Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,727 |  Reviews: 2,082
Photo of Troegman
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle from Stockertown Bev

The Hop Rod has a cloudy brown-reddish color with a creamy substantial head and nice lacing.

Very different aroma, the malty rye smell is dominant with some hops blended in.

Really like this,the rye and malt make this an IPA type like no other. Substantial body to it. Had a case that went fast at the last party.

Went fast, was even better as it sat for a while.

 402 characters

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

22oz bomber

brown, reddish amber, some yeast sediment in suspension. decent head, especially if you pour hard enough. retains well and leaves thin little lines of lace down the glass

fresh citrusy aroma, with bready and yeast notes.

flavor is fruity like citrus zest, leaning towards grapefruit, with malty backbone and hop kick, and fresh pine scent in the retro-olfaction. am i tasting some rye? or am i just perceiving it because it's in the name? or because i'm also eating pastrami on rye...? definitely some caramel notes. strong bitterness never overpowers and goes into the slightly resinous finish accompanied by a slight acidic twang.

relatively substantial, some acidity, carbonation to match.

a good drink, and quite a bit of character for "just" an IPA and not a double/imperial.

 797 characters

Photo of unclederby
3.97/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a bomber into a new belgium tulip.

maple colored with a slight haze and a one-fingered, soapy and tan head. through light it appears to be unfiltered as tiny floaties dot the ale and before long the head is gone. minimal, not so sticky lacing.

smells citrusy, spicy and of smoked grain with a touch of grapefruit rind and an underlying sweetness. distinctive bouquet due to the rye, i guess... but hard to pin down. perhaps "earthy" is what i'm getting here.

taste is marked by citusy and spicy hops, with grapefruit and coriander and a substantial malt backbone taming the bitterness. nicely balanced and a dry finish... the hops don't linger long enough to wreck the palate. still, hops are here aplenty.

eight percent abv? really?

medium bodied mouthfeel, a bit resiny and oily.

not much wrong with this beer, as it is nicely balanced and fairly sessionable, just not my cup of tea when it comes to IPA's i guess... i prefer the Racer 5.

 958 characters

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

Beautiful clear deep red-mahogany color with a huge soapy white head. Serious staying power and some awesome sheets of lace stick to the glass.

Big hop aroma, clean citrus with loads of lemon and grapefruit. More hops with a lot of pine and some spicy notes.

A ton of hop flavor and bitterness, assertive but not overbearing. Malt makes a brief appearance, peeking in between blasts of citrus and pine. As it warms more spice comes in and it gets more bready. Hops dominate but there is a serious malt backbone that lies beneath the tart and bitter flavors.

Smooth, crisp, and creamy. Medium in body. Pretty good drinkability, takes the taste buds on a serious hop ride.

 673 characters

Photo of IBUnit63
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a perfect pour of a 22 oz. into a nice, big mug. Thick (not too thick), uniform head with some stamina. Deep, dark cherry wood color. Mild carbonation. This looks like a perfect power beer. Light rye-bread tones on the nose. Wafting bitterness expected for the style isn't hindered by excess carbonation. Honestly, I expected a little more here but the aroma is pleasant. I really need to let my beers open and breathe and get a little warm prior to pour...almost like you do with wine when talking about something powerful like this. Nice, hearty, bready structure - the rye almost feigns the tingle of carbonation here. Hops take a back seat in the first few sips but come back after about 20 minutes in force. A little earthy taste in the end. Well blended stuff with tangy finish. At first, it feels slightly sour but this evolves over time into more prevalent hop goodness. While it doesn't quite measure up to the look of one of the most eye-catching pours I've seen in a while I could definitely enjoy a few of these. It's hoppy but mild and balanced - tough not to enjoy!

 1,087 characters

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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle, courtesy of BeerRun13

A: Pours a deep caramel brown with red under a big white head. The yeast in this one just stays suspended in the body longer than usual. Some lace and good retention.

S: Big lemony citrus hop nose that eventually turns to more of a pine.

T: More of the same from the nose, but with a certain tartness apparent. Very nice bitter finish. Hint of earthy yeast.

M/D: Smooth and creamy medium body. Carbonation is just drink. Pretty good drinkability as well, a very nice IPA.

 526 characters

Photo of jbphoto88
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a pretty brew. From a 22oz bottle this beer is a dark ruby and rust colored red. A thick fluffy head about an inch from the beer forms fast and leaves a nice webbing texture on the glass as you drink.

Smell is like a hoppy rye bread. I've never know any bakery to make that but if it smells like this beer that bread should be great. There is also some nice citrus scents and fine malt profile. A very nice nose.

Taste is all ipa. Its got some fine hop flavors with some sweet maltiness. There is a little citrus that leads to a metallic, astringent taste and feel. It is a little distracting from the brew but by no means a nail in the coffin. I can't taste any rye characteristics, they might be hidden by the hoppiness and bitterness in this beer.

This beer is a fine beer to have on hand. Its not too pricey and has a nice taste but it is not on the level of great IPA's. The best part is that you can top of your beer with the little bit left in the bottle.

 971 characters

Photo of lightindarkness
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to barefootbrewer for this one!

This is a surprisingly complex beer in everything from appearance to taste. On first try it has launched itself to one of my all time favorites.

Appearance is intriguing, with overall deep brown color, shining with amber highlights and darker reddish tones. A good creamy head sits for only a while, but leaves a nice web of lace. Streams of carbonation are visible at first, but obscured by the sediment when the last bit is poured.

Nose is filled with big fullness of rich caramelly malt and a juicy hopped up spine. Bready, with peach and grapefruit notes, spiced with a faint crisp scent of rye. A slightly off dankish hop whiff sneaks in, but does not interfere.

As for taste, crap, this is good. A crisp snap of rye rounds with a plenty of fullness in bready caramelly roasted malts - depth and flavor well outside of an IPA. Bitterness swells in the end, fuller and with less sharp attack than most IPAs or DIPAs. Finishes with grainy rye and bitterness softening to yeasty bread. A good deal of alcohol is detectable at the beginning, lessening as it warms and sits.

A nice rich yet medium bodied beer. Creamy smooth, with hints of dryness offset by sticky slightly oiled hop feel. Nice full carbonation.

Complex and flavorful in drinkability. Not so high in terms of mass consumption, but certainly for overall character and attraction.

 1,396 characters

Photo of Proteus93
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A deep copper brown pour with a nicely foarming, foamy head. Slightly off-white, not too sticky, but great presentation.

S: Very hoppy, a bit of a floral aroma seeping through it all. An alcohol smell - notable smells of the rye, though there was a hint of a metallic aroma sneaking through very subtly.

T: Pungent, resiny hops. The infused rye flavours are quite strong, perhaps even a little more than expected. They found a way to blend the two distinct flavours very nicely, though. Similar to smell, a very slight metallic taste came through, though it could be that I'm smelling and tasting something a little off. A touch of warm malts provide a touch of balance. Quite an intriguing flavour.

M: A medium-heavy body. Wet, but leaves enough coating to allow the flavour to sink into the tongue.

D: A bit more arrogance than with some, but I tend to use that word when describing the body and taste of some of the harder liquors. Perhaps I'm putting too much into the rye elements. Ultimately, though, a good flavour, and a moderately easy drink. Take it easy, and enjoy it.

 1,089 characters

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

On tap at Max's on Superbowl Sunday....

The beer pours a hazy, orange/amber color with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose the beer is very IPA-like, with lots of floral citrus and lime. On the palate the beer is quite delicious, with the rye flavor quite noticeable. The rye gives the beer a somewhat dry aspect, but also some additional complexity. There is plenty of citrus as well, and the beer is surprisingly light on its feet for such a hoppy beer with 8% abv. The beer comes across as quite drinkable, with a cascade of bitter all through the finish. Just delicios.

Another very fine beer from Bear Republic.

 631 characters

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

Very dark amber color - almost brown. Thin off-white head is creamy and attractive, but heads for the door quickly. Aroma of whole leaf hops, juicy dark malts. Dry bitter hop flavor marries well with fruity/ caramel malt taste. Rye is present in vague fruity/ spiciness. Medium body, though fresher versions have been stickier and fuller. Hop bitters on the finish with a little cracker dryness.

 395 characters

Photo of watchnerd
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Om yom yom, this is a delicious beer. Almost an IPA, yet not, the normal west coast IPA hops being balanced out by an intriguing creaminess on the finish. Is it because of the rye? Special malts?Or secret Bear Republic elves? Dunno, but this brew is good, and unique. The only downside is that, like the Stone Ruination, the taste experience is intense enough that you need to give your palate a rest afterwards. And the drinkability takes a hit due to the high-ish ABV.

Bear Republic might be one of the most under-rated breweries with the widest range of good beers: Racer 5, Racer X, and Black Bear are all good to amazing beers. Now I can add Hop Rod Rye to the list of greats.

 682 characters

Photo of Scoobydank
3.33/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Once again, thanks to my boy Franksandbeans for this puppy
L:Thick frothy 3 finger off white head. Sentiment everywhere on this one. Tiny little bubble continue floating up the sides of the glass forever. The color itself is a dark ruby red.
S: I had to take a few sniffs of this and struggled with each smell. What I did pick up was fairly clean hops with a slight roasty chocolate?
T: I tried this beer both warm and cold. What I found cold was very lack luster. The hops were nice and shapr on the back with a slight grainy nuttiness. Kind of seem watered down to me. once a tad warm I picked up very very light chocolate with a nice solid malty sweetness.
M:Kind of thin water like feel to me. Decent roundness
D:Good. Seems insanely light to me. I expected a lot more. Once the beer gets warm I appreciate it 100 times more.

 829 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass. From notes.

A: Wonderful deep copper color with 2 fingers of off-white head. Lacing from the top of the glass to the bottom.

S: Hops. (Citrus, pine, and an almost sap like smell)

T: Hops hit you at first then you get an almost earthy taste. Quite a bit of malt for an IPA as well

M: Different for an IPA. Almost has a creamy feel to it.

D: Kind of intense on both ends of the spectrum so I could not see myself having more than one of these. Great beer though.

 491 characters

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

22oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass

Pours a beautiful dark copper with a fluffy head that never totally disappears. Aroma is Grapefruit, Pine and some sweet and caramel malt in the background. Taste hits with the citrus and pine and lingers long after each sip. There's a bit of bite from the rye somewhere in the middle. Medium body lots of lacing. Nice IPA.

 366 characters

Photo of ROMER79
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Very thick dark brown color with a thick white/reddish brown head

S: A rich wiff of hopps, caramel, and pine

T: Very hoppy with the rye flavor bursting in every sip with a hint of caramel to follow

M: Very crisp easy to gulp or sip

D: I totally agree with the fellow below. I too could drink this all the time and not get sick of it. BR did a tremendous job with this one. Hats off!!
P.S. It's on tap at the Grey Lodge in Phila, PA

 438 characters

Photo of Deuane
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Dark amber brown with a thick off white head, prominent lacing.

S-A nice punch of citrus and pine. Backround scents of sweet malts. Very pungent.

T-A nice big ole' hop bomb that is supported by the dry crispness of the rye malt. This is one fine tasting brew.

M-Despite the overwhelming hop presence the malt component is fully supportive. The rye malt addition is woderful giving that extra astringency.

D-One of my favs. This is one hell of a beer. I could happily drink this one all night long. The hops and rye combo is spot on...great job BR!

 554 characters

Photo of ralree
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep clear red with a fantastic reddish-white head. Great looking beer. Extreme lacing - sticks to the sides long after pouring.

S: Sweet tangy hops, caramel. Delicious smell.

T: Solid hop flavor backed by a touch of sweet malt. This is an extreme IPA - don't try it if you hate bitter beer. It reminds me of an Arrogant Bastard ale.

M: Medium-bodied, good carbonation, VERY astringent. The astringency is almost sickening, drying out the tongue quite a bit.

D: Drinkable, but there are more drinkable extreme IPAs. I'll recommend this to some of my friends who are more into the overpowering bitterness than I am.

 623 characters

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

Opened 22oz Bomber, poured into Nonic glass.

Head is a nice 1/2" tan color atop a reddish brown clear ale. Few bubbles rise in the brew. Impressive, especially since it is "unfiltered."

Smell is subtle of hops and a little piney. Taste is surprisingly more robust than aroma with earthiness of pine and slight citrus notes. Smooth on palate with very few bubbles. Piney hops sort of linger for a few. I like this bitterness, has a really nice feel to it. It is sort of an enigma a little more than most American IPAs, but a little less than the Imperials.

 557 characters

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

Its got a very tan, thick (three finger) fluffy/bubbly head that stays around and it has lots of thick lacing all of which covers a dark and slightly hazy reddish/brown body with some medium carbonation. It has the typical IPA aroma that smells spicy and mildly sweet; you can smell some malts and even a little alcohol. Its rolls on smooth and sweet and its very creamy and full bodied; the finish is slightly bitter but it mellows out as it gets warmer.

 455 characters

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

Poured into a pint glass while I watched the Pats game. Pours a nice dark amber color with a real full head that leaves tons of lacing. Some piney hops in the aroma, but not too strong. I was expecting more clean, hop bitterness, but I did not get it. Rather smooth, sweet and malty. NOt like a imperial IPA which I was expecting. Great full flavor, though, a nice beer to relax with.

 384 characters

Photo of younger35
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a bomber of this brew on my resent trip to Chicago. This will be my first taste of Bear Republic beer and I’m glad its this one. Drank from my snifter while watching the Chargers vs. Patriots.

Appearance- Pours a murky reddish orange with breaking hues of yellow where the light is allowed to pass. Loads of yeast is floating about in my glass below a half finger super white head. The frothy top recedes fairly quickly leaving a lily pad like head, thin collar and a good amount of lacing.
Smell- Raw and piney with enough earthy hops to really dominate the nose. Maybe a bit of floral lilac and grapefruit citrus but for the most part its pine and grass. Some brown sugar sweetness and some spicy bits of rye come through as well. Big bold hoppy nose!
Taste- The hop aroma seems to permeate my entire mouth with this rich floral lilac flavor that is extremely unique and extremely good. Loads of caramel malt adds a bit of “balance” to this brew but let’s face it, the hops rule. Hop flavors reminiscent of oranges, grapefruit and even some lemon zest are present as well. The rye is another great addition to the beer that adds a bit of spiciness along with the abundance of yeast. Finishes with a lingering bitter floral aftertaste with a small amount of rye nuttiness.
Mouthfeel- Medium body with a slick oiliness and a spicy, tingly feel on the tongue. Sharp, aggressive carbonation.
Drinkability- This is an absolutely wonderful beer. The hop profile in this brew is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. It’s perfectly to that point (for me anyway) of hoppiness where it’s not overpowering but assertive and tasty. This is the 2nd brew with rye in it I’ve had in a week or so and something about the addition of it just takes a beer to a whole other level. Great beer that I wish I had access to.

 1,817 characters

Photo of LittleBreeze
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


The aroma was a mix of pine and citrus. Relaxing smell. This one is crisp and clean. A slight bitterness balanced with a slight sweetness. A bit of a hoppy bite at the finish. This is the a refreshing beer and a nice break from the heavy sippers I usually enjoy.

 273 characters

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

This beer pours with a big head and a nice amber color. It smells great with lots of hops coming through. It tastes malty first with sweet raisan and alcohal burn. Then the hops hit hard with fresh piney bitterness. Very pleasant. There is a bit of a bitter aftertaste with all that hoppy goodness.

 298 characters

Photo of ryane
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice dark brown color

S: a lot of pine and citrus coming off this one

T: Very bitter, and it stays with you, dont
get as much of the rye I was hoping for

M: good balance, not too thin or too heavy

D: Good, but a bit expensive, distinctive taste
for an IPA

 266 characters

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