Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

4,722 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,722 |  Reviews: 2,080
Photo of mulder1010
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bomber poured into a tulip

A-- Poured a deep dark cherry brown. Quite clear and nice cherry red tinges to the sides. Two finger light brown head that quickly receded to film but left very nice web like lacing on the sides of the glass. Good head head retention to this.

S-- Pretty inoffensive nose really. Rye and soft cherry to this. Very faint floral hop smell to this.

T-- Floral hops and a little pungent, mixed with a bit of cherry sweetness. Different sort of interesting with the rye.

M-- Pungent and sweet. Quite unique. Rye adds a lot to this in a good, yet different way. Quite filling, rich and lighter than other IPA's. Lacks the bitterness of others but it is the uniqueness that makes this good.

O-- Grows on me as I drink on with this. Quite interesting and different but very good. Keeps alot of the essence of what an IPA is but the rye adds a new dimension to this with the sweetness and richness of it

 928 characters

Photo of JayAre46
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - poured vigorously into a stone tulip, copper color while flowing in, inside the glass it appears to be a deep maroon that produces an off-white head that recedes to a thin layer of bubbles. this beer always gives me some of the best lacing you can get and i love it.

A - sweet caramel rye malts with hints of artificial cherry, not much of a hop presence.

T - sweet caramel flavors, hints of dark fruits, moderate rye flavors present for a nice change of pace, the beginning reminds me of a gingerbread cookie that is very pleasant again the cherry flavors. Then the hop onslaught that creates such an amazing balance on the estate of gingerbread manor showing its hop cone accents throughout the estate of cookie, nice bitter finish that lingers with spikes or sweet and rye coming though in the back. the alcohol is invisible.

M - perfect carbonation with this brew, the body is medium while i wish it was slightly heavier, creamy transitions. the drinkability is very high for me i could drink the four pack easily and reluctant to share a bomber ha

O - This beer is a great change of pace and i love it for bringing a different depth to the table, brewers should experience more with rye. recommend this to all

 1,224 characters

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

Powerful hoppy mellow ale.

Rich and mouthfilling with a nice touch of sweetness. Wonderful aroma of something like candied hops. Almost a Belgian sugar flavor. I wonder how this would be if they did a "Belgo" version like the Stone barley wine. Hints of smoke, lots of caramel, and the impression of a Scotch Ale with some extra hops. Quite bitter after the malt, but fades to a nice complex mix.

I have liked this beer for a long time. Glad to see it's rated highly by a lot of people. It's my idea of an IPA. I guess I always thought of it as just a unique hoppy brew .

 573 characters

Photo of adman08
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-deep mohogany color with slight head.
S-Obvious citrus hop aroma with a hint of pine.
T-Nice balance of citrus and piney hops with a solid caramel malt flavor.
M-Light carbonation. Good malt body.
Overall, very good, dark IPA. Excellent hop flavor and malt body. Very good representation of an american style IPA with the darker caramel malts. The balance of hops and malt is excellent.

 389 characters

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

Bottled 03/29/11

Poured into Stone IPA glass. Fairly clear ruby colored body. Three finger antique white colored head is perched atop. Retention is impressive, thick moth eaten lacing left clinging as the head recedes.

The is a tremendous amount of balance in the aroma. The bottle is not super fresh and some fading of the hops could lead to this. Pine and citrus hops blend with an earthy rye and soft caramel malt aroma. Very pleasant smelling beer.

The flavor mimics what was picked up by the nose. Slightly resinous pine and citrusy hops blend upfront with a sweet malt flavor. The earthy, almost tobacco rye flavor really compliments the pine flavor while providing a perfect counterpoint to the sweetness.

Medium bodied beer, carbonation clocks in at a low to moderate level. The finish is on the drier side though there is a bit of resinous hop flavor which will finger.

Very good beer, one of the best rye beers out there. I am partial to Founders offering but I believe Hop Rod Rye is every bit as good. Easy to drink, very enjoyable.

 1,049 characters

Photo of SeaUrchin
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a pint glass at a friends house, so glad bear republic made its way to michigan

appearance - a reddish gold with a 2 finger head, moderate carbonation, left great lacing

smell - starts off with a nice citrusy hop that moved into a sweet rye-malt sweetness, a hint of toffee near the end with a slightest hint of alcohol

taste - taste follows nose for the most part starts off with a piney bitter hops that fades into a nice citrus, not overly aggressive but lets you know that its there, this fades into a nice sweet rye blended with a bit of vanilla, the citrus comes back after this and makes you want to take another sip, simply delicious

mouthfeel - a bit stickier than i expected but not at all unpleasant, the carbonation helped lighten it up and make it extremely enjoyable

drinkability - easy to drink, could see myself going through a 4 pack without even noticing it

overall - an excellent beer, i would recommend to any one who asked, also a friend who isnt a huge IPA fan loved it(i was a bit surprised) but just like reds rye iv seen it turn people to the hoppy side

 1,099 characters

Photo of bayougutter
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served about 55 degrees from bomber to snifter.

Medium aggressive pour revealed a one and a half finger off white head. Clear dark brown with reddish hues coming thru.

Smell was straight up hop at first then the malty rye came. A little toffee- caramel to

Taste was soooo good, just so well blended with the hoppiness and malts. Still a little toffee too. Not as hoppy as the smell. Quite impressed.

Mouthfeel was just right letting the taste coat the palate oh so good.

Overall this is a top ten for me. I'm DIPA, stout,Barley wine lover but this one was great. Give it a try, you won't be let down.

Edit: The last five or six bombers I've had were filled with too many floaties. Not attractive and affected to taste.

 725 characters

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

A quick side pour reveals a fresh hop aroma mixed with alcohol vapors. The one-finger light tan head slowly subsides, leaving large bubble lacing stuck to the sides.

The brew is a hazy, dark reddish-brown color, with active carbonation keeping the head respectable.

A generous hop blast hits the mouth first, with further bittering in the middle of the palate, nearly concealing the toasted rye flavors which sneak in near the back of the palate to produce a full-flavored complexity. Some side notes of barley and cereal grains with just a hint of toffee. Although listed at 8% abv, the alcohol is not very noticeable. Hop bitterness lingers on the tip of the tongue well after the swallow.

Nice recipe for a "specialty" ale, as it's called, especially for hop heads. Definitely worth a return trip.

 804 characters

Photo of Brez07
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Dark cherry red. Poured slowly due to the sediment at the bottom so didn't get much head. A swirl of the glass gets about 1/2 finger of head though

S: Nose is mostly consisting of bread. Crust, sweet bread and rye. Rye adds a subtle amount of spice to the mix. Almost get a buttered toast aroma (not diacetyl though). Not really any hop presence; a minor amount of citrus if anything

T: Subtly sweet. Hops lay a base for bread, yeast, peppery spice and rye. I detect a minimal amount of dark fruit as well. Very malty with a hop bitterness to balance things out

M: Medium bodied. Residual bitterness remains after each sip. Average amount of carbonation

D: Fairly malty IPA with a nice twist with the rye. Good change of pace beer. Will pick this up again

 800 characters

Photo of GoldHorde
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm finding out that the more I drink beers labeled "IPA" or "Double IPA" that it will cause me to shift and jostle my top ten list of beers to try and make room for it. This "HOP ROD RYE Specialty Ale" was my first BEAR REPUBLIC experience and the CA location made me automatically knock off critical bias points. EVEN STILL, it fizzed and finessed its way into my top ten. The last Belgian style ale has now been knocked off my top ten list - now leaving only inhabitiants of porters, IPA's and stouts. HOT ROD RYE ALE has a very nice cap pop aroma of hops - though less than my other IPA's on the list. I felt the aroma predicted "hop-slap" was missing in the flavor but the aftertaste lingered appreciably. A nice beer - if I were to rate it - I would say this is a perfect introductory IPA for the novice beer style drinker.

 829 characters

Photo of jar2574
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rye. This oughta be interesting. After an aggressive pour I get a big creamy two-inch head that sits around for a while until it becomes a smallere film. Great lacing all the way down the sides during the entire beer session.

Smells hoppy. Flowers. Citrus. A little faint though, could be stronger.

A darkish earthy flavor mixed with hops. Must be some malts in here balancing out the hops quite well. A balanced beer - there is no one characteristic that stands out. There is slight hop bitterness but also a little malty sweetness. I do think you get a rye flavor though, or at least it reminds me little of the flavor in rye whiskey. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel. A very good session beer, especially for having 8% ABV.

 720 characters

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours from bottle an amber color with some good clarity and a thick tan head that wants to stick around. Great lacing as well.

S: Pine and grapefruit right in the front with some tropical fruit like pineapple coming in there with all the other fresh hops. Some toasted grains and a rye bitterness and a touch of toffee. More aroma hops end the onslaught of hoppy goodness.

T: A smooth malty amber beer is rapidly giving way to a hop barrage. The toffee and toasted rye and barley give way to pine, grapefruit, pineapple and herbal fresh, flavorful hops and plenty of them. Some spice and bitterness from the rye and hops finish the tastes.

M: Medium body and smooth carbonation. Some alcohol warmth becomes noticeable.

D: An exceptional beer with lots of great malt and hops going around and flavorful for any taste.

 823 characters

Photo of Brunite
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A deep copper with an off-white head. Lots of lingering lace.

S: Mostly hops. No notice of the rye.

T: No malt....no rye...lots of juicy citrus hop flavor.

M: Medium body.

O: Meh. I love IPA's. I love Rye beers. Despite it's high ratings....I find it a poor blend of the two. Average beer.

 296 characters

Photo of Prostman81
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have to say, the appearance of this beer really puts me off. I'm not one to really factor in appearance when reviewing beers; I'm a homebrewer and I'm guilty of some odd-looking beers from time to time myself. But this beer is just strange looking. It has a wierd mud-color to it. Not quite brown, not quite black, but also has some strange opaque translucence. No head at all, even after a vigorous poor.

Looks are deceiving, and aside from that, this is a terrific tasting beer. Wonderful blend of hops and malt. More robust body than your typical IPA, yet still retains the fresh, hop flavors and aromas you'd expect. Drinkability? This one has it in spades, and goes down scary smooth. The ABV can really whollop you, since you don't even notice that you've just pounded down two in a row.

Great beer, replaces Racer 5 as my favorite offering from Bear Republic. My only small gripe is I wish it wasn't so damn potent, so I could enjoy a few more of these.

 964 characters

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

Presentation: From a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic.

A- Pours a deep amber/copper and clear. Pours with ~3 fingers of creamy, light tan head, which fades slowly to a thin cap.

S- An assault of slightly spicy citrus/grapefruit and pine hop aromas upon pouring. Beneath the hops emerges a subtle caramel sweetness, which comes through a bit more as the head fades and as the drink warms a bit.

T- Spicy, pine, herbal, grapefruit hop bitterness, which is superbly balanced by a solidly sweet caramel malt. Really nice.

M- Moderate carbonation and a medium feel.

O- Very good. A real pleaser on on fronts, and quite easy drinking to boot.

Future outlook: In honor of my trip to California in a few hours, I decided to honor this far-too-long overdue Cali brew....and am now kicking myself for waiting this long. Joins Founders Red's Rye as top "Rye-PA" that I have had. I will definitely purchase this again, and remind myself to quit neglecting to trial the rest of the Bear Republic offerings that I have available to me.

 1,022 characters

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

Pours a clear amber with 1-2 fingers of quickly dissipating head.

Smells tastes with a nice spiciness, followed by a huge aroma of grapefruit hops.

Taste has more malt than I was expecting, but in a good way. Still definitely hop forward; the spice from the rye is very nice.

Light/medium mouthfeel; finishes crisp and somewhat dry.

Overall, this is going down too fast. I think I may like Founders Red's Rye just a bit more, but this is an excellent beer.

 460 characters

Photo of hiku7
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid big-flavored ale for hop lovers, as the name suggests. It pours a deep caramel color with a one-finger tan head. I poured it to a nonic.

Smell is floral hops and caramel malt, with a pleasant mild alcohol aroma. The taste is hops on the front end, followed by a thick tasty caramel malt, followed by a sharp hop finish. Based on the aroma, and the advertising on the bottle and the name, I was expecting all hops, but the beer has a very solid malt base. There is also an interesting spiciness in the finish that must be the rye.

The mouthfeel is slightly syrupy with low to moderate carbonation. Despite the mouthfeel and taste, the finish was drier than I expected.

Overall, this is a solid big hoppy beer, though one was enough.

 750 characters

Photo of ghetto90007
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bomber into a 22 oz. nonic.

Medium dark, toffee color with a hint of redness. Soft, off-white to light tan head with great resilience and nice, sticky lacing coating the side of the glass. Feel like I might have to get out a scrubber to get the suds off after it dries. Slightly cloudy appearance and some "floaties" - not exactly sediment - which the bottle attributes to the massive amount of hops dropped into this unfiltered concoction.

Smell includes that strange spiciness of a rye brew, hops with hints of a number of subtle aromas - grapefruit, flowers, pine and a really subtle herbal scent.

Wow, I'm expecting something like Racer 5 with rye elements. Instead, my buds are assaulted with a rich, caramel malt, along with hoppy bitterness. After the first impression, that odd rye spiciness rises to the surface, then succumbs to the hop profile that includes primarily peels from citrus fruits - not so much of a pine or floral taste as the aroma might have suggested.

Medium body, on the low end of moderately carbonated, yielding a fairly soft and voluptuous mouthfeel. Even silkier as this brew warms. The style guidelines suggest 45-50 degrees, but I started really loving this one at about 50-55.

An idiosyncratic brew, but darned good.

 1,273 characters

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

Bottle poured into a pint glass. This is darker than a typical IPA.. a dark brown with around half an inch of head. Smell is heavy on hops with some hints of sweet caramel mixed in as well. Taste is initially hops but balanced well by sweet caramel malt flavors. Excellent drinkability.

Very delicious and well balanced... probably one of the most balanced IPAs I've tried.

 374 characters

Photo of ksimons
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-a cloudy ruby with tan head that quickly disappears and leaves lacing around the top

S-a mix between strong hops and malts, grapefruit, caramel

T-Strong hops is the predominant taste but the malt does sneak in there to add some caramel creaminess, the rye adds some spiciness to it. The alcohol is well hidden.

M-full body, light to medium carbonation, and a bitter finish

Overall I am not a big IPA fan, but the rye and malt in this beer help balance out the bitter flavor. I would definitely get it again.

 513 characters

Photo of Schwarzbart
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think the first think to note is that the bottle is really cool. The color when poured is really good also and gets a big wow factor with a dark mahogony brown color. The head is a 2 finger, off-white, creamy and rocky one. Quite a bit of sediment can be seen when held up to the light. The lacing is spectacular after the first sip until the end with a creamy draping.

The nose is a hop load, smelling of grapefruit, spruce, citrus and lime.

The rye is quite detectable, which I expected, since the bottle noted that it was 18% rye. It adds some spice to the hops and even some more bitterness. The sweet malts are there and try to balance out the hops and rye and doesn't do a bad job at all. Hops are sprucey, grassy, piney and spicy, so they bite just like I'd expect. Caramel, bready malts come out more with warming.

Creamy and chewy mouthfeel with a medium full body. Well balanced with high hop bitterness just like it should be for a beer of this style. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer and will definitely buy again.

 1,034 characters

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

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. No freshness info. Pours a deep reddish brown. Very uncharacteristic color. One finger of frothy foam and lots of carbonation. Nice lacing. Nose has a lot going on. Sweet and roasted malt with light and fresh hop and rye scents underlying. The darker than usual roasted malt brings out a lot more rich, robust smells. I can even detect a little cocoa. Mouthfeel is great. Good carbonation and supple without being heavy. Almost creamy texture. Interesting palate as well. The rye gives it more of a grassy taste but the bitterness from the hops rounds this out quite well. Finishes rather clean. The hops still provide some resiny bitterness but the rye makes it more crisp and the roasted malt keeps too much sweetness from creeping in. Definitely not your classic DIPA but a welcome interpretation and an impressive effort. I would almost call it a brown IPA.

 901 characters

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

Pours a deep amber with a finger and a half of sticky, frothy, off-white head. Excellent lacing.

Lots of bitter, floral, resinous, piney hops.

Taste is really nice. Hop forward, lots of pine, then a smooth transition to the rye backbone, and a smooth (for a hoppy IPA) finish.

Very good mouthfeel - smooth, almost creamy.

Overall- another tasty beer from bear republic.

 377 characters

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

On tap at the George St ale house in New Brunswick, NJ

Arrives in a frosted pint glass. Copper colored with a neat half fnger of foam on top. Initially aroma is dull due to the temperature.

Nice spicy rye flavor punctuated by a sharp, crisp, hop bite. This beer has a great combination of spicy rye, caramel malt, evergreen hop flavor, and a huge bitter bite. Truly complex and changing as it warms.

All the flavors work well together and complement each other. The hop flavor is the real star here, and there is just enough sweetness to prevent this from being an unbalanced palate wrecker. World class.

 608 characters

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

4.5 across the board! This is an exceptional brew for any hop lover.

Poured a nice reddish color with about a finger width of head.

Smells of hops, all day long. Citrus and hint of pine.

Tastes of hops, citrus with a bold pine hop finish.

Smooth and very drinkable.

If you like hops, you have to try this one.

 317 characters

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,722 ratings.
  • About Us

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

    Learn More
  • Our Community

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

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

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