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 hopsbreath
2.7/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Twelve ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. This is my third one in the past week, not because I particularly like it, but because I'm stuck with the four-pack I picked up.

The dark murky mahogany body has a lot of large particulate in suspension with a two finger crown of tan head sitting on top. Spotty lacing shows up throughout the drink.

Smell is the best part but seems like a big hoppy barleywine rather than an IPA. Big tropical fruits would dominate the nose were it not for the heavy malts intertwined throughout.

Tastes similar to a barleywine like I expected. Cloyingly sweet malt base has quite a bit of metallic bitter hops in conjunction. The spice I associate with rye is not really there. Why add the rye if its not going to star here? Not my favorite.

Mouthfeel is thick, syrupy, and sticky. Personal preference alert, but I prefer IPA's to have a thinner body.

Drinkability is on the low end. Big, heavy, and metallic just don't do it for me.

Like I said at the beginning of my review, I bought a whole 4-pack of this stuff and am now trying to drink through it although its taking over a week. This is not on my "must try list" but I do recommend, if you do try it, to simply by a single to determine for yourself if you like it.

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

Had this several times before within the last 2 years but mainly it was whilst discovering my palate for good beers and more specifically, the glory that is hops. Been regularly drinking Stone IPA/Ruination, GF West Coast, Hop Ottin, Torpedo for many months and now back to my "roots".

A- A gentle pour reveals a fairly dark, opaque, muddy amber with a nice 1 finger head - still hanging in there 2/3 of the way thru. I can see each sip in the nice lacing.

S- I can smell caramelly malts/maybe rye? Not sure. Also definitely detecting the hops.

T- Definitely bitter right off the bat followed by a balanced but strong taste of malts, a little rye, and a lot of really bitter hops. A little alcohol at the end, but not enough to prevent you from wanting another sip. Deliciously bitter and hoppy, with a very strong malt backbone. The rye is subtle yet makes this absolutely not your run of the mill every day IPA.

M- Creamy, but not super heavy.

D- Too high. I remember having a 22 oz. bomber of this before a couple of other 7%+ IPA's (quite some time ago) and receiving a buzz that was more than necessary. Anywho.

I remember thinking of my last few sips as juicy. This beer is delicious. Gonna be my go-to alternative IPA from now on now that I've remembered about it. Glad I have 3 more!

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Photo of horshack7
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a mug is a dark amber a little on the clear side but has mohagany hues around the edges. On top is a crown of thick off white head that is about two fingers thick. The head rentention is good. Upon thining out a nice display of lacing.

Aroma: Heavy grapefruit notes with underlying piney notes. Carmael malts present themselves in a subtle yet bold way.

Taste: This one has quite the creamy mouthfeel. A caramel sweetness gives it a sticky coating on the pallate. Nice citrus notes with pineyness rounding it out.

Notes: A tasty offering from Bear Republic. For this review I raise my glass to a very wonderful friend it's her birthday June 22nd. Cheers to you Happy Birthday Tigger.

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

Appearance: Poured a clear brown amber. Visible carbonation. 2.5 finger light khaki foamy head with very good body/retention. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Strong citrus and pine hops, with a syrupy sweetness. Grapefruit dominates almost everything, with hints of straight hop pellets. No malts in the nose.

Taste: Bitter hop taste, but heavily mixed in with darker caramel malts. Hops have bite, but not the fresh flavor of the nose. The rye malts give it a kick as well. Alcohol is present, but not overwhelming. Long linger.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Tingly to start, with moderate carbonation, and a bit of an alcohol bite to finish.

Drinkability: A very interesting IPA, with the rye malts. Very fresh hoppy nose, with a more balanced taste. The rye gives it an interesting kick, unlike the hops which usually fuel this style. Hops in the taste or more subdued than I would like, but aren't overly harsh like others. A good one to try.

Buy Again? Yes.

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

A - Mostly clear copper with a one inch off-white head that has good retention and lacing down the glass.

S - Not as strong as I had hoped, but has floral hop goodness backed up by a bit of caramel malt sweetness and some notable dryness from the rye and alcohol.

T - Sweet caramel malt backbone, perfectly balanced by floral hops and a mild rye spiciness, and a touch of grapefruit peel in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body, perfect medium carbonation level creates a light creamy consistency across the palate with a dry finish and little lingering bitterness.

D - Solid IPA, well balanced all around with no one element overpowering the other. Watch the 8% abv, it caught up to me quick.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

at prime bar. glass was chilled, waited for it to warm up.

pour was dark brown and black, very thick in appearance and a creamy head with heavy lacing.

scents were faint, not sure if the temp of the beer affected this, however i let it warm and not much changed. mainly floral and citrus with hints of spice.

i usually have this from the bottle. on tap, i was getting lots of earthy resin hop flavors. an intense bitterness between the hops and the rye.

very full bodied, a bit heavy over all. but all in a good way. mild to moderate carbonation.

this was good, but not something i would want many of. i far prefer this out of a bottle.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a very cloudy amber, almost brown, with a one and a half finger light cream colored head. Sediement floating in the middle of the beer. Nice lacing, though. Very strange for an IPA, though I'd assume that would be the rye

S- beautiful piney goodness with a slight backbone of warm citusy hops. Not too overpowering...gotta love it.

T- so bitter, yet so wonderful. Huge bursts of pine with the aftertaste of some light citrus. The first sip is a little overwhelming, but then it just turns into this sheer awesomeness of hops.

M- good feel. Its what I consider the perfect feel for an IPA...that happy medium being having a solid body without being too thick or too thin. Love it.

D- I don't know about this. Its a good gateway beer for novice hopheads, but could be considered a little weak for someone more experienced. I'm somewhere in the middle, so I really like it. Did I enjoy it more than Racer 5? I'm gonna have to buy more of it to think about that one.

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Photo of therube
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a solid head and good lacing. Not spectacular looking but problem-free.

Smells like an IPA but you can smell the rye and alcohol, not bad smelling

Very hoppy nose, sweet and complex, with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is balanced and smooth

Drinkable, but slightly too corrosive to drink more than one

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Photo of Tahoeman1971
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This very may well be the best beer I have ever had. I love the Racer 5 from Bear Republic and this extends the impressive ability of the brewery. The beer has the perfect balance between hops and mellow fruit character. It pours a beautiful color with a nice 2 inch head that laces for the entirety of the consumption. This is exactly what American micro brewing is about.

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

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass

A: Pours a deep maroon/mahogany color with a nice off white head. There is thick patchy lacing down the side of the glass.

S: A really nice combination of hops and citrus along with malt and thick caramel aroma.

T: Like the nose, a great combination of hops and malt, with the citrus upfront and then the malt with notes of the caramel and rye to balance it out.

M/D: Medium bodied beer with good carbonation. Overall I really enjoyed this beer, there is no evidence of the 8% abv at all, and drinking this one could get dangerous fast. I look forward to getting it again.

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Photo of airohead2001
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - great looking beer - deep amber, copper in color with a one finger head and excellent lacing.

S - piney and citrus hops dominate with the smallest hint of alcohol

T - a good beer, but certainly not one of the best IPAs I've had. Bitter hops upfront as well as in the finish. The citrus aromas that dominate the smell seem absent in the taste. IMO, this brew could use a bit more malt to balance out the bite of the bitter hops. I've seen this bottle for months at the liquor store, so maybe some of the taste has faded...

M - perfect mouthfeel for an ipa: not too thin, not too chewy, just the right amount of carbonation.

D - this is certainly a drinkable beer, limited only by the persistent bitterness of the hops upfront as well as in the finish. Even so, I would certainly enjoy this beer again for $4.99 a bomber, but it would be better if there was a bit more of a malt backbone.

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Photo of missingsense
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep, deep amber with a nice sticky head. Very good lacing.

S: An amazing floral hoppiness with a bit of grapefruit, raisins, and caramel. Very smooth and enticing aroma that evolves as the beer warms to include some piney hops and bready malts. I can't wait to taste it, but just smelling it makes me happy.

T: I must admit, the term "rye" turned me off just a little (only because I'm not a big rye bread fan), but I wanted to try it because I like their Racer 5 so much... and I'm very glad I did. Sweet, spicy, and bready notes collide to create a well-rounded brew with an exceptionally smooth lingering hop flavor. A perfect hint of bitterness finishes things off, but the bread-like malts stop it just short of being overwhelming.

M: Very thick, which is well appreciated for the style. When I drink a full flavored ale, I want each sip to fill my mouth and be a new experience, and this beer does just that.

D: The 8% is hidden oh-so-well. Just about perfect, as the flavor makes me want to enjoy it slowly to take it all in. Not a session beer, but it doesn't need to be.

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

Poured a 2 inch thick head, which was foamy and lingered for a while. Plenty of lacing on the side of the glass. Clear, amber-orange in color. Hop Rod has aromas of toffee, baking spices and roasted malts that blend nicely with the pungent, hoppy smell. There is a creamy mouthfeel, some sweetness (even a faint hint of black cherries), and then strong, malty flavors and mouth-drying hops and grapefruit. Overall a delicious and well-balanced beer.

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

A: poured a caramel brown with yellow highlights and a half finger of head that left good sticky lacing.

S: nice piney hop aromas up front with hints of citrus zest, caramel and malts that don't over power the nose. After a couple whiffs I did pick up a little rye bready scent.

T: the citrus grapefruit bitterness and piney hops punch the palate first with caramel accents and very faint bready rye notes. The grapefruit really ties in nice to intesify the bitterness.

M: medium body with a good amount of carbonation and has a nice hoppy piney bite on the finish.

D: pretty damn good IPA from bear republic. The rye is pretty faint in the flavor but still does justice as an IPA. I'm glad I have access to it on a daily basis

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Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

a - Pours a deep red/amber color with two inches of off white head and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of pine and citrus hops, sweet malts, and some fruit. Apples come out a lot.

t - Tastes mostly of the pine and citrus hops. Decent amount of bitterness in the taste. Little bit of fruity malts towards the end.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good IPA. Lots of nice pine and citrus hops in the smell and taste, but defintely well balanced and not a hop bomb. Very easy to drink and would definitely try again.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.33/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darker reddish amber color and the head protiens are hanging on for quite a while, very nice retention, frothy consistancy and good lacing. Man, i wish i knew the age on this one, i may have succombed to an old bottle of Hop Rod, but unfortunantly i have no idea, and as such i can only review what is in front of me, which is a semi moderate hoppy pale ale that shows alot of balance and a creamy and syrupy mouthfeel, with the Rye giving it a differant feel then your average ipa. Nothing exciting going on, some interesting notes once again just with the rye, but an otherwise average beer. I really hope this is a faded bottle, i really hope companies start printing dates on bottles.

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Photo of larryi86
4.69/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass

A- A reddish color with hints of brown, three finger off-white head.

S- Hops, pine and citrus, with a hint of sweet fruit.

T- Very well balanced and good. Very big bitter hops with hints of the citrus and fruit from the smell.

M- Smooth, good body, weight is just right for the taste.

D- This is very good and there is no hint of the 8% ABV. This is a great example of what an IPA is. If you have tried Racer 5 and enjoyed it you need to pick this up.

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

I've had this before but this one was thanks to Braleybbradford. Poured the bomber into a snifter.

A - Poured a deep brownish amber color with a 1 finger off-whte to tan head that dissipated to a slightly spotty covering. This one is unfiltered but I poured the first 3/4 of the bottle to not aggravate the sediment on the bottom. This bottle is a lot more filtered than the first one I tried that was very cloudy and chunky. As I peered into the bottom of the bottle there was a bit of sediment but not a solid covering on the bottom.

S - I get some different fruits due to the rye. There seems to be a pear and apple character to the nose that is a bit different but very nice. A bit of caramel or toffee malt to back the citrusy hops. As it warms the pine aroma is more prevalent ahead of the citrus.

T - Very balanced and quite excellent. You get a little pear upfront and a bite from the hops that if balanced quite nicely with some caramel malt followed by a nice bitterness and spiciness from the rye. There's a bit of a earthy aftertaste accompanied with a spiciness from the rye.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Goes down easy for the 8% ABV so watch out. There is a bit of a oily residue that hangs around from the aggressively hopped beer.

D - At 8% this one can do some damage as you can enjoy this one without thinking about what is going to happen after the bomber is gone.

Bear Republic produces some excellent beers but the consistency is not always there as this one was quite amazing as well as the first one that I had but they were a bit different. You know you will always get something very good but each batch will vary.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great beer from one of the best value breweries around. Pours a dark, reddish-amber color, with burgundy highlights and some generous foam. The nose is overload with fresh, juicy, resinous hops, which is the point, I suppose. Great hoppiness on the palate as well, as well as just a hint of the spicy rye. Dangerously drinkable. A four pack goes down way to easily.

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

I've never had a rye beer before, picked this up because I've really enjoyed Bear Republic offerings I've tried thus far. This was a great treat. Everything I'd expect from an American pale ale but also with delightful caramel/malty undertones. What a great combination. Beautiful orange/amber in color with lacing throughout.

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

Pours a brownish-red colour with thick slight off-white head. This may be the darkest IPA I've seen, but looks really nice. Smells of citrus hops and caramel. Taste is first some bitterness with citrus and piney hops, with lots of sweetness of a caramel flavour. Not a huge hop monster, but incredibly well balanced. This is a great beer.

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Photo of BabyBastard
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle, this may be the darkest IPA that I have ever seen. Great looking shade of dark, hazy amber with tan head that has great retention. Surely not what one would expect an American IPA to look like, but Hop Rod does not leave one dissatisfied.

Smell is hugely citrus hop filled, pine resin notes and caramel maltiness comes through in the nose. This is one exceptional smelling brew. Truly for the hop head. If you can't handle the hoppiness, steer clear here.

Tastes like a big mouthfull of pungent, sticky, oily goodness. After that huge hop bite, this brew balances itself out with a subtle malt backbone that holds it all together. This could be the definition of a wonderfully balanced brew. According to me, that is. And what do I know? I just know this may be the perfect brew. Maybe.

Carbonation is spot on here, nothing less is expected from Bear Republic. Always top notch. Has that oily hop feel, very smooth and easy drinking. This one may sneak up and bite you in the ass if you don't watch it. Treading on the double IPA turf, this hop monster certainly satisfies those hop cravings. I'd say this is most likely the best American IPA out there. Just my humble opinion.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in my SA Perfect Pint. Poured a hazy, reddish-copper with a dense, one inch off-white head that settles into a thin, fairly consistent cap. Broken sheets of lacing are revealed during the tasting and exhibit excellent retention. Nose starts off as sweet and malty with toffee notes, followed by a citrus hops presence that follows closely behind; a faint metallic quality also comes out towards the back. Taste follows nose - some piny hops in the mix and just a very light bitterness reveals itself at the back and the metallic quality disappers. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a lively carbonation and just the slightest viscosity and a little residual alcohol heat. This is a very tasty brew that has a big malt profile and falls a little closer to an IIPA than a standard IPA. Very tasty and complex, but not something I would drink more than one or two of in a sitting.

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

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Wow, defining this as an IPA is somewhat deceptive. Hop rod rye has an amber brown color, thick bubbly head with good retention and tons of lace - this looks like a double IPA. As the label warned me, there is some light sediment toward the end of the glass due to the unfiltered nature of the beer.

Smell: Very balanced aroma with tons of tops; grapefruit and pineapple citrus hops, soft pine, and a light spiciness from the rye.

Taste: Again, balance is the word of the night. The rye is a nice touch, adding some spice up front. It starts sweet to kick start the flavor. Hops are present throughout, but this is not just a hop bomb. Peach, grapefruit, pineapple, floral, and sweet pine hops provide such a great counter to the spicy rye. It finishes spicy with a sweet bitter touch. Very unique and profound.

Mouthfeel: I am not sure if it is the rye or the carefully crafted nature of the beer, but there is a dryness that just puts the feel over the top. It stays grounded, never completely unleashing its strength, and there is enough carbonation to cause my mouth to tingle for a minute. Creamy, with just a little hop oil residue.

Drinkability: Oh Hop Rod Rye, you slay me. This is probably the best balanced IPA I have had. This will be a regular in my fridge, and I could drink it all night.

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Photo of andyfrancis
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep red-amber. Not much head to speak of, the little bit looks nice.

Smells like a glass full of hops.

Taste of bitter hops up front followed by a slow rumble of alcohol and rye.

Pretty hot for 8%. Not that 8% is anything to scoff at. Still, the booze is not trying to hide.

Worth a try. Probably not for everyone.

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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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