Bear Republic Hop Shovel

Val and I went into the city and stopped for a pint before we saw “Waitress.” Where we moved is now about 2 hours from the city, which is sometimes a pain. It’s also why we end up in Philly more than NYC now. This bar was a little hole in the wall, but had a pretty solid tap list. Let’s see how this was.


ABV: 7.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This pale and hoppy IPA was brewed with a high proportion of wheat and rye for a smooth, well rounded flavor and mouth feel. New hop varieties Mosaic and Meridian provide a uniquely American and modern hop flavor and aroma.”

Random: This comes in at 100 IBUs.

The beer poured with a one finger, pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy orange with no visible carbonation due to the cloudiness. On the nose, I picked up orange, grapefruit zest and some mango and pineapple. There wasn’t any malt on the nose. The taste was really bright and juicy with a lot of citrus hops. Orange and grapefruit pith came through primarily. The tropical fruits were there as well and imparted mango and pineapple. Again, there wasn’t much in the way of malt. The body with thick with high carbonation. It had a lengthy citrus finish. As with almost every IPA from Bear Republic, I really enjoyed this beer. If you see it around, definitely grab a pint.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Bear Republic Mach 10

This was the second beer that I had at Kraftwork. If you follow the blog at all, you know that I really, really like most things put out by Bear Republic, especially their IPAs. This happens to be their draft-only double IPA that I have never seen out, so I knew that I had to try this one. I also wanted something that paired well with the Korean pork tacos that I had at Kraftwork and this was definitely up for the task. Let’s see how it went.


ABV: 9.2%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This extreme Double Imperial IPA is brewed with American Cascades and English First Gold hops for a deliciously unique hop profile. Bitter, malty, with a definite alcohol note, this beer is one of our most assertive and extreme.”

Random: I didn’t crop this photo so you could get a sense of the decor of the bar. It was borderline industrial which I really, really liked. So did the other half.

This brew poured with a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy amber color with moderate carbonation visible, which I found quite odd. The nose was relatively light for style with grapefruit and some lemon pith as well. I didn’t get any pine on the nose. The taste was light for style. There was grapefruit, grass, and some lemon and maybe tangerine. There wasn’t any booze to it, which was really surprising and made it quite light. The body was also light for style with high carbonation on the tongue. It had a long finish with grapefruit mostly and tangerines. I really enjoyed this beer, although not as much as other Bear Republic beers. Despite that, I would still have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Bear Republic Apex

As I mentioned before, the other half and I stopped at a wonderful beer bar in New York City. This was the second brew that I had while I was there. I had never seen this offering from Bear Republic before, so I was really excited to try this one. Let’s see how it went.


ABV: 8.95%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Apex: The Highest point, the culmination or climax. In racing, the apex of a turn is approached differently as conditions dictate, but always with a forward looking mindset. This beer is a culmination of years of brewing and drinking hop forward IPAs. We reserve the right to move forward, to advance the style to the next Apex.”

Random: The new season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race is definitely interesting. I’m looking forward to watching the new episode next week.

This beer poured with a finger of white head that dissipated slowly with some lacing left on the glass (which by the way, I loved the glass). The body was a clear mahogany color with no carbonation visible. It was also pretty dark, so it was difficult to see much of anything. The nose was crazy big with tropical fruit and grapefruit. I didn’t get any malt. The taste was amazing. I got lots of tropical notes, specifically with pineapple, mango, and grapefruit. As in the notes, there was no malt to speak of. The booze was hidden really well and could easily sneak up on you. The body had some heavy carbonation and a body with medium thickness. The finish was long, filled with tropical notes. I loved this beer and would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Bear Republic Racer X Double IPA

While the other half and I were on vacation, we stopped at a Total Wine in Virginia. I picked up a bunch of different beers, this one being one of them. I had been waiting to try this one for awhile, so when I saw a bomber sitting in the cooler, I knew that it had to come home with me. Its little brother happens to be one of my preferred IPAs, so I had some high hopes for it. Let’s see how it went…


ABV: 8.3%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Racer X is an uncommon Double India Pale Ale which puts a California twist on English brewing traditions by adding an assertive hop aroma and bitterness that compliments the firm malt backbone. Like its little brother Racer 5, Racer X is balance in a bottle.”

Random: I think I need to buy slippers or something. My feet are really cold and I’m way too stubborn to turn the heat up.

This beer poured with a finger of off white head that dissipated very slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy dark orange color with lighter than expected carbonation. The nose had lots of grapefruit and pine sap with some booze mixed in as well. Even for the style, this was a really big nose. It also had a touch of malt. The taste was more malt forward but amazing, nonetheless. It had some nutty, caramel malt mixed with grapefruit pith and pine resin. It finished with a touch of booze warming. It was a really well-integrated IPA. The body was on the thicker side with low carbonation. It had a long finish with lots of pine sap. This is one of the few beers that I’ve had that really lived up to the hype. I hope I get my hands on this one again, and soon.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA

This was a beer that I’ve read a lot of great things about and have been waiting to try. Earlier last week, I tried the Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic and wasn’t floored. It was a solid beer, but not jaw-dropping amazing. This was also purchased in a bomber.

ABV: 7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: This brew won gold at the Great American Beer Festival for American-Style Strong Pale Ale.

Random: I tried to figure out why the brew was called Racer 5, but there is no real information on the website. The website is actually pretty lame. But, if they make good beer, that doesn’t matter.

This poured with a three finger white head that was quite thick. The body of the brew was golden and cloudy with visible carbonation. On the nose, I got lots of pine and grapefruit. I kept saying that it smelled like “fresh hops.” It had one of the best noses on a brew that I’ve ever encountered. If the taste on this brew was anything like the nose, I was to be in for a treat. On the taste, I get exactly what I smelled on the nose. This brew was heaping with notes of fresh pine and grapefruit with a hint of honey. This was a little thicker than the Flying Fish, but not cloying. This is very hoppy, but not oppressive. The finish was quick with some bitterness. This is an awesome beer. I kept saying that it was fantastic while I was drinking it. I would have this again in a second. So yummy!

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye

It’s hump day. I finished my audio book on Churchill, which was awesome. I highly suggest it. It’s called Churchill and is the 2009 edition. It was absolutely fantastic and had lots of little fun facts, which I love. I also had a great workout. I left my lifting gloves at home, so I thought that I wasn’t going to lift well (I know, it’s all a mental thing) and ended up tearing the gym up. I went for an hour-long walk in the park with my buddy and had some great discussions with him. I came home to have a wonderful dinner of jambalaya. Now, it’s brew time. This will be my first Bear Republic beer and I’ve heard some great things about the brewery, so I’m excited to try this one.

ABV: 8%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: This is considered to be a high gravity IPA. According to, a high gravity beer “refers to specialty craft beers with an increased specific gravity. High alcohol content is not the intended consequence of high gravity beer, however, the concentration of sugar and flavor-enhancing ingredients at the beginning of the brewing process results in a brew with a higher percentage of alcohol compared to other beers. High gravity beers are traditional in Europe, but only a small percentage of microbreweries in the United States produce them. They are more expensive than mass-produced beer. They are also more flavorful, intended to be sipped and savored, and are often paired with foods.”

Random: Nicole is really good at COD:MW2. She had 25 kills last night in Hardcore Team Deathmatch.

First of all, as I poured the beer, I noticed “stuff.” Now, any time that I say “stuff,” I mean sediment. On the bottle, it says that this is caused by the fact that it’s been “loaded with hops” and is unfiltered. I always love when there is an explanation. Anyways, this beer pours with two fingers of fluffy tan-colored head which leaves some crazy lacing on the glass. The body itself is a reddish-brown. This certainly does not fit my idea of an IPA, but I’m assuming this is due to the rye used in the brew. Hey, I’m all about trying new things. The nose is all IPA though. I get the usual suspects: pine and grapefruit. But, I get another characteristic of maltiness, like a caramel nuttiness. Could this be due to the rye? I assume so. Carbonation is difficult to assess due to the “stuff” floating and the color of the body. On the taste, I don’t get a lot of bitterness. It seems like the maltiness is taking the front seat with the pine making an appearance on the finish and not lingering long. On the second sip, it seems like the hops finally come out to play. Maybe this is a result of warming up a bit? The sweetness is still there and it’s a pretty well-balanced beer. For being 80 IBUs, I would think that the hops would hit me in the face a little more. This is a very interesting concept for an IPA. It’s not only well-balanced, but a little thicker than the normal IPA, without being syrupy. Definitely get your hands on a bottle if you want to expand your horizons a bit. Definitely enjoyable, but a little too high in ABV to session.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0