Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bear Republic Brewing Co.Bear Republic Brewing Co.
BEER AVG
3.9/5
Based on:
84 Beers
24,471 Ratings
Place Score: 93
Ratings: 184
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 4.17
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

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 184 | Reviews: 101
Reviews by coldriver:
Photo of coldriver
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Stop 2 (after Moylan's) on a Russian River Valley pubcrawl 7/18/2011. Bear Republic is consistently one of my favorites with Hop Rod Rye, Racer #5, and Big Bear Stout and I was very excited to see the point of origin. About evenly balanced between indoor and outdoor seating and we choose to sit inside at the bar. Bartendress was about as good as they get and seemed to anticipate our needs very well. You could see into the brewery behind windows and we noted an employee totally working his ass off - if you ever come to Texas you're hired dude. Decent selection of their regular and special beers but the waitress apologized that the last keg of Cafe Racer 15 was kicked the previous day. Right before we left though, working-his-ass-off-dude wheeled out a fresh keg and our waitress went out of her way to make sure we got a free sample. We had the wings during our visit and they were fantastic. Overall a very enjoyable visit.
Incidentally, we stopped for coffee at Flying Goat before leaving town and I've gotta say it was the best cappuccino I've ever had. The barista was a true maestro!

More User Reviews:
Photo of bound4er
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Cool vibe and excellent beers. Helpful servers. WIFI is practically non existent inside.

Photo of chrisjws
4.41/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of Geoffq
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

love the wild game chilli

Photo of RyanK252
4.64/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Very friendly staff, outgoing bartender who won't let you keep your hand empty for long. Well done food, great beer from standards to specials.

Photo of ryannaman
4.86/5  rDev +16.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Always visit when I'm within a few hours drive!!

Photo of alohabc
5/5  rDev +19.9%

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.

Photo of Hophazzard
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Haven't had a bad beer from these guys yet. A Nor Cal institution!

Photo of Fatehunter
3.66/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

Photo of GraduatedCashew
4.42/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of craft_shannie
3.36/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

Photo of heytomcat
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of jophish17
3.74/5  rDev -10.3%
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

Photo of Jodi215
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of WheelsRule
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
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!

Photo of Pumpknrdge
4.56/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Photo of elNopalero
4.38/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of DrunkenMonk
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of williamjbauer
4.13/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of dgilks
3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

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Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg, CA
93 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.