Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
4,725 Ratings
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A high gravity IPA brewed with 18% rye malt. Hop Rod Rye has a floral hop aroma and subtle caramel notes with a slightly earthy and spicy rye character.

2009 California State Fair – GOLD
2003 California State Fair – GOLD
2002 Real Ale Festival (Chicago) – GOLD

Added by Quaffer on 03-27-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,725 |  Reviews: 2,080
Photo of oc0dyc
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Two to Two and a half fingers thick head

S - VERY hoppy - smells just like an IPA

T - Strong hops in the taste as well (the name doesn't lie!). Reminiscent of Diamond Knot's Industrial IPA. Slight metallic aftertaste

M - Well carbonated, crisp, stings the tongue slightly

D - A great beer no doubt. Would be hard to have more than a couple due to the strong taste, but delicious!

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Amber color with a head that leaves a nice lacing

S-Mixture of powerful hop aromas and breadlike malts. Smelling some rye.

T-Excellent hop flavors blended with doughy malts and some unique spice notes. Rye really makes this guy a special brew.

M-Fuller bodied. Taste sticks around thankfully. Yum.

D-Good drinkability especially for the 8% alcohol. Had some bombers and a few four packs. The four pack is perfect.

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Photo of cbak999
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep amber, almost brown, with a darker than normal tan head. You can't see much light through this beer.

S: Spicey and floral. Hops.

T: First taste is of caramel. The second taste is hops, and then spicey. The spicey taste sticks with you after each swallow.

D: A very smooth IPA. Perhaps more malt than I like, but at 80IBUs that makes sence. This drinks almost like a black IPA. Very good though. I will likey purchase this beer again down the road!

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Photo of scottyb88
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Judging it as an IPA with Rye malt. No bottle date, aroma and taste may have been subdued.

A- pours a dark reddish brown color with plenty of lacing and a nice off white head

S-mild citrus and a nice caramel maltiness with a slightly smokey background

T-a really nice toasted nut flavor up front, some smokiness in the middle, and a bite of hops at the end; it's not overly bitter, nor is it overly malty...very unique and delicious. hints of rye whiskey are in there, but it's not overpowering and not nearly as smokey as some whiskies

M-really full and creamy; great carbonation level; it reminds me of Sierra Nevada quality; aftertaste is really nice with hardly any bitter bite and some nuttiness

D-not quite sure of the bottle date on this beer so I might be missing out on more hop character; it's a great beer that is not overdone by the rye, but adds a subtle smoky character and a great deep color

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Photo of cooncat
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as a single from Save-On in Mentor, OH. for $2.00/12 oz. bottle.

Poured into my S.A. glass at fridge temps, had to do a fairly hard pour to raise about a 1/2 inch beige head. The beer is a deep bronze/copper in color. Head dissapates rather quickly to a very thin cap, but some nice lacing developes as the beer is quaffed.

Hops up front in the nose, mostly citrus in nature. A bit of carmel makes it through the hops.

The taste is similar to the nose; hops are up front, with caramel in the background. The use of rye seems to add a bit of spice to the flavor, not usually found in other IPAs/DIPAs. Despite the 8% abv, no hint of alcohol is detected .. perhaps just a little warming in the tummy. Mouthfeel is medium, with moderate carbonation helping here. (definitely not 'bitey' by being over-carbonated) Drinkability is better than expected, as this doesn't feel like an 8% ABV beer. It goes down very smooth, so I could see quaffing more than one of these in a session easily.

I've always enjoyed Bear Republic brews, and feel that they consistently put out a good product. Hop Rod Rye is another good example of a solid brew. Recommended!

Na Zdravje!

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Photo of Mavajo
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a ruby-brown color with a billowing cream head - absolutely gushes up the glass. Good retention and great sticky lacing.

Aroma is of hops and bready malts, with perhaps a hint of rye - though that could just be power of suggestion. While the nose was good, the taste was phenomenal. What a wonderful flavor profile here - you've got a great malt backbone with the rye bringing a nice smoothness, and then the hops cutting through it all. Delicious.

The mouthfeel is superb as well. Medium to full bodied with creamy smoothness.

This is a tremendous beer. I wish Bear Republic distributed here.

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Photo of TheSarge
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours perfectly with a four finger thick head, when poured into a half liter dimple glass. The body is mildly hazy, and is a dark ruby red in color.

The aroma is spicy, grassy, floral, and grapefruit in character.

The taste is nicely balanced between the heavy toffee malt backbone and the sprucy hops that thrash the palate.

I love this beer. The rye really plays well agains the massive onslaught of hops.

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Photo of GarrettMD
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown, very dark for an IPA, darker than most browns. 1 finger creamy white head.

S - Smells mostly of citrus hops, not much else coming through.

T - Taste definitely doesn't have as much hops as expected. Malt comes through a lot. Caramel malts dominate, doesn't taste like what the color suggests, still tastes like a typical IPA malt-wise. Some rye comes through, but really not as much as I was expecting, still noticeable. The hops are mostly citrus staying constant the whole way through.

M - Medium bodied, drying finish with the same hop bitterness as the initial taste.

D - Good drinkability, Definitely a good beer that I will get again.

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Photo of seand
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep color with a small amount of bubbly light tan head. Just a thin layer with some patches of bubbles retains, but it's enough to leave pretty good lacing.

S: A fairly rich sweetness, with a touch of rye that I'm sure I can only detect because I'm specifically looking for it.

T: It's quite smooth, with a full sweetness moving into a huge hop finish. Maybe there's some rye but mostly I taste hops.

M: Full bodied, somewhat chewy, medium carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable for a big beer.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Why this is in the American IPA category, I'll never know. Apparently there aren't enough rye beers to have their own category?

This is the darkest "IPA" you will ever see. Dark copper that is fairly opaque. Reasonable lacing.

Lots of rye with a hint of sourness from the hops on the nose.

Like others have stated, incredibly smooth taste. But I think this is where the beer falls short. It has RYE right in the name, boasts of being made with "18% Rye" on the bottle.. yet the rye is overpowered by the hops. Overpowered is too strong of a word, I would say neutralized. To their credit, it is a balanced beer and quite drinkable, but I was hoping for more Rye. I live in california for christ' sake. West coast hop bombs are a dime a dozen.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into Spaten mug. Pours a deep brown with a two finger off-white head that subsides slowly. Maintains excellent lacing throughout. The aroma is comprised of wheat, malt, and hops. The flavor is of wheat, subtle malt, and nice refined hops. It is medium on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this is quite nice and refreshing. The hop character isn't overwhelming and is almost spot on. I have passed by this MANY times in the stores and not looked twice at it. This bottle might have changed that forever...

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Photo of bmwats
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a standard pint.

A: Medium, dark brown. Pours about 2 finger, frothy, brownish-white head. Leaves some dry sticky lacing as the head disintegrates very irregularly and unevenly. Very substantial lacing coats the entire inside of the glass.

S: Malty and very hoppy. Yeast with some floral notes, and a hint of caramel.

T: Bitterly hoppy, but with a bit slightly sweet and robust malted flavor. Has almost an iced tea tone.

M: Bitter throughout. Almost to the extent that it shocks the palette on arrival, and lingers to the end. Dry.

D: A sipping beer. The hops demand it to be so.

Great atmosphere. The appearance is formidable and intimidating, and the nose is not complex but very full. Flavor, also not complex, but does it what it does well. Some different notes with a very slight sweetness to offset the hoppy character. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of Chizoad
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up on a recommendation. I am glad I got the 4 pack, because this stuff is amazing.

Gave it a vigorous pour, and out came a caramel colored cloudy brew with a 2 finger head that left exquisite lacing. The head faded eventually to a thin layer on top.

Very muted smell, possibly because it was too cold at first. As I work my way through the 4 pack this number may be revised. Hop bitterness and quiet malts.

Wow, great hops up front, amazing malt and as it warms they come together perfectly. Many layers of flavor here that change over time. Not good enough to name what's going on, I just know that I love it.

Very low carbonation, and on the heavy side of medium body. I think a little more carbonation would be better, but maybe it would mess up the flavor. Still, it took some coaxing to bring out the bubbles. That said, it's amazingly drinkable and it could easily be sneaky 8% abv bottle after bottle through a session.

**Edit: the rest of the 4-pack was a little more carbonated than the first bottle I had. The mouthfeel improved to what can only be described as perfect, but I do think the flavor actually suffered just a tad. I still love the beer and would be happy to drink it every day for the rest of my life.

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Photo of Soonami
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful beer that defies categorization. Hop Rod Rye has the great grapefruit and floral hop aromas of American IPA's, but is made with rye, is darker than the standard, with a fuller mouthfeel and slightly higher alcohol content. The aroma is a very enticing combination of orange flower and grapefruit zest. The beer is a very nice juxtaposition of piney citrusy west coast hops with spicy rye The beer is thick, luxuriously coating the tongue with each swallow. This is a very good beer, but with the sweetness and 8% abv, it might be a bit much to handle

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Photo of ianmhall
4.51/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

very excited to drink this one which i netted on a trip up to table and vine in west springfield, ma... i'm drinking this beer out of my trusty stemless bordeaux glass

Appearance- the beer pours with a great thick head creamy white it is very fluffy, very enticing even as it thins out, a beautiful lacing... this nectar is dark brown with orange and red highlights about 10% opacity

Nose- not overwhelming me at first maybe its a bit cold on the first sniff, there is some alcohol here but the nose as this elixer sits becomes quite the more daft. Sweet fruity yet earthy, caramelized pear, some light muddled citrus like a lemon cooking in mollasses, a bit spicy with big fruity esters-- some pecan pie, some stewing plum

Taste- like ayinger celebrator had a cousin who moved to California and became a celebrity after he starred in pineapple express... yes this beer is good, like gets better with each sip good, caramelly, toasty, and chocolaty with lots of spicy, pert hop flourish, every sip is a little different, there is tremendous depth to this beer... as a sit admiring the aftertaste i start to think of orange tootsie pops... seriously

Mouthfeel - balanced, and very pleasing (as long as you like a hop finish) dry, yet sweet the hop bite here unarms the any concern of a sometime cloying malty sweetness in brown ales like this...

Highly drinkable for lovers of big hoppy ales, quite imperial brown rye ale (IBRA) or (DRBA) doppelrye brown ale for me not that it matters overall better than i had thought at first sip this beer really gets better as you go, durn good...

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

A - Poured a dark brown with hints of red with a one finger very light tan head. Excellent retention, and heavy lacing left in the glass.

S - Very hoppy, slight citrus, and maybe a hint of caramel or some other sweetness

T&M - Lots of crisp hops and dark, malty taste upfront. The rye comes through more heavily towards the finish with another burst of hops. Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp.

D - This beer is excellent. I take a sip and taste slowly, but as soon as i savor the lingering aspects of the beer, I just want more. After the first time I had had it a while ago, I felt guilty drinking it, like I should be saving it for something special...but it's too damn good to do that.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had to try this when I found out it was one of the top 100 beers. Found it for 7 bucks at D's six packs and Dogs.

A - A very nice dark amber with an inch of fluffy white head

S - Wow the rye in this beer is spicy. Also can smell quite a bit of hops which seems to be balanced well.

T - Very smooth. Really expected more hops but the rye really balanced the flavor leaving a malty bready taste. Really good.

M - Medium bodied and full of flavor.

D - Well I may have it again but I really didn't love it. Guess I will let others drink it.

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Photo of Pittsburgh
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-review, had this a while ago and am now getting around to it for a second time. Nice bitter flavor, tastes like a red ale/IPA combo, very complex, easy drinking, has a fruity and sticky quality to it, yet it is very smooth and refreshing at the same time. Score stays the same for me, even after all the other beers I have tried in between, this one stand the test of time. All time great.

Overall, a solid beer, right on par with what I was expecting, which is an above average brew, never had a Bear Republic beer, but I am ready to try others.

Pour was very nice with an above average amount of foam that sticks around for a while and then settles down to a thin layer.

Hops, are excellent, nice pop, bitter, gets you in the back of the mouth, has a piney/fruity element as well, tasted fresh, full of flavor. Balanced with a alight bit of malt, to make it a pretty complex beer. Good from start to finish, the last sip with some sediment at the bottom was awesome.

I put this up there to go toe to toe with any IPA I've ever had...very solid. I will be getting this again.

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Photo of jsanford
4.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a beautiful dark amber/orange with a huge foamy 3 finger head. Nice lacing.

S - I love the smell of this beer, one of my favorites! Very crisp grapefruit hops, slightly bready malts, definite rye "spiciness".

T - Caramel malt backbone with a lovely balance of grapefruit hops. More rye and pepper. Really well put together.

M - Amazingly smooth, crisp, and refreshing. Carbonation is spot-on. Medium bodied.

D - Ummm...where did my growler go?! Very drinkable, absolutely no hint of the 8% ABV. Amazing beer, definitely one of my favorites, and at around $5 a bomber its one of the best deals you can find. Great job, Bear republic!

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

Received as a gift.. I've wanted to try Hop Rod Rye for some time, but as a malt-head, I've always found something else to spend my beer dollars on.

Pours from the bomber an orangey-amber color with an assertive three fingers of head. Some lacing remains long after the pour, and a small cap of head never completely recedes. Very good looking beer. As for the aroma, this might be the most IPA-smelling IPA I've had. Right after the pour, the head, straining at the edge of the glass, holds a piney bouquet. I notice increasing citrus as the beer warms, particularly grapefruit.

When the beer was colder, I smelled and tasted some rye spiciness, but it's definitely secondary to the hops. Particularly noticeable is lemon and grapefruit hoppiness, and I really can't pick up the rye after having sipped for half an hour. At first, I couldn't pick out much in the way of malt either, but there's a small pocket of sweetness I observe when initially taking each sip. Unexpectedly, I noticed more alcohol when the beer was colder than I did after it warmed up. Hop Rod Rye presents a bitter mouthfeel in that post-swallow, the bitterness coats the mouth and tongue. While sipping, however, the beer drinks rather smoothly.

Hop Rod Rye was tasty as far as hop bombs go, and it seems well crafted. Although the ABV is on the high side, I didn't find this to be a messy, thrown-together brew. If I was a hop head, I think I'd return to this one.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.97/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle tried 14 Jan 2008. Courtesy of my brother, thanks!

Large light brown head. Moderate carbonation. Clear, medium brown color. Lots of grapefruit, resin and caramel in the aroma, maybe some rye. Lots of citrus and resin to start. A little more rye in the flavor but not as much as expected. Some spiciness, moderately sweet and caramel. Medium body, ethanol well hidden.

Well balanced, quite drinkable.

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Photo of eclaycamp
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber. Pours a rich copper that reminds me of a new penny. Color aside, the head on this beer is quite impressive, huge and billowing with tons of lace that absolutely sticks to the sides of the glass. Aroma is fantastic, though a bit light. I get lots of pine with some notes of bread, most likely from the rye. Really love the depth that the rye adds to the taste, lending incredible balance to the beer. Caramel and bread up front, followed by a very enjoyable finish of light grapefruit. Little to no alcohol character, which is surprising given the ABV. This beer is pretty incredible.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

hop rod rye. 6 something a 4-pack at woodmans, also at that place in the nemisis city.

a 4.5 brownish amber, or ambery brown. not much head at first but good retention excellent lacework.

s 4-4.5 big grapefruit hops, bread, those candied citrus things you find in easter bread. it's liquid easter rye bread soaked in ruby red.
[note to self: buy fresh bottles and be sure the last one smelled lousy due to age.]

t 4-4.5 flavor is a little mellower than the nose suggests. there's a bit of bite up front but then the bottom sort of drops out. some grapefruit does manage to linger, and there's a rye essence that subtly pervades the whole deal. subsequent 4-packs convince me there's more to this than at first.

m 4.5-5 about medium body but with nice hop resinousness. the carbonation is soft, incredibly finely bubbled.

d 4.5 bought these with the intention of cellaring some, but i have doubts that aging would do them any good. the flavors are already well integrated and don't need more restraint, and a reduction of the aroma would certainly not help. basically, too good now to justify waiting.

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Photo of glazeman
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. This is one of those beers that I've heard is good, and always see sitting on the shelves at the various beer stores around town, but that I have always walked by and thought, "Oh, I'll try that sometime soon" but keep passing up. Well that time has come...

A: pours a dark brown but fairly red when held up to the light. A vigorous pour yields a half finger light tan head that has sub-optimal retention but nice lacing.

S: Rye and nuts, but not a very aromatic beer.

T: As the name implies the rye really comes out in this beer and is quite good! For some reason it reminds me a lot of raison d'extra but without the big alcohol kick. Perhaps this is because this beer has flavors of plums/raisons in addition to the rye. There is a nice hop finish that balances out the sweetness that comes out up front.

M: Pretty good feel. Nice level of carbonation. Medium bodied.

D: Wonderfully drinkable. The alcohol in this beerl is hidden well, it's not overly sweet, and tastes great. I would love to have this more often...luckily it's easy to find.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark iced tea color with a 1/2 beige head that fades to a film. Very little lacing.

S - Pine hops and slight malt aroma.

T - Bitter pine hops with slight malt taste.

M - Slightly flat. Coats the mouth.

D - Not too good. Hop dominates but tastes off.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 4,725 ratings
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