Beer of the Weekend #60: Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale

The Dodgers are up 4-3, but with one out in the top of the eighth the bases are loaded with Rockies. Grr. Time to drink.

The beer this weekend is Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale brewed by the Bear Republic Brewing Company of Healdsburg, California.


Serving type: Six 12-ounce bottles.

Appearance: Poured a deep ruby red that leaned toward caramel brown. A finger of off-white head formed and slowly dissipated to a nice lacing.

Smell: The hops dominated, but there is a sweet, invigorating citrus aroma. Grapefruit and orange. I also picked up some hints of pine and caramel.

Taste: The first sip was hella hoppy — strongly bitter — but subsequent sips were more even. When the hops subsided the caramel malts came through. Compared to the smell, the citrus was very subdued.

Drinkability: Hops blast off. Red Rocket Ale is not for the faint of hop-heart. It’s too hoppy for me, but it may be perfect for someone else.

Fun facts about RRA:

-Serving temperature: 45-50°F.

-Alcohol content: 6.8 percent ABV. That’s pretty high.

-Food pairings: BA recommends sharp cheese like Blue and Cheddar, and “Meat (Beef, Poultry, Fish).” They could be more vague, but not much more.

-According to the Bear Republic website, RRA is “The brew of choice for mountain bikers, and adventurous types worldwide.”

-The carrying case is plastered with all sorts of microbrew quirks. On the bottom is a map to the brewery and restaurant, and also a little info about the brewery and its founders. On the handle is:

Red Rocket Ale is a bastardized Scottish style red ale packed with distinctive flavors and an aggressive hop character rivaled by none. This unfiltered, bottle-conditioned, amber colored ale, breaks all style molds.

Another example of why brewers are not copyeditors. There are also big, ALL CAPS catchphrases like “ORIGINAL HOME BREWED,” “STRONG AMERICAN ALE,” “SONOMA COUNTY ALES,” and this:



I agree. Just imagine it: six hundred billion dollars worth of beer brewing… Every year! Wow. I’m not sure it would turn out well.

-Bear Republic has the ugliest logo clothing: http://bearrepublic.com/clothing.php. Others may disagree.


The Quiet Man’s grade: B.

The Dodgers won, 4-3.

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