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 aquaderek
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at Father`s Office in Culver City. It pours a reddish gold color with a small white head which sticks around. The nose is very biscuity, spicy, and light hoppiness in the background. The taste is very well balaned with the unique biscuity spicy malt, that I am not use to with this style. This is a light to medium bodied brew and has perfect amount of carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer, and paired nicely with a burger.

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Photo of trackstar1043
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clouded deep orange with a rocky tan head, incrediable lacing.

S - Bigger and fuller the Bear's Racer #5 IPA, stronger hops and sweeter malts to balance with the hops.

T - Strong bitter hops right for the start and starts to settle a bit with the sweet malts and carmels tones, then finishes with a lip smacking bitter kick.

M - Med bodied, high carbonation that adds to the extremely lively taste. Very refreshing.

D - Goes down easy and extremely enjoyable.

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Photo of champ103
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark amber/brown color. This has a huge creamy, foamy beige head. Spotty patches of thick lace. This does not look like any American IPA I have ever seen.
S: A nice fruity hop aroma. Some spices come through, from the rye I expect. Not a lot of malt content in the nose that I can detect, but the hop aroma is great.
T: Lots of hops for the hop head in you. I am usually not a fan of bitter beers, but this is great. Just the right amount of bitterness and the spicy rye flavor is wonderful.
M/D: Crisp and well carbonated in the mouth. Easy and smooth to drink, but about half way through the bottle I really felt the alcohol though.

I am a malt head, but this is a great well balanced hoppy beer. Recommended.

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

A: Pours a dark semi opaque amber/brown with foamy huge 3 finger coffee creamer-colored head. Nice lacing all over in thick batches.

S: Real hoppy up front but as it warms, strong chocolately malts and carmel notes become omnipresent.

T: Nice mixture of rye, chocolate malts and bitter hops. Loads of chocolate up front which leads into a bready carmel taste t hat is followed by bitter hoppy tingly finish.

M: Thick and sticky with nice bubbly carbonation. Definitely what I consider full-bodied.

D: This is a pretty heavy and tasty brew, but one bomber would do it for me.

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Photo of johnnieoz
3.66/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 OZer w/o freshness date. Suffice it to say, it was plenty fresh.

A: One of the prettier out there, pure eye candy. First pour into the oversized wine glass resulted in a huge offwhite head that lingers, lingers, lingers... as this translucent amber brown brew goes down the hatch, there is lots of lacing. Wow.

S: A trace of something different than your average IPA, the rye? Otherwise, we're talking grapefruit run through the refinery...that petroleum-like smell you just want to keep inhaling.

T: With all those rye malts (18%) this baby is rather bready. A very different kind of bready than in one in doppelbocks and darker wheat beers. If I had some rye bread (my favorite) here, I'd create a monster deli sandwich to pair this with. But make no mistake, this is an all about the hops IPA. There is some token maltiness, but then it's hops assault on your precinct 13 palate.

M: I cannot make out those lovely oily IPA hops here. This is a dry-style IPA. The mouthfeel is light, esp. for a 8% abv.

D: Rye malts in an IPA makes for one bitter brew. It is a bit too hoppy for this man's taste. Simply put, this makes it less drinkable.

This is a good beer that many will like or even love. However, I've had more complex, hoppy brews with a crazy taste or more radical mouthfeel that made the beer in question more drinkable. I'll have it again one day and see where my buds are then.

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Photo of AaronRed
3.99/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Maybe I am getting used to big beers, after tasting many an imperial IPA over the past few years. However, this one stands out. To me it was very aggressive and at times overpowering. Very unique in smell and tatse, aromas of fresh hops and citrus are immediately present. Taste follows the same- very strong- bitter, makes your mouth tingle. I did like it- just I felt I could not drink another one of these- even though I shared this bottle. I was looking foward to the rye, and I think the tang that cane with each sip was different, and probably due to the rye. I would drink this again, and maybe if my expectations were as lofty, I might have rated this higher.

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

Had this after I had the XP Pale Ale. Was sticking with the beers with lots more hop.

A: A dark reddish brown. I was surprised at the clarity of the beer. Another great pour from the bartender, she is good, giving a nice thick foam head.

S: The hops just hit you. An aroma of pine with some tropical fruit or citrus.

T: As the beer warmed a little, the full effect of the hops were tasted. Very bitter with a hint of citrus. really strong hop flavor, which isn't a beer I normally seek out, but wow, this was great.

M: Creamy feel, full bodied beer.

D: Has a higher alcohol content, the board at the bar was saying 7.7% ABV. Enjoyed this beer a lot but could not have more than 2 at one sitting.

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Photo of Donnie2112
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Cloudy, red-brown colour, big beautiful head that is so thick that it holds more in some spots then others. It also has a very nice lace. Great lookin beer

smell: bready sweet malt and citrusy hops

taste: Sweet caramel, bready yumminess, I'm not really familiar with rye but I like this. I really like the grapefruit, grassy hop finish.

Mouthfeel: creamy, thick and lightly carbonated

drinkability: This stuff is smooth and it tastes wonderful. I would drink a bunch of this

Also I tend to cook when I drink and often when I cook I just start chopping up ingredients and then figure out what I'm going to make after half way through chopping things up, and I constantly adapt while I cook. I ended up cooking some of mushrooms and onions in this stuff and really enjoyed the hopiness and the sweetness of the malts integrated into the pasta sauce that I made. I will try this again, but without as much hot sauce (I tend to like things really spicy)

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

Pours a bottle brown color, with a very short lasting dark cream head. Smells like devils food donut! Yes, even with the marshmellow rolling with the chocolate. A very subdued grainy side on the back of the nose. Sweet licorice, nuanced oatmeal and the hops really only playing the background in this beer. I really do like it, and a very interesting way of doing this beer. The hops really only play a slight citric role, but completely overshadowed by the intensity of the malts (which are very approachable). The finish of this beer is where the hops shine, and show quite a bit of bitter after you sit for a second!

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Photo of jeonseh
3.47/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 22 oz bomber and poured into a GI tulip Glass.

A - A rather dark mahogany with a slight hint of deep orange and gold. Actually one of the darkest IPAs I've ever seen as the primary color is a dark red and not an orange or gold. Has a nice big, tough head that sits on top and reminds me of the color of caramel. Can see a few trails of carbonation coming up but not too much. Tons of lacing left behind and have to say one of the most unique and best looking beers I've seen of the style.

S - Smells of candied grape fruit and also a bit of a syrupy sweetness. Smells more sweet and less hoppy than I actually expected.

T- At first, I get a big whiff of bitter hops that quickly fade into a sweet, tangerine orange and caramel malt. The hops come back in the end but they are not really that noticeable. It seems to be that the malt characteristics of the brew were more dominant than expected. This is a way reminds me of a DIPA where they tried so much to keep the beer balanced that in the end, they eliminated much of the hop flavor. I do want to point out that despite the prevelance of the malt this is not a sweet beer at all. The hops do seem to make themselves known in the aftertaste I find myself with that familiar hoppy, bitter taste sitting on the tongue after the rest of the beer goes down. I almost have to say where this is one beer where I like the aftertaste more than I like the actual taste of it in my mouth which is a bit odd but the way I feel.

MF - A rather nice creamy feel to it. Only a small amount of carbonation that is nice to cut the sweetness. A bit cloying as I can feel the syrupy-ness sitting on my mouth after I drink it. The afterfeeling is a bit astringent but only mildly.

D - Overall, this is a nice and easy drinking beer but not one that really stands out. Has only a small hint of hops really and has the caramel malt, which is not overpowering, but makes the beer sweeter than I expected and wanted it to be. It is good but probably not one that I would reach for again for the reason that there are easier drinking beers and ones that stand out a bit more.

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Photo of avalon07
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my 200th beer review, so I figured I should get something I knew would be good.

A: When poured from a bottle to a pint glass, had a strong amber color and a cloudy consistency. A big, long-lasting head and very good lacing.

S: A big whiff of hops, malt and some citrus make for an excellent aroma.

T: There's some lemon, a lot of hops, malt and rye. A very well-balanced flavor.

M: Lots of carbonation and a smooth finish. Definitely a full-bodied beer.

D: This is an excellent brew. Vibrant, complex and tasty. Very well-made.

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Photo of OKCNittany
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a huge three finger light-tan head with great retention. Left lots of lacing. Body was a clear brown.

S: There was not much of an aroma. Some fresh grapefruit & some malt, but it really needed to be bigger.

T: Seemed too balanced to be a DIPA, but it was awfully strong for an IPA. There was a wonderful, fresh citric hop bitterness perfectly balanced with plenty of biscuity and caramel malt. The flavor more than made up for what the nose lacked.

M: The body was about halfway between medium & full with tingly carbonation. Smooth and a bit oily on the tongue, leaving a lasting balanced aftertaste.

D: The big flavor hid the alcohol just about completely, and at 8%, that's dangerous. I recommend a driver, because you're not going to want to stop at 1 ... or 2.

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Photo of Lenny2884
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful mahogany/caramel color with a huge off white head that doesnt go away. Nice lacing as well.

Smells of big beautiful citrus hops with a hint of grapefruit and malty sweetness. This has set off a waterfall in my mouth!

Super clean! Bitterness is perfect, citrus hops are on point and sweetness of the malt is there in great balance. Great brew all around. Hops are big but not overpowering.

Overall, very impressive brew here. I could drink this all day and night. As it warms more complex flavors arise. Cheers to Bear Republic

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Photo of Maudite
2.8/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Maybe I missed something, especially after reading other reviews in comparison with my notes, but, after two tries with the same results, I am just unimpressed.

A- This pours a fine looking AIPA: Creamy, thick sticky head with tremendous doily lacing. Body is a deep, ruby copper, a few shades darker than typical. Good looking beer.

S- The nose as well is great, but probably the only part of the beer that I could say is well constructed, or even remotely balanced. The large amount of hops blended well with the rye malt creating a nose laden with pine, citrus, woody-floral, astringent, minty. I'd buy this for an air freshener rather than a beverage.

T- I was excited to try this, because every other rye beer I've had has been exceptional. The hops were too aggressive on the pallet, in that they come across as unbalanced and conflicting. I wanted to taste the smooth almost minty/oaky quality that rye can lend, but all I got was a flavor I can only equate to tree sap. The hops were not very citric as the nose let on, and the bitterness was just over bearing. I had to force my way through this beer. I normally love hoppy beers, when balanced properly (Deschutes Fresh Hop ale being a good example of great balance). As it got more to room temperature the flavors balanced better, and I appreciated the fact that they stayed in my mouth for around 5 minutes after a swallow. With some tweaking of the hop bill this could be a world class beer, but I was left confused and disappointed.

M- Like I said, the hops do alot of things to your mouth. Some good, some not as pleasant. All in all I'd say that the feeling your mouth gets from this beer is enjoyable, disregarding the flavor.

D- I'd like to try it again and see if perhaps a third time is the charm, but I cannot recommend this beer.

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

This is currently the only Bear Republic brew my home store carries, and despite my love for Racer 5 and Big Bear, I couldn't be happier. What a great brew. A fairly dark IPA, nice deep amber with plenty of carbonation and a sudsy head. Smell gets your attention. Piney grapefruit hits hard, accompanied bya grainy alcohol edge. Taste is exceptional. The grapefruit and pine aspects overwhelm the palate. A spicy hot aspect is there too. A hint of caramel malt tries to balance this brew out, but fails, this is a hopheads dream. Mouthfeel is great, very enjoyable with the palate demolished by the hops and left refreshed. Each time I've enjoyed this brew it's been a single bomber, and it was justnot enough of this fine IPA.

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

A- Dark, slightly hazy copper color with a thick almond-color one-finger head. Floaties abound.

S- Citrus & piney hops with a strong rye presence. There's a chocolaty aroma lingering in the background too. Unique.

T- Holy bananas, Batman! Super intense flavor. Very strong rye and grapefruity hop impact... I guess that's the point.

M- Full & sticky. Almost meal like.

D- Even with the uber-intense flavors, its pretty darn drinkable

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

22 oz. bomber enjoyed in a HopDevil pint.

Appearance is medium carmine with hints of black cherry drizzle. Body is caliginous and has a borderline resemblance to syrup. A cascade of perpetual foam engulfs the glass in sticky lacing.

Nose is a pleasant mixture of citrus, grapefruit, and wheatgrass.

Relatively smooth up front and decidedly bitter in closing. Delicious grapefruits hops, spicy grains, and pinches of cumin.

Oily with a prickly aftertaste. This one lingers exponentially.

This is a very satisfying IPA; a step above Racer 5 (in my opinion) and easy to indulge in, despite the higher ABV of its aforementioned kin. I commend Bear Republic for being adventurous.

Nicely done.

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Photo of Matty1918
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A nice dark amber color with a descent head. A thin amount of lacing.

A good hop aroma..citrus, slight grapefruit and a hint of pine. A slight grain taste at the end...must be the rye.

A good tasting Ale. A nice dry bitterness, slight citrus and slightly sweet. Very well balanced at first but then the hops take over.

A nice Ale in my book. I'll buy this again.

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Photo of jwc215
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish copper with a huge foamy head that descends to a rocky, then frothy, cover that lasts, leaving broken rings and patches of lacing.The smell is citric, piney and very resiny - spicy hops assault the nose.  Some carob/rye in the back.The taste is resiny, piney, grapefruity, spicy.  Hops are aggressively in the forefront.  Rye backs it up, as does a pinch of caramel sweetness as it progresses. Alcohol is there, but mellow.  Finishes very dry.Full-bodied with an adequate amount of carbonation keeping it from being too thick, though it does have a stickiness associated with a DIPA.

This is a hop-head's delight for sure!  Plenty of hops in this one!  A nice use of rye gives it a unique character.  One bottle was not enough!

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Photo of ShrLSU
3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pored from a 750oz bottle into a pint.

Appearance - Poured a dark reddish color with a 2 or 3 inch thick white head. Once the head settled it stayed clumpy on top and side of the glass.

Smell - Very hoppy with some slight citrus and malty finish

Taste & Mouthfeel - Very crisp at the beginning but gets smoother as you go further into the beer.

Drinkability - Definitely one to try and enjoy. Not too overpowering on any front. A very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

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

I bought a bomber of Hop Rod Rye in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a red mahogany color and is clear. Frothy off-white two-finger head, id very resilient. Sheets of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell is a smoky sweet dark fruit aroma, with a bit of a stinging pine scent.

Taste is a semi-sweet caramel malted flavor, with some fruit flavors, a bitter finish and a little war,m alcohol bitterness. The flavers are interesting and well balanced.

Mouthfeel is buttery smooth and full bodied.

Reasonably drinkable given the ABV. The flavors are well balanced and noting is over powering. I'n not sure about sessionablility, but tis is a very drinkable, yet robust ale.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.66/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this one on tap about a month ago and was blown away. I'm happy to see that the bottle version follows through just as strongly; a truly excellent beer. Nice looking deep brown color with amber highlights and a frothy, massive head that seems to never go away, and when it does leaves excellent lacing. Nose is nice and strong, lots of spicy malt and then piney hops. One very minor complaint is that the nose is not particularly complex. Taste is wonderful, all over the place. In no particular order: piney hops, caramel and then toffee malt, light roasted malt, a touch of citrus, very mild dried fruit. Excellent flavor. Feel is full bodied with perfect carbonation. And my second minor complaint: the ABV is too high to drink to many of these, although that might be good, cause I might be downing these 24/7 otherwise.

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

Picked up from central market $4.49.
A- Copperish to dark brown small head retention.
S-Smelled of citris, grapefruit and carbonation.
T-High alfa-acids, very hoppy yet balanced with the malt, rye adds that extra complexity, 8%abv. hidden well.
M-Bitter taste, a litte oily. Great aftertaste(hop bite)!
This beer I have always seen on the shelves and never picked it up because to be honest I dont like there advertising departments pictures on the bottles. I am glad I did this beer was nice and hoppy and a little different tasting with the addition of rye, would buy again. Dont judge a beer by its cover!

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pored from a 750oz bottle into a pint glass. Logo has an old jalopy with flames on the side.

Appearance - Pours a murky reddish color with a lovely clumpy three finger head crowning the top. So clumpy it looks like brain. After the head went down, huge white clumps cling to the side of the class. Still a thick patchy layer of head left on top of the beer all the way to the end

Smell - Lots of hops, somewhat of a spiciness to it. A faint malt is hidden somewhere in the back behind some citrus notes as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Crisp and hopy up front, but it blends nicely into a smooth creaminess before finishing slightly bitter on the back end. Hops relaxed a little bit, and it got hella creamy and malty as it warmed. Spicyness kinda kicks in on the aftertaste as well.

Drinkability - Beautiful combo of hops and malt. Not too much of each, just a great balance. I'm gonna sip on this one as long as I can.

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Photo of firkinhophead
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy amber brown with a small head that fades to a ring and a thin film of foam.

Aroma of spicy, floral hops, toasted malt, caramel, a bit of citrus in the nose, as well as some alcohol burn. Looking forward to this one.

Wow. Body is much thinner than I expected. Washes right over the tongue clean and bright. Hops are as promised in the nose, with some herbal tastes as well. Rye whiskey flavor is prominent, along with an oaky dryness. If I didn't know better, I might have said it was barrel-aged. Caramel and toffee flavors are more toasted than sweet.

Mouthfeel is superb for such a strong ale. The alcohol isn't exactly hidden, but it goes down smooth. Very little hop bitterness, but avoids cloying sweetness. Fairly low carbonation, but not at all dull on the tongue. Probably the best utilization of rye that I have tasted.

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