Las Vegas day #3. Guest beer review #3. Today my new found friend Mike review’s a very popular (and delicious) brew: Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA.
Mike is a craft beer fanatic and home brewer from just outside of Boston, MA. When he’s not drinking or brewing beer, he’s writing about it at his newest project, “When Beer Attacks“. You can also find him on Twitter @mike_landry.
I am unashamedly a hop head. I love IPAs. The bigger and hoppier, the better. I can’t get enough of those fragrant, bitter, wonderful, little green flowers. So, it should come as no surprise that when Josh put out a call for guest reviews, I chose an IPA. I’ve always heard great things about Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA, so I figured this would be a good excuse to try it out.
Appearance: I poured somewhat aggressively from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. The most noticeable thing is that there is not much head at all. What little head there is diminishes quickly, and really doesn’t leave any lacing. It’s a pretty golden amber color, and super clear.
Aroma: Hops! When you first take a whiff you can definitely smell the cascade hops and their distinctive piney aroma. Not the strongest hop aroma out there, but definitely not the weakest. You’re not overwhelmed by hops.
Mouthfeel: Like most IPAs, Racer 5 can best be described as dry. It has a slightly syrupy mouthfeel, but it’s definitely not thick. Light to medium bodied, and it’s carbonated just enough to leave a nice tingly sensation in your mouth after you swallow.
Flavor: Strong grapefruity citrus flavor. At 75+ IBU it’s definitely bitter, but not overpowering. The bitterness doesn’t hang around too long after you swallow, and the hops are balanced nicely with a crisp, sweet maltiness. I think a novice craft beer drinker could taste it with good results.
Final Thoughts: I find Racer 5 to be a really balanced and drinkable American IPA. The 7.0% ABV is nothing to sneeze at, and it’s just enough to have you feeling good after a couple of glasses. I might put this on my top 10 list of best American IPAs, because it’s really a perfect example of the big hop flavor you expect from this style, but it doesn’t punch you in the face with hoppiness.