Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
4,725 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: 4,725 |  Reviews: 2,080
Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up a few months back up at Downtown Wine and Spirits in Massachusetts. Bear Republic's offerings are not available in this neck of the woods, and their beers on tap that I've had in New York City were wonderful. When I saw this, I was excited to try it out, and for the most part, those needs were met. Having a big bottle is just the icing on the cake!

This had a beautiful, translucent mahogany brown hue to it, and a rich head to match. Of course, there's hops here, and they have a west coast flavor to them, but the rye balances out well with them and the aftertaste is just above that of a dry-hopped beer. It's not as buttery as Sierra Nevada or up-front as stone, but I can pick up some pine and earthy tones here, with just a hint of citrus and metal underneath everything. This works well for an IPA, but the heaviness of this makes it worthy enough to be enjoyed as a warmer, additionally. Having lacing on the side of my glass is a good touch, but what works for me is the balance of this. It's not a hop wallop!

The 8.0% ABV is just right, and I easily downed the whole bottle without feeling too rushed or too drunk from the alcohol. I haven't had a lot of beers with rye as a main taste factor, but I'm certainly glad that I got my hands on this one. It's full-flavored, full-tasting, and full of craft brewing enjoyment. Seeing an IPA that is just a bit more subdued is a welcome change for me, and will probably be for anyone else looking for a variation on this style. Well worth seeking out!

 1,528 characters

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

Appearance: Pours a handsome garnet-brown with a lusty, long-lasting head colored a light sand. Lacing is vigorous.

Smell: Intensely hoppy and reinforced with toasty rye malts. Pungent citrus, hearty breads, and a sweet molasses aroma combine for a succulent melange.

Taste: A wave of bold, complex flavor. Bitterly hoppy from the jump, but gradually balanced by some hearty rye malts. Nectarine, grapefruit, and date characterize the hop flavor, with the malts revealed in a toasted breadiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium- to full-bodied with syrupy elements on the tongue. A hearty brew for such a hoppy offering. Tasty coating of lips and palate after the swallow.

Drinkability: Audacious flavor, yet not overdone. Well-rounded brew with fine attributes for all the senses.

 774 characters

Photo of cs45977
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice health head light caramel laciness . Deep Brown color.
Smell: Pleasantly floral smell. Grapefruit and spice . I really want a taste.
Taste: Spicy front biscuit maltyness, slightly sweet but crisp finish. Aggressive dryness.
Mouthfell: Solid feel. Meatiness that fades quickly with the dryness of the flavor.
Drinkability: Great Rye! A tremendous example of the this style. Can easily become a “standard” beer for some folks.

 443 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My notes are a little smudged, but oh well.

I was amazed at the head I got on this beer. Ridiculous. Nice earthy hop smell that is very inticing. Noticed a rye characteristic as well.

Taste was delightful. Nice earthy hop bitterness goes well with rye flavoring.

This beer clings to the mouth well and I could drink it all day long. Definitely give this beer a try.

 369 characters

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

A: Pours a dark deep amber with hints of red throughout. A persistent head of foam leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S: Hops hit you up front with some nice floral, earthy, grassy, and citrus tons. The malt backs it up nicely and there are hints of rye as well.

T: This beer is excellent, I must say. The taste easily eclipses the smell. Hops ride this one from start to finish but are complemented very nicely by the addition of rye. It adds a different kick and flavor to the beer which is very nice. A solid malt backbone helps to create a wonderfully balanced beer that's got quite a kick to it. A bit of alcohol warms near the end but otherwise remains hidden.

M: Smooth, with a dry crisp finish. Nice carbonation.

D: Aside from the 8.0% ABV, this is a very drinkable beer. Quite enjoyable and a nice take on the standard IPA.

 835 characters

Photo of snpub540
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a dark amber hue. When held up to the light there were some scarlet streaks shining through. At the top there was a 3/4" creamy head that clung very tightly on the glass. Nice amount of lacing the whole way down.

Aromas were very nice on this brew. Some floral hops mixing with some fruity hops. Sweet maltiness and a hint at the alcohol hidden in this one also came through.

Hops take tghe spotlight in this one. Piney and spiciness were the most dominant. Some maltiness rounded out with the rye at the end. Alcohol was well hidden.

Felt a little thin on the palate, but the drinkability was pretty good. Not a session beer though.

 647 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep orange, maybe even mahogany, with a creamy 2 finger tan head that leaves thick clumps of lacing and foam all over the glass.

S - Citrus and piney hops along with spicy rye and sweet caramel.

T - Bitter piney hops along with spicy rye, sweet caramel; tries to balance it out but the hops and rye take over, followed by tropical fruit and a bitter finish.

M - Thick and creamy with a touch of chalkiness and a dry bitter lingering finish.

D - The rye adds a nice touch and along with the hops make this one pretty bold in the flavor.

 544 characters

Photo of RDAdams
3.52/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

22 oz bottle purchased at Allview Liquors in Ellicott City, MD

Appearance: A clear, dark, amber/brown with a persistent tan head,

Smell: What's not to love about it? The clearly American hop aroma
with a barley backbone, and the scent of rye.

Taste: This is a well-balanced beer. It's ingredients blend well together.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body for those of use who chew our beer.

Drinkability: Everything was good until I swallowed it. It's finish is smooth, but it's aftertaste is rank.

I like Rye beers and I love IPA's. But another bottle I will not buy

 569 characters

Photo of DrewBeechum
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from the now classic Bear Republic bomber bottle

Pours a beautiful a dark ruby red brown with a light beige head and a big spicy malt head rises to greet with a bright hoppy aroma.

flavor is rich from crystal malt and spicy with the rye. The richness is undercut with a final bite of hops and a dryness from the rye

Pretty much one of my favoritous beers ever. It's rich and complex without being a trainwreck.

 423 characters

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

dark dark amber. big big head with great retention and beautiful lace. piney to grapefruity smell with an unusual smell in the background that i believe is the rye. interesting and unusual. taste is perfectly balanced. hops dominate but share the spotlight with that rye wheat and healthy malt. great smooth creamy mouthfeel with minimal bitterness and dryness for such a big abv beer. i would drink this one everyday with almost anything that is on my normal diet. spicy food and cheese. and ice cream.

 503 characters

Photo of Overlord
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Delicious brew. Definitely hop, but they are more citrus and fruit in character than they are bitter. Pours a beautiful gold/amber with a nice head, and good mouthfeel.

I was stunned to see this had only 8% alcohol, as it drinks like a beer with half that ABV. Definitely worth picking up.

 290 characters

Photo of Rudgers73
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured vigorously into a Guinness pint glass the beer yields a huge 3 finger head that has that IPA type of resilience. The beer has a really attractive ruby color that is created with the existence of rye in the grain bill. The nose is very clean with piny hops with a slight grapefruit character. A bit soapy and grainy. The taste is very bold. There is an instantaneous burst of bitter american hops that dominate most of the sip. In the back are lingering notes of hearty, toasted grains. The alcohol is completely masked by the concoction of hops used in this bomb of an IPA.

This is one of those beers that makes it well known that America has a real handle on the craft beer trade.

 690 characters

Photo of Floydster
4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle from Cooke's

Poured into a pint glass

Reddish maroon color with a fairly thick brown head, almost tastes like their Racer 5 IPA in a way

My favorite rye beer I have had even though there are not too many out there

Would definitely have again in the future

 275 characters

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

22oz bomber poured into big ass sam adams mug. all 22oz and 3 finger head fit. This is only my second venture into the Bear Republic stable.

A: dark reddish mahogany with creamy tan 3 finger head that just doesn't quit. clings all the way down

S: grapefruit for certain. hops and more hops, pine and hint of rye

T: grapefruit and hop bitterness. a little rye spiciness-different but not complaining

M: fairly full bodied, smooth and dry finishing. some alcohol warmth

D: quite drinkable over time. too fast and it would be nappy time

Bear Republic is 2 for 2 in my book. I'll need to search for other offerings

 616 characters

3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A strong pour gets a 4 finger tan head withe crater like like bubbles that resemble the effect you get when you add coke to ice cream. Leaves similar lace as well. Brown body and hints of ruby red throughout. Another addition to the super fragrent hop monster beers. Sweet citrus fruity hops really shine on the aroma with a warning to the bitter. My mouth is watering already. Rye and bitter hoppy feel battle as they hit the tongue. Mineral bitter is long and persistant throughout the palate. This is a good beer but not as good as the nose and visual would have lead me to believe. Mouthfeel stays in line with this sharp bitter. Drinkable if you like true bitter bite.

 673 characters

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

22oz bomber bottle states 8%abv. Medium brown color. Fluffy sticky head of foam. Little carbonation activity in a still glass, but swirling produces many tiny bubbles that ascend in streams from the side and bottom of the glass. Aromas of pungent rye spiciness and malt sweetness. The hop aroma is on a level with the rye spice and seems hidden but reveals itself with a mild raw cone smell. Taste is explosive. I love rye beer and this is a tasty one. There is a hazelnut nuttiness that's pretty subtle. The malt is not hidden and is the beer's source of sweetness. Bitter and dry-hopped flavors are of grapefruit. Mouthfeel is very smooth to creamy. With so many positive flavors and textures the result is a complex and delicious brew. Everything just comes together for a solid aroma/flavor profile. Bear Republic is above average and consistent with it's quality. Decant this beer to keep the yeast sediment in the bottle.

 927 characters

Photo of SilentSabre
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a nice haul my mother-in-law brought back from a recent visit home to San Francisco. Poured much darker than I expected for an IPA. A nice dark reddish bronze colour. Lovely craggy foamy head. Huge floral hops in the nose. While malt is present, this is definitely more hops than malt. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and the 8%abv is well concealed. This is a very nice, very drinkable IPA.

 395 characters

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

“This beer is f**king awesome.” That is a direct quote from my notes on this brew. In fact, the friend that I was sharing this beer with said this at the EXACT same time I did. What is great about this beer is that it is more than affordable at $3.49 a bomber, and it is one of the best IPAs available.

Poured part of a 22oz. bomber into a DFH shaped pint glass.

Appearance – This looks nothing like a standard IPA, but it still looks freakin’ delicious. It is very a dark, deep, transparent brown/ruby color. On the first pour it produced a two finger cream colored head, and left a TON of lacing the further along I drank.

Smell – This brew contains notes of orange zest, grapefruit, a little pine and roasted malt. Very hoppy. The smell is very indicative of what the flavor will be.

Taste – Man, oh man, this beer tastes good. The balance in this beer is remarkable. All of the flavors in the scent are contained in the taste. The front is bitter hops, bready roasted malt and the slightest touch of rye.

Mouthfeel – Goes down extremely smooth. The carbonation level couldn’t be much better. Medium bodied for an IPA.

Drinkability – This beer is so drinkable, it is almost scary. It is extremely deceptive – I couldn’t even tell it had a 8% ABV from tasting it; although I could definitely feel it by the end of the bomber. I would happily drink two bombers in one evening, and if it came in a six pack here in Texas, I would definitely be slurring right about now.

This one is worth searching out. Sucks to be you if you haven’t had it. My life hasn’t been the same since they started selling it here in Texas a few weeks ago. I know on this website HRR is rated higher than the Stone IPA, but I have some arguments with that. It is almost as good as the Stone IPA…Almost… I guess the Stone just has a special place in my heart.

 1,855 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the bomber to a bright copper color with thick, creamy off-white head that lasted through the entirety and left excellent lacing. Strong aroma of floral-citrus hops and sweet malt. Mouthfeel was full and somewhat biting, offset nicely by the malt. Flavor starts out on the floral-hop side, with the malty sweetness creeping in shortly after.

This all leads to a long full, bittersweet finish, and although the 8% alcohol was well hidden in the nose and aroma, it made its presence known by the end of the beer. All and all, a very good ber, and I wish we could find Bear Republic in ATL.

 601 characters

Photo of Risser09
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle from 2007 poured into a wine glass

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with shades of copper. The tan head rises to about 1.5 inches and slowly falls down. Plenty of lacing is left behind.

Smell: Wow grapefruit. Plenty of it along with blood orange, pine needles, sweet basil and honey.

Taste: Blasted with a juiy hop flavor immediately. Fresh squeezed grapefruit and sugary orange. Pine is there is the finish. This is an impressive beer but isn't as complex as it should be in the taste department.

Mouthfeel: This beer, along with many other rye beers, excels in this area. Despite the hopped up aroma and taste, it remains consistently smooth and endearing. There is a dryness at the finish that is accompanied by an alcohol bite. Well done.

Drinkability: Very nice, although the alcohol will slow you down at some point. This is one worth seeking out, but is not as preferable to me as a Double Simcoe or Hop Slam. However, these bottles are a steal for what they are priced at, so buy a few whenever you see them.

 1,038 characters

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

Pours with a big tan-cream head, 2-3 fingers - has good lasting power

Smell is a delicious burst on the opening of the bottle 'like an english style imperial ipa'

Taste is bold and pure, Good powerful flowery hoppiness - has a special something something

Enjoyable and smooth- assertive yet graceful...I like bears... the bitterness just coats the mouth as you drink... and not a bad buy economically either...

I can very easily see why this is a staple in most fridges!

 482 characters

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

IPA? If thats the case then this is one of a kind. Pours a dark brown with sediment everywhere, good head that dissapates slowly and when I finished the beer, there was still a coat of lacing covering the entire pint glass. Smells of hops, citrus, fig, rind, malt. Tastes as it smells and finishes with big bitter hops. Full in the mouth with great carbonation. Drinkability is good but more than a bomber or two could lead to choking down a delicious craft brew. A must try.

 475 characters

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

After trying this with a friend at the Flying Saucer and really enjoying it, I decided to buy a bottle and review it. Poured into a pint glass from a bomber. The beer pours a deep amber/brown, forming a thick creamy 1 inch head that slowly fades. Medium spots of lace stick to the glass. The aroma is very strong hops, along with a light smell of sweet malt and caramel. The flavor is absolutely wonderful! A good balance of the hops and malts. Citrusy hops dominate the front, followed closely by the malt, and finishing with a sweet caramel flavor. Very complex and full. Medium mouthfeel. Extreme flavor and higher than usual abv. keep this from being an all-night drinker, but still exceptionally drinkable for an IPA. Overall, I was very impressed with this ale. This is among the better IPAs that I've tried. I would highly recommend this!

 845 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a red/amber color with about a half inch off-white head. The aroma is citrusy and pine hops, along with some malt and spice. Taste is hoppy (pine and grapefruit), with peppery spice, caramel, and grain/bread. There's a good mix between the mild malty sweetness and the hoppy bitterness, it's well balanced. The rye is a nice addition to this brew. Mouthfeel is medium, slick, creamy and smooth. Drinkability is pretty good too, the alcohol is well hidden and it's good and tasty. I think this is a pretty good beer overall. I haven't tried too many of Bear Republic's beers, but the ones I've tried have all been quality.

 660 characters

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

OK first of all I am not reviewing this as an IPA. Nothing about this beer is IPA as far as I'm concerned. That noted...we will proceed.

The beer is a beautiful clear rosewood color and has a nice thin, rust-tinted head that fades to a thin layer. It leaves fragments of lace. The spicy nase gives a boquet of alefruit and fresh orange. Very inviting. The taste is a simple but lovely swirling of big ale fruit esters, perfectly proportioned rye kick, crystal malt, and herbal hop all melding together for one very co-hesive brew. I might call this an "Imperial Amber".

Mouthfeel is alive with rye and carbonation. It is a little stingy but this helps accentuate much of the flavor profile (specifically hops, rye, esters) and does much to add drinkability to what would be an otherwise oppressive full body. As beer warms and carbonation dissapates it actually gets nice and creamy. Man this beer is a journey.

 917 characters

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 4,725 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.