Brew Review: Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye

by Kelli H. on March 6, 2012

Beer: Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye
Date: 2-11-12
Location: Healdsburg, CA (local!)
Alcohol: 8% 
Type: Rye IPA/Specialty Ale
Price: $8.99/six-pack
Availability: Year round
IBU’s: 80

Aroma: Light hops, spicy, and malts

Appearance: Brown and clear

Body & Texture: Medium bodied. Nice Brussels lacing on the glass. Didn’t sit well in my mouth. Bitter in the mouth. Taste the alcohol, but it’s crisp. Easy to swallow.

Aftertaste: Sweet caramel, malt. Aftertaste is much more pleasant than sitting in the mouth.

Overall Impression:
The aftertaste was my favorite part of this beer. I really didn’t care for it when first taking a sip. The color was interesting. It was darker than I was expecting. I would not buy Hop Rod Rye again because I felt there was too much bite up front and then ended to sweet. It wasn’t balanced enough for my my taste. This was my second time ever having it. I tried it once before last summer and wasn’t a fan the first time. I thought I’d give it a second chance, and it still didn’t win me over. I’m not denying it’s a well crafted brew, but it doesn’t fit into my taste. The tasting size glass I had was plenty for me. As for the beer burps they were quite tasty. If I had to pick between Bear Republic’s Hop Rod Rye or Sierra Nevada’s Ruthless Rye, I’d choose the Ruthless Rye.

Have you had Hop Rod? Are you a fan?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Dining Alone March 6, 2012 at 8:55 pm

I have not had this, I am pretty particular about my hoppy beers 🙂

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers March 7, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I still haven’t had Ruthless Rye. That may have to be my next purchase.

And I totally know what you mean about loving the aftertaste more than the “real” taste.

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Made in Sonoma March 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Glad I’m not alone on that!

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Shana March 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm

They have this at the Whole Foods Tap Room right now. Meh, not my fave. They have a cask conditioned Imperial Red from Lagunitas and a cask coniditioned Red Seal from North Coast. Both of those are pretty killer!

If you like hops they also have a quad IPA (!) run through a hop canister just before serving. I didn’t try that one since the ABV was over 10% and I needed to drive home. 🙂

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Made in Sonoma March 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I think you’re talking about Moylan’s quad IPA, Hop Craic. I tried it last Saturday night at Taps in Petaluma. I actually really liked it! It was really smooth.

The cask imperial red sounds cool, I’ve just had the regular, and think it’s okay. My bf loves it though.

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Shana March 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm

That’s it! It was Moylan’s. Does Taps do the hop canister as well?

I actually am not usually a fan of the Imperial Red. I really liked the cask conditioned version though.

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Made in Sonoma March 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I believe Whole Foods is the only one in Sonoma County.

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