Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Bear Republic – Hop Rod Rye (Specialty Ale)

No, I didn’t sneak off for a beer vacation to California. I found this one at the same place that I found the North Coast Pranqster – a small but interesting bevy in Port Jefferson, NY. At the time of its purchase I hadn’t tried a rye brew yet. Since then, I’ve tried the mother of all ryes – Weyerbacher 12. So, this is an interesting way to go about doing a review. Its like doing a feature on IPAs and starting with Dogfish Head’s 120 minute and trying everything else to live up to that.  So I’ll attempt to evaluate this one with as little bias as I can muster!

This one is darker then I really expected it to pour (there I go with my expectations again). The head was very thin with tiny bubbles and little to no lace. I bent down to smell the glass and the hops hit me in the face before I even inhaled. This smells like a toxic strong IPA, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It is that pinching smell that almost tickles your nose hairs. 
The taste is that of a solid IPA. A little bit of hop sting but balanced by a little bit of the rye.  The rye is really subtle as opposed to the Weyerbacher Twelve, but apparently it is very difficult to brew a beer with a large rye content. This one has 18% rye and I have to say that its a very pleasant and different tasting hoppy brew. 
It isn’t the most memorable taste I’ve ever had, but it isn’t in any way off putting.  The one noticable difference between this and an IPA is the end. Instead of fading out and leaving the hops taste on the tongue, this one replaces the flavor with something warmer. I have a feeling this may be from the alcohol, but I still like it. 

On a side note, there are a lot of beers named after dogs, and I’m surprised that there aren’t more named after cars. (I can only think of one other- Old Engine Oil). Tuning cars in garages seems to be the perfect pairing to beer. 
Where are the beers named Grease Monkey or Tune Up or Turbo? Isn’t the magic formula to happiness for men CARS + GIRLS + BEER? Just wondering. Maybe if I start brewing I’ll start naming my brews after car parts. Crank shaft stout. Carburetor copper ale. Delorian Dopplebock….

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3 Comments

  1. Beerbuddha

    Mmmmm!!! Love the Hop Rod Rye!! Bear Republic makes some damn good brew!

  2. The Beer Chick

    Ooh…re: the car names. There’s Bear Republic Racer 5 and Racer x – and there’s Abita Turbodog. Is that a dog or a car?

  3. The Beer Chick

    Nice pick from the West Coast. If you want to get really crazy – find some Alesmith Horny Devil and mix equal parts Hop Rod Rye and Horny Devil. The balance will be amazing and you’ll end up with something like a 10% beer! Woo hoo! I call it the Horny Hop. And its not for the weak at heart!

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