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 dudecandle
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bomber poured into pint glasses:

A: Dark brown with ruby highlights, dark, lasting head, with decent lacing, everlasting cap.

S: The hops and rye are the most apparent, and they balance very well. Caramel, and definitely a grapefruityness to it, along with a possible darker fruit.

T: The toasty rye takes a stronger role, but the hops still play a good role. Spicy background.

M/D: So big, so full, so wonderful. It keeps going, and going, and going, and never overwhelms, but rather envelopes in warmth.

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Photo of Norfawkers
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An IPA with character; an excellent sippable beer

Appearance: Reddish amber with yellowish head and sufficient lacing

Smell: Very fragrant with hops

Taste: Sweet up front with a rye middle and a smokey/rye finish

Mouthfeel: Initial kick with a bitter finish

Drinkability: An above average stand alone beer that's complex but balanced

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

A: A dark amber color with a good white head (pretty good lacing, too).

S: Very citrusy from the hops with some pine as well, you can smell the rye in this (well, I'm assuming that "different" smell was the rye, as this is the first rye beer I've had), and also some caramel.

T: Very hoppy at the beginning, but a very pleasant switch to caramel/sweet and then bitter on the finish. A very different taste from the rye, and I found this to be quite enjoyable.

M: Not too much carbonation and a nice medium-to-full body on the beer.

D: Excellent. Well, it's not exactly an easy drinking beer, but it's really tasty, so you will want to drink more of it.

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

Served in an no-nic pub glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer is served with a ΒΌ" off-white fluffy head capping a clear, dark copper colored liquid and leaving a ring and speckles of lacing when sipped. The head recedes slowly, leaving behind some foam, a think ring of foam and light speckles of lacing when sipped. Eventually there is neither foam nor lacing left.

Smell: The aroma is that of bitter grapefruit and pine hops with a hint of some spice from the rye. It is a pleasant hoppy aroma that invites one to sniff again.

Taste: The flavor has strong bittering from grapefruit and pine of the hops but the dark caramel sweetness of malt tempers the bitterness so that the piney citrusy taste is clearly there but not overwhelming. The spiciness of the rye puts in an appearance and adds to the complexity of flavors in this beer.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is reasonably full bodied and smooth, with noticeable carbonation from start to the end of the beer. The finish is long, spiced by the rye, bittered by the hops and softened by the dark caramel of the barley malt but despite the best efforts of the malt the finish is dry and bitter.

Drinkability: I've had this one before from the bottle and will be going back to it again. In fact it was the bottled version that led to my fondness for beers made including rye malt. It would be easy to consume two or three of these in an evening and the flavor and aroma guarantee I'll be keeping this one on my shopping list.

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Photo of mmmdonuts12000
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer is delicious, beautiful and pretty drinkable. I miss being able to get in on draft when I lived in San Francisco. Personally, I like this a lot more than Bear Republic's Racer 5 IPA and Red Rocket Ale.

A - Beautiful deep amber color which was surprisingly clear for an unfiltered beer. Nice head and lacing that would be perfect with more retention (I know that I'm splitting hairs on this point).

S - Gorgeous hop presence and very promising malt and caramel aromas.

T - This beer delivers on every bit of flavor hinted at by the aroma. I really don't know how better to put it. Exceptional finish' as well.

M - I love the fullness and richness of this beer. The somewhat mellow carbonation accentuates this perfectly.

D - This beer is delicious, but it is slightly heavy and the 8% APV could definitely sneak up on you. Personally speaking, I think that this is the perfect beer to have with a meal.

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Photo of david18
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At one time this was my favorite beer. The hoppiness combined with the Rye was a flavor that was perfectly blended. Lately, something about the flavor is more subdued than at one time and I think the Racer 5 is ultimately a better choice but the hop rod rye is definitely a tryer if you find it at the store.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Duvel tulip glass...

A: Pours a dark combination of mahogany and molasses with a nice thick inch of head perched on top. The lacing is gorgeous.

S: Scents originating from the rye base flow freely through the aroma. They couple with a truckload of citrus hops. Mainly grapefruit. Roasty caramel malts and pepper come through with the rye. There is a promising pungency emanating from my glass.

T: MMM...Delicious. First off, the alcohol is extremely well masked. Next this beer is incredibly balanced. The grapefruit jumps right out at you as soon as you sip. The roasty malts and spices come through later and leave an incredibly satisfying taste on the pallet. The hop bitterness is just enough to tingle the tongue, without crushing out the other flavors.

M/D: The mouthful is nice and sticky, medium to high carbonation. You get exactly what you would expect from looking at it and watching it pour.

I don't know if I have ever had an IPA quite like this. The rye base adds an unreal element to the beer. The complexity is through the roof, as the brewer must have gone insane to mix the proportions of these ingredients. Its part IPA, part winter warmer (?), part DIPA, and all delicious.

To think that I paid $5.49 for this beer, and I got the worst deal on the entire page really says something about this beer. For the price, you'll have a really hard time finding an IPA that even comes close. This beer has the entire package. Delicious, balanced, and complex. A truly enjoyable drinking experience that I can't wait to recreate in the near future.

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Photo of asabreed
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: A deep amber color with awesome hop floaties, which I'm a sucker for. Give me something to look at in the beer, whether it's yeast or hops, just not spiders or bugs or anything residual that's not supposed to be in there. A dense and rocky slightly off-white head sits atop the body of the brew, and it's one of the best jobs of retention I've seen with foam in a while, especially with an IPA. Gobs of lacing's left in thick, mustache-like rings

Smell: Juicy and pungent citrus hops, with a peppery and spicy backbone lingering and ripe orange and grapefruit, along with the spiciness from the rye, made for a heady bouquet of flowery, sweet, citrus goodness all around. Balanced as hell, but it has a nice bite to it also.

Taste: Way too easy to drink, but balanced and rich in hops and bitterness. The juicy grapefruit and orange come out here, mixing with the acidic bitterness, which lets some lighter tropical fruit in also. Leafy flowers and candied fruit come in as it warms, and the finish lingers between sweet, estery malt, and bitter citrus rind for a long battle over the taste buds.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a great fullness and creaminess from the carbonation, which you can suspect from looking at the amazing drops and sheets of foam all over the glass.

Drinkability: Believe the hype. It's beers on the top 100 like this, which you can get for under $5 a bottle, that really make me excited about some beer you can get at your fingertips that's so above and beyond your average brew. The fact that the price is so low, in addition to the quality, not to mention the slightly high but not-too-high ABV, make it something that should probably be a huge staple in my future.

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Photo of JamesP123
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A. Pours a deep mahogany red, yet is still a bit clear, just beautiful. Gives a good 1-2 inch off white head that stays forever.

S. Strong hops coming though, strong piney essence and earthey with a bit of spicyness from the Rye.

T. Fucking A! This stuff is awesome! Best Rye ale I have ever tried. Strong hop flavor dominates your mouth, but the malt is there and doing the best it can do fight back.

M. Nice and full bodied, lots of resiny feel from the hops, but not over the top.

D. I recommend anyone try this brew, truly amazing. Very high quality, drinkable and not too expensive!

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Photo of Newmerator
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

pours a deep mahogany, great head and retention. some red hues to the color as well, head was a light burnt cream color.

Smell is wow so spicy and hoppy with flavors of caramel and pine. This is one complex brew. I think I smell some cherries in the back, or some dark sugars (might just be the caramel though).

taste was unreal. One of the better beers from one of the better CA breweries. a bit spicy. that taste of rye really started to come out as it warmed up also. it was pretty heavy but light in the mouth. i'd definitely grab one of these at a bar if avail.


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Photo of nicnut45
3.44/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a beautiful dark ruby red. Nice off white halo, and a soft head coats this beer. Lacing is maintained throughout.

Aroma- Not as big as I thought it would be. I think the rye aroma kind of subdues the hops in these beers. Theres your typical citrus aromas, but this kind of has a danky earthy rawness to it, and it is muted. You have to splash this one around just to get a whiff.

Taste- Earthy dirt like tastes take over. The rye in this contributes to the somewhat unpleasent bitterness. Although I have to say the alcohol presence isnt offensive whatsoever. I have to take a big whiff to draw any other flavors from this. The rest is just some mild sweetness from the malt.

Mouthfeel- Average at best, medium to low carbonation.

Drinkability- I was really looking forward to this beer due to the high ratings on BA. But I am sad to say I will not be buying this one again. Maybe it is just west coast IPA's they seem overly bitter with no hop taste or good aroma.

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Photo of Vengeance526
4.51/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice looking rich mahogany color with a creamy white head that holds up pretty well throughout.

Light aroma of piney hops, some malt and of course a bit of rye. Smells very promising and really draws you in.

Amazing taste that is definitely focused on the hoppy side, although some light caramel malts still come through. Overall a strong hop profile and a nice spicy flavor that is enhanced by the rye.

Lightly carbonated with a sonewhat dry finish.

Overall, this is a classic in my book. A real treat if you're into hops and something that I could enjoy for a long time, although you'd have to be a little careful with that abv.

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

Purchased from a 4-pack at BevMo! Cypress. Brewed with 18% rye.

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Allagash stemmed glass, Hop Rod pours a clear reddish-amber color with a dense off-white head that settles to a foamy layer over the beer. The lacing drapes the glass with tons of spots and streaks.

S- Hop aromas resembling juicy grapefruit and citrus rind dominate the smell, though there is a grainy, slightly sweet, malt backing that provides a nice balance.

T- Lots of hoppy bitterness augmented by rye flavor that both follow through to the dry finish. The grainy malts fail to cut the waves of bitterness that hit all areas of the palate, starting on the front of the tongue and moving slowly to the back where it will remain until the next sip. I don't mind the lack of balance one bit. A very tasty beverage.

M- A medium-bodied feel with mild carbonation. It's light enough to offset the intensity of the flavor, which adds to this beer's drinkability.

D- The heavy bitterness from both hops and rye make this just a tad heavy on the stomach. I could probably have two in a sitting but no more than that. The 8% ABV is hidden exceptionally well and I could see this one really creeping up on you if you're not careful. I've had a hankerin' for a highly-hopped beer and Hop Rod hit the spot.

Glad to see this one in 4-packs.

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

This beer was a first for me so I am not accustom to a rye beer. Overall it is a great beer if rye is the desired drink. The darker reddish, orange hew of coloration produced a fair amount of head that trailed off to wisps to tantalize the palate. The Fresh hops smell of the beer wanted to make me take it camping where the woods smell of pine would fit in. Overall the taste was that of vanilla. Overall A great beer to enjoy more likely in the cooler parts of the year.

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Photo of eljefe21
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark copper, light redish brown in color. Thick brew that a fluffy one-finger head slowly rises from. Fine lacing throughout.

S: Piney hop smell that makes a hop head's mouth water.

T: Tarty, piney, hop flavor that is tempered nicely by a strong malt base. Ends with an ever so slight hint of vanilla taste.

M: Thick mouthfeel over the front and middle of the tongue that dries out in the back/end.

D: Well, I could drink this all night long except I'd be laided out pretty quick. A delicious treat if you're into this style; otherwise, it might be a bit much.

Served: in an imperial pint glass.

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

Pours a gorgeous deep mahogany with a rich, creamy head and thick lacing all the way down. Off to a good start.

At first, the nose is a bit weak. Faint aroma of grassy hops and sweet malt. As it warms, caramelly malts and the spicy rye make themselves known.

Taste is good. Really good, in fact. Bitter hops are at the forefront at first, but as the beer warms, they fade a bit to let the caramelly, malts through. The hops come back at the end and it finishes dry and crisp. Strong flavors throughout with a lean toward hop dominance. At first, I didn't detect a large rye presence in the mouth, which is unexpected, considering...well, that's kind of the point with this one. But as it warmed, it comes out very nicely with it's sweet and spicy flavor, tickling the lips and warming the throat and belly.

This is a full bodied beer. Thick and smooth. And this is exactly what it claims to be: A bold, strong, badass American beer. Personally, I'd classify it as a hopped up rye beer before an AIPA, but that's beside the point. I'll drink this anyday.

Notes: Let this one warm up. It's good cold, what with the hoppy bitterness pummeling the taste buds, but it becomes much more flavorful and complex as it sits in the glass. That hot and sweet rye is a little shy at first, so give it time to come out and play.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Red amber color with some non-filtered floatie bits which is stated on the lable. a big, clumpy, rocky head that dissiaptes slowly, big lace...very nice.

Sweet caramel and nutty scented malts hits first, which is usually what pops out first with a big hoppy beer. Sweet red fruits and a very leafy-bitter aroma with gentle edge of rye.

A very nice balance of heady malts, pretty sweet with gentle caramel and very dry from the yummy addition of Rye! Red fruits are in the hops along with a very nice leafy edge. Medium, almost full feel with a sublime dryness in the finish.

a quality hoppy brew and the rye only adds further depth in the feel and flavor.

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

12 oz. bottle

pours rich amber, tan head with nice lacing. the aroma is of pine and toasted malt. medium body and rich with sweet malt feel on tongue. nice balanced hops. the rye blends into a wonderful grapefruit finish that just does not quit. cant say anything bad about this beer, a favorite.

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Photo of rye726
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color with a nice tan head. Nose has rye, caramel malts and citrus hops. Taste is again a blend of candy malts, bitter fruity hops with a hint of rye in the finish. Medium body i swell carbonated. Another good beer from Bear Republic. Nothing too special, but still good.

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Photo of GJ40
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 22 oz bottle purchased at Whole Foods on Westlake in Seattle, WA. No noticeable best by date.

A - A deep copper, almost brown color with a very slight haze and a moderate beige head. This beer leaves behind a very nice lacing.

S - A nice firm earthy, rye aroma with some piney hops mixed in.

T - A very balanced beer with both a rich malt and a citrusy bitterness. I love the way the caramel and earthy malts intermingle with the characteristically west coast hop flavors. I tend to prefer the hop bombs but this one has it all and makes it work.

M - A substantial, creamy beer with just enough carbonation to do the job.

D - This is one of my favorite beers. Well done Bear Republic!

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.67/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. Bomber into Pint glass.

Pours a deep murky orange with frothy off-white head that lasts and dissolves into a heavy ring around the glass. The aroma has sweet caramel and resinous piney hops. The flavor upfront is sweet caramel and big piney hops and ends with a lasting grapefruit bitterness. It almost has a tart flavor. Its a medium-bodied beer that is sticky. Its a pretty good beer although I think its variety of hops that makes it just a touch less drinkable.

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Photo of aubuc1
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured in to a snifter.

Pours a clear, deep, dark amber/red with a steady thin light tan head.

Smell is sweet, ryeish, hoppy, and slightly winey.

Taste starts like rye. Then is a semi mellow hoppy. Last is an alcohol finish that finishes really clean. Very distinct ride, and complex beer.

I guess I should expect this from Bear Republic, but this is a great beer.

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Photo of BarrelO
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark reddish brown. Quite a bit of lacing.

S: Pungent grassy hops.

T: Mostly hop bitterness. Also a fair amount of peppery rye spiciness. A tiny bit of sweet malt.

M: A bit resiny. Also somewhat prickly from the rye.

D: I don't really like the way the rye and the hops come together. If this is representative of what rye IPAs are like, I think I'll pass.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Clear amber color. Two fingers of frothy light brown head with great retention and lots of lacing.

4.0 S: Herbal and citrus hops (sweeter light fruits). The rye comes through in the nose as well. Good, but could be stronger.

4.5 T: Pleasant herbal hop flavor and lots of it. Strong bitter backbone. Slight sweetness from crystal malts and a dry doughiness from the rye. This rye IPA is quite delicious.

5.0 M: Medium heavy body. Good carbonation. A bit chewy, which I thoroughly like and very creamy.

4.5 D: This is a winner. The apperance and smell aren't anything special, but everything else is amazing.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured In: Tulip Glass
Purchased From: Steve's Liquor (Madison, WI)

Appearance: Pours a very dark copper color with a finger of head at the top. The lacing is playing from head to toe on the side of my tulip glass. The beer looks quite clear.

Smell: After the pour there was a very nice hop aroma. The aroma that's being presented is citrusy alongside the smell of the malt backbone.

Taste: As it hits the tongue the carbonation starts to release a slightly sweet malt. The alcohol makes a quick appearance on the way down the throat. On the aftertaste is a nice bitter ending with the hops coating the mouth. A very pleasant earthy and citrusy taste present themselves.

Mouthfeel: A medium bodied beer with a good level of carbonation.

Drinkability: My first beer from Bear Republic, and it's a winner. A really nice mixture of malt and hops in this brew. Next up, Racer 5.

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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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