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Thirsty Bear Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thirsty Bear Brewing CompanyThirsty Bear Brewing Company

Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 19
Beer Ratings: 243
Beer Avg: 3.64

Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
86
very good

74 Ratings
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 15.38%
$$ - reasonable
[ 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: 74 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ashleylake
ashleylake

Florida

4/5  rDev +6.1%

01-28-2014 02:03:02 | More by ashleylake
Photo of mc4z
mc4z

California

4/5  rDev +6.1%

01-25-2014 05:59:41 | More by mc4z
Photo of mattmarka1
mattmarka1

Minnesota

1.5/5  rDev -60.2%

01-17-2014 04:37:57 | More by mattmarka1
Photo of CrackedHarlot
CrackedHarlot

Arizona

4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
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
Photo of davegray
davegray

California

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

11-14-2013 04:23:50 | More by davegray
Photo of rwhitmore
rwhitmore

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
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
Photo of AngusOg
AngusOg

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -20.4%

10-09-2013 16:54:51 | More by AngusOg
Photo of FightingEntropy
FightingEntropy

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$

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

08-13-2013 20:54:26 | More by FightingEntropy
Photo of jophish17
jophish17

Georgia

3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
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
Photo of BenHesk12
BenHesk12

California

2.76/5  rDev -26.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | $$$

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.

12-23-2012 00:04:42 | More by BenHesk12
Thirsty Bear Brewing Company in San Francisco, CA
86 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.