. The ivory head has tiny bubbles, like vanilla mousse.

The smell is distinctly caramelly with sweet fruit flavors coming through like apples and raisins. The citrus hops complement these flavors. I think I even sense some rye in the background, which I associate with the harsh graininess of buckwheat.

The sweet caramel malty fruitiness in the aroma made me suspect that the malts would also dominate the flavor, and this indeed is the case. The same sweet fruits win out here, but there is definitely plenty of hops to balance, at least in the hoppy finish which lingers. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, and I can detect a unique raw-grain texture in the back of my tongue which I can only presume to be the rye. Other than this sensation, however, I cannot associate any other flavor specifically with the grain that prominently featured on the label.

It's a good beer - flavorful and fairly drinkable. I do have to warn you that this is on the malty side of IPA's (I guess 1.020), and many, including me, prefer to stay on the dry side of the spectrum. It just makes things more drinkable and refreshing. But if you enjoy something sweet on occasions, this would be a good ipa one to try.

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Photo of Hatzilla
4.61/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a tulip. Bottled on May 25; Consumed July 10.

A - A deep ruby pour into my tulip with a long-lasting 1/2 inch head. Great sheets of lacing as the beer volume drops.

S - Grapes, grapefruit, malt and rye.

T - Follows the scent: Grapes, grapefruit and a caramel, malty rye. A nice balance.

M - Smooth, velevety, medium carbonation. Very drinkable.

O - A tasty IPA from Bear Republic that falls outside the mainstream California IPAs, but doesn't disappoint. Thoroughly enjoyable and easy to consume. A must for all IPA and Bear Republic fans.

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Photo of Janderson91
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Generously given to me as an extra by t420o, so big thanks to him for the opportunity. No freshness info on the bottle. Enjoyed on 07/06/11.

A - Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a very deep, muddy looking red color with a good fluffy two finger off-white head. Very cloudy and darker than expected. Leaves good lacing down the sides.

S - Big caramel and dark fruity notes. The spiciness of the rye is present as well as that big west coast hoppiness. Grapefruit and slight pine is there from the hops.

T - Quite complex. Caramel, figs, cherries, pepper. Toward the end, the hops really come through nicely to balance out the big caramel sweetness. Leaves a lingering mild sweetness balanced by a grapefruity bitterness.

M - Mouthfeel is excellent. Nice and creamy with pretty low carbonation. Fits this one well.

O - Overall, I was really looking forward to this one and I wasn't disappointed. However, I just based my ranking on how much I enjoyed it, not to the style because I believe it has been wrongly categorized. This is at least a DIPA, and you could make the case that it should be a barleywine. I found it to be VERY similar to Terrapin's Rye Squared. This is another good one from Bear Republic, looking forward to the other bottle I received!

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Photo of rchristensen
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into a Tulip

A - pours a striking reddish, dark copper with a finger and a half of head. Head lingers and leaves behind considerable lace. Mild carbonation is evident.

S - a nice combination is sweetness and hoppy citrus. Very complex and intriguing.

T - Wow. The hops assert themselves right from the start but then a maltiness takes over. Next comes a level of spice that plays off the other flavors in a great way. The hops come back to the front at the finish.

M - medium bodied with good levels of carbonation. A bit cheeked than a typical IPA.

O - I really enjoyed this beer. The spicy notes from the rye made this something great. Bravo Bear Republic, well done.

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Photo of dcook11
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a thick three finger head which fades into ample spider web lacing. The color is amber with no visible carbonation. Looks similiar to a barley wine. The smell is of hops coupled with a sweetness, maybe carmel? The taste is balanced with hops, malt, and caramel all molded nicly together. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Very Tasty beer.

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Photo of zrab11
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a darkish orange color with a nice 2 finger foam head. Nice lacing

S- Has a strong citrus flavor with some malty ryeness too

T- Has a nice hop punch up front followed by a nice malty flavor in the middle then finishes with a dry hoppy ryness that is very pleasant

M-LLight to medium bodied. Decent carbonation

D-Overall this was a very drinkable IPA. it almost had a DIPA punch to it but i enjoyed the ryeness and hops together very much

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Ithaca Excelsior Tulip. No freshness date, this bottle was approximately 3 months in my cellar before I got to it.

A: Really nice looking crystal clear deep amber color. Aggressive pour leads to a monumental 3 finger head that stuck around most of the drink. Lacing filled out the glass and stuck throughout as well. Really beautiful beer, one of the prettiest I've seen. Add that to a beautiful glass and it's quite the combo.

S: Full of hops. Citrusy hops to be exact followed very closely by rye and then the malty backbone solidifies this beer as a great one. The age probably stole some of the potency here but it was still really nice.

T: Wonderful hop-forward beer that punches you first with grapefruit hops, then follows closely with the spice of the rye. Then comes the sweetness and then again with the rye! It's an interesting back and forth of rye and malt and hop again.

M: Medium body, thick, sweet mouth coating. Spicy notes and the 8% ABV create a nice warm feeling that lasts for quite a while.

O: A delicious IPA with rye notes. I'm not a huge fan of rye beers and I know that this is technically not a rye, rather an IPA but it has wonderful rye spice that adds to the delicious IPA that lies underneath.

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Photo of MoustacheHero
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottled offering from the Bear Republic Brewery.

A: A warm amber colour with a white, bubbly head that holds its own. On an appearance side note, quite a dated looking label, kind of found it tacky.

S: Sweet, caramel smell with spicy rye notes and hoppy kick.

T: Great amber flavor mixed with hoppy notes throughout, made complex with rye spice.

M: An surprisingly bubbly beer with medium body. Creamy going in and washes clean.

O: A wonderful beer to explore the influences of rye. Definitely a keeper.

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Photo of katybee
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

MMMM....yummy! An exceedingly bitter beer at first taste, balanced by smooth body and carmellized sweetness of the malts. It poured clear, cola golden brown with a 1/2" creamy head which rimmed my glass with a persistent lacing. Very nice. Initially bitter on the tongue, the presence of rye definitely detectable in flavor, complimented by some strong flowery hopping. But very dry; no residual off-tastes, just a little peppery spiciness on the tongue. MMM! And a smooth soft creamy body that makes you want to let the bitter liquid linger a bit longer on your tastebuds, at which point the slight sense of carmelized malts hits you. Then surprise surprise, as the beer in your glass warms up, you notice some sedimenttion falling through the brew. Yeasts? Malts? An interesting authenticity.

Overall, very enjoyable and easy to sip throughout an evening, with the unique scent of rye replacing what would be hops in any other ale. Thinner than a stout, without any sense of "soy-maltiness" or "guinness dryness" this is a gorgeous brown ale. Try it! My only complaint was that the label didn't quite do the beer justice; they should rework it. lol.

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

Poured a dark mirky brown with a bubbly light tab head with low little retention and light lacing.

Very nice nose with nice malt character, leathery-like hop notes (which made sense to me at the time) and mild pine.

Well balanced flavor. Mild caramel malt with sweet candy-like fruit balanced with a subtle floral-piney hop character on the back end. 8% abv blended well enough to know that kick is there but not overwhelming at all. Rye flavor comes through just a touch in the aftertaste with the lingering mild floral hops.

Full bodied with good carbonation and a touch of tackiness.

Overall a real good beer. I think this might be my first rye style, who knows I've forgotten more beers that I've had than many people Have had. If it isn't, it's definitely the best rye I've had.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My local trader, tone77, and I did another pick-up/drop-off the other day and this time our roles were reversed - I dropped off while he was at work. More bottles for me to keep the numbers aligned with The CANQuest (TM). So be it!

From the bottle: "Hop Rod Rye is a high performance, turbo charged, alcohol burnin' monster ale with dual overhead hop injection, made with 18% rye."; "Brew Master Notes - Don;t drink & drag. Sediment at bottlom of bottle may be the result of the truckload of hops in this non-filtered ale."

I do not understand how I have never reviewed this beer until now. I even visited them with UncleJedI and PurpleHatJoan and they sent me a patch for the latest jacket. It is time to make this right!

My slow, gentle pour still got me a finger of light-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity, thanks to my pour. I will stir up the lees at the end to see what I get. Nose was grapefruit and black pepper, owing to both the copious hops and all of the rye. Man, but the mouthfeel was full, with a spicy intensity that makes me want to remind you to be sitting down when drinking this beer! That was a Public Service Announcement, courtesy of yours truly. Stone likes to think that we are "not worthy", but even as a self-avowed hophead, I may not be worthy of this one. It just exploded in my mouth with citrus and black pepper and swallowing did not help, since it was so dry that I immediately gasped and reached for the water. Oh my! To say that this was good would be an understatement. Put another way - it may not be for everyone, but if you like American IPAs and you appreciate what rye can do for a beer, you should try this beer, if you haven't already. I have a feeling that this review at this stage is either a) gilding the lily or b) preaching to the choir or c) some of both.

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Photo of lechroy
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After Saturday adventure beer. Yum! Welcome home buddy.

A - strikingly red and rich. Great two finger head with interlacing.

S - It's the smell of fresh warmth on a cool day. Warming tones of malt with a toasted sweetness. Are you singing yet?

T - Nailed it home with a slightly malted edged brew with lots of fresh taste and toasty character. Full beer. Full mouthfeel.

M - M is for meaty good. I don't even eat meat.

O - Bring a sixer home and share with the honey (ies). Yeah the bros can have a few, but really, at 8% it may be your lucky nite.

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

A: a deep amber with some brwon hue, a bit hazy, a small off-white head, with good retention and waste left behind on the glass

S: lots of hops and caramel, piney, rye

T: a high hop flavour, piney, completely bitter, some caramel and malt, dry finish, medium light body

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

Bomber with thanks to [email protected] Liquor

Deep mahogany with a dense light beige head which leaves a very sticky one-finger lace ring after it recedes. Pretty solid.

Pineapple, tangerine and cherries bombard at first. Lemon sherbet and a pretty intense floral character ramp up the sweetness. Prunes, raisins, liquorice and more generic caramel malts round things off beautifully. How good is this?

Rich pine gorgeously tempered by earthy rye, which additionally knocks the edge off the sherbet sweetness. Plenty of lemon rind, grapefruit and bitter orange. Restrained biscuity malt presence allows the hops to really shine.

Spot on carbonation, with a totally unobtrusive medium mouthfeel and moderate lingering mid-palate bitterness.

Very satisfying and clever brew. The rye provides just enough spunk without detracting from the hop profile, which is magnificent in its own right. Definitely the best use of rye in a heavily hopped ale I've come across.

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Photo of OttoBomb
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz (355m l) bottle into a Dogfish Head signature glass (June 23, 2010). No freshness dates that I can find.

Eyes: Pours a an expectedly ruddy darkish orange, the rye is visible immediately in terms of color, thick haze and a dirty foam cap. Strong retention and lacing.

Nose: A abundance of citrusy hops, with an undertone of the dry rye malt.

Tongue: Similar to the nose, a very hop forward palate is paired with the much lighter dry rye and malt dimensions. The rye supplies a nice dry component that actually pairs well with the massive hop punch.

Mouth: Almost a DIPA level tongue scorcher for what is considered an IPA. Very dry aftertaste with a bitter finish.

Libation: 8% ABV might be enough to push this into DIPA range, but this is quite drinkable. One of the very first rye IPAs to become distributed, and is stil one of the very best.

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

I picked up a bottle of Hop Rod Rye last week for $2.00 at The Lager Mill. I have never tried anything from Bear Republic before and since I heard that they recently started distributing in Michigan I have been wanting to try some of their brews, so when I saw three different bottles from them at the store I knew I had to at least give one a try so I chose the one that visually appealed the most to me and hoped for the best. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- I like the label a lot, the old school hot rod gives this beer a pretty cool look, and that was the deciding factor on what one to get since I liked both the styles they had equally. It poured a nice looking dark and bold amber color with two and a half fingers worth of off white head.

S- The first thing I picked up in the aroma was lot of hops, it seemed to be mostly citrus but there was also some pine aromas thrown in there. There are some nice grapefruit, tangerine, mango, and pineapple aromas that mixed in with some nice lightly toasted caramel malts and a slight bit of spicey rye.. There was a small presence of booze, it seemed like the citrus hops were the dominating force in the aroma

T- The flavor mirrors the aroma nicely. The hops are the main player here and mainly consist of citrus hops with the pine taking a back seat to all those great citrus flavors like, grapefruit, tangerines, mangos, and pineapples. The rye and caramel malts come together nicely and combine to make a very nice base for this beer and it imparts enough flavor that the hops don't completely take over this brew. The finish has a medium light bitterness to it that worked well with this brew and there was hardly any presence of alcohol.

M- Smooth and medium full bodied, a little thicker then most IPA's, it could be toned down just a touch. There was medium amount of carbonation that suited this beer.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good, balanced and complex IPA. This brew was heavy on the citrus hops but the excellent caramel malt and spicy rye base of this beer helped balance out all those hops ans made for a pretty complex brew. I liked the aroma the most with the flavor just falling a little short and it had really good drinkability for an IPA, I could for sure go for another one if I had one. I could see buying a six pack of this when I am in the mood for IPA, the balance and complexity were awesome. I recommend this beer to anyone who likes IPA's, it's doesn't hit you over the head with hops, but it wins you over with its balance and complexity. This beer made for a good first impression of Bear Republic and I am looking forward to trying some of their other brews.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a British Imperial Pint “no nick” glass. No date on case or bottle but my reliable distributer stated that this case was just shipped to them a week or so ago.

Poured aggressively forms a nice two finger head, which dissipates a into 1/8” cap. Easily revived with a little swirling, this beer is alive.
Dark brownish amber color. Decent lacing adds to the overall attractive look of this Ale.

The first smell is one of spicy hops, a dark bread aroma, medium intensity (not overly powerful), followed by some nice yeast. A very, very pleasant aroma that could be great with a little more intensity.

Very crisp, medium bodied entry into the mouth, distinct spicy hops but you definitely notice the malt/Rye/roasted grain in the middle, the Rye could be stronger but it is present. Quite delicious really, to the point that this is a good choice for a “house beer” (you know, the one you grab after work, but still pay attention to what you are drinking)

Very long, rather dry finish of bitter hops, faint malt and a surprisingly distinct Rye quality. An excellent finish and probably the most attractive component of this Ale.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the dryness of this Ale. IMO so many beers are becoming more and more sweet, especially if they have a high ABV. I have not been overly impressed with the offerings from the Bear Republic Brewing Co., but I have to say this is a very good brew. I would definitely by another case. This is one of the few beers that I find more flavorful on the colder side, that being said I drank this at between 50-55 degrees. Just right!

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Photo of tdexterc
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

i've been a long time reader of the site but this is my first review. many more to come!

A- A smooth pour yields a nice 1 finger head and a deep ruby/amber tone.

S- Hop Heaven! a wonderful assortment of piney and citric notes are upfront, followed by a sweet, but faint, caramel.

T- There is a sweet, almost sticky malt which shows through, followed by the slightly spicy rye. The hops are abound in this one but not overwhelming. All of this mingles with a smooth but growing bitterness and a very subtle and slightly warming alcohol presence.

M- One of the smoothest beers i have had the pleasure of drinking in quite some time. The carbonation is supremely matched to the tastes in this brew. A very difficult and rarely achieved balance between hop bitterness and sweet malts has been met perfectly in this brew.

Overall, I was wildly pleased with this beer. I LOVE hops, and this one definitely didn't disappoint. Had i not have known that this was an 8% beer going into it, i would have never guessed anything near that. I certainly foresee myself actively seeking out this brew in the future.

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

A- Pours a dark, hazy mahogany brown with a thin finger of white head.

S- Loads and loads of hops, bitter hop flowers, some citrus and pine.

T- Big hop profile, similar to the nose with lots of pine and citrus. Rye malt is spicy but with some thick sweetness to it that hangs out in the background, it tries its best to compete with the hops, but isn't really up to it. Finish is dry with lingering bitterness from the hops and just a hint of caramel malt sweetness.

M- Medium to full bodied, medium carbonation, has a nice creamy mouthfeel but with a good dry, crisp finish.

O- A fantastic beer, loads of flavor. It's great to see such an outstanding IPA done with rye.

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Photo of rawfish
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy Brazillian cherry wood color with flashes of crimson in the light and small particles of sediment from the yeast. Off white thigh head tops out at and inch with undying retention and nicely webbed lacing.

Dark caramel malts with a slight roasted note and a light fruits, apples and pears from the yeast. Hops come through with pine and low amounts of grapefruit. Yeast adds an earthy tone.

Sticky malts with a touch of grain and caramel start out the front paving the way for pine, grapefruit pith and peel hop character that starts lightly bitter but intensifies in both bitterness and grapefruit flavor towards the end of the drink. A bit spicy and peppery in the middle of the drink and ends very dry, the rye really does make an impact.

Heavier body for an IPA, the yeast very much responsible for that, average carbonation. Dries impressively with accompanying bitterness. Warming alcohol with a touch of soap.

Impressive IPA standing by itself but rye as a novelty ingredient really adds a unique spice note and exceptional dryness despite malts darkening this up. A little heavy but another stellar offering from this brewery.

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

Opaque and dark brown in colour with a thin cover of cream-white head. Lots of nice sticky lacing.

Tons of citrus and pine. Grapefruit rind, tangerine, pineapple, bit of alcohol, sweet and roasty malt with a little chocolate in the background. Really nice smelling stuff.

Wow, this stuff is really flavourful and well-balanced. There don't seem to be too many beers around pairing this amount of biting, citrusy hops with such an appropriate level of malt .This is perfectly executed. Big grapefruit rind, resiny pine and tangy rye to start, with dark caramel, some roast and a little alcohol following up. A touch of cocoa powder and some pithy bitterness finish off with some drying and pine lingers on the palate.

Viscous, almost sticky medium body with a light-but-present carbonation.

This beer is the best of so many worlds. I love dark hoppy brews and I seem to love beers brewed with rye; I've also always considered a well-hidden 8% to be my favourite ABV. If I lived near a ready supply of Hop Rod Rye, my fridge would never be without it. Exceptional stuff.

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Photo of jmfc8237
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance was of sweet brewed tea that was a bit cloudy but that's my fault. I love yeast sediment. Toffee colored head with decent retention considering it's abv. Sticky powdered malt like lacing coats the glass. Nose is boozie and packed with earthy floral hops. A slight tinge of grapefruit is present as well. As it warms more caramel and toffee are present in the entire beer and has a awesome hop presence and the buiscuity mouthfeel is not outdone. The rye being 18 percent of the grist defiantly gives this beer a crisp sharp dry finish. I love the hop bitterness and malty backbone. This is such a well balanced beer to sip on. Cheers

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Photo of bamojr
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark pale red with heavy tan head that holds for quite some time.
Small hop and malt smell no big smells from this one.
Hoppy lots of citrus and wild flowers. Sweet malt to finish on the palette.
A bit spicy but very drinkable. This is my first Bear Republic and I am quite impressed and will be back to try their other brews.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very rich and deep copper, almost chestnut color, yet transparent, beneath a frothy tan head that leaves scattered, but sticky lacing as it dissipates.

Aromatic hops waft from the glass, a touch woody, and a touch herbal with nuances of sweet malt and generous rye.

The flavor offers much more noticeable woody hops that are quite oily. Hops become herbal and spicy as the beer warms with the rye present the entire time. The flavor is also packed with bread-like malts but it comes back to the generous hops.

Medium in body and carbonation, this beer is packed with oily, palate coating hops.

Great beer all around, another job well done from BR.

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

Poured from a 12oz into a Vertical Jewbelation glass. Reviewed as an IPA and not a rye beer. Pours a deep red/brown with a half inch head. Just a bit of lace gets left behind.

The smell starts with rye and citrus and finishes with some earth.

Good hop/rye balance. Spicy rye, lemon, floral hops, pale malts and a touch of sweetness. Goes down super smooth with just enough carbonation.

An excellent whatever it is, rye beer, IPA, it hits the spot. Way less expensive to get a four pack than a few bombers. Whatever, I'll grab some more soon.

The style was switched from IPA to Rye Beer so I just changed the appearance score.
Easily one of the best RyePA's I've had to date.

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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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