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Thirsty Bear Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thirsty Bear Brewing CompanyThirsty Bear Brewing Company
BA SCORE
86
very good

78 Ratings
Ratings: 78
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 14.85%
Active Beers: 22
Beer Ratings: 258
Beer Avg: 3.68
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

661 Howard Street
San Francisco, California, 94105
United States
phone: (415) 974-0905

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ccrida:
Photo of ccrida
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%

Big open space, modern loft style, exposed brick, modern art (right next to the MOMA in fact), lots of light. Really not the vibe I like in a brew pub, looks more like an upscale lounge.

Friendly, cute waitresses knew the ABV of the seasonal, even though it's not listed on menu. Very knowledgeable on the food menu, all the Spanish pronunciations, but I was a little disappointed to see it as all tapas, paella and flat bread being the only other items of substance. I got an order of flat bread for $10, it was fine, but I'd need like 5 more to make a meal of it, and wasn't try to spending $100 at a brew pub, so I decided to go somewhere else for dinner. I had 2 of their beers, both seasonals. The trippel wasn't that great, the bourbon barrel stout was better. r They had 7 regular taps as well. I talked to a local at 21st Amendment (where I later walked to for a real meal) and he didn't speak to highly of their house beers. Too foo-foo for me overall, mostly suits and pointy loafer crowd. At least they were playing classic rock, I think it was Santana (which would make sense with their Spanish theme). The sliders, also $10, were ridiculous, you got 4, the patty couldn't have been bigger then a quarter, maybe a poker chip, but probably not even that. Brewpub food for bulimics.

ccrida, Mar 26, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of aoampm
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

aoampm, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of MikeDAdams
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Great selection of beer including two firkins

MikeDAdams, Aug 31, 2014
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3.64/5  rDev -3.4%

Bumblebtna, Aug 18, 2014
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4/5  rDev +6.1%

little_star, Aug 16, 2014
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4/5  rDev +6.1%

DrMindbender, Jul 20, 2014
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2/5  rDev -46.9%

andy1701, Jul 19, 2014
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3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

atpca, Jul 16, 2014
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3/5  rDev -20.4%

Real_JasonN, Jul 04, 2014
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3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

pisano, Jul 03, 2014
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4/5  rDev +6.1%

timlyon, Jun 19, 2014
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3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Rachael11, Jun 17, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

JonAdams, Jun 08, 2014
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4/5  rDev +6.1%

portia99, Apr 30, 2014
Photo of sholland119
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

sholland119, Apr 10, 2014
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4/5  rDev +6.1%

ashleylake, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of mc4z
4/5  rDev +6.1%

mc4z, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of mattmarka1
1.5/5  rDev -60.2%

mattmarka1, Jan 17, 2014
Photo of CrackedHarlot
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%

Nice brew pub. Very unique selection of craft brews. We had the tasting flight which was a good deal. 9 studen different beers including their two seasonals. Really enjoyed he the Panda Bear Ale and the seasonal Dopplebock. Food was decent, we had several tapas style selections. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.

CrackedHarlot, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of davegray
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

davegray, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of rwhitmore
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Had lunch here on a Monday. I ordered the Monday pork sausage special sandwich and it was delicious, albeit on the messy side, which made it a little hard to eat gracefully.

The decor and atmosphere are just great, rustic but sleek and clean as well. The service was nice and attentive. It was my first visit, and my server offered his suggestions, and more important, why he liked them.

I had the IPA, the Red Ale and the ESB. All were well-made delicious beers. The ESB stood out, creamy and rich, with a well balanced hop bite.

I enjoyed Thirsty Bear a lot, it's well worth a visit on you next trip to San Francisco.

rwhitmore, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of AngusOg
3/5  rDev -20.4%

AngusOg, Oct 09, 2013
Photo of FightingEntropy
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%

6/27/13

Nearly a decade ago, I stopped at the Thirsty Bear on a walking tour of pubs in San Francisco. However, it was near the end of a long day and I doubted my conclusions. On our first night in The City before heading north for a tree and beer tour, we got in late but our hotel was so conveniently close to the Thirsty Bear that it was an obvious choice for an after flight dinner.

With the kitchen closing shortly after our arrival a bit before 10 pm and thanks to a fast bartender giving advice as we sat at the end of the bar, we ordered a sampler tray and food immediately to make sure we got both. The samples were improved since my last visit but in the general ballpark of my memory. Grizzly Bear Red Ale, Meyer ESB and Koslov Stout were my favorite of the standards taps. On cask was a stock ale dry hopped with fuggles that did not appeal to me at all.

Our favorite draft of the stop was the Charbay Stave, listed as a black ale. From the bartender, it's the Kozlov stout aged for a year in Charbay barrels of Charbay Distillery & Winery and mixed with stock ale to smooth. The draft has a clingy tan lace from a full head over a jet black ale. Strong dark malt, molasses, hot alcohol and chewy barrel is apparent in the nose, char on the tongue with strong whiskey that's sharp and fun. House special was to pair the beer with a snifter of Charbay whiskey: the beer nicely cut the raw taste of the whiskey and made a delightful comparison. Dark cherry comes out when the beer warms up, but the overall effect degrades.

As a tapas bar, we shared two small plates to compliment my Caesar salad. Delightfully presented, the salad stacked high on a small plate. I tried but didn't enjoy the Organic Sugar Snap Peas as much as my wife, but the Patatas Bravas (fried kennebec potatoes, garlic, spicy brava sauce, and aioli) were spectacular. We quite enjoyed the food. mixing in the remaining samples and the Charbay Stave draft. To date, it's the best organic brewery that I've been to, though, overall, the samples fall a bit short of a standard brewery. But, the combination of food and atmosphere more than compliment the well brewed beer.

Our bartender was friendly and full of beery knowledge for San Francisco at the beginning of our trip; one recommendation we followed (avoided a brewery in fact), led to what I believe was a much better night at Cerveceria de MateVeza. The similarity of my conclusions for the two visits increases my confidence in drinking knowledge a decade ago; a nice test to validate my memory. While not a destination brewery, the Thirsty Bear is a solid pub that fits well in the SOMA (south of Market) neighborhood, and I would happily visit again if I found myself nearby.

Pictures at http://pintsizedrevelations.blogspot.com/2013/07/thirsty-bear-brewing-san-francisco-ca.html

FightingEntropy, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of jophish17
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%

Been here twice now. The first time was in September 2008, when the financial markets were on the verge of collapse. Fortunately, the world was in a better position as I visited this past February.

The location is prime for visitors - both beer nerds (a few blocks from 21st Amendment), business people (near the convention center) and tourists visiting the nearby Union Square. So I am surprised to see it with half of the reviews of 21st Amendment. The building is spacious - not really my thing - but the decor is a lot of brick and metals, which I do like. It almost seemed too big, though I can still remember the place being rather busy for Oracle OpenWorld in 08.

To start with, let's get one thing settled: those of use reviewing here are Beer Advocates, so we tend to really appreciate really good beer. That is not something you will get at Thirsty Bear. The beer here is uninteresting, and wholly below the local standards. Nothing on my sampler was good enough to order a pint of. However, it should be noted that none of the beers were offensive either - just very forgettable.

The food, on the other hand, we really enjoyed. This was a sort of in between brunch and lunch stop for us, so we spilt a couple of tapas plates which we enjoyed. I'd say the food menu was a bit off the beaten path from the standard brewpub menu of sandwiches and pizzas, so that was refreshing, even if the food wasn't breathtaking. Still, things like that keep girlfriends happy as you drag them from brewery to brewery.

This is not a spectacular brewery. It is not a charming bar. It is also not the best tapas bar in the world. However, all put together, I somehow left this place for a second time now thinking that I'll come back again next time I'm in SF. I always recommend this place as an outside-the-box destination for visitors to SF, and I'm not really sure why...

jophish17, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of BenHesk12
2.76/5  rDev -26.8%

This is your typical big city "brewpub" that is only kept in business because of its easy location for tourists to walk to. Here you will find expensive glasses of beer that taste like they were made by a first time homebrewer. I tried several different offerings and from a beer drinkers perspective Thirsty Bear is entirely forgettable. I went here because they have several TV's and I was watching a live sporting event with friends, however, I will not go back and cannot recommend this place to anyone unless you are in this area and are not willing to walk 10 minutes away to find somewhere better.

BenHesk12, Dec 23, 2012
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Thirsty Bear Brewing Company in San Francisco, CA
86 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.