Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Beer of the Week: Bear Republic's Elusive Racer X

Posted By on Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 1:35 PM

  • Jason Henry

For many years, Bear Republic's Racer X felt like a thing of urban lore. The beer would be exposed in brief, Bigfoot-like sightings, only to retreat without a trace. According to legend, if you gaze into a mirror and say "Racer X" three times, you'll immediately grow a beard of hops. That, or you'll get pretty thirsty.

See Also:

- Praise for Bay Area Brewers and Chefs at the Great American Beer Festival

- Beer of the Week: The Bruery's Autumn Maple Tastes Like Thanksgiving's Sweet Side

In the Racer family of brews, X ("10") sits nicely between the ubiquitous Racer 5 and the elusive Cafe Racer 15 (which just won a silver medal in the Double IPA category at the Great American Beer Festival). Despite the name, Racer X isn't simply an amped up version of its younger sibling. Racer 5 is dry and driven by notes of citrus and tropical fruit. The hops in Racer X take a more resinous, piney route, backed by a much sweeter malt backbone that smacks of honey graham crackers. The beer effectively bridges the gap between the West Coast tradition of bone-dry, aromatic IPAs, and the East Coast approach of maltier IPAs with heavier body and more residual sugar.

For the first time, finding Racer X isn't akin to hunting the Loch Ness monster. The brew has just started to reach shelves in 22oz. bottles. When pairing Double IPAs with food, it's important to find flavors that can hold up to the bitterness and higher alcohol content. Hops tend to compliment salty flavors, but boozy notes don't always pair nicely with sweeter flavors. We'd suggest picking up some umami-heavy cured meats from Fatted Calf or Boccalone to pair with this brew. The hoppy notes will tease out the more subtle flavors of the charcuterie, while the salty meat will serve to temper the beer's bitterness. On the dessert front, you'll need something with a rich depth of flavor that plays to the beer's malty side. We recommend some salted caramels or "bacon crack" from local chocolatier Nosh This.

Consume this beer as fresh as possible for optimal experience. Call ahead to better beer shops for availability.

Follow @jasonhenrysf

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

Jason Henry


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"