Best Pale Ales and IPAs 2010: #1 Bear Republic Racer 5

16 07 2010

Talk about an amazing beer! The Racer 5 is the best of what an IPA has to offer! Excellent fragrance, complex flavors and well balanced bitterness. If you are a hop lover, this is the beer for you.

Using the American Alpha Acid Monsters Cascade, Chinook, Centennial and Columbus, Bear Republic has made a deliciously smooth, hoppy IPA rich with tropical fruit notes, herbs and spices. It is a bold beer that races down the straightaway and hugs the turns.

This beer has won gold and silver at the Great American Beer Festival twice each in the past ten years, and they deserve it! This is just a spectacular beer that should be enjoyed by all.

Bear Republic Racer 5

Photo Credit: @joefoodie CC

Rate Beer Score: 98 Points (100 for Style)

Aroma: Hop nose develops tropical fruits such as mango, papaya, and passion fruit. Slight spicy notes of lemongrass and rosemary. Bready maltiness helps accentuate earthy and mossy hop qualities as well as balance the bouquet.

Appearance: Burnished bronze with thin, white head and persistent medium-sized carbonation. Slight haze possibly due to not being filtered.

Taste: Big, juicy hope notes with fresh mango rind bitterness. Malt mostly takes a back seat while occasionally acting as a spoiler to keep it from flipping over.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, smooth and crisp. Medium-sized carbonation and a slight hint of cooling astringency.

This beer is so full of tropical fruit, that is the only thing we can think of pairing it with. Make a chicken kabob with mango marinade. Or a tropical fruit salad with papaya, pineapple and mango. Thai chili curry with a coconut milk base would pair stunningly with this. And a passion fruit creme brule would hit the sweet spot.

Runner Up
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA-

We love Dogfish Head. They are some of the nicest people we have ever met. And their beers often make our favorites lists. Until Racer 5, 60 Minute used to be our go-to beer. When it comes to local beers on the Mid-Atlantic, very few stand up to it. So mellow, so smooth, but so full of hop flavor and aroma, it is a nearly perfect beer. We wanted 60 Minute to be our #1, but it just has to settle for #1.5.

With notes of fresh pine, lemongrass and mint 60 Minute is a wonderfully complex IPA. Their use of continuous hopping and Amarillo hops allows for the beer’s aroma, flavor and bitterness to flow from one stage to the next in a beautiful song and dance on the palate.

We love this beer!

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