November 4, 2014 1:43 pm Published by

As all the major networks have reported, California is starting on its 4th consecutive year of drought, the effects of which have been devastating on the economy and like us, small manufacturers. Even though the two wells that Bear Republic funded for the city are in place, we’ve yet to receive any additional water because of the drought’s effect on the City’s overall water availability. I don’t expect this condition to improve much throughout 2015, which is why I’ve made this decision. Bear Republic will continue to ship ordered product to Atlantic Imports through the end of the year, but no orders will be filled after December 31, 2014.


The demand for our brand continues to grow and continuing to cut back wholesaler orders made no sense. Due to the limited water over the last 18 months Bear Republic has already pulled out of 19 territories just to keep the rest of our wholesale channels supplied. Though painful for everyone involved, the option to withdraw from Massachusetts provides Bear Republic breathing room to stabilize our 2015 production and address the long-term impact of California’s dwindling water supply.


The decision did not come easy and was made with a clear understanding of the impact it would have on the market. Our hope is that the water supply issues will be resolved at the earliest opportunity and with the markets patience and support, we will return to Massachusetts.


With a heavy heart,

Richard R. Norgrove
President & CEO
Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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  • June says:

    I will walk down the street to five horses tavern where racer 5 is always on draft and I’ll…
    thank you.

    see you on the other side

  • Diane says:

    That’s okay. We’ve got Sam Adams.

    • Tom says:

      Much as I’ll miss Racer 5 I do love me some Harpoon IPA

    • Dave says:

      Love me some Harpoon IPA as well as a few of Jim Koch’s offerings, but neither of them has anything to compare with Racer 5, imho. Bear Republic will be sorely missed here and I hope for their return, as much for the beer as for the fact that it will mean the end of California’s drought.

  • Jason Keefer says:

    I think it’s time you followed in the footsteps of Sierra Nevada, Oscar Blues and New Belgium and built a site for East coast brewing… We love your beers, it would definitely be worth your money, time and effort.

  • Michelle says:

    Very sad to hear this news but I understand!! Racer 5 is my favorite!!! Until your back I’ll just have to keep brewing my clone of it!

  • PJ says:


    Sorry to hear the news on your pulling out of Massachusetts. You all make some great beer. Your Racer 5 is one of our top favorite 5 IPA’s. Love that stuff!

    Although we are probably the state’s smallest nano-brewery (hoping to make the plunge to larger equipment someday) if you ever want to brew up a small batch for the Massachusetts consumers, consider this an invitation to use our facility.

    Best wishes

    Bob Johnson & PJ Mercier
    Navigation Brewing Co.
    Lowell, MA 01852

  • Lou Halon says:

    Truly sad. Hop Rod Rye in about 2006 made me fall madly in live with beer. I still enjoy it very much, and will miss it! Come back soon!

  • Mike knaub says:

    Tough decision to make! Right one though because California and other aeras out there are having a drought of biblical times! I so not understand my California has not stepped up more agressively with desalination plants! With all that coastline someone should seriously make it a priority!

  • Peter A. McDaniel says:

    I am not religious, but I will start to pray for rain. Looking forward to seeing you guys and your great beer back in Upstate NY.

  • Tom says:

    This is terrible news. I love your Racer 5 IPA. Do you sell in NH? If so, I will be crossing the border.

  • Johnny Pest says:

    What am I going to do? It’s the only cold beverage I really enjoy!
    I even have the Massachusetts Vanity Plate RACER5 on my 1986, California modified by Dinan Euro M5! I’m officially depressed and must move out of Massachusetts.

  • Max says:

    Racer 5 got me laid. I’ll miss you guys.