The Bear Republic Brewing Company is in the beautiful town of Healdsburg, California, in the heart of the Sonoma Valley wine country, but also with great beer neighbors such as the Russian River Brewery in nearby Santa Rosa.
Hop Rod Rye - Made with 18% rye, this 8.0% ABV beer pours medium brown and ruby in color. It is translucent, but not transparent. It has a short head of off-white to light brown foam that leaves a light to medium density of sticky lacing. The aroma is fruity, hoppy, pine, malt, strong iced tea with lemon. The aroma is very inviting and I am salivating to taste this. The taste is fruity and malty, spicy rye, strong tea with lemon, rye toast with fresh red plum jam. The finish is quite bitter and dry. It has a very smooth and round mouthfeel. Complex, yet accessible.
Apex Strong IPA - This is a draft only beer, and I got this 22 oz. bottle filled and sent to me by Bierkraft of Brooklyn, New York. This 7.5% ABV beer pours a dark shade of copper, with brown and glowing orange. There is a half-inch of creamy, thick off-white head that leaves sticky lacing of a medium density down the glass. The aroma is hop forward, citrus, orange, creamy, some melon and light tropical, almost mango. The taste follows the aromas, there is also ample malt, some caramel. The finish is smooth, dry and very bitter. The fruits reappear in the aftertaste and add a grapefruit note. This is a very good double-type IPA.