Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

4,717 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: 4,717 |  Reviews: 2,077
Photo of heebes
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

Pours a dark brown with reddish tints, thin off white foamy head. Thin lacing follows the brew down the glass. Nose is delicious auroma of fresh hops; pine, citrus and honey. Good presence of malt in there too. Taste has the distinct rye flavour, malt body with some bitterhops and a quick finish ending dry. Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Pretty great tasting beer and unique IPA. No idea how fresh this bottle is but I imagine the Hop Rod Rye really fresh is amazing. Perhaps a revist on the next beer haul from Buffalo.

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Photo of BigB415
4.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

With this being my first rye beer I didn't know what to expect but to my delight this worked out extremely well. Pours dark red color with high lacing. It's unfiltered so you can't see through to the other side since there is a cloud of sediment in your way. When I smell I get hops and another element, perhaps that's the rye since the bottle says it's brewed with 18% rye. Tastes like an IPA and even the after-taste tastes like an IPA but to me it's a mellow IPA. No hop bombs here. Nice job Bear Republic. Another winner.

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

This bomber was received as a great extra off my wants list in a trade with jmkratt. Thanks John! The label informs me that this is brewed with 18% rye. Try as I might, I could not locate a bottle date. I poured this into a wine goblet.

An aggressive pour gives two fingers of foamy tan head. Retention is very good. Sticky bubbly lacing lines the sides of the goblet. The beer is a dark walnut brown featuring very little translucence. There is a small amount of visible carbonation.

The brew is heavily aromatic even from across the table. A nice floral bouquet wafts effortlessly from the goblet. There is grapefruit, and bready malt. Alcohol is noted on the tail end but only because I was looking for it. It is in good balance.

This is indeed a hoppy brew. A watery sweetness sets the pace but is quickly lapped by some mellow rye maltiness with hints of citrus. The beer starts slow and easy but takes on a parabolic flavor shift. Slowly the flavors blossom like a flower before burning up in a blaze of alcohol and grapefruit bitterness. As hop oils coat the mouth, the bitterness lasts and lasts.

This rye is medium bodied. The aggressive alcohol content provides a nice weight and texture. The minor amount of carbonation also aids in this texture. The beer makes full use of its 80 IBUs. The full on bitterness and 8% alcohol content are telling me that I'm going to be done with this when the bomber is empty. However, this bottle was no chore.

Not surprisingly I found Hop Rod Rye to be comparable to Founders Red's Rye PA. As Founders is distributed here I will probably not seek out Hop Rod again; but if you are in an area of the country that distributes one but not the other, I can fully recommend either of these fine hopped up rye ales.

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Photo of NWer
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber. 8% abv on the label.
It's about time I tried this beer. I've looked at it long enough and what a treat.
Dark murky brown a result of being unfiltered and loaded with hops - according to the label. Fine with me. A beauty to behold much more appealing than the highly filtered stuff.
Rye and hops. i've died and gone to heaven. Wonderful balance to be praised with words usually reserved for the most revered beers.
Outstanding effort.
If you haven't tried a rye beer and want to, this is the one.
Update 11/08/11 Reality check just to make sure I didn't get caught up in the moment. Revisited since my initial review and it's everything I remembered. The gold standard for the style in my opinion. So, why is this classified an American IPA when clearly it's a Rye beer? It even says so on their website.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours reddish-brown with a thick, off-white, foamy, long lasting head. Aroma is of sweet caramel malt, ripe fruit and piney hops. Medium, slightly crisp body. Herbal hops, spicy rye are balanced by caramel malt and ripe fruit on the palate. Long, spicy, dry finish. Simply the great brew.

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

A: Poured into my pint glass, this brew pours a chestnut brown with a 1 inch medium tan head. This head is leaving some good lacing, and this brew is almost impressive enough to be perfect.

S: A strong rye/toasty aroma is present among piny "raw" hops. The aroma in this brew is great, yet underpowered (as is with Racer 5).

T: The flavor completely makes up for the aroma. Full of piny fresh hop goodness. Rye is a strong backbone and a welcome flavor change for an "IPA".

MF: Mouthfeel is good for a hopped up hot rod. Finish is as smooth as a Lincoln.

D: Drinkability at 8% is spot on.

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

12 oz.

Pours a cloudy reddish brown with bits of particulate matter floating in it, presumably yeast, with a medium eggshell head with pretty good retention.

Smells of strong floral and bitter hops with hints of mild rye grain.

Tastes hoppy and bitter, with noticeable rye in the aftertaste. A bit of sweetness rounds out the profile.

Mouth is moderate with mild carbonation on the back of the tongue.

A very good and tasty rye-P-A. A must try for IPA fans.

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

I can't remember why I haven't reviewed this before but I've had it a few times and I liked it a lot. Pours a medium brown with a transluscent body hinted with orange and ruby. Head and lace are impressive and tan. The nose is a hoppy melange of pine, citrus, and other fruit. Sugary sweet malt balances the bitterness well.

An initial blast of hops is rounded and counteracted brilliantly by the full caramel and bread notes in the malt. The rye adds a spicy note that hits the spot. The aftertaste returns order to this IPA with pine and citrus. Overall, this is satisfying and delicious and goes down ridiculously easy for eight percent.

Wow, this is even better than I remember. Must be tried.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a ruby amber color, with a thin, thick layer of sparse head. A little bit of haze in the coloring, and lots of sediment throughout the beer, which they do a good job of warning you about on the label. Smells are heavy on the hops, with a little malty sweet balance. The beer is bitter-sweet, with hops and caramel sweetness. Also a smokey-toasted malt flavor throughout, which keeps the hop flavors nice and smooth. The beer is a bit dry and smooth in mouth. The sediment really issn't overly bothersome. Quick on the finish, with a lingering hoppy and sour aftertaste. The beer leaves alot of flavor on the back of the tongue, while puckering the front tongue and lips a bit. Makes it really easy for the follow-up gulp.

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

Split a bomber; poured into a pint glass.

A: Ruby red with a three finger head that sticks around.

S: Lots of hops! Just a hop bomb in the nose.

T: The hops dominate, but the twangy sourness from the rye peeps through and the caramel-like malts a present as well.

D: Good drinkability. Not overbearing or heavy, but nice and interesting.

Overall: Well its not an IPA, thats for sure. Its a rye beer, and if not that, a Double IPA, but its a great beer nonetheless. Affordabiity is the cherry on top!

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Photo of mjsheehan08
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Two finger head sits on top of this reddish, woody colored beer. Has kind of a dark murky brown look to it.

Really great hop oil smell with some grassy notes kind of smells like dried grass. Really floral notes that leave me thinking that I really like the smell of Rye in my IPAs.

Sweet bready malts that finish with a really great hop finish. A little bit of spiceness is present from the Rye, and it is blended in a perfect way with the malt for one of the best feelings an IPA has ever given my palate. Honestly, there isnt much to say about this beer other than it is fantastic. I could barely take my time with this beer because it was so good I wanted to keep drinking it.

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

A - Pours a slightly hazy amber brown. The 2 finger tan head stands strong and holds very tight. A good amount of sticky lace.

S - Large amounts of resiny and pungent grapefruit with a good dose of fruit bread wrapped in. Very hoppy nose on this brew.

T - A fruity toffee malt dominates. Fresh grapefruit, pineapple, and some pine adds lots of flavor with the bitterness sticking to the sides of the tongue. Faint hints of rye but more of a tobacco flavor comes through to add an extra layer of flavor. Great finish. Dry and hoppy. Bitterness lingers.

M - Medium to full bodied smoothly floats over the palate.

The nose is full of hop aroma and the flavors have serious balance. The rye is there but I probably wouldn't have picked it out if I didn't know.

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Photo of gopens44
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Big generous frothy head that doesn't go anywhere quickly. Color was a hazy dark copper with a pleasant fun time floaty object thing happening.

S - Bright, vibrant piney hops with a very well balanced amount of malt aromas rising up as well.

T - Brilliantly bitter and extremely well crafted. Balance is almost great, yet it seems to be just a little hot, bu tin a very nice "bold drinking experience" kind of way. The piney hops in the nose come across in the taste with just a touch of earthiness to it.

M - Very smooth and again, well balanced in the carbonation and body.

This here beverage is an exceptional beer!

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Photo of LukeD23
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber color, with a minimal head. Got some floaters in this one, but not to much.

Aroma, is nice, apricot and caramel stawberry, slight earthy note of pine. Overall aroma is sweet. I do get a strange smell, I think it might be the rye, spicy and tart.

Flavor, I love the finish on the flavor, crisp, slightly spicy and loads of tropical fruit. Up front is nice as well, big sweet hop flavors backed with spicy malt and mango. The flavor on this beer is so wonderfully complex, it rolls from one flavor to the next so nicely.

Mouthfeel is nice, full with a crisp finish.
Drinkability is good but it is a big beer with alot of flavor, I would say one to two at most for me.

Overall this is a wonderful imperial IPA. It kinda bridges a west coast DIPA with an East Coast imperial IPA. I like it, Im sure it would be even bigger on the aroma fresh on the west coast.

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

Pours auburn/amber with an off-white and creamy two-finger head. Thick lacing.

Aroma has a big citrusy hops presence with a solid malt sweetness behind it. Grassy hops as well. Rye toast earthiness.

Hops lead the taste, citrusy, bitter, pine and grass. It has a nice bite to it. Similar to a creamy brown ale with a bit of spice and a solid dose of hops. The flavors blend and complement each other quite well. Earthy/herbal malts with toast and some toffee sweetness.

Leaves a smooth dry aftertaste from the hops. Great beer.

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

The beer pours a deep brownish-amber color with a nice foamy almost frothy head. The aroma is hop-filled with a sweet citrusy and floral smell with maybe a small hint of pine. The carbonation is smooth and has an incredible mouthfeel that makes you want to savor this beer on your tongue. The rye malts are a nice spicy touch giving this IPA a bit different flavor that's a welcome change from the norm. The finish is a bit bittersweet both literally and figuratively as you'll want to keep coming back to drink some more.

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Photo of JMad
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured a 22 oz bomber of this into my tall beer glass...

The beer is dark copper with reddish hues, there is a huge tan colored, rocky head.

A bouquet of hop scents, pine needles, lemon and a hint of mint.

I tasted mostly pine with some orange marmalade, sweet caramel malt, I couldn't detect any rye.

This beer is medium bodied with soft carbonation that reminded me of pop rocks and it has a long dry finish.

There is absolutely nothing bad to say about this one at all, it drinks easy for such a high abv, and I think the rye kind of starts coming through in the aftertaste.

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

Was looking for a Rye beer to get inspired for new homebrew and came across this one...I wish it wasn't an IPA cause I was hoping to get a strong rye flavor but still great and especially so at $5.

A. Beautifully clear amber to copper hue. Awesome creamy two-fingered head that left a nice lace.

S. Complex yeasty aroma that turned malty. You definitely notice some spice and then the hops. Wonderful stuff!

T. Big malt flavor...the yeast recedes a bit and you get some mix of baking spice (warmth) and a really nice bitter finish.

M. Lighter than I would've thought...leaves behind a mild syrup-like residue...a slight tackiness.

D. Its maybe good for a couple but the law of diminishing returns does affect this one.

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Photo of crazyjoedivola
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of a bomber into a tulip. Pours deep mahogany with amber around the edges of the glass. One finger of beige head recedes but leaves solid lacing.
Smell is a hoppy dream. Pineapple, pine, with grapefruit acidity.
Creamy smooth flavor leads with the sweetness but then comes the rye notes and finishes with a long resiny hoppy bitterness
Great creamy mouthfeel with dry finish
Drinkability is tricky given this is really a DIPA at 8%. But the bomber really never stood a chance

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

A: Deep ruby amber red. Beautiful thick creamy head, almost like a stout.

S: Creamy rich rye and slight citric overtures

T: Deliscious. This to me is a fusion of a red ale, an IPA, and an american stout. It fuses the elements masterfully. Smooth creamy initial flavor, then tart slight fruity bitter IPA effect. The rye adds a nice earthy backbone. Extremely flavorful. I've had this on tap and it's blown my mind. I've had this in a bomber and it was almost as good as on tap. In a 12 oz bottle is is still excellent, but it doesn't taste quite as sublime. Maybe it isn't as fresh as my previous tasting. Still, an amazing brew.

M: My favorite part of this beer is how is feels. It has a wonderful balance between bitter and sweet and the carbonation is very understated in an excellent manner.

D: Extremely high. Despite the 8 % APV, it goes down fast and furious. This is not a sipper, but a gulper! And watch out at 8 %!! The only thing holding it back from a 5 is that it is dangerous to drink too much of this! It is so smooth and flavorful!

One of my favorite American beers!

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

From Notes

A: Chestnut brown with blood red highlights, two finger head with lacing.

S: If you where lost in a pine forest, and came across a log cabin from which you caught a whiff of freshly baked rye bread cooling on the window seal, you would have this beer.

T: Hops to the front and hops to the rear, with a sweet rye malt in the middle.

M: This beer is sticky on the tongue but the body is medium and the carbonation is ample.

D: Oh so good and oh so dangerous, the abv is so hidden you could drink more then a few, but don't if your driving.

Great beer and a must try for all.

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Photo of stckhndlr
2.7/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A- Nice dark amber color but there was no head and very sad lacing.

S- Has alot of hops. strong hop smell but there is a hint of what to me smells like kalamata olives. don't get me wrong I like kalamatas but not in my beer.

T- This is like dating a really hot chick that later tells you later that she has turrets. Starts off great but goes down hill fast. great flavor up front with a hint of citrus blueberries. but the aftertaste is horrible. kinda like when you throw up in your mouth and then swallow. has that stomach acid taste.

M- feels great. has a spicy bite with a creamy feel.

D- Drinking it is fine, as long as you keep drinking it. It when you stop that it goes bad.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No bottle date present. Purchased in a 4-pack in Wilmington, DE.

A: Pours a deep amber with then off white head that goes away quickly. Some lacing on the glass. OK carbonation. Like other Bear Republic beers, lots of floating sediment in the bottle.

S: I get malts and some piney/earthy hop aroma from this one. It doesn't jump out at you as much as I expected.

T: As some other reviewers mentioned, this has a solid malt base initially that leads to a good crisp hoppy bite at the finish. The hops are earthy. I also get bready yeast....sediment?

M: This is medium bodied with a crisp finish. Not too coating, but some chewiness.

D: 8% was hidden pretty well. I drank this fairly quickly and didn't get destroyed by the ABV. I could drink a few in a sitting.

Overall, another solid brew from BR. Really enjoy their line but wish the floating sediment wasn't there in most of them.

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Photo of spree92
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A heavy, reddish-amber with a quick dissolving head. The smallest of bubbles are noticed and rise slowly. A citrus peel flavor coupled with a nice, smooth bitterness is a delight. Alcohol at 8% is not very noticeable. I'm on a huge IPA trip now and this one is a treat.

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Photo of BaronRogue
4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have a feeling that the beer was a little old when i got it, and not refrigerated, but i wanted to try it so here we are.

Poured from a bomber into my chalice. Deep clear red, brown-red. Strong head and nice lacing.

Smell was raisins, hops, and alcohol, in that order. Not great but maybe that's its age showing through.

Taste was hoppy and sweet, with a hint of rye and little backbone of malt. Quite tasty.

Felt really good in the mouth, nice and creamy.

Would love to try it on tap, as i feel like i missed out, but this is a great beer nonetheless.

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