2 O'Clock Tasting: Bear Republic Brewing Co. - Brooklyn Brew Shop

2 O'Clock Tasting
Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Updated on March 30, 2016

This family run brewery and restaurant, based in northern California, has embraced the kind of high-octane styles that have become synonymous with West Coast craft brewers. The big beers they produce, with lots of hops and inventive names, have lent Bear Republic a dedicated following.

You've probably heard of their flagship - the Racer 5 IPA, but here we've sat down with a few of their harder to find offerings to see what kind of bite this bear of a brewery really has.

  1. Red Rocket Ale

    6.8% ABV

    The color of the Red Rocket is deep amber, hazy with red highlights and a yellowish head that dissipates quickly after pouring. In the nose we find a sweet toffee aroma, followed by a hint of woodsy smoke...sort of like an accident in a candy kitchen. This beer's got a fortified, barley wine thing going on, with a finish that reminds us of a chocolate covered cherry.

  2. Hop Rod Rye

    8% ABV

    This Rye IPA has the same deep amber hue and short-lived head as the Red Rocket. In the bouquet we notice a soft floral aroma alongside a pleasant caramel malt sweetness. This one starts out sweet on the palate, but finishes bitter, no doubt due to the generous hopping. The rye flavor is very subtle, offering only a hint of earthiness to the back end, and we find this beer more "hop rod" than "rye."

  3. Big Black Bear Stout

    8.1% ABV

    We're ready for this bear of a beer, with its inky black hue and thick, mocha colored head. Light traces of roasted barley, hops, and alcohol can be picked up from an aroma that is otherwise trying hard to keep its secrets. The flavor of this stout is surprisingly light, with hints of toffee and dark chocolate, and we think it would nicely compliment a fall day or a hearty stew... and there is at least one of us who'd be glad to regularly substitute this beer for dessert.

  4. Pete Brown Tribute Ale

    6.3% ABV

    The pour reveals a cherry-cola tinted beer with a rich tan head. Is our nose lying to us? This doesn't smell like a brown ale, though under the hops we do get faint malty notes and nuttiness. Our tongues confirm what our noses suspected: the flavor isn't that of a traditional brown ale either. What we taste is more like a malty American pale ale, but it's okay, we know how hard hops can be to resist.