The California Republic, or “Bear Flag Republic,” was an attempt at secession by the people of Sonoma in the mid-19th century. There’s something about northern California that has inspired many attempts to form a separate state. As long as we can still import their beer, we don’t mind. The dominant note in the nose is pine, with some sweetness. There’s good mouth-feel, with nice carbonation, moderate flavor hops, and pronounced but still soft bitterness. The Racer 5 is lean and restrained for an IPA, but it doesn’t lack for character. It’s good for drinkers who like solid bitterness but are put off by the over-the-top West Coast hop character of many IPAs. Cost is $11.49 for a six-pack. For more information, visit any Chan’s Wine World location in Destin and South Walton.