Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
4,727 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: 4,727 |  Reviews: 2,082
Photo of bum732
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful crimson red/burnt orange, nice creamy head with unbelievable lacing. Smells of grapefruity hops, moderate pine, some earthy undertones, other citrus, resiny cannabis, absolutely floral. Tastes of citrusy hops with a nice spicy malt backbone, hints of black pepper. Very pronounced bitterness, maybe from the rye? Finishes dry as a bone and spicy bitter. Great creamy mouthfeel.

A very unique beer. Extremely hoppy both in aroma in taste. The rye in the beer complements the hoppiness nicely, not sure why more people don't make rye ipas. My only beef would be it is intensly bitter and dry, dropping the drinkability a tad.

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

Dark amber, good clarity and lots of carbonation dancing to the creamy-looking off-white head, which is occupying about the top inch of my Otter Creek World Tour glass (which almost a whole bomber will fit in). As I drink it, the head retention is good and there is tons of sticky lace.

Sweet grassy hop in the nose with just a touch of ... biscuit? Something almost funky going on here, too. It's nice, but muted.

Oh, this is yummy. The hops are forward at the start, but then step back and let a nice sweet malty note come through. It's almost fruity, then the bitterness returns with a little bit of spice and sourness as well. This may be the first rye ale I've had that I've really liked a lot. It has a lot of flavor but everything is balanced. The alcohol is noticeable, but barely.

Mouthfeel is a little slick and a little sticky, with medium body and moderate carbonation that seems to emphasize the spicy character.

Very drinkable. I should probably slow down.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My sample poured crystal-clear, red-amber, with little signs of carbonation. The head is dense and plentiful with a latte color. It subsides into a thick ring of lace. The aroma is somewhat subdued. There is noticeable caramel, but I can't find the hops. The hops are definitely there in the first taste. A nice balance of caramelized malt and hoppy bitterness. The body tends toward the heavy side, thick and chewy. There is alcohol in the nose and a pleasant bitter finish.

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Photo of dankbrew21
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bommer. No freshness date. Poured into a plain pub ale glass with small bubble top.
Made with 18% rye.

Appearance- Good, clear, brown color. Large white head with slow head retention. As the head settles, it settles uneavenly leaving a cloudy, mountainess appearance.

Smell- Bitter hops and sweet malts coming through.

Taste- Very good! Slightly bitter and surprisingly smooth. Slippery sweet malts slide across my palate. Small alcohol presence. Leaves a bitter after taste.

Drinkability- A very easy drinker.

Notes: I recommend that if you see this beer to definitely pick it up and give it a try!

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Photo of mykie73
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First, let me say i love beer republic.

a) very dark amber which i usually do not like seeing an IPA or DIPA but I know there is the rye addition that is adding to this color. a little cloudy. 2 finger head

s) smells balanced an i mean i can smell the malt (rye) profile. no particular hop smells dominant.

t) wonderful, balanced, sweet to bitter finish. Rye is a tremendous malt and i want to see more beers with it. WhRYE not? my favorite from beer republic

f) full feel to it, satisfying bite that i want to chew. i love rye. great texture

d) drys mouth out a but if i have water as well i can drink this all night...just watch out for the 8% abv. Great value beer as far as bommers go

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

I poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a deep amber with a plesant frothy head. It has an aroma of deep evergreens. The flavor has heavy pine notes and the finish lingers with a nice bitterness, A medium bodied beer that feels lighter due to heavy carbonation, it went down very easily.

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Photo of mjaseattle
4.82/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. There's about an inch of creamy, frothy head on top that lingers until you take a sip. Underneath is a deep orange/mahogany beer with a few narrow streams of bubbles running up the sides of the glass. A thin layer of foam sits on top throughout the experience.

Smell: The smell alone won me over. Pine and grapefruit dominate, and something else I can't put my finger on... Something sweet, like maple syrup...

Taste: Just like it smells, but on a higher order of magnitude. There's such a good balance in this beer, an obvious smattering of hops at the start, with a mellow undertone of malts that seem to crescendo slowly through every sip. It ends with a bittersweet caramel aftershock, and a citrusy air.

Mouthfeel: There's a burst of carbonation on contact that mellows quickly to a smooth, almost syrupy feel. Pretty full-bodied for an IPA. For a lighter experience, swish it around a bit-- though this does bring out the alcohol presence, it expands your food pairing options.

Drinkability: This is definitely what I call an "experience" beer, meaning it is best enjoyed in large, attentive sips. There's a lot going on that you don't want to miss. It will pair well with any strong-flavored food, but it really shines on its own.

Notes... I first had this beer (on tap) a couple months ago at the bartender's recommendation, and was very pleasantly surprised. I'm not at all familiar with ryes, but I know my IPAs, and this is top of the line. Easily one of the best (if not THE best) I've ever had.

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

Split a bomber with my brother while watching the maybe too action packed Quantum of Solace.

This is one of the best beers I've had. The appearance is a dark honey with a frothy magnificent head that leaves some of the best lacing I've ever seen. The beer smells of a malt backbone with a floral bouquet filled with grapefruit. The rye comes through in the taste along with more grapefruit and other citrus notes. Quite bitter and leaves a very nice hoppy after taste. The creamy mouthfeel is nice and there is only a slight downgrade in the drinkability due to the high ABV.

Super offering from Bear Republic. I bought this six hours away in Dallas and wish that I had purchased much more. Its outstanding.

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Photo of photomike
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours really, really beautifully into a pint glass. 2 finger tan head that looks pretty much exactly like an english muffin on top of my beer.

Smell is rather light. Malt, vanilla and a bit of whiskey, presumably from the rye.

This is a really tasty beer. Not quite as hoppy as I had imagined it would be, but it was stored unrefrigerated at BevMo for an indeterminable amount of time. Still, the foremost flavor here is hops. Bitter, but not as west-coasty as some of the reviews here imply. The taste is less citrusy or piney than it is oaky or woody...again, I think the rye is at work here. Quite balanced, this isn't overly sweet and not the least bit alcoholic tasting. Very interesting, very complex. I wish my palate was refined enough to pick everything out here.

This is a ridiculously smooth beer at 8%, and somewhat chewy. Very nice.

I can and would drink a lot of this stuff in one sitting. The chewiness might be a bit much after a while, but two bombers of this is not the least bit intimidating.

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

A: A very deep, somewhat hazy brownish-red. The head is moderately large, densely frothy, and a touch creamy, with a light tan color. Retention is excellent, with some very nice lacing.

S: Rich brown sugar and citric hops - rather sweet orange and candied grapefruit. Some floral and herbal hop notes as well.

T: Very nice. A robust dose of brown sugar and toasted caramel malt up front. This is followed quickly by a strong shot of citric, floral, and vaguely piney hops. Bitterness is firm, but the flavor is quite strong. The rye malt begins to shine later in the taste - a uniquely spicy flavor that sets this apart as more than just a very good IPA/DIPA. As it warms, some note of alcohol show up.

M: A fairly full, slightly sticky mouthfeel. Carbonation is tight and tingly. Maybe it's the rye, but this has an almost absurdly creamy feel for the style before fading into the dry finish you'd expect from this type of beer.

D: A very interesting big IPA from Bear Republic. The rye really makes me happy. Rather than just adding more and more hops, they went for an interesting malt profile that adds a lot to what would have been an already very tasty beer.

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Photo of FallinDeck
3.72/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Body has an amber/ruby color to it.
Nice tan head with superb lacing all the way down the glass.
The light hops smell didn't impress me all that much. Maybe my sniffer wasn't up to par this day?
The mouthfeel was rather heavy, with a dry hoppy/spicy taste. It had a Great lasting kickass spice finish taste.
I couldn't do more than 2 pints, so the drinkability suffered there.
Here's a first for me... Yes a burpability factor of 10. HAHA I can't believe I'm writing this... but really a great taste of nothing but some spicy hops.

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Photo of callmescraps
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this awhile ago, and remembered it fondly. First time I'm having it as a BA'er, so we'll see how it stands up.

Appearance - Hmmm. Darker than many IPA's, I'm blaming the rye. It's a deep amber almost dark ruby color. A nice inch of foamy head. Pretty clear. It looks nice, but not that beautiful glow of some IPA's.

Smell - Hops. Some definite pine. Also some citrus. But a real malt back there. Definitely an herbal smell. Almost some caramel or burnt sugar lingering.

Taste - Wow, lots of caramel malt flavor. Way more than expected. Almost woody, at times. A sweet semi-caramel or toffee finish. A little hop burn as well, with some of that pine. Very nutty flavor. Almost some pepper.

Mouthfeel - Pretty solid. Good carbonation, good coating.

Drinkability - Not bad, but I'm not in love with the nuttiness. I'll enjoy this one. Also, the pepperiness builds.

Interesting beer, but not a super favorite. Good, but not really great. Was hoping for a cleaner hop flavor.

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Photo of YesFest
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smells of aromatic hops, bread... A mild pine sandwich.

Hoppy bite, heavy malts. Big hop and alcohol finish, malts are an undertone the whole way, but still strong. Warming up reveals fruit, mild boisenberry.

Mouthfeel is a thorough coating. Thick soapy aftertaste and sweet on the front of the roof of the mouth.

Definitely a sipping brew. The mouthcoating hits on too many different spots like pressure points that it takes a few seconds to mentally digest each swallow.

A strong Rye IPA, definitely not an every day thing for me but a strong showing definitely worth checking out.

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

Pours a deep amber/red with a thin off-white head. Smell is very herbal. Taste has abundance of hop flavor, you can really taste the raw, pungent, piney hops. There is maybe a hint of citrus, but this beer is all about the pine. There is a nice sweet malt backbone to match up with the hops. Dry IPA this is not. There is just a hint of spicy rye, rounds things out nicely. The finish is nice and bitter, hop oils coat your tongue. Mouthfeel is super creamy and smooth, very nice low carbonation levels. Drinkability is fantastic, a 22oz bottle is great for an entire evening. I usually like the dryer IPA's but Hop Rod Rye is an excellent choice for a well rounded beer. I will definitely buy again.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty clear deep copper color with a very large fluffy beige head. Sticks around forever and forms a mesa in the middle of the glass as sheets of lace replace the foam that trickles down the sides of the glass. Nice.

Smell is of grapefruit citric hops and spicy rye pumpernickel bread. Some earthy malt notes and raisin reign in the hops to make this a complex smelling beer.

Flavor is very nice. Leans heavily toward a hoppy rye IPA, but has plenty of sweet malts to balance it out and even hold it's own. The hops definitely have a west coast feel, and the flavoring hops might outshine the bittering. A dangerously drinkable IPA that is bold, yet not palate fatiguing. Only issue I have is a bit too much carbonation. The spicy nature of the rye adds a nice element to the overall complexity of the beer. I have yet to be disappointed by a Bear Republic brew.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. No dating info. It was a reddish brown color with some yeast bits floating around. Also had several carb steams and good lacing. It had a massive creamy light beige head that slowly settled into a thick foam.

The aroma was awesome. Pine, grapefruit and citric hops. Classica AIPA. I'm fighting spring allergies and this just punched right thru it and demanded to be appreciated. It got the taste buds salivating. The taste was also exceptional. Good hop bite from the start. It builds right up to and thru the finish and ends with a nice bitter bite. Towards the end you do get shredded tongue but it's worth it.

Overall, an exceptional beer that deserves the ranking and hype. Highly recommend. This will be a player in the rotation. Since it does shred, it would need to be a one beer night or at the end of the night.

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

Pours very dark amber with a very thick head. The head on this beer was like a rock, extremely dense and thick and the lacing was incredible. A floral hop and grapefruit aroma that was really nice. There was a smooth grapefruit hop flavor with a nice bitter kick in the finish. The malts flavors in this are also very good. The hops do get a little "spicy" with the higher carbonation. I couldn't tell if there was a rye flavor as I haven't had to many beers with rye in it. I love rye bread and it just seemed to me that there was a rye-like flavor underneath the hops.

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

A - Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Brilliant copper with a big khaki colored head.

S - Faint rye, roasted malt. The head sucks up a lot of the aroma.

T - Spicy, peppery rye, roasted malt, caramel.

M - Velvety and smooth, lightly carbonated.

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

On tap at Elmer Sudds in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Served in a shaker "pint" glass. Appears a cloudy dark amber color with about a finger of dense, fluffy off white foam. A thick, sticky lacing is left on the inside of my glass as I make my way to the bottom. Smells and tastes of grapefruit, lemon, pine, caramelized malts, spicy rye malt, bread and more grapefruit. Very little alcohol presence for an 8% ABV beer. Just about the perfect balance of malt and hops for my tastes. Somewhere between medium and full bodied with medium carbonation. Every IPA / DIPA lover out there needs to try this beer. It's very high on my list of favorites.

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Photo of stingrayvr6
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Local 44 in Philly. Beautiful amber color with fantastic creamy, off white head. Excellent retention and sticks to very inch of the glass. Smelled oily and citrusy. Incredibly smooth and citrusy, and fruity but sharp and bitter from the hops and mellows out with the rye. Very bitter with a balnaced and lingering finish and strong rye taste in the finish. Absolutely excellent.

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

Poured this 22 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

The beer poured a dark brown color (suprised me a little at first), with bits of amber. A creamy looking 1 1/2 finger off white head formed. The beer was opaque when held up to to the light.

The beer smelled of thick, wet hops. Heavy smell aroma that let me know what I was getting myself into.

The taste was exceptional. Hops were found through out the brew. The 8% abv isn't even noticeable as there is very little alcohol after taste.

The mouth feel was nice as well. The head was a nice introduction to the well crafted beer. I could easily play around with it on my mouth and experience the flavor.

This beer has got the drinkability. The overall hop might kill it from being completely sessionable, but two bombers could easily happen.

Final Thoughts - The more I try from Bear Republic the more I begin to enjoy. I want to compare this to their regular IPA and see how this Rye comes into play by comparison. Definitely try a bomber.

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Photo of brewdoc75
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber into a pint. Bottled on 11/19/08. Served at 45-50 degrees.

A: Mahogany to amber in color. Brownish hues are present. A bubbly white head fizzes on top. It unfortunately dies pretty quick. This may be my fault however (used too much soap to clean the glass). Solid carbonation.

S: Piney, citrusy hops at first. I do get a slight breadiness and some caramel as well. Really not a whole lot of aroma, but this may be due to the fact that this guy is a few months old.

T: Breadiness, followed by a strong caramel flavor hits the tongue first. This quickly evolves into a hoppy onslaught w/ a predominate grapefruit flavor trending to piney bitterness. As I drink further, the hoppy grapefruit flavors persist. I also really appreciate the malts in this IPA. Toffee, caramel, breadiness, and even some spiciness from the rye. Unique and delicious. A perfect balance.

M: A light to medium bodied IPA. It has a slight stickiness from the hops and the malts. Great carbonation. Finishes clean.

D: An exceptional beer. Quite possibly one of my favorites. It is a solid IPA, but adds an element of uniqueness with the rye. I haven't had a whole lot of Rye-PAs, but this will definitely set the bar for any future beers from this style. I am aching to try this on tap or at least get a fresher specimen to truly experience the hops. This beer is a definite must have for any beer lover.

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

Had this beer on cask at Fathead's in Pittsburgh. It was served in a dimpled mug. It was a deep copper color with an off-white head that left some, but not much lacing. I picked up some caramel in the nose, but piney hops were far more prevalent.

First, let me say that this is a really, really, tasty beer. The hops come through beautifully and they are balanced by the caramel flavors of the malt. It seems that this beer is sweet, maybe it's the malt? All I know is it is extremely good. The alcohol is incredibly deceptive for 8.0%, making this a brew that goes down smooth but is also potentially very dangerous.

Truly a wonderful IPA.

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Photo of mempath
4.95/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

deep orangey-caramelish amber with creamy, cream-colored head that sports very carbonated bubbles on the side, but the sea-foam/pancake-batter-looking top sinks ever so slowly, lacing thick and creatively. very nice nose of immediate grapefruit/tangelo and a hint of an incoming piney tsunami...another swirl for another sniff i notice the head (STILL hanging on at 2 fingers) looks like a rootbeer float or something. pretty amazing.

taste is pretty intensely complex...but don't think about it too much. i will, i think, after i simply enjoy it...i want to be more familiar with it when i want to waste time figuring out WHY i like it so much. yep, caramel-malty splash hits first but a nanosecond later the hop whiplash is there. for all the hop/ABV instensity, the rye and malts just stay in the jalopy and refuse to bail out! i get a nice bitter finish that only makes you want to keep sipping the creamy yet crisp masterpiece that this is.

drinkability, at this ABV is theoretical...taste it and you will want more, hophead or not. as said before, there is incredible AND intense
B A L A N C E...it's the only way i could every enjoy this much malty sweetness...the hops always keep the car on the road, at high speed!

everything is pretty much stellar here.
very highly recommended

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle pours into a pint glass a dark amber with shades of nut brown as you move it around. It has 2 fingers of generous head that leaves great lacing down the glass. Lots of little bubble. Pretty much perfect.

Smell is oranges, grapefruit and pine hops, sweet rye, caramel malts. So delicious.

This is pretty much the gold standard for IPA taste, I might suggest. The first taste to hit the mouth is the sweet rye and caramel malts which is quickly replaced with the big piney, bittering hops. There's some grapefruit and citrus in there, some slight bread notes, some spiciness. It's a big, hoppy IPA but at the same time there is never a hint of unbalance - the sweetness and malts are always there to keep it in check and add other dimensions. Great carbonation gives it a lively feel which is needed in an IPA.

Wow. Seriously. I have died and quite possible found beer heaven. I love West Coast hops and yet crave some balance in the malt section. This is it. I could drink a few of these (though might regret it later at 8%) and it would meet all my needs. This moves to #1 on my IPA list.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 4,727 ratings