Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
4,717 Ratings
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States
bearrepublic.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
4,717
Reviews:
2,077
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
9.67%
 
 
Wants:
287
Gots:
376
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,717 |  Reviews: 2,077
Photo of veinless
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had at the Lanesplitter in Berkeley...they always have one beer on cask so visit soon if you can to get this beast.

Pours a dark ruby with decent clarity and rungs of lace from the off-white one-finger head. This beer is gorgeous.

Nose is a spicy resinous combination of hops and rye that has to he smelled to be believed. Slight citrus and semi-sweet malt round it out.

Taste is the nose amplified many times. The rye spice is distinct and and pungent, the resin is soft yet strong. Citrus offers a cutting edge through the rye/resin base, while malt sweetness once again rounds everything out. This is a ridiculously good beer, and having it on cask is even better than I imagined it would be.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy at times, crisp and slick at other points. It does what it has to do, and the cask carbonation is perfect on top of it all. Drinkability is amazing for such a strongly flavored beer; finish is spicy and bitter without being offensive, and really makes you want another sip. Stickiness is just enough to not get in the way while adding another element. Phenomenal.

 1,092 characters

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

Poured from the bottle into a Nonic pint glass.

An off tan light brown head that forms so perfectly foamy. Real nice retention and about three solid fingers on the pour. Body is just slightly opaque but a dense looking solid amber color. Real great looking beer here. Not much lacing.

Great nose on this drink. A slight grapefruit but a unique mix of sweet malt perfection with the fruit in front. Hint but small of toasted bread.

Taste though is kind of small, but is there. Real good feel but a bitter hop presence in the mid palate, and lingering on the finish. No sense of sweetness on this one, and kind of never leaving. I was hoping for some bread based on a hint from the nose and this malt sensation but not so much. It's got a good hop feel for sure but I don't even feel a citrus punch from this, but a slight oil citrus on the finish in my mouth only after the swallow.

An enjoyable beer just verging on the cusp of real greatness I think. Glad I tried it.

 972 characters

Photo of claytong
3.35/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I wasn't impressed, I was hoping for more rye taste, but instead I got bitter and a bit more bitter. I've been on a rye kick and this one helped me get off it. It was very disappointing especially for the price.
If you live in Colorado go to Averys to check out their new rye beer, amazing.

 290 characters

Photo of betsona
3.96/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to seeswo for this 22oz bottle, poured into a tulip. No date information on the bottle.

A- Pours a dark rusty amber with a beige frothy head. Good head retention throughout the drink. High amount of head lacing on the glass that made an impact on me.

S- Got some grapefruit rind with some slightly burnt caramel. A bit of uncooked rye comes through sort of like a cheap rye whiskey. Really nothing all that powerful or memorable.

T- A lot of grapefruit, but not the traditional ruby; rather yellow. The bitterness comes through in the yellow grapefruit taste, but is balanced by the smoothness of the rye at the end. Didn't get much lingering taste. A little bit of spice comes through, which is probably due to the rye.

M- Medium to heavy body with good carbonation. Has a slight creamy texture that is unique and something that further distinguishes it from other IPAs.

O- I can see why a lot of people are high on this one. The rye is a nice touch that other brewers should consider trying once in awhile. It is extremely drinkable seeing as I forgot I had finished my glass off. A nice beer that I look forward to trying on tap.

 1,144 characters

Photo of ChefCook730
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A: The beer has some sediment; not sure why as I know this isn't a bottle conditioned or refermented brew.. THe color is a medium amber mahogany yet it is translucent, letting in about 50% of the light. Decent head when poured dissipated after two minutes.

S: This beer smells great. A very nice balance of booze with piney/citrusey hops. Makes you want to dive right in. If you've had they're more popular and more readily available Racer 5 IPA you won't want to wait to give this one a gulp!

T: Don't get me wrong.. It's a very nice "strong" IPA..It's certainly not a double IPA. Was slightly underwhelmed by the flavor after experiencing such tantalizing aroma smelling the beer. It is still a hearty and satisfying, flavorful brew. I have found that not only am I a fan of pacific IPA's but also in particular I am partial to Rye IPAs. This is a fine example.

M: The beer is smooth on the palate. For the style it is very drinkable and boasts respectable hop flavor with balance; not too bitter and plenty refreshing.

O: I like this beer. I am partial to IPAs in general but this is a winner for sure. Bear Republic continues to produce quality ales here on the west coast.

 1,231 characters

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

When poured, a honey brown brew settles a dark hazelnut brown that is almost opaque. Less than a fingers worth of off white head sits and dissipates quickly, leaving bubble rings along the glass.

The nose offers a combination of pine scented hop oils and some apricot is evident as well. There is a bit of a sweet malt scent behind it all.

The taste sweet up front and a bit malty but immediately kicks in a bitter hop sensation. There is a pleasant pine flavor along with a nice caramel topped hop addition.

The mouthfeel is crisp and bitter with enough carbonation to donate to the hop kick. Pretty full as well.

Overall, this is a pleasant brew and getting better as it warms. Yum

 687 characters

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

Pours a a dark, ruby-amber color with a medium off-white/light tan head that diminishes slowly. Scent is very hoppy with some pleasant maltiness and citrus notes. Nice pine notes as well. Taste is DELICIOUS!...as usual. Very well balance blend of citrus (grapefruit, lemon, and tangerine), rye, sweet malt, pine, and floral hops. Finishes with some nice bitterness. No sign of booziness or alcohol taste. Mouthfeel is full bodied, rich, complex, and finishes smooth. Drinkability is very high...scary for how high the ABV is. Overall, this is one of my favorite go-to IPAs/DIPAs that I can get on the regular. Always tastes delicious, even when not extremely fresh.

 665 characters

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

A - Beautiful maple syrup with a creamy head that holds up well and leaves a crazy lace.

S - Big citrus/west-coast hops.

T - Definitely delivers. This is a rye-IPA if I've ever had one. Bright, green-wood hops. Rye, black pepper, and warming booze. Coriander. Mild molasses-like sweetness.

M - Medium/full body with a pleasant carbonation. Lightly spicy finish with a nice dry/sweet balance.

O - A great rye beer. Probably my second favorite to date after Cane and Ebel.

 475 characters

Photo of azdback
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone Imperial glass. A dark burnt color. Held up to light a dark red comes through. The head is two fingers of cinnamon sprinkled froth delight.

Smell I'm getting mostly hop resins. Mostly citrus. No alcohol and not very sweet.

KaBlam!! There it is!! The bitter hop punch of a yellow grapefruit or any other bitter citrus you can think of. The alcohol comes out a bit and there is some tartness at the end. As it warms there is quite a bit of sweetness coming from the malts. This one is sooo good!!!

The mouth is as it should be. Smooth, full to the end and warms the lower throat and belly nicely.

Overall I must say I have always enjoyed this offering from Bear Republic. I am very fortunate to have this on the shelves of my local bottle shops for the taking, whenever I want. This is a must try and do what you can to do so!!

 850 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours a dark rosy amber hue akin to a red grape with a tuft of creamy beige head. A whitewash of lace coats the glass as the beer goes down. It certainly makes an impression.

Smell -- Grapefruit rind, pine resin, toasted malt, a modicum of caramel sweetness, and a waft of rye.

Taste -- The hop character is a great balance of juicy grapefruit and pine reisn. Malt base is that of golden toast, wild flower honey, with the sweetness definitely understated and in even keel with the rest of the beer. The rye is certainly spicy, but not in overabundance - it puts a nice slant on the other components.

Mouthfeel -- A hair above medium-bodied with mild carbonation, nearly creamy - a miss.

Overall -- I see the appeal, and honestly, the biggest complaint about this beer - the mouthfeel - could just as easily be the fault of the bar I drank it in. Very much a rye IPA, meaning that it's more of an American IPA with rye spiciness added versus a hop-forward rye beer.

Glad I finally found this on tap as every single bottle I've ever seen of this has been coated in dust. IPA with dust? Cannot trust.

 1,117 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle. No freshness/bottling date. Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Standard pour yields a frothy 2.5 finger light creamsicle head with good retention. Beer is a clear, dark, brownish amber. Lacing is oustanding. Ringed and layered with excellent retention. A gorgeous brew.

S: Nose is pungent citrus and piney hops. Autumn leaves, cane sugar, and resin. Fresh and very aromatic. Spot on for its style.

T: Opens resiny. Tea leaf bitterness that is characteristic of a rye beer. Citrus and pine hoppiness towards the middle with hints of tree bark. Definitely a west coast style IPA with no semblance of a malt balance. Finish is bitter dried leaves, grass, and tree sap. Aftertaste is a sticky resin hop bitterness. Nothing outrageous but very solid all the way around.

M: Light bodied and moderately carbonated. Slight prickle in the mouth and somewhat lively but rather smooth going down. Finish is messy with a sticky aftertaste that lingers. Personally, I'd rather have a quicker finish and after but this is again, very good.

O: Bear Republic has a number of beers on the top IPA list and I'm beginning to see why. An outstandingly solid beer all the way around from the appearance to the smell, taste, and feel. Definitely worth having.

 1,267 characters

Photo of chilly460
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Two fingers of foamy tan head, on top of a very dark amber/light brown body. Retention is very good. Sticky bubbly lacing lines the sides of the pint glass.

S - Plenty of floral hops, there is grapefruit, and bready malt. Alcohol is noted on the tailend, pretty balanced brew.

T - Hmm, prickly, grassy hops hit first. Definite heavy on the rye spiciness as well, almost a black pepper kick in the back of the throat. Nutty taste to the malts.

M - This has a nice level of carbonation and medium body, normal for the style.

O - Solid brew for sure, just not sure I'm into rye beers, they spiciness always kills them for me. Well crafted with a big hop profile, but well balanced, some good complexity here.

 717 characters

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

12 oz bottle into glass

a - orange amber haze. frothy head

s - floral hops. a hint of malt sweetness for a moment

t - hops at front and back. very well balanced with malt at the front end into a smooth hoppy aftertaste. the malt is a nutty caramel sort of flavor thats very pleasant

m- smooth, can sense some alcohol

overall - i enjoyed this hoppy rye attack

 363 characters

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

12 oz bottle, no date.

dark amber in color, just a bit hazy. frothy head.

big hop aroma, but a variety - pine, mint, citrus. complex.

in the flavor, the rye is definitely part of the malt backbone. hops are more in the aftertaste. not too bitter, pretty balanced. medium body and carbonation, typical for the style.

a pretty good beer, an interesting take on the IPA style.

 381 characters

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

Purchased from Total Wine in Richmond, VA - fresh - poured into dfh snifter

perfect pour with awesome lacing, incredible color. It's a deep ruby almost garnet in color.
Smells of sweet malts and hops, it's a delicate balance
Tastes like an IPA, bitter and hoppy, yet with a good mouthfeel and spice from the rye.

I DO intend on buying this beer again. Bear Republic is 2 for 2 with me.

 387 characters

Photo of homebrew311
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just picked up a fresh 4-pack.

A: pours a deep red/orange with decent clarity. Thin white head which leaves good amount of lacing. Good retention.

S: piney aromatics up front followed by a big spiciness from the rye. Notes of caramel come into play as well.

T: things start off sweet with the caramel malty character comes through first. This is quickly met by a bold hop profile that is paired very well with rye. The finish is bold and bitter. Everything is very well balanced with big time flavors.

MF: the carbonation is a bit high but it goes nicely with the bitterness. Medium body.

O: The 8% is hardly detectable in this Rye IPA. Excellent beer.

 659 characters

Photo of LiquidBread219
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark red color, real pretty. One finger, white head that dissipated pretty quickly into a nice looking foam.

S - The smell that hit me first was the sweet malt, molasses, and rye. The aroma of fresh herbal hops quickly followed. Maybe also a tinge of alcohol.

T - The citrusy hops and sweet bready malt comes through first. The bitterness from the hops became more apparent as it goes down. Dry and hoppy finish.

M - Medium bodied, texture was amazing. Could probably use a little more carbonation however.

D - Great drinkability due to the good combination of flavors and appetizing smell.

 600 characters

Photo of colforbin73
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is a really great beer. i don't actually see it that often, though i live in california and it is one of their regular brews. picked up a 22oz tonight and as soon as i opened it i remembered how good it is.

pours a lovely, pure auburn with excellent carbonation -- there is a decent amount of lacing. i do not find the hop aroma to be very powerful -- but the bitterness is good and sweet paired with the caramel maltiness. It lives up to the name -- deep malt and rye pumped up on significant hops and IBUs.

richer tasting than a straight IPA, especially nowaddays -- this is way more thick and sumptuous than what we are calling West Coast IPA. i think simply calling it a Hoppy Rye Ale is enough. good to the last drop!

 731 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
3.82/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours a dark brown with a thin head. Good amount of lacing. Nice hop aroma. Also some brown sugar and breadiness. Taste is a hoppy sweet, brown sugar flavor. Slightly bitter but more sweet than anything else. This beer gets a lot of hype and while I do think it is good, there are a bunch of better IPAs out there. Big amount of malt flavor to this one. Worth picking up again.

 390 characters

Photo of Hoagie1973
3.54/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Semi-cloudy deep amber color. Small Cream colored head reduces to a froth leaving very light lacing.
Smells fruity and hoppy before ever reaching your nose.
Definitely has a unique, more bready malt character that is very interesting due to the rye, unfortunately it's then blasted off of your tastebuds by a ridiculous amount of hops. They start out flavorful and piney, then transition into an intense bitterness that lingers long into the dry finish; a bit too long.
Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel.
The addition of rye is very interesting and different and I wish the hops would allow that side of the beer to shine a bit more. Overall it's not at all bad, but instead of being something truly special, in the end it's just another hop bomb.

 749 characters

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

A: Chestnut in color, sediment, mild carbonation, thin head

S: Wow. It smells great. Ton of rye, plenty of hops and sweet caramel.

T: Exactly how it smells. Spicy rye, lots of hops, grapefruit. Caramel malt sweetness in the middle, then goes back to hops and rye. Finishes dry and bitter. This is only the second rye ale that I've had, but I love the style. Great spin on a traditional AIPA.

M: Prickly but creamy at the same time. Medium body.

D: Good. Wouldn't want to make this a session beer though.

This is a bold, delicious beer. Love the spiciness of the rye alongside the hops. Only my second beer from Bear Republic, and I've loved both of them. I look forward to trying all of their offerings.

 708 characters

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

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Dark mahoghany color with virtually no head. Nice hoppy aroma; more subtle than I expected.

I've been having a lot of fruity IPAs, like Nugget Nectar, so the upfront bitterness of this brew is a nice change of pace. Surprisingly smooth drinking for such a rye and hops bite. Most brewers wave some rye near the kettle and call it a rye beer, this one brings the rye for a non-sweet bite, which accounts for very little lacing on the glass.

Another solid offering from Bear Repiblic; one that I will seek out again.

 552 characters

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

A: copper, one finger head dissipates to a foamy floating mass. This left the most beautiful lacing I've ever seen, thus the perfect score here.

S: Floral hops, orange peel, watermelon-like phenolics

T: HOPS! and orange peel, watermelon jolly rancher with a finish of bitter flowery hoppy goodness

M: Crisp, classic IPA with low-medium carbonation, very nice

D: Shows its teeth, but quaffable. Finished a brown bomber without any problem despite the hop bitterness

Overall, wonderful for any hop-head, and a unique taste (my first rye ale). Definitely piqued my interest in the style, and I would get it again. That, and $5 for a bomber is pretty good 'round here.

 669 characters

Photo of SWMeyer4141
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It may be 9:00 AM but It's spring break, and this beer keeps staring at me. So I opened it.

Appearance-Dark amber,thick head that dissipated pretty quickly.

Smell-Floral, Pine, Orange Peel, I didn't get much Rye

Taste-Starts off spicy, then the citrus hops kick in and stays with you. I can't get much rye still

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied with light carbonation

Overall-Very easy to drink, I could drink these early and often. Very reasonable as well

 452 characters

Photo of dizknee24
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A cloudy and medium . Head is rediculous. it is at least 2 fingers and dissapates in an odd manner.

S i love this smell it smells very much like a rye bread with some hoppy undertones

T Rye Rye Rye love this stuff

M Think and felt smooth

D all day all day i could drink this infact after work im going to get a bunch more!

 326 characters

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,717 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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

    Subscribe