Bear Republic Brewing Co. was established in 1995 in Healdsburg’s historic downtown square by the Norgrove family, and remains family-owned to this day. Eleven years later the company opened what it calls the “Factory Five Brewery” just a few miles north of Healdsburg in the town of Cloverdale.Bear Republic Pace Car Racer bottle


Being located on the West Coast has posed some challenges for the brewery with water sustainability being at the forefront. Anyone with even just a passive interest in general news has heard about the unprecedented drought in California now in its fifth year. Bear Republic has dealt with it in stride by fronting the town of Cloverdale almost $500,000 to complete new wells ahead of schedule while also bringing the brewery’s waste water to beer ratio from an average of 7 to 1 down to an impressive 3.5 to 1.

Today’s beer is the newest addition to the Racer lineup and is a session-style IPA. Previously only available on draft, Pace Car Racer has been released into the wild in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles with day zero being April 11, 2016. It’s 4 percent ABV with 55 IBUs and is brewed with pale ale, light crystal, and a touch of rye for the malts with Cascade, centennial and Citra hops filling out the hop bill.

Poured into an IPA glass Pace Car Racer shows a barely hazy light amber color with an impressive head forming three inches tall. On the nose is a bright, juicy tropical fruit aroma with a good bit of orange zest, and a piney element that reminds me of fresh spruce tips. A little bit of malt is noticeable and provides some balance to the aroma.

Bear Republic Pace Car Racer

The flavor is really quite bold for a session-IPA. Big resinous bitterness blasts the palate throughout the range with juicy grapefruit and just enough light cracker maltiness to fill out the profile. The balance is really spot on. In terms of mouthfeel, Pace Car Racer has the fullest body of any session-IPA I’ve had to date and the carbonation level is on the higher end which helps to heighten the sensory experience.

Beer for this review was sent to Tenemu by Bear Republic.

Bear Republic Pace Car Racer
BREWERY: Bear Republic Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Cloverdale, Calif.
STYLE: Session IPA
ABV: 4 percent
IBU: 55
PRICE: n/a
RELEASE DATE: April 11, 2016
AVAILABLE IN: Six-packs of 12-ounce bottles
Overall, I’m very pleased with Pace Car Racer and recommend it to anyone looking for a heavy all day hop hitter while avoiding the binge and purge sloppy mess of the higher alcohol brethren. Bear Republic has brewed my official new gold standard for session-IPAs.
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