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The Beer Friends write, review, and discuss Craft Beer as fans instead of experts.  They share their unique voice and affinity for craft beer through multiple platforms and offer a range of media to join their craft beer conversation.



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Filtering by Tag: Bear Republic Brewing Company

Featured Brewery: Bear Republic Brewing Co.


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!

New York City Good Beer Month: Bear Republic 'Sour Patch' Event @ Bar Great Harry


One Beer Friend kept the day going yesterday by heading waaaaaay out to that other bourough to one of the best craft beer bars that Brooklyn and the city (and the world!) has to offer:  Bar Great Harry.  They deserve a special mention in this article for being such a quality craft beer establishment.  If you haven't made the trip out, maybe because you're afraid of how the subways run in Brooklyn (the rats out there are big as tigers - jk) then you need to sack up and head out here.  You don't know what you're missing. Bar Great Harry scored a major NYC Good Beer Month win yesterday by hosting the Bear Republic Brewing Co "Sour Patch" event.  The key word for the event turned out to be SOUR! Bear Republic refermented some of their best brews using wild yeast and bacteria. From the wilderness! When you brew anythIng with wild yeast you naturally get a sour flavor. To say the least, sour-larity ensued.  Read on for a Beer Friend take on the whole situation.

Bear Republic Sour Crazy Ivan

The Crazy Ivan alone is an amazingly creative brew. The Racer#5 with the Red Rocket as one beer! Then referment it for OVER 18 MONTHS! Sour, hoppy and red. Oh and delicious.

Bear Republic Black Mamba

A black wit bier just sounds like a good idea. The first reaction to this beer is a sight reaction: the bubbles are so fine and overly present. It's a joy just to look at. First taste: tart, sour, black and refreshing. The wild yeast is most present as it is I'm all these brews but the flavors that develop are fantastically complex.

Bear Republic Toyon Brut

A surprising Belgian flavor seems to take over the brew until you get to the very end where the Brut Champamge takes over. Easily drinkable and complex enough to make you think for a second. Oh and Tart!

Bear Republic Prickley Pear Barrel Aged Grizz

To review this beer is to betray it. Malty as hell cut by the pear and that same huge tartness from the wild yeast. Drink it and drink it twice.

Bear Republic Barrel Aged Grizz

Regular barrell aged grizz is fruity.  But not as sour as the prickly pear.  However it is as malty, if not more and the wild yeast is right up front.  Great choice to end the evening with.

You can find Bar Great Harry at the intersection of Smith and Sackett in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood in the great bourough of Brooklyn.  Take the F train 3 stops into the BK, get off at the Bergen St. stop and walk south about 4 blocks on Smith St.  You won't regret it.  Click here for a Google Map.