Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bear Republic Brewing Co.Bear Republic Brewing Co.
BEER AVG
3.9/5
Based on:
84 Beers
24,479 Ratings
Place Score: 93
Ratings: 184
Reviews: 101
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

No notes at this time.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 184 | Reviews: 101
Photo of Yetiman420
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
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 -8.9%
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 -8.2%
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 bound4er
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Visited on a recent trip to Sonoma County. Bear Republic is located in downtown Healdsburg making it an easy stop for a few beers and food. They had a nice selection of brewery only taps including four sours. Enjoyed one with blueberry and also a Berliner Weiss. Service was okay - didn't like the fact that we had to pay $1.50 for a small sample pour (my wife was unsure of the Berliner in terms of sourness). I can understand the policy but why not remove the charge if you end up ordering the beer in a full size glass? Really left a bad taste in my mouth. Selection was good (guessing around 15 beers on tap). Food was okay - bar food for the most part. Much preferred Russian River but I guess that would go without saying.

Photo of Talisker
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
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 ojclark
3.88/5  rDev -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 -6.7%
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 -5.3%
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 -5.3%
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 -5.3%
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 -5.3%
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 -5.3%
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.

Photo of DrunkenMonk
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Had a nice lunch here on Fathers Day 2012. Good food, excellent service and good beer. I was surprised the waiter wasn't prepared to offer pairing suggestions.. I ordered a burger and asked his advice on what to pair with it. He kept telling me a hamburger, so I figured he misunderstood and didn't know what I was talking about. No problem.

I ended up with a sample paddle of MANY beers that were draft or brewery only, and not sold in stores. The wine country wheat beer was a bit grapey. Many of the others were hop-centric. I'd eat and drink here again.

Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Here I am at this must visit place, to try the beers they never bottle..and the rare time I can find them I have been beary pleased. The bartender is John and we are talking beer. He is giving me style and another style. Is it the style? I had a great pale, and an unusual sour beer, among others. A large square bar, many tables, tempting merchandise. Great service, not to busy on a cold Monday night. Parking down the street. A beautiful and very safe town.I understand the food is very good, and a big step up from your your usual bar food.

Photo of tonistruth
4/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

A- i got here right before dusk, drove by it once before i realized it was in the back of the building not right out on the street. The weather was beatiful, and the brewpub just seemed to fit nicely. Once inside it seems typical brewpub, but the patio is more of a nice resturaunt. The decor inside was great with little wood carved bears everywhere, different breweries coasters lined the bathroom and the hallway to it. The bar is on your right when you enter, giving you a view of the brewery.

Q- the beer was awesome, but i noticed if you buy a sampler they dont give you the big bear black stout. Dont know why, should of asked but i didnt. the hop rod rye was really good, as were the racer 5 and racer X, i doubt i need to say it, but the red rocket was awesome.

S- our waiter wasn't the best, most refills we got were from other employees, in fact someone else brought out food. He did come with the check though. I'm sure he was a little busy, but he visited the four tables right around me at about a 3:1 ratio. My favorite part though,
Me- "do you have a logo pint glass for sell?"
Waiter- gives confused looked and names off 3 different glasses they have
Me- point to my waiter cup "any with this logo"
Waiter- "we dont sell those cups"
Me- "i know i want a glass with this logo"
Waiter- gives another confused look, "i'll show you what we have"
sure enough he comes back, they have a red rocket glass, racer 5 glass, and a bear republic glass. Why was that so hard?

S- all house brews, i think 10 or 12 of them, and they had a little wine list

F- i good some garlic cheese bread, then a burger with garlic fries (seems like everything has garlic on it in north califorina) all were fantasic.

I had a good time, good brew, and good food. I didnt really wanna leave. Awesome place.

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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

I loved this place. I had a great time. The beers were good (cask-conditioned racer-5 dry-hopped with simcoe anybody?) The staff was friendly and competent, the atmosphere was cheerful and open. An open, high ceilinged eating area, with the bar sectioned elevated a few steps from the rest of the place. A nice patio out back which we sat on. All my favorite beers were on tap, and they had nice shirts and hoodies for sale. Healdsburg seems a nice little town of sunshine and friendliness, or was it just the warmth and glow of the Bear Republic brewpub experience?

Photo of Goliath
4/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of bruachan
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

not the cheapest of joints (but by no means expensive. $8), but quality. a friend reports that all three of her visits have yielded fine food, and my one visit confirms (to a limited degree). i had the rocket burger—tasty—and a goddam delicious bavarian rhubarb and strawberry cake. our waiter raved about the dessert guy, who apparently shows up at night to do his thing

the waiter seemed a bit overworked, but the atmosphere was cool and simple and the tunes were solid as well

sampled the house IPA, Hop Rod (one of my favorites), Big Bear Black and Old Scouters Barley Wine and tasted the hefeweizen, ESB and blonde: good beers (ESB seemed a little off target, but i didn't have enough to review)

the glorious aroma of hydrated malt permeated the air...even outside

Photo of kmcnair
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

During a weekend in Sonoma wine country, my girlfriend Amanda and I were in the Healdsburg area and we decided to stop by Bear Republic for a late lunch and a couple of brews. Beer selection was good sporting a few interesting items on the beer menu including Nitro Racer 5, Old Scouters and Big Bear Black was on cask. I opted for the cask, my girlfriend got the Hefe Weizen. My cask beer was a bit on the stale side, I probably should have asked when the cask was tapped. The Hefe was crisp and refreshing. I also tried the Old Scoutter's Barley Wine, which I recall being rather tasty. For food, we both settled on burgers. I went with the Rocket Burger, while Amanda opted for the Black & Blue burger. Both burgers were quite tasty, but her choice was clearly the better. Our service was good, food prepared well and quickly, waitress came back to check on us several times. Overall, a quite enjoyable experience that if I lived in the area, I would no doubt come back often. Highly recommended.

Photo of kleffman
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Another of Andre's requests, having been impressed in the past by its Hop Rod Rye. Guilherme was interested too. I would have prefered Lagunitas, but I knew Bear Republic would be an acceptable alternative. We had a little trouble location the brewery because it's located away from the street. We found someone on the street to give us direction, and then we parked our car in the back and found ourselves outside Bear Republic.

The tanks are clearly visible from the bar, but seperated by a glass wall. Yet the interior did have the scent of malted cereals. We chose to sit outside, where the patio is enclosed from the cool outside air. We even had our own heatlamp. But we weren't forgotten by the staff, whio came by a number of time to check on us.

16 different house beers were pouring, including Grand-Am, Hop Rod Rye, Newport Rebellion, and Global Kolsch. Naturally, we ordered a flight of all their beers. If you want a full pour, you can get one for just $4-5! The beers we tried were solid to good, though I'll admit a few that I've had before seemed a little muted (of course, visiting Russian River before may have disfigured my palate).

I had never been to Healdsburg before, and Bear Republic was the reason for breaking that spell. Bear Republic lovers will certainly enjoy their visit here.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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!

Photo of Offa
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of BigB415
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg, CA
93 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.