Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Ratings: 139 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
4.3/5 rDev +3.6%
Located in the rear of a downtown mini-mall, there was a patio to the extreme left on the creek side. Coming in, the m.d.s. was straight ahead with a glass cabinet of logo items off to the left and carved wood bears seemingly everywhere. Continuing straight aft was the restaurant area with standard restaurant tables and chairs and a beautiful mural against the back wall. To the right of the m.d.s. was a slight incline that passed another glass cabinet of logo items followed by a couple of FVs and, wrapping around, the half-hexagonal shaped, copper-topped bar with numerous FVs visible behind glass behind the back bar. To the left of the bar was the brewhouse on full display.
Beers: El Oso (4.3); XP Pale Ale (5.4); Bravo Pale Ale (6.5); Big Bear Black Stout (8.1); Racer 5 IPA (7.1); Racer X (8.4); Hop Rod Rye (7.6); Red Rocket (6.8); Crystal Wit (5.0); and Black Bart Stout (6.4) on nitro.
08-24-2008 21:14:12 | More by woodychandler
4.08/5 rDev -1.7%
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.
11-12-2012 22:14:53 | More by DoubleJ
4.15/5 rDev 0%
The day after New Years day was slow it seemed, but things were slowly getting back to normal, I planned on driving home from Santa Rosa in the early afternoon but not before taking the trip to Bear Republic. 15 miles straight up the 101-N from Santa Rosa, once you take the Central Healdsburg exit its less than a mile away. My drinking buddy for the New Years Eve weekend Rapapoda directed me to the Parking Lot that is behind Bear Republic.
A cold, very wet and windy day, the outside seating deck was soaking and covered in dead leaves and wind swept fauna and debris from the last few days. A quick close of the eyes soon had me imagining how great this outside deck area must be in the warmer Californian climes though. The exterior of Bear Republic is dominated by a tall galvanized ribbed steel hopper on the corner. The frontage is a two-tone cream and pastel rustic red with a series of Flags of Nations hanging outside.
Inside, the basic down to Earth feel is at odds with many of the surrounding high end Sonoma Wine Bars, Restaurants and Craft Shops. An arched walkway runs down the middle of the single room. To the left tables litter the lower deck and these were sparsely populated during my visit. I always like to sit at the Bar so Raps suggestion that we should was greeted with a welcoming affirmative nod. The bar area is raised up to your right and as such it lends a nice view over the interior of the Bear Republic Pub and the seating area. The Bar has around a dozen taps with a mish-mash of tap handles, all sporting the black, red, yellow and green Jamaican color scheme in some form or other. As with nearly every other bar I visited around these parts during my New Year Eve weekend Bicycles were hanging left right and centre, as indeed were yet more Flags of Nations. Artwork is prominently featured here also, the odd beery advert and bits of Racing Cars.
The Brewery is visible to your left as you sit at the Bar; in fact it is right at the end of it, hard to miss. Fermenting and storage tanks were visible through large glass windows behind the Bar. It seems like the whole Brewery and associated vessels are really wedged in here. A real bonus was the utterly incredible aromas filling Bear Republic during my visit, as they were brewing, neat!
Whilst the décor is so-so, the beer range was absolutely solid. From memory they had Big Bear Black Stout, El Oso, Hop Rod Rye, Petes Brown Tribute Ale, Racer 5 IPA, Red Rocket Ale, XP Pale Ale, Simply Simcoe #2 and Red Wheat. The Hop Rod Rye was on Cask also. I started with the El Oso which surprised me, better than expected. I also had a Pint of the Red Wheat and finished with a half of the absolutely gorgeous Hop Rod Rye on Cask from the lone Angram behind the bar.
I didnt really eat here, but I snagged a small bowl of Lobster Bisque which was thick, creamy and lovely, couldve done with a little more of that. Menu looked varied enough but still seemed to focus on Pub Grub.
Service was reasonable, but the server behind the bar was not very adept at using the Beer Engine, for instance she served Rapapoda the first pull of the day from the lines. Now to be fair Rap requested that she throw it away and serve a fresh half once the line was pulled through which she did. Still, she clearly hadnt been properly trained to use a Beer Engine, having the glass inches below the bottom of the Beer Engines spout and spraying the beer into the glass, not her fault I know, but always a minor annoyance I find.
Lots of Bear Republic clothing & apparel on sale, as well as beer to go, 12 and 22 ounce bottles together with some kind of inflatable plastic cube thingy too if you fancy a bigger sized take out.
It was absolutely great to finally get to Bear Republic after all these years of drinking their fine brews, and being a fan of them. It is quite remarkable how they brew so many high quality styles from such a tightly packed Brewery, and I love the odd English style special that they knock out once in a while. Well worth stopping by here, a no-brainer if you are in Santa Rosa, its only 20-25 minutes away.
Last Visit: Monday 2nd January, 2006.
01-09-2006 03:49:42 | More by TheLongBeachBum
3.98/5 rDev -4.1%
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.
11-11-2012 00:56:03 | More by Sammy
4.45/5 rDev +7.2%
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.
09-04-2008 13:17:59 | More by John_M
3.8/5 rDev -8.4%
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.
05-21-2008 21:11:08 | More by Yetiman420
4.3/5 rDev +3.6%
Awesome down to Earth bar filled with chill locals and really friendly, beer obsessed staff in the heart of snobby California wine country. Making it here was a major thrill for me as Bear Republic is one of my favorite breweries. The bar is one large room decked out with Bear Republic stuff. One corner plays host to brewing equipment. I cant believe that until recently they produced their product in this little space. Tap line-up included all of their regular offerings except for Hop-Rod. They also had El Oso, Crystal Wit, a specialty stout and a couple of guest taps. Nearly all Bear Republic bears are phenomenal and the Crystal Wit, which I tried for the first time was no exception. I had a great time chatting with the staff and really enjoyed my time there. A great place.
08-07-2007 18:32:19 | More by DaPeculierDane
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
4.25/5 rDev +2.4%
I stopped by this place on a recent trip to Northern California.
This place kind of reminded me of a family chain restaurant in a way. There were lots of families there and the decor was very bright. They had several televisions and it was kind of like a sports bar. The dining area is very large with ample seating for large dinner parties and small high top tables. The bar run across the right wall when you walk in and if fairly large, again with plenty of seating.
They have a very nice selection of their beers including year round, seasonals, and limited one off offerings. When I was there they had Racer X, BRBC Tripel, Carburator and Sotoyome Amber which was an amber ages in oak whine barrels. The only problem is the lack of guest taps. If there were any I couldn't tell.
The food was decent, a little above average. I had the clam chowder which was very good and some turkey and brie pressed sanwhich which was very dry. As mentioned above it was decent and better than the average pub food but nothing spectacular.
I sat at the bar and the service was very good. I was waited on by two different bartenders and they were very friendly and somewhat knowledgeable and always made sure I had a beer in front of me. One of them actually showed me how to reset my iPhone when the internet stopped working. Thanks again!
Overall this place was pretty cool and I'm glad that I had a chance to stop by and drink some of my favorites from them frsh from the source. Also, that Sotoyome Amber is amazing and if it's on tap you should order it without question.
01-16-2010 22:03:22 | More by corby112
3.75/5 rDev -9.6%
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.
08-17-2011 16:47:30 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg, CA
92 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.