Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
4,731 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
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Ratings: 4,731 |  Reviews: 2,081
Photo of kbub6f
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought from the fridges at Gaslamp Liquor in San Diego, seven hours in my carryon, about a week in my fridge, reviewed 45F-70F.

A nice, small, off-white, dense head leaves thin sticky sheets of lacing. Two bubbles tag-team it slowly up through the deep red/amber beer. There's some fine sediment on the last pour.

Sweet, creamy, malty nose shows some raisin and promises hops. The front is dark, kind of bittersweet. Lots and lots of delicious hops in the middle, with a little tea, a little cream, a little grapiness. Some of the fruitiness survives in the hoptacular finish. Fantastic grapefruit rind burps. What a great, great beer. Hugely hoppy bitter, with some balancing sweetness.

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Photo of beernut7
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have never had a rye ale with quite the punch of this one. Usually they resemble a more rounded mellow wheat brew. This one, however kicks the asses of all those others. Pours a heavy brick red with a thick foamy off-white head. Absolutely HUGE earthy hop aroma with just an edge of sweet malt. Initial spicy hops flood the senses paired with a malt that makes it best attempt to catch up but never quite makes it. The alcohol warmth sits in the back seat like the malt, but is there nonetheless. An earthy, grassy rye flush powers the flavors through a lingering finish

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

Appearance: brilliant red color, with an off-white, big and bubbly head. Aroma: sharp hops, fruit: grapefruit, pineapple, and pine.
Lush, delicious mouthfeel, and a lingering, long-lasting finish.
Hops are emergent throughout, with the deep, dark, fruity, delicious flavor ringing through and through.
At first, the hop attack is harsh and spiney, but ultimately this brew gets rounded out quite nicely.
The notes I construct this review from are not perfect, they were scribbles and scratches jotted down while sharing this bottle with a friend. Rest assured, though, that it made an indelible impression on us both!
Another great one from the Bear!

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

Appearance: Pours an alluring bright amber with orange highlights. The clarity is quite good, considering it's an unfiltered bottle-conditioned ale. The light tan head stays strong at a small cap. Great lacing on the glass.

Smell: Very aromatic with a ton of fresh hops. There's a sublte, spicy touch from the rye, and it blends well with the hops. Lopsided balance between the two distinct aromas, with the hops taking control. Far below them is a hint of alcohol.

Taste: The taste is very firm in it's bitterness, with a nice bite to it. The hop flavor is extremely fresh and green, with lots of pine, citrus (grapefruit), and floral notes. The rye stays way in the background, providing a subtle, spicy character. There's not much of a malt note other than the rye...maybe a touch of caramel from some crystal malts. This brew is all about the hops, with tons of bittering, aroma, and flavor hops in the recipe. The finish consists of...you guessed it...hops soaked in alcohol! Damn good stuff...

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with a really dry mouthfeel. Hefty alcohol feel on the finish.

Drinkability: This is an interesting brew. It's one of the few beers I've tried that uses rye as a considerable percentage of the grain bill. While it's strength prevents me from ever having more than one or two in a single evening, this is a brew I could drink on a regular basis.

Yet another fine ale from Bear Republic.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This Hop Rod is painted a chestnut color, with a slightly dull finish, mostly clear, with just a hint of cloudiness. The roof is a tan hue, creamy and fairly thick. Lace-work is quite plentiful and attractive.

The exhaust on this is not too intrusive. A bit of grapefruity hops melds in with a malty sharpness (reminding me somewhat of the aroma given off by an Arrogant Bastard).

Bodywork on this baby is solidly in the medium range of craftsmanship. And it rolls smoothly down US Route T-2, the tongue-throat expressway.

The malt engine upfront is a bit toasty and yet spicy, too, with some caramel aspects. The rye gives it a distinct crispness,as well. The real power behind this one is the hop drive-train, Cascade-like in construction, though it doesn't bowl you over with too much hops-power (I was expecting more, from the bottle-notes). Despite that, the hoppiness lingers long and hard in the rear-view mirror.

It takes a few minutes to get comfortable in this Hop Rod, but after a few spins around the block you feel right at home.

Thnx to the Master-Mechanic, Gusler, for letting me have the keys to this sucka! Prosit!!

overall: 4.25
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4


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Photo of brakspear
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I enjoyed this rye twist on the now too typical high octane Westcoast ales. The rye adds something to the whole, a crispness perhaps, but there is something missing that I cannot precisely put my finger on...maybe the hops have numbed my brain.

The beer pours a deep brownish-red with a very minimal beige head forming and fading quickly, a collar hangs on for dear life with decent lacing.

The aroma is all citrusy grapefruity hop with a rye twang pulling up the rear...nice, not too sweet.

The taste misses for some reason, all the appropriate notes are there: hop bite, rye dryness, malt sweetness, but the sum is lesser than the parts. Perhaps it is because the beer seems too light-bodied for the hop load. Nice smooth finish though.

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. It is also hard to believe that it kicks in a 8% alcohol. A nice beer for a change of pace, and I give it extra points for breaking the mold and using rye.

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

22 oz bomber. Poured a dark garnet in color with a light tan head. The head levels to about a 1/4 inch, but remains throughout consumption. Aroma has a pleasant citrusy smell to it, akin to grapefruit. Hops dominate the nose. There's also a feint caramel sweetness that underlines the hop aroma. It's there if you search for it. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Hop Rod Rye goes down so easily. The taste is a complex and layered offering. Again, hops dominate the initial impression with flavors of pine and citrus combining for a pleasant bitterness. Typical Northwest hop flavor pulls through in the profile. The beer finishes with a superb rye flavor, that rounds things out nicely. I feel that the final rye statement really makes this beer that much more unique. Oh, and the 8.0% alcohol is masked so very well that you never notice it... until later.

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

Somewhere between amber and copper in color with a tan head. Fair amount of sediment towards the bottom of the bomber.
Big citrus hop aroma. There's something detracting from the aroma I beleive to be the rye (I am NOT a fan of rye).

Steady, yummy citrus hop bite. Sweet roasted malts and rye also play into the bold flavor of this beer.

Good mouthfeel.
Very drinkable for a beer this heavily hopped.

Saw this as a new item at The Party Source and quickly snagged it. Hopefully we'll be seeing more of the Bear Republic around here. I very much dislike rye so I have mixed feelings about this beer, but I definitely hope to sample it again. It proved to be quite tasty and grew on me as I drank it.

If you're a rye loving hop-head this beer could be the ultimate.

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

This beer poured a reddish amber color and formed a foamy off white head that left circular lace as it slowly subsided. A medium amount of carbonation is present. It has an aroma of malt, caramel and hops. A flavor of malt and hops with a sweetness of caramel. Really can only detect the rye in the finish, which has a medium body to it.

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Photo of Brent
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a glowing amber-bronze. Big aroma of very sweet cascades hops. Since rye bread is strongly flavored, and this is my first beer with a substantial rye percentage, I expected it to be likewise strongly flavored and probably a little harsh. I was utterly delighted to find that the beer is exceptionally smooth. The flavor profile reminded me of SN Celebration Ale. I was impressed by the hopping - big and flavorful, yet, for all the hops horsepower, the finish was mild with no hops burn or bite. A top-notch brew.

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Photo of TXHops
3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

-ABV: 8%
-Malts: 18% Rye

Hop Rod Rye starts its doomed-to-be-brief life in my glass as a reddish brown, surprisingly clear (for an unfiltered beer), fall colored liquid sporting a pretty impressive, though small head of fine beige bubbles. A big pink grapefruit-orange juice aroma leads off the non-visual sensations. There’s a definite twang in the nose, but I’m not accomplished enough to know if this is from the rye, or if the hops are inducing that aroma. The flavor is harsh, bitter hops, sweet and tangy malt and a lingering, assertive bitterness. To me, this beer tastes a LOT like SN Celebration with a shot of tangy, heat-inducing Everclear. The rye adds an interesting tartness that seems to be a catalyst for shooting the lupulin bitterness from harsh to puckering. A constant undercurrent of brown-sugary, sweet malt almost stands up to the painfully bitter finish, but not quite.

I’ve only had 3 or 4 other rye beers, and none were brewed to this gravity, so it’s hard for me to comprehend if the harshness is being contributed by the rye, or if this beer is simply assertively hopped. Here’s the bottom line: it tastes to me like Hop Rod Rye had a single addition of LOTS of American hops at the beginning of a 90 minute boil, and there they sat: losing most their flavor and aroma, while the whole time, more and more bitterness was extracted. At the same time, the liberal use of crystal malts created an interplay that I frequently find in big, American ales: harsh bitter. I’m just guessing, so I don’t know what really happened. I know I’m wrong about the hopping schedule, because there’s a good shot of citrus in the nose and I know I can taste some flowery hops underneath the other flavors. Plus, my burps reveal a wonderful hop character that I missed going down. This beer just exhibits a character that I taste too often in American, specifically west coast (Rogue and SN to be really specific) hyper-hopped beer: harsh bitterness. Having tasted 90 Minute IPA and Ruination, I know it’s possible to make a beer with over 100 IBU’s taste extraordinarily hoppy and not be painfully bitter. In fact, those beers are two of my favorite all time brews. Oh well, they can’t all get 4.5+ scores. I’d rather have MANY other beers over this one. I guess I’m kinda bored with tasting hyper-hopped beers that are extraordinarily bitter, but display very little hop flavor. Onward and upward…

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Photo of bditty187
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Auburn & bronze hue; vague haziness thus moderate clarity, slightly off-white head, above average head retention, excellent lace. Beautiful nose, equally piney and citrusy, balanced and inviting. Tremendous palate, pine and grapefruit with subtle outright bitterness, raw hoppiness, noticeable rye notes… all of these flavors balance perfectly… then add in toasty malt, and a hint of cameral, for substance. The rye is more noticeable towards the finish, plenty of oily, foresty hops. Medium bodied with an appropriate mouthfeel. Pleasantly brawny hoppy aftertaste, long lasting, lingering dryness that begs you to quench your parched tongue and you gladly take another sip, you’ll repeat this over and over again. The abv seems perfect for this beer.

Hop Rod Rye is a ‘must try’ and I'll highly recommend it to any BA.

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

Wowee. Pours clear, reddish-bronze and emits a sharp, malty aroma. What a head: rollicking, tan, foamy; it's alive! It's alive! The head resembles the clouds that you see when you are flying over a storm front in an airplane, and the lacing clings to the glass like a drowning swimmer.

The first taste is sweet, caramel, slightly smoky, and then the hops burn as you swallow. A round rim of something fruity, like cherry. And then the aftertaste of gritty rye, which tastes much, much better than you might think.

This is a phenomenal beer. Definitely in my top ten.

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

The engine sputters intially, then spurts forth a rusty bronze bodied exhaust cloud, with a chunky, lumpy beige foam smoke.
As it idles, the pungently hoppy fumes become overwhelming. Time to open the garage door.
Kick this baby into gear, and it peels out down the throat. Leaving trails of smoking buttered breadiness and nutty rye skidmarks. The rpms are red-lined as the raw pine, citric hoppiness is nearly too much for the engine to handle. A dust plume of resinous hops, whipping cream and rye is left in its wake.
Deliciously volitile high-octane, high-performance mouthfeel.
This one turns on its radar detector and speeds down Highway Esophagus with reckless abandon.

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Photo of aracauna
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color of an old penny, but brighter. The off-white head is easy and lingering, laces teh glass nicely. The flavor is hops first, slightly juniper-like. That is followed by a slightly sweet, slight chewy malt. The rye comes through most at the end. The malt is really earthy, dark and warm. The mouthfeel is lightly creamy. The other rye PA I've had is the Terrapin. Where Terrapin is bright and aggressive, this is warm, inviting and relaxed.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.77/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark amber in color with a slight chill haze and a silky, diaphanous head. A bit of chunky yeast hop sediment is hard to keep out of the glass. The aroma is sinus-clearing -- very fresh hop aroma, undergirded by a bit of toffee/caramel malt. These mild malt notes start off the flavor as well, but it's not long before the palate is overwhelmed by a huge blast of hop oil. The rye lends a lightly bready flavor to the beer which helps smooth the flavor out on the way to what is acually a very balanced finish -- ever so slightly dry, with nice spicy and piney notes which linger into the aftertaste. A terrific beer for hopheads, with a body that is oily, moderately carbonated, and fairly full for the style.

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

The beer as it sets in the glass is a beautiful deep translucent ruby red with a ponderous head and the resultant lace is diaphanous and clings longingly to the glass. Aroma of the hop flowers dominate the nose along with the sweet Rye grain, malts and some caramel tones underlie it all, clean and fresh and quite a sniffer for the old proboscis. Start is lightly sweet the top middling in mouth feel, then you hit the finish “POW” right in the taste buds, Hops, tons and tons, a “Hop Heads” dream, and is definitely not meant for the "Weak of Palate"! “I love it, and the moderate carbonation and hop bitter and dry aftertaste, seal off a great beer

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Photo of DarthMalt
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahhh! Nothing like a big, fat beer in a bomber to cap off the night.

Hop Rod pours juicy amber, with a cut-it-with-a-knife, espresso-thick head. Lacing sticks to the sides like a cheap polyester suit on a hot summer day.

Juiciness continues to please as meaty malts swing in on a rope like Tarzan whilst dumping a shitload of hop on your tongue. After the full-frontal assault, your burning tastebuds smolder in wait for the next sip.

Ahhhh! Sweet, juicy, hop-malt, heavenly glory!!!!

This beer is like a Celebration Ale cranked through Eddie Van Halen's amplifier.

Big Beers RULE!

They RULE!

[PS - If you're totally out of HRR. Anderson Valley's Hop 'Ottin or Belk's ESB might help with your withdrawl symptoms]

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

Dark orange-copper color, strong pine and citrus hop aroma, creamy full mouthfeel, piney reseiny on the tongue a great hop bite, nice malt balance alot like Schlafly ESB with more hops, I love it, a great one.

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

Wow. I would be buying this alot if i could get it in ct. (beer trade anyone?). Clear amber color with a small but evenly carbonated head. Besides the hops a piney and burnt malt aroma is very noticeable. On second pour from the bomber the large chunky hop sediment sneaks into the glass quickly. A creamy toffee like flavor balances the "truckload of hops" very affectively. I wish rye beers were more widely available. Thanks murph for the sample.

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Photo of Myk
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bear republic, hop rod rye 8% abv. the first time i had this wasnt sooo good like it is now. wow, hop. like drinking a cup full of hop pellets. the appearance is bright clear amber with a thick slightly off white head that leaves perfect rings and a nice coating on top the entire time. the aroma is thick with hops, small citrus/orange-ish. with a little a nice sweet, slight, malt. the taste is slightly off balance, but great because of it. dry, piney hop, with beautiful sweet malt characteristics. the bitterness is there but not over the edge. the finish is very dry and full bodied that coats the entire mouth with hop. damn, i am still belching up hops. it is coming out my nose, i swear. a must have

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! This beer really knocked me out. Love at first sip! It pours a rich mahogany colored body topped by a densely creamy bone white head that holds quite well. The head eventually drops, but keeps a good collar and light surface covering - as well as leaving some excellent lace. There are some suspended particles of yeast & hop, but it's only slightly hazy beyond that. The aroma offers a light fruitiness, a gently sweet maltiness, and some sweetly citrusy/lightly piney hops. The body is full, oily, and quite creamy as it warms in the mouth, supported by a moderate and very fine carbonation from bottle conditioning. But the flavor is what really caught my attention! Richly malty with a toffee-ish sweetness, boldy fruity, lightly spicy, and well-infused with bold hop flavor and a firm, but balanced, bracing bitterness. It's quite unique. Although there's only a small percentage used, I guess it's the rye that really helps to give it its distinct character. There's certainly some caramel malt going on, but it also has a spicy edge to it. It finishes dry with a short burst of malt sweetness up-front, and then a long lasting mild piney hop flavor and bitterness. A really flavorful and complex beer that pulls no punches and has exceptional drinkability. Absolutely worth seeking out.

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Photo of jtw5877
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber with a thin white head, Tastes great. I love hops, and I love a new tasting beer with alot of hops. This beer has a taste of its own. Along with having a great hop aroma, mouthfeel, and aftertaste, it has a refreshing rye malt flavor to it. I love it! Thanks Xlperro!

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

After the Rogue, Alesmith and Stone Beers, it’s really nice to have a beer Bottle with an old traditional paper label. A nicely presented 650ml ‘Bomber’, with a label that sports a picture of a Hot Rod with flames (why do all Hot Rods have flames??)
Anyways, Strike one for the beer!!! For it fooled me – I thought it would be a straw colored beer – Nope. It is a dark, copper colored beer with ruby-red tinges. The head is a wonderous white frothy marvel that laces the sides as it deflates to a ½” cloudy covering. Nose is malty with oats and hops. It tickles the tongue with a fruity esteric lightly roast malt biscuity introduction that leads to a bitter, hoppy, middle and an extremely astringent finish with fresh hops. F.M.!! This beer is heavily hopped. Its all about Hops, for they are dominant, start to finish, but they are not overpowering, silkily introduced they seduce you between the sheets, before you know it, you have your pants off and Mrs Hop-Robinson has you in Bed. What a Beer (Bear?). Imperiously marvellous extremely drinkable Ale that I will definitely purchase again.

“She-Cham-Beer-Leon”. Sheltering its ego, it contemplates seduction and calculates its mastery, and then realizes - it really is that good. This beer has few masters.
So, Forgive its conceited boasts.

I don’t know about you – but after this beer, I’m ready to go Street Racing…
…..I’m just a bit worried about the skid marks in the morning!!!!

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Photo of Murph
4.89/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a great looking dark amber color with a creamy tan head that holds tight and rings the glass very nicely. Wonderful fruity/piney hoppiness as well as some nice sweet malt. The first thing to hit my tongue was the insane hoppiness of this brew. As the hops begin to back off there are some great fruity esters that give this beer a very nice complexity that is perfect for a fall/winter seasonal. The finish sees the return of the hops as they jump into the foreground again and stick around on the tongue for quite some time. Very creamy and crisp with the awesome hoppiness providing a light and refreshing quality to this brew that makes it extremely drinkable. This is just one awesome beer and I can't wait tot ry some more of Bear Republic's brews.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 4,731 ratings