Hey all you Beer Friends out there! Today we are starting a new weekly segment that will showcase our favorite breweries. We'll try to provide you with some information about who they are, where they're from, what they're philosophies are and most importantly, information on a selection of their brews. Make sure you check in every week for a new brewery! In honor of their event during the first week of New York City Good Beer Month we will be showcasing the Bear Republic Brewery! Bear Republic is located in Healdsburg, California and was founded by Sonoma Valley residents. Bear Republic is owned by Richard R. and Sandy Norgrove and Richard G. Norgrove, the brewmaster, and his wife Tami. Bear Republic is a favorite among Californians and recently they made their way out to the Atlantic for all of us East-Coasters to enjoy.
You can find many of Bear Republic’s brews on the East Coast in both six-packs, bottles and on draft at your favorite craft-brew bars. Their flagship brews are the Racer #5 India Pale Ale and the Red Rocket American Amber Ale.
Racer #5 is a heavily hopped IPA, using Centennial, Columbus, Cascade and Chinook hops. It is easily drinkable, full-bodied and hopped-to-the-max. Very few IPA’s stand up to the enjoyment factor one gets while drinking a Racer #5. Ordered frequently wherever found on tap it is most definitely a go-to-brew for anyone that enjoys hops in beer.
The Red Rocket Ale is an American Amber Ale. I could try to describe it in my own words, however the good people over at Bear Republic said it the best (after all it is THEIR brew): “Red Rocket Ale is a bastardized Scottish style red ale that traces its origins to our homebrew roots.” Smooth, caramel and red, if I was in a malt mood I wouldn’t pass this one up.
Then we come to the Crazy Ivan. The Crazy Ivan is described as what you would have if Racer #5 and Red Rocket had a love child. It is a delicious hoppy, red IPA that starts of with a generous dose of hops and ends with a malty smooth red flavor.
They are also famous for their harder to obtain brews such as Hop-Rod Rye, a Rye IPA that combines a natural, spiced Rye flavor with a floral hop aroma. It’s hard to find something that pairs two distinct flavors better than that. The Big Bear Black Stout is almost smooth and caramel-y and you can definitely taste the roasted malts. Almost as if you were at the brewery munching those malts straight from the oven. Finally we have the XP Pale Ale. The XP stands for Exceptional and if your into a real easy drinking ale then this one is for you. The hops and malts are on equal footing and not overdone which leads to a smooth drinking experience. Try it with dinner, or lunch…maybe even breakfast? The Hop-Rod, Big Bear and XP are only available in 22 oz. bottles, so when your at the beer cooler make sure you avert your gaze from the six-packs and head all the way down to the bottle section. You might just get lucky.
Thanks Bear Republic for creating high quality craft brews and sending them out to the East Coast. Wherever you are, do yourself a favor and grab yourself a six-pack of whatever Bear Republic you can find sit back and enjoy.
Side Note: Bear Republic had a fantastic New York City Good Beer Month event at Bar Great Harry called the 'Sour Patch Event.' The brewers at Bear Republic refermented some of their favorite brews using wild yeasts and bacteria which naturally gives the brews a tart, sour and wild flavor. You can check out a review of the event by The Beer Friends here!