Thirsty Bear Brewing Company
Active Beers: 18
Beer Ratings: 215
Beer Avg: 3.65
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 64 | Reviews: 59 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by klewis:
2.95/5 rDev -22.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | $$
We visited Thirsty Bear at about 4:00 on a weekday and sat at a table in the bar. After 10 minutes and no sign of someone to take care of us, I went to the bar and picked up our drinks. Five minutes later (15 min. after we've been seated by a hostess), our server finally shows up and warmly greets us, "Close your bar tab. This is my section." A hello might have been nice. Not appreciating her attitude, we decided to keep the bar tab open anyway, and I continued to get our drinks from the bartenders, who were much friendlier. Once the work rush came in around 5:00, the bar was a bit understaffed to handle the crowd, so expect to wait during peak hours. The beers were decent and were served in appropriate glassware. Besides for the service, it was a nice place to get a beer. Check it out if you're downtown, but don't make a special trip to go.
06-16-2006 15:17:01 | More by klewis
More User Reviews:
4.09/5 rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5 | $$
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.
12-07-2013 01:29:24 | More by CrackedHarlot
4.25/5 rDev +11.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75 | $$
Had lunch here on a Monday. I ordered the Monday pork sausage special sandwich and it was delicious, albeit on the messy side, which made it a little hard to eat gracefully.
The decor and atmosphere are just great, rustic but sleek and clean as well. The service was nice and attentive. It was my first visit, and my server offered his suggestions, and more important, why he liked them.
I had the IPA, the Red Ale and the ESB. All were well-made delicious beers. The ESB stood out, creamy and rich, with a well balanced hop bite.
I enjoyed Thirsty Bear a lot, it's well worth a visit on you next trip to San Francisco.
11-04-2013 23:25:22 | More by rwhitmore
3.93/5 rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
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
08-13-2013 20:54:26 | More by FightingEntropy
3.03/5 rDev -20.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4.25 | $$
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...
06-23-2013 16:34:31 | More by jophish17
Thirsty Bear Brewing Company in San Francisco, CA
87 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.