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:
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Ratings: 4,725 |  Reviews: 2,080
Photo of kwjd
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
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 +5.2%
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 -4.5%
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 +10.2%
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 -14.7%
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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Photo of akorsak
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at Al's of Hampden.

A: The IPA is very dark, many hues away from the standard copper color. This is more dark caramel, approaching brown ale territory. The pour seemingly lacks nitro, as the head was negligible at best.

S: The nose is hoppy, muted a bit (perhaps a little long in the tooth), but still heavy woth pine and citrus. The muted hops allow the rich carraway and spicy rye to shine though. And man, I love those rye beers.

T: Much like the nose, the hops are bold but not as bold as they could be. Piney citrus, oily and thick, can be avoided. Again, the rye stands out more than normal, adding a rich peppery spiciness that overtakes the hops mid-sip. The dark bread, emboldened, is chewy, with carraway spice livening it up. I really like that the rye is prominent. The bready finish incorporates the resiny hop bitterness that has been lingering throughout.

M: The IPA is spicy, not in the hot way but in a rich, dark bread way. The emphasis on rye presents a stark contrast to the sharp hops, allowing both to play off of each other.

D: A meal in the glass. Bitter hops, chewy malts. The ale can't avoid its booziness though, so strength is an issue (albeit minor).

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Photo of zoso1967
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hop Rod Rye pours fairly deep amber with a copper hue. If this beer was wood, I would make a nice desk out of it. The head is parchment and minimal, but it has staying power and leaves nice lace. The aroma is of rye, sweet malt and pine. It also has a very estery fruitiness to it that I find quit unique. The flavor is a mix of pine, grapefruit, caramel malt and a touch of rye. Together they combine to create some interesting flavors that are very berry like. This is definitely a take no prisoners sort of beer, and while I am defiantly picking up what it's laying down, I wish there was more rye. A paltry complaint, but what can I say, I'm a rye whore. Also, the alcohol really shows through in the flavor, though the more I sip the more I think this just enhances the overall experience. The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium and is well balanced with a nice spiky carbonation that works well in the overall package. Pretty drinkable for style (this is def a double IPA, not a single as indicated) and another fine offering from bear republic. If only they could calm down about the copyright lawsuits...

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Photo of wolfinthemirror
3.81/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a really nice, translucent copper-brown color, much darker than the average IPA, i'd say. excellent lacing.

smells of sweet caramel malts up front with citrusy herbal hops in the background. pleasant, but maltier than i expected. there is a sort of toastiness to the malts.

Wow. Very good taste, but not what i'd expect from an IPA. This is really quite the malt bomb. I get a lot of the malt character that I detected in the smell and some smokiness with muted hop bittering towards middle and fading into the end.
The feeling on the back of the tongue reminds me that it's an IPA. There's quite a bit going on here.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied. the malts really beef it up for this beer.

I think this is a sipper for me, a 12 oz bottle would be plenty, but I've got a bomber to finish. This definitely isn't the beer i'd go to when I wanted a good hoppy IPA, but if i wanted to something on the maltier side, it's a good choice.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date.

(A) - Pours a hazy brown amber color that produced a good frothy tan head. It stuck around for awhile before dissipating; left some bits of lacing behind. A bit darker in color than your normal IPA, but it fits because of the rye addition.

(S)- A fresh burst of citrus: lemon, pineapple, and peach. It has a dryness to it at the same time with a light spice from the rye.

(T)- Again, a fresh citrus/hop kick with lemon, pineapple, and peach fruits. Has a light spiciness & sweetness that I appreciate that is like a caramel/bready maltiness.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Has a good bitter yet citrusy hop bite that is well balanced by an adequate malty sweetness. Surprisingly crisp and smooth too; refreshing.

(D)- A superb IPA that is even better with the rye addition. It has everything that is great about the style with a lightly spicy rye bread/caramel sweetness. I could easily have 2-3 bombers of this if I wanted to. Great stuff.

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Photo of regspeir
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 0z. bottle into a Unibroue tulip
Pours a dark mahogany brown, Almost looks like it should be a quad. Head is one-finger but sticky and lasting, leaving attractice lacing throughout. Nose is floral and earthy with some citrus (lemon, grapefruit) notes. Taste starts with some bitterness from the hops but moves to sweetness from the bready malts. Good carbonation. The Finish is somewhat bitter and dry with some alcohol warming. I was looking for more effects from the rye which weren't there for me. A decent IPA but not among my favorites.

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Photo of timholio
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Very heavy beer. I was drinking some other IPA's and had this one to compare it to. I prefer a lower ABV, this is such a heavy drinking beer.

This has very deep flavors and heavy hops of course. I prefer the lighter IPA's such as Blind Pig or Lagunitas IPA. This one has a particular strong flavor that reminds me of the Stone AB.

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

Pours a nice amber/mahogany color with a slightly tannish head, decent sized head that fades fast but there is a ton of patchy lacing all over my glass, good amount of sediment that dropped quite quickly to the bottle of my glass (there is a warning on the label afterall about this unfiltered ale).

Smell is a good balance between caramel malt and hops with the malt just eeking out ahead, definitely picking up rye that adds a nice dimension.

Taste is primarily caramel malt with rye and some slight bitterness from the hop contribution, the hops aren't really the showcase though in this IPA and that's fine with me as the caramel/rye characteristic is quite nice, carbonation is nice and soft which adds a creamy/velvety factor.

Another the hops aren't really as pronounced as they should be, this is a very good beer and one that I could see being a staple in my fridge if it was distributed in Maine.

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Photo of Banger530
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a transparent almost like a cherry wood color. A dark brown with hints of red. A very welcoming tan head on top. Nice lacing all the way down the glass.

I got a sweet almost earthy aroma. Definite piney and citrus aroma in there as well.

What can I say about the taste. Well balanced. A citrus flavor, of grapefruit, up front. A sweet piney flavor next. A hop bite with no alcohol flavor to finish.

Medium body with sufficient carbonation.

Very drinkable. Went down smooth. I could keep drinking this all night.

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

A: Clear dark red color. Poured a 1 finger tan head with good retention to a thick bubbly skim. Laced in broken rings

S: Floral, earthy hops aroma. Crystal malt and some peppery spice. Alcohol.

T: Crystal malt and citrus. More pronounced floral hops; slightly resiny. Sweet malt lingers ahead of a sharp bitter.

M: Medium to full body. Medium carbonation. Coating ahead of dry and slightly hot finish.

D: Big beer thats easy to drink.

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Photo of samie85
3.38/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is reviewed from notes; originally reviewed 4/24.

A-Pours a deep mahogany with a one finger light tan head into my tulip glass.

S-Grapefruit and pine hop notes with some caramel creeping in.

T-Bitter grapefruit upfront with pine and caramel in the middle. It finishes dry and bitter.

M-A little thin bodied with medium carbonation and a slick mouthfeel.

D-It's by no means a bad beer, but the bitterness makes it a little one-sided. Also, where's the rye??? I was expecting at least a hint of it, and I'm not picking up on it at all.

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Photo of snogglethorpe
3.23/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Despite the name, there's absolutely no hint of rye flavor. I really like the taste of rye in beer, so was disappointed to discover this.

Beyond that, it's not bad, but not really great either. There's some nice hop flavor in there, but none of the forwardness and bold flavors one usually expects from an American IPA, and no obvious subtlety to compensate for that lack. It just didn't seem very interesting.

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Photo of wingman14
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice dark red with a tall off white head. The smell was really hoppy with some sweet notes mixed with a malty tone. The taste starts hoppy with a citrus kick, stays nice and smooth then finishes with a bitter kick that is both malty with the rye and hoppy. This one has a nice mouthfeel, a heavy medium, very substantial beer, but not overwhelming. It was hard to believe this was 8%, but the kick came later. Nice deep flavors, great balance, definitely a beer to try.

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Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Dark red, almost burgundy that is so dense you cannot see through. There is also a decently thick tan head.

S- A floral earthiness/pinyness from the Amarillo hops.

T- At the front, you taste the floral earthiness/pinyness of the Amarillo hops. This hop flavor is mostly bitter, with a hint of sweetness toward the end of the sip. There is also a hint of dark malts that provide some more sweet to counterbalance the bitter hoppiness. The aftertaste is the bitter pinyness from the hops.

M- Great full, round body that coats your entire mouth with flavor, which is typical of the brewery.

D- Wouldn't mind having a bottle or two, but it is a filling brew due to the medium ABV, full body, and robust hop flavor.

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Photo of blackc5
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle at 48F into a tulip.

A - Pours a very dark brownish amber color, slightly hazy, with a significant offwhite, sudsy, large-bubble head. Nice retention and lacing.

S - Lots of floral and earthy hops, some graininess and a load of caramel.

T- A very nicely balanced IPA. The rye does wonders to balance the hop bite, which is assetive and considerable. A mild sweetness at first, it is quickly overtaken by the hop punch, yet it is not overly bitter in a punishing sort of way. Quite nice.

M - Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, dry finish. Anticipated this being a bit thicker, but it is adequate and satisfying.

D- At 8%, this is approaching DIPA levels, and it shows. There is a bit of alcohol warmness in the mouth. Overall, this is a great bear that deserves it's reputation.

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Photo of MCfunkyJ
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

In Ohio besides Columbus IPA and Sierra Nevada Torpedo this is the next best selection at most Giant Eagles, Whole Foods and etc.

However I live in California and have a much wider selection to choose from and this is not one that I would regularly pick up.

Its definitely worth trying if you have never had it before, just to put it on your list of IPA's.

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Photo of stbfan
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours red/amber with a nice tan head. Smells like hoppy aromas, very yummy pine smell. Tastes like mad hops.Wow, really complex tatse.Nice mouthfeel. Awesome balance with good bitterness and a nice malty back ground. Yummy. Nice medium mouthfeel Highly drinkable, with a nice alcohol warming.

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Photo of JamisonM
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Stone IPA glass

A: the look is nearly perfect color is a dark amber with some red in there pours a huge head and the head sticks with the beer head retention and lace are crazy good the head is rocky and does not wanna go away its not clear its got haze just fantastic

S: pine citrus a bit of spicy rye too I think the citrus is orange zest really smells clean and inviting

T: the hops malts and rye are all here and they are all battling it out on your tongue I get hops first with mainly citrus some spice from the rye comes through but all and all this is balanced but gives a huge hop kick. zero alcohol taste

M: med body med to to med high carbonation

D: no alcohol taste the 8% can jump up on ya real drinkable

overall: I am blown away! head retention was fantastic lace was fantastic taste fantastic the color looks great! I love the rye IPA mix extra points for originality. such a well crafted beer man, I loved it.

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Photo of pugdogbeer
4.74/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is a big, dirty beer with attitude to be loved.

Just opening the bottle released an overpowering smell of hops, hops and more hops with a chaser of rye smell.

A dark beer with a load of lace and attitude. After first mouthful I could feel the piney taste of hops stuck to the roof of my mouth.

This is not a beer for sipping as a big mouth will just be a massive hop explosion of taste.

The kicker is the rye. I felt it just complemented the amount of hops to give a big balance.

Amazing beer - but best left to last as anything else will be completely tasteless as Hop Rod Rye will claim your palate for its own!

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Photo of squidbrand
3.81/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into bourbon nosing glass (why not?).

A: About as dark as "amber" can be without rolling over into "brown" territory. Big, tenacious head with lacing to match. Looks thick. Promising, and unconventional if you think of this as an IPA.

S: I don't get the citrus-bomb aroma from this. Am I insane? Generally clean hop aroma with some orange peel, and sweet malt, with a brighter grain note from the rye.

T: Big malt taste at the start, and then a spicy rye rush as the mostly-clean bittering hops take hold for a solid, dry finish. The alcohol flavor really punches through at the end as well, detracting somewhat from the rye. I can clearly taste that 8% ABV.

M: Low carbonation, and thick as hell. Throat-coating sensation, like a whisky.

D: A slightly smaller version of this beer would be highly drinkable, but the thickness and the alcohol get to me. They call it a "specialty ale" and they are right. Feeling a little woozy after this bomber. Good flavor balance helps the situation a bit.

This is a respectable and assertive beer, but I think they went just a tad too far with it. I'd rather have a Founder's Red's Rye, which is basically a more controlled version of this.

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Photo of webbcreative
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark amber, with 2 finger sticky creamy white head. Left incredible lacing throughout the glass. Smell is Malty sweetness with piney citrus hops. Taste is all the same - malty sweetness - with big piney citrus hops, also some spiciness from the rye which is quite nice in this [D]IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium, but lowly carbonated. But is sticky sweet that is lips smackin' good!

Overall this is a great DIPA - not too sickly sweet as with some I have had.

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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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