(Visited 01/2011): Kern River Brewing is located in Kernville near the Sequoia National Forest after a beautiful drive through the mountains along the Kern river (with signs warning of the dangers and death count associated with said river). There are actually a couple different ways to get there. The brewpub is on Sierra Way right outside the town center. There is a private parking lot.
The outside has kind of a lodge look, and the interior is spacious and multi-level. The brewing equipment is easily visible from most of the brewpub. Lots of wood and table seating, and their beers are featured in large framed pieces hanging behind the bar.
Kern River has 6 of their beers on tap, and offers a sampler of 4 for $5. They included on my visit Isabella Blonde, Sequoia Red, Class V Stout, Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Saison, Holiday Ale and the very good Citra IIPA. All in all the beers are above average.
Service on a relatively slow afternoon was good. Our server wasn’t a beer expert but was friendly and knew enough about their beers. She was also generous with additional samples.
Food at Kern River is pretty good too. Fish Tacos and burgers all around were enjoyed by our group.
Overall this place was well worth the 1.5hr drive from Tehachapi, and is one I would make again on any future visits to the area.
What a surprise this brewpub was. First off, the scenery upon arriving is surreal. Feels like you just drove to a Spaghetti Western movie. Once inside, the casual and comfortable decor makes it easy for a stranger to blend in, and the house brews are well indicated with huge picture frames hanging behind the bar with the beer labels. Service was very knowledgeable and friendly to boot. Can’t ask for more. The house beers were all very good, but the IPA and Stout were world-class. It is rare in my experience that an out-of-the-way brewery has such wonderful brews, but Kern River has to be an exception to my unofficial rule. Guest brews were also well chosen (Green Flash, Drakes, Lengthwise), so I could have had many a pint over the course of many hours without ever getting bored. Then again, I could have gotten two or three pints of each the IPA and Stout without ever getting bored either. They’re that great.
Been here multiple times while living in Bako. Small cozy cabin-like building with a bar for 5-6 people, outdoor seating on the patio (somewhat) overlooking the Keen River. Usually have 5 of their own beers (at two different tap heads) and a couple guest beers, including Bakersfield’s Lengthwise. Depending on the staff, knowledgeability runs the whole gamut--Kyle (goateed brewer) and Eric are the guys to ask the questions to and whatnot. They both make a point to BS with my gf and me whenever we’re there (or even at beer events!). Everybody--patrons and the staff--are all friendly which gives it the nice small town feel. Food is good, but not the highlight--tri tip sandwich is my go-to meal on Fridays, wings and chili are OK. My only bitch is that they’re 75 minutes from Bakersfield on that windy ass highway.
beorn7676 (10) Bakersfield, California | January 24, 2010| Updated July 2, 2010
Great brewery that brews some serious beers. Their Just Outstanding IPA and Class V Stout are awesome. The food is pretty standard pub fare, but done well. I highly recommend seeking this place out.
I just recently visited this place with grant on our way back from Death Valley. I am shocked that such a small town can support a brew pub. Perhaps it is a symbiotic relationship? Anyhow, the pub is a relatively unassuming place with a cozy interior. There are about a dozen and a half tables as you walk in. The bar is located in the back and the brewing equipment is behind the bar. They were brewing the day we were there, so the aroma was fantastic. The bathrooms were immaculate and clean. The menus were pretty limited with the basic stuff--burgers and brats. I had a burger, which was pretty tasty. The bacon wasn’t overly flavorful. The fries were good with the exception that they had some chili powder on them. This totally wrecked my palate for a good 15 minutes. The service was great and our waitress was very well informed on the beers. I believe there were 6 house beers on tap, and 2 guest beers from The Bruery in Southern Cal. The beers were solid, especially the IPA. Prices wer
Menu could have a little more to it but overall that is where my gripping ends. Place is very alive, well lit, great views and staff is friendly. Regular friday night live country/bluegrass/blues. Brewmaster is brewing up some great stuff. I look forward to the next creation and the barrel aged belgain.
IrishBoy (116) Bakersfield, California | January 21, 2007| Updated January 3, 2012
Food was excellent, i had a Jalapeno brat with their own class V Stout mustard, beers are super for a fairly new place, the brewers really seem to know thier stuff and brew some great beers. A Kern County Jewel!