The Craft Brew Scene in Big Bear

Big Bear, a small mountain town nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California, may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of craft breweries. But hidden among the towering pines and snow-capped peaks, you'll find a thriving craft scene that is sure to delight any beer enthusiast.

One of the standout breweries in Big Bear is Big Bear Mountain Brewery. This brewery has been operating for almost two decades and is considered the original craft brewhouse in the area. Stepping into the brewery, you're immediately struck by the cozy and inviting atmosphere. Warm lighting and burnished, gleaming wood create a rustic feel that is perfect for enjoying a pint or two.

But it's not just the ambiance that sets Big Bear Mountain Brewery apart. The beer itself is top-notch. Jason Harris and Craig Basford, the founders and brewers, have been honing their craft for years. What started as a hobby in their man shed has now turned into a successful commercial venture. Their dedication and passion for is evident in every sip.

The Inland Empire's scene has experienced significant growth in recent years, and Big Bear is no exception. In fact, there are now a total of 73 breweries in the region, with more in the planning stages. This means that beer lovers visiting Big Bear have plenty of options to choose from.

Another notable brewery in the area is Bear Republic Brewing Co. Located in Cloverdale, this brewery recently made headlines when it was acquired by Drake's Brewing Co. The owner, Rich Norgrove, spoke about the acquisition and emphasized the importance of adapting and evolving in order to survive in the competitive craft beer industry.

The acquisition of Bear Republic Brewing Co. by Drake's Brewing Co. is indicative of the ever-changing nature of the craft beer industry. Breweries must be willing to adapt and innovate in order to stay relevant. This constant desire for improvement and growth is what drives the craft beer scene in Big Bear and beyond.

So, whether you're a local resident or a visitor to Big Bear, be sure to check out the breweries in the area. From Big Bear Mountain Brewery's cozy atmosphere to the innovative spirit of Bear Republic Brewing Co., there's something for everyone. Raise a glass to the craft beer revolution in Big Bear and savor the unique flavors and experiences that these breweries have to offer.

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Does Big Bear Have A Brewery?

Big Bear does have a brewery called Big Bear Mountain Brewery. I've had the pleasure of visiting this cozy craft brewhouse several times over the past few years. Located in the heart of Big Bear, the brewery has become a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.

The atmosphere at Big Bear Mountain Brewery is welcoming and relaxed. As soon as you step inside, you're greeted by warm lighting and a rustic feel. The burnished wood and gleaming bar make you feel like you've stepped into a mountain lodge. It's the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring the outdoors.

One thing that sets Big Bear Mountain Brewery apart is its long history. It has been operating for almost two decades, making it one of the original craft breweries in the area. This longevity speaks to the quality and dedication of the brewers. They have honed their craft over the years, perfecting their recipes and creating a diverse selection of beers.

Speaking of beer, Big Bear Mountain Brewery offers a wide variety of options. From hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, there's something for every beer lover. They also rotate their taps regularly, so you can always expect something new and exciting to try. I've personally enjoyed their seasonal brews, such as their pumpkin in the fall and their refreshing citrusy beers in the summer.

In addition to their delicious beer, Big Bear Mountain Brewery also has a small menu of appetizers and pub fare. The food is simple but satisfying, with options like burgers, sandwiches, and nachos. It's the perfect complement to a cold pint of their craft beer.

The staff at Big Bear Mountain Brewery are friendly and knowledgeable. They're always happy to help you choose a beer that suits your taste or answer any questions you might have about the brewing process. It's clear that they're passionate about what they do, and that enthusiasm shines through in the quality of their beer.

Big Bear Mountain Brewery is a must-visit spot for beer enthusiasts in Big Bear. The cozy atmosphere, delicious beer, and friendly staff make it a great place to relax and enjoy a pint. Whether you're a local or just passing through, I highly recommend stopping by and experiencing the laid-back charm of this original craft brewhouse.


The breweries in Big Bear have become an integral part of the local craft beer scene, offering a diverse range of flavors and experiences for both residents and visitors. Big Bear Mountain Brewery, with its cozy and inviting atmosphere, has been a staple in the community for almost two decades, providing a warm and rustic space for beer enthusiasts to enjoy their handcrafted brews.

The Inland Empire's craft beer scene has also seen significant growth in recent years, with a total of 73 breweries and counting. From Temecula to Apple Valley and Pomona to Coachella, beer lovers have a plethora of options to choose from. This expansion has not only brought a wide variety of flavors and styles but has also created opportunities for aspiring brewers to turn their passion into a commercial reality.

One notable acquisition in the region is the recent purchase of Bear Republic Brewing Co. by Drake's Brewing Co. This move highlights the ever-changing nature of the craft beer industry and the necessity for breweries to adapt and evolve to survive. Rich Norgrove, the owner of Bear Republic, emphasized the importance of change in order to thrive in this competitive market.

The breweries in Big Bear and the Inland Empire have become vibrant hubs of creativity and community, providing unique experiences for beer enthusiasts and contributing to the growth and evolution of the craft beer industry. Whether you're a local looking for a cozy spot to enjoy a pint or a beer aficionado exploring the region's diverse offerings, the breweries in Big Bear are sure to satisfy your thirst for quality craft beer.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.