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Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bear Republic Brewing Co.Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Grab a complimentary copy of BeerAdvocate magazine here while supplies last.
Based on:
89 Beers
25,169 Hads
Place Score: 92
Reviews: 99
Visits: 193
Avg: 4.15
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

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 99 | Visits: 193
Photo of williamjbauer
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of dgilks
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
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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Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

First stop on a microbrew pub tour through sonoma county.

Got here mid afternoon on a Monday. It was quiet, but the bar was almost full. Decent size eating area, with some outdoor options as well. Decided to stay in the A/C.

Server was very friendly and very knowledgable. You can either get a flute of their house ales, or their specials. I have had most of their house ales, so I was more interested in their specials. Most of the beers were very good. El Oso was the only one I didn't particularly care for, but even then it was still better than average. I got the burger with the anaheim chile, and it was fabulous. My dad got the mac 'n cheese, and it was positively decadent to say the least. A little rich, and unless you're set on inducing a heart attack, you'd be better off sharing it with someone. Food was a touch pricey, but Healdsburg is a pretty posh area.

Service got a 5.0, and it was deserved. Upon learning that I was from southern california, and up here on beer travels, our server went to the bartender to ask for a sample of Racer 5--all unbeknownst to me--cause he claimed it was different and better out of the serving tank. The bartender asked who it was for, and upon hearing my story from my server, he pulled an entire free pint for me. Very cool and unexpected. Almost made me feel like royalty!

Maybe if I was the type to split hairs over octopus or squid, I would have been able to find something else to complain about. Fortunately I'm a pretty easy going guy, and it seems to rub off on other people. This place is great!

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Photo of coldriver
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
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!

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Photo of avaldivia
4.4/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I wasn't sure what to expect here. Bear Republic was never my favorite, or a go to for me, so I didn't know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised with my trip and it is a place I will be visiting again for sure. The atmosphere was very casual and relaxed, which I enjoy. I sat at the bar and was thrilled when I saw the selection. 12 beers on tap and a couple of local ciders. I got the tasters option, so I was able to try all 12. One was not very good, a couple were okay, and the rest were phenomenal. Food was decently priced. I got the special which was, half a sandwich, and the soup of the day, which, thankfully, was actually a wild boar chili. Overall, good beer, good food, good service.

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Photo of MadeInOregon
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

After a disappointing trip to North Coast Brewing's restaurant, Bear Republic was a nice change. The bill was $15 less, the food was better, the beer selections better, and the service was way better. This place has a nice outdoor seating area, inside is kinda dark and ugly though. Waitress was great, even offered us tastings of beer to help us decide what we wanted. Pints are reasonably priced as is food. Lots of interesting beer styles on tap (15+) so there's something for everyone. Sandwiches are great. Definitely will hit this place up next time I'm in the area.

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Photo of BigB415
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Bear Republic has a convenient location right in the middle of downtown Healdsburg in Northern California. A cozy little place with nice tap list(regular line up and draft only beer) and some great food. I like getting the Jamaican Jerk Burger which has a slice of pineapple in it and the stout or hop rod rye or if it's fridays I get the fish and chips. Service is quick and friendly and I've only had to wait for a table once or twice when it gets really busy but I didn't have to wait that long since they are pretty quick to clean the table and get it ready for the next person. I recommend checking it out if you're in the area.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Funky, fun and homey. The restaurant is eclectic, scattered with memorabilia related to racing and the brewery. Most surprising is that the production facility is right there in the restaurant, with the brewers in boots and slickers working over steaming tanks right next to the bar. When there is mashing and boiling going on, the windows fog up and the sweet smell of malt is thick. The service is funky and friendly, and so is the food - basic brew pub menu, no frills. The beer is exactly what you'd expect - interesting, large, earnest and delicious. There are all the usual Bear Republic suspects plus some rarities and brewery-only experiments. Instead of a straight sampler tray, the brewery opts for a series of flights, including lineups of hoppy beers, malty beers, specialty beers and so on. This is a fun stop in a fun town.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited here on 2010-08-21.

Stopped here after a long hike in the Armstrong Redwood Forest.

This is my kind of brew pub. Nice location, atmosphere and enviorns. Lots of windows, a big sitting area and interesting stuff hanging on the walls.

Had a Racer 5 after a long hike and it tasted fantastic. Enjoyed sipping this beer and a couple other small glasses while enjoying my dinner.

Struck up a conversation with a couple other patrons. Generally a very upbeat vibe and I look forward to a return visit.

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Photo of Natural510
4.15/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

For a brewery whose excellent beers are distributed over a good portion of the US, I was a bit surprised at the humble brewpub with cozy interior representing the Bear Republic brewery.
Interior had a bit of a sports-bar crossed with northern-cabin atmosphere. Comfortable, and there was an outdoor patio for warmer temperatures.
Their regular rotation of beers was featured, along with 8-10 draft-exclusive offerings, which was quite welcome and worth the drive to Healdsburg.
The food was mostly burgers & other bar-grub, however our group did enjoy the chili & lobster bisque soup, and my pasta special was quite good as well.
Our waiter was excellent, but I have to ding the service due to the bartender. I purchased a T-shirt on my way out, was instructed to pay the bartender directly, and he decided to do what only bartenders seem capable of getting away with...keeping my change for himself. I hate that shit.

Anyway, it was a fine experience otherwise, and I tasted the roggenbier style for the first time among others, so you owe it to yourself to check out the brewpub if you're ever in Sonoma County.

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Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This was a great place to stop for lunch on our back to San Francisco. Good beer, good eats really nothing at all to complain about. I have always been a fan of their beers and it was great to stop by and check out some of the specialty brews that we can't get here in Colorado. Even my wife, who isn't a huge beer drinker, really enjoy the atmosphere and the Racer 5 IPA. Myself I hade the Rye beer and something else that was crazy good and over the top. This is exactly what i needed after drinking nothing but wien for 2 days. Thanks Bear Republic!

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Photo of foles
2.53/5  rDev -39%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

I'm going to have to depart from the brilliant reviews given to this place (the reason I visited). My lunch experience there was awful.

I ordered a sampler of all the regular beers. I was advised that that they were out of their Rye IPA, so one space was empty. The waitress did not have the foresight to add a replacement beer (maybe one of the seasonals) to the sampler tray. So I asked her if she could add the Roggenbier to replace the missing one. She said "no problem" and did so. My wife ordered Calamari & I ordered a pulled pork sandwich. Unfortunately it was mainly octopus on the Calamari plate (not mentioned in the menu), and my wife doesnt like octopus. The food was overpriced as well, maybe to suit the seemingly wealthy demographic in the Healdsburg area. And it was of a lower standard to the other 10 or so brewpubs I visited in Norcal/Oregon.

When I received the bill I was shocked to find my sampler tray + ONE ADDITIONAL SAMPLE charged. So I was charged extra for the replacement beer sample despite being given one short to begin with. In addition there was a tip calculator printed on the bill. 18% = , 25% =. etc. The only time I have seen this in all my travels to the USA. Well they got a 50 cent tip from me, and that was generous in my opinion. As I was reading my bill I heard another waitress rudely address a nearby table, "Hurry up boys I need the table".

Beer was ok, but I have experienced much better in the region. I wont be visiting this place again.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A brewpub located just off the square in beautiful downtown Healdsburg. I'm sure everyone is familiar with their beer, so I won't get into that much. It's universally fantastic. They had about 8 of their regular beers on-tap. These are the ones that are bottled and widely available. They also have about 6 seasonal beers. Prices are very reasonable. I did not have any food but it's a typical brewpub menu. Even though it's in a touristy town this place has a very local feel to it, especially if you sit at the bar. Bear Republic is highly recommended stop for anyone that finds themselves in Sonoma County.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

I really like stopping by Healdsburg to visit this very chill (at least during the day on weekends) place. Nice outdoor patio area for those that like the sun, but i prefer to stay inside where its cooler and darker. Selection (10-14 beers typically) and quality are great and I really like that that they almost always have a special "one off" brewery only beer on tap. I also find their tasting pours to be pretty large. Only downside is that often, even though they are not busy, the service is very slow. Definitely worth checking this place out when in northern Sonoma. Never had the food.

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Photo of Hatzilla
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I have now visited Bear Republic twice with my wife, and we enjoyed it both times. The decor is nice - you can see the brewing operation as the mash tun and brew kettle are just to left of the bar, and different tanks can be seen through the glass behind the bar. The food selection is nice - great bar food. One our first visit I had the Black and Blue Burger, a burger with blue cheese, bacon and avocado. This goes great with a fresh Racer 5 - Yum! My wife had the Cobb Salad, which she also enjoyed. They also make great fries, onion rings and a garlic appetizer you should not miss.

Their beer selection is very good - There are always 12 to 14 of their beers on hand, including some specials. On our first visit in January 2010, they had the BRBC tripel on tap. When we returned in February, it was the Five Zero. (I still haven't had the elusive Racer X).

The staff is very friendly and attentive. If you are ever in the bay area, be sure to visit Healdsburg and Bear Republic.

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Photo of corby112
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I stopped by this place on a recent trip to Northern California.

This place kind of reminded me of a family chain restaurant in a way. There were lots of families there and the decor was very bright. They had several televisions and it was kind of like a sports bar. The dining area is very large with ample seating for large dinner parties and small high top tables. The bar run across the right wall when you walk in and if fairly large, again with plenty of seating.

They have a very nice selection of their beers including year round, seasonals, and limited one off offerings. When I was there they had Racer X, BRBC Tripel, Carburator and Sotoyome Amber which was an amber ages in oak whine barrels. The only problem is the lack of guest taps. If there were any I couldn't tell.

The food was decent, a little above average. I had the clam chowder which was very good and some turkey and brie pressed sanwhich which was very dry. As mentioned above it was decent and better than the average pub food but nothing spectacular.

I sat at the bar and the service was very good. I was waited on by two different bartenders and they were very friendly and somewhat knowledgeable and always made sure I had a beer in front of me. One of them actually showed me how to reset my iPhone when the internet stopped working. Thanks again!

Overall this place was pretty cool and I'm glad that I had a chance to stop by and drink some of my favorites from them frsh from the source. Also, that Sotoyome Amber is amazing and if it's on tap you should order it without question.

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Photo of Goliath
4/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This was a nice little place. I went for lunch so there weren't many people there, but the atmosphere was good. It seemed kind of laid back, but there's no real telling what the night life is like without having been there.

The quality was fine. The beers were fresh and flavorful and the food was fresh as well.

The service was good. The guy that waited on us was really nice, and he sounded like Paul Walker so we got a kick out of it.

The selection was nice for the food and the beer. Although, I like to see different things at a brewpub outside of their normal bottled offerings and nothing really stood out to me as something that I really had to try.

The food as I said earlier was fresh and flavorful and was exactly what we wanted at that moment.

Overall I have no complaints. It's a solid brewpub and if I lived in the area I would certainly frequent it.

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Photo of JTahoe
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Great beers overall as expected. I have enjoyed the samplers as well as full pints of my favorites like Racer 5, Racer X, Hop Rod Rye, Go Cart Racer, Jack London ESB, and Red Rocket.

The vibe here is average, not as great as I had expected, but not bad by any means. The raised bar area is pretty nice and has a few TVs for sports.

Food is decent, but not at the same level as the beer. Perhaps I need to try more items to give a fair review.

Staff is fine--not super attentive, and I didn't find them to be particularly knowledgeable which was somewhat surprising.

Overall, though, a very worthwhile stop for the beers alone--just keep your other expectations in check.

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Photo of nickd717
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Nice place. Hard to find (it's back off the main street). Typical brewpub atmosphere. Lots of great beer on tap. There is some interesting stuff available that you won't typically find in bottles, like -bal aged versions of Hop Rod Rye. Big samplers available and sometimes you get freebies. Food is reasonable and not too expensive, especially considering it's Healdsburg. Service is pretty good - you shouldn't ever have to wait too long for a beer. You can also buy bottles of their stuff on the premises.

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Photo of steelerguy
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I love Racer 5 IPA and their Apex DIPA. Stopped in Healdsburg for the night while cycling in Sonoma. Hit Bear Republic right after a 40 miles ride in the hot Sonoma sun. Not right on the main road, have to walk back into the plaza a bit, so look out for the directory signs on the sidewalks.

My burger was good and enjoyed it with a Hop Rod Rye and a Racer 5 for dessert. My wifes Mango Mahi sandwich was drenched in dressing with too much cumin which killed an otherwise good sandwich.

The service was not great, but it was perfectly acceptable and atmosphere was good. Loved the beer and enjoyed the food myself but that is mixed. The great beer wins out any day!

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Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg, CA
92 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.