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

A- An agressive pour from the bottle yielded a MASSIVE 2" light khaki head- rocky and well retained. Some REDICULOUS sticky lacing formed on the sides of the glass throughout the drink... one of the most proteinaceous heads I have ever seen! The body was a heavily sedimented garnet color with no visible carbonation (either obscured by the sediment or not present). Picture perfect.

S- Heavy herbal and citrus hop aromas combine with a HUGE spicy caramel malt (and rye) backbone. Simple, pungent and beautifully elegant.

T- A nice replicate of the nose. The caramel malt is up-front along with the spicy rye. Hops begin to dominate the palate midway with Juicyfruit-like flavors. Finishes with an intense quinine-like hop bitterness. A wonderful rollercoaster of flavor... although I would have liked it to be a less segmented flavor experience.

M- BIG firm body... nicely underattenuated with a moderately coarse carbonation. Points off for the coarse carbonation, but still quite impressive in the mouthfeel department.

D- Goes down smooth, and the alcohol is exceptionally well hidden. Could sneak up on you though...

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

Poured into a pint glass. Reddish amber. Small off-white head, some lacing.

The nose is intensely hoppy. Rye is subtle. Juniper berries, strawberry, citrus, grapefruit.

Taste the rye and the hops. The maltiness is there but subtle for a DIPA. A grassy undertone. Caramel, citrus, strawberries. Looong lasting bitter finish.

The mouth is bitter and full. Almost chewy.

Really hoppy, nice kick to it. Such a good beer. A standout beer in an extreme and ever-evolving style full of beers trying to stand out. Well done.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark orange with an off-white head. Strong citrus hops in the aroma, as well as some rye and malt. The flavor is packed with a lot of rye as well as some bitterness and hop flavor (citrus and pine). Very drinkable. Not much to say about the beer, but it was outstanding and I will seek it out again.

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

A - Ruby-amber, slightly hazy. Three finger head from vigorous pour with big, sticky, sheeting lace.

S - Big, beautiful, clean hop aroma. Sweet floral and citrus fruits come right through.

T - Juicy citrus (orange, tangerine, with a splash of sweet lemon), honey coated flowers, and caramel malt. There is a mellow hop bitterness (never biting) of grapefruit peel with a twinge of pine and herbs. The aftertaste lingers in the most pleasing way offering a bite of rye flavor and some fresh crisp mint. Lots of layers to discover.

M - Velvety smooth and creamy feel. Full bodied with perfect carbonation. Nice coating quality and long lasting finish.

D - So enjoyable to drink. A great beer.

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Photo of pvsob
3.82/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep amber/mahogany color with a thick, two-finger head that lasts forever and leaves great lacing. Somewhat hazy, with suspended particles.

S - Aroma consists mainly of citrus (grapefruit) with a little pine as well. Pungent/sour/spicy rye aromas come into the equation halfway. A pleasant floral aroma mixed with some caramel sweetness balances out the rye character. As the beer warms, I start to pick up some candied oranges and just a hint of alcohol. A very balanced and complex aroma.

T - Starts off with a nice sweetness from the malts in the beginning. In the middle the rye rears its head, and along with the citrus and pine results in a spicy/bitter finish. Good, but not great.

M - Mouthfeel is medium to full. It has just enough carbonation to keep this beer from becoming too sticky.

D/O - A well made AIPA that is well balanced when it comes to the hops, malt, and alcohol. The rye is there, but personally I would have liked it to have had a stronger showing. Nothing mind blowing, but I'd still recommend it if you haven't tried it before. Now if you will excuse me, the rest of this four pack isn't going to finish itself. Cheers.

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Photo of Dijeriduster
3/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Disclaimer, I did get this on sale - a sign it could be an old sample. Still its high alcohol, high hops soooo

A - Dark brown ambery colour pour heavy with fairly prominent head. That faded fairly quickly to a little bit of a surface cover.

S - Very hoppy with caramel/malty flavors coming thru. More bitter than citrus smelling...

T - Very diff with the rye, seems strong here vs other rye ipa's. starts off with caramel malt tones quickly succumbing to the massive hop profile. Rye hits in the middle with a strange spiciness you won't find in any non-rye beer. Finish is a little sweet and syrupy.

M - Pretty good, but it does straddle the too sweet / syrupy zone a little too close for me. Has a slightly creamy feel overall.

D - Not that great actually. Again I might have a bunk sample but this isn't the first time I've had the beer. Frankly its too sweet on the malts for me - vs other local "strange IPA's" beers with an emphasis on the hop profile. Comparing this to Nelson from Alpine (another rye ipa) isn't even a competition. This is a good beer to compare to others, but its not a regular in my cellar....

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Photo of biegaman
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The glass is painted in chromas of orange, ruby and amber; their embers are bright and flare up to the light. Its clarity, until the very last dregs, was spotlessly clear which furthered the beer's splendid aurora. Its head bubbled up like magma and exploded into a scatter-spray of lacing. The eccentric patterns would make an excellent ink splotch test.

Bring an umbrella - it's raining hops! As they fall from the sky a wave of pungent tanginess manages to penetrate right down to the marrow of your bones. It has the same all-consuming sensation as a gust of cold winter air or the burning radiance of a hot summer sun - it is not only noted it is sensed by all parts of the body. This beer is as hoppy as hops are green and every bit as aromatic as an incense.

It's an herbal, floral, citrus-spritzed fragrance and it carries over into the taste. The roasty graininess of the rye is also evident in the aroma and it, too, doubles as a flavour. The moderately-strong spicy flavour of the rye is nearly reminiscent of pumpernickel bread, and certainly brings to mind a choice Jewish bakery, but is so drizzled in chunks of caramel and candied citrus bits that it is, and should be, only recognizable as its own delicious being.

For all its resounding hoppiness the beer is considerably balanced. The graininess of the rye ensures a stiff, hearty, naturally tangy maltiness that blends ideally with the orange zest and piny serum of the hops. The alcohol may just as well not be noted and, although it pains me to admit it, I would probably drink this until unconsciousness if it were feasible to do so. The experience can vary between general pleasure to pure hedonism.

Honk if you love hops! If this beer were a car it would come fully loaded with plenty of legroom and a 350 horsepower V8 engine. And it's probably won my car of the year award every year since I've tried it. In fact, I remember the first time I took it for a test drive - I awoke the next day to find my hands still smelling like hops. No kidding! This is a smooth ride and for those of you who have yet to take a spin - buckle up!

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Photo of HumanCarBomb
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

~ Purchased this 12 oz bottle from Bierkraft in Brooklyn, NY. This beer pours a reddish brown with a decent foamy off-white head. Rich, flavorful citrusy and hoppy aromas immediately make their presence up front. The piney and floral hops blend quite well with the rye. Taste is complex, but it all balances out in the end. At 8% ABV, this is highly drinkable.

Hop Rod Rye is one of those feel good type of beers. Sip after sip, it keeps inviting you back for more. Highly recommended and a must try! ~

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Photo of jampics2
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Luscious amber beer with a white creamy head.

Peach and grapefruit nose.

This is awesome, nice bitter taste and the rye malt really works well. A HIGHLY recommended option for those who like hoppy beers. I also recommend Founders Reds Rye for fans of the style.

Perfect carbonation, medium viscosity.

Hides APV very well, so easy to drink.

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Photo of animal69
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a clear deep burnished copper color w/ a thick off-white head which leaves a lacing that almost completely covers the wall of my goblet

S- smell is of strong pine and a spicy rye-like grain with very faint notes of whole grain bread and nuts, no alcohol detected at all

T- a good initial bitterness, grapefruity/piney hop flavor up front yet well balanced by the same spicy grains, some more bread and nuts in the taste than smell, a faint fruit and mineral also present in the crisp finish

M- a full mouthfeel, seemingly dry poss. from the rye, a decent co2 lvl.

D- a very drinkable brew, one of the few ryes i've had but def. the best, wish i had another 1 or 12

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Photo of CharlatanSin
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'd been meaning to give this beer a try for a long time. Racer 5 is probably my favorite IPA, and I'm a big Red Rocket fan, too. The one time I've had Racer X it was heavenly. Bear Republic may be my favorite brewers, so let's see what this beer's got.

Poured from the bottle into my Swarthmore College pint glass.

Appearance: Cherry cola, a dark brown with maroon. Nice medium-sized head which leaves lovely, sturdy lacing.

Smell: Big hops, mostly citrus. A bit weak, but pleasant.

Taste: Those citrus hops mix wonderfully with earthy malt and rye. There's a bit of sweetness down there, too. Plum, I want to say. It all mixes together perfectly to create one of the better balanced beers I've had.

Mouthfeel: Big, sturdy body, with moderate carbonation. It's pretty sticky.

Drinkability/Overall: I could drink this beer all day, everyday. Perfectly balanced, and absolutely delicious. It doesn't quite top Racer 5, but it'll become a regular in my fridge. Bear Republic strikes again!

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Photo of bret27
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Very dark brown/amber. Thick foamy head w/lace. Little sediment at bottom which is expected.

S: Citrusy hops, little minty, bready, sweet malt

T: Definitely taste the rye. Hops aren't really exploding but well balanced w/rye malt + other malts. Citrus and pine come out in the hops about halfway through and leave a lasting bitterness.

M: Medium. Fairly thick for an IPA but very smooth malty.

D: Fantastic. Well balanced and delicious especially for IPA.

Overall: Just the perfect amount of rye and hops to make this one perfectly drinkable and balanced. I say this unbiased as well because I'm not that big of a fan of this brewery overall.

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Photo of number1bum
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brown, slightly reddish color with about two fingers of light beige head. Keeps a thick, full lace and leaves some very nice rings of stick on the sides.

Smells of some juicy citrus hops, grapefruit pith, a bit of a toasted aroma with some rye. Not a super robust nose, but it is nice.

Taste also starts off with some citrus flavor and then transitions into some bitter grapefruit peel, bitter hops and an explosion of spicy rye. It's also quite resiny, with some sticky pine flavor. The bitterness and rye mount as you get deeper into a glass of this brew, as well, and ultimately completely take over the taste buds. This is a very tasty beer, but this is also nothing to be trifled with, that's for sure.

Mouthfeel is a creamy medium body, or a bit on the plus side of a medium. The immense bitterness and complementary rye make it very dry in the finish. It is quite smooth, however, before it drys the mouth right out, with a slick resiny feel to it.

Mmm this is tasty stuff. Easily one of the best rye beers out there, and just a fantastic beer all around.

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Photo of cavedave
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A vigorous pour plants a thick dark beige head of bubbling foam atop a cloudy dark red amber beer. A swirl of the snifter leaves mountain ranges of lace.

The smell is medium strength, full of yummy citrus, light yeast, brilliant notes of rye, and a gentle bitterness that balances a sweetness to the bouquet.

The rye here is strong up front in the sip, and in the finish, more than in the other four takes on this style I've enjoyed ( including a reg. in the beer rotation here, RastafaRye) Haven't tried many, but tried enough to know what makes the style great, and that I like it a lot. The rye comes with a bit of a sourness that's followed by sweet malt, yeast, citrus, citrus peel, and ends in a blend of rye, citrus, and into a bitter crescendo that is earthy, bitter, dry and delicious. Describe it? It's clean, it hits all the areas of the tongue with nice pleasure, it's complex with lots of flavor going on to make this beer a gem, and it gets better as it nears room temp.

Mouthfeel is hard to judge for me, but as it relates to promotion of a clean, long, delicious flavor and finish, I rate it very good, without trying to conform it to style.

Drinkability is good, but not better than all the others I've tried.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown that didn't let much light through in the dark bar. Nice head with great retention that would spring back up over the course of drinking anytime you would swirl.

S - Nice rye malt with a bitter hops twist.

T - This is truly a fantastic beer, can only say great things about the taste. A lot of rye with some roasted malts and balanced with the hops. Only minor citrus on this one. Any more would ruin the balance. Breadiness adds to the rye backbone in an almost perfect way.

M - Medium bodied, nice bit of carbonation only makes the experience better. Was expecting more due to the massive re-heading on the swirl, but it is just where it needs to be.

D - Very drinkable, at least until the 8% knocks you out. One of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of Casey10
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up while on a business trip in Mass knowing that it had a great rating decided to pick it up.

A - Brown apperance and a two fingered head that lasted forever.

S - Malt some pine and citrus.

T - so smooth so nice the malts mix with the rest to make a nice blanaced taste that make this one great.

M - Smooth feel is unreal this is so nice leaves a great feel after consuming.

D - Fantastic brew can't wait to get another. One can only hope this gets distibuted to Maine.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-deep redish brown color, thick light brown head that leaves a decent lace

S-light rye malt and some sweet caramel hits first immediately followed by citrus hops with a hint of grapefruit finishing with a little pine smell

T-you get the rye malt, not much sweetness from the malt, a pine taste follows with some citrus and a bitter hop finish

M-relatively smooth with a fair amount of carbonation and a little syrupy

D-damn good beer, it is slightly balanced but the hops do shine through which is something i prefer.

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Photo of mbudner
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Deep chestnut color with creamy off-white to tan head (3-fingers). Dissipates leaving crazy thick, frothy lacing and rocky head.

S- Bitter citrus hops with beautiful rich malty rye ale backbone. Almost fruity. Smells pretty perfect in its balance. Some caramel sweetness also.

T- Bitterness of the rye and great hop character. Great breadiness. Freshly mown lawn. Everything there is spot on and near perfect. None of the sweetness coming through on the nose (though minor in the smell).

M- Perfect balance of creaminess from the rye base and carbonation. Nice and oily/slick, also, from the hop oils.

D- The best Rye Ale I've ever had. It's 8% abv is unnoticeable in the flavor and it goes down like a 5% rye ale and keeps me wanting more. Definitely a must try.

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Photo of portia99
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours a hazy brownish dark amber with reddish highlights. Not much head to speak of, just a broken layer of tan bubbles leaving a nice collar and a few islands of bubbles on the surface. Nice lacing down the sides of the glass.

S - Spicy and richly malty...nice bready aromas in the center and some earthy hops. Grainy rye aroma is prominant. Not as much hoppiness as I expected, or much at all, for that matter.

T - Quite a bit of rye, medium-dark roasted malts, a touch of caramelly sweetness. A strong, but sorta in the background bitterness that sits underneath the other flavors, perhaps a touch on the harsh side, but still good. Quite bitter, but not much hop flavor in here, a bit of earthiness, but it is hard to distinguish whether this is from the hops or the rye and roasted malts.

M - Medium bodied, tending toward the heavy side. Feels a little thick on the tongue. Carbonation is just right...plenty there, but not too much - just enough to enhance the flavors and feel - just a bit tingly on the tongue. Bitterness pervades the entire mouth and lingers for a long time after the swallow.

D - Good tasting beer...not sure I can call this an IPA, but whatever. At 8%, a little high to be sessionable. Bitterness is a touch harsh for me, which also limits drinkability for me, but not too much. I would welcome a second serving of this one. I prefer the Racer 5, but this is another good offering from Bear Republic.

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

A: Brownish amber with a wonderful 2 finger dense head with very good retention and great lacing

S: Grapefruit and spicy; also a lemony citrus aroma is present

T: Rye and grapefruit dominate; citrusy and a bit bready also; this is well-balanced--hoppy, a little sweet, and damn tasty

F: Carbonation is balanced; it fills and coats the mouth well; slightly sticky on the way down

D: Quite drinkable; alcohol is a bit noticeable, but this is a good brew

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

A- Deep, hazy copper in color with a cascading white fluffy head that sticks around for a while before dropping into a thick film with big islands of bubbles. The foam is crawling up the side of the glass and throwing gobs of lace all down the side.

S- Spicy, probably from the rye. Piny, floral hops underneath.

T- The malt base comes in first. Its spicy and smooth. The hops arent too big here. They are piny, and mostly citrusy. The finish is really spicy like allspice and cinnamon. It sticks to the back of the throat leaving a slightly bitter and really spicy oily aftertaste.

M- Thicker than I expected. Really smooth. Its a nice contrast to the sharp spicy bite of the rye and hops.

D- Decent drinkability. Some alcohol warmth and bitter lingering taste bring it down just slightly.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Damn good beer. Me likey. Probably the pre-eminent rye style beer. You really can't go wrong with a Bear republic product can you?

If I had only one drawback to speakof, well, maybe two, it would be

A) that it seems a little inconsistent. Sometimes it has been mindblowing, sometimes it has been well, very good.
B) The grain bill, malt etc. . . seems a little heavy. I dunno whether rye makes a beer lighter or heavier, but I'd be interested to taste this beer a little less out of balance, like a Hop Rod Rye Moster, where the hops predominate. I wouldn't necessarily like it more, but I'd just be interested to see the envelope pushed even further with ryes.

On a good bottle, you'll get plenty of hop brightness, accompanied by the rye. Bad bottles seem to have lost that lovin' hop feelin'. Of course, if they bottle dated, this might not be a problem, the inconsistency would just be age.

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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

The brewery describes it as a strong American IPA, not a Double IPA. You have to love the gray area within American styles. Very tiny bubbles are slow to rise but do form a sufficient head that drops stellar lacing on the glass after each sip. Deep brownish-amber color has a slight haze from the hops. Massive hop aroma of sweet citric peel, wild flowers, hint of grapefruit, pine and fresh mint. Lavish creamy smoothness from a deep-seated carbonation and a full body to boot. You'd swear the mouthfeel was massaging your taste buds. Both the spiciness of the rye and hops battle it out with a thick malt character. Hop bitterness never becomes excessively sharp and lays down a stodgy blanket of citric rind flavor. This beer is 7.5 percent ABV? Deceiving for sure. Spiciness of the rye peaks right in the middle, at the same time a heavy hand of caramel and bready malt sweetness flaunts its sturdy foundation. Finishes bittersweet, certainly more bitter, but it never clouds out the malt all the way.

Hop Rod Rye throws the gloves off and comes out swinging with flavor, certainly a snapshot of what American craft beer is about, and we love it.

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

Bomber, poured into a snifter

Pours a deep mahogany with massive fluffy, puffy, "bumpy" off-white head. Excellent retention with loads of lacing.

A challenging and complex IPA from start to finish. Pungent pine sap, tingly rye spiciness and plentiful caramel malt immediately demand attention, but there are loads of aromas and tastes to explore. Dark fruits, a hint of sorghum, citrus rind, and fresh baked bread join in as it warms up. It's fairly full-bodied and chewy, with moderate carbonation and loads of lingering bitterness and peppery spice. Very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of mcann2pu
3.84/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a- pours into glass an somehat cloudy amber color with someredish hues, I say cloudy because it has some particles susbended in it, about a fingers worth of head,
s- mostly the piney smell of hops, perhaps some of the ryecomes through, but its very faint,
t- good taste, the rye is a good ballance to the piny hops in this one, I really enjoy the taste of this one,
m- good, maybe a little oily from the hops,
d-good , the balance of rye and hops helps out here,

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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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