Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

4,717 Ratings
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A high gravity IPA brewed with 18% rye malt. Hop Rod Rye has a floral hop aroma and subtle caramel notes with a slightly earthy and spicy rye character.

2009 California State Fair – GOLD
2003 California State Fair – GOLD
2002 Real Ale Festival (Chicago) – GOLD

Added by Quaffer on 03-27-2002

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,717 |  Reviews: 2,077
Photo of avalon07
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
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 -1.7%
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 +0.2%
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 -34%
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 +6.6%
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 +1.9%
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 +1.4%
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 +6.1%
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 -16.3%
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 -3.3%
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 +9.9%
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 +4.2%
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 -2.6%
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 +3.1%
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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Photo of CrellMoset
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A deep, ruddy brown brew that's beautifully clear with a thick, foamy, tan head which lasts for a good minute or two. The lacing forms thick, lateral rings on the walls of the glass. Carbonation inside this beer is very sparse - occasional dribbles of bubbles will drift up lazily from the bottom of the glass, but by and large, it remains very placid.

Smell: A strong, heavy, pungent hop aroma - running the gamut from tart citrus peel to sappy pine - is the real star here. I always really enjoy the smell of rye beers for some reason, and this one is no different - it's earthy, and the bitterness imparted by the addition of the rye melds with the hop bitterness in unique ways. Very well-rounded.

Taste: The faintest hints of sweet, lightly toasted malted barley around the edges ... absolutely smothered in a delicious cacophony of bitter glory. Sharp piney resins, the dry, spiciness of the rye grain, and a floral, citrusy twinge in the finish all represent here. The alcohol is warming - no, no, it's hot - and leaves its mark in the back of my throat. The beer doesn't leave so much an aftertaste as an afterfeel, if you can imagine such a thing. As the beer warms, the flavors grow in intensity and complexity.

Mouthfeel: Like a pillow on my tongue. The bubbles are large, which lightens everything, but everything's connected so well and so smoothly, it's still creamy and rich.

Drinkability: Alarmingly good. The alcohol in this brew (8.00% abv) is borderline dangerous, but the bitterness of the rye keeps the tongue from detecting it at all - a 22 oz. bomber of this beer seems like the perfect amount given its alcohol content. On the other hand, my throat is still on fire from the bitter assault it just received, but like the man said, it really does hurt so good.

What a fantastic beer. $3.99 is cheap for a bomber of pretty much anything decent, and for a beer of this caliber it's pretty much outstanding - I was genuinely surprised at how inexpensive it was. That being said, this beer, more than most others, is not for the faint of heart. Not because it's incredibly alcoholic, or even just incredibly hoppy. But it was really, truly bitter.

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Photo of zdk9
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- This one is quite dark for an IPA, a dark brown with copper highlights. There's about a half finger of head and some pocadot lacing.

S- The smell is weaker than the taste, and I wish there was more. Some sweetness and slight citrus.

T- I like this taste. It's sweet and carmely and hoppy, but also kind of husky, and with some straw hints.

M- Syrupy and thick. Good.

D- I could go for this one again, if the smell was stronger I would appreciate it more, but overall quite enjoyable.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a bright, cranberry-amber with a huge, firm rocky beige head that was fully lasting throughout the course of the drink. Visible carbonation was light-medium.

S: a huge fresh citrus and grapefruit aroma as well light pine.

T: a very nice balance of hops and malt with a smooth bitterness of citrus/grapefruit. There was some sweet malt and pine resin that combined with the dry crisp nature of the rye palate. On the finish and fade was a beautiful dry citrusy flower hopping, that was sweet and bitter. Overall incredibly balanced with the dry crisp rye complimenting the flowery hop finish with a well rounded hop bitterness and flavor that was not coarse like many other ipas.

M: medium-full with a nice viscous nature, slightly oily with almost no carbonation detected.

D: Amazing drinking ipa that was well balanced with a refined dry citrusy/grapefruit and flowery hopping that provided an smooth and even bitterness with a great finish.

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Photo of timbro81
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beware the massive head. Pours a ruby red/brown color with lots of carbonation and good lacing all the way down. Hops and rye dominate the nose. This was only mt second beer and I find that the rye seems to have a dusty/dirty grain smell. Not necessarily a turn off but something I'm not used to. Mouthfeel is slightly silky and light on the tongue. Hops dominate the aftertaste and diminish in less than a minute. The rye smell I described in the nose is not present in the taste. A pretty good beer.

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Photo of SaucyA
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep deeeep amber/brown. Light tan, one finger head. Dark for an IPA. Lacing.

S - Sweet molasses and perfumey hops.

T - Pretty much excellent. The rye really takes this IPA places. One of the better examples of reinterpreting a style. I'm reading it's a "strong" IPA, which is exactly what I'd consider it.

M - Med-Thick but highly carbonated. Jumped out of the bottle a little when I cracked it. Could be slightly thinner to help the drinkability.

D - If this was around my area, I'd definitely buy a lot more of this. It's a great brew that I'll most likely trade for/buy again... I'd really love to try this in a fresh keg.

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

capped 22 oz bottle

The brew pours a deep magnificant red colour into a Flying Fish pint glass. The head is tan, very strong and very sticky with great lacing. Others have reported seeing lots of sediment, ive seen none so far, but yet it is the first pint. This beer smells wonderful! Lots of fresh hops and and alcohol...extremely pleasant. Taste...wow...this beer is great! The malts balance out with the hoppyness 100% which is very impressive. Its a bit tart with fresh citrus fruit notes. The rye is present but in no way alarming. I'm scared to say that this is definitely, without a doubt, one the best strong American IPA's that i've ever had! This is 8%? Really? Wow! Keep this one flowing please! The finish is medium length and very enjoyable.

Im shocked.
This beer was amazing.

(original date of review- 3/3/2008)

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Photo of kingjames1
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This looks promising...pours a beautiful, dark amber, with a nice head. Smells weaker than I expected, but then i have allergies so I won't hold that against it...all i can detect is that lovely, resiny hops aroma. Taste is incredible. A wonderfully balanced ipa. Pine resin, grapefruit, and a touch of spicey, rye bread. Wonderful! Yum. Perfect mouthfeel - thick, yet carbonated enough to make it exteremely enjoyable to drink. And very drinkable. This is a top shelf IPA. Too bad its just pricey enough to keep it from being a staple item on my refrigerator shelf...

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

Pours a deep brown with a large light tan head. Head has great retention with some spotty lace.

Aroma is beautiful. Hoppy with a grapefruity punch, backed by a hefty dose of rye.

Taste is equally as nice as the aroma. A hoppy burst with some citrus notes and a nice rye backbone. A perfect bittering bite on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is moderate. Moderately highly alcohol and bitter notes slow the drinking, but is definitely easy to consume.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep ruby red with a firm creamy whipped tan head. Slight haze with some bubble raising in the middle. Lots of pungant citrusy hops win out over some sweet caramel and spicy rye aroma. Again, the hops are the major player, but the rye character is worthy of your attention. Both together create a wonderfully blend of citrus and spice that would please the most disearning hop head. Body may be a bit thin, but that my make this sort of a refreshing beer.

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Photo of SirSaranac
3.96/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hmmmm... I had read a lot of reviews on this, so I was excited to finally pick up a bottle of this stuff.

A- Impressive looking IPA... mocha colored 2 finger head crowns a deep amber burgondy brew. Excellent lacing.. slight sediment. Very nice.

S- Hmmm... Was expecting more. The hops are fresh and slightly piney, but waaay weaker than I was expecting. Earthy malt... grains.. must be the rye? Rather weak indeed... at least compared to the beautiful appearance.

T- The hops and malt blend very well... almost more like an English IPA... yet still holding onto enough hop bite to distinguish itself as a true AmIPA... Light Caramel does at as a nice touch in the aftertaste. 8% abv... really? Could've fooled me... hides this badge rather well. Very smooth an well balanced.

M- Light Med mouth... Slight hop bite, and end verrrry creamy... that's my favorite part... quite creamy.

D- I could definitely drink these, and a lot of them... quite tasty, and the 8% abv is really well hidden. However, if I was REALLY in the mood for a hop fix, I'd have to look to another brew.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,717 ratings.
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