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Howard Street IPA - Thirsty Bear Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Howard Street IPA
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45 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 0
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
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: 45 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of earthling
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.

earthling, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of largadeer
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.

largadeer, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of atpca
2.75/5  rDev -25.9%

atpca, Nov 07, 2014
Photo of jenray
3/5  rDev -19.1%

jenray, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of AngusOg
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

AngusOg, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of Twal
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Twal, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of kdoc8
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.

kdoc8, Mar 13, 2007
Photo of JDV
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.

JDV, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

RBassSFHOPit2ME, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of eawolff99
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

eawolff99, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of Piason
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Piason, May 11, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

t0rin0, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of Brandoburp
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Brandoburp, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of dgilks
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.

dgilks, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of g00dness
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.

g00dness, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of bboven
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.

bboven, Sep 10, 2007
Photo of kwjd
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.

kwjd, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of litheum94
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.

litheum94, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of mc4z
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

mc4z, May 08, 2013
Photo of JonAdams
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

JonAdams, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of Arborescence
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Arborescence, May 27, 2012
Photo of i4ourgot
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

i4ourgot, Oct 08, 2014
Photo of Newmerator
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.

Newmerator, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of smithj4
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

smithj4, Apr 16, 2014
Photo of Pugsly
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Pugsly, Mar 31, 2012
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Howard Street IPA from Thirsty Bear Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.