Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

4,721 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,721 |  Reviews: 2,080
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear dark amber brown with a sizeable dark crème head. Nose is strong with hops of course. But it is not so much that it is overdone. I say it is well balanced and even. Flavor is rich and smooth. Heavy hop influence with a touch of sweet and basically no alcohol seems to be present. Smooth and even are the key words here. Feel is great. Good carbonation and a thick level of ingredients. Very drinkable. Worth trying and trying again.

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Photo of deepsouth
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i'm drinking this bomber tonight compliments of Vancer who was my first BA trade. BIG thanks to Vancer.

i'm drinking this tonight out of a new sam adams glass.

the beer poured a ruby red with a hint of cherry. i pour pretty hard, and i got about an inch or better of creamy head that stuck around for a couple minutes, leaving some rather nice lacing on the glass.

HUGE hoppy smell, pine, a hint of citrus. big on the hops, as the name would suggest. a very robust smell, but the smell seemed to fade very quickly. once the head was gone, the HUGE robust hops smell was gone. if it had stuck around longer i could have rated this a half a point higher.

the taste is again hops, pine, very bitter, but finishes surprisingly clean. it leaves the mouth a little dry, but that just makes me want another sip, which at 8% can get pretty hairy pretty quickly. i'm also picking up a good citrusy sweet taste that i think balances out the tartness quite nicely. i'm not a huge fan of ipa's, but this one tastes good.

this beer feels real good and thick in the mouth. very carbonated i mentioned dry earlier, but i don't sense the dryness in this category. superb here.

ok, i originally put down (before i finished the review, in my notes) a 3.5 for drinkability, but upon further ponderance (i will commonly make up words, hopefully they make sense) it is a helluva drinkable ipa. (i'd also like to add here that the new firefox things helluva is a real word and doesn't tell me i misspelled something)

so... this one pretty easy to drink. i'm comparing it to masala mama, which i just had a couple days ago. this is a damn drinkable ipa.

thanks again Vancer!

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Photo of illidurit
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Ruination pint glass. Dark amber with ruby hues and a dense light tan head of 3 fingers. Lacing and retention are very good.

The aroma is intensely hoppy, with pine and grapefruit exuding from the glass. Caramel/toffee malt notes are barely detectable behind the hop barrage.

Taste is initially sweet as the malt hits the tongue, but it's sharply interrupted by a strong bitter hoppiness that lasts forever on the palate. With warmth one can perceive the spiciness of the rye.

Mouthfeel is oily from the hops but the bitterness dries it out a little. Medium bodied, almost more into double IPA territory, and adequate carbonation.

High abv for a single IPA makes this less drinkable than one would expect for the style. The huge bitterness also might turn some people away, but the sweet-to-bitter dynamic kept me coming back for another sip without fail.

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Photo of letsgopens
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This IPA pours very woody ruby brown with gorgeous ruby highlights. The off-white head holds pretty well with just a bit of spotty lace. After the head recedes it can be rejuvenated with a quick swish or by freshening up your glass from the bottle. Phenomenal looking with that luscious woody visible texture that often implies deep sprucy, bitter, hops.

Huge, sharp, piny, hops. Spruce; sticky and resinous in the nose. Talk about anticipation. Some nice caramel malt and bitter citrus. Bright and semi-sweet with some distinct breadiness and light toffee. Pungent and mouthwatering. I don't think it gets much better than this. Everything I look for in an IPA and more. Unique, complex, and wildly aromatic.

Heavy, floral and bitter on the tongue. Hops, hops, and more sprucy, piny, resinous hops. The well pronounced caramel malt provides a slightly sweet and substantial canvas for the hops. Ok, more about the hops; spicy and herbal with lots of citrus tied in as well. Citrus contributes in a big way. Orange and bitter grapefruit pith. Cracked black pepper and coriander. Interesting spicy rye focuses in the middle. Juicy and slick in flavor and texture and not dry. I'm actually going to tie the flavor in with mouthfeel as far as the review is concerned because of how well they compliment each other.

The hops linger so well throughout the finish and beyond that they dominate the texture of the brew. The fact that these huge, boisterous flavors can be balanced so well is a large testament to this beers craftsmanship. Lingering floral hops come through with a clean slick finish. One of the all time best beers I've ever had. An absolute treat to consume and to evaluate. A masterpiece of malty, hoppy deliciousness.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a huge creamy head. It looks like it came from a nitro can. Amazing retention and great lacing. Has a ruby red color. This is one of those beers that gets noticed when it walks into a room.

Smells of sweet caramel malts, lots of citric/grapefruity and piney hops and a bit of fruitiness.

The taste is very well balanced, lots of bitter grapefruity hops and sweet malt but I cant really find anything rye related oh well. Bear Republic sure know how to brew.

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

Dark amber in color, this ale pours with a thin tan head, with lacing that remains throughout the glass. The hops shine through in the aroma and taste. While it's definitely a dry beer, it wasn't as astringent as I would have expected from the rye that was used. It is a beer that I would drink again.

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Photo of Redwood21
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: wow, awesome looking brew, it is a hazy brown color with a tan head that is an inch thick, and i mean thick and rocky and creamy and all the things you dream of the head on a beer to be. when i think of a 5 out of 5 this is what i hope for. i hope for a good solid color and a head that makes me thirsty

S: I knocked this down because while it by no means smells bad, it also has no discerning awesome come hither aroma. it has a slight fruit citrus air to it, but thats about all "I" can detect.

T: this is a good ipa, the hops to me were not all that overpowering but yielded a flavor i was not used to in an ipa, almost more sweet with a strong bitter finish, odd combo but a welcomed change from the norm for sure this is also one beer that you can taste the citrus, maybe grapefruit from the hops.

M/D: Ok so this beer is very enjoyable and not too overpowering, so its an easy drinker. I would imagine one not accustomed to ipa's might not agree. it has a dry bitter aftertaste, but i welcome and expect this

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Photo of quasimoto
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice copper color with a nice big fluffy head that leaves a lot of lace. Strong aromas of citrus hops with a little bit of malt in the middle. The hops are the prominent flavor of this beer. There really is some malt there waaay in the background. Somewhere. As it warms it turns toasty and bready. Could be a little bit more balanced. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and barely dries out. Nice and bitter and clean. Overall a nice beer. But man alive give me something more than hops, hops, hops.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear brown with a big creamy head that lasts throughout the beer. The aroma is malty with very noticeable hops – some fruit notes are present. The taste is BOLD! It is hoppy and bitter with a nice sweet balance. The taste lingers thoughtfully. The mouthfeel is quite full and seems very appropriate. Overall, this is a highly enjoyable brew that I’ll be keeping in stock.

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Photo of beveritt
3.45/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Had a pint of this recently at Mulholland Brewing Company. Arrived in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Very little head, small islands of light tan foam with medium lacing. Red/brown in color, deep ruby if held to the light.

Smell: Sweet at first with hints of grapefruit hops.

Taste: Long bitterness throughout, start to finish, both from hops and the rye.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation. Average body.

Drinkability: Average. I usually am not a fan of rye beers, but this one does not have such a pronounced rye grainy bitterness.

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Photo of pweis909
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I was really looking forward to this, as I had heard a lot about it.

Pours Amber with a tawny head. Citrusy American aroma hops are noticeable, but not as tantalizing as I hoped. The hop bitterness is quite strong and dominates the flavor profile. Rye may also contribute to some of the sharpness. The alcohol is big. The high bitterness and the big alcohol are a little much for me - not so drinkable. Soft, silky mouth feel.

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Photo of Beerbuddha
3.81/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What a crazy beer. 18% Rye? Anyways on to the review.. The beer poured into the glass a copper, golden color with huge fluffy off white head. Fantastic start to a beer! The aroma was hoppy! The hoppiness gave it a nice citrus notes and it also had a hint of sweet maltiness. Just like the aroma the taste was dominated by hops. Citrus notes up front with a nice bitter finish. It also had a slight spice to it which I assume comes from the rye. Overall a great beer but one really needs to be in the hoppy mood for it which thankfully I was!

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Photo of pheggeseth
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep copper, 2 finger tan head, lacing everywhere

S: hops, citrus, caramel, hint of butter

T: hops, very present, but mellow at the same time, slight aftertaste of dark fruit

M: Medium body, very smooth

D: pretty drinkable, potent flavor, but not overpowering, and a pretty clean finish

Notes: Overall, quite enjoyable, but more understated than I was expecting

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Photo of jmalex
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A special purchase from my trip to California last month. I figured I'd better crack it open while the hops are still in all their glory.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Victory becker glass a mostly clear amber-red with some crimson highlights. The head is off-white and quite large at 2 fingers high. It eventually drops to a full surface coating with tons of lacing.

SMELL: The aromas don't jump out at you tremendously, but a resinous, west coast hop profile is unmistakable. Citrusy and grassy hop aromas come out immediately. But they're nicely balanced by a decent malty sweetness that is just a bit toasty.

TASTE: Whoa, after the seemingly balanced aroma, the taste leans waaay toward the hoppy side. Resinous and sticky, the hops have predominantly citrusy and grassy notes as in the smell. A malt backbone shows itself slightly as the beer crosses the palate and in toward the finish. I'm not particularly experienced with rye beers, but not too much stands out to indicate the presence of rye - maybe a slight twang, but I'm not too sure.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to medium-full bodied, this is a sticky, syrupy beer. The carbonation is at an average level.

DRINKABILITY: It's a big beer, but the alcohol doesn't show itself at all. I'm pretty sure, though, that 1 bomber is enough. It's certainly a well-made beer and something that I'd buy again if the mood struck me.

A very solid, delicious offering from Bear Republic. It seems like I can get any beer I want here in Pennsylvania, but these guys from California are one of the few that don't distribute here. Here's hoping that changes sooner than later.

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Photo of Trueant1
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Has the appearance a fresh brewed root beer. Nice frothy head.

This smells Incredible! Pine hops that are very air-o-matic! Followed by rye, spice, sweet fruit.

The taste is incredible!!! Very bitter pine hops up front. These hops are incredibly accompanied by sweet sweet malts. I do not know what they did here, but it is incredible. Must be the 18% rye to accompany the intence hops. WORKS in my book!

The mouthfeel is perfect. Medium bodied, sweet but not sticky. Bitter through the drinking experiance.

I usually only rate certain stouts this high but this hop/rye bomb is the BOMB!!

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dertbert for the trade.

22 oz brown bottle.

a: Dark amber with a thick white head that settles swiftly and leaves patches of lacing.

s: The aroma is piney hop oils, grapefruit citrus notes, and a touch of rye.

t: Caramel malt, then a pine/floral/citrus hop flavor, and a nice roasty rye flavor towards the end. Leaves a good bitterness on the tongue.

m: Good carbonation, chewy, sticky texture, medium to heavy body.

d: An enjoyable brew, the rye provides an excellent balance to the substantial hop presence. The result is a very tasty IPA. Many rye beers seem to be sort of a gimmick, but this is a very effective use of rye, it really works well as a foil to the hops. My first beer from Bear Republic, won't be my last.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber. The appearance is a icetea color that is very clear. It is topped by a two finger rocky tan head, that leaves big sticky lacing and great retention.

The aroma is very strong pine like and hop oils. The taste is surprisingly smooth for such a big hop flavor. There is a sweet fruit flavor that accompanies the hoppiness. The mouthfeel is fairly light too. This one is good but it is lopsided to the hopside. Nothing wrong with that though.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Hop Rod Rye literally took off in the glass. It poured a dark red mahogany which was darker at the top then at the bottom. It had a vicious head that did not give way and the retention lasted a long, long time.

The smell was really hoppy. It had some rye in the aroma as well.

The flavor was full bodied and well balanced. In the mouth is was chewy but is was thin. It had a lot of carbonation which worked for me. It was a great American IPA.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle to a big glass mug the liquid is light brown like a slice of rye bread, with good carbonation. The head is big and tan, 3 finger rocky and leaves nice lace.

The smell is good lots of rye and even more hops earthy hops.

The taste is great, very good, nice and hoppy with a huge malt back bone. Liquid rye bread with a great hoppy finish.

The mouthfeel is good all big beer body with good carbonation.

The drinkability is good, one of the best of the style. Prosit MK

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Photo of rxdrewthejew
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into my Stone tulip glass.

A: Jumps out right from the beginning that this is not your usual IPA. Very dark, reddish-brown. Big white fluffy head that leaves major lacing and retention. Tons of sediment and plenty of tiny bubbles.

S: Citrus hop bitterness and some sweetness. There's a scent that I associate with what breweries smell like, though not exactly sure what it is.

T: Bitter from start to finish, plenty of citrus and pine and even some floral. Deep sweet malt character is hidden below this but quite detectable, and the rye gives it a bit of a different, perhaps tangy, taste. It's not blaringly obvious, but it is noticeable.

MF: Very smooth and enough carbonation to give it some bite. Alcohol is well masked. Easy to sip and easy to glug.

D: The rye gives it a somewhat unique flavor among IPAs, and it'd be a good beer without the rye too. It's good. For me, it's not great. I'm not really sure what else to say. Very solid offering.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber poured into pint glass

A: Pours a cloudy dark copper, like a dirty penny, with a two inch thick loosly packed tan and toffee head. Has a nice tapering color effect with it going from almost black from under the cap to a lighter copper near the bottom. Decent amount of sticky lacing clings to the glass all the way down, very pretty.

S: Subtle grapefruit and pine with a lemony nuttiness and fresh spiced bread crust, smells like something you might bite into not something you would drink, very good.

T/MF: Malt presents itself from the start which is nice to see in an ipa, really more nutty and pine like in the hops than the bitter citrus flavors of grapefruit and orange that typify the style, it is nice to see a change of balance here. Really crunchy mouthfeel that leaves the tongue a bit slick but wanting more. Just a well balanced IPA, nuts and pine all over the place with a good malt backbone to balance things out, great offering here.

D: I LOVE this beer, always come back to it. Though it might not be the best IPA out there I will always reach for this one when I see it, YUM.

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Photo of Durge
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A deep brown tea colored brew with a big off-white head and sturdy lacing. The aroma is of mellow pine hops with some sweet apple cider in a malt background. The flavor is a bit unique with a combination of bitter, earthy hops and sweet licorice malt. A bready base in a very full bodied and evenly carbonated ale. Not a typical IPA but quite good, not quite as much of that rye quality as I was hoping for, but an excellent ale just the same. Fairly drinkable for an 8% beauty, alcohol is not dominant here I don't think. Very much recommended.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into the tulip.

A - Murky brown red, lighter than cola but darker than tea. Thin white head. Persistent lacing.

S - Like the name, hops and rye abound in the nose.

T - I don't get much sweetness here - only as an undertone. The rye is full and nice, married well with the hop finish. Very dry beer; finishes nicely.

M - Pretty medium to heavy mouth, good carbonation. When concentrating on it, thicker and more viscous than I originally thought.

D - Another great product from Bear Republic. I got to get up there sometime.

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Photo of ohoove
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- a deep ruby/chestnut color with an impressive head and above average lacing
S- pine and grapefruity , sweet malt, and almost an astringent mediciny presence
T- very good balance
M- for an ipa this was generally thicker than one might expect, not that that is a bad thing
D- For 8% the abv is masked well although it is right there. Good drinkability , although not very sessionable.

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Photo of pwoods
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. brown bomber purchased a Jungle Jim's, poured into an imp pint. No dating.

A: Pours an almost blood red.. absolutely stunning. 3+ big ass fingers of super rocky, slightly tinted head. Pretty good retention and nice patching.

S: Piny and Citrus hops all over the place with a nice alcohol rye filling the background. Malts are just barely seen and only when it warms a bit, adding just a bit of light husk.

T/M: Nice crisp, clean, piny and grapefruit hops with good bitterness and much more rye than expected from the smell. Alcohol gives just a tiny pinch and done. Malts are controlled but give just enough balance to round things out. Slightly sweet and nutty. Body is fairly light and carbonation average. Finish is drying and bittering with defined rye notes. Would like to see just a tiny bump up in the malt department, but this is still very tasty nonetheless.

D: Goes down easy and invites for more. The bomber will be finished easily and I'll buy more in the future.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,721 ratings.
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