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

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Reviews: 2,077 | Ratings: 4,715
Photo of goz
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany, with a huge tan head that lasts, lacing very nicely. Aroma is big fresh hoppiness, slight smokiness, and maybe a hint of rye in the back. Flavor has a tinge of smoke, an even smaller tinge of rye, and a huge wallopping hop attack, very bitter, a little spicey, and lingering on just about forever. Medium to full bodied, lightl hints of alcohol on the 2nd half of the bottle. A tasty and large brew (maybe a RyePA?).

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Redbones.

This beer poured a hazy, red copper color with white foam that settled but left a thin head that coated the glass. The smell was very hoppy: grassy, fruity hops. There was also some malt aroma. The taste was very hoppy (grassy green hops and also floral hops) with a nice balance of sweet malt. There was a hint of oak in the finish. Not much rye flavor could be discerned. The mouthfeel was dry, smooth, and hoppy with medium body and moderate carbonation. The hoppy flavors lingered in the aftertaste. This was a very nice and enjoyable beer -- pretty much an IPA.

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Photo of Jason
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Anam Cara, stated that it was 7.7% abv … I have seen people say that it is 7.5%-8.0%.

Superb frothy head with an unyielding retention. Perfect clarity showing a deep reddish mahogany colour. Massive hop aroma, clean and pungent going from piney to grapefruit rind. A hint of spicy rye in the nose as well.

Lush crispness with a creamy back in the full body … I swear it was massaging my tongue. I felt the malt covering the palate but the hops are too much to handle … in a good way. So much hop flavour and the bitterness was spot on, when the beer warmed up a bit the spiciness of the rye came through as well as some caramel maltiness.

By far one of the best west coast beers I have had to date.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a couple of these on tap at 'Bones tonight.

Amber in color with a smooth creamy off white head that leaves a great lace. The smell is mostly hops with something sweet coming through. The flavor is actually very balanced for such a big beer. Starts out with apples and pears then the hops come in and stay all the way through to the aftertaste.

Kind of reminded me of a tame Arrogant Bastard? (I think that might be an oxy-moron?) Much more smooth with a creamyier, smoother mouthfeel. I would have this again anytime. I would also love to try the bottle version.

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Photo of LiamStLiam
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

OK, second Bear Republic review of the day (already had the Big Black Bear Stout).

From one favorite style to another, stout to hop-head.

The first thing I thought was, "wow, hops exploding on roof of mouth). The first rush of taste was as good as my favorite, Hop Devil.

After that, other tastes begin to push through, including the rye. Interesting, but not something I would drink a lot of. Didn't seem to sit all that easily.

Very tasty.

I thought the color was an amber, but folks seem to see this one in different ways.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: This one pours a copper ruby tone with something floating inside could be yeast could be hop particles and forms a decent thicket of cream toned head with brilliant patches of lacing spread thick and evenly. Aroma: The combonation of piney and floral hops blended with the rye are such a great combonation here, this is one of those classic beers buttery hops in your face but not over done what a great scent I would buy soap that smells like this if it was available. Taste: So much hop flavor yet not too much bitterness it's like they added hop extract or something to make the perfect blend of pine, this isn't all hops the malts make an appearance here they act as sweetened butter coated on lucious steamed hop buds with the rye here to accent all of the flavors this is by far the best rye beer I have ever tasted b/c they didn't try to make the rye the dominant flavor. Mouthfeel is medium in body but the smoothness of this beer going down is impeccable perfect amount of carbonation so easy drinking this one deserves awarded across the board. There is no hype behind this beer and by the quality and great flavor of this beer I am sure that the rest of the Bear Republic lineup in my fridge is going to be just as prosperous. A 22oz. bottle of this goes down effortlessly if this ever made in a keg to the east coast it would be first in line for my newly converted kegerator, awesome brew a hop suspension is going on with specks of hops floating but oh the joy that comes from sampling this beer, thank you to whoever brewed this fine nectar for the beer gods of blessed thee.

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Photo of daledeee
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am not as fond of hoppy beers as I used to be. I will try to be objective. I have decided that these strong hop beers overpower any other flavors that might be evident. This beer looks as good as any beer you will ever see. Pours beautiful 1" head the nicest lace you will ever see. Clear dark bronze/copper color. This beer is hoppy. Either pale or India pale ale. I am ignoring the rye ingredient. Very strong hops some malt slips through. Leaves a velvetty mouth feel. Alcohol is not noticable until you drink this 22 oz bottle. Two Hearted Ale(Kalamazoo/Bell's) is the only one of this class I would rate higher. A fine beer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep amber color, with a cream-tan head. This beer is quite clear from the get go. It has a spicy hoppy aroma to it with notes of lychee and grapefruit. The first thought after taking a sip was that this beer is redolent of a hop syrup. This is all about the American hops. As for the rye, maybe there is a certain fullness/ silkiness fro the rye, but it is not all that evident, the hops overpower any taste that one might get from the rye character as well. This beer is big bodied though, and it is pretty good.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep brown color with 2 fingers of head. There is lots of lacing left on the glass. The smell is full of rye, caramel, and hops. A nice full aroma. The taste starts with roasted malt and rye, fairly sweet and good, even though I'm not a huge rye fan. It's surely a lot better in beer than in bread. The finish is big and full of bitter hops, a very nice balance. The mouthfeel is very strong and heavy. The drinkability is also fairly nice for 8%. A very unique and nice brew.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Solid brown color (with fairly large pieces of suspended sediment), a nice tan/light brown head, decent carbonation, and big sheets of lace. Big hop and malt aroma. A big huge flavor of malt and hops -- an incredible balancing act. Hops are piney and sprucey. Not sure the Rye really stands out due to the bitterness. Medium-full (leans full) bodied, creamy, and smooth.

More of a big huge American IPA/Strong Ale (a la Stone Arrogant Bastard or Rogue Mogul Ale) -- I prefer the Hop Rod.

Per label: Made with 18% Rye

($5.39 / 22 oz.)

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Photo of johnrobe
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I knew this was gonna be a stellar brew as soon as I cracked it open. Familiar PNW hops citrus and pine wafted up in the air but there was also a spicy sweetness, like somebody just took fresh-baked gingerbread cookies from the oven. If you're expecting a wildly different brew you might be disappointed. At its heart, HRR is an IPA...albeit one with a twist. It pours a deep mahogany with a sticky beige head that lasts throughout consumption. I can't help but draw comparisons, and this brew is reminiscent of yet another outstanding beer...Great Divide's Hibernation Ale. Citric, piney hops are assertive in the taste yet there is a mountain of dark crystal malt providing balance. There is a slight spicy-sweet crackle in the finish...again, like sweet gingerbread. It's not too much to be cloying, but just enough to add some welcomed complexity to yet another IPA. This is easily my favorite brew of Bear Republic's respectable lineup.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark brownish amber of chestnut in color with a two finger high tight-whipped cream ivory colored top that never, ever fades, one absolutely beautiful glass of hoppy necture. Top gets crusty with smooth divets as it settles in. Eventually the top lays a perfect cloud of ivory puffed crustyness and the lace in super huge thick curtains, lots of curtains!

Aroma is deep dark dried hops that hints at pine and citrus, a good load of hops for sure, nice and piney with a sappy resin and airyness of pine needles thats nose fillingly awesome. A real nice backing of hard darkened rye and toasty malts with a touch of chocolate sets some nice noting.

Taste peels out of the gate with a smooth and soft roasty malts up front, thats quick and fast then it slams into high gear with a complex wall of full octain hops, alot of dried variants, crispy bitter pine, dried grapefruit peels, smokey caramel, buttery burnt biscuit and torched lemon, very leveled and smacked of great hoppyness. I barely detect the rye but I think it helps with the overall quick sharpness thats poking through in some of the first hints of bitterness giving it a boost like extra turbo. Zoom, Zoom,Yummy!

Feel is quite full and fully loaded with bitterness from just beyond the beginning; strong midway point and floats into the finish as the parachute opens with nice bitterness and a woody baked dryness.

You lucky bastards out in Cal. you've got it made. This stuff and Stone brews! Wow! What a treat it must be to visit your liquor stores? Great stuff!! It burns down the track and never looks back. Its got my engine roarin'! Bear Republic has a nice IPA twist with this bad boy.

Thanks to the "Big Dog" xlperro for the bottle!

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Photo of freed
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep cooper color, nice ruddy hue, and a well developed head. Fresh grassy aroma from the hops, which almost convinces me I'm about to drink an IPA. Beneath the hop aroma is a nice tart malt smell.

One sip fills the mouth with a very nicely stacked malt profile with a light grainy flavor from the rye. Malt body compliments the bitterness very well, and the beer drinks quite easily considering its somewhat aggressive build.

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.
It pours a deep amber with tons of sediment. I decent head which disipates quickly and there is some great lacing. Like an archeological dig. Many layers. The scent is more citrus than rye. There is a malt carob smell as well.

A very citrus tang starts this ale off. The malt is there but the rye is very listless. I enjoy the flavor of this ale but calling it a rye ale is tough to accept.
Side note: When I tasted this ale at the San Diego real ale fest there was more of a rye flavor. Which I really enjoyed as something different. Out of the bottle it is a very good ale but not a great ale and not much rye.

It drinks well and is enjoyable for what this ale is. Just do not expect a real different flavor because the word "Rye" is in the name.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.37/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasted at the Oregon Brewers Fest 2003 on 6/25/03...

Appearance: dark brown, thin sudsy layer of head, good clarity

Aroma: huge hit of grassy-green hops overpowers a very subtle malt thread and even more subtle rye scent

Flavor: the biggest flavor element is a bloom of piny hops (must be dry-hopped), the malt sweetness peaks thru the hops just before the dryish finish, hop bitterness is at a nice level, can't really detect the presence of rye

Mouthfeel: medium body, fine carbonation, slight astringency from the hops

Overall Impression: A bit disappointed. Good beer, but I'd like to actually be able to taste the rye. Sorry... the non-hophead strikes again.

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Photo of Quaffer
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Bottle

Appearance: This beer was a dark amber color with slight hints of red within its depths. A creamy-tan head that was dense and pillowy rose up to two fingers. I took a long time to finally sink back down into the beer, leaving a fairly thick cap of foam floating on the top of the brew for all of the drink. It left a butt load of lace.

After awhile I noticed that there was stuff floating around in my glass. And not your typical yeast sediment type of stuff either. It looked like it could be hops particles. I wouldn't be suprised if that's what it was, considering the hoppiness of this beer.

Smell: On the pour, this beer smelled like pure, raw hops. Nothing more. After the brew settled down, a maltiness emerged on the nose combined with a light fruitiness. The hops aroma was still very prominent at this time as well.

Mouthfeel: On the first pour, it was medium-bodied with a lot of tingle to it. A very crisp beer. I was much more aggressive on the second pour, though, and the beer smoothed out a lot and took on a creamier character.

Taste: Upfront, there were some smooth, almost rich, malt flavors. Nothing overly complex, but still very good. Very quickly a good dollop of hops kicked in that had more of an herbal character that anything else. This bitterness lingered into the finish and long into the aftertaste. I know this is a little gross, but any belches produced by this beer had a very raw hop quality to them. Also on the finish was a chewy, grain flavor that I supposed could be attributed to the rye. I'm not sure, though, because I have tried very few rye beers before.

This was a great beer. Very hoppy and very refreshing. Even though the flavor was not too complex, there was a depth to it that a lot of bitter brews don't have. I only wish that I could get it locally so I could drink it regularly. Twenty-two ounces was not even close to being enough.

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Photo of beerguy101
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark Red color, medium head. A full bodied BIG ale, made with a "truckload&amp" of hops and 18% rye malts. Very malty and spicy. Full flavored. Complex taste. Malts and rye and over hopping combine to form a complex flavored beer. Smooth. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Alcohol content is 8% but is not that noticable.

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Photo of BierReise
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of those great ales that I find extremely satisfying. Reminds me of Rogues Brutal Bitter with the addition of Rye. Beautiful looking ale, dark and cloudy with a huge frothy head which completely laces every inch of the glass. I found this to be the case with every ale I've had so far from this brewery. Nice aroma of hops and malt, very rich. Full bodied and smooth with some bitterness. All around fantastic ale and one I'll look forward to again.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another beer that fits firmly into the category of American IPA. Strong smell of citrus hops, quite hoppy, with a somewhat thin but oily body. I have had numerous beers now that fit this profile. Not much in common with English IPA's. This beer has a wonderful appearance, thick foamy head, dark amber color. Significant rings of lace, which stick firmly to glass. Great citrus aroma, the taste is there, but a little overpowered by the hop bitterness. This one ranks similar to the Rogue IPA in that regard. I still feel that Two Hearted acheives the best balance in this category. Still, this is an excellent beer, and certainly one all "hop-heads" will embrace.

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Photo of Mark
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The one thing I find strange about the beers from Bear Republic is that I prefer them from the bottle. I have been to the brewery numerous time for lunch and brew and without fail the beers are always headless. Oh well, I might be making too much out of nothing. This bottled sample dusts the pint I had at the pub and it was right from a fresh batch. Deep amber, thick head, and rings of lacing. Sharp hoppy taste with the right amount of Rye. A very drinkable, exceptional, beer that is chock full of flavor and character. Bear Republic!!!!

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Photo of jcalabre
3.74/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally sampled on 8 May 2002. The rye makes this IPA unique. A light bodied medium brown color, w/ a great hoppy/rye taste. Bear Republic has done a very good job at taking an IPA and adding a slight twist to it w/ the rye & it works out quite well.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought from the fridges at Gaslamp Liquor in San Diego, seven hours in my carryon, about a week in my fridge, reviewed 45F-70F.

A nice, small, off-white, dense head leaves thin sticky sheets of lacing. Two bubbles tag-team it slowly up through the deep red/amber beer. There's some fine sediment on the last pour.

Sweet, creamy, malty nose shows some raisin and promises hops. The front is dark, kind of bittersweet. Lots and lots of delicious hops in the middle, with a little tea, a little cream, a little grapiness. Some of the fruitiness survives in the hoptacular finish. Fantastic grapefruit rind burps. What a great, great beer. Hugely hoppy bitter, with some balancing sweetness.

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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

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: brilliant red color, with an off-white, big and bubbly head. Aroma: sharp hops, fruit: grapefruit, pineapple, and pine.
Lush, delicious mouthfeel, and a lingering, long-lasting finish.
Hops are emergent throughout, with the deep, dark, fruity, delicious flavor ringing through and through.
At first, the hop attack is harsh and spiney, but ultimately this brew gets rounded out quite nicely.
The notes I construct this review from are not perfect, they were scribbles and scratches jotted down while sharing this bottle with a friend. Rest assured, though, that it made an indelible impression on us both!
Another great one from the Bear!

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Photo of MJR
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an alluring bright amber with orange highlights. The clarity is quite good, considering it's an unfiltered bottle-conditioned ale. The light tan head stays strong at a small cap. Great lacing on the glass.

Smell: Very aromatic with a ton of fresh hops. There's a sublte, spicy touch from the rye, and it blends well with the hops. Lopsided balance between the two distinct aromas, with the hops taking control. Far below them is a hint of alcohol.

Taste: The taste is very firm in it's bitterness, with a nice bite to it. The hop flavor is extremely fresh and green, with lots of pine, citrus (grapefruit), and floral notes. The rye stays way in the background, providing a subtle, spicy character. There's not much of a malt note other than the rye...maybe a touch of caramel from some crystal malts. This brew is all about the hops, with tons of bittering, aroma, and flavor hops in the recipe. The finish consists of...you guessed it...hops soaked in alcohol! Damn good stuff...

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with a really dry mouthfeel. Hefty alcohol feel on the finish.

Drinkability: This is an interesting brew. It's one of the few beers I've tried that uses rye as a considerable percentage of the grain bill. While it's strength prevents me from ever having more than one or two in a single evening, this is a brew I could drink on a regular basis.

Yet another fine ale from Bear Republic.

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