Beer Review: BEAR REPUBLIC CAFÉ RACER 15

Beer Review: BEAR REPUBLIC CAFÉ RACER 15

Café Racer 15 pours into the tulip glass with a hazy, dark orange/medium amber hue. The towering yellow foam lingers for several minutes, eventually clearing up as the beer warms up.

Aroma

The aroma kicks off with vibrant and zesty grapefruit peel notes, accompanied by hints of detergent as it warms.

Taste

Upon the first sips, the beer reveals a dense body, as anticipated, with a noticeable sweetness ranking at a 6 out of 10 intensity-wise. However, the mid-palate experience takes an intense turn, with overpowering grapefruit rind that tends to be a bit excessive. Unfortunately, the mouthfeel struggles to keep pace, resulting in a rough and abrasive texture. The balance falters as tea flavors dominate, overshadowing subtle toffee notes. The overall impression is a perilous blend of high alcohol, intense bitterness, and a lack of base maltiness for equilibrium.

Mouthfeel

Regrettably, the mouthfeel falls short, allowing the beer to adopt a harsh and abrasive quality. The overpowering tea flavors take precedence over the minimal toffee undertones, disrupting the desired balance.

Overall

In my assessment, Café Racer 15, sampled from a 2018 seasonal release (Jan-Mar), already exhibits signs of staleness and an unwelcome tea-like mouthfeel. This Double IPA seems outdated in comparison to modern counterparts like Bell’s Hopslam and Stone Ruination, which execute the old-school DIPA style more effectively. The prevailing trend among exceptional Double IPAs involves brighter hop aromas, a lighter body, and a more approachable bitterness, unlike the punishing 100+ IBUs found in this brew. Beyond the taste, Bear Republic’s overall branding appears antiquated, requiring a comprehensive overhaul, encompassing a new logo, fonts, labels, recipes, and website to align with contemporary standards. The overall experience with Café Racer 15 evokes a sentiment of “haven’t we moved beyond this already?”