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: 4,705
Photo of xrdsci
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Rich amber color with a one-finger, foamy head. Nice retention and lacing. Smells of piney hops and some citrus. Hops (piney and floral) are dominant in the flavor, if not a little overpowering. A bit of citrus and a subtle, spicey rye character can be picked up in the background. Extremely long, bitter hop finish. Medium bodied with fair carbonation. Alcohol is well-hidden.

The rye character definitely takes a backseat to the hops here. Didn't realize it was going to be such a balls-out DIPA when I ordered it, which might account for the comparatively low marks. Might try this again sometime, but my impression was that this is just way over-hopped.

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Photo of McStagger
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased on the cheap from Bevmo. Whoops! It has a date of 8/6/13. This one's gonna be faded...kinda like me after tonight's over.

A: Fairly dark red, but still mostly translucent. Finger of tawny head. Moderate lacing. Minimal retention.

S: Some hop essence is going on here. Pine and citrus. Fairly non descript. Malt is showing with big brown sugars and toffee.

T: Lost most of the floral and citric edge. Still bitter in the back end, but mostly shots of non descript grain and some mild floral bitterness/malt sweetness.

M: Nice body. This one is fairly light and still mostly maintains its dryness.

O: I'm underwhelmed. Need to try this one fresh. Will come back to edit this review when I see a fresher bottle date.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Moan and Dove. The drink had a dark amberish appearance with a generally thin head and decent lacing. Aromas were mixtures of malts, florals and some woody, almost raisin-like smells. Taste-wise, I sensed the malts more, leading to an overall sweet taste. Good, medium body also. I enjoyed this, but I think I was not as amazed as some people have with this drink. It was just above average for me.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at AJ's in Henrietta, NY. Bottled on date of 12/5/13, so it's a little bit old. Should have checked the date.

Pours a tawny amber brown, with a half inch white head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like caramel, rye, and a bit of pine. The hop aroma seems diminished.

At this age, this is still a somewhat decent rye ale, but it's not an IPA anymore. There's some slight hoppy pine bitterness, but it's mild. There's the spicy, grainy rye flavor I would expect, with some caramel and molasses. The malt flavor is at the forefront here, at this age, but it's not that interesting.

This one has a bready mouthfeel, with a lower amount of carbonation. It's kind of drinkable, I guess?

I'm disappointed. If I get a newer bottle, I'll re-review this.

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Photo of pweis909
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I was really looking forward to this, as I had heard a lot about it.

Pours Amber with a tawny head. Citrusy American aroma hops are noticeable, but not as tantalizing as I hoped. The hop bitterness is quite strong and dominates the flavor profile. Rye may also contribute to some of the sharpness. The alcohol is big. The high bitterness and the big alcohol are a little much for me - not so drinkable. Soft, silky mouth feel.

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Photo of brakspear
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
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 AlCaponeJunior
3.51/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark amber. Clear. Great head and lacing. Excellent appearance.

Smells piney and citrus/grapefruity with plenty of malts and bread crust on the side. I would say the hops take center stage, followed by malts, with an extra side portion of very bitter hops and plenty of citrus pungency. Garnished with floral aromas, bread crust, and notable alcohol.

The bitterness and malts don't seem to mesh as well as I was expecting. Everyone loves this beer but it didn't quite do it for me. It seems to clash some, as if it can't decide what it's supposed to be. I think there was a pretty darn good rye beer under there somewhere. Halfway through the bomber I was wishing it was just a simple red or rye beer so I could get on with drinking the rest of the bottle without further angst.

Tastes to me like a great red or rye beer that's been over-hopped to the point of being forced to classify it as an IPA or DIPA.

It's rich, medium bodied, slightly sticky on the lips and amply carbonated.

Honestly, I won't seek it out again. I'm not sure what the big deal was on this one. I'll rate it average because I'm sure IPA lovers will like it, but I'm not quite sure why, despite having developed a taste for many IPAs.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.51/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber brew with an off white head that persisted quite well, I am definetly sure that this is not a "pale" IPA but it still seem to be way to dark for me to give it a high score on appearance as I believe it is out of style.
The aroma was a classic hoppy scent that I believe is decidedly Northwestern in style.
The flavor is an all out hoppy assault but it has a definite break in the hops when a sweet caramel malt flavor breaks through. The hops linger on the tongue in that wonderful IPA way but it seems the flavor of the hops is a little toword the bitter side and not the flavor/aroma side as the only thing holding this together is the stepped up maltiness that makes the overall brew pretty good. The body is pretty good but the carbonation tends to make the already bitter hop flavors a bit more aggressive than it needs to be.
I like the flavors of the hops as this ale warms and becomes less carbonated as the dryer malt flavors become more apparant and it gets smoother. If you could get a cask conditioned version of this it would be very good.

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Photo of RDAdams
3.52/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

22 oz bottle purchased at Allview Liquors in Ellicott City, MD

Appearance: A clear, dark, amber/brown with a persistent tan head,

Smell: What's not to love about it? The clearly American hop aroma
with a barley backbone, and the scent of rye.

Taste: This is a well-balanced beer. It's ingredients blend well together.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body for those of use who chew our beer.

Drinkability: Everything was good until I swallowed it. It's finish is smooth, but it's aftertaste is rank.

I like Rye beers and I love IPA's. But another bottle I will not buy

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.52/5  rDev -17%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 8/25/2007 (bottle):

Pours a dark brown clear color. Cake foamy head, good lacing, stiff, reddish white. Very hoppy acidic aroma. Just bitter smelling. Hoppy sweet taste, balanced. Very slight bitter aftertaste. The flavor of the rye is there. Pretty good taste. Almost as good as Stone IPA.

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Photo of Damian
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Drank on-tap at Deep Ellum, Allston, MA

Poured a gorgeous, dark, russet mahogany with a tight, frothy, two-finger head of sticky foam. Excellent retention. The head deposited thick rings of lacing all down the sides of the glass.

The aroma was hoppy yet ultra smooth. Citrusy hops, ripe fruits and a touch of sugary goodness made this beer a wonder to inhale.

The taste however did not contain anywhere near the balance or the smoothness that the nose did. "Hoppy" barely begins to describe this beer. The piney, spicy, bracingly bitter hops appeared as soon as the beer hit my lips and never let up. A touch of malty sweetness came through on the front end, with some fruitiness appearing mid-palate. As the beer made its way to the back of my palate, the slight sourness of the rye became apparent as well. The finish was outrageously hoppy, piney and bitter with the flavors further intensifying in the lingering, dry and pithy finish.

Mouthfeel was a bit thin and watery for the style with a less than average amount of carbonation.

While the 8% ABV was hardly detectable, the completely unbalanced nature of this beer made it somewhat difficult to drink.This is one brew that should be enjoyed by only the most devoted of hopheads.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Saw the high ratings so I picked this one up. 8% confirmed. 12 oz bottle into conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in Los Feliz, CA. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof. I googled the Bear Republic bottle codes and discovered this was bottled 09/12/12; I'm a little pissed at my bottle shop but I'll give her a spin anyway.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger creamy frothy head of good thickness and great retention for the high ABV. Body colour is an unexpected dark copper; semitransparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Decent lacing as the head recedes, but it looks like it'll retain for a good five minutes. The colour is fantastic for an IPA; I'm already impressed.

Sm: Nectary hops are dominant, with some floral character and a bit of pine. Some oily hops. A bit of bitterness comes through, but just enough. Caramel. Sweeter malts than pale malts, but not quite amber or biscuit. Some grapefruit citrus zest and even a more herbal note; perhaps mint? Yes, natural mint leaf. No yeast is detectable, nor is any alcohol. I'm looking forward to trying it. An average strength aroma.

T: Mmm. Hoppy yet incredibly balanced; lots of nectary hop character, with perfect complementary floral and light pine character. A bit of herbal fermented mint leaf aids its refreshing feel. No hop bitterness whatsoever comes through. Shockingly well balanced. Light oily hop notes. Caramel and sweet malts form the simple yet effective foundation - which is more than merely a platform for the hop notes. Slight spice is also detectable. The rye works here beautifully, complementing and cooperating with the nectary hops to give it more depth. No yeast character. No alcohol comes through. Constructively, it's a bit too sweet and the hop character could be much more complex. Lacks subtlety. Still, it's tasty - and let's not forget it's four months old.

Mf: Slightly oily, very nectary, and smooth and wet. Soft and refreshing, yet a bit too thick. Perfect carbonation. Complements the flavour profile very well.

Dr: An incredibly drinkable and refreshing IPA, with a well hidden ABV that'll sneak up on you. $7.99 a four pack is quite fair for a beer of this quality. Bear republic has impressed me. For a four month old IPA, it's rather good. I intend to revisit it fresh; it deserves that respect.

Low B

I imagine it's best on draught.

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Photo of Moose90
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 10/02/12
Purchased 12/30/12
22oz Bomber into 20oz Tulip Pint

A - Deep amber, I have seen lighter amber ales. No huge head, leaves solid lacing.

S - Bread. Like some nice toasted rye.

T - Malt and rye up front, some good bitter hop in the middle and finishes with more hop.

M - Medium-Full body, good carbonation, refreshing, but the malt does linger.

O - Good. Not great. I expected more hop. There is a lot of malt to this, and rye. Its a good beer, I'd buy it again, and if I ever see it at a bar I'll order by the pitcher. Good value as well at <$5/22oz

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a dark amber color, mostly brown in specific lighting. The heas was nice looking and tan in color. The smell of the beer was more hoppy than anything else I could pick up on the nose. The taste of the beer was also quite hoppy, I was hoping to pick up on some more Rye than anything else but I continue to struggle with picking up the Rye in most beers. The aftertaste is bitter and yet sweet almost all at once. The mouthfeel of this beer was pretty nice, well carbonated, stings the tongue a bit, leave a bitterness on the sides of the mouth. Overall this beer was pretty good.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
3.54/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Semi-cloudy deep amber color. Small Cream colored head reduces to a froth leaving very light lacing.
Smells fruity and hoppy before ever reaching your nose.
Definitely has a unique, more bready malt character that is very interesting due to the rye, unfortunately it's then blasted off of your tastebuds by a ridiculous amount of hops. They start out flavorful and piney, then transition into an intense bitterness that lingers long into the dry finish; a bit too long.
Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel.
The addition of rye is very interesting and different and I wish the hops would allow that side of the beer to shine a bit more. Overall it's not at all bad, but instead of being something truly special, in the end it's just another hop bomb.

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Photo of BZero007
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent brown with swirls of orange. Forms a lovely head that sticks around in some form or another. Lacing left behind is very nice. Smell was a pleasing Piney aroma with floral hops pushing it along. Taste was abit to grapefruity for me. The bitterness was a particular type I dont care for, which eventually turned the beer a bit bland. Mouthfeel was ok the overly grapefruit flavor killed it a bit. Would recomend to people who are fans of the Stone Ruination style of bitterness.

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Photo of ShrLSU
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pored from a 750oz bottle into a pint.

Appearance - Poured a dark reddish color with a 2 or 3 inch thick white head. Once the head settled it stayed clumpy on top and side of the glass.

Smell - Very hoppy with some slight citrus and malty finish

Taste & Mouthfeel - Very crisp at the beginning but gets smoother as you go further into the beer.

Drinkability - Definitely one to try and enjoy. Not too overpowering on any front. A very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of TXHops
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
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 clvand0
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Pours a dark amber color with a tall and creamy head that sticks around and leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is ... hops - citrus mostly. The flavor has a caramel malt backbone, but is dominated by the hop flavor. The rye gives it somewhat of a chewy, grainy feel. Interesting.

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Photo of Higravity
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Kind of a shrug beer for me. It is a beer of almost and could a been. I have had several well done Rye beers and this one lacks the Rye punch and the hops seem mis-matched for the spicyness as they were fruity and bitter but not spicy. The alcohol also comes through a little to much. I let the bottle warm up more and the rye come out a little more but mostly it is just an after taste. The malty body is nice and thick though but a little too high on the carbonation. A decent Rye beer, but it almost could been better.

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Photo of gdogalishus
3.56/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter style galss. Poured a deep ruby red color with brown notes. The head was apparent, but nothing outstanding.
The aroma was significantly hoppy and I noticed the head was tinted green after the initial wiff. Can smell influence sight?? The flavor at first sip was not expected, clean...balanced. Then after the second sip, the character of this beer came through. It was hoppy and dry. The rye was clearly in the swallow and left my throat parched and wanting more.
A definate suggestion.

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Photo of pumarocks
3.56/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is the one beer that left a lasting impression on me after leaving the Brew HaHa festival in Cincinnati. This brew will jump up and slap you like Ike Turner on a REALLY bad night. It has a deep color and great aroma. It is about like drinking rope. Hard to choke back but well worth the price of admission. Hop heads should give this one a thorough tasting. This will certainly put some pep in your step!

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Photo of waughbrew
3.56/5  rDev -16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Amazing retention and lacing on top a deep amber body. Smells of fruity herbage and twang. Some chocolate. Taste has the malt body of arrogant bastard but with rye, as well as some fugglish and porterish notes. Light carbonation, dry finish, alcohol not perceptable. While no doubt well-made, it is overall a "whatever" beer for me. The boring yeast kills the chance at complexity, and nothing about it really makes me want to have another.

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Photo of skillerified
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
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 zdk9
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- This one is quite dark for an IPA, a dark brown with copper highlights. There's about a half finger of head and some pocadot lacing.

S- The smell is weaker than the taste, and I wish there was more. Some sweetness and slight citrus.

T- I like this taste. It's sweet and carmely and hoppy, but also kind of husky, and with some straw hints.

M- Syrupy and thick. Good.

D- I could go for this one again, if the smell was stronger I would appreciate it more, but overall quite enjoyable.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,705 ratings.
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