Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Ratings: 139 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
4.33/5 rDev +4.3%
We were staying just outside of Healdsburg on the Sonoma part of our California tour. On Saturday we had two tastings set up by a friend (11AM and 2PM). We decided after our first tasting to hit Bear Republic for some chicken tenders and brews. I was very excited because while I enjoy wine, I don't seek it. Bear Republic is located right off Healdsburg Sq. tucked down a walking street.
As we approcahed I saw some people sitting outside in the patio area and a line out front. A line? At 1PM? We walked in and immediately turned right and headed towards the bar. Bar abuts the brewhouse where you can see the fermenters, mash tuns, and boil kettle through the glass. Not a huge bar area with about 12 or so seats. Lots of tables and chairs. Paraphernalia hanging from the ceiling and on the walls included t-shirts, bikes, car doors and hoods with Bear Republic's logo. They seem to sponsor car/bike races. Bags of malt line the floor as it seems they don't have much area for storage.
Chalk board with the brews on tap.
Racer 5, Racer X, Red Rocket Ale, Green House lager, Big Bear Stout, Oso Negro, Sammy's Strong Ale, Smokey Bear stout, Special XP Pale Xp, Wit, Pete's Brown, and a cask ESB dry hopped with EKG's.
Started with a Racer X as I wanted to try a fresh one--the last one I had at the hophead throwdown was a bit maltier than I remembered it being in the past. This fresh X was loaded with spicy, prickly, and piney hops. Simcoe? Good malt base rounds out the mouthfeel. Resiny and a tad slick on the tongue. Cask ESB with dry hopped EKG's was excellent. Soft and fluffy. Light citrus nose. Dry bitterness that doesn't exactly scorch the tongue, but is quite pleasant. Good balance between the malt and hops.
Standard pub grub. Some of the best fries I've ever had. This is the second place I've had these type of fries on this trip (the other being the Thirsty Bear)--Garlic and Parmesan--The east coast needs to discover this. I left quite happy and ready to sample some more wines with food. I'm surprised that a place this small is able to churn out as much as they do. Excellent beers. Good service. Good pub food.
09-24-2007 04:15:00 | More by bjohnson
4.33/5 rDev +4.3%
Went to this place on vacation with the Mrs. on christmas eve. Staff was friendly, beer was flowing, and food was great. I was a little disappointed they had no cask but the beers they did have were excelente! Fun bicycle decor hanging from the ceilings, speed racer fatheads on the walls, and getting to watch them brew the beer there was fantasmagorical. Oh yeah, there food is really rich and good.
They had a couple beers on tap you cant get in s.f. Like their esb, oso negro, and wit beer. Around this time they have a holiday spice beer which I had last year, and it still is excellent. Go there.
12-25-2007 06:22:14 | More by Murchmac
4.35/5 rDev +4.8%
If you're ever in "whine" country, you have to check this place out. Located in the downtown area of Healdsburg, you can send your wife out to check out the many overpriced art, antique, and clothing stores around (just don't give her the credit card) so you can concentrate on some serious beer swillin'. They have about 6 House Ales, plus about 10 other seasonal offerings. The Berliner Weiss was outstanding. It even came with the syrups you get in Germany. I preferred it plain though.
06-24-2013 00:36:54 | More by heytomcat
4.36/5 rDev +5.1%
Fifth stop of the great 2004 Sonoma County Beer Run. (http://stoutguy.com/beer/trips/Sonoma/)
Bear Republic is honestly one of my favorite California breweries. I will admit to having a beer crush on the brewery.
The brewpub is located in downtown Healdsburg, a town that still feels like a slice of the 1950's, only with high rent antiques and some truly funky places (including an old movie palace the Raven Theater with acts like Charlie Musselwhite). The pub itself is actually hard to spot from the main street as it's located on the backside of a small commercial block. The brewery is actually in a separate building next to the restaurant and is visible through a set of windows.
The pub is clean and well light with a raised bar dias next to a set of serving tanks.The selection of beers here was top notch! While D, the erstwhile navigator, ran down a pint of Grandma's Own and Hop Rod Rye, I sampled the largest sampler of the trip, a whopping 12 beers!
While beer republic doesn't do new growlers anymore, some of the bar staff is sympathetic enough to help a guy who's driven 500 miles and so I went home with a growler of Racer X.
The crowd was great at the pub, very friendly and outgoing. One of the fellows we spent our time jawing with, actually ended up buying our pints. That's a good thing, but even without it, this pub would make my day if it was anywhere near me.
11-14-2004 23:54:24 | More by drewbage
4.38/5 rDev +5.5%
For a place with nearly national distribution their brewpub had a laid back, small town feel to it. Even on a weekend night when places just down the road were packed and lively my party still managed to find a table without any wait and enjoy a few beers. Food was on par with expectations—nothing dazzled, and the prices were about what I’d expect to pay. The real plus here was the service—the servers were exceptionally friendly and welcoming across the board. Good beers, good people, good times.
08-31-2012 02:52:13 | More by elNopalero
4.38/5 rDev +5.5%
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.
02-12-2011 20:00:49 | More by Tucquan
4.38/5 rDev +5.5%
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!
08-18-2011 21:19:18 | More by magictacosinus
4.4/5 rDev +6%
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.
05-10-2006 19:26:34 | More by TheLoneGunman
4.4/5 rDev +6%
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.
07-27-2011 14:46:19 | More by avaldivia
4.4/5 rDev +6%
My wife and I spent an afternoon drinking and carrying on with the locals here. It's a fairly nice brew pub but nothing I haven't seen before. The beers were all good especially the 10 year old barley wine. The best part of our experience was the bar staff and the locals. The bar tender was filled with stories and silly jokes. Had us cracking up the whole time. Plus the locals were very friendly and fun to chat up. It was like being back home in a bar we had been to a hundred times. After several pints we got hungry and ordered some food. It was very good but standard fare for a brew pub. This was a great stop on our way up to wine country.
02-15-2012 01:41:13 | More by beerwolf77
Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg, CA
92 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.