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 🙂


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.


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

Glad I’m not alone on that!


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. 🙂


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.


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.


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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