Bear Republic is a brewery that apparently does not know how to screw anything up. Everything started with the Racer 5 IPA for me and it was that familiar love at first hoppy bite. Then, they give us the Racer X, the Hop Rod Rye, Black Racer, and Red Rocket Ale and it becomes apparent that these guys have a thing for a checkered flag theme. Each of these brews deserves its own category in the hall of flavor manipulation but when it comes to an above-all-else brew, the end all, be all, it has to be the Cafe Racer 15 Imperial India Pale Ale. That’s right, I spelled that sh@t out.
The hue of this brew is a pale and hazy orange like that of a dying sun and the aromas are equally explosive. Dip you nose into this beer and breathe it in heavily. The first inhale is a fresh fruit stand at a local farmers market while I swear the second inhale was like leafy basil or mint. The first sip, completely engulfs the inside of your mouth like a balmy fog of hops and grapefruit and lingers long after it travels to your liver. Its the bitterness you look for in your beer. The expectation that gets shattered and surpassed by Bear Republic’s manipulation of obviously superior ingredients and care. As you feel the muscles tighten in the back of your jaw you can’t help but appreciate the real flavors and good feelings that accompanies every sip of this brew. I give this on an 8.5/10 on the UrD scale.
Like all good things, eventually you reach the bottom of the glass and you are left with the bitter coating in your mouth and the fond memory. The 9.75% ABV will keep you warm at night and keep a smile on your face. If there is one complaint about this beer it is that it is not available all year round, which is at the same time one of the best things about it. It makes you appreciate the time you get with it, however short of a time it is, and you can’t help but love a beer that teaches you lessons that should be applied to life, right?