On The Shelf- Bear Republic’s Hop Rod Rye

On The Shelf is a way for me to highlight those companies that clearly care about the art of labels. When it comes to choosing what to drink I’m basically a sucker for some kick-ass branding. This means that if your drink has an eye-catching label I’m going to want to buy it and keep it on my shelf after I’ve drunk it. Just let it happen okay.

The first label I want to focus on is Bear Republic’s Hop Rod Rye. The Bear Republic Brewery is a microbrewery and pub located in California. The Hop Rod Rye is, as the name suggests, a rye beer. It’s quite strong at 8% alcohol and according to the brewer “has a floral hop aroma and subtle caramel notes with a slightly earthy and spicy rye character.” In terms of taste the beer was okay. I’m not normally a rye beer person and the flavour was quite intense and left me quite bloated. I only drank one but it took me quite a while to get through it. I did definitely pick up on the earthy character and caramel when drinking it though.

bear republic 2

I’m not even really a car person, I don’t drive or even have my license, but I love old school muscle cars. In particular, hot rods are just bad-ass and the time and effort people put into them to make them is amazing. When I think of hot rods I think of American Graffiti, one of the best car films around, and just cruising around. Also as a side note, if George Lucas is going to start making more indie films like American Graffiti now that he’s sold Star Wars then I am a okay with that.


As soon as I saw the hot rod on the Hop Rod Rye bottle I knew I had to have it. Black+hot rod+bright colors= a good mix. The colors and design work to give that classic hot rod look resulting in quite an eye-catching piece. The car itself looks good, but has me wondering how cool it would be to have a Rat Rod on a label as well. Or maybe its just me who wouldn’t be put off by Rat in giant writing on a label. Scoring the bottle was also an instance where the female handbag, known for being an abyss of stuff, was mighty handy as it allowed me to smuggle the bottle out of the bar. The drink may not have been my thing, but the artwork certainly was.


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