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Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bear Republic Brewing Co.Bear Republic Brewing Co.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

164 Ratings
Ratings: 164
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.78%
Active Beers: 70
Beer Ratings: 22,394
Beer Avg: 3.87
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
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:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 164 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SurlyDuff
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

Boy do I love Bear Republic brews. We can get all their bottled selections here, racer5 being a downright tasty ipa. We made a lunch visit to their brewpub, which sits back off the road in Healdsburg where we were staying for a couple days. Sonoma loves fine wine and beer, thats for sure. I had a tasty brie press sandwich thing, a sampler of beers, and a couple pints shared with my wife. She loved the racer5, I went with a lager. Great brews and food. Service was a tad slow, but the place was packed and it was very hot out. A shady umbrella and the cold beer fixed the later issue. All the beers in the sampler were great and the atmosphere on their deck is nice and friendly. Stop here if you're in Sonoma!

SurlyDuff, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of bret27
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%

This place was definitely good, but not amazing. Overall I think I think my score will probably fall a little short and here's why...

atmosphere-nice clean open well-lit area, family friendly and friendly young staff.

quality- quality of beer was good, food was ok

food-average to poor. The problems was for the value of dripping greasy pub fare the prices were a little high.
beer- above average, but maybe not what some people might think. The usuals that they have available at all local bottle shops are all good. Then they have some heavy beers that are pretty good as well. Other than that though, the majority of the taps are just average wheat or pale ale type beers that I was pretty unimpressed with.

So overall, I would probably recommend it, and it was good, but for the prices probably not as good as it could have been.

bret27, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of PDXHops
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%

Hit this place and Russian River on the same day and was pleasantly surprised to enjoy Bear Republic a lot more.

It's right in the middle of a very touristy spot, so definitely consider an off-peak time to visit if tourists drive you nuts. We didn't have any problems, though. As soon as we sat down at the bar, we were made to feel right at home by locals and staff alike. Our bartender (can't remember his name) was top-notch. Once he found out we were from Portland, he was anxious to swap beer stories. Very friendly guy and exceedingly knowledgeable about their beers.

Although we sat at the bar, we noted plentiful indoor and outdoor seating as well. It's roomy without being cavernous.

Pretty extensive assortment of high-quality brews. We ran through a couple of sampler trays and everything was good to excellent for the most part. Good pub food, too.

PDXHops, May 15, 2009
Photo of surfer4life
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

Wow, we were up in Santa Rosa for the Russian River Brewing Company's 5 year birthday and we decided the next day to travel a little further north to try this place out. So glad we did. We were sat outdoors on a wonderful day although I did go inside to see what it was all about. Great little bar inside but plenty area for family dining. The manager whose name I forgot already was delightful and very friendly. The entire staff was pretty much the same and all very knowlegdable on the beer. Of the 16 taps they had, I would say 12 of them were unique beers not available in bottles in most areas. The beers were all phenomenal. Then came the food and wow, it was so very very delicious. This place is just plain awesome and I can't wait to be in Norcal again as I will certainly stop by the establishment everytime.

surfer4life, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of Offa
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Overall, this is a great place in my experience.

The atmosphere is good, a nice bar, interesting and enjoyable seating area inside, and a very nice covered patio area outside, the real highlight of the place itself. The patio is along the pedestrianised area and creek while the location in downtown Healdsburg, along the creek and pedestrian walk to the public parking is wonderful, attractive, pleasant, yet convenient.

It
It has a large selection of beer at any given time, with a pretty large number as well as great variety. They also have a occasional cask beers. The beer also is very good, some excellent, but a few are very weak and sub-par.

The food is generally really good and quite varied for a brewpub.

Offa, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of mjl21
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

Decided to head on up here to spend a nice January day in Healdsburg. Something about Sonoma County and 70 degree days in January that works so well together.

It is a decent sized place with plenty of seating indoors and a nice patio. The bar area is not that big and fills pretty early.

The food is standard pub food. The wife had a Red Rocket burger which she enjoyed and I went with The Press chicken sandwich which was also good. The fries served along side were also very good.

They had about 15 tap options and one cask beer (ESB at the time). They had their usual beers and a bunch that I had not tried. I went with the Rebellion IPA (lots of Simcoe flavor); Heritage (sweet Scotch ale); and Crazy Ivan (great stuff made from Racer 5 and Hop Rod Rye wort brewed with Belgian yeast). They were out of Racer X and APEX.

They have four sizes of beer that you can get including 3 oz samplers and 5 oz samplers if you want to try all of the beers and be able to walk out the door.

The service was prompt and I never had to wait for a new beer to be delivered. It is a great place worthy of a stop if you are doing the Sonoma County beer crawl.

mjl21, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of JWD
4.45/5  rDev +7%

The wife and i decided to visit after being at RR the night before to check it out as we were only 20 min away.

A- very bar like, more than RR, but we were sitting at the bar so this could taint my opinion a little bit. overall it was what was expected.

Q- Great beer, i was hoping for Racer X but had to settle for mach 10 which was pretty good and also enjoyed a black bear stout wahich is always good.

S- Once again i was at the bar and they were not that busy so service was great the bartender never let my beer run dry and kept asking how we were doing.

F- I was full from breakfast, my wife had a salad that looked awesome, she was impressed with the food.

Great pace to visit, it is hard for me to pass RR for anything so just that we went there is a compliment..

JWD, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of xhcadamx
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

A - This is what you expect a brewpub to look like. Wooden floors, chairs, tables, and bar very comfortable feel. Sacks of grain on the ground.

Q - Bear Republic Beer served here - enough said.

S - It's always packed here but the service is always good. A buddy of mine ordered me the wrong beer once and they exchanged it for the beer that I wanted free of charge!

S - Always a ton of beer on tap. A lot of beers available only at the brewpub.

F - Exceptional for a brewpub. Typical brewpub fare but they have hired people that know what's going on in the kitchen.

V - Very inexpensive considering you are dining and drinking in Healdsburg.

xhcadamx, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of MrFootstones
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%

Atmosphere-I wanted to leave the whole time I was there, as I was harassed by two old guys at the bar (they thought my hat was a Yankees hat, when it had nothing to do with sports at all, and proceeded to call me homosexual in numerous ways). The other locals and bartender were not particularly pleasant either.

Quality-Bear Republic has good beer. I had Racer X, which was pretty good, though not my favorite DIPA.

Service-The bartender gave my friends and I samples of a few beers before we chose our pints, which was nice. The first time I went here the bartender was more personable though.

Selection-Many more beers were available here than I have ever seen from them, so it would be nice to have an afternoon to try a few different things.

Value-The Racer X I had was $5 plus a $1 tip, more than I would spend for a pint of Pliny, which I would have preferred.

I would like to go here again in a while, but you know how those bad experiences stick with you and can skew your impression of a place. It's worth a visit, just make sure if you have a hat on it is a Giants hat.

MrFootstones, Nov 29, 2008
Photo of wolffman17
4.16/5  rDev 0%

We stopped by while running around the area. Bear Republic feels like the typical brewpub...there's lots of breweriana around, it has a comfortable atmosphere, and there are plenty of laid back patrons enjoying the beer. It's cool to see a place that has such a big name and wide distribution but not feel stuffy and commercial.

The beer is great as expected. Tried out Crazy Ivan, Racer X, and the barrel-aged Barleywine...made for a good afternoon!

High quality, attentive service, and awesome beer make it a must visit if you're in the area.

wolffman17, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of John_M
4.45/5  rDev +7%

Have visited BR on a number of occasions. Healdsburg just seems to get more and more gentrified all the time, but BR, I'm happy to report, has changed very little over the years.

Located just off the downtown square, the brewpub is moderate size with a nice outdoor patio area. As one walks in the door, there is good size (not huge, but good size) dining room in front of you with a moderate size bar area on a raised floor up to the right. My guess is the bar holds somewhere between 12 and 15 stools and is where I sat on a beautiful day in September. Atmosphere at BR is informal and laidback with a very comfortable vibe. On this particular day they had around 12 or 13 beers on tap, including an oak aged black mamba on the beer engine. As expected, quality across the board was high and the beers brewery fresh. They were out of the Racer X the afternoon I was there, but was more then happy with the APEX DIPA they had on tap in its place. Service was exceptional on this day, with the staff quick, efficient and well informed. Also, as I was wearing my Boundary Bay brewing t-shirt, the bartender knocked a couple of bucks off the price of my APEX.

Maybe it has something to do with the brewpubs location in the wine country, but the food here is a significant cut above what I've come to expect at most brewpubs. They even have a decent selection of wine by the glass; again one assumes, in keeping with the wine country location. Prices are reasonable for what you get I thought.

One of the better brewpub experiences I can think of. Always a must visit whenever I'm in the area.

John_M, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of woodychandler
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

Located in the rear of a downtown mini-mall, there was a patio to the extreme left on the creek side. Coming in, the m.d.s. was straight ahead with a glass cabinet of logo items off to the left and carved wood bears seemingly everywhere. Continuing straight aft was the restaurant area with standard restaurant tables and chairs and a beautiful mural against the back wall. To the right of the m.d.s. was a slight incline that passed another glass cabinet of logo items followed by a couple of FVs and, wrapping around, the half-hexagonal shaped, copper-topped bar with numerous FVs visible behind glass behind the back bar. To the left of the bar was the brewhouse on full display.

Beers: El Oso (4.3); XP Pale Ale (5.4); Bravo Pale Ale (6.5); Big Bear Black Stout (8.1); Racer 5 IPA (7.1); Racer X (8.4); Hop Rod Rye (7.6); Red Rocket (6.8); Crystal Wit (5.0); and Black Bart Stout (6.4) on nitro.

woodychandler, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

Stopped right around opening on Saturday. Bear Republic is pretty accessible from the bay area. It took a little over an hour to get up here from south Oakland.

As it was early, the place wasn't that crowded, so hard to get a good feel for the atmosphere. Lots of tables and outside seating as well, but we ended up at the bar. Decent sized bar with about 15 taps or so-all Bear Republic stuff. The bartender was great. Said he had been working there for over 10 years, and clearly knew his stuff. I don't know if he was also one of the brewers, but he was on top of things, and very friendly to boot.

Got a sampler because there was just too much to choose from, and too many beers I hadn't heard of to really make a good decision. I wasn't sure what to expect from this place, to be honest, from a selection standpoint. I figured you'd get the common stuff (Racer 5, Red Rocket, etc...), and they did have that, but there were plenty of brews that I hadn't seen before and that probably were never bottled. The sampler was all 16 beers, which probably ends up being about 3 pints worth. The beer was all fantastic. The few that stick out to me were Crazy Ivan (combines worts from Racer 5 and Red Rocket, brewed with Belgian yeast and spices), Rebellion IPA (100% simcoe hops), Pete's Brown, and the topper was Racer X with simcoe added.

The food was fantastic. I got a burger (medium rare! hell yeah) and my buddy got the prime rib, which he felt was very good.

Prices were find I guess. The sampler was 19 bucks, but for the amount of beer you get, that's not bad. Food was reasonable...the burger was 10 bucks and came with fries. I dunno how much pints were but I'm guessing 5-6 bucks.

I think this is a must do if you're planning on going to some of the Sonoma breweries. It's worth the extra 20 minutes if you're going to Russian River. Very impressed...just wish we could get more of their stuff down here in LA.

rxdrewthejew, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of MiScusi
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%

Stopped in around noon on a Wednesday. We sat at the bar, the place was not very crowded at this time. The guy behind the bar was nice enough and poured us a couple sampler sets. They had 13 beers on tap which more than surprised me... I was expecting maybe like 6 or 7, but I didn't know they brewed so many other special beers here. We didn't have any food, just finished our tasters, ordered a pint of our favorite, and then left. Nice place to hang out in overall. If I lived within 20 miles of Bear Republic I would drive there often.

MiScusi, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of Yetiman420
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%

My wife and I made a stop at Bear Republic on a Sunday afternoon prior to an evening at Russian River. It's in a quant square in downtown Healdsburg and you could easily spend additional time strolling around and shopping (we opted to head to the hotel to relax by the pool). The actual building is a bit underwhelming for the area and the expectation that we had for such good beers. We also had problems finding a seat that wasn't by a wall of flies or blasting HVAC and the service was bad but I give them a break because it was between dinner and lunch. Overall, BR is a good stop if you're planning a trip around Russian River.

Yetiman420, May 21, 2008
Photo of mbunje
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%

Part of a recent trip to Sonoma. Came here for lunch after a few wineries. C'mon...have an open mind.

Healdsburg Square is a beautiful little town area with tall redwoods/sequoias. Pretty upscale area for Sonoma. Bear Republic overlooks a grassy area bordering a creek. Bar is nice, outdoor patio is nicer.

All the classic Bear Republic bears....Racer 5, Hop Rod, Racer X, XP, Stout....nothing missing and few special beers as well.

Food is average

Great place to relax in the late afternoon and have a few high quality beers. Probably could drop $100 on dinner for two anywhere else in Healdsburg.

Bonus: I met Ed Grimley here....apparently has seen alot of UFOs and consults for TV shows on UFO sightings. Interesting set of stories I got from this guy, including: Apparently he met Robin Williams and Martin Short and they immitated him and created Martin Short's SNL character "Ed Grimley" by impresonating him. However he looks and acts NOTHING like this guy. This guy looked like cooter from the dukes of hazard + 20 years and a goatee...anyway, interesting experience.

mbunje, Apr 22, 2008
Photo of m1ked
4.2/5  rDev +1%

Made it here as part of a NorCal beer trip. This was a definite must in my book because of their great brews. We unfortunately got there a little later than we had planned, when we arrived we had about an hour until closing, and at least 6 untried beers to sample, as well as dinner. Their Heritage ale was delicious, but not as delicious as their Bourbon barreled Heritage ale. We made our case to the bartender who slyly told us we can continue on our beer sampling until she was ready to walk out the door. Sweet! The four of us began to order dinner, which was a close second to their beer. I had Antelope pot pie, which tasted like beef to me. And the Black and Blue burger was a crowd fave. We were all pleasantly surprised by the restaurant component of the brewery, and equally pleased with their brews. If you are in this neck of the woods, and you enjoy beer and/or tasty upgraded bar fare....you gotta check this place out.

m1ked, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of belhav0322
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Wow. I have always been a very big fan of all things Beer Republic, but was really surprised by how great the brewpub is. Most impressive was the quality of the beers that are brewery only. I was rather crestfallen to find that Racer X was not available during my 2 visits there, but the Apex double ipa was simply amazing. More impressive was the Booster Rocket (Um, it may be Rooster Rocket. I did not take any notes, and the beer is not yet listed on this site or Bear Republic's. Sorry!) barley wine. This was easily one of the best barley wines I have ever tried, with an amazing hop backbone. One of the best beers I had during my NoCal visit.

We sat at the bar on a Thursday afternoon and had great service from the bartender who was more than happy to answer our beer geek questions regarding all things Bear Republic. Service in the dinning room area a few nights later was not as great, though that was rectified once we moved to the bar after finishing our meals. We only split a few apps, but the food was great, esp. the wings.

In all, this is an amazing brewpub that lived up to the reputation of its brand. Damn, I wish they bottled some of their brewery only selections and shipped them back east! Oh well, that leaves more for you lucky bastards in Sonoma County!

belhav0322, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of ojclark
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%

Brewpub located in the quaint town of Healdsburg, CA. Visited on 12/31/07. Fun room with lots of bicycles, race car parts, and other contraptions and memorabilia all over the place. Small brewhouse off to the side (I'm guessing this just supplies the brewpub). Good food (lobster bisque was especially good). About 12 beers on draft including several seasonal and specialty beers. Barrel Aged Blend was best beer I tried during my visit. I've been here several times and each visit has been enjoyable.

ojclark, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of younger35
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

A buddy and I stopped by Bear Republic after a quick visit to California to check out some good beers. I previously had Hop Rod Rye about two weeks before I showed up here so I couldn't wait to try Racer X. Needless to say, it didn't disappoint. The brewpub is smaller than I expected but it is pretty nice and very inviting. They had a blended smoked porter with the Hop Rod Rye on cask that was freaking bomb.com. Amazing.
The waitress that served us at the bar was very friendly and had a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. I think she had a good time F'n with us! I had a cup of clam chowder that came with some bread that was out of this world. The clam chowder was really good too but I couldn't get over the bread... Amazing! Everything was reasonably priced and very good. I actually wish we would have gone to Russian River first, then came back and hit up Bear Republic. Definitely worth stopping by if you're ever in the area.

younger35, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of Murchmac
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Went to this place on vacation with the Mrs. on christmas eve. Staff was friendly, beer was flowing, and food was great. I was a little disappointed they had no cask but the beers they did have were excelente! Fun bicycle decor hanging from the ceilings, speed racer fatheads on the walls, and getting to watch them brew the beer there was fantasmagorical. Oh yeah, there food is really rich and good.

They had a couple beers on tap you cant get in s.f. Like their esb, oso negro, and wit beer. Around this time they have a holiday spice beer which I had last year, and it still is excellent. Go there.

Murchmac, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of gmuller
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

In our travels around Sonoma County wine tasting we stopped at a restaurant in Bodega Bay for a very late dinner, where they were serving a beer called Racer 5. It was an IPA I had never had to so I decided to give it a shot, and it was fantastic. I made a note of it and moved on.

Later on while wine tasting in Sonoma county we stopped in a one of the bigger cities we could find, Healdsburg, for lunch. We walked in to this place place and discovered they were the brewer of this Racer 5 IPA I had the night before. Being barely in the mood to drink after all the wine, it took me a minute to warm up to the idea of tasting some new beers, but I got around to ordering A Hop Rod Rye (to compare to my hometown favorite, Terrapin Rye), Red Rocket, and Racer X ( a double of Racer 5), all of which were fantastic. The atmosphere is awesome, with the brewing operation literally going on inside the restaurant all around you (The bags of barley aren't just decoration). If you end up in Sonoma County, check it out. Better atmosphere than Russian River's brewpub, though the beers at RR might have one up on them.

gmuller, Oct 12, 2007
Photo of bjohnson
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

We were staying just outside of Healdsburg on the Sonoma part of our California tour. On Saturday we had two tastings set up by a friend (11AM and 2PM). We decided after our first tasting to hit Bear Republic for some chicken tenders and brews. I was very excited because while I enjoy wine, I don't seek it. Bear Republic is located right off Healdsburg Sq. tucked down a walking street.

As we approcahed I saw some people sitting outside in the patio area and a line out front. A line? At 1PM? We walked in and immediately turned right and headed towards the bar. Bar abuts the brewhouse where you can see the fermenters, mash tuns, and boil kettle through the glass. Not a huge bar area with about 12 or so seats. Lots of tables and chairs. Paraphernalia hanging from the ceiling and on the walls included t-shirts, bikes, car doors and hoods with Bear Republic's logo. They seem to sponsor car/bike races. Bags of malt line the floor as it seems they don't have much area for storage.

Chalk board with the brews on tap.
On tap:
Racer 5, Racer X, Red Rocket Ale, Green House lager, Big Bear Stout, Oso Negro, Sammy's Strong Ale, Smokey Bear stout, Special XP Pale Xp, Wit, Pete's Brown, and a cask ESB dry hopped with EKG's.

Started with a Racer X as I wanted to try a fresh one--the last one I had at the hophead throwdown was a bit maltier than I remembered it being in the past. This fresh X was loaded with spicy, prickly, and piney hops. Simcoe? Good malt base rounds out the mouthfeel. Resiny and a tad slick on the tongue. Cask ESB with dry hopped EKG's was excellent. Soft and fluffy. Light citrus nose. Dry bitterness that doesn't exactly scorch the tongue, but is quite pleasant. Good balance between the malt and hops.

Standard pub grub. Some of the best fries I've ever had. This is the second place I've had these type of fries on this trip (the other being the Thirsty Bear)--Garlic and Parmesan--The east coast needs to discover this. I left quite happy and ready to sample some more wines with food. I'm surprised that a place this small is able to churn out as much as they do. Excellent beers. Good service. Good pub food.

bjohnson, Sep 24, 2007
Photo of kleffman
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

Bear Republic was a great decision for a place to have dinner. I wanted to visit this and both Russian River in the same night, and this is definitely the place for food first. They had their brown ale on cask, which was a nice surprise. The hamburger was pretty delicious, with a gourmet style bun and very fresh vegetables which is huge for me. Good service, willing to bring out 3 oz beer samples, picked up a couple coasters and a pint glass. Go there! I like how they have sacks of grain sitting around on the floor too, I wish I could see them brew in there.

kleffman, Aug 28, 2007
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

Awesome down to Earth bar filled with chill locals and really friendly, beer obsessed staff in the heart of snobby California wine country. Making it here was a major thrill for me as Bear Republic is one of my favorite breweries. The bar is one large room decked out with Bear Republic stuff. One corner plays host to brewing equipment. I can’t believe that until recently they produced their product in this little space. Tap line-up included all of their regular offerings except for Hop-Rod. They also had El Oso, Crystal Wit, a specialty stout and a couple of guest taps. Nearly all Bear Republic bears are phenomenal and the Crystal Wit, which I tried for the first time was no exception. I had a great time chatting with the staff and really enjoyed my time there. A great place.

DaPeculierDane, Aug 07, 2007
Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg, CA
93 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.