Racer 5 is the first beer I sampled from my West Coast exchange with Jay at Hedonist Beer Jive. I was excited to try this brew, since I've seen it compared to Bell's Hop Slam--a personal favorite from this part of the country.
Bear Republic is a family-owned brewpub located in Sonoma County, CA. Racer 5 is the most famous beer, although many of their beers have garnered multiple awards--including Gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival.
Brewery: Bear Republic Brewery
Brewery Location: Healdsburg (northern California)
Beer: Racer 5 IPA
BJCP Style: 14B. American IPA
Appearance: Somewhere between a straw-gold and tangerine with crisp, white head and clean, tight carbonation. The photo above doesn't do the beer justice (so much for trying out the camera phone!).
Smell: Huge citrus hops, reminiscent of Bell's Hop Slam. Pineapple and grapefruit, with the slightest earthy hints deep below and whiffs of caramel as it warms.
Taste: Huge hop explosion--pineapple and mango citrus flavors that demolish the taste buds; well-supported by a solid but unobtrusive moderate malt flavor. The sweet citrus upfront transforms into a dry, earthy hop flavor in the finish--reminds me of the taste of raw hop pellets.
Mouthfeel: moderate--carbonation supports hop flavor
Drinkability: Easy to drink, despite high alpha acids; well-balanced and hides the alcohol well. The finish is a tad much for me towards the end of the glass. That being said, I could still drink a couple of these, although it would have to be toward the end of the evening, so that I don't suffer palate fatigue.