I love a good brewery! Nothing sounds better after a full day of outdoor activities and sightseeing than relaxing with a craft beer in your hand.
At Lake Isabella, Kern River Brewing Company is just that place. Located in the small town of Kernville with mountains and nature as its backdrop, Kern River Brewing Company is a favorite amongst Lake Isabella locals and out of town travelers alike.
Many people from my co-working space in Bakersfield travel an hour to Kernville once a month just to hang out and enjoy beers at this brewery – so that in itself speaks volumes about how dedicated its customers are about coming here.
It’s needless to say that Kern River Brewing Company’s reputation precedes it. I had heard of this spot even before my trip to Lake Isabella so it was on my radar as one of the restaurants I wanted to try out during our stay.
After doing a bit of hiking and visiting Silver City Ghost Town, we came to Kern River Brewing Company for lunch and beers.
While Kernville itself is a small town filled with older rustic buildings, Kern River Brewing Company is very modern and hip.
After arriving and parking we noticed two separate buildings on the same lot that were named Kern River Brewing Company.
The first building is the original brewery and it is called the Original Pub.
The second building is called the Backyard Pub and this is a newer addition but note that in the winter season it is only open on the weekends.
The Backyard Pub is a lot more industrial in its style and the building is elevated so you can get a better view of the mountains from its patio. This is where we ended up eating.
We came on the perfect sunny day and we had our dog with us so we sat on the Backyard Pub’s charming outdoor patio overlooking Kernville’s mountains and nature. It seemed like quite the popular place for other dog owners as well and most people sitting on the patio had their four-legged friends with them.
The patio at Kern River Brewing Company was set up with long “family-style” tables. They also had a few heaters for sitting outside since it can get pretty chilly after sunset, especially in the winter. But even the cold couldn’t keep people away and this was by far the most packed restaurant compared to others that we saw around Lake Isabella.
Beers To Try
Within a few seconds of us sitting down, a friendly server came out to greet us and get our beer order. During our visit, the service here was exceptional and very welcoming.
Kern River Brewery has a few different locally brewed beers that customers can try. For $10 you can order a beer flight to sample 4 of their most popular beers: Isabella Blonde, Sequoia Red, Just Outstanding IPA, and Class V Stout. OR you can make your own beer flight with their seasonal beers – which looking back I wish I had done.
My husband and I ended up ordering their Gravity Check Session IPA, a lighter IPA that was lower in alcohol and not overly hoppy.
Most of the Kern River Brewing Company beers are pretty high in alcohol (up to 11%) and this was one of the few craft beers that wasn’t. I really enjoyed their Session IPA and it was the perfect beer for hanging out on a sunny afternoon – not too strong and not too bitter.
Tip: If you like one of the beers that you tried, you can also get a growler or select beer cans to take home.
The food menu at the Original Pub is different from the menu at the Backyard Pub. The Original Pub focuses more on burgers and salads while the Backyard Pub focuses on sandwiches and Mac n’cheese plates.
We sat in the Backyard Pub and their food menu was pretty extensive for a brewery. It mostly consisted of American comfort food like potato wedges, chicken wings, sandwiches, some salads, and hearty entrees.
The average plate at Kern River Brewery costs around $13 per person so the food here is a bit pricier than some of the other places in town like Pizza Barn, but the flavors were great for being pub food.
I got the BBQ Chicken Salad that came topped with grilled chicken cooked to perfection. My husband ordered the Loaded BBQ Pork Potato Wedges that came with tons of different ingredients that complimented each other well.
Overall Kern River Brewing Company was my favorite restaurant around Kernville and Lake Isabella. With delicious craft beers, good bar food and friendly service, you really can’t go wrong!
Tip: Quite often you can also catch live music performances at Kern River Brewing Company – especially on Friday nights.
Original Pub Hours:
Sunday to Thursday – 11 am to 9:30 pm
Friday & Saturday – 11 am to 10:00 pm
Backyard Pub Hours:
Monday to Thursday – 4 pm to 9 pm
Friday to Sunday – 11 am to 9 pm
Original Pub Hours:
Sunday to Thursday – 11 am to 9 pm
Friday & Saturday – 11 am to 9:30 pm
Backyard Pub Hours:
Friday & Saturday – 11 am to 8 pm
Sunday – 11 m to 7 pm