Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

4,719 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,719 |  Reviews: 2,078
Photo of Anthony1
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional IPA grapefruit highly hopped with edge of rye, which made it quite interesting. Amber. Very drinkable to the point of drop off. Hop burps citrus aroma. Malts for balance.Roast tea, bitter aftertaste. Very bitter with some rye, very drinkable.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark caramel brown with a thin white head on top. Some lacing left behind.

Sweet malts mix with slightly bitter rye notes on the nose. A little bit of grassiness and some caramel. Aroma seems somewhat muted, could be a little stronger. No bottling date is given, so its hard to tell how old this bottle is.

Creamy, malty, hops mixed with rye. The taste is much like the aroma, but stronger. Again, caramel malts come through. Hops add bitterness and a slight amount of citrus. The overall flavor reminds me a bit of Arrogant Bastard, but not quite as fresh and tasty. Still good though.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and lightly carbonated with lingering bitterness. Very well done, but doesn't really come across as an IPA.

Drinkability is quite good. This beer goes down really quickly and the ABV is unnoticeable. Nothing is standout about the flavor, but it still tastes good and the body is elegant.

Overall, this is a tasty Rye IPA. Everything about this beer is good, with the body probably being the best aspect. Racer 5 is still my fave Bear Republic beer, but the Hop Rod Rye is another good addition to their lineup. Worth checking out.

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Photo of soco7tyx7
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep copper brown with a thick soapy off-white head with lacing throughout. Thin film of head till finish

S - A nice balance of hop and malt, but heavy on the malt. Sweet rye and tart dark fruits

T - Very malty with a citrusy hoppiness up front, in the body and in the finish. Hint of licorice and dark fruits. Finishes bitter with a lingering hop character. Rye malts very present. Very robust and full of flavor

M - Medium body, crisp, smooth

D - Incredibly tasty and super enjoyable. Loving every sip. I could definitely drink a ton of this and at the alcohol level, it would be dangerous! Alcohol is well hidden. Awesome beer hands down

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

A - I'm not sure if the bottle was simply a victim of my maniacal drive home, but the head on this was ridiculous! Poured a beautiful, cloudy amber-red. Throughout the course of drinking, the lacing was exquisite.

S - Rye, brown sugar, and an abundance of citrusy, piny hops.

T - I'm not sure how a beer bursting with this much hops flavor can be balanced, but this succeeds! The distinctive rye flavor and the malty backbone hold up well next to the delicious ever-present hops. This is certainly very bitter, but it's not a one-trick pony by any means.

M - Very good. Although it's not syrupy, there's definitely some substance here. A bit less than average carbonation, perhaps, but this suits the beer well.

D - I want another one right now. Very drinkable for 8%.

Suffice it to say that I was blown away by this beer. I've been a big fan of Racer 5 for awhile, so I'm not quite sure why I haven't tried Hop Rod until today. I haven't been this impressed by my first taste of an IPA since Two Hearted Ale - this is going to become a regular for me.

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a red in color with a little cloudiness and a quickly residing head.
Smells of bitterness and some apple, a nice combination.
Tastes more along the apple taste, with the obvious hops and floral notes. Interesting, I guess the difference between this and other IPA's is what I like. It is not a complete copy of all the others.

I like this beer.

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Photo of kshankar
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours brown/copper with some red hues. Thick off white foam. Great retention. Looks great. And the foam doesn't go away! Theres just a pillow of it with some of the most intense lacing I've ever seen on a beer.

Citrus hops, pine, malt sweetness dominate the aroma. Everything is there, and you can smell every bit of it.

Tastes like citrusy hops, pine, and a sweet malt balance. That pillowy foam is still there, by the way. Bitterness is done perfectly, and well...wow. Just wow.

Mouthfeel is medium, coats the mouth, a bit creamy.

Drinkability is still good..I'd have another. Easily one of the best IPA's I've ever had.

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

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz. bottle with a date of 05 15 0?. The question mark could be an 8 or a 9. I pray that it is 9 and I have to do a better job of finding the dates before buying!

A: Cloudy brownish-amber color witha nice light tan head with moderate lacing.

S: Boozy, tobacco scent probably due to age. Some pine hop aroma and sweet citrus.

T&M: Fairly smooth, medium bodied ale. Slightly rough carbonation. The taste is way better than the smell and I will have to look for a fresher bottle to taste in the future. Spiciness of the rye and hops are fairly well-balanced with a nice malt character. Hop bitterness is not sharp.
Finishes bittersweet.

Decent idea of what this may taste like when fresh.

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

A - Pours a very nice looking, deep brownish-amber color with a moderate sized beige head. Good retention and leaves some nice lacing behind.

S - Hop aromas with citric and slight pine qualities. Some spicy character as well, although I'm not sure if its the hops or the rye. There is also some sweet, caramel malt lingering in the background.

T - Big hop flavor with a pronounced, but not overwhelming level of bitterness. The hop flavors mostly conjure up thoughts of grapefruit and resinous pine. There is ample malt backing up the hops, lending some brown sugar and caramel flavors. The rye adds a spicy quality that really blends well with the other flavors.

M - Full bodied with a lighter carbonation. Has a very smooth, chewy, resinous mouthfeel.

D - A very well-made brew from Bear Republic. Great combination of flavors, and the addition of rye added an interesting touch. Quite drinkable for 8%, and at a great price for a 22oz as well. I will definitely revisit this one again.

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Photo of HayesdaHophead
2.86/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't have a lot to say about this beer. The rye character just didn't come through for a beer that brags on the label to have 18% rye in the grain bill.

Nice color and drinkable, but maybe I got an old bottle. It didn't seem to be super hoppy or have a distinct rye character. The bottle art is misleading. Not a bad beer, just not something I would buy again.

The label also seems to have another marketing error. It states the sediment might be there in the bottle due to a "truck-load of hops". It has been my experience that hops settle out pretty well in brewing and it is just yeast sediment in a bottle. Kind of shook my faith in Bear Republic to see that statement.

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Photo of n0rc41
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this beer in a 22oz bottle, poured it into a pint glass.

First off I love hi-IBU beers. call me crazy? whatever this beer has some serious kick behind it.

A= Great dark mahogany brown, with great off white cream color head! The retention to the glass for the lacing is unreal, I have small mountains growing off the sides of my glass, never seen lacing like this before.

S=you can really smell the hops. and a sweetness in it, entrancing smell.

T=Wow, you can taste the IBU's in it. wonderful taste. Starts off almost sweet and like the racer 5, then at the end its dry and WHAM 100+ IBU's are there. The rye they use is very noticeable first rye beer. great!

M=As i tasted my 22oz my glass got warmer, warmer it got the sweeter it got for some reason maybe the rye?? but mouth feel was what you would expect from racer 5's cousin(sort of)

D= could definitely drink a couple more!

I love the racer 5, for the ibu's. This hop rod rye, is way better. This is a great hoppy beer, with the rye its awesome! i highly recommend it to anyone.

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

From tap into glass

A- reddish mahogany color with great frothy head. Lacing sticks all over glass. A real hefty brew

S- strong hints of grapefruit and citrus. Followed by spices and sweet malt. Scent is very appealing

T- bitter grapefruit with a spicy follow up. The bitterness reigns supreme throughout consumption. There is some sweetness in between the grape fruits slapping the tongue

M- creamy and carbonated. Really engulfs the mouth with flavor

D- a great ipa from bear republic. The west coast really exemplifies the bitter ipa scene. Great brew that uses some sweetness... A bunch of bitterness... And a ton of flavor.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again from Shortysdude285 hooking me up. Poured into a pint glass,poured a clear maroonish color. Creamy light brown heading that left little lacing and the heading didn't last the whole ride. Went flat about halfway through.

Smell malts upon malts. Very bready in the nose with a subtle spicey rye finish.

Taste again is very malty.The bready maltiness is there but is dominated by a nice blending hoppiness. A has decent spicey yeastiness to it but where is the rye? It is there but is hidden.

Mouth is mid to full bodied. Smooth with decent carbonation. Nothing really popping here.

All and all a decent drink but I think this is a bit overrated.

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Photo of Shumista
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra in a trade, can't get this stuff here in Michigan. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a shaped pint glass.

Murky brown with a small off white head. Smell is hoppy with some bready malt. Taste is a dry bitter hoppiness with rye flavored bready malt. Very clean fresh flavors. Medium bodied and sticky mouthfeel.

I guess I don't really have anything profound to say about this one. It's really good but not mindblowing rye IPA. That's about it.

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

For 4 bucks a bottle how can you not.

Poured into a tulip and left a really nice sticky white head that lasts to the bottom. Great lacing; each sip and/or gulp is well documented on the side of the glass.

Smells of sweet hops and a hint of malt. Definitely has a load of hops in this beer. A great bitter kick on the tounge with the first sip with a rye twang. Man this beer is nice. Some citrus and spice play very well in this ale.

A bomber of this is the perfect serving size, well maybe two of them would be perfect... Very tasty. Grab one is you can....

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

On cask at Horse Brass PDX, 3.30.10.

One finger creamy white head, slow dissipation, big lacing. Dark amber body, clear, no visible carbonation from cask conditioned offering. The nose is sweet, piney, malt forward with noble hops, some citrus, pretty well balanced. Taste features a good dose of caramel malt up front balanced by the rye, not too sweet, with an even hoppy finish, noble bitterness. Good dose of rye and roast for balance. Mouthfeel is medium, given cask condition fairly smooth. Drinkability has the ABV well hidden, farily drinkable once you get used to the rye malt. A nice change of pace, something that I look forward to having again. Highly recommended.

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Photo of ChrisPro
3.86/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at brewpub on 6/29/09. Pours a nice burnt orange with cream head. Rye definitely present in the aroma and hints at what's to come. Touch of malty sweetness, then a nice rye bread flavor with a long bitter finish. Wow, I wish I could describe it better, but seriously, just drink one.

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Photo of zoolzoo
3.16/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Charlatansin

Delerium snifter

Pours a clear, dark mahogany brown, minimal head. This thing smells floral and earthy. Im not getting a blast of citrus like some people are describing. Really, this smells like a bouquet of flowers with some caramel malts thrown in. Booze is nowhere to be found in the nose. Im not really impressed here

As far as taste, the hops are no longer floral but purely bitter. A tinge of citrus hops are present but bitterness dominates the palate. Caramel malt and rye spiciness appear mid palate, the finish is bone dry, and surprisingly nutty. Texturally, this is pretty good. Creamy, medium carbonation.

For 8% beer I can barely find a hint of alcohol. That has to count for something right? Drinkability is pretty good.

Overall this just isnt one of my favorite rye beers. The most off putting thing for me was the aroma. I have a suspicion that this might be a bad bottle or something, the taste seemed faded compared to other rye IPAs Ive had.

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

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a deep, dark, caramel brown. Two full fingers of head. Very little light makes it through. Nice lacing.

S: Grapefruit and piney hops here. Predominantly Cascade I think. Some sweetening caramel malt her rounds out the nose. A sweet alcohol in the finish that strengthens as the beer warms.

T: The grapefruit bitterness follows in the taste. A strong caramelesque malt tones down the hop bite. A touch of dark fruits. A little alcohol is here as well.

M: Moderate carbonation. Creamy presence with resinous hops that linger.

D: A little to sweet to drink many of these. Overall probably the best rye beer I've had. The alcohol also brings down the drinkability.

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Photo of zoso493
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle with no discernible dating on it into a Guiness tuliped pint glass.

Appearance: This is the most gigantic head that I've ever seen on any beer. A gentle pour along the side of the glass produces a two-thousand-finger head that takes forever to dissipate. It's also an especially thick head and it leaves a huge amount of lacing on the glass. Aside from the massive head, the beer pours a beautiful bronze-amber color that is sufficiently hazy.

Smell: This is easily one of the hopped up IPA's in terms of smell that I've had the pleasure to drink. It's just an immense blast of grapefruit, pine and citrus - every kind of hop goodie you can imagine is present in the smell. Very impressive nose.

Taste: The taste, unfortunately, doesn't live up to the promise of the scent. There is a good amount of hop bitterness and the rye is certainly present, but the beer tastes a bit faded to me, which may very well be the case. The hops are still present and take on a fruity profile in the taste, but they don't blast you like the nose would suggest.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very nice on this brew. It's not the thickest DIPA but it's certainly not lacking in body. It's nicely carbonated and is very smooth and refreshing.

Drinkability: This is a very alcoholic IPA in terms of ABV, but you'd never guess the alcohol was there. As it's not too bitter, this beer is a dreamily drinkable IPA. It's not crisp in the truest sense of the word, but it's definitely on the drier side, leaving you wanting another sip.

Overall, this is a very nice IPA. It's a mind-blowingly flavorful beer like some other West Coast IPA's, but it does everything very well. It's exceedingly drinkable and is one of the better rye beers I've had. All said, this is an excellent IPA and a tremendous value at only $4.49.

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

Poured from a bomber into a Guinness tulip.

Poured an orange, slightly heavier mixture with a decent off white head that lingered for a while, allowing me to savor the smells of spices and pine and grains.

Taste was unique and flavorful, expecting a ton of hop presence but was surprised by the amazing smoothness, which I attribute to the rye. What a great combination of these different sensations.
Slightly sweet and oddly enough mildly bitter followup that leaves a pleasant presence on my tongue.

Drinkable thanks to the smoothness, and I am trying hard to keep from drinking quickly, due to the higher alcohol content.

This was the beer that I liked the most.

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Photo of jmbranum
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(drunk in Oklahoma, brought back from a trip to Junction City, KS where I stocked up on lots of different beers)


This is something special. I've only had one other rye beer that I can recall (Real Ale's Full Moon Pale Rye Ale from Blanco, TX), but I must say I wish more brewers used rye based on these two.

The Hop Rod Ale pours a pretty orange-copper hazy liquid into the glass. The aroma is lush with spices, grain and hops. The flavor is from another planet. Lots of spices from the rye, rich malt, maybe some caramel but matched perfectly by the perfect mix of strong floral and bitter hops. Perfectly balanced. Not too sweet or too dry.

Mouthfeel is perfect, full and smooth. Lots of glorious texture.

Lingering aftertaste that makes me long for more.

Frankly this beer reminds me of making love. After you've had your fill, it isn't long at all before you want more. It is that good.

I am in love. This beer is thing of exquisite wonder.

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Photo of Smixam
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a Sam Adams shaped glass.

A - dark amber color with a stark off-white long lasting single finger head. Clear for an unfiltered beer, with seriously heavy lacing.

S - Hop heavy as expected, but with strong fruity undertones. I've not a lot of experience with rye-style ales, but this seems to be consistent with the others in the category. Very nice note of citrus.

T - Strong pine and citrus hop throughout but with a distinct malt character that does actually work to balance the bitters - a little bit of nuttiness on the front side? I can't really tell for sure. Grapefruit towards the end adds to a dry finish.

M - This is an 8% beer, and while there's no sense of an alcohol burn, you can tell its there on the finish as it warms on its way down. Seems a bit 'thick' too - per the lacing on my glass, the flavors stick around a while. I can't pick up any impurities.

D - This is a strong beer, and not one I'd want to session. that said, I have no problem enjoying a bomber to myself every now and again. This is sure to become one of my stronger, special-occasion staples.

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Photo of Flashsp2
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hop Rod Rye bomber into snifter

A soft pour shows a red red, perfectly clear body with golden
highlights and a dense two finger head of light sand color.

Aroma is a great blend with sweet caramel malts, prickly hop leaf,
grapefruit and some resinous pine sap. A bit of spicyness from the rye
as well. Not your typical IPA/DIPA, but it is a rye IPA, so it has its
own thing going on. I swear this reminds me more of an old ale or
english barleywine.

Is this a barleywine? Damn this is tasty. Waves of flavor hit the
palette, leaving you reaching back to pick up more complexity with
each sip. The first flavor is a sweet caramel drizzle, then big hop
style grapefruit, citrus, spicy rye, and a nice oily hop finish that
is pretty clean. Some toasted wheat bread and raisin as it comes up to

Mouthfeel is a great part of this beer. Soft, sticky, heavy but not
oily, with a medium carbonation that keeps it all together.

Now this is a beer that is easy on the mouth. Easy drinking, oh yes.

If you were to hand me this blindly I would almost think I was
drinking a Bigfoot, which is really saying something. This beer warps
my perceptions of what an IPA is, since it has such an interesting
malt base to it. Now this is a hyped beer that has the power to back
it up. I wish this were in NM, because it would get regular rotation
at my house, which doesn't happen with very many beers.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.12/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

If you like hops baby this brew is for you. The beer was poured into my tumbler at 45 degrees and looked caramel colored pouring a off white head. The lacing with this beer was good. Way to hoppy for me, in fact that is all you can taste. I will not buy again.

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Photo of hardy008
3.03/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Burnt caramel orange color with a 1 1/2 finger off white foamy head which sticks tightly to the sides of the glass. Smells of grapefruit, oranges, pine and some caramel malt.

The taste is very hoppy, with grapefruit, pine, and some orange dominating the flavor profile. I could not smell the rye, but can taste it, and some caramel malt, in the background, but the hops are the star here.

Very dry, and resinous. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Not my favorite IPA.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,719 ratings.
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