Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bear Republic Racer 5

'This is a hoppy IPA. Did I say hops? Your brewer is a hop head! This is a full bodied beer using American grains. The goal was to create a base for showing off the unique floral qualities of two Pacific Northwest hops, Columbus and Cascade. Columbus is a new hybrid High Alpha Acid hop used mostly for bittering, but used heavily as an aromatic in this strong brew. Cascade is the balance that ties the malt and bittering hops together. It is a true specialty ale and is our brewer's statement on this style.'

God damn this stuff has a kick to it! This beer was recommended to me as a good starting poing with IPA's, which tells me I have a long way go. Like all IPA's the more you drink the easier it starts to go down, which is when I can finally start to taste anything. I am determined to understand IPA's! I'm a good 5 ounces into this stuff before I can taste a little malt, a few ounces more and a bit of citrus comes into the mix, then some honey, then... nothing. My taste buds are shutting down, I think I put them into a coma. Drinking this stuff is cool though, it is like having a small current of electricity flowing through your tongue.

In fact I kind of enjoy Racer 5, its just too much for me. I have always liked my beers flavorful, but this stuff is making me sweat its so intense. The closest experience I can think of is when I grew to like hot sauce, or whiskey. This stuff is definitely an acquired taste, but I am going to acquire it.

Sorry this was more about IPA's than Racer 5. I'll definitely do a second opinion once I can appreciate it to its full extent.


Chipper (Dave) said...

I too am trying to pick up IPA's. I've now had 4 different ones in the last month. Some are simply harsh. I do feel that some IPA's are better than others to start out with. I'm a stout and porter lover and not much of a hop head yet. But everyone tells me that you just have to drink more of them to acquire the taste for them. I agree that your taste buds tend to get overloaded on this type of beer. If you plan on enjoying different beer styles in one night, an IPA is going to make it difficult to taste anything else that night.

greg said...

many IPAs in america suck all the balls ever because they're all hops and no flavor, and frankly, no alcohol. they think if they hop it up "o hai it's a microbrew and not Bud so it MUST be good."


Bear Republic's IPA is strong, but it is also really good. The thing is you kinda have to only have those and nothing else because after like, 1 Bear Republic, you can't drink anything else.

Their brewpub is really nice and the people there are great.

Matt said...

You know my stance on this beer.

If you are trying to get into IPA's start with good ESB's. Those will give a great tasting ale with a little bit of hop kick and you can go from there.

Bell's Two-Hearted is the beer that did it for me. I would also recommend Three Floyd's Alpha King to help you become a hop-head.

What Greg said is correct. I hate hop-bombs that there isn't much balance. Some DIPA's make you think you are chewing on a fistfull of pine needles and your mouth tastes like a pinecone two hours afterwards.

matt said...

Thanks a lot guys, I really love the feedback. I think I jumped into a shallow pool with this beer, but I have a craving for it already.

matt said...

I had another bottle of this stuff and it was a lot easier to drink. I think I have finally broken into the Hop Kingdom.

Bob said...

I frequently have a Racer 5 at my local pub when I don't know what else to have. Each time I have it, I like it more. It is slowly climbing up to my Top 10 list.

Let's Find H-Man A Wife said...

Racer 5 is an excellent IPA. There are better ones but it's quite good.