Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,076 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 2,076 | Ratings: 4,710
Photo of jondeelee
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hop Rod Rye begins with the kind of aroma that makes you want more: deep sugars, redolent with sweet fruit and berry notes (orange, peach, berry, white grape); lightly toasted grains; and just a hint of freshly-baked rye bread.

On the tongue, the first flavors are confectioner's sugar sweet, and last for a mere fraction of a second before the rye kicks in, flooding the mouth with delicious bitterness. Whether due to the rye or the hops, a substantial part of this bitterness is grapefruit-rind tart, and dominates the mouthful from there on out, including lasting well into the aftertaste. Significant malt flavors are also present, cranked up to eleven to keep up with the rye/hops. Flavors here include the fruits from the nose, as well as caramelized brown sugars and Grape Nuts cereal-like toasted grains. The aftertaste is almost exclusively hops and rye. Mouthfeel is a silky-smooth medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer, and has been made by someone who truly appreciates the craft of craft brewing. It's not a beer for everyone, though, as evidenced by, if nothing else, the fact that the liquid is so bitter and tart--75+ IBUs, and that doesn't include the effects of the rye--that when left in the mouth for several seconds (as it is when, for instance, the drinker is writing a review of it) the tongue numbs and tingles. But enthusiasts who don't mind a good bit of bitterness should give this one a try.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bear Republic- Hop Rod Rye

Thanx to Bradford for this!

A- Hazy amber brown with a thick creamy head. Chunky lacing on the glass!
S- Big oily green hops, Pine, Carroway seeds, and caramel malt.
T- Thick creamy caramel malt with a huge dose of green pine hops. A solid rye twang lingers throughout.
M- Sweet and chewy up front with a tart and bitter finish. Slighty fruity aftertaste.

Overall- God damn this was good! The aroma alone would satisfy you! Definitely 1 of my new favorites!!
(Hopefully I can find this in San Diego)

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4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absolutely floral perfume for smell. Some fruity notes as well, grapefruit and overripe tangerines.
Pretty red and auburn color, with sediment both sunken and suspended. A creamy rich head persists and coats up the edges of the glass.
What a hop bomb. This beer shows all the things I love most about hoppy brews. The citrusfruit notion, the pine sap, the i-give-in sweetness at the finish. Rye and hops really combine for a great bitterness in a beer. It is genious. This is a favorite of mine.

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Photo of bkeach
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Favorite Rye Beer thus far. Smell is very bready and floral. Smells like a brewery (In a good way). Taste is very much the same. Rye comes through nicely, well balanced pretty drinkable. Just delicious. Great mouthfeel and color as well. If you have not tried it just go get it.

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Photo of abrand
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW this beer is amazing. Poured into pint glass from bomber

Poured very hazy and orange. Aromas were amazing. Very hoppy with a lot of bready characteristics. Taste was excellent from start to finish. The hops are out of control with this brew. After taste was excellent and lacing along the glass throughout. With 8% I personally couldn't handle more than 1 of these in a session but could make this my go-to beer.

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Photo of salcedo
4.91/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass
L: Dense amber.
Slightly cloudy.
Lots of stuff floating in there :-)
Rich, cream colored head
S: Caramelized sugar.
T: Sweet and malty at first, but they don't linger.
Finishes clean with a touch of pleasant bitterness.
Trying to learn what flavors rye adds to a beer, and I think the aftertaste of Hop Rod Rye is a good example.
F: In spite of the strong caramel smell and taste, this is a medium bodied beer.
Well carbonated.
O: I really like this beer. Some people may be put off by the floaties in the glass, but it tastes great. And what's more important, how it looks or how it tastes?

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Photo of biggmike
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful dark copper color with attractive white pillowy head that it retained until the end. Nice hoppy aroma that is both piney and smells of grapefruit rind. This stuff just begs to be drank. Taste is very hoppy with a nice malty balance to it. Lacing on glass is excellent, as is the mouthfeel. This stuff is excellent. I will buy again at every opportunity.

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Photo of Murph
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
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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Photo of shand
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hop Rod Rye pours a hazy red-brown color with a smaller head. The aroma is outstanding, citrusy hops and spicy rye rule here, along with some caramel malts. The taste is just about tailor made for me - it's got a huge hop kick along with a massive amount of rye spiciness. There's a bit more of a pine flavor in the hops than the nose let on, which works excellently with the rye. This is a big and brash beer, which is perfect for me. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and has that hop dryness that can only come from a massive amount of hops. The drinkability is superb. Overall, Hop Rod Rye is really a beer that's just about tailor-made for me. I love rye beers and huge IPAs. This is an excellent beer that really offers the best of both worlds there.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice clear body, very dark brown, much darker than you standard DIPA, if my memory serves me correctly. Head is fluffy and full, off-white with very good staying power. Egads, there is a lot of hops in the nose, intense, piney, alcohol laced hops. Taste is bold with hops from start to finish, never relenting. The rye adds a different graininess. This is a brash and brazen DIPA, wich I enjoy very much. Well carbonated, and good for sippin'.

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Photo of claykeller
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving Type: 22 oz bottle poured into 20 oz glass.

Appearance: Thick with Dark Caramel color. Thin sticky lacing down the glass.

Smell: Great balanced aroma with sweetness and pine.

Taste: Nice hops but balanced enough with malt/rye so that it isn't quite as powerful as double.

Mouthfeel: Silky but not too slippery.

Drinkability: Goes down easy, but with enough hops to make you drink it slow enough to enjoy.

Notes: A great find. I hadn't tried this beer yet, but it is probably my favorite AIPA next to Bell's two hearted and Lagunitas hop stupid. A bit more hops and bitterness than Bell's.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown with reddish hues around the edges. Thin foamy off white head with excellent retention.

S - A sweet and spicey taste simultaneously. Sweet aromas of caramel and a spicey hop/rye aroma.

T - Very sweet up front with hints of tropical fruit. Quickly smacked by a spicey hop bite and rye flavor. Hints of some citrusy hop as well.

M/D - Full bodied and very crisp. Good carbonation and very smooth. Very drinkable.

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Photo of velosuds
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Single purchased at local health food store for $1.85.

A-Pours a deep amber-reddish brown color with a one finger, off-white head with average retention and modest lacing. This beer gives ample reason why all good beer should be poured and enjoyed from a glass. Appearance is almost lustful.

S-Prominent citrus hops with sweet twang from the rye malt, I suspect. 20% rye content makes for a very interesting IPA.

T-Very well balanced, yet complex, IMO. Hops are aggressive without overpowering the taste buds. Nice rye malt backbone in finish is subtly sweet. Very distinctive, even surprising. A real treat. Very reminiscent of He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A., which is a 10% DIPA I love. Hop Rod is much more affordable though. No bitter after taste and alcohol content is not noticeable, even at 8% ABV. Extremely well constructed.

M-Very smooth and extremely well balanced. Carbonation is nearly perfect.

D-Dangerously smooth given ABV. I prefer to sip this one, especially since the taste and drinkability improve as it warms.

Not sure this is properly classified as an American IPA. At 8% ABV, it approaches the DIPA style. Moreover, it is vaguely similar to Arrogant Bastard Ale, which is classified as an American Strong Ale. This is one of my favorite "specialty beers." Kudos to Bear Republic. All their beers are exceptional values. I bought this for $6.49 a four pack of 12oz bottles in Northern California.

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Photo of insomnboy
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tried a bomber of this last night for the first time. I really only have one word to say about the Hop Rod.
Yum!!! I think I might have to go get a couple more for tonight.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As the immortal Kinky Friedman would say" Killer B baby". This is one of the best beers I've had in some time mainly because the complexity is stunning. The beer looks awesome with a dark brown body with a bi old head. A hoppy, woody smell with some interesting age notes. The taste is large and many facets. A unique bitterness due to the rye comes off the back end. All in all this is a stunner that demands your attention.

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Photo of BigMike
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

"Hop Rod Rye is a high performance,turbo charged,alcohol burnin' monster ale with dual overhead hop injection"

-from the bottle

Pours a deep garnet red and two fingers worth of creamy white head.

This beer has one of the best aromas ever. Very fragrant. Fresh and clean. Spicy, fruity, hoppy, caramel and molasses.

Taste is fabulous. Pineapple, and almost berry like undertones. A nice fresh spicy flavor and a buttery caramel flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth, perfectly carbonated. Creamy buttery smooth with just a touch of bitterness on the finish.

I can't believe this is 8%. Very smooth and easy to drink. I could drink this all day. This has broken into my top 5. I can't believe this is only $7.50 a 4 pack for a beer this tasty.

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Photo of laintringulis
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In the word of Kool-Aid Man, "Oh, Yeah!"
Served in a pub glass. This is a sexy looking beer! Pours a crimson amber color with large amounts of yeast and black rye specks that are well suspended. Huge creamy beige head that lasts until the last drop. Large amounts of sticky lacing. Medium plus body.

Smells very strongly of rye, orange/citrus hops. Light earthy smokiness, and a bit of grassiness.

Super rye taste initially that progresses into a citrus hoppy middle and finishes with a pleasant grassy, earthy, citrus hoppiness.

Supremely well balanced maltiness and hoppiness. The alcohol is hidden well for 8%. Nice full mouth feel without being clingy. Very refreshing. If you like rye/rye beer this is the stuff! Thank you to whomever sent this to my husband!

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, let's be honest here, this beer pours so damn dark, if it were just a few shades darker, it'd be black. Dark brown with ruby edges and a nice velvety dense head that fires off aroma at you. Hitting you from every angle ... pine, followed by grapefruit and then smooth caramel malt. A sip treats the tongue to initial bitterness followed by a whallop of pine and grapefruit. The malt smoothes things out followed by fleeting grain and an citrusy orange taste. Mouthfeel is big, which is just what I want in a brew like this. Your tongue will say yes to more and more of this but beware, with an 8% ABV, respect is in order. The only Double IPA I've had that can even try to stand up to this is Hercules by Great Divide. Even then though, I wouldn't be shocked to see the mighty Hercules fall. This brew is that tough.

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Photo of deuschbag
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

my first review, why not make it hop rod. i am officially in love with this beer. beautiful dark reddish color. the taste is hops galour. alcohol is there but hidden very well. i'm trying not to drink it so fast so i don't get hammered. don't know what else to say but..wow. bear republic has yet to dissapoint me.

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Photo of Schwarzbart
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think the first think to note is that the bottle is really cool. The color when poured is really good also and gets a big wow factor with a dark mahogony brown color. The head is a 2 finger, off-white, creamy and rocky one. Quite a bit of sediment can be seen when held up to the light. The lacing is spectacular after the first sip until the end with a creamy draping.

The nose is a hop load, smelling of grapefruit, spruce, citrus and lime.

The rye is quite detectable, which I expected, since the bottle noted that it was 18% rye. It adds some spice to the hops and even some more bitterness. The sweet malts are there and try to balance out the hops and rye and doesn't do a bad job at all. Hops are sprucey, grassy, piney and spicy, so they bite just like I'd expect. Caramel, bready malts come out more with warming.

Creamy and chewy mouthfeel with a medium full body. Well balanced with high hop bitterness just like it should be for a beer of this style. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer and will definitely buy again.

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Photo of ewright
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: A thin layer of fluffy head forms after a moderate pour. Several minutes later, there is still a coating of tiny white bubbles with lacing all down the glass. The beer is a gorgeous deep mahogany-red color, reminiscent of some barleywines I've had.

S: Full frontal assault of citrus-bearing hops with a slightly sweet malt background dotted with hints of rye spiciness and creme brulee. One of the best smelling beers I've had.

T: Forward bitterness that doesn't come out and shock you, but strangely seems to intensify as the beer goes down. Lovely spicy notes from the rye and just enough toffee notes from the malt to balance this beer out.

M: Moderate to full body with carbonation so fine it feels like a layer of silk on the tongue.

D: I could drink this with lunch. I could drink this with dinner. I could drink this with (or for) dessert. I could drink this for a nightcap. I *might* even consider it for breakfast, it's just. that. good. The only problem is that the ABV would ruin me by afternoon tea-time.

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Photo of thisnamestoolong
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a beautiful orange/amber with a thick white head.

S- I can tell I am really going to enjoy this one right off the bat -- bitter hops, a bit more citrus than pine, balanced very well by sweet caramel.

T- Very similar to the smell, kicks you in the face right off the bat with some pretty killer hops, pine and grapefruit, then mellows to a very sweet caramel. The alcohol is present in the aftertaste, but very well balanced.

M- Very strange, almost sticky feel to it. Extremely smooth, and definitely on the thick side.

D- A 22 oz. bomber went down very easily. Very drinkable for the girth of this beer, I could drink this one all night.

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Photo of jmbranum
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(drunk in Oklahoma, brought back from a trip to Junction City, KS where I stocked up on lots of different beers)


This is something special. I've only had one other rye beer that I can recall (Real Ale's Full Moon Pale Rye Ale from Blanco, TX), but I must say I wish more brewers used rye based on these two.

The Hop Rod Ale pours a pretty orange-copper hazy liquid into the glass. The aroma is lush with spices, grain and hops. The flavor is from another planet. Lots of spices from the rye, rich malt, maybe some caramel but matched perfectly by the perfect mix of strong floral and bitter hops. Perfectly balanced. Not too sweet or too dry.

Mouthfeel is perfect, full and smooth. Lots of glorious texture.

Lingering aftertaste that makes me long for more.

Frankly this beer reminds me of making love. After you've had your fill, it isn't long at all before you want more. It is that good.

I am in love. This beer is thing of exquisite wonder.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Update Edit: One year later and my palate now loves this beer even more. This is near perfection, Bold, Balanced enough and tasty. 12-22-06

8% stated on bottle. Great label design and name. Hop ROD Rye.

Bear Republic is becoming one of my favorite breweries and this is another fine example of the attention they pay to detail.

Head is perfect with thick lacing. Dark Cherry color. It's already on the christmas list. Like most IPA's its quite hoppy but the key is they control it a bit and the rye edge is outstanding. The rye adds a bit of depth but it was an afterthought at best. The true heart of this beer is like any other IPA and DIPA its in the hop flavor and bitterness. This is amazingly hopped up but yet still has enough malt character to keep it somewhat in check. Apricot comes to mind, citrusy and plenty of hop oils to slicken things up. Surprisingly it finishes fairly clean although it was a bit oily. Every drink was enjoyable. Highly reccomend this beer.

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Photo of diamondc
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pinnacle of American IPAs, in my opinion.

Drunk from a New Belgium goblet. Beautiful lacing, huge fluffy head, kind of a dark copper color to the beer instead of an expected 'pale'. Head eventually dissipates but leaves a nice cap of foam all the way to the end.

On first sniff is hop .. beautiful, citrus infused West Coast hops. Orange peel, grapefruit pith, with some subtle pine lurking in the background. The smell is intoxicating by itself.

The taste is equally sublime. Perfectly balanced with that huge grapefruit bitterness with the sweetness of the malt coming through. A bit of burnt toast & caramel in the malt. The rye leaves its mark on the aftertaste, the bitter caraway seed-like taste gives this beer another level of complexity begging for another sip. Can an IPA be anymore better??

I wish I bought a six pack of this, instead of a bomber. But then again, the high abv limits you to maybe one bomber or two 12 oz bottles. The expected alcohol burn is non-existant, the hop bitterness doesn't destroy your palate, and the mouthfeel has the perfect amount of carbonation. I think I found my favorite IPA.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,710 ratings.
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