Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,077 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,077 | Ratings: 4,715
Photo of icehawk
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


 Appearance: Dark reddish/brown with creamy off-white head 

 Aroma: Sweet malts, dark fruit 

 Taste: Pleasant bitterness 

 Palate: Medium body, with lively mouthfeel. Warm alcohol mid-palate through finish. Drying finish. 

 Overall: Very tasty complex beer. Bitterness is very present, but not unpleasant.

 358 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Falling Rock and I actually ordered it mostly out of excitement that Bear Republic might be coming back to Colorado. I did not like this when I had it for the first time last year but I figured why the hell not give it a second chance? It was dark red, and smelled like orange rinds. The taste was rye at first and then delicious citrus. Unfortunately the rye ruined it for me, the finish was not enough to make up for that rye up front. Very strange flavors for an IPA…but I am still looking forward to Racer 5.

update 05/2014 actually not a bad rye beer, feels more like a strong ale than an IPA though.

 621 characters

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

On tap at ej pair, Concord.
A solid guest beer and I'm glad to see it on tap.

A- very soda pop like. I could have passed this off as a root beer when I was a kid. Looks moderately sticky and has little head to speak of. Dark in color too.

S- very light smell, a little hoppy but not as much as you would expect from a Hop Rod.

T- bright and cascade-like. Nice caramel finish.

M- satisfying but nothing remarkable.

D- great on tap or by bottle. Worth picking up to have with friends or just mid-week. Reminds me of the type of good craft beer you could break someone in on!

 577 characters

Photo of Philousa
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark red, nearly brown, with a thick tan head that dwindles to only stick to the glass. Laing is moderate. Caramel, slight chocolate, and spicy, sweet rye. Smells like fermentation ended a bit earlier than most IPAs (read: sweet). Definitely a good dose of piney, slightly citrusy hops. Spicy flavor in the rye is up front and lasting, accompanied by dark chocolate and thick, sweet caramel. Lots of specialty malt additions in this one. The sweetness sticks in the back if the throat a bit, pungent and annoying. There is an alcohol aftertaste that cuts this feel a bit, it's welcome. The bitterness from the hops cut it a bit, with some grapefruit rind. Feel is solid, middling, and appropriate for the style. 

This is a wild beer. Lots of flavors are battling it out on the palate. It's a little too much, but it's also intriguing. Although I'm not thinking of drinking this every day, it's a fun one once in a while.

 928 characters

Photo of kernalklink
3.59/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good A IPA from Bear republic- nice color, light amber on the pour with some lacey head. Aromas were good as well, not too overpowering and the hops really come through the othe scents present. Taste was somewhat harsh- mouth puckering hops hid most of the malt counterbalance and an odd citric aftertaste dominated the finish. I was dissapointed that there was not more rye flavor present, the idea of a combination of the hops and rye was exciting to me, especially in an american IPA. I really dont understand the hype- its a decent beer but BR has made much bigger and better than this one.

 594 characters

Photo of andyfrancis
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep red-amber. Not much head to speak of, the little bit looks nice.

Smells like a glass full of hops.

Taste of bitter hops up front followed by a slow rumble of alcohol and rye.

Pretty hot for 8%. Not that 8% is anything to scoff at. Still, the booze is not trying to hide.

Worth a try. Probably not for everyone.

 322 characters

Photo of danadeny
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Anam Cara on new years eve. Dark brown body, no head. Smells of roasted barley, not much else. Tastes of roasted malt, followed by a chocolate-coffee fusion, and coffee aftertaste. Mild hops if you look for them. Mouthfeel is good, meduim body. Drinkability is good due to overall balance of flavors.

 314 characters

Photo of scoots511
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a great powerful beer 8%, highly hopped, dark ruby brown color that actually went down really well, I went through 22oz and felt like I had just started the bottle but personally would have enjoyed a little less bitterness but this is a Bear Republic beer so. I would buy again to share again with some friends that enjoy the IPAs for sure.

I purchased this since I have an upcoming homebrew that I'm going to incorporate rye into and was looking to see how the 18% rye level impacted the taste. Definitely has a more intense hop flavor than I hoped for (My fault for not seeing the Rye IPA part when I bought this on a whim). Pretty highly hopped beer so it was difficult to ascertain the impact of the 18% rye vs say 10%. I've had a very successful Irish Red Ale with rye at a much lower level that turned out very well balanced and am moving onto a Belgian specialty ale that I wanted to impart a rye spiciness to.

 926 characters

Photo of OlieIPA
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a grizzly man sized mug full of this at Hollingshead on 8/12/09.

A: A deep dark brown with some spots of translucency through the glass. A nice 1-inch white head and subdued lacing accompanied the body of this brew as well.

S: Very mild. A nice mix of wheaty/rye-like aromas with a somewhat bold hop profile.

T: Smooth...very session like. Again, nothing really jumped out at me...except for the incredible balance of grainy/wheat malt character and hop bitterness presence.

M: Light to medium body with mild carbonation; great for the style.

D: Very impressed! When I was first handed a mug of this...I really thought I wouldn't finish it. About twenty minutes later...I was wrong.

Overall: A good beer...maybe not deserving of the Top 100, but I can also see the appeal as well. Cheers!

 802 characters

Photo of GregSVT
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a New Belgium pint glass.

A: Pours a dark amber with a big offwhite head that leaves sticky lacing as it fades.

S: Smell is mix between floral and grapefruit hops and a sweet/fruity malty aroma.

T: Taste is bitter grapefruit hops and a slight tropical fruit flavor with more bitterness on the finish. The rye also adds a spicey kick on the finish. I was expecting more fruity flavors from the nose but the grapefruit really takes over and makes it quite bitter.

M: Mouthfeel is good with a nice amount of carbonation and a slightly oily coating of the mouth but not as big as a DIPA.

D: The bitterness really kills it for me in the drinkability category...I like my IPAs balanced between sweet and bitter.

I'd rather pick up Hopstoopid, Gordon, or DFH 90 for about the same price. I probably won't get it again but I would recommend it if you're a fan of big bitter beers and the rye adds an interesting kick on the finish.

 954 characters

Photo of kscaldef
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark red with a one finger head. Short retention and splotchy lacing.

S: Sort of peculiar... some malty caramel, some floral hops, and ... applesauce? Maybe the spiciness of the rye is doing strange things to my brain.

T: Comes across as more of a Red Ale / Amber than an IPA. Rich bready malts with a touch of caramel. Bitter, but not overly so.

M: Medium-heavy body, but with a clean finish. Lingering malt and floral hops.

O: A little hard to know what to do with this... The brewery calls it an IPA, but it's way out of style guidelines. Seems to be a pleasantly hoppy Amber to me. It's a fine average-plus beer, but I'm not really sure what it's doing on the Top 250.

 686 characters

Photo of n2185
3.62/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly murky copper with a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: Citrus hop notes up front with grapefruit and pine aromas. Caramel malt comes through as well with an earthy finish.

T: More of the caramel malts come through here, but with citrus and earthy pine hop flavors kicking in before a lightly bitter finish.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer feels a little sticky in the mouth, but is otherwise nicely carbonated.

O: A pretty decent beer, overall. This bottle might be a bit past its prime, but it was stored cold at the store. It's a little heavy and sticky feeling for my tastes.

 653 characters

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.62/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 10-3-13 - about 7 weeks since then; not fresh, but not exactly old.

As the last few rain drops of the Southern California "Storm of 2013" drop (and reach about 1/4 total inches) Raul finds himself sippin' on a Hop Rod Rye. Raul ain't never been into hot rods or floozies with cherry's tattooed on them, but even if he was, he still wouldn't go "vrooom!" for Hop Rod Rye. Getting on the older side, yes, but it ain't exactly Barbara Walters old. Still, Raul finds this sucker a bit more malty and syrupy than hoppy and, uhh, "rye-y."

Yes, my children. Like all fly honeys, I wish I could have gotten it at its peak of freshness; but at the end of the day, when you get a lil taste, you know what you are dealing with.

Not bad. Just right down the middle. Yep!

 778 characters

Photo of SiepJones
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a half inch of soapy head. Leaves a thick lacing of head on the sides of the glass. Beer is a deep brown with some amber traces in it. There is no clarity through the beer. The head dissipates to almost nothing but a few traces and clumps.

S: Bready scents of malt, herbal hop, and rye on the nose.

T: Tastes like I am drinking a glass of rye bread. I can taste the slight hints of floral hops, but the bready malt and rye flavors really dominate this beer.

M: Medium body with light carbonation, a touch of sweetness on the finish.

D: I enjoyed this beer, and Rye beers are generally not in my wheelhouse. I don't think I could drink this beer all night but if someone poured me a glass I would gladly accept it.

 727 characters

Photo of dragonWhale
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of my old school favorites..It's been quite some time, so let's give it a whirl. Coppery, sexy, yes. Citrus, booze, caramel, and pine on the nose. Don't remember it being this boozy smelling. Definitely can taste the alcohol as well. Bitterness comes first then the malt, bringing some caramel and booze, followed by citrus hop finish with a twist of rye. Surprisingly alcoholic. I guess I didn't know it was 8% before..Those crazy Californians. Probably won't get another bottle of this til I know it's a different batch. Not knocking it too hard because of my past with it until I have another try.

 604 characters

Photo of JohnG190
3.64/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber, almost red with little to no head to speak of, leaves solid lacing. Aroma of toasted rye with faint floral hops. Malt and rye hit the tongue first followed by moderate hop bitterness. Medium body with good carbonation, finishes slightly off dry with some lingering hop bitterness. Overall a good, not great IPA. It's more of a rye beer than a true IPA. I expected more hops.

 389 characters

Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, some citrus. Taste is the same, very hoppy, some citrus notes, the 8% alcohol is well hidden, as is the rye. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

 268 characters

Photo of BarrelO
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark reddish brown. Quite a bit of lacing.

S: Pungent grassy hops.

T: Mostly hop bitterness. Also a fair amount of peppery rye spiciness. A tiny bit of sweet malt.

M: A bit resiny. Also somewhat prickly from the rye.

D: I don't really like the way the rye and the hops come together. If this is representative of what rye IPAs are like, I think I'll pass.

 402 characters

Photo of beernut7
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
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

 572 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.66/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from my bomber a semi-opaque dark brown that shifts into mahogany amber highlights when held closer to a light source. Very bubbly light tan colored head rises up to two fingers when poured aggressively, but dies down rapidly, albeit with some quite impressive lacing. The body is on the thicker side of medium heft, and carbonation is spot-on.
Upon opening the bomber, I am greeted by the aroma of intense grapefruit peel and pine resin over the top of a strongly spicey rye malt with a subtle smokey earth tone accentuated by mild peppery hop tones in the background. So at first, everything is amazing. However, five minutes later, all of the juicy citric hop aroma has evaporated (not hop flavor, the hop aroma) and all I am left with is the rye malt smell and earth tones. I find myself disappointed in the lack of sturdiness of the citric aroma elements, something that really hurts the balance of this beer's nose.
Tastes of heavy hearty rye pumpernickel bread at first, joined up by the bittering wave of a standard hop bomb of boiled pine sap and grapefruit pith. I've not had a beer like this in quite some time which wears its "Rye-ness" on it's sleeve so proudly. I would even call it -educational- for providing an easily identifiable textbook example of what Rye malt should taste like. Spicey, earthy goodness all around with a heavy wallop of bittering. I'm OK with this.

 1,393 characters

Photo of bound4er
3.66/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Dark amber to ruby with an off-white head. The head sets up nicely and stays with the beer in a skim until the end.

S. Not as expressive as I thought it would be - some grain and grassy hops. The rye pokes through with some coaxing along with some booze.

T. Initial malt flavors (bread and rye) and then a big hit of piney hops. The lingering bitterness from the hops leaves a strong impression on my palate.

M. Well carbonated with a light to medium body. Could use a bit more pizzaz in the mouth.

D. Goes down pretty easily. Though I love most hop-forward beers, the lingering bitterness is a bit too much for me here. I prefer Racer 5 to this by a long shot and if I need a rye fix, I have Founders Red's Rye at the ready.

 735 characters

Photo of johnnieoz
3.66/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 OZer w/o freshness date. Suffice it to say, it was plenty fresh.

A: One of the prettier out there, pure eye candy. First pour into the oversized wine glass resulted in a huge offwhite head that lingers, lingers, lingers... as this translucent amber brown brew goes down the hatch, there is lots of lacing. Wow.

S: A trace of something different than your average IPA, the rye? Otherwise, we're talking grapefruit run through the refinery...that petroleum-like smell you just want to keep inhaling.

T: With all those rye malts (18%) this baby is rather bready. A very different kind of bready than in one in doppelbocks and darker wheat beers. If I had some rye bread (my favorite) here, I'd create a monster deli sandwich to pair this with. But make no mistake, this is an all about the hops IPA. There is some token maltiness, but then it's hops assault on your precinct 13 palate.

M: I cannot make out those lovely oily IPA hops here. This is a dry-style IPA. The mouthfeel is light, esp. for a 8% abv.

D: Rye malts in an IPA makes for one bitter brew. It is a bit too hoppy for this man's taste. Simply put, this makes it less drinkable.

This is a good beer that many will like or even love. However, I've had more complex, hoppy brews with a crazy taste or more radical mouthfeel that made the beer in question more drinkable. I'll have it again one day and see where my buds are then.

 1,401 characters

Photo of Blueye80
3.67/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured great. It had a huge head the lasted quiet a bit
and the lacing was just as awesome. It had a very nice hoppy aroma that I couldn't wait to try. I just wish it tasted as good as it looked and smelled. It was just a tad too bitter for me. It is not a beer that I would want to have more than just one. Overall
it was a decent drink.

 350 characters

Photo of CONOR8832
3.67/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice thick froathy tan head, dark copper in color with some redish ruby tones, not a clear beer, there are a bit of hop remenents that settle at the bottom of the glass, so you can expect a nice hoppy beer.

S - Sweet malty/carmel notes, followed up with nice earthy pine smell with a splash of citrus, mild and faded rye scent, it is there but you almost have to go searching for it.

T - Nice hop expolosion at first mixed wtih the sweetness from the malts, you taste the rye more that what you can smell, it is a good comibination of rye and hops, and the alcohol taste is present.

M - Good carbination that stays with the beer, to which acts as a trasnport for all the armomas and flavors this beer offers. IMO a little on the heavy side.

D - This is an overall good hoppy beer, not one for the record books, however I do not think my palate has had enough training to get the full effects this beer has to offer. I had a hard time trying to figure out all the flavors that I was tasting and the aromas that I was smelling. I am going to wait a few more months and give this one another shot.

 1,102 characters

Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.67/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. Bomber into Pint glass.

Pours a deep murky orange with frothy off-white head that lasts and dissolves into a heavy ring around the glass. The aroma has sweet caramel and resinous piney hops. The flavor upfront is sweet caramel and big piney hops and ends with a lasting grapefruit bitterness. It almost has a tart flavor. Its a medium-bodied beer that is sticky. Its a pretty good beer although I think its variety of hops that makes it just a touch less drinkable.

 486 characters

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,715 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.