Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
Liked This Beer
4.22 w/ 4,723 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,723 |  Reviews: 2,080
Photo of glid02
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the Big Hunt in Washington DC.

Pours a turbid red-copper color with a one-finger tan head. The head sticks around for a while before dissipating into a pancake of bubbles on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of floral, citrus, and mildly piney hops, and lots of them. There's a nice malty background and some light spiciness from the rye that comes through as well.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Huge hop flavors throughout, backed by robust malts. A mild spiciness comes in midway through the sip and asserts itself more through the end. There's a nice bitter ending that still leaves room on the palate for the hop flavors to linger.

Mouthfeel is amazing. Thick and grainy, it seems as though it has a life of its own. The only other non-stout I can think of that feels like this is Troegs Nugget Nectar.

Drinkability is great. I finished one very quickly and would've had many more if it hadn't been getting late.

Overall this tasted even better than I remembered. Tons of hop flavors that aren't over the top, a solid malt backbone, and some light spiciness from the rye. Wow.

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Photo of OldYoda
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into my trusty standard Troeg's pint glass. An earlier review called this a "dirty amber" - nothing dirty about this. It was a beautiful amber ruby and clear and clean with the carbonation bubbles racing to the top. Minimal head but nice lacing and retention. This is a lovely beer.

Smell is hops and a follow up of earthy malt. Very inviting.

Taste follows smell , the hops are there with an excellent malt backbone. An exceptionally well balanced beer. Taste for me is a real wow.

Mouthfeel is outstanding - creamy and full.

Only drawback for me on this beer would be drinkability and the fact that it comes in bombers. Two of these would be a little much for me at this ABV but this is an absolutely outstanding brew.

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Photo of KBoudreau66
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P- pours a ruby color, but will appear as a dark copper if you hold it up to the light with a large rough looking off-white head that will last throughout and leave excellent lacing.

S- heavy smell of flowery, earthy and a citrusy grapefruit smell coming from the hops. You can also smell the sweet malt backbone in there.

T- similar to the smell with strong earthy hops up front along with a sweet malt flavor that gets involved.

M- Full-bodied

D- An excellent beer that is hoppy like a good IPA, but has a thicker body then I'm used to for most IPA's. I would drink this over Racer 5, but they are both very good.

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

The Hop Rod Rye pours a deep copper color with a nice light creamy head with good retention.

The aroma is very hoppy. The flavor is much the same. It has great citrus hops and good bitterness. The rye comes out as kind of a spicy flavor.

The mouth feel is enormous. It drinks good.

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Photo of argock
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased from Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $4.49.

A: Dirty ruby-amber hue with a head that cannot be contained by the glass. The off-white head is towering and ungodly large and leaves formations and thick rind of lace at the top with incomplete sheets down the glass as well.

S: Spicy and earthy, floral hops with enough caramel and pale malt sweetness to keep it from smelling moldy.

T: Spicy, earthy, and floral hops are front, center, and end in this beer. The rye spiciness with a rough edge is a welcome change of pace. The malt sweetness is perceptible but barely and keep the bitterness heavy but manageable.

M: Low carbonation but lively due to the spiciness. Some coating but the feel is helped by prper serving temperature. Aftertaste of floral and pine hops are long and lovely.

D: A high ABV IPA/DIPA with uniqueness and robustness that is not matched by many brews out there. Bottle version has the distinct advantage of controlling temperature which enhances the earthy nature of the rough and tumble but sumptuously delicious beer.

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

Pours mahogany and unfiltered, one finger head dissipates to a solid top with good lacing.
Smell=Hops but less than I would expect.
Wow, Creamy hops with a nice malt follow-up that balances out what could be a crushing IPA . Damn good beer, very drinkable. I usually have to limit my IPA intake but this is a good one to have a few of.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a dark copper, with a pillowy off-white head and nice lacing.

Nose is nice, sweet rye, spicy, with a piny hop note that meshes with the spicy rye perfectly.

Taste begins with a nice, sweet caramel malt body, complemented by rye notes, with a resiny hops making an appearance early and for the duration of the beer. Rye comes out a bit more on the long finish, which is bitter and spicy, but balanced by the last hints of the rye and caramel sweetness.

Mouthfeel is superb, full and with a very restrained carbonation.

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

Served on cask at the Blind Tiger Alehouse in NY.

A- Deep, rich mahogany color. Dense with only the faintest penetration of light. Small, fluffy, beige head fades slowly and leaves only a small amount of lacing

S- The nose give off a big, hoppy, flowery bouquet. sugary pine, pineapple and grapefruit. As it warms the sweet caramel malt aroma becomes unveiled, but still understated. A bit of rye spiciness.

T- There's a lightly sweet caramel malt presence from start to finish that provides a very nice balance. The malt sweetness that's first evident is met by a nice spicy rye flavors in the center followed by an intense hop bitterness in the finish. A dry parching finish yet the aftertaste lingers a bit imparting a bitterness and light alcoholic spice.

M- The body is full and thick with a moderate carbonation. Smooth and a bit creamy even. This characteristic becomes more pronounced with warming. Very nice.

D- Exceptional brew with well masked ABV and very well balanced.

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Photo of irishtjb11
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had a 22oz bomber of this and it was quite good. the appearance reminded me alot of a english strong ale, special ale. look and smell reminded me alot of gearys hsa. appearance was dark brownish red, reminded me of cedar wood or something of that color. nice frothy, white head that laced the glass very well and formed a nice layer on top of the beer. smell was super unique, very hoppy and malty; both very strong but thats to be expected with a beer like this. one thing i found, along with my other reviewers, was the creaminess on the tail end of this beer. it was unlike anything ive had before. its so sweet and creamy at the tail; such a great balance and juxtaposition from the super strong malts and powerful hops. the hop flavor is more than present, but with the creaminess and strength of malts; the beer is able to stay in great balance. wonderful beer, unique and powerful.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review of a Bear Republic brew. I 've heard good things about them, and jumped on the chance to try this one.
Drank it during the second half of the Pitt/Arz super bowl.
Pours a murky, dark amber body that produced a small, yet dense head. The white foam lingered for a bit, chunked up in small splotches and then faded. Perhaps it was poured too cold.
Slight citrus aroma mixed in with the pine and rosemary. A slight sharp alcohol twinge to it as well. A bit of smoked honey thrown in there as well as some wet malt.
Taste is well balanced. Pine starts off on the tongue then the citrus comes into play. Sweet malt separates the two and helps with a smooth finish. Alcohol is a bit noticeable, but blends well with the hops as far as bite is concerned.
Overall a solid beer.

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Photo of hophead247
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle..Appearance: red, brown, lightly hazy Aroma: Delightfully complex and dynamic! Caramel, fruit, licorice. Great balance! Flavor: Rye flavor is beautifully balanced. Very high hop bitterness, but it is hidden well. Strong hop flavor throughout. Complexity remains impressive. Spice thrown in on top! Palate: One of the best textures I've ever tasted in a beer!

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

Poured a deep dark brown color, opaque, with a dense foamy head in my Sam Adams ale glass. Much lacing down the glass as I drank; lovely. Smelled first of hops, but also of bready malt. Taste was like the smell, hops up front and in the nose, but balanced by the rye maltiness, but not enough to take away from the beautiful hops in this IPA. Mouthfeel was decent, and drinkability is good due to the rich taste. One of the best IPA's I've ever had; one I'll always try to keep in my fridge.

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

Looks delightful during the pour. Nice rich mahogany colour. Dense appearance as it flows from the bottle to the glass. Small head on a gentle pour. It fades fast. Lacing ensues.

The nose casts sugary pine, pineapple and orange juice, and peppery rye impressions all with a smattering of dirt. I can tell by whiffing that this is going to be a delightfully bitter and dry experience with interesting flavours along the way. Happy trails to me.

The flavour is quite bold. The bitterness hits right away and holds on as faint citrus accents roll through and peak quickly. A fluffy caramel malt base frames these features and some chalky yeast and burnt toast crust linger about as well. The finish is hasty and all flavours are muted by a dryness that is quite profound and parching. Well done.

The body is fluffy and round. It has more substance than I was expecting and borders on thick. This characteristic becomes more pronounced with warming. Quite satisfying.

This beer makes pondering enjoyable and is a pleasure to consume. It is not available in my immediate vicinity, but if it were I would definitely have this on hand in my fridge. I procured this bottle at a Binny's in Chicago during a recent outing. The Bogmonster led the way.

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Photo of twbrewer
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Poured a deep amber color with a small light tan colored head,very little lacing.

S-First scent is sweet hops but as it warms the sweetness becomes more a pungent aroma.Slight scent of alcohol and something that reminds me of candi-sugar.

T-Nice bitter hop kick at first then a rich and robust malt flavor.Rye bite thats slightly bitter in the aftertaste.Becomes sweeter as it warms.

M-Medium bodied beer with a prickly mouthfeel at first but again as it warms it smooths out.

D-Interesting.Well balanced,loved the taste and the feel but seemed to be light in the smell.It did however pair well with Pink Floyd's 'The Dark Side Of The Moon'

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Photo of beer2day
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red with a fierce hoppy nose. The aroma is big and flowery. Large bits of hops floating in the glass.

Suprisingly creamy on the tongue and very fresh tasting. The hops don't hit until very late, but they do bite.

This one can stand up to almost any food pairing you can think of.

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Photo of Douglas14
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The hop rod rye has a crystal clear amber to red color to it with a very impressive head that leaves immaculate lacing. The aroma is hoppy and malty. The taste is surprisingly hoppy, which is awesome. I wasn't expecting a fresh hop bite. It's awesome. It's easy in the palate and more than enjoyable to drink. Great beer. Love the rye.

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Photo of ToddT
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a medium brown with a nice red tint. Well defined cream color head that sticks to the glass leaving a well defined lacing pattern. Head diminishes very slowly.

S- Big notes of hops, malt and rye. Nothing subtle about the nose on this one.

T- Not as aggressive as the smell would you have you believe. Nice bite of hops upfront, then rye that fades to a medium hop bitterness, not over the top, well balanced. Finish is dry, leaves you wanting another taste.

M- Creamy and smooth , thicker that average body has substance to it, a little chewy. Not heavy on the carbonation, maybe lacking a little bit here.

D- Easily one of the best rye IPA I have tried. Everything in a nice balance. Nothing dominates the taste, the only thing that will stop you from having too many is the 8.0% ABV.

One of the best introductions to a rye IPA you could have. Very well done.

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Photo of Stimack
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gave this brew a try last evening as it was a brew that I have been passing by for a long time. Based on the reviews I figured I just had to give it a try as it seems that I was missing something. I know why I have passed this brew up as I am not a big hophead though I do like hoppy brews, just not a steady diet of them. This brew poured to a somewhat cloudy dull amber color with a huge bubbly light tan head that had incredible retention leaving thick chunky lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma's for this brew are really dominated with a huge hop presence, it hits you hard from the time you open the bottle and make the pour. The hop aroma i catch is more pine than citrus/grapefruit. Caramel like malt aroma is there as well but takes a clear back seat, besides that it is hard for me to pick up other scents. The flavor is nice, resin like hop flavors seem to hit right from the start and just linger at the back of the mouth for a good period of time. I have had brews that have seemed more hoppy before but this one is pretty heavy in the hop area, also not sure the age of this bottle so they could have even mellowed a bit. I think I am getting some malt (Rye?) base as well in the flavor but it does seem hard to find anything under the layer of hops. Quite drinkable (though I was getting hopped out, lead to a lower drinkability but that i just my take), finishes a little dry, nice carbonation. Not a brew I would continually look for but one I would clearly recommend!

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

Poured 22 oz bomber into my favorite pint glass. A darkish brown liquid emerged. A crazy three-finger head with some mountaintops make for some visual, dissipates somewhat quickly. Smells of nutty malt and some earth tones with some hop in play. Gulp. Kind of spicy on the intake, the hops are right on. The rye malt and the over the top hops make for some combination. The mouthful is flawless, very mild and smooth for the ABV provided. Easily makes this a session beer. Beautiful lacing that coats the glass from top to bottom, great for keeping time.

A nice twist from the typical IPA's out there, recommended to all the hopheads looking for some change.

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Photo of LordHammer
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Northern Brewer glass.

A: Deep, clear ruby with a spectacular cream colored head that lingers forever, leaving lacing all down the glass. This is beautiful to look at.

S: Bright hops at the front, with roasted grains and a spicy finish that has to be the rye. Definitely seems good so far.

T: Fresh, malty, bready and slightly spicy grain notes out front. Finishes with a significant hop bitterness. Some citrusy notes with the hops. This is complex, balanced, and delicious.

M: Medium-heavy, sticks a bit in the mouth. Seems appropriate for something with this much malt in the flavor. Carbonation is light but present.

D: Despite the ABV, I could drink these all day. This is an outstanding beer.

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Photo of birchstick
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a ruby red with a 1/2 finger head

S - big hits of piney hops accompanied by even stronger doses of sweet grapefruity malts. There is a bit of spicy rye detectable as well.

T - wow. this is a delicious IPA. The grapefruit and sweet maltiness dominate the palate. There is also a bit of pine and the rye adds a nice touch of spicy sweetness to the flavor.

M - creamy and full. The 8% abv is very well hidden.

D - With more powerful IPAs I am sometimes ready to put the bottle down before I finish. With Hop Rod Rye, I was more than ready to keep drinking more. I enjoyed this IPA very much and will be picking up more in the near future.

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Photo of rgore
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

A - pours dark, dark amber with a less than an inch of head.

S - Intoxicating aroma of malt, hops and a bit of spice from the rye. It gives off an earthy, grainy smell. I get a hint of pumpernickel as well.

T - The taste starts with the sweetness of the malt and the spiciness of rye. It finishes strongly with the hops. The hops remain as the lasting flavor I get with each sip.

M - A clean and long mouthfeel that goes from the initially sweetness of the malt and ultimately finishes with the bitterness of the hops.

D - This beer is so interesting and flavorful I wouldn't want to have more than 2.

Overall, hop rod rye is one of the more impressive and innovative beers I have had in a while. If you get the chance give it a try.

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

I got a bomber of this during a trip to Austin, Texas a few months ago, and I'm feeling a bit masochistic in my beer craving tonight, so in the interests of serving that, and not letting this IPA get any older, bottoms up...

This beer pours a hazy dark copper brown with an abundance of foamy, frothy white head, that takes its sweet time going away. The smell is grapefruit citrus hops, and sweet caramel malt, with a bit of grainy spiciness. The taste is a wallop of citrus and pine hops, balanced by a decent sweet malt backbone. The grainy spiciness of the rye is quite evident, and a nice addition to the usual suspects. The carbonation is on the moderate side, and there is only a mild warming from the alcohol. This finishes off-dry, with a nice tangy bitterness from some leafy green hoppiness. Once my palate reset itself to Hops, Straight Ahead!, this became very drinkable. Would that i could have this as the base for a session...

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Photo of Cobrakai22
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Hop Rod pours a dark red color with huge (and chunky?) head, along with lacing and retention that don't quit!

Smell - Not surprisingly hoppy with caramel malt and pronounced citrus tone.

Taste and Mouth - Smooth but crisp mouthfeel. Taste is hoppy throughout with a bit of sweetness and warming on the backend. The rye flavor comes out just enough for my taste.

Drinkability - To me, most every west coast IPA is sessionable (can't get enough of them hops), and this beer is no exception.

Bear Republic needs to 6 pack this stuff so I can have Hop Rod and Racer 5 in the same sitting without dropping two bombers and 10 bucks. But, at $5 for a bomber, I'm sure I will buy this again.

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Photo of farrago
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Frothy head composed of lively tiny bubbles, very slow to dissolve, cloudy amber-brown color with a pleasing glow to it, mostly opaque. Aggressive nose of hops and bitters, mixes in pine resin, white grapefruit pith and field flowers, any fruit is like dried apricot pits, compactness in its punch may inhibit breadth of scents. Lots of foam in the mouth during attack, more full-bodied than medium as it sits very solidly on the palate. Hoppy as a hyper rabbit, less bitter than nose might suggest due to the sweeter grapefruit, tangerine citrus and more present apricot, peach fruit. The rye flavors there but not a huge aspect, blends into accents of hay, straw, fallen pine needles and spices. It expands in the mouth until you have to make a concerted effort to swallow. Stays relatively balanced in spite of its outsized desire to impress.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92% out of 100 with 4,723 ratings
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