Kern River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Kern River Brewing CompanyKern River Brewing Company
BEER AVG
4.11/5
Based on:
31 Beers
4,166 Ratings
Place Score: 96
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: n/a
Taps: 20
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

13415 Sierra Way
Kernville, California, 93238
United States
phone: (760) 376-2337

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: Inflames on 06-08-2006

No notes at this time.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 34
Reviews by womencantsail:
Photo of womencantsail
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Finally made it to Kern River Brewing Company while staying in the area over Memorial Day weekend.

The place is sort of small. The bar is small, but there is a decent amount of seating inside, out on the patio, and on an elevated dining area overlooking the brewhouse. The brewhouse size is what really struck me because it is quite tiny.

All of the servers were very friendly and helpful, from the bar staff to the waiters. Always appreciated.

Unfortunately, some of the beers weren't all that great. But it was nice to get to have the 5th Anniversary beer and their first sour. They also had a decent number of guest taps.

We didn't eat too much, some garlic cheese fries, but they were great and the food everyone else was eating looked quite good as well.

If nothing else, this is a cool place to stop with nice people, good food, and some pretty decent beers.

More User Reviews:
Photo of peraltaspade72
3.65/5  rDev -16.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Great little local brewery with wide distribution, have great tasting events. Love the classic Citra, which is top rated and the Dirty Hippy, Pumpkin Ale is also very good.

Photo of Amaeda27
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Came by at lunchtime to pick up my Citra. Good service, good atmosphere, and most importantly, excellent beer. Big ups to their flagship brews as well as some impressive seasonal IPAs.

Photo of RogueOz
4.5/5  rDev +3%

This is my local so I may be a little partial on this one. Right now they have a great tap selection with the 6th anniv/barleywine/knee deep collab, so the tap list is better than normal. The food is always good with daily specials, parking is usually ample with paved and dirt lot options. It has a nice outside deck/lower tables option with a nice view into the surrounding valley/town/hills. Loses points for the one M/F bathroom options. The crowd is usually laid back - locals, and those travelling into the area for other pursuits besides beer (since it is kinda out-of-the-way). Camping season weekends can see this place packed to the rafters so plan accordingly. This time of year mid week - seating plan is wide open. Live music on Fri/Sats. They are expanding in the back but not sure on overall plans/dates etc. Kid friendly. Hope this helps. Cheers.

Photo of N8rhino
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Working hard to make some really enjoyable beers! I love stopping in after a long road or mtn bike ride!

Photo of dagubna
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Delicious brews, when I went, they had their core beers on tap, as well as Deep River IPA which is the collab between KRBC and Knee Deep, as well as their barleywine, their session IPA "gravity check," and their fresh hop IPA. They also had Dirty Hippie in bottle which I picked up. I came to get my Citra and stayed at the place next door. Had the "blue mine" burger, tasted like it was grilled at home, fantastic, had bleu cheese, sauteed mushrooms and onions on it. Highly recommended, best place to eat in Kernville (though 'The Cracked Egg' had an amazing omelette the next morning!)

Photo of Elsinorebrewmaster
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Went for the Citra release with my brother. Excellent road trip! Locals are chill and treat you like they have known you forever. The owners were friendly, met one of their moms too. She sat at the bar next to me and she told me the history behind their beer names/shirt designs. Which was very cool in my opinion! The food was so good I had the pita twice on release day! The atmosphere is so relaxing. Outdoor seating on deck and patio/grass area. They have guest taps which is cool for those that want to sample from other good breweries at the same time. Speaking of other breweries, the should consider taking a cue from these guys when planning their next release! The lotto/pick up system was nice even if I didn't win.

Photo of RambunctiousGuzzle
4.15/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Kern River Brewing Co. Is in a very cool little mountain town where the people are (mostly) friendly. The Brewery is most definitely a diamond in that ruff as far as eateries are concerned. I will often take the hour drive up a treacherous canyon highway to get a growler or two and while i'm up there, the burgers aren't bad either. I recommend the Just Outstanding IPA or Citra... if you can get the latter. It's brewed in fairly small quantities and is well worth the drive alone. They have an aged stout that is supposed to be legendary although I've never been up there while they had it. Pretty good brewery.

Photo of RutgersEng
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Kern River Brewing is a small 7 barrel operation in Kernville California, although they are in the process of tripling their production. I'm not sure how this will effect their QC and availability. Their beer lineup is small, but exceptional in taste and quality. My favorites are Citra, Class X Stout and Just Outstanding. I'm sure Citra will be more readily available in the future :o(, I liked the exclusivity. The food is bar food, but the burgers are really good and the ambiance is rustic, including growing hops on their patio dining area. Overall, definitely worth the drive especially when they brew their harder to get line up.

Photo of Psyko
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went to pick up Citra "lottery" bottles 10/26/13

Went at Lunchtime.

Pub was pretty full, sat at the bar. Brandon the bartender was very helpful and informative. He was very knowledgable about all of the beers on tap. He was able to provide numerous details on the upcoming trappings.

Ordered food from the bar when I was ready (no rush-even with the crowds) and food arrived promptly hot off the grill.

Had the buffalo chicken sandwich which went great with a pint of Citra. Recommended.

Overall, a great to visit. Out of the way but worth the drive. Go and visit.

Photo of GraduatedCashew
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The spread was top notch including the (in)famous Just Outstanding IPA, Winter Ale, Class X Stout, and many more. It was refreshing to actually be able to try some of these “rated” beers as they were on draft and flowing.

The food was pretty good and surpassed what I have experienced in the past as "average pub fare."

This brewery is just another testament to the “if you build it, they will come” mindset as it was the only real reason most would head to Kernville in the first place. It is very much out of the way.

Photo of drunkheathen
2.93/5  rDev -33%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

When I heard Kern River Brewing Company was a hop, skip, and a jump from my current city, I immediately planned a trip. I have had some of their beers via bottle and was very much impressed and couldn't wait to actually go there. I was disappointed. I need to go again, I find it hard to believe it could be that bad all the time. Granted I went there for the beer, nothing else. It's a small place, with a huge volume of customers, so I wasn't too surprised that they were out of a lot of beers, when I went they only had the blonde, red, and ipa available. All of which I had bottled before and thoroughly enjoyed. So I thought, oh well, can't try anything new, no matter, just have some good beer it'll be fine. The beer they served me was flat. Warm. like they had poured it hours ago, put it in the fridge for ten minutes, then served it to me. I had all three. And all three were the same. They were just flat out disgusting. But now on to the more positive aspects. The atmosphere was great, rustic looking, friendly staff and patrons, I really enjoyed just being there. The service was great too, always smiled and even though it was busy made time to make sure we had everything we needed. The food was nothing to write mom and pop about, but it was good. I really need to make another trip, everyone I have talked to who has been there just raves about it even after I tell them about my experience. I hope I just went on a bad day.

Photo of aquazr1
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

My wife and I always enjoy heading up the canyon to KRBC. The experience is enhanced by the location, in the mountains along the Kern river. It's nice to be able to enjoy a beer outside on the patio on a clear day while enjoying the view. The staff is always friendly and attentive. The food is normal pub grub, but done well. They have 4 standard beers on tap of their own plus 2-3 seasonals. They also normally have 3-4 guest beers. Some may complain that there are not enough choices but the quality of what is availble is usualy very good and their beer prices are very reasonable. Just a few months ago I was fortunate enough to be there when they had Pliny the Elder on tap. The one disappointment lately has been the inability to fill growlers due to shortages of some of the beers. Hopefully that is a short term problem that will be solved soon.

Photo of Jodi215
3.33/5  rDev -23.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.75

This was our 2nd visit to Kern River Brewing. It is very out of the way but a pretty drive from Bakersfield where we were staying. The decor is very rustic almost to the point of being dirty. The window next to our table was full of flys buzzing around but thankfully they didn't leave the window and land on our food. Well behaved flys? Service was friendly and fast. The beer selection was okay. This brewery has very good beer but no guest taps and the one beer my son really wanted to try wasn't available. Normal pub selection on food, nothing different or unusual. The food was good though, we had pulled pork, BLT and fish and chips. Value was reasonable on food and better on beer. It was hard to get over all the flys though so I'm sure that reflects in my review.

Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
5/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Another place I eagerly anticipated, although my Garmin decided to take me down the many twisty and windy roads from the west (note don't always listen to GPS, see my Charleville Winery and Brewery review). Once here, the outside had a saloon feel to it and to a lesser degree inside. I mentioned to the server from how far I had come to try their beer and she in turn went and got the head brewer. Really nice people and outstanding beer. About all I can say negative is that it would be nice to try their vaunted IPAs there, but any brewery can say that. Selection might not be quite as broad as others, but they get away with it with a roster full of winners. Almost exceeded my already high expectations in every way possible. Perfect score.

Photo of bernie
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

We are big fans of Kern River Brewing, so we drove up for the release and this weekend's re-release of Dirty Hippie (6th Anniversary Imperial Red Ale) which has yet to be bottled, plus they had a special fresh hoped cask of Just Outstanding that was fantastic. We enjoy visiting Kern River Brewing for their beers, plus it provides us a restful weekend vacation away from trappings of Los Angeles. We take our 90 pound fetching machine, Chocolate Lab, who gets to play by day and hang with us at the brewery by night. The brewery offers a pet friendly patio and back yard area and it’s not uncommon to find several dogs supporting their owners thirst for a good craft beer. We have nothing but great things to say about the staff. This trip we overheard a customer tell her server she had not had better service in the 27 years of eating out. That's a testament to the staff and what we experience every time we visit Kern River Brewing Co. Kernville, gateway to the Sequoias offers all kinds of recreation activities and a great place to quench your thirst after a day of rock climbing, kayaking, rafting, fishing, hiking, biking or just reading a good book by the river.

Photo of bierfreundlich
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Damn good brewery and establishment! Situated alongside the mountains and overlooking the small town of Kernville, this place is astoundingly beautiful! It has the feel of pulling into an old mountain town saloon. And it is very warm and welcoming inside, made almost entirely out of wood. This place feels like home. The inside seating and bar is not too large but able to accommodate somewhere around 100-200 people. There is a small outdoor patio deck area which is nice during the summer. The service is good at the bar, mediocre if you are waiting for food. I can't say whether the food is that good or not. I usually just order a basket of french fries (but they are good). I don't think they offer much in the way of vegetarian or vegan. Other than the place itself...the beer kills! They offer some of the best beer in the United States--particularly their Just Outstanding IPA and Citra DIPA. The Just Outstanding is a must try and will probably always be available. Any of their seasonal or specialty beers are definitely worth a try. This place is an outstanding brewery, definitely receiving more recognition and growing in popularity (as it so humbly deserves). It is a bit off the beaten path, but for anyone who likes outdoor sports (especially kayaking) it is an awesome visit.

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Finally made it up to this majestic place for the Citra release this last Friday with rtaps and MrHirshybar. I wanted to make sure we got there super early to get everything we wanted and needed. MrHirshybar was running a little late for the carpool. In the end we got there at the perfect time, putting us about 5th in line 40-45 min before the doors opened. Shortly after there was about 40-50 people behind us before they opened. The process in which the brewery took care of of the bottles and growlers seemed pretty flawless, unless you were in a huge hurry, cuz it got a little crazy packed.

The place was much bigger than I expected. There was a bar with about 12 seats, about 20 tables inside and about 10 tables on the elevated patio that overlooks the mountain valley. We had a table in the upper area overlooking the bar and brewing equipment.

Even though it was crazy busy and the servers were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Everyone that worked there was extremely nice and helpful and it seemed all the customers, even those who missed out on bottles, were in a great mood and enjoying their drafts and growlers.

I didn't get a chance to try any food as I was saving every dime I have for the amazing beer I was drinking and taking home. The menu although pretty small looked good and appropriate. I got to try Class X on Nitro which is absolutely fucking amazing, and ended up having a couple. I could drink only Citra and Class X for the rest of my life they are so goddamn good!

I love this place. The drive is awesome and beautiful. The people are great. And the beer is ridiculous!

Photo of rtaps
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

11/25/11. Drove up for the citra release. long drive but very worth it. inside had a much bigger dinning area than i expected. the atmosphere was great, with an amazing view of the canyon with all the trees turning fall colors. The place was busy due to the release but the service was still very good. They had "Class X" on tap witch was amazing. 7 of there own beers on tap and you can't go wrong with any. didn't try the food but someone in our group did try the egg rolls and was satisfied. pricing was very reasonable.
Overall great place wish it was next door to my house.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Had a bit of difficulty in finding the place, but it was at night, I was a little tired. Pull up, its all wood outside, looks like an old western saloon. Inside, open area, brewing setup visible from the bar. Smaller capacity than you would think. Real homey.

Service depends on whom, lots of young girls which are nice to look at, some old codger guys who are more informed. Everyone is plenty cool. The beers are very good. Good pub grub. Prices are on the kind side. I love a place with this high of quality charging less than places that serve crap. Seriously, so many shitholes in Reno charging $5 a pint for lesser beer.

Not a wide variety of beers, but what they have, is good.

Photo of buzzardman
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

this place has really stepped up it's beer game over the last few years. I camp up in the sequoia national forest a couple times a year just north of this place and I now always stop on
my way back home.

the place has the best customer service and most friendly people working here, must be because it's the small town life style.

the food is good and probably better than most brew pubs I've been to. I usually do burger and fries with a beer. I've had a few of the beers they brew on location and they have always been excellent. now that they've won gold for the citra ipa I'm planning on making a trip up soon just to try this beer and do some
fly fishing.

Photo of Dogbrick
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

(Visited 01/2011): Kern River Brewing is located in Kernville near the Sequoia National Forest after a beautiful drive through the mountains along the Kern river (with signs warning of the dangers and death count associated with said river). There are actually a couple different ways to get there. The brewpub is on Sierra Way right outside the town center. There is a private parking lot.

The outside has kind of a lodge look, and the interior is spacious and multi-level. The brewing equipment is easily visible from most of the brewpub. Lots of wood and table seating, and their beers are featured in large framed pieces hanging behind the bar.

Kern River has 6 of their beers on tap, and offers a sampler of 4 for $5. They included on my visit Isabella Blonde, Sequoia Red, Class V Stout, Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Saison, Holiday Ale and the very good Citra IIPA. All in all the beers are above average.

Service on a relatively slow afternoon was good. Our server wasn't a beer expert but was friendly and knew enough about their beers. She was also generous with additional samples.

Food at Kern River is pretty good too. Fish Tacos and burgers all around were enjoyed by our group.

Overall this place was well worth the 1.5hr drive from Tehachapi, and is one I would make again on any future visits to the area.

Photo of stupac2
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Kern river is an interesting place. It sort of looks and feels like an old western saloon, minus the swinging doors. The staff are incredibly friendly, the beer is simply incredible, and the food is quite good (although I'd have preferred my burger rarer). The only trouble is it's so remote. It's definitely worth the trek for Citra (although I think Class X might be more impressive a BA Stout than Citra is a DIPA), but otherwise less so. I'd definitely check it out if you're nearby for some reason.

Photo of dcgunman
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

What was I expecting on my first visit to one of my favorite brews? "Alpine"-like? Yes! . . .with a booster shot. Maybe the Citra release had something to do with it. Maybe not.

Made it up for the release of Citra at opening on Friday. Was around 25-30 in line when doors opened at 1130am. Once inside you are greeted with a small merch display stand to the left and chairs and tables to the right and straight as you walk in the bar ahead. Not alot of room for sitting at the bar. A small section corner for the band to play. Further to the back and a little bit left is an elevated section with more tables and chairs. Also ahead and down some steps you find all the tanks. To the left you find a door that leads to the outdoor area with more tables and chairs. Plenty of room. I can see Alpine Beer Company in the near future like KRBC.

There was alot going on when I first sat at the bar. A few fellow BA's I have seen before were at the corner of the bar. With the amount of people there when they first opened the doors, I'm sure most of them were there for the Citra release. So I knew it was going to take awhile to get my first pint. But the young lady bartender made sure everybody sitting at the bar was to get their drinks quickly. And she was exceptional in doing so. While taking orders from the first group of people that sat at the bar she had everybody's drinks in hands within 5 minutes. I got my order of Citra (bottles & growlers) in about 30 minutes. For lunch I had the Kern burger with waffle fries. Burger n fries was good. For the most part it was a typical pub style menu. After finishing my lunch and 2 pints of Citra I was invited by the BA's to sit in on some beer tastings up on the elevated section. A very relaxed atmosphere they have at KRBC. Even thou the servers were busy with serving beer and food at the other tables, he made sure to check in on us for water and whatever items we needed.

I visited KRBC again for dinner that same day. I had the bowl of chili and the brownie with ice cream n hot fudge along with some more Citra & JO. Again food was good. A little bit different crowd this time. I'm sure more of the locals were there. It was louder at 6pm than at noon. But a band called Slideways was performing that night so I think alot of them were there for the beer/food/entertainment.

I was very impressed overall with KRBC. I will be coming back to the Kernville area for a visit to KRBC in the near future.

A big shout out to the BA's that made the trip for the Citra release.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Damn my GPS! After Visalia, it told me to take some back country roads to reach the 155, only to run into a twisty road that nearly made me dizzy, fog so bad I have to stop on a couple occasions (and seriously thought of turning around), and finally when I hit Kernville, the address was off by a quarter-mile! But after all that, I had made it to the rising celebrity at Kern River Brewing.

The busting of customers inside this small establishment was a good sign. I headed towards the small bar, which is in the shape of a backwards L. The inside felt....um...mountainy. Brightly lit inside, which at this moment raised my comfort after driving scared in the dark. The brewing tanks sit below restaurant and bar level, showing only a little of itself behind the bar. Also behind the bar were T-shirts which you can buy.

The service was cheerful and prompt, my requests were answers quick, and my food came out quicker than expected. Speaking of food, they serve usual brewery grub, but the quality of it is not bad. I ordered the bratwurst topped with deli mustard (coming with a side of waffle fries) that was delish.

But dammit, I was here to drink a few pints! Five Kern River beers were available from the taps (Isabella Blonde, Sequoia Red, Just Outstanding IPA, Chock-A-Mo, Rye Pale Ale), and a sprinkle of guest taps rounded it out. I tried the last two of the listed, both were very good and neither were served too cold (maybe 45 degrees). Each beer was served in a shaker pint glass, with the exception of Lindeman's Framboise in a short goblet.

The $7.95 for the bratwurst took me back a decade in prices. The pints were $4 each, which further made this place very afforable. Gotta love not being in Orange County for prices.

For me, the vibe would be the greatest reason for return. Kern River beers are great, no question about that, but I thought that I would see a greater number of "house only" beer. If you're one looking into adventure, then the trip to Kern River Brewing will provide it.

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Kern River Brewing Company in Kernville, CA
96 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.