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 Chcshammonde
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt orange caramel. Smells - great! Caramel malt, toffee, dank hops, wood. Taste: At first, when at fridge temp, the malty-toffee finish was a little too strong for me. But as it slightly warmed up, it was a lot better. Funny how that happens with a lot of beers. I warmed up to this beer along with the temperature. Flavors of dank hops, rich malt, toffee, a bit of wood-like flavor, tart/sweet/hoppy/toffee finish. So unique! Mouthfeel was great, flavors bouncing all over and the carbonation was perfect. Overall: I would probably get this again on tap, but not in a bottle. I'll go for hop rod rye or the ol' racer 5. Nice beer though!

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Kite & Key in Philly. Served in a goblet with minimal head. Dark Orange color. Strong hoppy flavor with a nice dry finish. Goes VERY well with my spicy carnitas flatbread.

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Photo of jrnyc
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very good beer. Awesome looking orange color. Nice smell. Very tasty, on sweet side, but in a good way. Almost invisible best by date is not acceptable. Couldn't see it without glasses, actually needed a flashlight to barely see it. I rarely buy Bear Republic beers because the dates are not easily readable.

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Photo of timontheroad
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured with a thick white fluffy two finger head, great retention and lacing. Hazy dark orange color. The smell had a lot of big tropical and citrus notes with just a hint of pine. The flavor was very citrusy up front, but then came a wave of pineapple and mango, very nice! The mouthfeel was thick and oily, coating the palate and making me want more and more. This is really a great beer!

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Photo of CHickman
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy copper gold color with active bubbles racing up to a nice 2 finger foamy beige head that was full of bubbles and faded slowly, leaving OK lacing – lace was decent after second pour, just slightly better.

Starts off with a wave of juicy citrus and citrus hops, a mix of tropical fruit like orange, pineapple, grapefruit, papaya, maybe even some guava, and then the caramel and brown sugar sweetness hits and mixes with graham cracker, French toast, gummy bears candy, light floral hops, a hint of booze or red wine, and resiny hops. Very pungent and fruity, this is a fine smelling West Coast DIPA with a sturdy malt backbone to make it work and yet still allow the citrus hops to dominate. Very dank and similar to sticking your nose in a fruit salad.

Taste is a lot more malt than the nose with graham cracker, toasted grains, rye bread toast, syrup and Razzles candy entering the mix to make it even more complex, but less of a hop bomb. Flavor like the nose still includes citrus fruit like orange, pineapple, lemon, grapefruit and some light guava, along with citrus hops, caramel, brown sugar, light dry floral hops, mild booze, piney hops or a wet hop oil, and peppery spices that are fruity and almost like a Belgian yeast. Sweetness is almost cloying with wet dough or bread crust coming through and minimizing the bitterness. The booze snuck up on me since it was very well hidden, but it did show up and knock me around a bit.

Mouthfeel is oily slick and almost buttery smooth with mild carbonation, a medium chewy body and a slightly bitter aftertaste that has some bready notes mixed in with the citrus sweetness.

The bottle states “the generous use of Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hops which are complimented by a dry malt finish.” That about sums this brew up. Overall a really good beer, a high recommendation from me and one worth seeking out. Last time I had this was a few years ago and I remember it being this good back then. Well done Bear Republic.

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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 WheelsPSU
3.61/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Eh, didn't love this. The head faded real quick. Maybe it wasn't the freshest but it was very bread like and yeasty. Had solid pine up front but a definite and not great caramel malt backbone. Almost a touch chewy. Must say it is pretty balanced

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Photo of samtrillo
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap Albany Tap Room

Pours a murky golden orange.

Nose of rich pine and tropical fruits.

Taste features a sweet brioche like malt backbone which balances nicely with the mango-pineapple and grapefruit hops. Pine bitterness present on the back. Mouthfeel is smooth and prickly.

Overall, I very fine example of the juicy DIPAs I love but I've been trying to venture away from, recently.

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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 GregJ
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a honey orange. Smells of pine, citrus, honey. Tastes of spicy pine, bready, sweet malts, grapefruit and grass. Sweet pine resin remains on the palate. Medium/heavy body with medium carbonation.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a lightly hazed orange amber color with a two finger head of billowy off white foam. The head has a fantastic level of retention, slowly fading to leave a decent level tons of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is fruity and sweet with a good deal of tropical fruits of mango, tangerine, and pineapple. A light doughy and sweeter caramel smell are there as well and matched by some hop aromas. The hop are mostly of a grapefruit nature, but other hop aromas of a bit of herb and some light pine are there as well, producing a very fruity and inviting aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with the sweeter tropical fruit flavors that was detected in the nose, with the tangerine being the most intense fruit, but having mango and pineapple mixed with it as well. Right from the start there is a thick and bready taste which acts as a nice base for the sweet and the grapefruit hop flavor; which starts the taste off on the moderate side. While the grapefruit is lighter upfront, it gains more and more strength toward the end of the taste and is joined by some pine and herbal hop flavors. All the while, a little bit of the tropical fruit flavors fade but are replaced by some caramel sweetness. With a little bit of grassy hop and a hint of alcohol coming at the very end of the taste, one is left with a pleasantly balanced, sweet, and moderately resinous bitter hop flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. For the mix of tropical fruits and hops the thickness and creaminess does a rather good job as it baths the tongue in all the wonderful flavors and makes this 9.75 % abv. brew a nice slower sipper.

Overall – This is one very tasty brew overall. Big and robust in sweeter tropical fruit flavors with a nice hop blend. This is one I would certainly go back to again and one I would recommend.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured this into a pint:
This beer is very hazy, with a pineapple juice color with a fizzy, active body, and a white creamy head. Lacing stays caked-on.
Smells like citrus, pine, grapefruit, some alcohol.
Cakey-sweet dipa of juicy, delicious citrus hops that lean toward the lemony,and some pepper. Sweet malts. Hop fix indeed. Creamy smooth, zesty, nicely carbonated. Even though there's a dry spicy-rind to the finish, this sips dangerously fast due to the great feel. There's a lot going on here. Big, sweet, earthy heat.
Overall I'm reminded of both Avery's Maharaja and Clown Shoes Space Cake. This is big-time brewing by West Coast craft icon Bear Republic. Not for everyone, but I enjoyed.

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Photo of Todd
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Carefully poured from the bottle-conditioned bomber. Golden-orange with an incredibly creamy two-finger head and never-ending lace. Fruity, floral, and herbal in the nose with some alcohol in the back. Firm, smooth body, creamy, with a slight carbonation bite. Sweet malty base that's countered by a big, sticky, oily, and resinous hop presence with pine, a citric hop bite, oranges, tropical fruits, and grapefruit. Lots of juicy goodness, with soft floral and herbal notes in the linger and warming alcohol on the breath. Finishes a bit gritty, tannic, and dry.

A bit on the boozy side, but they nailed it with the hops.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours a mostly clear gold color with an ample cap of off-white head. Nice retention and lace.

Nose is tropical goodness we have come to expect from mosaic and amarillo. Malt pretty much gets out of the way and leaves a hint of grains and the yeast is uber-neutral. WCIPA fo sho.

Taste throws down on a multitude of hop flavors ranging from peach to papaya to orange flesh. A lot of different dank flavors here, like chewing on a good nug. Doesnt quite all come together harmoniously for me though and the high ABV unbalances it a little. Its good, maybe close to damn good, but I dont think Id buy it again. There are other BR beers I would rather have and this one just seems a bit too over the top.

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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 arizcards
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine in late August for $7.99. Best by 1/11/2014...WTF? Thought I was getting a new bottle knowing a new release was coming out and TW selling out last year...I love how our distributors throw old stuff out into the market...shame on me!

Beer poured golden with a nice white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is pungent with dank hops.

Taste is oranges, mango, grapefruit, and pine. Malt backbone is huge but hops overwhelm with a nice bittering lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth.

Overall a very good brew. Do i need to apologize to the local distributor? Seems like it is fairly fresh but I will need to find another bottle from this year's batch.

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Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Oranges, mangoes, apricots, pickles, and brown sugar. Alcohol is palatable. On the palate, oranges and pine mixed in with dark rum. Medium bodied which feels light in the context of such bitterness. This is a good beer, though boozy, not sure why I keep buying IPA's over 8.5%, forgot to check I guess. Still, though too heavy for me, well made and complex if you're into such monsters.

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Photo of gcamparone
3.56/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter. Best by Nov 2014. Acquired as an extra from vitese, thank you good sir.

Appearance is a hazy, dull orange-yellow body with a two finger white head that reduces slowly to leave thick lacing and high retention.

Aromas of pine, citrus rind, caramel, somewhat oniony and floral. Taste is muted with caramel and pine upfront, finishes floral, astringent like crushed Advil. Somewhat unbalanced. Low carbonation and medium body.

Cafe racer was not my thing. Not very flavorful, and where there are flavors they're big, unbalanced bitter hop notes.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really enjoying this one, my children. And after a blackened fish burrito, it pretty much hits the spot like Yasiel Puig on 98 MPH fastball right down the middle. Shucks, my peeps, this one is really darn good!

Ok, let Raul compose himself.

Looks all orange and tropical-like. Kind of like a Pumpkin on vacation.

Smell? Oh yes, there we go. Just all kinds of fruity and zesty like the Kool-Aid man at his bachelor party.

The taste, dare Raul go there? Almost reminds him of Abrasive. And although it's reminiscent of said gangster, it's more like that twin's twin you once dated, who was obviously hot, but still something was bit off. (Not that there is anything wrong with Racer.)

Feel is good. Maybe it could put on a pound or two, but when you are getting freaky with it, you don't really notice those things.

Overall: Yes. All kinds of yes. Not exactly Cagney in White Heat, but Raul is almost there, Raul is almost on the top of the world.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a hazy golden orange with a white finger's worth of head. Fair retention, giving way to a broken layer of surface suds. Decent lacing with fair stick.

Smell - Heavy citrus. Grapefruit pith and orange juice. Light notes of pine resin. Hints of pineapple and white bread.

Taste - Pure citrus juice bomb. Grapefruit character is most abundant upfront, along with lesser notes of orange. Faint pine develops mid-taste and peaks near the finish. Malts add some generic sweetness, and help give the beer it's sweet juicy character. Lingering citrus pith in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Full in body with a light syrupy texture and low to moderate carbonation. Goes down easy enough before a dry finish.

Overall - This is pretty good. Pretty, pretty good. Something about it just doesn't quite reach me the way it should, though. Maybe I've had too many DIPA's that are too similar. Maybe it's needing an extra layer of complexity. Probably a bit of both. Solid brew regardless.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured into a Chuckanut pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy medium golden amber with a half finger off-white head with good retention and light lacing. Nice aroma of caramel malt, tropical and citrus fruit, citrus and mildly piney hops. Flavor is caramel malt, citrus and piney hops with a good resinous character, citrus, tropical fruit, grapefruit rind, finishing with a long, lingering resinous hops bitterness. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. This is a well balanced, full malt bodied IIPA with a great selection of hops; pretty much as I expect from this brewery. Really hits the spot. These guys know how to build a flavorful IPA.

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Photo of Celtics17
4/5  rDev -4.3%

It's good, but I've had better. The hops used in this Double IPA didn't out shine the malt backbone. I get the floral, and maybe some peach. Just over powering malt.

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Photo of delta490
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Cloudy medium gold with a creamy white head. Great floral hops aroma. The taste is a great blend of light malt sweetness and light floral and pine hops. Body has a great thick mouthfeel and smoothness

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Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev -4.3%

22oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a large mug. Bottle code is mostly worn off, but it looked like it said "best by 10/27/??". Hopefully that's 2014.

Pours slightly cloudy golden with a medium white head, fades about 3/4 of the way fairly fast and leaves a thick layer of lacing on the side of the glass. Lots of carbonation. Smell is nice. Citrus and flowers.

Taste is sweet, fruity forward, late mild dry bitter finish. Surprisingly bready. Some lemon rind bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Overall, this is a quite tasty beer.

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