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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: 22,470
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 Bm1881
1/5  rDev -76%

Bm1881, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of chippo33
2/5  rDev -51.9%

chippo33, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of foles
2.53/5  rDev -39.2%

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.

foles, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of Neightst
2.92/5  rDev -29.8%

Neightst, Nov 22, 2014
Photo of Kataco16
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Kataco16, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of RoyalT
3.14/5  rDev -24.5%

Atmosphere – This pub is in downtown Healdsburg but not on the street front so it is really easy to miss. The building doesn’t have a face on the street, so you have to find the general address then park and walk around back.

Inside it seems to be a pretty trendy place. I was there during barrel tasting so expected a middle-aged crowd, but it was mostly kids drinking beer and socializing, even in the middle of the day. It'a noisy and has a very college-like clientele.

Quality – This place is a bit run down. I don’t think they are going for fancy-shmancy to begin with, but this really is budget on a shoestring.

Service – The one time I visited here the service was just horrible, but I hate to slam a place after one visit to I’ll give it a 3.0 and try to hit the place up next time I’m in town.

Granted, it was fairly crowded. Having said that, we were seated for ten minutes before anyone even stopped by to bring us water. I ordered a beer sampler that came ten minutes later, then the waiter was off in a rush somewhere. He didn’t stop back again for 30 minutes. That’s right, 30 minutes.

The plus of the story is that I paid the tab and passed on the pizza that my wife and I were going to have. I saw a fresh pizza being delivered as we walked out and it looked like hell, then we got to our next winery visit and they were providing free, fresh-baked pizza from a wood-fired brick oven. Now that’s karma!

Selection – They had a great selection of Bear Republic beers. I just missed the fresh Apex tab, but too bad for me that wasn’t their problem.

Food – Well, I didn’t get a chance to try any of the food since our waiter was out fishing or whatever the hell he was doing, so I’ll try again next time.

Comments – Oh, almost forgot, our dumbass waiter brought me out the wrong beer not once, but twice.

RoyalT, Mar 11, 2005
Photo of MrDave
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

MrDave, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of craft_shannie
3.36/5  rDev -19.2%

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.

craft_shannie, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of sunilmallya
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%

sunilmallya, Nov 05, 2014
Photo of leprakhan
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

leprakhan, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of jtosch
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

jtosch, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of dgilks
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%

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.

dgilks, Jan 22, 2012
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 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 pgreenx
3.64/5  rDev -12.5%

pgreenx, Oct 24, 2014
Photo of Fatehunter
3.66/5  rDev -12%

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.

Fatehunter, Sep 18, 2013
Photo of benito
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%

In the oh-so-cute town of Healdsburg, there's a wine tasting room every five steps and more upscale restaurants than one could shake a stick at, whatever that means. So it's not that surprising that Bear Republic's front door is relegated to an alleyway entrance, out of view of the town's main street. My friend and I drove by it twice before seeing the small sign pointing us in the right direction. Good thing we saw the sign.

Inside, Bear Republic has that ever-more-familiar feel of an American brewpub--large expansive dining area, dim lighting, and a patio. It is inoffensive and what I expect when walking into a new brewpub these days.

They had ten brews on tap (though, unfortunately, they were out of both Red Rocket and XP Pale), so we ordered a sampler and tried the field. Overall the brews were above average, though none of them were anything to write home about. Importantly, there were also no total duds. Some high points: the my-reputation-precedes-itself-so-I-better-be-good Racer 5 IPA, Black Bart Stout, and Pete's Brown. IAnd then the rest in the middle: the hefeweizen, blonde ale, el oso lager, aggression ale (with a new, single simcoe hop), hop rod rye, and ESB.

There's nothing exceptional here--in beer quality, selection, or ambience, but If, per chance, I'm ever in Sonoma again, I wouldn't hesitate to make a return visit to Bear Republic. Recommended for anyone passing through or in the area.

benito, Jun 14, 2006
Photo of jophish17
3.74/5  rDev -10.1%

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

jophish17, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of define333
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

define333, Oct 24, 2014
Photo of jackrodgers77
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

jackrodgers77, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

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.

Beerandraiderfan, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of DrMindbender
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

DrMindbender, Jul 28, 2014
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 VegasBill
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%

I finally made it here after tearing myself away from Russian River. The beer is legendary but what I did not know is that they have some selections on tap that I guess are not bottled, I thought they bottled everything. Anyway I discovered Heritage Scotch Ale and Apex IPA both on tap and very very good. I sat at the bar and ordered lunch, the food is pub fare but way above average. The bartender was great, funny and had a great knowledge of the beers.
On the downside the bar and restaurant seemed very dirty. It just had that feel that everything was not cleaned often.And the servers were totally clueless, as to their work and no knowledge of the beer.They were constantly coming to the bar and asking the bartender questions not only about the beer but just how to do their jobs.When I was there no one was seating the customers so every party that entered waited and finally someone,often the bartender, would yell out"would someone seat those people" .

VegasBill, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of GreenWBush
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%

Bear Republic, how I would sell my soul to see you distribute in Indiana.

I visited this brewery on the end of a long session of brewery visits spread over a couple of weeks, so when I found Healdsburg my conditions led me to interpret the city as a shitty win-o commercial nightmare. After a few pints at the pub I realized my thinking was only nominally correct. Healdsburg is wealthy, touristy, commercial, but also charming and fortunately located. And good goddamn, do they have one good brewery.

Bear Republic's small brewpub (apparently) attached to the smallish brewery is scatter-shot decorated. A rasta-flag here, Speed Racer there, digital abstract photos on the wall, bags of malt stacked up by the waitress station. Local artists' work featured predominantly. A cacophony of breweriana. A place you'd imagine a dot-commer would have started or frequented during their heyday. But who gives a shit about whats on the wall - its the beer that makes this place world-class.

The only ones I spent my time with were Racer 5, Hop Rod Rye, and the Godfather of all hop bombs, Racer X, an imperial IPA that was more than sublime. I could kill myself with this beer, seriously, its that good. They'd have to cut me off.

The service sort of sucked; the waitress was nice but seemed to care little about the beer, oh yeah, and it took 10+ minutes to get a beer at a place that was less than a quarter full. The pizza I had was spectacular in the restaurant, but I think I was influenced highly by the A+ beer. My girlfriend's veggie burger was pretty generic but tasty.

This place puts a hurtin' on the pocketbook, in a good way. Just don't try to get a hotel in the area unless you're lookin' to drop $300.

GreenWBush, Sep 09, 2004
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Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg, CA
93 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.