Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
Liked This Beer
4.22 w/ 4,722 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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,722 |  Reviews: 2,080
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a clear dark amber red with a light beige head and light lacing.

Definitely a very hoppy aroma to this beer. Heavy on the pine and it lets you know that the rye is present.

Crisp and bitter from the hops but there's also a nice maltiness to it. The alcohol leaves a warming zing on the tongue at the end.

Medium mouthfeel and carbonation. Dry with the zing mentioned earlier.

What a great IPA this is. Drink one if you can,

 458 characters

Photo of CreamyStoutMan
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sadly, I didn't get a chance to pour this one due to lack of a clean glass. Looking through the tinted bottle, though, I feel that I can still judge its appearance a little. I can see that it is a deep, thick amber and (if I had a clean pint glass) I'm just about positive that it would pour a pretty creamy head.

Smells hoppy in one of the greatest ways that I can remember a beer smelling; reminds me of "hazed and infused", "hop wallop", and (too a much lesser extent) a number of IPA's. As one would expect from the explanation on the bottle, rye is definitely what is dominant on the nostrils.

Rye and intense, organic hops are definitely what dominate the palate as well with this one. I was thinking, at first, that this one was going to lean more to the direction of being an extremely hoppy specialty ale like hazed an infused, but after a few sips, I am convinced that it is definitely an IPA, and to be completely honest, it is probably my favorite of the style that I have sampled thus fur, which is saying a lot because I have tried many an IPA.

The mouthfeel is creamy and thick and wonderful. I really don't think that I could ask for too much more in this department, in regard to an IPA.

I could definitely knock back a few of these. I drank 1 pint 6 fluid oz. a lot faster than I thought I would and it's only eleven in the morning! Note: I have been eating pizza as well (which is somewhat of a common compliment to IPAs) so its slightly possible that it is throwing off my review, but I doubt it. I will definitely purchase this beer again when I am search of something with an extremely high hop and alcohol content.

 1,649 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep amber and a tan head. The aroma is HOPS. You can tell its comming. It has a fantastic taste. Grapefruity hops balanced out with the sweet malt and dryness of the rye. It leave a stickiness on the lips, but it is well worth it. One of the best beers by far.

 274 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An IPA injected with 18% rye? Wonder how this will do. On to the beer:

Pours rich dark from the bottle, which it settles into a dark amber in color with an awesome, thick head. There's a litle rye, ginger, and hops with a metallic twist to it in the nose. Now to taste it - leans towards the fruity side, not as hop dominant as the other IPA's. The flavor doesn't explode on you, but it's still pleasant. What makes this one unique is it's dry finsih (from the rye I suppose) that allows you to quaff this brew with ease.

I was wondering what the difference between the two Bear Republic IPA's would be, and this I would label the "different" one with its rye shot. The other offering I will try soon to compare notes. (Update: Racer 5 is tastier, but Hop Rod Rye is more quaffable.)

 786 characters

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

Pouring this beer produces a tan head at one half inches tall. The body is a rich garnet and brown shade with excellent clarity. The head retention is good but nothing too special.

The nose of this beer presents a sharp rush of hop aromas. The hop smells are very earthy with a salt and pine resin kick. There is only a very muted sweetness in the background.

A flowing presentation of hops glides over the tongue with the first sip. Much like the aromas, the hops are very earthy with pine, grapefruit and many bitter flavors. A sweet maltiness blends with a light peat flavor. The hops regain strength for a long, bitter finish. The most impressive characteristic of this beer is the flavor presentation. There are mountains of hop flavors in the beer but it never overpowers the senses. This was wonderfully crafted.

The mouthfeel has mild carbonation and a balanced, spicy feeling from the hops.

Drinkability is great. The powerhouse of flavors matched with their awesome presentation make this easy to enjoy in large quantities.

 1,049 characters

Photo of goochpunch
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out a rusty hazelnut with plenty of carbonation present in the body. Head is thick, creamy, and beige, and holds up extremely well. There are some dimples atop the foam and with each sip there is left some lacing that reminds me of the residue left by the steamed milk on a cappuccino. The aroma is of citrus, vanilla custard, toffee, caramel, cane syrup, and a little hint of rye. Alcohol merely peaks out from this, but is well subdued considering the strength. In the flavor, malts start off sweet, bready and with dried fruits and caramel. The hops start to push into the middle then come into the forefront by the finish. Flavor is mostly citric but there are undertones of pine, earth, and strong herbs such as rosemary. A very understated rye makes itself known amongst the hops, which I think works well, but I would rather the rye to be a little more present. The bitterness does not overstep the sweet malts in the end, rather they create a balance. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, moderate to full, and the carbonation is extremely mellow. It's rare to find a beer of this strength as being this drinkable, but you don't notice it while you drink. Amazing beer.

 1,175 characters

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

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a pint glass. The label itself is great- black background with a hot rod car- lots of flourescent eccentric colors.

TONS of head on this one- over an inch at least- very fluffy with a tan hue. Poured a beautiful amber brown- tinted with reds. Looked delicious and picture perfect.

This is a hop bomb- tons of hops in the scent (grapefruit) as well as the taste. The rye gives it a bitter taste and balances out the sweetness (caramel, malty) undertones. This is quite a sticky one- leaves tons of lacing on your glass as well as your lips after consumed.

I absolutely loved this beer- flavors were blended so well together to make a truly unique and enjoyable IPA. If this were more readily available in my area, I would be drinking this all the time.

The West Coast breweries are top notch at the moment and this may be the best offering I have had to date.

 904 characters

Photo of mjgardner
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aquired from umustdrink. Thanks Nick. Drank with bross242 and dannosparks. One of 31 beers in a exceptional day of drinking.

Appearance - Pours a clear brilliant dark amber with a big tan head that dissapates a bit. Very good lacing.

Smell - The big citrus hops hit right away. There is also a noticeable rye aroma with some citrusy pineapple at the back.

Taste - A bit hop bitterness with quite a bit of rye. This has a nice malt character that helps balance the beer out.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied with very little carbonation. Quite refreshing.

Drinkability - This is a very drinkable IPA. The alcohol is hidden very well. Definitely one of the best IPA's I have tasted in awhile.

 707 characters

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

Dark rose-red color wiht a big puffy head. A tiny little bit of sediment. Looks like an amber. Head is quite formidable. Excellent lace.

Outstanding bitter hoppy smell. Nice biscuity, subtle malt. Hops smell of pine.

Quite bitter but excellent. Piney hops leave a bitter blast. Halfway between a regular IPA and an Imperial. All bitter. Very bitter aftertaste. It's a strong ale with lots of hops. Sooo bitter.

Kind of thick and creamy. Leaves a bitter coating. So so bitter. Substantial. Might as well be an Imperial. It's like a hoppy strong ale.

 557 characters

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

Enjoyed this with an excellent Reuben sandwich. Seemed appropriate, and went well together.

Pours with massive mountains of head that has peaks and valleys. Copper red color, slightly translucent at the bottom, thicker in the middle. Extremely hoppy with a desirable bitterness. more on the floral side, as opposed to the pine flavor. Still has a nice mix of both. Very intense, perhaps too much if your not into IPAs, but perfect for those who are.

 452 characters

Photo of umustdrink
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bought in March for $4

A - Deep bloody amber color, completely see-through. Head is dark white, rocky and tall. Fades to about a . Lacing is one of the strongest I've seen.

S - Piney and earthy hops with a good peppery malt balance.

T - Starts spicy and bitter malty and goes into a bitter, piney, oily hop. Aftertaste is almost smoky, but equally hoppy and malty. I believe the spicyness to come from the 18% rye malts.

M - Consistency is straight up medium. Carbonation is medium to minimal.

D - Very good IPA with almost no alcohol detectable. Taste is very solid, not outstandingly complex but also not just a hop bomb. Also, this beer has an excellent value. There is nothing not to like.

 716 characters

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

Pours a brownish red color with a nice somewhat thin head.

The smell is wonderful with the hops obviously coming in heavy and strong. Spicy hop notes abound mostly with this brew.

The taste of this American IPA is outstanding, surely one of my favorite IPAs to have come along. Very hoppy with spicy and citrus notes running around. The malt is present albeit in a subtle way, which is good. It lets the hops run rampant!

It's got a medium body and feels good across the palate. Good carbonation and ends with a somewhat dry feel.

Amazingly drinkable brew. It packs a bunch with 8% ABV but it's pretty well hidden. This is surely a beer I'd want to drink throughout the summer.

 690 characters

Photo of kirok1999
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost brown ruby red. Nice thin white head with tons of lacing.
Smell is spicy sweet malts, the rye really stands out in the nose.
Taste is an amplification of the smell. Sweet malt balanced well with hop bitterness. The malts fill the mouth and the bitter hops bring up the rear. Smooth and creamy with a very nice carbonation level. Slight citrus hops blend well with the caramel malt notes.
Really nice beer, easy to drink on a cool spring night. This would go well with many heavily spiced foods as it stands up on its own.

 542 characters

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

Poured a ruby amberish color, quite dark for an IPA but still beautiful. Nice creamy head and excellent lacing and carbonation. Smell is great as well, juicy grapefruit hops and sweetness. This is definitely one of my favorite tasting IPAs hands down. I can't tell that rye has been used but for damn sure know that this is for the hopheads. Citrus, fruity hops and a malty balance that makes this one mouth watering. Not quite thirst quenching but for sure mouth watering on the tongue. Silky smooth and just utterly great. Very drinkable beer here, although I do like the more standard IPAs as well. Bear Republic has to be one of my favorite breweries. Yummy.

 662 characters

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

American IPA, eh? I guess that's what the first guy thought...and a good example of why I don't much care for style guidelines. This is a big hoppy red, Northern Cali style - bring it on!

Pours a clear, dark amber, with a thick, amber tinged eggshell head of a good 2 fingers, very long lasting leaving lots of sticky, bubbly lace -nice!

The aroma is very appetizing and right up my ally. Bright, pungent hops, sweet fruit- cherry and grape Yummm.

The taste is more complex and balanced, but still true to the aroma. Just amped up spiciness, malt, resin and pine, brown sugar, but still sweet and fruity without being to much. This reminds me a lot of Lagunitas Lucky 13 but a bit less zing (or better balanced?)...two great beers from the Sonoma valley.

The mouthfeel is a bit oily, but on the lighter side for such a flavorful beer.

This is very drinkable. The warmer it gets, the better, but who has the patience to let it sit around. Grab one and throw it back!

 983 characters

Photo of genog
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this beer last week immediately when I heard it would be available here in Ohio.

Appearance - pours into my glass a very nice amberish color. Found my glass to display a lighter color at the bottom and the beer appears to be much darker toward the top. Poured with a very large head of caramel color.

Smell - Smells very nice balance of the hops and rye, with the rye shining through a little more.

Taste - I can taste the rye more than I can smell. Not very hoppy, but that is probably the intention with the addition of the rye. I should compare to their Racer X IPA

Mouth - Not as carbonated as I would have thought, but the taste more than makes up for the lack of carbonation.

Drink - I thoroughly enjoyed every sip of this drink, and would have another one soon if I bought two ;(

 810 characters

Photo of jdoncbus
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. poured into pint glass. Three finger head, brown color with significant lacing.

Nice rye and hop fragerance with a mellow maltiness.

Starts off with a nice rye backbone followed with citrus-orange rounded out with an excellent balance and moderate bitterness. Outstanding flavor with an oily feel, very pleasing.

The alcohol is hidden very well and could relax with a couple of these bombers to kick off the night.

 431 characters

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

Very dark copper to brown, translucent, with a mountainous rocky head with meringue like texture. Too much head. wow, it just won't dissipate!

Nose is a very fresh, clean spicy citrusy & prickly rye character. I could just sit here and nose this beer for hours.

On the palate is a medium to full bodied ale with generous malt, rye spice without any bad bite, and a nice tart citrusy hop note that rounds it out oh so well. This is a full flavored beer for sure, but they found a way to keep things in harmony. Amazing!

 520 characters

Photo of bosco7
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark...very dark (not even close to pale). Thick creamy head. Quality lacing.

Cascade/Centennial aroma; grapefruit, orange, and pine. Not much malt coming through in the nose.

Hop bomb upfront; grapefruit and pine needles. Other flavors include: tobacco, plum, molasses, and roasted malt (not really IPAesque). Finishes pretty bitter and lasts.

Chalky mouthfeel with some carbonation bite.

I don't really consider this beer to be an IPA of any kind. There are a lot of flavors going on here that would be better suited if it were placed in the American Strong Ale style. That said, this is an interesting beer that will surely appeal to IPA enthusiasts.

 669 characters

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

Was in Columbus yesterday and my wife and I stop at Barley's. On tap was 8 brews and Hop Rod Rye. For some time now I've been craving this brew and their it was on tap. The appearance was a dark amber with a slight ruby shine, also held a beige two finger head. Left an excellent amount of sticky and salty lacing (lip smacking). Darkest AIPA I've seen to date. The smell was phemon. A blast of grapefruit citrus upfront with a some piney in the middle. Also experienced a hint of caramel, nutty malt and toffee. The taste began slightly sweet plum that was well balanced with the hoppy blast toward the end. Somewhere in the middle this southern biscuit shine through. This brew felt middle to full, bold, slightly oily and crisp with a dry ending. The only down fall was, with a long drive ahead of us, we could only have one drink. If not I drink this beauty all night. Great brew. Enjoy

 890 characters

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

22 oz. bottle acquired at Claymont, DE Total Wine
Pours a hazy dark orange into standard pint glass. Takes an aggressive pour to generate a decent head, faded quickly.
Aromas of citrusy/piney hops dominate.
Taste is unevenly balanced on the side of hops, but still with a goodmalt presence. Rye lends a spicy afternote.
Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, medium bodied, with a slickness from the rye.
Overall, a fine IIPA. At 8% a bomber is enough for one sitting.

 467 characters

Photo of skillerified
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Easily the darkest IPA I've ever seen. Dark garnet with deep ruby hues. A true brown in lesser light. Slightly fluffy looking tan head, about a finger. Very bubbly. Faded to a cap pretty quick. Sheet like sparkling lace. Real sticky. Looks tasty.

Pine and citrus with up front with huge malt smells in the background. Impressive. Slightly floral. A bit boozy. Some chocolate. Seems like it could/should open up a little with some warming, but I'm still not getting a whole lot.

Mostly sweet. Some caramel. No real distinct flavor jumps out here. Surprising. Some dark berries, mildly vinous character. Gets a strong grapefruit bitterness on the aftertaste that grows as you work your way down the glass. Some citric and wheatlike flavors work there way in eventually.

Fairly light on the body. Pretty smooth. Not much there in the way of mouthfeel. It just comes and goes. Reasonable balance. Definitely bitter and slightly acidic on the finish. That 8% is pretty well hidden.

One of the strangest IPAs I've ever had. It's just ending slick and bitter. Seems like, based on the look, scent and reputation of this brew, there should be more here. Maybe I'm off tonight or maybe this is a bad bottle. Maybe I just don't like it. Not sure what else to tell ya.

 1,271 characters

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

This beer pours a deep red color with flecks of what the bottle says are hops. It looks like dead yeast to me. The body is fairly cloudy. There was an exceptionally fluffy white head. There is a lot of rye and hops in the aroma. It has a good malt profile as a backbone though. The flavor is very complex. Initially there is a good sweet maltiness followed by a equal amount of hop bitterness over the sweetness. It finishes very balanced, maybe even a bit on the sweet side. This is a good IPA, although there is something about it I'm not crazy about. It might be a bit sweet for me. It is good though.

 604 characters

Photo of prototypic
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark copper to brown color. Head is very foamy and about one and a half fingers deep. Very good retention and heavy coat of lace lined the glass.

Smell: It's a mix of grains, hops, and citrus fruits. As far as citrus goes, it's a sweet blend of grapefruit and mango scents. Hops are nice and piney. The light grainy smell must be due to the rye. Certainly smells a bit malty as well.

Taste: I'm supremely impressed. It's got a slight sweet taste. Hops are nice and bitter. Definitely a bit dry. The rye aspect of it is very interesting. It gives it an earthy, grainy twist that develops into a toffee malt taste. It's extremely well balanced.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light to medium bodied. Extremely smooth. Carbonation and abv are ideal. Very, very drinkable. Overall, this really is a fantastic beer. It's my first experience with Bear Republic and I walk away looking forward to the next. Definitely recommended.

 951 characters

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

Burnt orange in color, this beer loves an aggressive pour. Great head retention with multiple pours. Looks tasty.

Smell is wonderfully hoppy and citrusy (if that's a word). Perhaps my favorite smelling beer.

Taste is powerful for an IPA. A little rough, perhaps the rye. Long, lingering bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is clean, with fine carbonation.

Drinkability? You bet. Goes down easy.

This beer is one of my favorites. The taste is different than your typical IPA (in a good way).

 505 characters

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92.1% out of 100 with 4,722 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston 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.