Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bear Republic Brewing Co.Bear Republic Brewing Co.
BEER AVG
3.96/5
Based on:
90 Beers
9,056 Reviews
Place Score: 93
Reviews: 96
Visits: 185
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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Reviews: 96 | Visits: 185
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. (165 characters)

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! (2,122 characters)

Photo of Hatzilla
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (987 characters)

Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.63/5  rDev +11%
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! (1,560 characters)

Photo of jrancan
4.63/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Bear Republic is the best brewpub I have ever been to....beer wise. The beer is absolutely first rate; kegged, cask, or bottled. Great looking place deep in the heart of wine country with a nice outdoor (heated) seating area. 11 on tap (aprox), with the highlights being the Racer 10, Hop Rod, and a Hefe. Exceptional! They might be brewing the best beer in America right now.
Unfortunately I didn't like the food. This is the problem with reviewing a place after visting it only once. This would probably be a 5 in my book but I just happened to get a bad order of fries. Totally overspiced, it was probably just a one time mistake, but I
can only rate on what happened.
Rumor has it they will be available in NY shortly, and I can't wait! (745 characters)

Photo of gmuller
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

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. (1,115 characters)

Photo of surfer4life
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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. (819 characters)

Photo of xhcadamx
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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. (647 characters)

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! (1,098 characters)

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. (292 characters)

Photo of Troyone
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

A nice brewpub kind of off the main street. A friendly atmosphere with beer knowlegable staff and regulars. Lots of antique paraphenalia including bikes and flags hanging from the ceiling. Some racing paraphenalia on the walls that has a vehicle with a number 5 on it. Lots of Bear Republic stuff for sale. Nice painting on one side of the walls. There is a beer patio outside facing a park like walkway. Some people on motorcycles drove right up close to the back patio.

All stainless steel nozzles with at least one that was brass. Nice copper plated bar with wood siding. Metal stools with cushioned seats and wood tables and chairs. Did not see the kitchen and the restroom was clean.

Service was prompt and knowledgable, befriend your bartender.

Very good selection of their own beers and one cask option, that was empty today. Notables (not in any particular order) were Racer 5, Black, Racer X, Hop Rod Rye, Pete's Tribute, Porter, and XP also some including Red Rocket were out. Did not care for the Mexican Lagers.

The food was good.

Reasonable (1,068 characters)

Photo of MadeInOregon
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (572 characters)

Photo of PDXHops
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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. (863 characters)

Photo of MiScusi
4.51/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

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. (539 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
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 Mark
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

We really enjoyed this place just yesterday. probably the best pub food i've had. The burger was exceptional and they did not scrimp on the portions. The XP pale ale was great. All their beer s can be had at one time or another in addition to some not available in stores. Red Rocket, Racer 5, and Hop Rod Rye are notables.Always Wanted to have something cask conditioned but it's usually the Imperial Stout only. If I wasn't driving... This fine brewery just might be my favorite on the domestic scene. Bear Republic is a place to visit!! (539 characters)

Photo of belhav0322
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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! (1,284 characters)

Photo of willjschmidt
4.46/5  rDev +7%
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. (609 characters)

Photo of JWD
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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.. (776 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

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. (1,594 characters)

Photo of beermebaby89113
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

So just getting some time here but wanting to do this since last week. Well I wish every brew pub could be my favorite but that doesn't work so let me tell you what makes this a favorite.

1st off we come in from 101 south get off the exit for downtown Healdsburge/Dry Creek Road stop at the Texaco (1281 Healdsburge rd.) to get the address and see a little sign in the window. TASTY KAKES sold here!!! Now be being from Pa. and not having them for about two years now since I last visited back east this was a treat all into itself.

So we head up the road to the brew pub a find a street fair going on parking was tight being the holiday weekend but looped around a bit and found a spot. I don't think it would be a big deal any other time. The brew pub itself is set back off the street a bit on the west side of the street but there are little signs on the post's to guide you right in. I had my dog with me so this was the next step in which I give the place and exceptional rating on service.

I go in and ask if we can sit outside on the patio with the dog and get the hole health board answer but the hostess had a plan B. Behind the regular seating is the I guess the smoking /dog section back next to the kitchen. One long both seat with table and chairs rounding it out. She tells me there is no wait staff for back there and I would need to go to the bartender to place my food order and get my own drinks, and that was it. So I grabbed a menu we made up are minds and I went in to place my order.

I tell the bartender all the info about us sitting in the back, order our burgers and 1st round and it was perfect. I told him I'd be back to grab the food in a bit and before I knew it here he comes with our order. So I had the black and blue burger with fries and my girl had the "just a burger" with cheese and the pasta salad. The burgers are grilled not fried on onion buns and are big. Damm good and filling. The pasta salad was made by them and was very tasty. You have a choice of sides at no extra cost which was nice.

As for the beer the best thing about it is you can get here in Sacramento in bottles so I wanted to taste it on draft. I started with a Hop Rod Rye, this I.P.A. is somethig else. The flavor of the rye and the creamy head the lacing on the glass the color the I'm drinking a good brew feeling you get when you put it to your taste buds makes this one of my top ten brews for sure. I can not think of another beer that tastes this way. Words don't do it justice you must try it. I will send out bottles to any one that wants one let me know it's that good. My girl being the brown fan she is went with there Pete's Brown. I had a taste I'm not a big brown fan to sweet for me but she liked it. After that we split a hefeweizen it was hot outside and it did a great job washing down the burger and had a great taste, a great summer beer for sure.

I would have sat there all day but I was crawling so next time. We checked out "craigslist" when we got home and found some people that rent out private places to stay in Healdsburg which is what we plan on doing when we head back up there to explore more of the area. Can not wait to hit this place again what a great time! (3,222 characters)

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. (500 characters)

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. (535 characters)

Photo of TheLoneGunman
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

If your in Healdsburg, don't miss this place. Bear Republic is known for having great beer and the pub experience is a lot of fun. I went with my girlfriend. But she wanted to check out a few shops before they closed. So that left me to meet Rapapoda for a few. We ran into some characters (women). That was an interesting exchange.

The bartender was really cool and the Hop Rod Rye on-cask was outstanding! The food was good and the overall service was great. The place is rather large with a long bar on the right that lets you get a glimpse into the brewery. Really a great place hang out. (595 characters)

Photo of avaldivia
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (702 characters)

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Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg, CA
93 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.