Sticking your nose into a glass of Bear Republic Brewing Company’s Hop Rod Rye is like sticking your face in a garden. The insanely floral hop smell is delightful. I wanted to rub a little on my upper lip and use it like Vicks Vapor Rub, a gentle aroma with healing effects. But it’s beer, dang it, and beer is meant to be imbibed. So I took a sip—and then another. And I kept sipping the smooth, but not too smooth, bitter, but not too bitter, copper liquid. It was glorious, and I was getting a buzz—the label on the 22-ounce bottle says eight percent.
It might be the first rye beer I’ve ever tried, and I truly appreciated the bready quality the brewing grain imparted on the beverage. Though I smelled an abundance of hops, I don’t think the hop characteristic was overwhelming. Rather, it complemented the total experience. It’s an experience I highly suggest you try on your own. This beer would be a great choice for happy hour because of its mouth-watering flavor, nice lingering bitterness, and ability to immediately take the edge off—again, eight percent alcohol.
Bear Republic Brewing Company out of Healdsburg, California, makes a ton of other tasty beers for microbrew lovers. Try Racer 5 IPA and Big Bear Black Stout. Find out more about them here and go pick up a couple bottles of your own.