Bear Republic is another of my favorite breweries. First beer I ever had from them was their Hop Rod Rye, a rye IPA. Delicious. I’ve since had their Racer 5 IPA, one of my favorite IPAs, Racer X, one of my favorite Double IPAs, Big Bear Black Stout, and the Rye Pale Ale. Definitely a brewery from which I’ll try anything I can get my hands on. All of these I’ve had on tap, and the Racer 5 (and I think Racer X as well) on cask. The Racer 5 I’ve also had in various incarnations, with the brewer being heavy on a particular hop, in these cases either Chinook or Columbus; both on cask. I preferred the Columbus.
In April, Christina and I went out to San Francisco. We planned to rent a car and drive up to Sonoma to do some wine tasting. I said if we’re going up there, we also have to visit Bear Republic, who has a brew pub in Healdsburg. The main brewery in Cloverdale isn’t set up for tours. We were given a little tour by Ray Lindecker, brewmaster and super nice guy. He even came in on his day off to show us around. Even though they had lots of interesting beers to try, I ended up having a Racer 5. Typical, yes, but I figured where else would I ever have it so fresh as right at the brewery? Christina had the Peter Brown Tribute Ale, which was actually supposed to be a porter. It was fantastic. I wish I could have tried more, but I was driving and we still had more wine to taste. I really need to get back there and spend more time.