Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
BA SCORE
4.22/5
Exceptional
4,725 Ratings
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States
bearrepublic.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#930
Reviews:
2,080
Ratings:
4,725
pDev:
9.72%
Bros Score:
4.59
 
 
Wants:
292
Gots:
378
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,725 |  Reviews: 2,080
Photo of RickS95
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Extremely dark for an IPA, but Bear calls it an amber so I'll go with that. Not entirely brown, more a burgundy brown. Held to a light it resembles the color of wine. Up top is a fleeting IPA-like collection of foamy bubbles. Retention isn't impressive, but there's a nice lace and a ring of bubbles left behind.

Kind of a strange smell, with a party of citrus, rye and caramel all vying for attention.

The taste is strange as well, but it works. The brewers did a good job of providing just enough of each contrasting ingredient to keep the taste buds working. Orange peel, malted rye, caramel and even some vanilla just before the finish.

Mouthfeel is complex with a battle of sweet and bitter. It's very crisp in the swallow, leaving a faint burn as it hits your throat. A good composite of malt up front and hops following. The bitterness isn't lingering, leaving you ready for the next drink.

Overall, Bear Republic has done a good job with this. It's really easy to drink, has a truckload of flavor, and the alcohol is high, but not aggressive. Well done.

 1,067 characters

Photo of hipHOPSanonymous
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of JoshuaJ
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous deep mahogany with a rich, creamy head and thick lacing all the way down. Off to a good start.

At first, the nose is a bit weak. Faint aroma of grassy hops and sweet malt. As it warms, caramelly malts and the spicy rye make themselves known.

Taste is good. Really good, in fact. Bitter hops are at the forefront at first, but as the beer warms, they fade a bit to let the caramelly, malts through. The hops come back at the end and it finishes dry and crisp. Strong flavors throughout with a lean toward hop dominance. At first, I didn't detect a large rye presence in the mouth, which is unexpected, considering...well, that's kind of the point with this one. But as it warmed, it comes out very nicely with it's sweet and spicy flavor, tickling the lips and warming the throat and belly.

This is a full bodied beer. Thick and smooth. And this is exactly what it claims to be: A bold, strong, badass American beer. Personally, I'd classify it as a hopped up rye beer before an AIPA, but that's beside the point. I'll drink this anyday.

Notes: Let this one warm up. It's good cold, what with the hoppy bitterness pummeling the taste buds, but it becomes much more flavorful and complex as it sits in the glass. That hot and sweet rye is a little shy at first, so give it time to come out and play.

 1,318 characters

Photo of BierFan
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Big light tan head sprung up from a dark body. This beer is so dark it could pass as a porter. Lacing coats the sides of the glass. Head still persists after several minutes. Hops and rye in the smell. Smells maltier than most Cali IPA's. Creamy mouthfeel. Taste is similar to a porter, but of course with rye and hops.

It's been a while since I've been this impressed with a beer. Very good stuff.

 441 characters

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Philabeerphia
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Badass motherfucker, right? The beer doesn't bow in heavy homage to many other examples of the style - it blazes its own path. The first time I drank HRR a few years back, it was just one of those moments... beer can be so much more!

The beer settles frothily from the bomber into the chalice. Murky hues of brown, crimson - almost violet - and topped with a tanned cap of churned bubbles that lazily dissipate. Thick and soupy, dark and intimidating.

Smells like a trip to the bakery: pumpernickel, rye and sourdough bread are front and center. A bit of wild champagne yeast makes an appearance, backed by some mildly sweet molasses. A zesty citric hoppiness shows up along with pine and earth. An herbal wisp of medicine closes the show in my nostrils. OK, not overpowering, but unique, complex and very pleasant...

Creamy from carbonation on the tip of my tongue. Caramel, orange zest, and ripe tangerines are all playing around towards the front. Surprisingly bright. Deepens into wheat and other whole grains...coats the top of my mouth and is deeper now. I'm tasting sweet notes of cherry and tobacco, combined with plenty of citric hoppiness. Bright again.. I swear I'm chewing on ripe tangerines. I'd put money on it. The hops heat up nicely in the back of my mouth. The resin hangs in bitter coats on my throat.
Great mix of oils, sugars and spreading carbonation. The MF is the character that makes the package.

Grainy, citric, earthy, dark sweet big complex. I really enjoy this beer.

 1,502 characters

Photo of wcudwight
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerRun13 and NC Lotto BIF
This is darker than your typical IPA. A very nice 2 finger beige head with excellent retention.
The smell is more malty and sweet than I expected. Biscuits, and maybe a hint of rye. The hops are there, just not as dominate as I was expecting.
Taste: Woaa there's the hops! Wonderful hop bitterness. It's a strange but very good hop flavor. I don't get the citrus, floral, or piney flavors that I've come to expect from hoppy beers. Maybe it's the rye mixture. The flavor is very strong and complex. You can taste the alcohol as the beer warms.
The alcohol is very warming in the mouthfeel and the beer is a bit heavier bodied than most IPA's. This in no way detracts from the beer.
I wouldn't consider this a session beer, but it is drinkable cause it's so damn tasty.
Doesn't really fit the style(IPA) that I'm used to, but it is a beer that I highly recommend.

 905 characters

Photo of kbwalters
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WeisGuy
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - pours a deep dark orange color, large tan head with good retention and great lacing, pretty translucent

s - lots of citrusy hops, but balanced well with malt and lots of rye

t - malty sweetness up front, lots of citrusy hops explode in the mouth, rye balances out the taste, very complex, long bitter finish spiked with rye

m - quite a bit of carbonation, medium-bodied, hop oils coats the mouth well, moderately dry finish

d - fairly drinkable though my palate might not handle much more than a bomber, but the taste makes me want to drink it all night, alcohol not very evident in the taste

Great IPA that lived up to all my expectations. The taste is more balanced than most other IPAs I've had with the rye adding an extra level to this brew. Just wish I could get this in NC.

 789 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty clear deep copper color with a very large fluffy beige head. Sticks around forever and forms a mesa in the middle of the glass as sheets of lace replace the foam that trickles down the sides of the glass. Nice.

Smell is of grapefruit citric hops and spicy rye pumpernickel bread. Some earthy malt notes and raisin reign in the hops to make this a complex smelling beer.

Flavor is very nice. Leans heavily toward a hoppy rye IPA, but has plenty of sweet malts to balance it out and even hold it's own. The hops definitely have a west coast feel, and the flavoring hops might outshine the bittering. A dangerously drinkable IPA that is bold, yet not palate fatiguing. Only issue I have is a bit too much carbonation. The spicy nature of the rye adds a nice element to the overall complexity of the beer. I have yet to be disappointed by a Bear Republic brew.

 873 characters

Photo of Dithyramb
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased at Shawan Liquors in Hunt Valley. No freshness or born on dating, though I think I trust that place. Served chilled and then poured into my new Unibroue tulip glass.

Pours a mahogany with rich amber highlights. Hearty and frothy off white head stayed forever and left excellent lacing on the glass. Slightly hazy.

A real noseful, with a rich mix of molasses, alcohol, and pine hops. The aromas change as you continue to inhale. Really hard not to dive right in.

Rich, full flavored and medium to heavy mouthfeel brew. Heavy and hearty roasted malts are tossed around with a perfect mix of grapefruit and pine hops. Slight alcohol warmth and a little rye spiciness

Lingering sweet/bitter mix in the mouth. Very drinkable even though it is chewy as all hell. From the smell and the flavor, this could be a rye infused barleywine.

 858 characters

Photo of JOldewurtel
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of obrike
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Absolutely beautiful look in a pint glass. Dark copper color, ample, rocky head that lasts for the entire beer. Bits of lace clinging to the glass throughout.

Love the bitter hops, mixed with spice scent. A fantastic smelling IPA..., caramel malt, citrusy hops, maybe even some grape (doppelbockesque?)...so different than most IPAs out there. Fresh and clean...super smooth.

A very unique tasting beer, but one that suits me just fine. Definitely has the uber-hoppy taste of a DIPA, but the addition of the rye makes puts it in a class by itself. An interesting and delicious combination of dark fruits, spice, and bitter hops. Very thankful for the 4 packs...but would be so much happier if BR would release it in a 6 pack someday.

(update...March 2014...6 packs baby!!!)

I would love to drink these as my staple, but a bit too boozy for me to drink more than 2/3 per sitting. Still, a great price for such a great beer. Hard to believe this one's classified as an IPA...there's so much going on in it.

A homerun by Bear Republic for sure. A must try for any IPA lover...heck, a must try for anyone who just loves great beer.

 1,133 characters

Photo of berley31
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured with an average-sized, off-white head that diminished to about 1/2-finger. Good lacing left on the glass. Body is a dark brown color, with a slight haziness to it.

S: Very nice balance of malt and hops... but the hops win out in the end. Interesting.

T: Malt is quite prominent with a good amount of sweetness at the beginning, then, of course, it finishes quite bitter and dry with the hops. The rye is detectable in the background, providing for a different type of taste than I'm used to. I really like it. Long duration.

M: Medium-body with a very creamy texture. Soft carbonation.

D: This is an excellent beer, and very complex. I probably wouldn't drink more than one in one sitting, but I'd damn well enjoy that one that I had.

 748 characters

Photo of BeenJammin
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Hop Rod Rye pours a deep copper color with a nice light creamy head with good retention.

The aroma is very hoppy. The flavor is much the same. It has great citrus hops and good bitterness. The rye comes out as kind of a spicy flavor.

The mouth feel is enormous. It drinks good.

 285 characters

Photo of eljefe21
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark copper, light redish brown in color. Thick brew that a fluffy one-finger head slowly rises from. Fine lacing throughout.

S: Piney hop smell that makes a hop head's mouth water.

T: Tarty, piney, hop flavor that is tempered nicely by a strong malt base. Ends with an ever so slight hint of vanilla taste.

M: Thick mouthfeel over the front and middle of the tongue that dries out in the back/end.

D: Well, I could drink this all night long except I'd be laided out pretty quick. A delicious treat if you're into this style; otherwise, it might be a bit much.

Served: in an imperial pint glass.

 603 characters

Photo of Ewhite2121
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of frlrv1020
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of bbb099
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Half of 22 Oz. bottle poured into a goblet. Shared with a friend.

A - Dark red color, real pretty. One finger, white head that dissipated pretty quickly into a nice looking foam.

S - The smell that hit me first was the sweet malt, molasses, and rye. The aroma of fresh herbal hops quickly followed. Maybe also a tinge of alcohol.

T - The citrusy hops and sweet bready malt comes through first. The bitterness from the hops became more apparent as it goes down. Dry and hoppy finish.

M - Medium bodied, texture was amazing. Could probably use a little more carbonation however.

D - Great drinkability due to the good combination of flavors and appetizing smell.

 667 characters

Photo of Slynger
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hop Rod Rye pours a beautiful, slightly hazy, deep orangey amber color with a nice lid of fuzzy-creamy light tan.

Smells of sweet brown sugary malts with loads of fresh orange, grapefruit, and piney hops.

The nose was very nice, but the flavor is where it is where Hop Rod really breaks away from the pack. Sweet caramel malts with sweet fresh oranges and grapefruits. Toasted wheat with a big spicy-bitter rye bite, and fresh citrus rind and pine needle hops complete this one. Medium-full body has a luscious pine oily smoothness to go along with a nice and fuzzy-fresh feeling creamy carbonation.

Great offering from Bear Republic. Rev-em up for this rip-roarin' RyePA.

 675 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

 874 characters

Photo of scottyb88
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Judging it as an IPA with Rye malt. No bottle date, aroma and taste may have been subdued.

A- pours a dark reddish brown color with plenty of lacing and a nice off white head

S-mild citrus and a nice caramel maltiness with a slightly smokey background

T-a really nice toasted nut flavor up front, some smokiness in the middle, and a bite of hops at the end; it's not overly bitter, nor is it overly malty...very unique and delicious. hints of rye whiskey are in there, but it's not overpowering and not nearly as smokey as some whiskies

M-really full and creamy; great carbonation level; it reminds me of Sierra Nevada quality; aftertaste is really nice with hardly any bitter bite and some nuttiness

D-not quite sure of the bottle date on this beer so I might be missing out on more hop character; it's a great beer that is not overdone by the rye, but adds a subtle smoky character and a great deep color

 911 characters

Photo of tjsprague
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice deep dark copper color with just a little white head that lingers in the glass.

The smell is slightly hoppy but also with some bread notes and something fruity.

Taste is outstanding. It leads with a strong malt flavor, it has a nice toasty dark taste to the finish. A bit of bite from the hops but no real floral taste or aroma. Slightly sweet and just a little bitter.

Mouthfeel is also great. It has a thick feel, a lot of resin from the hops. A nice bitterness, not overwhelming at all.

An excellent beer. Very different than any others.

 567 characters

Photo of shirfan
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rich, dark orange with hints of brown; the head on this billowed up to 3-fingers in height and then simply refused to disperse. After several minutes, it finally yielded slightly, with clingy lace and fluffy mounds still remaining.

Aroma is citric, caustic hops, orange chocolate, alcohol, candy store, incense.

Taste is fairly dry, with grapefruit-toned hops guarding an earthy, voluptuous malt body. Enough hops to decimate the unappreciative, yet well balanced and not at all one-dimensional.

A slick and seductive "you want me but you can't quite have me" mouthfeel teases for subsequent sips. It's as if the full flavor of this beer is always just out of reach.

 678 characters

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