Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

4,721 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,721 |  Reviews: 2,080
Photo of kkipple
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

220z bomber. Just arrived in SC!

A gorgeous fat 3 finger head leaves lots of lacing as it perishes, settling to cover a rich bourbon-amber brew with a few centimeters of dense, thick foam.

The glass explodes with big wet hop aroma. Lots of pine and bitter citrus invite you to taste the sharp, malty brew beneath. Unsubtle hints of booze and a little rough 'round the edges, that'd be the rye. Smells intense, 'cause it is.

Q. How do you awaken a hophead who is passed out?

A. Wave a goblet of Hop Rod Rye under their nose.

The huge hop flavor carries on into your mouth on a small sip, a larger one simply coats the palate with oliy, bitter hops. Lots of American hops here - Cascade for sure, with a residual sugar-kissed bitterness that awakens the senses. Despite the hop and rye (which is quite noticeable), this is almost decently balanced with some hefty malt richness. That said, it's an extremely bitter, bracing beer.

Mouthfeel is creamy and hot, wet and boasts a sharp lingering bitterness that will make your toes curl.

Hop Rod is quite drinkable, despite the bitter factor, and is worlds better for the rye - it imbues the beer with life and character and saves it from being another ho-hum American DIPA. Hop Rod Rye has character to spare and is highly recommended. Now that it's landed, every craft beer geek in South Carolina should try this gem.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review of a Bear Republic brew. I 've heard good things about them, and jumped on the chance to try this one.
Drank it during the second half of the Pitt/Arz super bowl.
Pours a murky, dark amber body that produced a small, yet dense head. The white foam lingered for a bit, chunked up in small splotches and then faded. Perhaps it was poured too cold.
Slight citrus aroma mixed in with the pine and rosemary. A slight sharp alcohol twinge to it as well. A bit of smoked honey thrown in there as well as some wet malt.
Taste is well balanced. Pine starts off on the tongue then the citrus comes into play. Sweet malt separates the two and helps with a smooth finish. Alcohol is a bit noticeable, but blends well with the hops as far as bite is concerned.
Overall a solid beer.

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Photo of stakem
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a shaped pint glass. This brew appears a clear amber burnt copper color with a finger of yellowish stained head that is composed of large bubbles. A light swirl revives the cap and lacing sticks to the glass is stringy patches and spots.

The aroma of this brew is bold and hoppy with a scent of pine-like resins and some herbal quality that is lightly minty. There is a sweetness present that comes across a bit caramelized, floral and citrusy as well. The alcohol's presence is felt in the nose with a seemingly cooling effect and light astringency. As this brew warms more a citrus aspect of the hops come out.

The taste of this brew is modestly bitter upfront with a flavor of pine, herbs and grass. Through the body is a toasty malt quality that really accents the bitterness of this brew with a short lived type of light sweetness. The alcohol is readily apparent with a lightly solvent quality that pierces the hops and warms the back of the throat with every sip. Long, lingering clingy aftertaste of herbal and pine hops meld well with the toasted malt character inside the mouth. As this brew warms up, it picks up more of a citrus hop component that is lightly rind-like in it's bitterness and flavor somewhat reminiscent of grapefruit.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. The bold alcohol and toasted malt quality really made this brew stand out to me. I feel like an ass for seeing this beer on the shelf for more than 2 years now and always passed it by in favor or something new or different. This is a solid brew that I will be returning to again.

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Photo of BBP
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Aside from the chunks of sediment in this, it looked absolutely gorgeous. The sediment was one of the worst I've seen yet. I enjoy the look of a hazy unfiltered beer, but this was just chunky and gross. I had to run it through a french press mug before I could consume it. It now looks like the Duvel of IPAs. I'd give it a 5 if it looked like this to begin with.

S- Very enticing. Initially it's grapefruit and pine, but it settles into a pine/rye mix. It fades a lot over time though. When I popped the bottle open I got a little giddy, but near the end it was hard to smell at all.

T- Hop forward, but led by the malt. The very first thing you taste is the hops, but then the malt takes hold. Shortly after some pine can be grasped again. Caramel malt plays a big part in this minus the expected caramel sweetness.

The finish is sharpened in the later half of the drink as the flavor embeds itself onto you.

M- Medium full body. Carbonation is very unintrusive. The finish is fairly dry and sticky.

O- The perfect blend to encourage easy drinkability. Alcohol seems like it should be there but isn't.

 1,116 characters

Photo of choyhosoi
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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 macrosmatic
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into a Tampa Bay Brewing Company pint glass.

A: A deep rich brown, with a small off-white head to quickly fades to foam. A medium amount of visible carbonation.

S: Rye bread and top of lemony citrus hops.

T: Follows nicely. Rye grainy malt profile with citrus and grassy hops. Hop bitterness in the hang.

M: Medium to heavy body, good carbonation sensation, alcohol well-hidden.

O: Tasty brew, although isn't a complex beer to be sure. Solid, glad to have it around.

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Photo of SenorHops
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Lukafer
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AlleyKatking for his generosity!

A slow pour yields a dark amber/light brown with about a fingers worth of dark red head. Smells are caramel malts, some raisins, hops and rye. I taste rye right off the bat, hoppy, sweet but balanced, very good. The malt backbone remind me of a barleywine, but the spiciness of the rye and hoppiness make this a really unique version of an American IPA. Mouthfeel is full bodied and sticky. Drinkability is high with this, so glad I got a bomber and not a 12 ouncer, would defintely drink if they disributed to Indiana.

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Photo of rembrant
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearence is a cloudy amber/orange with a good frothy head about 1 finger and rather durable.

Aroma features some caramel and fruit in the nose with hints of grain or biscuit,and a whif of piney woods.

Taste leads with the citric hops mainly grapefruit. The maltside is lurking and leaves some flickers of sweetness. As it warms,it gets a little more diverse on the hop side and some rye/spice notes emerge with an overall increased flavor presence.

In short...tastes real nice.

Mouth is quite good for the type.
Drinkability? Yes, this is a category where drinkability is major. The Malt bill is busy mostly keeping the hops from going too bitter while letting them bring big flavors. Hop Rod is just a bit different from the mainstream IPA varints,which gives it a good niche.

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Photo of giblet
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i had this jewel last night. poured very nicely into a glass. nice color, nice head and carbonation with good lace. i really liked the rich smell but the taste is what hooked me. a very good combo of rich malt with plenty of hops.

a top five for me. i am a APA and IPA guy so this one was very pleasing to me palate!

suckem up and movem out!


p.s. i read somewhere that the 22 oz bottles are good cuz you can share with a friend. i dont have any friends and its a good thing too, cuz i aint sharin beer this good with anyone. get your own!

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a caramel brown with yellow highlights and a half finger of head that left good sticky lacing.

S: nice piney hop aromas up front with hints of citrus zest, caramel and malts that don't over power the nose. After a couple whiffs I did pick up a little rye bready scent.

T: the citrus grapefruit bitterness and piney hops punch the palate first with caramel accents and very faint bready rye notes. The grapefruit really ties in nice to intesify the bitterness.

M: medium body with a good amount of carbonation and has a nice hoppy piney bite on the finish.

D: pretty damn good IPA from bear republic. The rye is pretty faint in the flavor but still does justice as an IPA. I'm glad I have access to it on a daily basis

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Photo of jimdkc
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with a rocky tan head with decent staying power.

Aroma is citrusy hops with some bready rye notes.

Taste is initially sweet, with well-balanced hop bitterness. Excellent hop flavor. Spiciness from the hops and the rye blends well. Bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue. The 8% alcohol is well hidden.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation.

Good drinkability. After the first pint, I was disappointed that there was somewhat less than a pint left in the bomber!

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Photo of klkatz
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love bear republic - probably my 2nd/3rd favorite california brewery... (Green Flash and Lagunitas also in the conversation)

this one poured a bit flat... don't know what the brew date was... smell and taste are still there... so i'm not sure this is the best one to review... but I've had it before and will rely on reputation... the mouthfeel is above average... I like this beer a lot and would never turn it down...

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice dark red/brown with a thick crown of head. Decent lacing and carbonation if I look closely through my sensory glass.

Smells quite fruity and flowery, but not in an in your face bitter beer smelling type of way. Nice, subtle.

Tastes similar to smell, exceptionally smooth, no sign of alcohol. Floral, lightly citrus, lightly resiny. Not a muted flavor that I get from so many regular IPAs.

Mouth is medium to heavy in body, medium in carbonation. It works.

Overall a great regular IPA and exceptionally great that it is so easy to get.

 556 characters

Photo of perrymarcus
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a pint glass.

pours a cloudy, deep amber / copper shade while yielding a frothy 1"+ of a light tan head that has no plans on going anywhere. lots of lacing.

relatively fragrant nose offers doses of citric hops, some bready / toasty malt, and rye.

flavor follows the nose pretty closely. leads with that citrus hoppy presence, quickly followed by rye and caramel malt. finishes with some bitter hoppiness. flavorful. medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall rye beer is not one of my favorite styles but this one is very good. i wouldn't quite say world class, but a tasty beer nonetheless.

 633 characters

Photo of LoganMc
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of mryuk
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours an unfiltered medium brown with a finger of head.

smell is some sweet malts with strong piny hops coming through.

taste is subtle sweet at the start but strong hops are coming through from start to finish with good bitterness.

mouth is medium bodied with good carbonation.

drinkability is high. this is a very enjoyable beer with good bitterness.

 356 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Don't drink and drag. It says so on the bottle. Hop Rod Rye pours a dark amber red with good clarity. A somewhat bad pour by me but it still looked good. Nice head and excellent lacing.

The smell has a big aroma coming right out of the bottle. Following the lines of RyePA. Pine notes with citrus overtones really dominate the aroma. Limited malt smells but there are caramel and basic malt smells are present. Some hints of rye as well.

The taste is mild hop taste and a good spicy flavor from the rye. A good piney taste upfront that quickly makes room for a limited bite from lingering bitterness and rye. A slight astringent note but not over the top. This is followed by a limited but flavorful caramel taste is noticeable in the background. Some minor sweetness into the finish with some hints of soapiness that lingers. A light yeast character but mostly clean.

The texture is a littled watery but good flavor and decent body. A creamy taste but the spice limits the texture. Very easy to drink and a nice overall beer.

 1,031 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Listed in the "1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", my review and possible re-rating comes after I Have this again.

115 characters

Photo of TinusTime
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a darker shade of amber with a nice foamy light khaki head. Smell is of citrus hops with some earthy caramel undertones.. Taste is sharp hops at first followed by some malt with earthy fruity undertones. A bit hard to find the rye, but you can tell its in there adding a bit of grainyness to the beer. Hops blast in again and provide a healthy dose of bitterness and drying power. Nicely carbonated and very easy drinking. Alcohol is hidden well. Overall quite drinkable the ABV might catch up with you after a few, but a few of these would make getting caught fun. A very good beer

Thanks to RangerDanger7 for getting this bottle and others to me

 664 characters

Photo of slagle9480
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Great red body with an off-white colored head that held rather well.

S: Aside from the hops, I could smell pine and some citrus flavors.

T: Wow, this is a great beer. This is my first from the west coast Bear Republic... I love it. BR definitely loaded up on the hops with this one. Definitely a hop-head's taste. Also notes of citrus flavors but nothing that compromises the hoppiness.

M: Lush. Delicious. Totally smooth. Great beer.

D: This category doesn't even need to be filled out. Just go buy the damn beer. If I lived closer to Cali this would be stocked in my fridge.

Thanks to Premier Group in Buffalo, NY for supplying the 22 oz. bomber.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared this with the family during dinner tonight - my father-in-law loves the bottle. No discernible date on this bad boy - wish all makers of IPAs would give freshness dates.

A - Golden amber color, largely opaque, with generous creamy head that dissipates quickly to a complex lace that lines the sides of the glass.

S - Hops, sweet malt, rye whiskey - I think this is an older bottle because I remember the hops being stronger. The age actually balances this one out quite nicely. There's a nice array of bitterness, sweetness, and sharpness to the smell.

T - Fruity and malty, the hop bitterness only really makes an appearance in the aftertaste. I get lemon most of all out of the citrus notes. Not tasting that much rye - there's just the slightest hint of whiskey and wood at the top of the palate. Not at all boozy - wish this had a little more depth to it.

M - Good density, not overly carbonated, smooth and creamy. Leaves a resinous feeling afterward.

D - Might be a little too sweet for me to have all the time, but it's easy to down a bomber.

Very solid, and the rye and bottle label make it stand out from what is otherwise a very crowded genre (American IPAs).

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Photo of ddarden
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bottle purchased at the brewery in Healdsburg.
Reddish brown with a very nice off white head that lasts. The smell is pure hops...very piney. The hop's smell does not let much else through. This beer smells wonderful. This is a great tasting beer. The first part is all piney hops and as it fads the rye comes in. The rye really gives this beer a good taste. The aftertaste is nicely bittered, but not a whole lot of malt to balance. The mouthfeel is a little thin for a beer this big, but the drinkability is stellar. Just like Racer 5 and X, this is a very good beer.

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Photo of sstackho
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint enjoyed at Redbones in Somerville, MA - along with some good BBQ. Clear brown with outstanding lacing. Very nice, very hoppy aroma. The flavour is all hops. Rye isn't particularly noticeable to my tastes. The hops stay with you long after swallowing. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Crosling
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bronze in color.

Resiny, spicy and fruity hops in the nose along with sweet and toasted malts and nuts.

Low carbonation. Tons of cinnamon, dark fruits and spices. Very creamy. Fantastic hop flavor.

I would like another.

I hope I will be able to sell this soon.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,721 ratings.
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