Café Racer 15 | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

211 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: 211 | Ratings: 1,222
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this just landed in Colorado, and boy is it good. a big bright strong double ipa, with all kinds of complex hop personality. shiny brass color with a tiny bit of hazy underneath an inch or so of plain white head with patchy lacing as it drinks. big nose of citra hops for sure with its lemony fresh squeezed character, as well as some more bitter and oily west coast varietals. this drinks lighter than it is because of this nice fruity element, it hides the alcohol well. soft finish, delicate almost for what it is, just expertly hopped. the aftertaste is long and grapefruity, and just a little sweet. this is in the mold of the big west coast ipas, but it has another layer, and that is the bitterness of Amarillo and the citra fruitiness. its lip smacking good, refreshing for its size, and makes me want more. well carbonated but not overdone. medium body only, the alcohol is very well disguised. overall probably the best bear republic beer ive had yet, the hop profile is genius. great after work beer.

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

Pours a clear lighter shade of orange, one finger thick creamy white head. Rings of delicate lace down the glass. Smell: sweet orange, resinous, soft sugary tropical notes, floral. Assertive, perfumy. Taste: tangerine, peach, candy sugar, light biscuit. Appropriately bitter, lots of hop flavors, nothing over the top. Citra or not, this is pretty "traditional." But it's also refined and immaculately made.

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Photo of brentk56
3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: An impressive arrival, with a fluffy white head perched atop the clear amber liquid; a curtain of lacing is left behind

Smell: West Coast aromatics, with grapefruit and pineapple dominant

Taste: Big sweet candy malt flavors are joined, right at the outset, by the grapefruit and pineapple elements; there is also a bit of passion fruit, bringing a tropical aspect; big and sticky, after the swallow, though the bitterness dominates

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; sticky mouthfeel

Overall: Fans of sticky DIPAs will like this one, but I prefer more attenuated examples of the style

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

bomber into a tulip. 8/5/13 bottling date.

Copper color with a big white head. Smell is very hoppy leaning on the piney side, but with some citrusy notes as well. The taste is very big and hoppy as well, with a great citrus flavor up front followed by the piney bitterness and ending with a good dry malty feel. Real flavorful and complex DIPA here, and probably my favorite IPA from Bear Republic. Medium bodied, mild carbonation.

Overall this is an exceptionally complex DIPA!

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Photo of BB1313
3.55/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy golden; eggshell white head that leaves very sticky lacing. This is an orange bomb. Orange peel and orange zest dominate the aromas and flavors. There's also a malty cracker aroma that's blended in the aromas. The flavors are sharp and have a nice bitterness to it. Once again, tons of orange. There's subtle hints of grapefruit. Hints of pine needles. Very subtle amounts of caramel malts, but it's still not too sweet at all. Mouthfeel is nice. Full-bodied; creamy and slick with moderate carbonation. Very smooth. Alcohol goes unnoticed and it's easy to drink.

This isn't exactly what I was hoping for. It's well crafted for sure, but the aromas and flavors just don't get me overly excited. Orange lovers should rejoice. It's not a bad beer at all though, very solid. Well crafted.

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Photo of teromous
2.91/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: A hazy orange color with a fluffy white head that gives some spotted lacing. Good head retention

S: Lots of pine resin, and a bit of caramel. Alcohol.

T: Much like it smells, it has the taste of pine resin and caramel. It has some alcohol sweetness in the end too. It is fairly low on bitterness compared to many other IIPA's. Lots of sweetness to this beer but not a lot of accompanying flavor. It tastes more like what people consider an East Coast IPA but the malt profile isn't as robust.

M: It has a pretty thick mouthfeel without any real presence, kind of like if you put flour in a glass of water. It also finishes pretty slick.

O: I wasn't a real fan of the beer. I felt that the mouthfeel was pretty bad and that it was lacking in general taste. The hop flavor was pretty weak and one-dimensional, and the malt didn't contribute too much flavor even though it seemed to overpower the hops somehow. I don't recommend it.

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Photo of mikem0487
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. No bottled/enjoy by date. Poured into Green man snifter.

A-Hazy amber hued body. Maybe I poured it too aggressively but there is yeast sediment floating around. Do not mind that at all. The appearance reminds me of Heady Topper due to its lack of filtration and yeast flocculation at a minimal. Leaves a nice sticky lacing of the white foam. Not a huge head when poured but was present.

S-Citrus/piney confusion in this beer. Smells fantastic but both are so pronounced its hard to tell where one stops and the other begins. Definitely get some sugary notes from the malt in this beer. Alcohol is apparent but subtle.

T-A piney bitterness is the most pronounced taste. A sweet malt presence with the citrus hops are throughout the palate. A warming alcohol at the finish.

M-Good medium body, chewy mouth feel. Finishes dry and has a nice carbonation feel to it.

O-A very good Imperial IPA that I will gladly pick up again when it is around. Alcohol heat is present in the nose and taste which brings down the drinkability. Love the aroma just wish the taste would follow through.

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Photo of spoony
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 650 ml bottle (dated August 5, 2013) into a tulip.

A-A slightly aggressive pour produces about two fingers of nearly-white, dense foam. The head has pretty good retention and leaves some nice lacing, especially for the ABV. The beer is cloudy and lighter in color than many...more of an apricot or light honey than orange. Nice looking stuff.

S-The smell is big and bold. I get some spicy orange, pine, and fresh herbal notes that provide a solid hit of bitterness. The bitterness is nicely balanced by some some semi-sweet caramel. This brew smells sharp and pungent.

T-The taste is similarly big and bold. Again I get orange, but also some grapefruit, mint, and bitter pine notes. There is a pleasing herbal dankness, as well. The sharp hops are balanced by toasty caramel malts that give the beer a nice substance. The alcohol is warming and spicy and integrates nicely.

M-The feel is moderate to full-body with below average levels of carbonation and the aforementioned dank, resinous character.

O-If I was going to tell someone how to build the archetypical West Coast IIPA, this might be it. The flavors are big and citrus forward, but there is a nice balance here. The brew is easy to drink for its nearly 10% ABV, as well, but it kept me wanting more the whole time. I must also say that this is a good-looking beer. All these positive thoughts notwithstanding, there is no real shining feature in the taste of this beer that makes it really stand out.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy straw color with a frothy white head that leaves a nice ring of lacing.

Smells of bright citrus with some tropical fruits. Big, bright, and aromatic.

Tastes of a nice wave of hops mediated by a solid malt backbone. Grapefruit, pineapple, and a touch of pine comes through. Malts quickly come through and add a sweet element with some sugar cookie along with a touch of bread. In the middle it leans towards more of a sweetness, but ends with a bitter note. Alcohol makes it presence felt, but is pleasant.

Mouthfeel is full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a nice DIPA that is worth a look.

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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 labattblueribbon
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured to glass. Enjoyed this incredible brew with the last episode of Breaking Bad, and god damn was it a perfect pairing. There is almost nothing to dislike about this beer except the nose didn't really show up. Easily the most memorable DIPA i've had in months, great lacing, solid citrus after-taste hanging around, maybe a little spearmint in there as well, no a bit of alcohol to be detected, DANGEROUSLY drinkable. great scott what a bear. Bottom Line an absolute MUST HAVE, get it anyway you can. about $9 for a bomber, i would have paid 30 bucks for this gem.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a golden yellow color with 2 fingers of head that slowly fades down to a cap that leaves some nice lacing

S: Quite hoppy while remaining balanced. Citrus and floral hops stand out along with a light breadiness from the malt

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the hops, which are packed full of citrus and pine notes. Goes into just enough malt to balance. Bitter pine notes continue into the finish

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Highly drinkable for a 9.75% DIPA with 100+ IBUs. It would be nice if it were available in 6-packs or a little cheaper for a bomber ($9.49 isn't too bad, but still high). Great seasonal otherwise

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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 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 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 Fatehunter
3.87/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a finger of thick, foamy head on a hazy, straw colored body. Looks great.
The aroma is bright lemon, pineapple and grapefruit. Really good.
The taste starts with bold pine bitterness, sweetens out towards the middle and then finishes with a lemon bitter downslope.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
The taste has great balance.

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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 jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

hazy dull blonde color with sticky off white head. super piney nose with notes of tobacco, citrus, a touch of tropical fruit and a touch of passion fruit.

Medium bodied but thick feeling in the mouth with light carbonation. Borders on syrupy but saves itself with assertive hop bitterness and bright hop flavors. Starts up with sticky sweet caramel malts which roll into a dry tobacco flavor. The beer slides to the back of the tongue with bright citrus and piney flavors and finishes tropical with a hop reesin bitterness that balances the thick malt body. Bitterness linger deep in the throat with a touch of alcohol heat on the breath and some sweet sticky caramel coated dried tropical fruits.

Pretty good but nothing out of the ordinary or impressive, a bit too syrupy for me and I've had other DIPAS that cover the alcohol a bit better. Still a solid offering with good flavor though. Wish more of that tobacco like flavor came through to change things up as well as that hop resin to dry things out. Leaves a nice after taste from the hops but the alcohol heat on the breath takes away from this a bit.

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Photo of abaer123
3.99/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Overall I like the Cafe Racer 15. I was surprised to see that it is 9.75% abv as it does not taste like it, yet, perhaps I have become accustomed to strong ales!

A - cloudy golden color with promise of deliciousness

S - pine, citrus, what you would expect from an IPA

T - delicious. not overly hoppy, yet satisfying, alcohol does not seem to be an inhibitor here.

M - well rounded and satisfying.

I would consider this among my favorite beers. Those being.... :)
Pliny the Elder, Heady Topper, Rampant, Double Jack, Hoptimum, Hop Stoopid, and Sculpin.

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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 DrinkSlurm
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into tulip at glass half full in sterling va. Golden orange with thick white head and lots of sticky lacing. Huge piney grapefruit aromas with a big malt backbone. Flavors of sweet sugary malt and if course pine and citrus hops. Hop presance is massive. I usually don't enjoy west coast style ipas as much as most but this is nice...must be the Amarillo hops. Its a bit heavy and the abv is obvious.
Nice brew. What I'd expect from a west coast ipa.

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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 BreweryRun
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle that was bottled just about a month ago. Beautiful deep golden color with a slight head. Smell is mostly piney hops without much fruity hop aroma. Taste is awesome! An amazing balance of bitter, piney and fruity hop flavors with a dry finish. Mouth feel is medium light bodied. Overall an amazing West Coast DIPA that doesn't disappoint. Get it if you can.

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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 smcolw
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good, solid head with a slow settling time. Leaves a cross between blanket and ring lace. Neutral gold color with a bit of haze.

Plenty of sweet grapefruit aroma from the plentiful hop. It overwhelms most of the other smells. Certainly not balanced, but for this style, it doesn't have to be.

Strong bitter hop that stands out even on the initial sip. Very dry, particularly at the swallow. Long, astringent aftertaste. Puckering. Notable alcohol throughout the taste. There's enough richness in the malt to give it a base. Low carbonation.

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Café Racer 15 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 1,222 ratings.
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