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Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bear Republic Brewing Co.Bear Republic Brewing Co.
BEER AVG
3.87/5
Based on:
67 Beers
22,674 Ratings
Place Score: 93
Ratings: 168
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.78%
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:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 168 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jtosch
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of dgilks
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

Photo of mbunje
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

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.

Photo of bret27
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2

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.

Photo of pgreenx
3.64/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Fatehunter
3.66/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Lunch on Saturday. They have good space in the bar, inside and outside dining areas. The beers are divided up by six house ales and 10 specialty ales. The house ales are available commercially, and the specialties are only available at the brewery. I had the Crazy Ivan and El Oso and my wife had the specialty taster of ten beers. All the beers were good with a few extra delicious. For food we tried a meat and cheese board. You choose the meat and cheese, it was good. The service was fine. Worth a visit on your way through the valley.

Photo of benito
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

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.

Photo of jophish17
3.74/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Visited while in Sonoma for a long weekend in February. After driving around to wineries all day (not my thing), it was time for me to pick our lunch spot. How about Bear Republic? =)

Parking on the street wasn't an issue for us, but I can see where some might have to walk a bit during busier times. Since it was a gorgeous 70 degrees and sunny, we opted for the patio - it was pretty much perfect. It seemed like most of the people around us were also tourists enjoying themselves.

Ordered a sampler. It was all beers that I have never had - though I can't buy Bear Republic in GA, I can in surrounding states to I've had the Racer 5 and Hop Red Rye's of the world quite a few times. Truthfully, the beer was mostly just "pretty good" - I do suspect that they are wise in what the decide to bottle and distribute, as it is generally better than their brewpub offerings, which should be expected.

Food here was pretty good - I remember feeling the need for a burger, and ordered a particularly messy Jamaican Burger. I'll order pretty much anything that comes with both pineapple and bacon. Awesome! I'd say it was above-average by brewpub standards, and won't rate it against some of the gourmet places in the area.

Value was fair - food was probably a bit pricier than the quality, but the beer wasn't too bad.

What a way to wrap up the Sonoma portion of our vacation. I definitely will be back for another lunch next time I'm in northern Sonoma

Photo of define333
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of jackrodgers77
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Photo of DrMindbender
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of SmashPants
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of Yetiman420
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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.

Photo of VegasBill
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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" .

Photo of GreenWBush
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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.

Photo of Talisker
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

A must-visit for beer lovers touring wine country. The quality of Bear Republic beers is astonishingly high across the entire line, and the brewpub always has enough worth sampling.

The (rightfully) well-known beers are Racer 5 IPA, Hop Rod Rye, Black Bear Stout, and Red Rocket. These are distributed in bottles, but gain a lot from being served fresh on tap.

But be sure to look for the Racer X DIPA, Heritage Scotch Ale, Rebellion IPA, Apex IPA - all worth trying, and not available in bottles. Also try whatever they've got on their hand pump - it's not always operating, but amazing when it is.

Table service here is marginal at best - I've been at all times of day, all different days and never had the remotest kind of prompt or friendly service except when I've sat at the bar. Clearly the proprietors don't put much stock in operating the restaurant. Food is typical bar food - edible but not remarkable - with the exception of the excellent fried green tomatoes.

But none of that really matters. This is the strongest lineup of self-made beers you'll find at any brewpub on the planet. Bear Republic does not misfire.

So if you're in wine country, make a stop at Bear Republic. With its convenient location in downtown Healdsburg, it's in walking distance of a dozen wine tasting rooms - so your wine-interested friends can walk around while you sample everything on tap (and cask) at Bear Republic.

Photo of Razorrich003
3.84/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of ojclark
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

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.

Photo of MrFootstones
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

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.

Photo of scottfrie
3.95/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of JTahoe
3.95/5  rDev -5%
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.

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

Took the journey up to Healdsburg with Denali and Brewbacca. I have been a huge fan of Bear Republic ever since Racer X ripped my tongue to pieces without mercy. This trip was long overdue.

The actual establishment is hidden behind some buildings on town square. The inside is cool, typical brewpub style with a stock car vibe. The sacks of Belgian malt were definitely cool. The brewing operation is in plain site (a bit smaller than I would have thought) with huge storage tanks on the periphery of the building. We sat outside on a gorgeous day.

The service was decent. The waitresses are uniformly cute and pleasant. My friends order was wrong, but was quickly fixed and it left us with free garlic fries. Theoretically this evens out, but I am going to give it a plus because we came out ahead.

The selection is typical Bear Republic with some notable hard-to-finds and cool additions. First off, there is a Nitro Racer 5 (didn't have it, as curious as I was) and a Cask Hop Rod Rye (simply amazing). Racer X was in full effect, as was the seasonal barleywine. If you like Bear Republic, you will be in good hands.

The food was good, just one small step above "meh". I had a pulled pork sandwich which was tasty but nothing special at all. The garlic fries were pretty damn good however.

As a singular destination, this is a toss up. It's alright with some good unique beer offerings. As part of a larger beer trip (Russian River, Anderson Valley, Third St. Aleworks) or a wine country trip (sonoma, Napa, Calistoga) it is a great stop over in a quaint upscale town.

Photo of 4000qtrap
3.95/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of Seanibus
3.95/5  rDev -5%
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.

Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg, CA
93 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.