MerBear Rye IPA (Coronado Brewing Company Edition)

Coronado Brewing Company and Bear Republic Brewing Co: MerBear Rye IPA collaboration

Brewed by: Coronado Brewing Company and Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Beer Classification and Specs

  • Style: IPA
  • Variation: Rye, American
  • Limited: Yes
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • IBU: 45

Notes: Collaboration between Coronado Brewing and Bear Republic

Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients

This limited edition Rye IPA is a collaboration with iconic Northern California’s fiercely iconic Bear Republic Brewing Co. With Amarillo, Hallertau Blanc, Centennial, and Equinox hops, this beer’s got a pungent, fruity character that ends on a spicy, malty caramel backbone. Try this unforgettably robust ale. It’s the best of both worlds, and the beast of all brews.

Hops: Amarillo, Hallertau Blanc, Centennial, and Equinox

Malts: Rye

More Coronado Brewing MerBear Rye IPA Images

First Impressions

Artwork: A Mer-bear laying inside her clam shell drinking a beer.

Color: Ruby red.

Aroma: Grain and malt with a hint of caramel, peppery rye.

The Tasting

Arrived in: 22oz. Bottle

Served in: Short Tulip

MerBear Rye IPA was a collaboration between Coronado Brewing Company in San Diego, and Bear Republic Brewing Co. from Healdsburg, CA. The name of the beer was chosen as a mash-up of both their mascots — a mermaid, and a bear. Or as both breweries described it, “Introducing a new animal to the beer kingdom — the ‘Merbear.'”

Although this ale was brewed as a collaboration, it’s worth noting there are actually two versions of this beer. The Southern California edition (this one) was bottled by Coronado Brewing Company, and used different hops than what Bear Republic brewed with up in Northern California. You can compare the two releases here.

This ale was a beautiful ruby red hue, and as more light caught the edge of the glass, it appeared to glow in the tulip. MerBear poured a moderate, 1-2 finger tall cream colored head that died down fairly quick. Its carbonation was surprisingly mild, and left behind a few lazy globules stuck to the side of glass.

One of the things we enjoyed most about MerBear was its complex aroma. There was graininess and malty caramel with a hint of vanilla, along with rye at the very end of each whiff. The way the desserty notes came through and mixed with the rye, it was almost like a mildly barrel aged ale.

On the palate, MerBear Rye IPA was very “red ale” up front with caramel, and juicy red apple skin. This smooth bodied ale exploded into the finish with a burst of peppery rye that balanced out with a gentle, lingering hop bitterness. We know the hops are different, but it was almost like these collaborators took Coronado’s Mermaid’s Red, and spiced it up with the biting rye bill of Bear Republic’s Hop Rod Rye.

This collaboration resulted in a very unique beer to say the least. We felt it could have either been more hoppy in the finish, or a bit more rye forward. But on the other hand, it offered up tasty red ale characteristics that we really savored as well. It is absolutely worth it to grab a bomber of this special limited edition ale and decide for yourself.

Final Score: 3.5/5

3.5 Stars

MerBear Rye IPA was another successful collaborative effort from local legends Coronado Brewing Company. Its unique aroma, and spicy rye kick in the finish made this creamy, easy drinking ale quite enjoyable.

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