Kern River Brewing Company

Kern River Brewing CompanyKern River Brewing Company
Kern River Brewing CompanyKern River Brewing Company
Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

13415 Sierra Way
Kernville, California, 93238
United States

(760) 376-2337 | map

Notes: The KRBC brings people back to the magnificent simplicities that life has to offer. From its beginnings, Kernville (the southern gateway to the Sequoia National Forest) has been a wild-west town. Established as a mining settlement in the mid 1800’s and continuing as a ranching community through the 1900’s.

KRBC is Kernville’s first brewpub. This makes KRBC much more than just a restaurant; it’s an attraction in itself. According to the Kernville Chamber, on any given weekend the town of Kernville can easily swell to between 20-40 thousand people, all of whom are looking for entertainment and can find it at our establishment. KRBC has received an overwhelming and enthusiastic response from both locals and visitors alike. Approximately 15,000 people live in the Kern River Valley, 2,000 of those people make up the town of Kernville. Keeping the names of the beer local, providing a simple yet diverse menu and having a comfortable place where “everybody knows your name”, Kern River Valley residents and visitors alike have found themselves at home.
View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 105 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth from Maryland

4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped in for a Citra and was not disappointed. Great old fashioned bar with great bartender and great beer drinkers. Lots of good beer; good food and good fun. It's more than a bit out of the way... but way worth it.

Sep 17, 2017
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VABA from Virginia

4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

I always wanted to stop in this brewery, and I am glad I did. This is the normal bar with serious bar drinkers enjoying themselves. For me it was a worthwhile stop on my drive thru.

Mar 30, 2017
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.6/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Aside from it being hotter than hell, we all loved KRBC! Cheyenne (sp?) was an awesome waitress, and of course the beers were amazing. Kid friendly, dog friendly, walking distance from our campsite, good food, great beer, what's not to love? Only took a peak and had a quick brew at The Backyard right behind the "old" building.

IMPORTANT!!!: Food and Beers are different at both buildings!!! Be sure to check out both menus. Cheers!

Sep 28, 2016
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Mojave_Ted from California

2.78/5  rDev -36.5%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 1

The good - their beer is pretty darn good. And they make a consistent batch. And location is nice.

The bad - horrifically noisy, cramped / crowded, you never get to sit outside and that really where you want to sit. The food is s---. It's a glorified burger joint. For instance, they have a "tri-tip sandwich" on the menu. But wait, it's only served on Tuesdays (or something like that).

Overall, bad. Way overrated. Yes, the first impression is cool. But after a few times, it's just cramped, loud (horrid acoustics), you never get the outdoor seating and it's just a burgers served on grease resistant paper (which is unhealthy). The servers are the local lasses, complete with piercings and tatts everywhere and a lot of bad attitude.

Aug 09, 2016
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Zythophile from District of Columbia

4.23/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Great place up in the mountains, and a choice of scenic drives to get there. Had Citra a few days earlier, but it wasn't there that day, so I picked up a couple bottles of Isabella Blonde, freshly bottled. Attentive service for me, and it looked like everybody else was getting plenty attention, too. Fish and chips hit the spot, and the tartar sauce was good, as is always necessary for that.

If bottles aren't always there, then I do wish they had 32oz growlers, in addition to the 64oz ones.

Jun 12, 2016
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RyanK252 from California

4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This place is pretty much right in my backyard but I haven't really had a chance to swing by until the tail end of a road trip to Death Valley. It's a pretty casual brew pub with a solid menu. I got a very tasty bbq port sandwich but was also tempted by the burgers I saw. Bonus points for the waffle fries. Very nice beer line up with something for every taste and fair pint prices. Our waitress was awesome, more than happy to answer any questions we had as first timers, and made sure we were always doing okay. I'll be coming up with more excuses to come back.

Mar 16, 2016
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DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

If there ever was a “destination brewery”, this is it folks! The drive there alone is worth the effort, so beautiful and unique on a mountain road alongside the Kern River gorge. Kernville is a small town/village that seems to thrive on outdoor tourism and activities (hiking, hunting, kayaking, rafting).

The brewery is your classic mountain-shelter, all-wood kind of building. On tap, 11 beers. 4 flagship (Red, Blonde, Just Outstanding IPA, Class V Stout) and 7 seasonals (Think Tank, 1310 Porter, Hop Nooky 11% Triple IPA, Black Rock 7.25% Black IPA, Shuttle Bunny, Dirtie Hippie Imperial Red, Gravity Check Session IPA, Black Rock Porter-IPA).

I really enjoyed Hop Nooky and Shuttle Bunny. Class V Stout is also outstanding, while a lot of the beers are just “OK”.

Tasty food! Their signature waffle fries are out of control, but so filling it took me all day to digest them. And I loved the veggie burger, more so considering how difficult it was to find veggie food around these remote lands. Pricey, though. Good service and nice, convivial atmosphere. I wouldn’t say it is world class, but it sure was a nice visit.

Dec 18, 2015
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craft_shannie from Indiana

4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

KRBC has been on my bucket list for awhile....visited on a monday night in july 2015 & sat outside on the upper deck. good crowd, comfortable & not distracting. special was taco monday where tacos are $2.50. with an order of waffle fries & an assortment of tacos (fish, cicken, pork, beef), our food selections were an easy, cheap, and delicious decision. started with a flight of seasonals: 1310 porter, shuttle bunny, belgian wit, hop nookie, gravity check before ordering full pours. favorites were easily 1) hop nookie- citrus forward DIPA at 11% AbV....such an easy drinker. probably a good thing they didnt have bottles of it to go; 2) belgian wit, and 3). 1310 porter. beers were all solid, well crafted. service was good: our server was busy with an assortment of tables/groups; a bit distracted, but easily forgiven given the surroundings, food, and drink. some bombers, growlers, swag for sale. KRBC and Kernville (the town) did not disappoint.

Jul 24, 2015
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peraltaspade72 from Florida

3.65/5  rDev -16.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Great little local brewery with wide distribution, have great tasting events. Love the classic Citra, which is top rated and the Dirty Hippy, Pumpkin Ale is also very good.

Apr 26, 2015
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Amaeda27 from California

4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Came by at lunchtime to pick up my Citra. Good service, good atmosphere, and most importantly, excellent beer. Big ups to their flagship brews as well as some impressive seasonal IPAs.

Nov 18, 2014
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RogueOz from California

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

This is my local so I may be a little partial on this one. Right now they have a great tap selection with the 6th anniv/barleywine/knee deep collab, so the tap list is better than normal. The food is always good with daily specials, parking is usually ample with paved and dirt lot options. It has a nice outside deck/lower tables option with a nice view into the surrounding valley/town/hills. Loses points for the one M/F bathroom options. The crowd is usually laid back - locals, and those travelling into the area for other pursuits besides beer (since it is kinda out-of-the-way). Camping season weekends can see this place packed to the rafters so plan accordingly. This time of year mid week - seating plan is wide open. Live music on Fri/Sats. They are expanding in the back but not sure on overall plans/dates etc. Kid friendly. Hope this helps. Cheers.

Oct 23, 2014
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shoegueuze from California

5/5  rDev +14.2%

Delicious brews, when I went, they had their core beers on tap, as well as Deep River IPA which is the collab between KRBC and Knee Deep, as well as their barleywine, their session IPA "gravity check," and their fresh hop IPA. They also had Dirty Hippie in bottle which I picked up. I came to get my Citra and stayed at the place next door. Had the "blue mine" burger, tasted like it was grilled at home, fantastic, had bleu cheese, sauteed mushrooms and onions on it. Highly recommended, best place to eat in Kernville (though 'The Cracked Egg' had an amazing omelette the next morning!)

Sep 16, 2014
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Elsinorebrewmaster from California

4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Went for the Citra release with my brother. Excellent road trip! Locals are chill and treat you like they have known you forever. The owners were friendly, met one of their moms too. She sat at the bar next to me and she told me the history behind their beer names/shirt designs. Which was very cool in my opinion! The food was so good I had the pita twice on release day! The atmosphere is so relaxing. Outdoor seating on deck and patio/grass area. They have guest taps which is cool for those that want to sample from other good breweries at the same time. Speaking of other breweries, the should consider taking a cue from these guys when planning their next release! The lotto/pick up system was nice even if I didn't win.

Mar 25, 2014
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RambunctiousGuzzle from California

4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Kern River Brewing Co. Is in a very cool little mountain town where the people are (mostly) friendly. The Brewery is most definitely a diamond in that ruff as far as eateries are concerned. I will often take the hour drive up a treacherous canyon highway to get a growler or two and while i'm up there, the burgers aren't bad either. I recommend the Just Outstanding IPA or Citra... if you can get the latter. It's brewed in fairly small quantities and is well worth the drive alone. They have an aged stout that is supposed to be legendary although I've never been up there while they had it. Pretty good brewery.

Jan 31, 2014
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RutgersEng from California

4.23/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Kern River Brewing is a small 7 barrel operation in Kernville California, although they are in the process of tripling their production. I'm not sure how this will effect their QC and availability. Their beer lineup is small, but exceptional in taste and quality. My favorites are Citra, Class X Stout and Just Outstanding. I'm sure Citra will be more readily available in the future :o(, I liked the exclusivity. The food is bar food, but the burgers are really good and the ambiance is rustic, including growing hops on their patio dining area. Overall, definitely worth the drive especially when they brew their harder to get line up.

Dec 08, 2013
Photo of Psyko
Psyko from California

4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went to pick up Citra "lottery" bottles 10/26/13

Went at Lunchtime.

Pub was pretty full, sat at the bar. Brandon the bartender was very helpful and informative. He was very knowledgable about all of the beers on tap. He was able to provide numerous details on the upcoming trappings.

Ordered food from the bar when I was ready (no rush-even with the crowds) and food arrived promptly hot off the grill.

Had the buffalo chicken sandwich which went great with a pint of Citra. Recommended.

Overall, a great to visit. Out of the way but worth the drive. Go and visit.

Oct 27, 2013
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GraduatedCashew from California

4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The spread was top notch including the (in)famous Just Outstanding IPA, Winter Ale, Class X Stout, and many more. It was refreshing to actually be able to try some of these “rated” beers as they were on draft and flowing.

The food was pretty good and surpassed what I have experienced in the past as "average pub fare."

This brewery is just another testament to the “if you build it, they will come” mindset as it was the only real reason most would head to Kernville in the first place. It is very much out of the way.

Oct 14, 2013
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drunkheathen from California

2.93/5  rDev -33.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

When I heard Kern River Brewing Company was a hop, skip, and a jump from my current city, I immediately planned a trip. I have had some of their beers via bottle and was very much impressed and couldn't wait to actually go there. I was disappointed. I need to go again, I find it hard to believe it could be that bad all the time. Granted I went there for the beer, nothing else. It's a small place, with a huge volume of customers, so I wasn't too surprised that they were out of a lot of beers, when I went they only had the blonde, red, and ipa available. All of which I had bottled before and thoroughly enjoyed. So I thought, oh well, can't try anything new, no matter, just have some good beer it'll be fine. The beer they served me was flat. Warm. like they had poured it hours ago, put it in the fridge for ten minutes, then served it to me. I had all three. And all three were the same. They were just flat out disgusting. But now on to the more positive aspects. The atmosphere was great, rustic looking, friendly staff and patrons, I really enjoyed just being there. The service was great too, always smiled and even though it was busy made time to make sure we had everything we needed. The food was nothing to write mom and pop about, but it was good. I really need to make another trip, everyone I have talked to who has been there just raves about it even after I tell them about my experience. I hope I just went on a bad day.

Aug 24, 2013
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aquazr1 from California

4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

My wife and I always enjoy heading up the canyon to KRBC. The experience is enhanced by the location, in the mountains along the Kern river. It's nice to be able to enjoy a beer outside on the patio on a clear day while enjoying the view. The staff is always friendly and attentive. The food is normal pub grub, but done well. They have 4 standard beers on tap of their own plus 2-3 seasonals. They also normally have 3-4 guest beers. Some may complain that there are not enough choices but the quality of what is availble is usualy very good and their beer prices are very reasonable. Just a few months ago I was fortunate enough to be there when they had Pliny the Elder on tap. The one disappointment lately has been the inability to fill growlers due to shortages of some of the beers. Hopefully that is a short term problem that will be solved soon.

Aug 02, 2013
Photo of Jodi215
Jodi215 from Arizona

3.33/5  rDev -24%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.75

This was our 2nd visit to Kern River Brewing. It is very out of the way but a pretty drive from Bakersfield where we were staying. The decor is very rustic almost to the point of being dirty. The window next to our table was full of flys buzzing around but thankfully they didn't leave the window and land on our food. Well behaved flys? Service was friendly and fast. The beer selection was okay. This brewery has very good beer but no guest taps and the one beer my son really wanted to try wasn't available. Normal pub selection on food, nothing different or unusual. The food was good though, we had pulled pork, BLT and fish and chips. Value was reasonable on food and better on beer. It was hard to get over all the flys though so I'm sure that reflects in my review.

Jun 15, 2013
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MilwaukeeCrusher from Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Another place I eagerly anticipated, although my Garmin decided to take me down the many twisty and windy roads from the west (note don't always listen to GPS, see my Charleville Winery and Brewery review). Once here, the outside had a saloon feel to it and to a lesser degree inside. I mentioned to the server from how far I had come to try their beer and she in turn went and got the head brewer. Really nice people and outstanding beer. About all I can say negative is that it would be nice to try their vaunted IPAs there, but any brewery can say that. Selection might not be quite as broad as others, but they get away with it with a roster full of winners. Almost exceeded my already high expectations in every way possible. Perfect score.

Mar 15, 2013
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bernie from California

4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

We are big fans of Kern River Brewing, so we drove up for the release and this weekend's re-release of Dirty Hippie (6th Anniversary Imperial Red Ale) which has yet to be bottled, plus they had a special fresh hoped cask of Just Outstanding that was fantastic. We enjoy visiting Kern River Brewing for their beers, plus it provides us a restful weekend vacation away from trappings of Los Angeles. We take our 90 pound fetching machine, Chocolate Lab, who gets to play by day and hang with us at the brewery by night. The brewery offers a pet friendly patio and back yard area and it’s not uncommon to find several dogs supporting their owners thirst for a good craft beer. We have nothing but great things to say about the staff. This trip we overheard a customer tell her server she had not had better service in the 27 years of eating out. That's a testament to the staff and what we experience every time we visit Kern River Brewing Co. Kernville, gateway to the Sequoias offers all kinds of recreation activities and a great place to quench your thirst after a day of rock climbing, kayaking, rafting, fishing, hiking, biking or just reading a good book by the river.

Jul 16, 2012
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bierfreundlich from California

4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Damn good brewery and establishment! Situated alongside the mountains and overlooking the small town of Kernville, this place is astoundingly beautiful! It has the feel of pulling into an old mountain town saloon. And it is very warm and welcoming inside, made almost entirely out of wood. This place feels like home. The inside seating and bar is not too large but able to accommodate somewhere around 100-200 people. There is a small outdoor patio deck area which is nice during the summer. The service is good at the bar, mediocre if you are waiting for food. I can't say whether the food is that good or not. I usually just order a basket of french fries (but they are good). I don't think they offer much in the way of vegetarian or vegan. Other than the place itself...the beer kills! They offer some of the best beer in the United States--particularly their Just Outstanding IPA and Citra DIPA. The Just Outstanding is a must try and will probably always be available. Any of their seasonal or specialty beers are definitely worth a try. This place is an outstanding brewery, definitely receiving more recognition and growing in popularity (as it so humbly deserves). It is a bit off the beaten path, but for anyone who likes outdoor sports (especially kayaking) it is an awesome visit.

Jan 14, 2012
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MrVonzipper from California

4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Finally made it up to this majestic place for the Citra release this last Friday with rtaps and MrHirshybar. I wanted to make sure we got there super early to get everything we wanted and needed. MrHirshybar was running a little late for the carpool. In the end we got there at the perfect time, putting us about 5th in line 40-45 min before the doors opened. Shortly after there was about 40-50 people behind us before they opened. The process in which the brewery took care of of the bottles and growlers seemed pretty flawless, unless you were in a huge hurry, cuz it got a little crazy packed.

The place was much bigger than I expected. There was a bar with about 12 seats, about 20 tables inside and about 10 tables on the elevated patio that overlooks the mountain valley. We had a table in the upper area overlooking the bar and brewing equipment.

Even though it was crazy busy and the servers were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Everyone that worked there was extremely nice and helpful and it seemed all the customers, even those who missed out on bottles, were in a great mood and enjoying their drafts and growlers.

I didn't get a chance to try any food as I was saving every dime I have for the amazing beer I was drinking and taking home. The menu although pretty small looked good and appropriate. I got to try Class X on Nitro which is absolutely fucking amazing, and ended up having a couple. I could drink only Citra and Class X for the rest of my life they are so goddamn good!

I love this place. The drive is awesome and beautiful. The people are great. And the beer is ridiculous!

Nov 28, 2011
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rtaps from California

4.36/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

11/25/11. Drove up for the citra release. long drive but very worth it. inside had a much bigger dinning area than i expected. the atmosphere was great, with an amazing view of the canyon with all the trees turning fall colors. The place was busy due to the release but the service was still very good. They had "Class X" on tap witch was amazing. 7 of there own beers on tap and you can't go wrong with any. didn't try the food but someone in our group did try the egg rolls and was satisfied. pricing was very reasonable.
Overall great place wish it was next door to my house.

Nov 26, 2011
Kern River Brewing Company in Kernville, CA
Brewery rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 5492 ratings