Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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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
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Ratings: 4,727 |  Reviews: 2,082
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm just going to say it straight away; This beer is delicious.

Into a pint glass, pours like cream a beautiful copper amber, falling gently as an full two inch head of frothy foam head caps it off, off-white, with heaps of lacing all over the place. Lovely. The aroma is fresh and sweet and fruity, floral hops of goodness. I'm having a very hard time finding anything wrong, or, anything not right, with this beer.

And then, taste. Utterly fantastic. And the wonderful thing is it changes slightly as it warms, giving it even more dynamics. The hops are definitely the star of the show, dominant but not overbearing, a biscutty, caramel malt doing it job balancing thing out and the mouth only magnifies the beauty, its velvety smoothness, well tempered carbonation, and coating, full body making this a fantastic beer to drink. In other words, I continue to be impressed with the beers Bear Republic puts out, and would dare to say they are massively underrated, or at least much under-hyped. I'll have to find some more of this one, and soon.

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

Poured into nonic glass from bomber.

A- Hazy copper color with off-white head.

S- Hoppy smell, but not strong. Very inviting.

T- Battle between the rye and the hops. Different sips bring different levels of taste.

M- Medium mouthfeel with alcohol/hops very much present. Carbonation also lends a slight tick at the end.

D- Very drinkable, but I also felt this beer, so I don't know if I could take more than one in a sitting.

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

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber.

A- Poured a deep reddish-brown nearly opaque, with a light brown head.

S- Strong hops in the nose, very flowery, a little citrus.

T- Powerful, very hoppy, but balanced, a little sourness from the rye.

M- Very well carbonated, medium-thick on the tongue, no noticeable alcohol burn.

D- At 8% ABV, I wouldn't have many of these, but they are nice.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two 16oz pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist.

A: Deep, dark, ruby-red with a huge, four-fingered, khaki-colored head. Unbelievably sticky lace.

S: Delicious aromas of tangy rye, hops, and it's all held together by sweet caramel malt.

T: See above with the addition of fresh cut grass, grapefruit, and toasted malt that comes on nice and dry at the finish.

M: Dry, tangy, and very, very sticky.

D: Incredible! Could drink this one all afternoon.

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

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. . . . A moderately aggressive pour yields a 2-finger creamy tan head over a brown body that shows orangey/ruby hues when held to the light. The head settles slowly and leaves clumpy rings of lacing on the way down, with a pillow sitting on top in the middle of the glass.

S: Surprisingly sweet at first -- brown sugary, almost -- as I was expecting a hop explosion. Citrusy hops are there, however, just not as strong as I expected.

T: Very nice. A bit of rye spice up front, becoming even more evident as it warms. Caramel-like malty sweetness and then citrusy -- grapefruit, I think -- and fruity bitterness rounds it out. It finishes fairly dry and bitter, however, for a nice all-around balance. No notice of the 8% ABV at all.

M: Very good -- nicely carbonated but also smooth and fairly creamy. Medium-bodied.

D: Very good.

Notes: Not sure if this is best described as an IPA or a DIPA as some have suggested. Whatever you call it, I like it. The addition of the rye tweaks it just enough to make it interesting and unique. A very good beer to have to "mix things up" a little bit. Definitely recommended.

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

I really enjoy rye beers, and while this one has significantly less rye character than other rye beers I've had, I still really enjoyed it.

This beer poured a sparkling ruby red with billowy head formation. Aroma is a very light and pleasant sweet hop goodness. Mouthfeel is very effervescent, and that's the first thing I noticed when I took a sip. Flavor is bitter and sweet, but exceedingly pleasant.

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Photo of udubdawg
3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber

pours a very nice dark amber color, with a big light tan head that looks quick thick and creamy. Lacing is rather spotty, but overall the head retention is awesome.

A lot of strong aromas here...the malt keeps up just fine despite the very strong hop presence. More pine than grapefruit here, and suggestive of the bitterness to follow. A bit spicy and some alcohol is noted as well.

Hard not to be disappointed by the taste by comparison to the rest of the beer. There is underlying sweetness showing the relative balance of this beer before the palate is whacked with a big hop hit. More bittering than expected, and less citrus. This probably deserves a 3.25 at least.

Feels great in the mouth - full smooth creaminess and appropriate carbonation.
Drinkability is quite high for the ABV. I liked most everything about this beer, and even in the taste I generally liked all the parts...I just didn't particularly care for how they came together. Because taste is such a big part of the rating my score will be lower than I'd expect, but I'll drink this again. It probably deserves a shot for a higher score anyway.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served slightly chilled in a pint glass, from a twenty two ounce bottle. Poured a deep copper amber color that was slightly hazy. About an inch of tight, bubbly off-white head formed. Head dissapeared somewhat quickly into small gobs of lace in the glass. Smell: Not exactly what I expected from a west coast I.P.A, but smelled great. Aromas of hops, lots of resiny pine, notes of citrus fruits, and plenty of malt. Lots of flavor as well. Hops that are not overwhelming, on a smooth malty backbone. Also hints of citrus, pine, bready yeast, and a nice touch of rye. Somewhat dry but almost perfectly balanced. A very enjoyable drink. Nice medium bodied, crisp, clean feel in the mouth with just the right amount of carbonation. Very drinkable. A great offering from bear republic.

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Photo of Talisker
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great, great beer. Back and forth with Racer 5 as my favorite from Bear Republic - and both in my Top 5 beers ever.

Deep but clear amber red - lets you know from the start that this isn't your typical IPA. Smells heavy but balanced - loads of malt, American hops, but neither one really winning over the other - leads with sweetness, but ends with a slight dry bitterness.

Taste is integration and magnificence defined - my first 5 on BA. Rich malt, but no syrupiness. It's no total hop bomb, but all kinds of American hops citrus and pine integrating beautifully with a medium-aggressive yeast and that rich but ultimately dry malt. My only knok on this beer is a slightly over-thick texture - either it has crept in over the past year (I've noticed it several times on tap, also in this particular bottle), or I've become more sensitive.

I absolutely love rye, but I can't detect it directly in this beer. Regardless, it's a uniquely great IPA.

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very cloudy, dark amber hue with small creamy head that is mostly diminishing, minimal lacing
S- Huge hoppy rye aroma, caramel malt presence, subtle fruity notes
T- Strong sweet malty presence with nice hoppy rye tones, citrus and pine bitterness that show up a little later and dissipate quickly in the finish
M- Medium body, watery texture with adequate carbonation
D- Very enjoyable and easy to drink, not quite to the level of a prototypical IPA, more like a red/amber with a decent hoppy rye presence, very smooth and nicely balanced

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Photo of spdrz
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had walked by this ale repeatedly, passing it over every time. When I saw the rating it received on this site recently, I had to give it a go.

Pours cloudy with browns dominating the color profile. Nice head, almost a light tan. Medium-strong lacing after the head recedes. Clearly unfiltered and a unique hue for this style.

Can you smell the rye? I can in a subtle spiciness that peeks its head through the the citric-floral hop aroma. Malt is present with a grist-y sweetness that piggy-backs the spicy rye.

This is a VERY balanced IPA. I am pleasantly surprised. No overwhelming, cloying, astringent, resinous hop-attack. It is there, but well in equilibrium with the rest of the ale. Some floral-ity that could be hops or rye, and a little peach-pine zip. Again the rye is noticeable with a woody, lemon zest spiciness. 8% abv. is well masked, with just a tinge of alcohol induced sweetness.

Really gentle on the palate. Medium-heavy mouthfeel. 18% rye probably plays a major role in the feel. One of the better characteristics that this ale has going for it. Truly adds to the overall enjoyment.

HIgh marks for the big D-(rinkability). Because of its balance this Rye-PA outshines many of the super-behemoths of this style. It is smoooove.

Marks down for a non-traditional hue and a subdued hop aroma in the nose. Marks up for balance, mouthfeel, flavor, and drinkability. Great ale.

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

Poured from a bottle into a hefe glass

A-Red/Brown colr with a nice thick head that doesnt dissapate quickly.

S-Strong smell of hopps overwhelms this brew. Got a sweet scent could be caramel.

T-Simply put this is a great beer that tastes smooth and goes down easy. Enjoy.

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

Pours a dark maroon almost brown color. With a rocky cream colored head.

Good smelling ale with enough hops and citrus. The rye adds some good aroma but not overwhelming.

This beer has more malt than I expected but enough hops and citrus to balance it out. The rye brings out a good bread after taste.

Great feel to this beer. Maybe thicker because of the rye.
Liked this beer alot and plan to have it in my rotation.

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

Chunks, chunks I say! Major flakes of floating yeast still aren't enough to detract from the beautiful mahogany body topped by an incredibly pillowy head. Awesome looking.

Rye 'n' hops, rye 'n' hops, rye 'n' hops. Okay, some spicy citrus and sa surprising level of booziness as well but otherwise this one is straightfoward in this department (to its advantage).

Obvious strong rye presence although (I never though I would say this) the rye becomes a bit much in congress with the hops. Don't get me wrong, it's still exceptionally tasty, especially the bready/whisky quality from the rye, but the bitterness is over-aggresive on the finish.

Creamy, satisfying texture makes for a complex, pleasant experience throughout. Still, for a rye beer I still think I'd give the nod to 2 Bros. Cane and Ebel over this (by a hair).

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: A much different color than the typical IPA. More of a dark mahogany.
S: The hops immediately jump out at you. This is going to be good!
T: An incredibly complex medley of bitter hops along with some other unusual IPA flavors that must come from the rye malts.
M: This beer plays around on the tongue.
D: One of the best beers that I've ever had. I love IPA's and this might be my favorite. I will come back to this beer again and again.

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

I poured it with a large, thick, off-white headThe color is a clear, very dark maple syrup and the head hangs around leaving good lacing.
The smell is a strong citrusy hops with a little sweet malt.
The taset is balanced between hops & malt with a bitter bite at the swallow. A slightly sweet taste occurs for the first 2-3 seconds then succombs to carbonation before the bit of bitterness.
Mouthfeel is pleasant, medium and wet along with the carbonation.
Drinkability is good. A nice, pleasant, kind of different IPA.

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

Pours a nice deep mahogany color with a nice light tan head that imparts a good supply of lace down my glass.

Aroma is nice big malty, caramel background. Nice hops fruity citrus orange, peach mixed with pine notes. Big chewy smelling but also lots of hops mixed with a rye note.

Taste is big malty caramel with nice rye notes adding to the feel and flavor that is common in good rye brews hard to note but easy to taste. Nice hops also in the flavor good citrus fruits with pine needles scattered about. This is one big rich full brew, not really an IPA even with the good amount of hops.

Mouthfeel is big for an IPA, the rye makes a good noticeable difference adding to the feel. Sporting a good medium level of carbonation.

Drinkability is very good , very enjoyable more then an IPA, wishing I had a frig full of these. Thanks go to Enola for this fine sample.

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

22oz. bottle

Crystal clear, dark copper color. Light tan head - large and rocky. Lively carbonation.

Very citrusy aroma. Slightly sweet as well, caramel, peach & pineapple.

Sweeter than expected taste. Hops rather subdued. Rye comes through mildly. Biscuity. As temperature increases, fruit flavors (peach & pineapple) come out along with some caramel. ABV very well hidden, just a hint comes through. Excellent balance. As I drink, a peppery taste starts to build up.

Medium bodied. Low to medium carbonation. Drying, but smooth and very drinkable.

An excellent beer! I prefer more hops, but this is incredibly well balanced. Rye adds a nice little extra. Sessionable, but ABV would get you.

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

A - Hop Rod is a nice change to the typical IPA color. This is an amber/maple syrup brown color. The head is off-white & thick.
S - Malt, maple syrup, light honey. A slight piney hop to the nose as well.
T - A lot of malt for an IPA. The hops make an appearance but serve as great company to the malt, making it have a nice balanced and flavorful finish. The hops don't really show until after each sip. There is also some roasted malt, nuts, sweet fruits, and some light oak.
M - The malt & hop combo creates a smooth & balanced mouthfeel. The roasted malt stays on the tongue and palate throughout the bomber.
D - I've had so many IPA's in the past few weeks, I was almost hesitant to drink this. This is exactly the opposite of what I expected because it seems different from an IPA. It seems like a really good amber with more of a hop presence. The malt is the best part, which makes the drinkability high and enjoyable. The hops come out in the finish to show you it really is an IPA. I love this stuff.

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Photo of guitarmage
4.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured very dark for an IPA. Hazy brown with some copper hues, looks like a Belgian dubbel in color. Head struggled to form but there's an off white lacing floating on the beer.

Smell: Nice malt sweetness, not a dark sugary sweetness, light and fruity, suggestions of apple juice, hops are floral and smooth, great smelling IPA.

Taste: Sweetness tastes of apricot, ripe fruit, hops come in but don't take over the beer, there's a nice balance of sweet and bitter, then the beer dries up with faint alcohol, and bready finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium to full body, carbonation is consistent and prickly on the palate, a dry finish but a little oily.

Drinkability: A lot of sweetness for an IPA, but a lot of hops to balance it out. This beer is rather complex for the style, and very well done. Tasty IPA that offers more than most.

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