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Crazy Ivan | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
86
very good
55 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This copper colored American IPA took a wild left turn when we fermented it with our favorite Trappist ale yeast. Charged with hops, followed closely by a clove and pepper Belgian yeast character.

70 IBU

Added by TheEremite on 04-30-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
55
Ratings:
129
Avg:
3.81
pDev:
10.5%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
6
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 129
Photo of Sammy
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap at Cole's. This beer rocks. Dark fruit aroma. Dark fruit colour with a little white head and some lace dots. Served a bit too cold, a taste range as it warmed. Above average mouthfeel, and also above-average carbonation. Very tasty grapefruit, marmelade, a wonderful bitterness. So enjoyable.

 307 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Malibu Sundownder Tasting Room in Westlake Village, CA.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, pepper, yeast, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus and pepper flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of yeast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with nice flavors but the smell is fairly weak and you really have to search out any distinct aromas.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

i found this brew rather unimpressive, although it is admittedly in a style i generally shy away from. this has a bit of a copper malt base to it, kind of nice depth and body on it. the belgian yeast seems subtle in the nose, no major esters blooming here, just good old american northwest hops. hopped like a west coast ipa, dank in the nose. the flavor is big and round from the hefty grain and is as hoppy as can be, but only a little bitter. im not sure if the yeast is crowded out by the other components, if it was fermented a little chilly and never opened up, or if it is just a mild string poorly chosen. with these beers im usually all or nothing, either its a hoppy belgian or it is an american ipa, the strange middle ground created by a lot of grain character and hops, and a middling belgian strain is not my speed, its muddled, and thats what we have here. carbonation is fine and the big body flatters the hops, but the yeast just doesnt belong to me. if its going to work with this yeast it needs less hops and a different grain bill entirely i think, but thats just my palate.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey.

Pours a moderate yellow gold color with a bit of haze and a few fingers of white foamy head. Lacing follows the brew down the glass. Nose brings some excellent Belgian yeast characteristics, but doesn't really integrate the hops at this point. Taste melds the two quite well, with some nice clove and spice banging against some citrus and herbal hops. Very nice touch. Feel is splendid with a good bit of bitterness matched up against a moderately carbonated medium body. One of the better examples of the style that I've come across in some time.

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Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap @ Amsby Abbey

A: Decent fizzy 1 finger head over semi hazy orange red slight wood colored beer. Leaves a notch of lacing for each sip.

N: Some fruits hops, little spicy and floral hops too, slight sweetness with a touch of Belgian malt aroma and Belgian yeast as well, but lighter on the nose than I hoped.

T: Taste starts with more Belgian malt flavors, a little wheat even with slight banana and juicy chewy malt flavors. A slight Belgian yeast flavor (remnants of it, not the yeastiness), then come the floral, spicy, citrus and somewhat bitter hops. Slightly juicy hop flavors, with a touch of warming booze and a little malty sweetness. A slight creamy malt comes through, with more late bittering hops. A little Belgian candi sugar and caramel flavoring.

M: Medium body with lots of carbonation.

F: Finishes pretty bitter and slightly astringent, with more fresh hop flavors, some spicy hops, chewy even slightly, little tingly warming booze, mostly dry but a touch of sweetness, a touch of citrus lingering too with a very looong bitter finish, which seems to just go on and on and stronger with each sip.

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Photo of mactrail
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Tiger! Tiger! in San Diego. Quite distinctive appearance in the tall Fischer tulip. Smooth foamy cap and unusual dark red brownish amber color. Nicely sudsy on the tongue.

The next impression on tasting is the fragrant hops. As a Belgian IPA this is a great example. Rich with a lot of warm, roasted malt, and the zingy hop flavors. Moderate bitter aftertaste. some tangy, peppery hints. Something fruity with a touch of honey. Hoppy and sensationally flavorful. The Belgian yeasty flavors seem to get lost in the rush of hops, but it's quite drinkable. I'm glad to taste something by Bear Republic outside their usual orbit.

July 7, 2015 update: Had this on tap at Stone Liberty Station. Sweet malt with a distinct roasted barlety flavor. Wintergreen and mint. Snappy and quite carbonated on the tongue. Quite bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of smcolw
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%

Dark amber with a tinge of ruby color. Slight haze. Excellent blanketing lace.

I smell wet wood and pine initially. Second sniff brings out more evergreen.

Surprisingly smooth semisweet malt flavor with a strong toasty element. There's a biting black pepper (hop) flavor in the swallow that creates a long aftertaste. Smooth body.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 6/2/10 notes. Had on tap at the Brickskeller in DC.

a - Pours a reddish brown color with an inch of white head.

s - Smells of citrus hops bready malts, and fruity malts. Not very strong in the smell department.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, caramel malts, and citrus hops, with a little bit of bitterness.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent dark ale. Not my favorite but worth trying once.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Found this at Falling Rock in Denver.
Light ruby color, amber hues. Minimal head, bunched up around the rim.
A mixed aroma of malt and hops. Seems like a battle going on in there. Faint citrus and bread.
Taste confirms it. There's a fight a brewing in this...uh, brew. Hops hit first, then the malt comes in for a dash of sweet bread, then hops counter punches for a sharp twang in the end along with a slight yeasty spice. This is interesting.
Not sure if I would have again, but would definitely drink it if offered.

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Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber in color with a 1" head that breaks apart quickly to a surface foam.

Smell: yeast, caramel, and a citrus tone lingers around.

Taste: caramel, belgian yeast, grapefruit, lemon, and some fruity tones are most notable. Bitterness is hearty and balances this one out. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lighty crisp throughout. Aftertaste is short.

Drinkability: this beer went down quickly for the style. Very enjoyable and well balanced.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A glass on tap at Blue Dog in Chalfont...

Crazy Ivan looks darker than most IPA's, but it is a blend of some wort so expected, burnt copper with some bronze highlights, kinda unclear, a beige inch of foam leaving no remains.

The Belgian strain used aint all that bright or it was just underused. Smell is kinda muddled, does not scream Belgian, just says yeast. Bready with malt and hops about even, not all that bitter smelling.

Things go off with a glow, a nice bready yeast on top of Red Rocket And Racer 5, the state of those hops is kinda faded, the bitterness is light muddled by the yeast, no alcohol.

Feel is medium with a bready aftertaste and yeasty, not one of the best BIPA's but a good attempt. Carb is fine, taste is off kilter.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hollingshead's,

A: Pours amber/red with a solid off-white head with good retention and lacing. A nice looking pint.

S: Hops galore, with a nice mix of pine and citrus, light caramel malt.

T: On first sip tastes like a straight up IPA. The light Belgian character comes out with a light ester finish as the beer warms up. Good hop flavour.

M: Good carbonation character and body to this brew. Alcohol is lightly evident. Smooth and resiny.

D: Nice beer from BR, really tastes like a mix of Racer 5 and Red Rocket. Glad I tried this one.

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Photo of John_M
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours reddish copper color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is fairly mute, but I get some light citrus, sweet ice tea and some underlying spice. Flavors repclicate the nose, except there's more of everything. Also, despite some light spicey sweentess initially, the beer is dominated by a fairly hoppy, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fairly long, fairly bitter finish. Drinkability is quite good, with the alcohol not the least bit noticeable.

Nothing extraordinary here, but this was still a pretty nice beer I thought.

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Photo of weeare138
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a slightly hazy light orange with a fluffy white cap that slowly fades into a film a thick collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left round the glass.
Smell isof heavy pine, herbs, citrus. Caramel, and vanilla.
Taste is of the aromas wiu a refreshing citrus flavor that has pine sap resounding in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is sugary, medium bodied, sticky, bitter but balanced.

 384 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby tinted brown with a good clingy head and lace that never really goes away. The aroma is a mix of sharp hops that stick out, both citric and sweet (grape) and some sweet malt smell as well. A good mix of citric hops and some citric spice like orange and pepper and there is a caramel malt taste that is noticeable as well. Not much of a Belgian influence as more of a sweet IPA but there are some characteristics such as orange and very minor sweet fruit and sugary malt as well as a boozy feeling as I keep sipping.

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.76/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

$6 pint on tap at Falling Rock. Dark reddish-orange, looks more like Red Rocket than Racer 5. It smells kind of grainy and not hoppy at all. The flavor is more grains and cereal malty type flavor, not really good at all. In fact this was a real disappointment to be honest.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured minimal head on a clearer dark straw colored body.
The aroma is great. Bright citrus, pear and Valencia orange.
The taste is complex with mandarin, moderate bitterness and finishes with black peppercorns.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation.
An outstanding beer that hits all the notes perfectly.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Imperial pint on-tap at the brewpub.

A: Served a dark burnt amber color with a very dense, well retained, and long lasting vanilla colored head that faded into a thick foamy film leaving a sheet of streaky lacework down the glass.
S: Light notes of bready Belgian yeast and mild citrus hops. Not especially potent.
T: Tastes slightly old which is disappointing for being on tap at the brewery. Either that or this is very malt heavy for an ipa, Belgian yeast or not. Some herbal leafy hops come through, but caramel and bready malt dominate alongside peppery, earthy, Belgian yeast. Finish is sweet and very faintly bitter.
M: Medium body, normal smooth carbonation, tight bubbles, slick, greasy, mouthfeel.
O: Drinks well at least, good but disappointing. Definitely tastes old. Would not order again.

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Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: tulip serving, bright orange-golden in color with a subtle haze, good head retention and some lace

s: citrusy hops on a body of pale and light caramel malt with a nice phenolic spice running through - easily perceptible but far from taking over, hop heavy with good balance of components

m: carbonation on the lower side and smooth, light-medium body

t: pale and a light dose of caramel malts bring a balanced sweetness and set the stage for a nice citrus-tropical hop flavor and spicy yeast, clove phenols most identifiable, moderately bitter

d: easy, not a standout belgian ipa but a very solid one at least, the yeast character at least is spot-on

10 oz pour at ChurchKey, DC

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 06/21/2009. On draft. Pours brown with a small head. Aroma of yeast and melon rind. Flavor sweet malt, melon, yeast, some roasted notes. This is pretty much all-Belgian to me. Maybe a touch of hops in the finish, but only a touch as the Belgian yeast dominates. Sticky palate. I was disappointed by this one.

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Photo of david18
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beer advocate lists this as a belgian dark ale but it is so different from that. At Amsterdam Ale House on the Upper West Side of New York City it was described as red rocket combined with racer 5 and fermented with belgian yeast. That's exactly what it was but so successful. Unlike Cali from stone or Le Freak from Green Flash, which i think don't work, the maltiness of the red rocket really balances the interplay between the ipa and belgian yeast. This is a great beer that I will order every day until their taps kick.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.39/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Ginger Man in NYC on 1/17/09. Served in an Imperial pint glass.

A - Clear ruby red body with sparse carbonation and one-finger creamy eggshell-colored head that retained quite well and left thick, frothy lace around the glass.

S - Belgian yeast and spicy hops, but overall the aroma is pretty muted. There is a slight funk in the back that adds a bit of depth, but otherwise the nose is pretty mild. I was definitely expecting more for a Bear Republic brew.

T - Yeasty with a slight cheesy funk and spicy, peppery notes. An earthy, leafy and herbal hop character emerges in the middle and lasts throughout the finish, joined briefly by a hint of pine.

M - Very soft mouthfeel that turns out to be a little thin and watery overall. Carbonation is very minimal and borderline flat, actually. Dry and spicy on the palate with an earthy bitterness.

D - Overall, I was a little underwhelmed with this one. It could certainly use some more hops, especially since I have come to expect lots of hops with Bear Republic's brews. Not bad, but I'm certainly glad I got the opportunity to try this obcsure brew.

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Photo of Floydster
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Chimay goblet at O'Briens Pub in San Diego for $4.50, consumed 9/4/08, reviewed from notes, really enjoy the two base beers by themselves and was excited to see what the blend was like

A-Looks more like Red Rocket than Racer 5 that is for sure, medium amber color with some golden highlights, 3/4 inch bubbly off white head that does not last long, not much retention or lacing
S-First whiff was toffee and caramel, as time went on piney hops and citrus came about strongly, also flowers, rye, grapefruit, and Belgian yeast
T-Going into it I expected a pretty hoppy beer considering it is an amber and IPA mixed but found out that it tasted more like a dry hopped Belgian brown ale than anything else, also had a nice fruit character in the finish to go along with the unique yeast, nicely balanced even though it was slightly more hoppy than malty, sugary accents made up for that once it warmed
M-Medium bodied, nice level of carbonation but probably could have used a little more, dry, malty, and barely sweet mouthfeel, taste lingers
D-Could have drank more of this for sure, ABV is not too high, light on the stomach, complex and keeps you wanting more, does not get overly sweet, smooth

The Belgian addition to these beers really stood out and added some great complexity, I have done half and half with these at home before out of the bottle but this tasted much different and is better than expected, hope to see this around again, would love to have more, recommended

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Photo of jampics2
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ FatHeads 1st ever Brewers Brawl. I revisited this one a few times, partly because I liked it and partly because I was trying to figure out how to rate it.

This beer has a huge identity issue. It's parents, Racer 5 and Red Rocket, had a one night fling that lead to this problem child. This beer is fermented with a Belgian yeast strain, but it doesn't really show through over the intense hoppiness. I decided I would rate this to taste instead of to style, so I picked a malt heavy DIPA as my starting point and decided to give it some leeway on the malt bill. If I was expecting a Belgian Dark I would have been lost, but that expectation helped me enjoy this for what it is - a freak of nature, siamese twin of two great beers.

Copper red with a nice sticky head. This looks good, but not dark.

Smell was huge citrus and tropical hops (orange, mango) and a nice caramel maltiness as well. Touch of spice from the yeast but nothing extravagant. In fact, I wouldn't say this has any of the Belgian traits at all in the nose, maybe a touch of esters or mild funk, that's it. Way dominated by hops when this fresh!

Taste was awesome IMO. Slightly bracing bitterness, then great citrus and some pine. Really expressive hops, huge bitter finish, and a touch of extra something. That something could be the Belgian influence, but it's really on mute.

Mouthfeel was a nice, medium bodied beer with nice ample carb. Finishes a touch too bitter for my loving but OK for my liking!

Overall, glad to cross another Bear Rupublic experiemental beer off the list. One of the more interesting on paper, but, in the end, the hops win out over all the subtleties that this beer may or may not have promised.

EDIT: had on tap again, nice Belgian yeast esters this time. Maybe some keg to keg variation. Also more Belgian influence in the taste. Nicely done. Still original scores apply but thre is more depth!

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Photo of oglmcdgl
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at capones.

A- copper orange in color with a simple ring and a few spots of lace.

S- light roasted malts and a bit of sweetness. Background hops but kinds muddled.

T- interesting, sweet malts again and bitter earthy hops. Not really getting much of a bel dark here but oh well.

M- medium body and the same on carb.

D- eh its alright stuff just kind of a mess. Not really what I expect from the style and not one ill be trying again.

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Crazy Ivan from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.
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