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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,719 |  Reviews: 2,078
Photo of nanertak
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 22 oz to pint glass.

Appearance: Pours amber with hints of red, 3 fingers head that persists.

Nose: Smells great. Pine and citrus (grapefruit), hint of rye bitterness, very floral. Some toasty malt buried in there.

Taste: Lightly roasty malt up front followed by the punch of rye and hops that linger quite a while. Great balance, quick and smooth transition from toasty and sweet into bitter and hoppy as the flavor develops. After a long while, fades into a very flowery hop flavor. Excellent.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low carbonation. Not heavy, but not light on the palate. The rye and hops really take over the palate as soon as the malts fade, leaving a fresh and lingering flavor. Would be excellent to cleanse the palate with some strong and creamy blue cheese.

Drinkability: Great. I could have one of these any time. Very well balanced, not overly bitter but definitely packs enough rye/hop punch to make you take your time with it. Sipping slowly, letting the flavor linger. I love ryes, and it seems challenging to make them well. I've had some watery ones and some that are just too powerful in terms of flavor. This one is incredibly well balanced, probably the best I've had.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a deep maroon amber with two to three fingers of light brownish head with some really thick lacing.

The smell is hoppy with some really nice floral feel. Is pretty sweet with the rye malt really present in the nose of this beer. One of the better smell beers I had in a while.

The taste is rye malt at first. Almost all rye malt with a small bitterness at the end of this first sip. The rye malt flavor continues to show it's self on further sipping. Some good floral hops that seem to be just towards the end of the sip.

The feel is this beer is a light medium bodied beer. It is light on the pallet and goes down pretty well. Is a great pleaseant feel to this beer and it easy drinking.

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Photo of burnstar
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with medium persistent head which leaves nice lacing on the surface. Smell is excellent with big piney citrusy hops with some toasted malt. Taste again has very nice piney and citrusy hop flavor. The rye tang is noticeable but really complements the rest of the flavors nicely. Significant sweet and slightly toasty malt backbone. Great full bodied mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Overall an awesome and unique IPA.

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

A pour into a tall glass yields a beautiful, fairly opaque mahogany. The pour also maintains a thin bone-white head.

From the smell alone, this brew seems to be well-balanced with its fruits and hops.

The first sip is complex and resonates quickly into a perfect bitterness. Reminds me of autumn fruits.

This leaves the palate with a dryness of sorts--as of a nice glass of wine. Captures the crisp hop taste of an IPA--but with a far more interesting and hearty aftertaste.

Tends to leave a slight alcohol resonance afterwards--but it is well in check. I want to take my time sipping on this brew.

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Photo of adamette
4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. Purchased a few months ago at Giant Eagle in Painesville, Ohio.

A Dark red/brown body that lets light in and through but difficult to make out objects on the other side. Nice light brown big head of about 3 inches that stuck around for about 3 minutes, leaves nice lacing. Sediment in the bottom of the bottle/my glass push this over the top. It cannot be improved. 5.0

S Hops but balanced by what seems to be a big malt presence and some Rye as well. Label says 18% Rye used. Having just had Founder's Red Rye I think that I am well set up to taste this beer. 4.0

T/M Well my nose does not deceive on this one. Hops, syrupy sweet malt with a backdrop of rye as well. This is a hell of a big beer, lots going on taste wise. I enjoy how the aftertaste passes by all of that bitterness and leaves a nice maple syrupy mouthfeel and taste. 4.5

D I don't think that this is particularly drinkable since it is such a big beer. I do not think that it is meant to be extremely drinkable as a style. 2.5

Notes: The first in a short series of 4 Bear Republic beers that I bought and will rate. This is a huge beer that does not disappoint.

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Photo of macktbone
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at ej pair, Concord.
A solid guest beer and I'm glad to see it on tap.

A- very soda pop like. I could have passed this off as a root beer when I was a kid. Looks moderately sticky and has little head to speak of. Dark in color too.

S- very light smell, a little hoppy but not as much as you would expect from a Hop Rod.

T- bright and cascade-like. Nice caramel finish.

M- satisfying but nothing remarkable.

D- great on tap or by bottle. Worth picking up to have with friends or just mid-week. Reminds me of the type of good craft beer you could break someone in on!

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

22 oz. bomber poured into a tulip.

Pours a ruby-tinted chestnut brown, lightly murky, with a creamy, sticky light cream head, leaving beautiful chunks of lace as the beer subsides.

Aromas of floral and citrus hops, drawing me in for another sip, with a light spice character in the background. Bitter and hoppy on the palate, with a biting rye flavor and a balancing caramel sweetness from the malt.

Medium bodied with a bit of stickiness, contributing to a pleasantly lingering hop bitterness. A really good beer, and even better at its price point.

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Photo of aggiearcher13
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite an impressive beer, pours a brownish-red, light tan head that quite bubbly. Excellent aroma, really comes through with the citrus of the hops, overpowers the malts. The rye really comes through in the flavor, some caramel flavors, overall the malt profile does an excellent job of balancing out the hops. Finishes dry, with a decent amount of carbonation. Highly drinkable, very enjoyable, not sure why I've waited so long when I see it so often...

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Photo of njbcmatt
3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tall glass from a 22.

A- The first thing I notice is chunks, floating, and not a small amount. I get it, it's an unfiltered beer, but man, is it hazy and I never find floating chunks, be it hop residue, rye, yeast, whatever, appealing. The color is a dark gold/amber, head is a yellowish cream color and retains nicely.

S- Prominent hoppy aroma with floral and fruit notes. Much more appealing than the appearance, I'm actually excited again.

T- Unfortunately, excitement was short lived. Bitter hoppiness prevails. I don't see the balance from the malt that I'd expect. I'm not sure I really like what the rye is bringing to the table, either, compounds the bitterness a bit, I think. It seems appropriately alcohol-y, but I'm missing something on the malt end

M- It lingers for a little bit, then fades, leaving a little too much bitter hoppy aftertaste

D- Meh. Given the ratings, I was expecting much more. While I'm not the ultimate hop head, I do appreciate many super hoppy beers, this just isn't one of my favorites. I think it's adventurous and unique, but I doubt I'd drink more than one of these and would go after a Racer 8 or one of BR's other brews.

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Photo of skeeordye11
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a dark ruby color with a think light brown head that lingers and clings to the glass.
S: Hard to detect, but aromas of malt and spicy hoppiness.
T: Malty up front with a wonderful spicy note. Finishes dry and hoppy. The spicy hops pair well with the rye.
M: Full and rich. A lot of flavor.
D: Very good. Very complex. Not over the top hoppy (not that there's anything wrong with that.) A wonderfully balanced beer that I highly recommend!

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In a homage to BuckeyeNation, I too will be adding quotes to reviews...where it fits.

"Now follow as we riiide
Motherf**k the rest... the best from the West side"


Poured into a Dr. Dre pint glass from a 22oz bomber.

A- Beautiful chestnut with a creamy tan head. Absolutely gorgeous pour.

S- Hops, malt, faint rye? Perhaps. I will admit I am a little congested. I pick up more heavy wheat than rye, though.

T- Fantastically hopped, fresh-tasting, and powerful. This beer is chock-full-o' hop oils, resins, and essences... truly a tasty hop profile that doesn't go beyond its limits. So many IPA/DIPAs are just 'kitchen sink hopped' and way out of balance... not this one. Hop blend is perfection in a bottle. Great flavor.

M- Super crisp with a well-enough amount of malt and rye to combine for a great experience.

D- Fairly high to outrageous... with myself falling in the latter of the two. Give me more! NOW! This reminds me of a bastardized dunkel of the Racer 5... and it blows Racer 5, an amazing beer, out of the water. Bravo!

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Photo of realmpel
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep red, thick foamy head which subsides into a thin skim. Tight and consistent lacing.

Smell: Not a lot going on, just a light hop scent.

Taste: Sweeter than I expected, light hop throughout the sip. The bitterness follows, and seems to intensify after the sip for several seconds. Light citrus, sort of a sour orange flavor.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, and though sweet not syrupy.

Drinkability: Very drinkable; though big, the ABV is incognito.

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

Appearance - Poured into a SA perfect pint. Pours a nice, red mahogany color. Honestly it is darker than I would have thought compared to other IPA's I've had. About a finger of head that dissipates almost immediately (since I've typed this) and there is light lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - A hoppy, floral, and citrus smell immediately hits the nose when smelling this drink. Not an overpowering scent by any means. It takes quite an inhale by me to get the full aroma.

Taste - An immediate rush of citrus and hops that is strong but not overpowering. The taste then mellows into a bit of a sweeter note (just for an instant) then finishes with a nice dryness. Very pleasant taste!

Mouthfeel - One can definitely feel the hop oils as the liquid slides around your tongue. This to me adds more body to it and I would say this has a creamy, pleasant mouthfeel to it.

Drinkability - For an eight percent rating, the alcohol is well hidden (thought there is just a nip of it in the aftertaste) and this is very drinkable. After coming from many Stone products as some of my first IPA's and IIPA's this is not as "bitter" and more easy to drink (does not destroy your mouth). A very nice beer and at around four dollars per 22oz at my store, this makes for a nice, cheap, powerful and tasty IPA!

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

Enjoyed a grizzly man sized mug full of this at Hollingshead on 8/12/09.

A: A deep dark brown with some spots of translucency through the glass. A nice 1-inch white head and subdued lacing accompanied the body of this brew as well.

S: Very mild. A nice mix of wheaty/rye-like aromas with a somewhat bold hop profile.

T: Smooth...very session like. Again, nothing really jumped out at me...except for the incredible balance of grainy/wheat malt character and hop bitterness presence.

M: Light to medium body with mild carbonation; great for the style.

D: Very impressed! When I was first handed a mug of this...I really thought I wouldn't finish it. About twenty minutes later...I was wrong.

Overall: A good beer...maybe not deserving of the Top 100, but I can also see the appeal as well. Cheers!

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: I'm surprised how much sediment was in this 12 oz bottle. "As a result of the truckload of hops in this unfiltered ale". Lovely. Looks great. A nice ruby brown with good carbonation. Has a small tad-off white head.

S: Smell isn't particularly as strong on the hop scale as I would have imagined. I pick up malts just as easy as the hops. It is a very even balanced aroma. I'm impressed. I don't pick up any alcohol on the nose.

T: Very nice hop flavor in the forefront and aftertaste. The malt presence is short and sweet, but there nonetheless. I get a very earthy hop presence with nice citrus notes. Good rye flavor.

M: Good medium bodied rye.

D: Well I could certainly drink more than one, but I don't think I would go out of my way to pick this up again. Very drinkable beer and glad I could pick it up in my area.

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Photo of porterwoobie
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: one finger off-white head that laces well. deep, dark red to brown color.

S: good dose of piney hop aroma with a little bit of sweetness.

T: slight sweetness initially, then the hop/rye combo kicks in. the hop bitterness is pretty intense and is followed by the rye spiciness. very tasty. slightly sweet aftertaste along with lingering bitterness.

MF: medium body, medium carbonation.

Drinkability: very tasty brew, highly recommended.

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Photo of MunchkinDrinker
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep hazy red with a light orangy/cream head and plenty of lacing. Carbonation bubbles are easily seen and keep the head sticking around forever.

S - Fresh grapefruit notes in a strong malt backbone. The rye comes through at the very end. Smells like a good strong IPA, but nothing extraordinary.

T/M - The rye certainly accentuates the piney bitterness of the hops. Very bitter. The grapefruit in the smell is only in the aftertaste. The rye must thicken the feel, because the juiciness i've come to expect from hoppy beers is cut, and it's a little filmy.

D - Too bitter to want more than one, but this is a well made beer to be sure, just not my type.

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Photo of Morey
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep rich reddish brown color with a nice frothy tan head. Nice lace clinging to the glass.

Smell of roasted malts, grains, with some subtle hop aroma in there as well.

Taste is very rich and earthy. Nice blend of roasted malts and hops. The Rye comes through nicely as well. This beer is brewed with 18%, so it comes through better than in other rye beers.

Mouthfeel is nice and chewey.

I could drink a couple of these, but you best take your time because they sneak up on you quick.

Morey's Bottom Line: I'm a big fan of Founders Red's Rye, but this is just as good. I would love to taste them side by side. Highly Recommended!

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

Poured into a pint glass.

at Brandts Cafe in st. Louis, MO.

A - Pours a nice, oily strong mahogany with an off white head. Very dense head with some bigger bubbles sprinkled around. Head retention is awesome. Lacing sticks like glue to the glass very attractive.

S - Its piney and hoppy with some citrus notes but it is a little more mellow than the bottled version. Some nice sweetness from the alcohol as well.

T - Very great taste, freshness from draft is apparent much more oily and crisp. Piney with a sweet malt balance. The finish is dry, bitter and with grapefruit hints. I really do prefer the draft version as with most beers.

M - Carbonation is a little on the low side. Nothing too bad though. The hop aftertaste is crisp, dry and just plain great.

D - I could probably have 33oz of this stuff before being overwhelmed by the flavors. The ABV isnt crazy but should be respected. Great beer. I loved it!

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

Poured from bottle to pint glass

A: Big frothy 1.5 finger head that fades dark brown reddish hazy color

N: Nose has lots of noble hops and maybe a touch of sweet malts but not much to it

T: Taste starts with some darker malts and rye taste, it has a strange tangy sour-like flavor that's not really sour probably from the rye, a good hop character dominates the taste with a high spicy hop taste and bitterness and maybe a touch of smoked malts, there is also an interesting juicy fruity center like peach or something similar

M: Mouth is very frothy and medium thickness

F: Finish is pretty dry and has a really strong bitter hop character with more spicey hops and a little alcohol on the finish,

Final Thoughts: with the strong rye and hop character it's tough to drink but has a great taste, this is a great change from a typical DIPA

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Photo of Wheelinb
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the things I always check out is the packaging of a beer. This one has a very cool label. It has the hand drawn look of some of the car magazines I used to read way back in the day.

Deep copper color with a nice white head. Not huge aromas coming off this one but the first flavor I get is the rye then the hops take over. It is a little shocking at first but the more you drink the better it gets.

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Photo of bloberglawp
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark amber, huge head, huge lace (glass empty, still full of lace), a little cloudy, alot of yeast left in bottle, awesome.

Aroma of American hops, your west coast IPA aroma, very C hops. Love it. Flavor : pretty much IPA again, with a light earthy note at the end. Later a very interresting "raw grain" aroma and taste settled in. The rye? I guess so.

Loved this one, will buy it again.

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Photo of JRhode
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle in a Palm Tulip.

Awesome deep amber/red with an amazing creamy head that sticks around. A beautiful beer.

Citrusy hop aroma with a smidge of rye. Fruity, spicy.

Tastes massively hoppy withe some caramel malt and rye too. Creamy. Nice carbonation to keeps things lively. Hop bitterness lingers awesomely.

Drinkability is high, craving another. Not a heavy beer despite all that is going on and 8% abv.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer as part of a flight of samples at the Healdsburg, California restaurant. From tap and in 3oz sample glasses.

A-gem brown body and a nice off white head

S-jolly rancher smell, candy-like

T-candy like front, caramel middle but a nice bit of floral hops at the end


D-Great beer. I would have this again. The alcohol may creep up on you (7.5). However, its very complex and tasty.

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

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours 1 and 1/2 fingers of slight tan head. Color is a dark copper brown. Decent retention, but leaves great lace walls. Some sediments managed to sneak out of the bottle.

Aroma: A big nose of caramel comes off first, and then a ton of floral and earthy hops hit. Seems to have a mix of citrus flavors, but the hops are fairly dominate here. A decent amount of rye is present as well.

Taste: A much bigger rye taste here. Caramel malts. Hops aren't as bitter here as I was expecting, they are mainly earthy tasting. A lot more malty than I was expecting, but I don't mind it.

Mouthfeel: Has a nice bitter bite, but it isn't overwhelming. A little booze shines through at the end, but other than that there is really no presence of it. This beer ends with a hoppy rye, slight dry aftertaste. It is medium bodied with decent amount of carbonation. I am liking the mouthfeel for this style of beer.

Overall, I am liking this beer. It is drinkable and has a big hop flavor but isn't overdone. I shouldn't have a problem with my bomber. I didn't even realize the abv was 8%. This drinks incredible for that high of an abv. Bumping drinkability to a 4.5.

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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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