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 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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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 HuskyinPDX
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 8.5.13

A - Pours a cloudy medium orange with a nice one inch tan head with good retention.

S - Strong pine and a touch of citrus.

T - Sweet orange citrus, lemon zest, grass, subtle pine.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body, sweeter finsh.

O - Cafe just threw me off, nice DIPA, citrus and pine heavy.

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Photo of Jimmys
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bomber into SAVOR snifter. no bottled on date.

A: a bit of haze on an orange/golden body. frothy, slightly orange head. head retention is great. fantastic lacing.

S: good hop presence on the nose. a lot of pine. a lot. a little bit of bubblegum. a minor caramel, malt aroma.

T: a lot of pine and hop resins. pretty chewy for a hop forward DIPA. maybe a slight oxidation. bitterness is present, but not over-the-top. definitely can taste some of that conditioning yeast. sort of softens everything up.

M: really creamy mouthfeel. soft and silky. full bodied.

D: very well balanced and drinkable. the booze/heat is manageable. good conditioning, not great as I desire a little more carb. pretty good DIPA, not outstanding in my opinion. I think that has something to do with the fact this may have been sitting around for a couple of months since its release. im sure fresh this stuff is the bomb. all I can say is put bottled on dates on please!

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Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle served in a tulip. Pours a dull orange with a frothy, half-inch, cream-colored head. Tiny bubbles adhere to the walls of the glass and lightly effervesce to the underside of the cap. Head eventually dissipates into an oily slick and tiny dribs and drabs of lacing are revealed but exhibit poor adhesion. Nose is somewhat subdued; however, hints of tangerine, cotton candy and a light, resiny quality are revealed. Taste follows nose; however, a little bitterness intermingles with the characters expressed in the nose and there is also a touch of ethanol in the mix. Mouthfeel is medium-light with an even carbonation that leaves a residual prickle at the back of the throat between quaffs. All and all, a solid DIPA, but nothing I would go out of my way for again.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Andover Liquors,
Pours a crystal clear light golden color with a huge white head that persists forever. Smells of pine resin and citrus mostly. Light bits of bread and caramel are hidden somewhere in there. The flavor is orangey grapefruit with pine needles, pipe resin, and a solid shot of caramel and alcohol. There is a solid lingering hop bitterness that coats the palette long after each sip. Medium body with a fairly dry finish, moderate level of carbonation and a slick resinous mouthfeel. Nice IPA but a bit harsh at times and the alcohol is a bit too noticeable for my tastes.

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

An agressive, alcohol heavy beer that attempts to be a big IPA. It's definitely a big beer, with a strong upfront aroma of alcohol and a hoppy taste. Pours with a light orange color, a milky thin head and an aroma familiar to the IPA family. However, the hops overpower the beer and it's too aggressive for my liking. A solid attempt for Bear Republic, who I'd claim is one of the best widely distributed breweries. Still, I prefer their lighter and less intense Racer 5.

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Photo of kevanb
3.69/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle poured into a stemless wine glass.

The beer pours a honey copper color, hazy complexion, with a short white head, soapy in texture that has poor retention and leaves some spotted lacing behind. The aroma is fairly booze forward, but has nice elements of grassy hops, light fruit and citrus, richer grainy malt at the end, but it's a simple aroma, dominated by hop bitterness and alcohol. The flavors are more enjoyable, the alcohol is less dramatic, lots of grassy, earthy hops, amply bitter, bits of pine, tangy grapefruit, tropical mango with the rich grain towards the end where the alcohol really comes forward. The body is quite rich and juicy, quite smooth on the tongue, medium carbonation that is fairly lively and finishes lightly dry.

Verdict: A big ambitious beer that succumbs to the pitfalls of many high octane IPAs, too much booze, and too aggressively hopped. While the beer does have some nice balance of flavor, between the bitterness and strong alcohol, it's laborious to quaff.

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Photo of jeff1973
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Marin Brewing pint glass. Bottled on date 7/3/13, so almost 2mos old now.

A - Dark burnt orange, clear. Eggshell head leaves pretty good lacing.

S - Peaches, mango, light bread. Not a lot of aroma, especially hop aromas.

T - Peaches, pineapple, mango, catpiss. It finishes with a almost a light rye bread flavor, then dries out with grapefruit bitterness on the end. Interesting. Alcohol is well hidden.

M - Spot on for a DIPA. On the thick side of medium w/ medium/light carbonation that gives a creamy mouthfeel.

O - Really good beer. Aroma was a little light, maybe because it was 2mos old? Flavor and mouthfeel are solid. Will definitely be seeking this out on the next release, especially to get a fresher version. This was hiding in the back of the beer cooler behind some other bottles at my local Bristol Farms.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- copper color, pretty thin head

Smell- floral, citrus, piney hops

Taste- floral, citrus, piney hops

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- very good indeed! It is delicious! I can't wait to have more of it. I definitely recommend this one!

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Photo of Damian
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 1 pt. 6fl oz bottle purchased at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, Cambridge, MA
Served in a snifter

The beer poured a hazy, peachy-amber color. A bubbly, one-finger, eggshell colored crown topped the liquid and fell to a lasting mass of froth. Curtains of drippy lacing coated the glass.

Fruity hops came through strong in the nose. Orange zest and grapefruit were instantly noticeable. Lots of resiny pine sap. Good dose of peach and apricot. Tropical fruits were also detectible. Pineapple and mango were most apparent. The hops were well balanced by a candy-like sweetness that became more prevalent as the beer warmed.

The flavor profile was solid. Super hoppy, in a West Coast sort of way. Notes of orange rind and ruby red grapefruit dominated. Touch of mango. The hops were countered by a stiff yet unobtrusive malty backbone. The finish was super piney, resinous, dry and bitter. There was a slight alcohol warming, but this was anticipated.

The beer was medium bodied. Creamy, slick and smooth on the palate. The liquid contained a fine, moderate effervescence.

Café Racer 15 is a well crafted and relatively affordable double IPA. Although this beer may not brake any new ground in the craft beer world, I would definitely buy it again.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a nerve locus deep golden orange with half a finger of weakish head, decent speckled lacing, decent retention

S - Lots of light citrus, orange and apple, with a pit of piny resin and a decently sweet malt backbone

T - lots of orange and grapefruit rind and kits of piny resin. Sweet malts peak through st the finish. Aftertaste is west and mildly resinous.

M - medium bodied or less appropriate carbonation, quite drinkable.

O - fantastic citrus rind/resin heavy iipa with a subtle hint of sweet maltyness. Lingers a bit but not too long at all, a great drinker

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Photo of Duane_Opfer
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Rich amber with a light head.

S - Peach/apricot hints.

T - Although a West Coast DIPA, my taste buds told me it was an East Coast DIPA. The malty sweetness was upfront with hints of peach and apricot. Average hoppiness for a DIPA. Initially, I tasted slight citrus hints, but tasted more citrus as it warmed.

M - Very nice. Appropriately carbonated with a nice texture.

O - I expected a West Coast IPA and received an East Coast DIPA, comparable with Dogfish Head 90 Min IPA. I prefer the bitterness of West Coast DIPA and this beer present malty sweetness. Good, but will not purchase again.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: in a pint, hazy medium amber body, fat off-white head; sheen of lace left behind

S: hop-dominant citrus and pine, resin and herb

T: muddied hops bearing suggestions of dark grapefruit pith, chewy pine resin, and somehow - maybe my mind was playing tricks on my taste buds - watered down instant coffee? Subdued malt underscored the hop experience, salted caramel and grain

M: medium-light body, modest carbonation, slightly coating, smooth, and mildly bitter, wet finish

O: I was a little underwhelmed - surely a good DIPA, light like an IPA, and easy to drink, but the flavor profile and feel were probably just slightly off-the-mark for my particular tastes.

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Photo of Smokee
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip, maybe 3/4" of head that dissipated to 1/8" leaving some lacing. Smells of mango, bread, pineapple.

Great first taste, with peppery fruits and an effervescent mouthfeel. Surprisingly light tasting given the alc. content. Definitely more fruit than pine, but still with some solid bitterness and malt, especially at the finish.

Nice change of pace while keeping with the style. Very solid and drinkable.

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Photo of IncanGoat
3.59/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, no date poured into a Chimay snifter.

A: Pours a 1 inch head with no lacing. Golden hazy yellow. Some chunks of trub still floating around.

S: Tropical fruits, pineapple, mango, boozy

T: Pineapple, mango, black pepper, toffy, vanilla

M: Boozy, light carbonation, slight tartness that makes the teeth feel fuzzy.

O: A nice tasting beer but the one drawback to me is how boozy it tastes. I wish the alcohol was hidden a bit more.

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Photo of stella77artois
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap in a snifter.

A - An amber-red, impressive to the eye. More red than the average IPA/DIPA. 1" head which dissiapted very slowly. Not much carbonation. Nice looking beer.

S - A heavy amount of hops, and lot's of grapefruit. Also detected a flowery aroma. A very, very light hint of alcohol. Very nice.

T - Whew, I hope to be able to find this in my area. So hoppy, it's almost juicy. Hints of grapefruit and a general citrus flavor along with the hops. Also a unique bit of a creaminess to it, which goes along with the juicy feeling. 9.75% ABV, so there is a touch of alcohol heat, but it's not unpleasant.

F - Thick, as DIPA's tend to be. Very little carbonation. A little dry. The only part of this beer I didn't.

O - Any extreme beer fan will love this stuff. Lot's going on with the immense amount of hops and their flavors. I really hope to be able to find this in my neck of the woods, because this beer in outstanding.

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Photo of andyfrancis
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy gold-amber pour with a thin frothy off-white head.

Citrus and pine followed by citrus and pine on the nose. Still smells like it will be reasonably light drinking though.

I could drink a lot of this. Tart and piney bitter hops up front, followed by a brown sugary sweet swell and boozy finish.

Lightly carbed, not too heavy for an imperial. Leaves some hop resin coating and light bitter aftertaste.

Racer 5 is on the beefier end of the IPA spectrum and in comparison, this isn't much harder to drink while sneaking a few more abv points in there. Would definitely order up a glass if I saw it on draft somewhere.

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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 SierraJosh
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really good DIPA from Bear Republic. The balance was what I expect from a west coast DIPA hop bomb and subtle sweet malts rounded out the flavor, not too bitter on the finish. Orange rind and minimal grapefruit on the nose, good carbonation and lacing on the tulip pint glass. Good solid 4. Would recommend.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-pale orange amber color with a nice off-white head and good lacing

S-citrus, tropical fruit, malt, pine, little boozy

T-toasted bread, caramel, tropical fruit, grapefruit, pine, hint of toffee, moderate bitter finish

F-medium to full body, moderate carbonation, a little cloying, but smooth, little boozy

O-a decent DIPA, but a little to sweet for my taste and a little on the heavy and boozy side

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

Bottle shared by Darrell. Thanks man!

The beer appears orange with a quarter inch or so of white head. The aroma offers grapefruit, assorted tropical fruits, malt, alcohol. Sweet and boozy, big, bold and hoppy. Some toasted grain and sturdy malt body support the aggressive hop character. Full bodied for the style. A tasty beer, albeit in small quantities.

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

on tap at jon's bar and grill - served in tulip

Hazed out pale orange pour with a frothy cap of white head resting on top. Plenty of patchy lacing left behind while drinking.

Potent hops in the nose with tropical and citrusy hints, invigorating the nose with pineapple, melon and grapefruit. Soft sweetness and toasted grain, spike of alcohol.

Cocktail of hop flavors on the tongue right up front, soaring with pineapple and citrus peel. A touch tropical, sweet and bitter all at the same time, resting on a nicely sweet malt backbone. Honey and caramel with toasted bread, finishing with an intense burst of bitter hops and boozy warmth.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and lasting on the tongue. An aggressive, boisterous DIPA with plenty of tasty hop flavor, albeit slightly hot.

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