Café Racer 15 | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

206 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: 206 | Ratings: 1,200
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Popping the cap releases a very piney nose scented with citrus. It pours hazy orange under a 2” finely bubbled persistent lace producing white foam cap. It enters very fruity and creamy supported by big rich malt that balances an assertive hop presence achieving a three way balance between the hops, malt and alcohol. It dries out on the finish with a lingering bitterness blending with residual malt flavors. Medium full body and moderate carbonation. A delightful elixir.

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Photo of bpasquini
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a SN IPA glass

A: Nice orangish gold color, slightly murky as well, with a two finger size head, leaves nice lacing around the glass

S: Very nice aroma to this one, can definitely smell the citra hops in it, nice pine smell to it as well, followed with very sweet malts, sometimes the malt overpowers the hops, but it's a good thing

T: Not quite what I was expecting, it is very malty compared to their other IPA's, but you can still notice the citrus flavors from the hops, some grapefruit, pine, and I get a hint of pineapple as well, the malt is present throughout the taste and is a little overpowering in my opinion, would love the flavor of the hops to be a little more present, but it is still a very good mix of flavors, very slight bitterness is left and it doesn't linger

M: Very nice feel to it, to me it's very light, leaves a little dryness at the end, it is also creamy to me

O: Very strong brew, generally I am not that big of a fan of BR, but this is the best beer I've had from them so far, if you love their products I'm sure this one will fit right in, definitely recommend picking this one up if you can

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Photo of travolta
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Appearance: Opaque toasty orange color. Soft tiny bubbled head with very nice retention.

Nose: Orange cream circle, pine, resin, grapefruit, and syrupy citrus.

Taste: Orange rind, sour citrus, malty sweetness moves in and out. Interesting balance of bitter, dry, and malty. They move together. Lots of rind and orange flavored candy. Tiny hotness at the end.

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Photo of vitALEity
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly hazy golden. Head dissipates rather quickly but leaves a lot of lace

S: A lot of bright citrus. Mostly oranges.

T: A lot of orange, grapefruit and pine (what did you expect?)

M: Medium. Not super oily/resiny.

O: Its a really, really, good beer.

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Photo of jtd1969
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden with fairly good clarity. Lots of lacing

S -Tropical awesomeness Pineapple, Mango, citrus with some sweet bread

T - Lite caramel, Malt is overpowered by hops, but in a a good crisp clean way. (If that makes sense) lots of citrus hops with a smooth finish

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation, nice hop finish, doesn't linger

O - WOW , had it a Dog Street Pub in Williamsburg, Va. Such a delight.. ABV well hidden, Wish I could have convinced my group to stay there all day and I would have been in beer heaven!!

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Photo of MattyBones
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a 22oz bottle last night with Dinner.

Appearance: pored a nice cloudy, golden color with a fizzy white head about a finger thick.

Smell: Picking up some citrus and pine, some sugary sweetness in the nose a bit.

Taste: Like a juiced up Racer 5. A little hoppier with nice tones of pine and citrus with a little stronger malt backbone than Racer 5. It's hoppy but balances out nice with barely any taste of the alcohol. Has a slightly similar taste to Double Jack

Mouthfeel: light carbonation, very smooth

Overall: I highly enjoyed this one. Racer 5 is a classic and I would definitely rate this slightly better for a more pronounced and flavorful profile. I wouldn't mind getting my hands on some more.

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Photo of RandyV
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a stellar offering from BR. This is what you want from a Dipa. Really nice hop character with floral and bright citrus flavors sitting on a nice malt base. The 9.8 abv is present but never overshadows the flavor profile. Love this brewery and absolutely loved this offering.

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Photo of mttaylor1066
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A balanced, big IPA. Step up to this and enjoy.

Poured for me at Meadhall in Boston (great place, btw.) The color is a hazy gold, classic for the imperial ale style. Quite a bit of lacing left by the lingering head.

The nose is resiny hops that shows a proper amount of restraint. You know you're getting an IPA before the liquid hits the tongue,

The mouthfeel and taste remind me of a Bell's Two Hearted. The brewer struck a nice balance here and doesn't take the drinker over the edge of hoppy bitterness. I could have two of these, easily. Well, two if I didn't have to stand up or drive. The alcohol is strong in this.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle with a born on date of 8/5/13, into a tulip.
Appearance - gold, bubbly, refreshing. Modest layer of white head. Lacing is extremely strong despite the minimal head!
Smell - hop punch to the face! Citrus fruit, primarily grapefruit.
Taste - absolutely terrific! Follows the nose with hop forwardness; just a hint of malt to help balance it out!
Feel - grapefruit bitterness, but enough malt to ensure this isn't one-sided! At 9.75% ABV, this is incredibly easy to drink!
Overall - great west coast DIPA, exactly what I expected, if not more!

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Photo of athomasPSU
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a bottle. Bottle date: 7-5-2013

A perfect burnt orange color with slight cloudiness. About one finger size head, which leaves slight lacing as it dies away faster than expected. Powerful citra hops hit you hard smelling this one with some piney aroma. It's also got that sweetness with a rather noticeable hop background. The taste is amazing. So well balanced. The malts and hops just blend together near perfectly which brings out lots of pine, grapefruit, sweet malt that helps calm the bitterness. It feels a little thin to me, but it's feels rather sticky which helps that bitterness linger even more. Overall, this brew is amazing. I'm glad I grabbed the last bottle on the shelf. It's a really damn good DIPA and worth grabbing if you see it.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a rusty orange with a white head, head did not last but a few minutes, it's hazy, not much carbonation, good amount of lacing,

A: Oranges, different citrus notes, picking up some grapefruit peel, onion/garlic funk, guayaba, lots of aromas, big pungent smells, smells really good.

T: Tilts on the sweet citrus side, oranges, hints of grapefruit peel and guayaba, touch of pine and resin, moderate amount of bitterness in the middle, finish is dry with the citrus reemerging and lingering in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, good amount of carbonation, dry finish like sucking on orange peels.

O: Really impressed, it's not a big bitter bomb, leans on the sweet citrus side, but has a touch of grapefruit, tropical fruits, and some pine and resin, definitely going to pick up another bottle or two as long as it's fresh.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium golden with very little off white head.

S: Orange and other, similar fruits in the nose.

T: Orange and pine dominate among other fruits and floral notes.

M: Medium bodied and smooothish.

O: Outstanding. I loved all of their Racer beers at the event.

Note: This was consumed during an event at the brewery. The beers served were those that were headed for the GABF, and were thus at their absolute prime. Also, I tried more than a dozen beers that day, and my memory of it is, understandably, hazy.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Golden yellow, light tan with a nice 1 inch creamy head. Nice amount of lacing.

Smell - Sweet citric hops, orange, pineapple, grapefruit. Lemon and pine are also a nice strong aroma. Malts make a minor appearance in the finish. Hop heavy for sure.

Taste - Very sweet, citric hop bomb at first sip. Lots of orange, pineapple, grapefruit, kiwi, grapes, passion fruits and such mixed with sweet yeasts. Very smooth, yet has a nice bite or bitterness at the finish. Malts are really masked, and only provide some caramel and toffee notes at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Tongue gets loads of hops, and sweet yeasts, were palate gets the hops and a little malt sweetness. The finish is well, as you guessed, hoppy and sweet.

Overall - Nice sweet, hoppy and smooth beer. West coast to the full effect, citric, with underlying alcohol mixed in, yet soooo smooth. A winner from a classic craft brewery.

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – A semi-translucent golden orange color. A thick white head, with medium lacing.

Smell – Citrusy, mostly grapefruit, with a little pine. It’s very pleasant, perhaps because there’s also a little honey sweetness.

Taste – The taste is a nice mix of citrus, pine, and honey. Not overpowering at all, which is good for an IPA in my opinion.

Mouthfeel – Light carbonation, somewhat creamy for an IPA, and smooth. Leaves a slighty bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability – Definitely a great IPA. IPAs are a style I don’t seem to agree with other BA'ers on; to me this is better than it’s current (Jan 2015) score of 4.24.

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Photo of Philousa
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Imbibed at Market Beer Co. on 7/20/13

Pours a clear copper with a whispy white head. Surprisingly little lacing. Aroma is slightly biscuity sweet with a great helping of pine, grapefruit, and lemon. Aroma is very pleasant. Flavor starts with pine and sweet biscuit/honey, moves to pine bitterness that is mild and pleasant. This finishes slightly sweet with a medium mouthfeel.

This is a great beer that hides its ABV very well. Looking forward to getting a bottle to enjoy at home.

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Photo of TaylorIPA19
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a shaker pint glass. Pours a light amber color. Smell isn't overwhelming. A little citrus with some pine (a lot like Racer 5 with a little added earthiness to set apart the citrus). Little foam with next to no lacing. Decent amount of carbonation. Tastes like it smells. Citrus, resinous pine, with a dry sticky mouth-feel. Good balance between hops and malt. Alcohol is hidden pretty well for a DIPA. Overall solid beer. Would buy again.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into an Allagash cervoise glass. Purchased almost a month ago at the brewery.

A: A finger and a half of pleasant, whitish head tops an effervescent, mostly clear, amber beer.

S: Herbaceous and heavily fruity. Tropical, with a juicy smell dripping with pineapple, guava, and --most obviously -- mango. A whiff of fresh pine. Incredible.

T: Not as fresh as it was on-tap, this incarnation is less fruity and more bitter, but only relatively. In general, it's still very fruit-forward, but also quite hoppy. The maintaste is an earthy, herbal, bitter foretaste, fruity maintaste, and balanced endtaste.

M: Thick and malty without being oppressive.

O: A damn good beer. Highly recommended! Racer 5 may be the best IPA, but this is something else.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stone Brew

11-05-11 – Bitter Saturday
*16oz tulip

First sampled and thoroughly enjoyed this at Port’s Real Ale Fest so pretty stoked to get the full experience here.

A: Café Racer 15 pours an orangeish amber color with some light haziness. A one finger eggshell white head formed and left just some light speckles of lace. Decent carb visible.

S: Smell is just real fruity with lots of citrus oil aromas. Gives a sort of tanginess to it. No real malt or alcohol components in the aroma.

T: Nice juicy resinous hop bitterness with a real bright citrus character that is orange and tangerine flesh. Has to be Citra! Perfect sugary balance with this subtle graham cracker malt base. This is so good. Very tasty stuff.

M: Nice creamy texture with light to med. body feel. Slight resinous and sticky coating with a great dry crisp finish.

D: Very drinkable with such great balance. Each sip leaves you wanting more

My new favorite brew from the Republic! Love me some Citra hops. Easily the winner from the day. Highly recommended. Hope to see more of this one.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brew pub.

Orange amber small white head. Full on citrus and hop resin. Flavors match the nose. Loads of grapefruit and bitter orange zest. Sticky and lightly carbonated. This was the first hop bomb I'd had in awhile and it woke me up for sure. Never had Racer X but I imagine this is a solid replacement.

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Photo of Dope
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Can't find a bottling date on this one but it was just released like two weeks ago so it's pretty fresh.

A: Pours a slightly hazy amber. Big fluffy tan head. Head fades slowly with excellent lacework remaining behind. Nice island of foam too.

S: Excellent. Grapefruit, pine and the biggest is the dank citra hops. Mild bready malt too?

T: Big juicy hops up front. Grapefruit and tropical fruit now. Spicy dankness and pine follows up in the middle. Bready briefly, then a nice dry, crisp resinous finish. Dank hops and some pine linger between sips.

M: Nice medium body, smooth and dry/crisp in the finish.

O: Delicious. Great hop strength up front and great hop complexity overall. I just had Simtra the other day and this reminds me of it a lot. This one is just more complex and a little smaller (which is better, IMO, Simtra is over the top). Drinkability is much better with this one for sure. Really, this is a wonderful west coast style DIPA. Big and juicy but not over the top. I loved it.

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Photo of jdhowe
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into Ballast Point tulip/flute/snifter... this glass doesn't know what it is. There's a date on the bottle but it's not printed well and so it is illegible. I know this is fresh, though, so I am not concerned.

A: Pours a mostly clear golden amber with 2 fingers of off-white head, which recedes to a film leaving sticky lacing all over the glass.

S: Fresh hops everywhere. Lots of pine and grapefruit, But also a little candied sweetness alongside citrus.

T/M: Plenty of resiny hoppy character throughout. Pine up front with a slightly watery mouthfeel at the start, but the beer quickly swells with citrus and bitter hop character. Maltiness is there, but really only to hold the beer up and provide sweetness rather than to be a major part of the flavor. Mouthfeel and carbonation are both medium despite initial thin feeling. Light bitterness lingers, but this is much less bitter on the finish than many other west coast IIPAs. The finish is otherwise sweet with citrus before giving way to hop bitterness.

O: My favorite thing I've had from Bear Republic without a doubt (although I've not had quite a few of their offerings). This IIPA is neither too bitter nor too sweet and is rich with hop character throughout. It's maybe a little syrupy, and oddly feels just a little thin at the start, but this is a really really good beer.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a murky citrus orange with a couple fingers of greasy light tan head that faded into a wispy scum and left rings of chunky lace down the glass.
S: Juicy grapefruit and orange cream sickles all the way with notes of tropical fruit nectars including mango and pineapple.
T: Follows the nose with flavors of juicy grapefruit, mango, papaya, pineapple and tangerine cream. The finish is sweet and juicy and the aftertaste is leafy and faintly bitter.
M: Full body for the style, greasy and slick body, soft and fluffy carbonation. Easy to drink.
O: Super fresh and juicy dipa. Very flavorful and smooth. Another excellent hoppy beer from an excellent hoppy beer brewery.

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Photo of Auraan
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy orange with a half-finger white head. It looks nice, but not the best Imperial IPA I've seen. Scents of tropical fruit, caramel malt, pineapple, citrus, some sweet and floral notes, and faint hints of pine. A very fruit and citrus forward DIPA scent, lacking some of the pine of others. It's quite nice and a good change. Taste is hop forward and yet only modestly bitter for the style with the usual flavors of grapefruit pith, some grapefruit, and a bit of tropical fruit, also some hits of pine resin in the background. There is a nice sweet malt backbone backing the citrus and bitterness of the hops, as well as some grassy and floral hop flavors to mix it up a bit. Also a nice hint of alcohol in the background. A very good flavor profile, quite hop forward, yet with some depth to it. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with moderate-high carbonation and an oily finish with a nice burn of alcohol throughout. Quite the nice mouthfeel for a sipping DIPA. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. The flavors I expect in the style are all there and they balance each other nicely leading to an enjoyable drinking experience. Recommended.

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Photo of stephens101
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a dense, tan head. Color is a cloudy amber. Has a thick, creamy and sweet middle with a resinous wrapping. Candied sugar exists and some syrup is left on the lips. Some orange rind is in there as well. Alcohol is sharp. Big, slow and brilliant drinking.

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Photo of DrinkNewport
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Copper pour with a light, white head.

The smell is rich in citrusy and pine-y hops.

The flavor is just a little off-balance. I guess it's a little TOO hoppy. It's a risk all Double/Imperial IPAs face, where where supercharged hops need a serious counterweight.

If you're a hophead, then you probably won't mind.

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Café Racer 15 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 1,200 ratings.
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