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Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bear Republic Brewing Co.Bear Republic Brewing Co.
BEER AVG
3.93/5
Based on:
88 Beers
9,067 Reviews
Place Score: 93
Reviews: 97
Visits: 187
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

345 Healdsburg Ave.
Healdsburg, California, 95448
United States
phone: (707) 433-BEER

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @brbcbrew

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 97 | Visits: 187
Photo of GarrettB
3.64/5  rDev -12.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

We felt a little dazed and confused the next morning after a long night of cheerful drinking at Russian River. So, if Hair of the Dog is a quick way to get back into travel mode, we decided to up the potable ante and start with Hair of the Bear. Just north of Santa Rosa, and a pretty 15 minute drive, Bear Republic is squished into the back of a fashionable corner of a lovely small town, and feel much more like a restaurant than the other sites we've visited on this trip. But rest assured, the beer is there and good. We sat outside under the din of an air conditioner, but appreciated the shade on a hot Northern California day. The food was excellent, too, and valued cushioning against the beer we'd be throwing on our guts during the day. My girlfriend lavished the ahi tuna salad with praise, and I deeply appreciated the black and blue burger. We wished we had more time to explore the area, too, but breweries and rush hour deadline beckoned. But everything went smoothly here on a calm weekday lunchtime, with great service, great food, great beer and even a little mercy. No faults here. (1,100 characters)

Photo of bound4er
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Visited on a recent trip to Sonoma County. Bear Republic is located in downtown Healdsburg making it an easy stop for a few beers and food. They had a nice selection of brewery only taps including four sours. Enjoyed one with blueberry and also a Berliner Weiss. Service was okay - didn't like the fact that we had to pay $1.50 for a small sample pour (my wife was unsure of the Berliner in terms of sourness). I can understand the policy but why not remove the charge if you end up ordering the beer in a full size glass? Really left a bad taste in my mouth. Selection was good (guessing around 15 beers on tap). Food was okay - bar food for the most part. Much preferred Russian River but I guess that would go without saying. (728 characters)

Photo of chrisjws
4.41/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Went on a Monday afternoon

Decor is a little Red Robin, but it's alright. Chill pub kind of vibe mostly.

Brews were all fantastic. Lots of quality stuff that you can't get in stores from Bear Republic.

Service was okay, our server was on top of most of what we needed. I had to ask the bartender some questions about some of their beers.

There were roughly 15 Bear Republic beers on tap, including a barrel aged beer. Lots of really good stuff.

I had the Po' Boy, it was fantastic. My friends thought their food was damn good too. (535 characters)

Photo of alohabc
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Friendly, family run brewery in the Sonoma Wine country. Always discovering new, fabulous brews. Well worth the time to stop, eat, and enjoy some wonderful brews. (165 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.66/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Lunch on Saturday. They have good space in the bar, inside and outside dining areas. The beers are divided up by six house ales and 10 specialty ales. The house ales are available commercially, and the specialties are only available at the brewery. I had the Crazy Ivan and El Oso and my wife had the specialty taster of ten beers. All the beers were good with a few extra delicious. For food we tried a meat and cheese board. You choose the meat and cheese, it was good. The service was fine. Worth a visit on your way through the valley. (539 characters)

Photo of GraduatedCashew
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I was presented with an impressive flight of samples ranging in style and flavor. I especially enjoyed the light golden ale, Cher Ami but was also a huge fan of the Cafe Racer 15. The sours were interesting and well done especially considering the syrup add option on the spot. The atmosphere and ambiance of this brewery was a healthy mixture of downtown Healdsburg and craft beer attitude. I can't wait to go back.

Favorite: Cher Ami, light golden ale. Had to walk away with a growler of this one. (500 characters)

Photo of craft_shannie
3.36/5  rDev -19.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped in for lunch on Father's Day 2013 and was able to get a table right away, as there was only a wait for patio seating. I thought the lack of a crowd was odd, but afterwards I should have seen it as telling.

I enjoyed their Tartare (berliner weisse), but found the other beer offerings "good to OK" including Racer 5.

Was disappointed w. the food - nothing special at all. Got the pretzel which was loaded w. grains & fiber (not good), mustards were awful. Fish tacos were disappointing & even the garlic fries that seem to be popular were cold & not flavorful.

Service wasn't stellar - more of a check box and move on mentality.

I understand that it's hard to follow Lagunitas and Russian River, but honestly Bear Republic wasn't even close to being in the same league. (784 characters)

Photo of heytomcat
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

If you're ever in "whine" country, you have to check this place out. Located in the downtown area of Healdsburg, you can send your wife out to check out the many overpriced art, antique, and clothing stores around (just don't give her the credit card) so you can concentrate on some serious beer swillin'. They have about 6 House Ales, plus about 10 other seasonal offerings. The Berliner Weiss was outstanding. It even came with the syrups you get in Germany. I preferred it plain though. (489 characters)

Photo of jophish17
3.74/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Visited while in Sonoma for a long weekend in February. After driving around to wineries all day (not my thing), it was time for me to pick our lunch spot. How about Bear Republic? =)

Parking on the street wasn't an issue for us, but I can see where some might have to walk a bit during busier times. Since it was a gorgeous 70 degrees and sunny, we opted for the patio - it was pretty much perfect. It seemed like most of the people around us were also tourists enjoying themselves.

Ordered a sampler. It was all beers that I have never had - though I can't buy Bear Republic in GA, I can in surrounding states to I've had the Racer 5 and Hop Red Rye's of the world quite a few times. Truthfully, the beer was mostly just "pretty good" - I do suspect that they are wise in what the decide to bottle and distribute, as it is generally better than their brewpub offerings, which should be expected.

Food here was pretty good - I remember feeling the need for a burger, and ordered a particularly messy Jamaican Burger. I'll order pretty much anything that comes with both pineapple and bacon. Awesome! I'd say it was above-average by brewpub standards, and won't rate it against some of the gourmet places in the area.

Value was fair - food was probably a bit pricier than the quality, but the beer wasn't too bad.

What a way to wrap up the Sonoma portion of our vacation. I definitely will be back for another lunch next time I'm in northern Sonoma (1,453 characters)

Photo of Jodi215
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

This was our 2nd visit to Bear Republic. The atmosphere is casual dining comfortable. They have a nice patio and it is very family friendly. Decor is metal tables and carved bears with some racing stuff around. Loved the mural painting in Ladies room. Healdsburg is a really cute little town with a central park plaza and lots of overpriced shops that are fun to look in. While the quality of our visit was good there was a crying baby that needed to be taken out.Service was very friendly and fast, thanks Adrien. beer selection was great but no guest taps. Food was excellent pub fare. I had the fish and chips and the fish was fresh cod from Bodega Bay, excellent! Others had hamburger, excellent and panini which was excellent. Value was a bit pricey on food and a little better on beer. We will return. (807 characters)

Photo of WheelsRule
4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Stopped here on our Spring Break 2013 California-Oregon Road Trip. I had read the good reviews, but had only tried Racer 5 in a bottle, which I found to be good, but not my favorite IPA. This experience (and Apex) changed my mind. I have a newfound respect for Bear Republic. They do it right. Also: Dogs allowed in the back area!

Atmosphere - Excellent. Comfortable indoor/outdoor seating. Friendly people (servers and guests alike). We enjoyed being here. It was relaxed and friendly.

Quality - Excellent. Beer especially. Racer 5 is a solid IPA, but I think Apex is a fantastic and extra-special Double IPA. A must-try, if you like that style of beer. I tried a few more, but I'm stuck in my ways...my girlfriend enjoyed the different beers she tried.

Service - Our service was excellent. The bartender was knowledgeable, helpful, professional, and friendly. He made good recommendations and seemed to be happy doing his job. We sat out back and the service back there was good as well.

Selection - Good. Plenty of different beers and food to choose from.

Food - Solid bar food (tough food competition in wine country). We had Calamari and a salad. It tasted fresh and delicious to me.

Value - The prices were excellent for a high-quality product in a very expensive area.

Summary - We will definitely come back here. Food, service, beer, and all else was of high quality. We thoroughly enjoyed Apex and wish Bear Republic would bottle it. A delicious brew.

Location - Healdsburg tiptoes the line between being a bit snobby and just being a great place to be - it's clean, safe, friendly, and easy on the eyes. It's 'boutiquey' as one reviewer mentioned, but overall, a pleasant place to be.

A few tips: The Wurst Sausage Grill right off the square (and just a few minutes walking distance from Bear Republic) has fantastic food and serves Racer 5. We mostly drank at Bear Republic and ate over at the Wurst. Also, you can get a fantastic deal on weekdays at the Best Western Plus Dry Creek Inn which is about a 15-minute walk from the square, Bear Republic, and the Wurst. Don't drink and drive, fool! (2,122 characters)

Photo of Pumpknrdge
4.56/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

One of my favorite stops on the west coast. Fantastic beers and great food. I could drink the racer 5 everyday no problemo. The brew pub is really nice, right downtown in Healdsburg. They had growlers to go in rubber bladders when I was there last. Finally getting this good stuff in Florida. (292 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Another of Andre's requests, having been impressed in the past by its Hop Rod Rye. Guilherme was interested too. I would have prefered Lagunitas, but I knew Bear Republic would be an acceptable alternative. We had a little trouble location the brewery because it's located away from the street. We found someone on the street to give us direction, and then we parked our car in the back and found ourselves outside Bear Republic.

The tanks are clearly visible from the bar, but seperated by a glass wall. Yet the interior did have the scent of malted cereals. We chose to sit outside, where the patio is enclosed from the cool outside air. We even had our own heatlamp. But we weren't forgotten by the staff, whio came by a number of time to check on us.

16 different house beers were pouring, including Grand-Am, Hop Rod Rye, Newport Rebellion, and Global Kolsch. Naturally, we ordered a flight of all their beers. If you want a full pour, you can get one for just $4-5! The beers we tried were solid to good, though I'll admit a few that I've had before seemed a little muted (of course, visiting Russian River before may have disfigured my palate).

I had never been to Healdsburg before, and Bear Republic was the reason for breaking that spell. Bear Republic lovers will certainly enjoy their visit here. (1,314 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Here I am at this must visit place, to try the beers they never bottle..and the rare time I can find them I have been beary pleased. The bartender is John and we are talking beer. He is giving me style and another style. Is it the style? I had a great pale, and an unusual sour beer, among others. A large square bar, many tables, tempting merchandise. Great service, not to busy on a cold Monday night. Parking down the street. A beautiful and very safe town.I understand the food is very good, and a big step up from your your usual bar food. (544 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Updated:

Love the beers but my experience visiting the brewpub has always been a little hit-or-miss, depending on the time of day (crowd) and staff (laid-back to downright pushy). The beertenders and regulars have a good rapport, but that can come off as somewhat cliquish depending on your personality. Me, I get a kick out of it. Last visit I caught the happy hour, which was nice because it shaved off a few bucks from my total tab. Wish they filled outside growlers as I would have made off with half a gallon of hop shovel.

Original: For a place with nearly national distribution their brewpub had a laid back, small town feel to it. Even on a weekend night when places just down the road were packed and lively my party still managed to find a table without any wait and enjoy a few beers. Food was on par with expectations—nothing dazzled, and the prices were about what I’d expect to pay. The real plus here was the service—the servers were exceptionally friendly and welcoming across the board. Good beers, good people, good times. (1,049 characters)

Photo of DrunkenMonk
3.95/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Had a nice lunch here on Fathers Day 2012. Good food, excellent service and good beer. I was surprised the waiter wasn't prepared to offer pairing suggestions.. I ordered a burger and asked his advice on what to pair with it. He kept telling me a hamburger, so I figured he misunderstood and didn't know what I was talking about. No problem.

I ended up with a sample paddle of MANY beers that were draft or brewery only, and not sold in stores. The wine country wheat beer was a bit grapey. Many of the others were hop-centric. I'd eat and drink here again. (559 characters)

Photo of WeedKing4
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Stopped here for a quick 'beer' lunch. The beer selection was very nice. All their regulars were available with some nice specials/limited beers too. They even had the Texas brown ale on tap. I enjoyed an oak iipa as well. We only had the roasted garlic spread appetizer for food. Good selection of clothing to buy, and the service was very friendly as well.They were even brewing behind the bar. it smelled awesome. Would love to make this place a regular stop if I lived here. lots of seating as we were out on the patio to enjoy a beautiful spring day. (555 characters)

Photo of beerwolf77
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

My wife and I spent an afternoon drinking and carrying on with the locals here. It's a fairly nice brew pub but nothing I haven't seen before. The beers were all good especially the 10 year old barley wine. The best part of our experience was the bar staff and the locals. The bar tender was filled with stories and silly jokes. Had us cracking up the whole time. Plus the locals were very friendly and fun to chat up. It was like being back home in a bar we had been to a hundred times. After several pints we got hungry and ordered some food. It was very good but standard fare for a brew pub. This was a great stop on our way up to wine country. (648 characters)

Photo of williamjbauer
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I really enjoyed my time here. I didn't have huge expectations and this was a nice surprise.

A - A bit nicer than your average brewery.

Q - Great quality for what you spend.

S - We had great service and conversation the entire night and even some good reviews of other local breweries.

Sel - I had 8 of about 16 beer available. Great selection and if it has "racer" in the name you must try it.

F - Pretty good appetizers and a nice price.

V - It was fine we saved money by going with appetizers but the menu was fair for all types of food. (546 characters)

Photo of dgilks
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Right in downtown Healdsburg, this was a stop on the way North to Anderson Valley and Fort Bragg.

The atmosphere is very dark and a little dingy. The overall vibe though is of a sports bar. That all said, it just didn't feel that comfortable.

The quality of the beers is not bad and the pours are decent.

The selection is pretty good with a few interesting and slightly unusual BR beers on offer.

Service is brusque and a little cold. Not bad but certainly not great.

On the whole, I like their beers well enough but I'll take them in the bottle at home. (559 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Visited Bear Republic over the 2011 to 2012 New Year's Eve weekend. Saturday afternoon and the place was crowded with people waiting for space at the bar and waiting for tables. No problem. Places opened up at the bar for folks and tables turned.

Lots of locals clearly present but friendly and engaging. Staff handled crowd really well, even to the point of filling two growlers for me and, while telling me I'd have to wait a little bit to get a full tasting flight, she got it to me in about 2 minutes!

Great selection; great service and great value. Only problem is that you've got to get to Healdsburg! We probably tasted close to 15 beers and all were excellent. I don't think Bear Republic knows how to make bad beer! I'd gladly welcome Racer X as my daily beer. (772 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.95/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I went here for lunch the other day with my lady and our friend. Atmosphere is warm but busy feeling as the dining area is cozy and there are TVs and decorations everywhere (I’m being a bit picky though). Everything on the menu sounded wonderful, and the entrées we ordered were all delicious albeit a bit expensive. The service wasn’t necessarily slow, but it was noticeable. The place has outdoor seating, a decent sized dining area, and a bar section. The tap list was extensive and consisted of all their ‘normal’ brews they offer in bottles plus a handful of limited brewery only releases. They even had a little section on the menu that offered vintage bottles of the breweries beers that they have tucked away, some for over a decade, and they also frequently offer things on cask.

Overall, this place is worth a stop at least for a beer but maybe even for a meal. They have a big menu, a broad beer list, and a warm (but crowded and loud) atmosphere. This place does fill up quickly, especially on weekends, so get there early. (1,046 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

My wife and I stopped in while on our honeymoon to Sonoma County. It was midafternoon on a weekday, and we had both just eaten so we didn’t sample the food. The beer however was great. They had their standards on tap which you can get almost anywhere in a bottle. It was their other offerings that really grabbed my attention. I was able to try their Apex IPA, Das Koma, and their roggenbier. They offered both 8 oz sample sizes and 16 oz pints. They offered even larger mugs if you were daring. They had different flights which seemed to be quite popular. They even offered a large flight which had a sample of each beer on tap. The service behind the bar was a bit slow, but they had just gotten a tour in and were quite busy. They offer regular dining room seating, bar seating, and a bar garden. This is definitely a place worth checking out if you’re in Healdsburg. (874 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

On a recent road trip, I was happy to take a detour to Bear Republic Brewery and Pub, which brews what is perhaps my current favorite IPA of all time. Driving to the pub through Healdsburg, I had no idea that the brewery was located in such a boutique-filled community! Not only were there loads of small, chic stores and wine bistros, but nearly all of them were packed even by 10pm! It was reminiscent of stores I'd seen in San Rafael and San Mateo, so it was surprising to see the brewery here.

Anyhoo, once I walked in, the atmosphere of the brewery was already beyond fun. Flags and sports attire adorn the walls (as well as Speed Racer) and there are loads of woodwork on the ceiling and the outside porch area that give it an old-fashioned, NorCal gritty feel.

The selection of beers is beyond fantastic - not only do they have all of their classic brews on tap, but also over half a dozen of specialty brews to pick from. I got a Racer X on tap and tried some of their Black Racer - both were great. The menu was quite diverse, yet I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the food. I ordered their house-made gumbo, yet there was an extra charge to add shrimp. While it was good and spicy, I immediately understood that one should come here for the beer first and foremost. I did try their cobb salad as well, and that was great.

The service was very fast and available, and showed no issues throughout the night, and did not even charge me extra in providing me more bread to soak into the remaining gumbo sauce. I left feeling quite satisfied, and next time that I return I will have one of their large salads with a beer or two. Overall, while the food is slightly expensive for what it is, the beers are ridiculously cheap (Red Rocket ale for $4.50, for instance) and the location is lots of fun. Recommended a visit! (1,839 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Cool atmosphere, patio area, dining area, usual breweriana abound. Right downtown, all kinds of cool shops, park in the middle of town. Finding the place is a little bit of an adventure, but nothing too difficult.

Quality of the beer is just dandy, as you're used to in the bottle format. Service is cheery, if not the most informed, but that's ok. Selection was decent, hoped to see more one off type of stuff, they did have some old barleywine and strong ales from the cellar available, so that was cool, but something barrel aged would have been a welcome addition. Breweries should have more stuff of a limited or only there type of nature. I can get the usual stuff at Safeway ya know? I guess they had the roggenbier and el oso which were forgettable for the most part.

Wine country, its a little pricey, wish I wasn't so full already when we ate, the garlic fries are awesome. But $12 for a burger, you've been warned. (928 characters)

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Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg, CA
93 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.