Bear Republic Brewing Company was established by Richard R. Norgrove, Sandra Norgrove, Richard G. Norgrove and Tami Norgrove in 1995, when the craft brewery industry was in its infancy. Before long, their brews were receiving national awards, putting Healdsburg on the map as a destination for beer lovers. In 2006, Bear Republic received the Great American Beer Festival’s Small Brewing Company and Brewmaster of the Year award, and to date its Racer 5 IPA is one of the most award-winning American IPAs.
By 2014, Bear Republic had outgrown its leased facility in Healdsburg. Using 504 funding, the Norgroves purchased a new location and outfitted it with new bottling equipment which boosted production capacity by more than 200% and created 30 new jobs. Today, Bear Republic beer is sold in 13 states and five countries, and is ranked the 39th largest craft brewery in the country.