Café Racer 15 | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

212 Reviews
Café Racer 15Café Racer 15

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Café Racer 15™ features aromas of bright citrus and resinous pine from the generous use of Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hops which are complimented by a dry malt finish. The result is a high revving Double IPA that is loud and assertive, much like the rebellious street racers who inspired it. Never ride alone...

Added by womencantsail on 02-12-2011

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Reviews: 212 | Ratings: 1,230
Photo of adamdarcy
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewpub in Healdsburg.

A good couple of fingers head on top, slow to dissipate. Deep amber/orange color, very very inviting...

Absolutely wonderful. My relatively untrained nose smells something consistent with their other superior brews like the Racer 5, Red Rocket and even the beautiful stout. A citrusy sweetness hit my olfactory bulb first, with pine and overall juicy fruit. Extremely inviting.

Compared to Bell's Hopslam or some other hoppy beers up here in Michigan, I didn't get slapped in the face with the hops. That's a great thing for me, actually. I'm a hop-head but sometimes it's too much. Perfect balance for me; the hops fade away slowly to transition to citrus, juicyfruit, pine, with a nice, not-to-dry finish.

Smooth and creamy, but not too thick. Not overly dry at the finish.

My new favorite for my favorite style, American Double IPA. Pliny had the previous top spot, but I give extra points to Bear Republic because of the higher consistency of greatness in their offerings.

And let me just say that, as brewpubs go, you will not find a greater group of excellent servers. I say 'servers' because I really felt very well served and catered to the whole time, and it was an absolute blast meeting the other clientele and bartenders. Keep up the great work, guys!!

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Photo of UURevival
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably my second favorite beer I've ever tasted, Pliny The Younger being the first. I got it on tap in a sniffer. It was well balanced with great hops flavor and a sweet citrus flavor. My mouth exploded with joy as I first tasted this gem. I like Racer 5 but this just blew me away.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.91/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was an absolute fantastic beer and for me it ranks with Dogfish Head 90.
I don't normally go after Imp. IPA that often because they seem to be just bitter and lacking of hop flavor, plus I can't handle the high ABV's.
Café Racer 15 is perhaps the most aromatic and flavorful IPA I've ever had.
The appearance is burnished orange amber with a smaller bright white head leaving some laced as it fades.
The aroma is fantastic. Smells of candied tropical and citrus fruits, floral and pine resin too.
The taste is equally impressive. Very hoppy with flavors of tropical fruits citrus, peaches and floral notes. Malts are sweet and balance nicely the hoppy onslaught.
Surprisingly, it's not bitter at all. Very sutle alcohol notes at the finish. Drinks smooth and crisp over the palate and is remarkably un assertive for a Imp. IPA.
A very well made beer.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a slightly hazy pale gold with a solid head. The aroma is very bold, with guava, sticky pineapple, caramel, passionfruit, pink grapefruit, mango, and cannabis. The flavoris equally vibrant, with lots of tropical fruits - pineapple, mango, guava, passionfruit, and finishing bracingly bitter with a woodsy caramel bite. The mouthfeel is very full, with lots of fizzy sharp carbonation. Overall this is a magnificent beer - pungent and fruity, but with a huge bitter core, and no slouch in the malt flavors either. It has a bit of everything.

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Photo of CA_brewster
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: This brew poured a golden yellowish amber color with some light visible carbonation and a fairly thin white head that dissipated pretty quickly. Light lacing.

S: This beer smells piney and sweet and absolutely fucking delicious! Sweet malt and a nice hoppy aroma dominated mostly by pine but there is some definite citrus in there as well.

T: Tastes like it smells nice and hoppy. A delicious beer! The 9.75 abv is covered up extremely well. This beer is very drinkable and is astonishingly balanced. I happily downed a 22 oz bomber, with pleasure :)

M: Goes down smooth, the hops bring some nice hop bitterness to the beer. It has a bit of an alcoholic bite and leaves behind an aftertaste of hop resin. The resiny quality is pretty subtle though compared to many of the hop bomb DIPAs I've had where the resin aftertaste is a bit overwhelming.

O: Love it! It's a great beer i had very high expectations from the start as i do for any beer coming from Bear Republic as they are easily one of my favorite breweries. That being said this beer did not disappoint at all, it's another hoppy masterpiece. If you happen to stumble upon this beer I highly recommend giving it a try. It's fantastic and a prime example of the high caliber brews Bear Republic Brewery is capable of crafting.

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Photo of Barracudas
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the brewpub. Very well done beer, with an exceptional taste. One of my favorite offerings from this excellent brewing company. Highly recommended!

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Poured bottle into Lost Abbey Teku

A- Pours golden with a one finger white head. Very nice lacing.

S-Big aromas of citrus, pine, and floral hops and some sweetness of caramel malts.

T-Taste is awesome which is just the same as the aromas.

M-Mouthfeel is well balanced with great carbonation.

O-I was so happy to have get this one. Must get another and also the racer x and compare.

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Photo of clzcyclone
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had never heard of this beer until I saw it on tap at Raleigh's in Berkeley with a hand-written label.

Wonderful piny aroma, kicked up a level from Racer 5.

Serious hoppiness, but balanced by a solid caramel malt body. Even my roommate, who usually opposes high-hop IPAs, said he found it balanced, so that's saying something.

Troubling how easy it is to drink considering it is 8.5% ABV and my local pub is selling it for $5/pint! Wouldn't hesitate to drink again.

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Photo of Obsidian
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Tustin Brewing in Tustin, CA. HUGE grapefruit bomb. Super easy drinking 9.75%. It is up there as one of the biggest grapefruit bombs I have had. Excellent, and instantly goes right to the top as my favorite beer from Bear Republic.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%

Pours a lovely orange, mostly clear. There is a thin amount of head that lingers along with the lace-producing head at the rim. Smell is a little orange-Creme candy, melon, maybe some pineapple. I am finding these smells in a variety of beer and have trouble placing them exactly. Often I find others describing it as tropical, but I notice the sugary nature as much as the fruit in these.

The taste does start of slightly, nicely sweet (not overpowering). Definitely some tropical notes, I get papaya, orange, maybe a hint of ruby red grapefruit in the back. The mid taste, as always in a well crafted IPA, does turn on the bitter, grapefruit and woodiness (light pine). This sweet/bitter combo yields a medium feel to me; the carbonation is more on play than you might think from the look. The alcohol can be picked out if you are looking for it, but is basically well hidden.

The taste basically slowly fades, leaving you to enjoy a swig for a while. The final tastes are a tad piney, without being drying, which is not what I normally experience.

This beer for me does almost everything right. I am stuck in a relative rating conundrum here, because this is near the top of my list, but feel the beers I like better should be above this. Will have this when and where I can.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.69/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, shared, delirium chalice

Bright orange body - foamy white froth. Punch citrus aroma - fantastic hop profile. Maybe I was just really in the mood for this after a long, hot day in the N Cascades but I found this beer fantastic and better than any other IPA from Bear Republic (saying a lot). Perfect body - light, bright and refreshing. Screw this Mosaic trend - this classic combination of Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hits on all cylinders

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Photo of mxchap
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Golden Amber and Orange. Rich creamy head. Decent lacing. [4.5]
Aroma: Pine, Mango, Grapefruit, Pineapple. Bit of fusel and malt on the back end. [4.75]
Taste: Mostly citrus. Bit malty and boozy on the end. As it warms up, the pine flavor from the Chinook takes over and plays nicely with the Citra etc. [4.5]
Feel: Great carbonation and sticky / resiny feel. [4.75]
Overall: I've had this beer on tap 3 times and once on the bottle. I've had Pliny (Elder) countless times on tap and in the bottle. I like this better. Worth trying. Definitely better on tap. The bottle I had was 1.5 months old. [4.75]

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Photo of dar482
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a hazy orange golden color.

This has a brilliant aroma of sweet sweet citrus of tangerine and orange, caramel malt, along with some tropical fruit notes and pine. It's a very hoppy beer.

The flavor has flowing orange and citrus note that is extremely hoppy. It then smooths out with caramel malt, but it's a really light breadiness that just carries it through gently. It's very hoppy and oily with a strong bitterness of grapefruit and pine on the finish.

A really exceptional DIPA.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Grapefruit bomb! This pours an orange tinted amber straw color. Its aroma is wonderfully hoppy and sweet with a great freshly squeezed grapefruit nose to it. The flavor is sweetly hoppy, with some orange peel & a piney, grapefruit-dominating bittering. Has an absolutely great finish to it—bitter, piney, resiny, and long-lasting. Hop forward with a light body. Delicious.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Note: You can smell this bad boy as soon as you pop the cap.

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Speiglau IPA glass.

Color is orange with yellow highlights and a nice inch high frothy head.

Aroma is strong herbal citrus strong grassy notes with lemon and a slight orange/grapefruit.

Taste is thick with hops. Dank herbal with strong lemon missing the tartness.


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Photo of alaimoa
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Growler purchased in New York and drinking on the same day 9/12
A: medium/deep golden with a offwhite creamy head with medium/small bubbles and sticky sticky lace
S: Pine and floral notes up front and definitely the citra coming through. Great smell what you'd expect from the hop profile
T: pine, citrus, earthy, big and bold flavors with boozy notes toward the back with a nice dry finish. Nice balance
M: exactly what is expected out of DIPA: medium thickness, nicely carbonated, creamy dry finish

Overall: awesome DIPA, highly drinkable, complex with great balance and profile.

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Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

appearance: strawy orange, a bit hazy

smell: very light with notes of citrus and hop spice

taste: light bodied, crisp, hints of mangos and citrus. definite presence of simcoe and bit of the gummy resin flavor from it

mouthfeel: light, clean and crisp. with a little bit oil

overall its an amazing ipa. you can barely taste any of the alcohol. its a just a nice clean citrusy ipa

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Photo of mac31
4.56/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The perfect amount of pine and malt combined in the entry. Malts are sweet and bright-honey, light caramel, bread(y) and navel oranges. The hops are soft in the entry, but escalate to a bright flash of brilliant hoppiness in the finish. The hop bitterness progresses from soft to moderate, never excessively bitter; phenomenal bittering from start to finish. The floral component cannot be overstated-it's heavy, slightly spicy, canvassing every crevice of the palate. The hops are clean, citric, and floral. Cereal grains and a touch of stickiness to the hops as well. I love the body of this brew. It is fuller bodied with a silky mouthfeel, especially for a DIPA! The alcohol is well covered. Drinkability is top notch, five star. A perfect big brother to Racer 5. One of the best DIPA's I've had in a long, long time. It might be blasphemous to say, but on a given day I could see myself reaching for this over a Pliny. I've been searching for close to two years for this beer. Now that I've had it, I'll search it out again and again. Kudos to BR for a great beer!

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Photo of Gatch
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Lord Hobo in Cambridge.

Golden-yellow and super hazy. Big fluffy white head that leaves behind tons of lacing and good retention. Big bright citrusy nose complemented by piney hop aromas. Super sticky and resiny with plenty of dry citrus such as grapefruit and some mango. Some booze in there as well. The finish is all hops. Dry, pungent, bitter, delicious hops. With each sip, I'm reminded of biting from a fresh grapefruit. It's that dry and bitter. A hint of malt tries to sneak its way through the hop deluge but this is an onslaught. Everything a hop bomb should be. This is a West Coast DIPA that I remember from my Arizona days. Great stuff. But be warned..if you're not a hop head, this might not be for you.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, shared with my sister-in-law
A - fluffy white head holds great retention and leaves thick lacing on the glass as it fades atop a hazy tangerine colored body
S - juicy tropical nose with pineapple, mandarin and passion fruit with a caramel & honey-like malt aroma
T - big juicy tropical flavors with pineapple, mandarin orange zest, passion fruit, and mango with piney bitterness. Caramel and honey round out the flavors giving it some sweetness
M - fuller side of medium for body, somewhat resinous and sticky, finishes rather clean
O - fantastic DIPA. So glad I went back to the Costco to buy it after I forgot my debit card the first time.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bomber served chilled into a goblet.

Cafe Racer 15 is a pale yellow-amber color with thin white head. It has considerable haze but that's not uncommon in a double IPA. The head is tight and slow to settle with nice lacing left behind.

Aroma is super hoppy and definately familiar to fans of Racer 5. Just more of the same hop character with big citrus and pine notes.

Flavor is incredibly hoppy but still somewhat balanced for the style. Again much like their standard IPA, it has great hop flavor with lots of great west coast character but it never really overwhelms with bitterness. It manages to be impressively drinkable for a DIPA of nearly 10% ABV.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall an excellent version of the style and I expected nothing less from the makers of one of my favorite IPAs.

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Photo of Budinetz
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the head settle slightly and then poured and on top to fill the glass.

A- leaves a nice inch or so, white, fluffy head on top with some of the most intricate lacing I have ever seen from a DIPA. Color is about 20-25 degrees SRM, an amber/orange hue, with a slight haze.

S- citrus, grapefruit up front on the nose with a freh pine scent lingering after sipping that comes on the finish with the bitterness. Malt scent is also present, however not as prevelant as the hop profile.

T- not overly carbonated with a smoothness across the tongue. Only a little prickly bubbles from front to back. There is not a ridiculous hop bite that many DIPAs sometimes have, it is instead a mouthwatering, citrusy (grapefruit), pine sap, pale malty, deliciousness!

M- THE ideal mouthfeel for a DIPA! It does not piker my cheeks with astringency, nor does it have a high carbonation, and it is sticky across the tongue without being a candied sugar mess. Amazing mouthfeel on this brew!

O- well balanced and well maintained. Bear Republic represents this style of beer extremely well! Utilizing west coast hops and pale malts to create one of the best DIPAs around! A solid brew!!!

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Photo of Ri0
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured 22oz bottle into teku.

A - Bright, clear peach orange with a 1.5 finger white head. Thin lacing around the glass.

S - The aroma is wonderful with the Citra and Amarillo hops giving it a juicy citrus tropical character. There is also a wonderful balance of sweet caramel and honey.

T - Follows the nose with the big juicy citrus tropical notes. Grapefruit, pineapple, mango, passion fruit are all blended with a nice sweet balance of honey and caramel. The finish is a nice piney bitter.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. A bit bitter and dry on the finish.

O - I'm glad I decided to try this one when it arrived in WI. I really enjoy this style of DIPA. Big on the juicy hops, yet balanced well with the sweetness.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to eyebereej for this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from Bear Republic growler into TBBC pint glass.

A: Completely clear luminous gold, forms a thin white head with a good amount of visible carbonation. Decent lacing on the glass.

S: You smell this stuff as soon as you open the bottle, and it's awesome. Fruity - citrus, oranges tropical, mango and pineapple - with pine, resin, grassy hops also; all with a background of sweet caramel malt.

T: Follows the nose, and it's really tasty. The hop profile is complex, although I found it to be a bit less fruity and a bit more caramel aspect than the smell. There's also some booziness that I didn't pick up in the nose.

M: Medium weight to the body. The carbonation is on the low side which leads to an almost creamy mouthfeel. The alcohol is noticeable but doesn't detract.

O: Really good. While the growler was very fresh, I wonder it some of the carbonation & mouthfeel would have been different if it was drank fresh on-tap. Either way, I'm very impressed with this one, and would run to the store for more, were it to be found there. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Emersonio
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Pint bottle into a tulip. Appearance: Dark orange and cloudy with no head and slight lacing. Aroma: Dank and Juicy pine and citrus. Some floral notes present. Give it a swirl and alcohol notes are present. Taste: Follows the nose. Very dank and juicy on the palette. Hints of malt come through. Very balanced. Aftertaste: Balanced and juicy on the back end. Slight alcohol burn but overall it is masked well. Overall: This is really great. Big, bold and juicy.

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Café Racer 15 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 1,230 ratings.
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