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Howard Street IPA - Thirsty Bear Brewing Company

Howard Street IPA
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BA SCORE
84
good

38 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 38
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 14.56%


Brewed by:
Thirsty Bear Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-27-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 38 | Reviews: 20 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of earthling
earthling

California

1.83/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

This is a bitter IPA, even for IPAs. This is coming from an IPA lover.

In terms of style, it isn't a West Coast (USA) IPA by any stretch of the imagination. The citrusy, dry-hopped aromas are completely missing. It isn't an East Coast (USA) IPA, being even too bitter for that and lacking big malt characteristics. It certainly isn't an English IPA either, being so bold and lacking the smooth mouth feel.

It has good color, but beyond that that this IPA is not a pleasant one to drink. Its overpowering, imbalanced bitterness leaves the drinker with little else to come away with.

I should add that this review is for the non-cask-conditioned version. The other is such a different beer it should have its own review page.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2010 02:17:16 | More by earthling
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

2/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz on tap at the brewery.

Golden-amber with slight haziness; the thin head quickly dissipates to a film.

Smells strongly of butter toffee. Diacetyl and caramel malts are dominant, though there's a touch of herbal hoppiness.

Toffee-like malt flavors and a buttery yeast character nearly overwhelm the herbal, earthy hop profile. Medium bodied with a bitter herbal finish that lingers unpleasantly. Pretty underwhelming stuff, bordering on undrinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2011 06:04:30 | More by largadeer
Photo of kdoc8
kdoc8

Oregon

3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Thirsty Bear in San Francisco, CA. It poured a reddish-golden color, with lots of head and lacing - highly carbonated. The aroma was mainly of fruity sweet hops. Taste was mainly of hops up front and then with a bitter and acidic aftertaste.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2007 22:30:43 | More by kdoc8
Photo of JDV
JDV

Texas

3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks and smells great. Light orange, clearish pour. Smell is bright, big, citrusy, floral, fresh, and hoppy. Big hop taste, fruity with a nice better tasting finish. A good IPA although a tad bitter for my liking at the time I reviewed this. Looking back, this is possibly their best brew.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2008 22:17:09 | More by JDV
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber colour with a small, off-white head. Great lacing. Good head retention.

Caramel malts with earthy hops and a hint of citrus. Balanced with good bitterness. Similar across both the aroma and flavour.

Medium body with moderately-low carbonation. Good.

A solid, middle of the road IPA. Eminently drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2011 11:10:11 | More by dgilks
Photo of bboven
bboven

Texas

3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great classic color, very good head and retention, wonderful lacing.

Great hop nose on this one, overpowers the malt just a little but it's still there.

Very, verey, very hoppy but a little sweet at the end when the malt shines through.

Great mouthfeel for style. Really full with the right amount of carbonation, very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2007 23:44:36 | More by bboven
Photo of g00dness
g00dness

California

3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got a growler of this to celebrate filing my taxes.

Pours bronze colored with a small creamy-looking white head with tiny bubbles travelling through.

Nose is citrus and malt with a piny undertone. Smells like a sessionable IPA.

Taste starts out with really good pine and citrus flavors, but about midway through there is a yeasty skunky flavor. Maybe I got a bad keg? Still highly enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is on the creamy side of the IPA debate.

Its a little too highly carbonated to get full drinkability marks (although a couple of hours in the growler ought to fix that), and there is that skunkiness. Not sticky or sharp though, and no alcohol burn at all despite 7% ABV.

Overall a good brew, although next time I'm there I'll get a pint to see if the yeasty/skunky flavor is intentional.

Serving type: growler

02-18-2011 00:23:42 | More by g00dness
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on cask at the brewpub in November (just entering from notes now). I don't see anything listed that could be this beer. The bartender said it wasn't the same as any of their other beers on tap. Menu had it listed as "Cask Ale", but I didn't write down the abv.

Pours a cloudy orange colour with thick white head. Nice rings of lacing after each sip with some nice head retention. Smells of huge earthy hops and vanilla. Small bitterness in the flavour, though backed with some nice malt balance. Very smooth mouthfeel. Quite a well done cask ale.

Serving type: cask

01-14-2011 19:37:21 | More by kwjd
Photo of litheum94
litheum94

California

3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the sampler platter. Reviewed 7/15/10.

P: Clear, dull golden body. Dense and sticky off-white head.

A: All hops on the nose, grapefruit and fresh cut grass.

T: Hops! Ruby red grapefruit and very grassy. Light malt backbone, just enough to balance it out.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 04:08:59 | More by litheum94
Photo of Newmerator
Newmerator

California

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this out of the cask on tuesdays for almost a month. Good head retention and lace. deep golden color

smell is hoppy, touch of pine. maybe lemons or some other citrus i can't decipher.

taste was great, hoppy and delicious.

mouthfeel. very oily, and slick.

i don't know if i get it too early in the day of it being in the cask, but my stomach starts to hurt after one and a half of these. i think it's the oils.

Serving type: cask

04-16-2009 03:18:21 | More by Newmerator
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101

California

3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark gold color, medium head. Aroma is malty and a little hop spicy. A medium bodied very hoppy IPA. Hops are floral and spicy. Nice malty background. This is a big hoppy IPA, yet there are a lot of malt flavors to balance them. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is bitter.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2003 06:00:27 | More by beerguy101
Photo of bobsy
bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. Orange body with a rocky white head - good lace and retention. Strong citrus aroma reveals abundant grapefruit in the flavour, along with pine and floral hops. Nice crisp mouthfeel with moderate bitterness. This a a nice solid IPA from Thirsty Bear, and I would drink it again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2008 18:34:57 | More by bobsy
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a solid, balanced IPA. The brewer has not surrendered to the over hopping craze. I would classify this version as more English than American.

Nice bronze with a tight compact off-white head. Decent lacing.

The smell was of pine, a bit of citrus and some fresh bread.

The taste was similar to the smell. Nice bracing hop bite that is moderated by some slightly sweet malt. The taste is slightly citrus tart (grapefruit with maybe a hint of tangerine). Taste stayed balanced as the beer warmed.

Nice oily mouthfeel and extremely easy to drink due to its balance. I would like to try this on cask!

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2005 18:27:08 | More by Redrover
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Thirsty Bear on 7/13/09.

A - Clear amber/orange body with subtle reddish hues and thin half inch of off-white foam that settled to a patchy retention but deposited thick, intricate lace about the glass.

S - Citrusy hop profile with orange and some more subdued grapefruit notes. A sweet malty character comprised of caramel, bread and toasted grains complements the hop profile nicely.

T - Citrusy hops suggest orange and grapefruit, while the malt provides sweet caramel and toffee notes as well as a prevalent bready character. Some toasted grains also poke through. Alcohol remains quite restrained throughout. Finishes with a distinctive toasted grainy malt character paired with a citrus hop bite.

M - Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel, although there is a bit of oily slickness. Carbonation is on the softer side of the spectrum. Alcohol presence is subdued overall.

D - Fine IPA from Thirsty Bear that borders your typical West Coast style, but not quite. Still, this one is really well-balanced with a prevalent hop character and lots of malt to back it up.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2009 02:00:21 | More by ffejherb
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a slender weizen-type clear branded glass at Thirsty Bear Brewing Co (San Francisco, CA).

A: Clear amber with 1-finger of off-white, frothy head with good retention and lacing down the glass in several layers.

S: Great NW hops aromas of grapefruit citrus, orange, and lightly musky aroma mized with some pine resin. Solid pale malt backbone lends only a bit of sweetness.

T: Really flavorful and marks a really big improvement in TB's beers. A big punch of citrus and pine flavors up front with some of the leafier, musky flavors in the back end, all held up with sufficient pale malt sweetness with lighthanded use of caramel malts.

M: Solid with plenty of oily slickness and moderate carbonation with a nice dry finish.

O: I was pretty impressed with this brew from Thirsty Bear. I think they have upped the ante a lot from 3 years ago. Nice brew.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2011 02:39:21 | More by argock
Photo of baiser
baiser

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thirsty bear's best brew IMO. This is a very well balanced IPA, named after the street where the restaurant is situated. Lots of citrus and fruit in the nose. Balanced taste - good amount of pine, citrus and bitterness balanced by sweet malt flavours. Pours a nice golden orange with a creamy white head. Slick mouthfeel and great drinkability. A joy to drink!

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2005 09:09:09 | More by baiser
Photo of audiojon
audiojon

California

4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A surprisingly good IPA! I'm usually wary of brewery/restaurants, but apparently Thirsty Bear puts out some good beers. This one was right on par with some of the better IPAs out there, Ballast Point, Stone, etc. It's pretty hard to do an IPA right these days, but these guys have it down. Will definitely go back.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2007 00:55:04 | More by audiojon
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served off a cask at the brewery in San Francisco.

Pours a light golden colour tending to amber, with only minimal head from the cask which is probably to be expected. A bit filmy and insipid - I'd give it some credit for the cask conditioning, but it still looks a bit weak.

Sharp resin on the nose, with a decent west coast hop character which mingles together to give a light butterscotch and menthol character. Sharpness is nice though. It's not bad overall.

Green sharpness on the palate, quite herbal with a light astringency coming through, nicely balanced with some malt sweetness. Really very well balanced indeed leaving a lovely pleasant flavour in the mouth. Mouthfeel is really smooth from the cask.

Really benefits from the cask conditioning - the imprints of the low carbonation and silky mouthfeel are all over it, and the fact that it's a very decent base beer to begin with meant that this was probably my favourite of their beers I sampled.

Serving type: cask

05-24-2010 01:47:36 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a proper, 20oz, pint glass. Hazy orange with a foamy beige cap. Tons of thick lace and great head retention. Sharp citrus rind aroma, lots of grapefruit pith, with some fruity sweetness. Strong bitterness with plenty of hop flavour up front, citrusy and spicy. Lingering hops and bitterness. Medium to low bodied with low carbonation, very smooth and a tad dry. This really worked on cask, better than I expect for most American IPAs. It may have helped that it was served at cellar temp and in great condition, allowing the hop aromas and flavours to really shine.

Serving type: cask

04-03-2010 19:04:05 | More by DrJay
Photo of Norfawkers
Norfawkers

Virginia

4.45/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For an organic/hippy beer, this is pretty decent beer

Appearance: Clear golden/tangerine with minimal head an noticable CO2

Smell: Citrus and hops

Taste: Earthy hoppy with barley notes

Mouthfeel: Bitterness throughout with a lingering finish

Drinkability: Enveloping flavors with a good balance of earthy tones and hops

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2010 17:16:23 | More by Norfawkers
Howard Street IPA from Thirsty Bear Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.