Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Bear Republic Brewing Co.Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Very Good
27,292 Ratings
Bear Republic Brewing Co.Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

345 Healdsburg Ave.
Healdsburg, California, 95448
United States

(707) 433-BEER | map

No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

Master Beer Listing
BA Score:
View: Beers | Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 226 |  Reviews: 108
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.15/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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 it’s 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, Pete’s 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 didn’t really eat here, but I snagged a small bowl of Lobster Bisque which was thick, creamy and lovely, could’ve 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 hadn’t 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, it’s only 20-25 minutes away.

Last Visit: Monday 2nd January, 2006.

 4,187 characters

Photo of Crotor
4.15/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Bear Republic offers a comfortable and fairly unique atmosphere with flags and racing and fire-fighting paraphanalia covering the walls. The location is clean and upscale while remaining unthreatening.

The waitstaff was quick, courteous, and beer-informed, which is all I need. The food was your general, slightly upscale, California-ized pub fare, which was good if a little expensive...

A wide range of bombastically PNW-style British ales offered more than enough to tickle any beer geek. Any and all beer was absolutely top-notch, world class.

A must see if you are ever in the general vicinity of the North Bay.

 625 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.15/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A good place off the square in the town of Healdsburg. Despite what some other reviewers have said, its actually pretty ideally located- just over the small pedestrian bridge from the square parking plaza, meaning it has some of the easiest parking in town. Kind of your standard brewpub decor, but this is hard working brew pub that is pretty tighly packed, so there are mash tuns inside the eating area being worked on as you consume your beer. The quality of all the brews is excellent. All fresh, all well pored and respected. There are also growlers and their six most common brews in bottles to go. The selection is also quite good when I was there. Their six standard brews on tap, + Racer X, a Summit IPA, and something lighter. I believe there was also one cask conditioned. The food was decent- a little ambitious, and they don't always pull it off. Not bad, and a fairly reasonable alternative in this expensive town. Also, they serve glasses, pints, and schooners for some variation. Definitely a great place to have lunch or just grab a beer or two. This should be a stop everyone makes in Sonoma beer country- along with Russian River, Flavors for Moonlight, Third Street Alehouse (all in Santa Rosa); and Stumptown (in Guerneville).

 1,247 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.15/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've been waiting to get out to Bear Republic for several years now. I finally got the opportunity while touring wine country with the wife.
Located in the little, cozy town of Healdsburg we finally found the brew pub situated on one of the side alleyways.
Upon entering the pub, you're greeted with aromas of malted grain boiling away, along with the fresh grain bags that saddle the walls. A very spacious, open, industrial sized building with high ceilings and ventilation ducts. A pleasant, outdoor patio overlooks a fountain. Two large grain silos adorn the outside of the building. Vintage bicycles hang from the ceiling.
A large, wall sized mural highlights the one side of the room. Looks like a dam, a river, and people carring bags of grain with hot air balloons floating in the background. Simple, concrete floors run the length of the restaurant. The long bar is capable of seating many with a nice view into the steel tanks in the back. The bathroom is old school with weird, blue walls, and beer lables stuck all over it. It sort of reminds me of some of the music clubs I've been into over the years.
Our waitress was pleasant and attentive. She didn't know a whole lot about beer but she knew what was on tap and what the specials were.
The selection was decent, though nothing too out of the ordinary. I had recently missed the Racer X(been salivating for this), and I was hoping to check out the 3R Belgian but they didn't have it on. I did get to check out the Maibock, as well as the Hefe, which were nice.
The food was good, as well. I had a pressed sandwich with garlic fries. I don't think I've ever had garlic fries quite as good as these. They were quite addictive.

 1,696 characters

Photo of Natural510
4.15/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

For a brewery whose excellent beers are distributed over a good portion of the US, I was a bit surprised at the humble brewpub with cozy interior representing the Bear Republic brewery.
Interior had a bit of a sports-bar crossed with northern-cabin atmosphere. Comfortable, and there was an outdoor patio for warmer temperatures.
Their regular rotation of beers was featured, along with 8-10 draft-exclusive offerings, which was quite welcome and worth the drive to Healdsburg.
The food was mostly burgers & other bar-grub, however our group did enjoy the chili & lobster bisque soup, and my pasta special was quite good as well.
Our waiter was excellent, but I have to ding the service due to the bartender. I purchased a T-shirt on my way out, was instructed to pay the bartender directly, and he decided to do what only bartenders seem capable of getting away with...keeping my change for himself. I hate that shit.

Anyway, it was a fine experience otherwise, and I tasted the roggenbier style for the first time among others, so you owe it to yourself to check out the brewpub if you're ever in Sonoma County.

 1,114 characters

Photo of Shaw
4.15/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

After having their excellent Racer 5 IPA at the 2002 Oregon Brewers Festival, I knew I had to try some of their other brews at the source.

Bear Republic is a nice brewpub in downtown Healdsburg. It's behind shops on the main drag, so check the address numbers carefully.

It's a medium-sized room with a large bar. The brewing equipment can be seen to the left of the bar and through windows behind it. More equipment (probably for their bottling operation) is in an adjacent building.

Lots of stuff on the walls. Much is related to "Speed Racer," a big influence for some of their beers' names.

The place wasn't crowded on a Wednesday afternoon in August. I sat at the bar and ordered their beer sampler and their special of the day, chopinno, on the recommendation of the very friendly bartender, who also knew a lot about their brews. The chopinno was good with a spicy sauce and fresh melange of seafood. I should have asked for the price in advance; it was a little shock to pay $18 just for the lunch portion!

Their beer is even better than their food. I was lucky to sample their 1998 barleywine on tap. I'm a big barleywine fan and this one was a great addition to the genre. Nice and smooth, thanks to the aging, I imagine.

Their Big Bear Imperial Stout was their current cask-conditioned selection. I don't remember enough about it for a proper review, though.

Several regulars popped in and out while I was there. Overall, Bear Republic had a great laid-back atmosphere. Their beers are nice and big and hoppy where appropriate, which is fine by me.

 1,566 characters

Photo of wolffman17
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

We stopped by while running around the area. Bear Republic feels like the typical brewpub...there's lots of breweriana around, it has a comfortable atmosphere, and there are plenty of laid back patrons enjoying the beer. It's cool to see a place that has such a big name and wide distribution but not feel stuffy and commercial.

The beer is great as expected. Tried out Crazy Ivan, Racer X, and the barrel-aged Barleywine...made for a good afternoon!

High quality, attentive service, and awesome beer make it a must visit if you're in the area.

 547 characters

Photo of ddarden
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I dropped by the brewery for a couple of beers while in No Cal on business. I had already eaten lunch so I did not try their food. The establishment had the feel of a typical brewpub. The bar area was a good place to drink. There were a quite a few locals hanging out afterwork and were quite friendly. I could imagine if I lived in there, I would hang out regularly to drink beer. The bartender was very attentive and took good care of me. I had the Racer X and Hop Rod Rye...two of my all time favorite beers. I also got a couple of fresh bottles to take home with me. Overall, the place was nothing extrodinary, but it has great beer and a friendly atmosphere, so definitely worth a stop if you are in the area.

 714 characters

Photo of StoutSnob40
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Mothergoose03
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

(#26 of 49) We stopped here to try their beers and to have lunch. The place is located along a busy retail street in the downtown area, and is situated off the street along a walkway that runs between two retail buildings. The large interior has good vibe, but we chose to sit on the covered rear patio that overlooks some park-like property.

We ordered the house flight and the barrel-aged flight that together consisted of 11 of the 19 beers that were on tap that day. Each of the beers was brewed very well to style, and we decided that all 4 of the barrel-aged beers deserved a B+ grade. The other 7 were given scores of either a B or a B-minus so that the overall grade was a 4.0. Some beers were were available to go in bottles, and growlers were also available.

The food here is excellent too. The outdoor setting along with the great beer and food made for a great visit. We'd definitely revisit this pub if ever in the area again.

 942 characters

Photo of clickpush
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went here for dinner after spending the day hopping from one wine tasting room to another. Was greeted at the door by our waiter who introduced himself and asked how the rest of our day had turned out - apparently he was working at one of the wineries we'd stopped at in the morning. Wine-making and beer serving in the same day: now that's my type of person.

The interior of the restaurant is high ceilinged and large with a rustic pub feel to it. Several TVs throughout the room please the sports crowd, and a big bar along one wall satisfies those who come solely for the beer. Luckily we arrived at the restaurant early and were seated at an outside table - apparently very sought-after as the whole deck filled up quickly after we arrived. A beautiful, warm evening spent drinking beer and watching the sunset through the trees - I definitely cannot complain.

The service was fast and cordial. Though he could not offer up a whole lot of information about the beer, he knew more than most wait-staff that I've experienced. My g/f got a burger w/ blue cheese, french dressing, bacon and avocado.. and it's one of the best burgers I've ever tasted. I got chili of wild boar and antelope - a very interesting idea, and tasty, but the chili was under-spiced and I require some chili (peppers) in my chili!

Beer selection was good. $4.00 pints and $1.00 for 3oz tasters. They had 15 beers on their menu though a couple were tapped out. It was nice to have access to their unbottled selection, like Black Bart and Racer X.

A definite recommendation.

 1,560 characters

Photo of jakecattleco
4.19/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of epyon396
4.19/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of joeymrr
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of arizcards
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Visited Bear Republic with Da Boss recently on an early Monday afternoon for lunch and a few brews. We actually sat outside since it was such a perfect day so we did not observe the inside atmosphere closely. Outside it was very pleasant. The area which BRBC resides is kept very tidy and it is dressed up nicely by perannials. Inside it smelled liked a brewery! The young lady that served us was very timely and attentive despite it being pretty busy on the back porch. The selection of brews was very good, the choices were tough to make! The food was pretty good with the garlic fries being very tasty but the sandwiches we had were OK at best. The prices were reasonable, pretty average for the places we have been to around the country. I would recommed it to any fans of BRBC!

 782 characters

Photo of gr8fulbeerhead
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of carln26
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Bear Republic is located in one of my favorite places on earth. Healdsburg, CA has a great combination of small size, pleasant climate, nice people, great wine and food, and oh yeah... Awesome beer. I love going here, and recently had a chance to come back on vacation.

Their pub is located in a small development right in the middle of downtown. It has a nice sized dining room, and a spacious bar decorated with lots of beer paraphernalia (theirs and other beers). When I’m in town, it’s all about the patio, and this trip was no exception. Nice medium sized patio available for lunch and dinner.

Service is timely and attentive, and the food is good. I had the chili of the day, and a nice salad. They have a full compliment of sandwiches, burgers, a few pasta items and even a few Mexican selections. Vegetarians are welcome. My food came out quickly and was hot and tasty.

I love Bear Republic’s beers, and it’s great getting it directly from the source. I had Racer 5, Racer X, and a Hop Rod Rye. My only disappointment was the lack of the Stout or Brown (which I’d never had before).

I love this town, love the beer, love the bar.

 1,156 characters

Photo of PuckLSHS
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Bear Republic is a great place to go with friends after work. Their roasted garlic and appetizers are great. The beer is always good and a step above the normal everyday brews that you would find in the area. The place is decorated for their cycling interest and is very sportsman oriented. I always try to get to Bear Republic when I am up north.

Since I attended Sonoma State University, I ended up being able to go to Bear Republic a lot. I tend to enjoy the Hef, the Race 5 is excellent and Pete Brown's Tribute Ale is quite amazing. They usually have a few seasonals on tap every time I am there. Right now, they have their Barleywine on tap. I am never ever disappointed with my trips to Bear Republic.

I suggest pulling up a chair and ordering a few pints, getting some of the garlic fries and enjoying the company and the scenery.

 844 characters

Photo of m1ked
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Made it here as part of a NorCal beer trip. This was a definite must in my book because of their great brews. We unfortunately got there a little later than we had planned, when we arrived we had about an hour until closing, and at least 6 untried beers to sample, as well as dinner. Their Heritage ale was delicious, but not as delicious as their Bourbon barreled Heritage ale. We made our case to the bartender who slyly told us we can continue on our beer sampling until she was ready to walk out the door. Sweet! The four of us began to order dinner, which was a close second to their beer. I had Antelope pot pie, which tasted like beef to me. And the Black and Blue burger was a crowd fave. We were all pleasantly surprised by the restaurant component of the brewery, and equally pleased with their brews. If you are in this neck of the woods, and you enjoy beer and/or tasty upgraded bar gotta check this place out.

 934 characters

Photo of billab914
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of italianstallion
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of flexabull
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

One of my favorite brew pubs to visit. While I have never been completedly blown away by the food... especially since it is just a tad over priced in my opinion... It is certainly good enough.

What seperates this place from the boys for me is the quality of beers. Consider yourself especially lucky if Racer X is on tap. If you like Racer 5, you'll love Racer X. Too me it tastes like they took everything that was good about 5, and doubled it. There are plenty of other good choices too... the original Hop Rod Rye, the big dark Black Bear Stout, and the very drinkable XPA.

 580 characters

Photo of Spreetaper
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg, CA
Brewery rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 27,292 ratings