1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Thirsty Bear Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thirsty Bear Brewing CompanyThirsty Bear Brewing Company

Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 19
Beer Ratings: 230
Beer Avg: 3.67

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

71 Ratings
Ratings: 71
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 14.51%
$$ - 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 71 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$

I tried out Thirsty Bear because I needed a place to waste a couple of hours before heading out for dinner. The interior is nice enough but a bit dark and loud for my preferences while the service was fairly good but nothing special. While all the beers were house made and their was a substantial range to choose from, I found many of them to be a bit similar and the quality was a tad disappointing. Overall though, prices were decent and the experience was okay. Good if you are in the area but I wouldn't search it out.

11-03-2011 06:33:07 | More by dgilks
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$

This place is located close to the convention center which makes it easy to hit for lunch or a quick pint after sessions. The place has more of an upscale modern restaurant feel with very high ceilings, plenty of wood tones, lots of brick, and nicely separated areas for the bar and dining. The bar can seat about 20 or so and overlooks a few tanks behind the bar. Several hitops and some circular booths are also just off the bar.

There were 8 beers on tap during my visit - most seem to be the normal house beers except for a 15th anniversary beer that was an imperial red ale. The beers I had during my few stops here were of good quality and OK versions of the styles - and the crowd seemed to be drinking quite a variety of styles.

The food was focused on tapas, and several of the dishes were quite good like the octopus, albondingas, and empanadas. The paella was also good hearty portion. The tapas format worked well here for having beers and food with a bunch of people.

Overall this is a good place to hit for the whole food and beer experience, but don't expect any over the top beers here - they brew to fit the clientele, which I am sure focuses on local business men and women, and of course conventioneers.

10-21-2011 11:19:02 | More by Gavage
Photo of searsclone
searsclone

Arizona

4.58/5  rDev +20.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

We stopped here on our last day in SF so that we could check out at least one brewery. We tried to go to Magnolia, but it was unsuccessful. We got there right as they opened on a Monday morning, so it was very low key and we got great attention. Our bartender impressed us with his knowledge of the beers and his knowledge of the the local beer scene. We had the flight of 9 beers, and all were very good. We had a small appetizer that was also very good. We didn't spend much time here, but if I ever find myself back in the area, I will definitely try to go back. Overall it was a very good experience.

09-13-2011 02:25:27 | More by searsclone
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

3.6/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$$

Near 21st Amendment, so good for a two-fer. I like environments like this with the spacious layouts and high ceilings, as this reminds me of the way many brewpubs were in the 90's when craft breweries were called micros. Server was very nice, knowledgeable, and professional overall.

Selections on tap were more numerous than I expected but nothing spectacular in the way of styles. They were brewing that day I was there so there was a glorious aroma in the air. Didn't order food, so can't comment on that. Near the stadium if that's where you're headed. Prices seemed high but not too bad for San Francisco.

06-04-2011 18:16:41 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of NorCalgrowler
NorCalgrowler

California

3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$

Thirsty Bear is a great place to have a beer. They have about 7-10 of their regular and seasonal selections on tap at all times. Service was prompt. The space is spotless inside - you could eat off of the floor. Its atmosphere is brewhouse but a little more upper end I think. Warehouse feel also with exposed kitchen and brew kettles. Everything on tap is very reasonably priced. I had the Brown Bear the last time I was there. And I think it definitely fits the bill for a lot of age groups. Not sure if kids are allowed, but it seems like the ind of place they would like to be in also (obviously not for beer!)

05-06-2011 22:46:59 | More by NorCalgrowler
Photo of RedBeerchetta
RedBeerchetta

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$

Great place for a beer, especially if you're staying at the W hotel accross the street.

Large space with music not too loud. Couple of TVs with sports but just a couple. 9 beers available, all on tap (one cask), all their own. Wood and steel beams, brick, amber lampshades. Nice atmosphere. Kitchen closed before I got here so couldn't try the Spanish food.

Had the Brown Bear brown ale. 27 IBUs, 6.3%. More amber in color than brown despite the low light in the room. Not as rich and toasty as I like but I lean towards big Belgians. Still a tasty beer and worth the stop.

03-30-2011 05:29:41 | More by RedBeerchetta
Photo of bradybeer
bradybeer

California

4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

Last stop on the brewpub tour of SF.

Walking in the bar is to the left with seating to the right and upstairs where there are pool tables and darts. We ordered a sampler set which had a Golden Ale, Vanilla Ale, Wheat, IPA, Brown, Stout, Winter Warmer, and Dopplebock. I think I missed one. Beers were organic and OK the stand out was the Dopplebock which if I weren't driving would have had a pint.

We ordered the Chicharonnes (made in house) which were very good as well as the sliders which were good as well.

Service was good and the prices reasonable. I would come back for the food alone but the beer is very very solid and is the reason I think this is one of the best breweries in the bay area.

01-30-2011 18:52:29 | More by bradybeer
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

I thoroughly enjoyed the Thirsty Bear!

It's nice to find a bartender who knows his beer; will listen to what you want; and then make suggestions based on that (and not what they're interested in or know about). Additionally, I really appreciate a bartender or server who'll steer you right as far as the menu offerings go (as in "perhaps the 'blah blah' might be a better choice").

I had a "Rum Runner". It was a kind of barleywine-style ale served in a smaller glass. It was a deep chestnut brown with an off-white head, and exhibited caramelized brown sugar and some spiciness. Quite nice. Well done.

It's a good looking place (exposed brick, wood floors) with some interesting quirks, i.e. the odd orange and silver bar top. It's open and spacious and comfortable.

They offer 7 regular beers, 2 seasonals, and a cask offering.

The food is good and the service follows.

Well done all around. Worth a visit!

01-18-2011 01:37:03 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen

California

3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$

Stopped in here for dinner the other night with my family and good friend, Zach.

Thirsty Bear has an atmosphere that seems to accommodate all ages. The interior is open and comfortable with modern decor. The restaurant and bar occupy the deep and narrow bottom floor, while the upstairs is (apparently) reserved for private parties - there are a few billiards tables, dart boards, and a small bar area.

Zach and I each ordered the "all beers" sampler, which included eleven different 4oz. samples. Nearly all of the beers were above average (Golden Vanilla being one exception), though none of them were special. The best of the bunch were Brown Bear, Meyer E.S.B., and Howard St. I.P.A. (Polar Bear Pilsner also deserves mention).

Our group ordered several rounds of tapas, capped off by a shared plate of steak and broccoli paella. While the tapas ranged from mediocre the good, the paella was great! On top of that, the tapas-style dining left all of us feeling satisfied, not overly full, at the end of the night.

Our waitress was very friendly and attentive, and even gave us free beer coupons at the end of the night (I think because I presented my AHA card). Even though the food and drinks weren't much to write home about, we really enjoyed our experience.

12-23-2010 19:14:05 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$

I stopped in here for beer while attending a conference at the Moscone Center. The place was very clean with decent atmosphere, lots of earthy reds and browns in the decor. Staff were friendly as I walked in the door and the bartender was quick and attentive. I sat at the long bar with a view of the brewhouse behind it. There were 8 house beers on tap (pils, vanilla, wit, brown, ESB, stout) and a cask IPA that was in great condition. Out of the four beers that I tried, the cask IPA stood out, but the quality overall was decent across them all. Prices were reasonable at $4 for a 12oz, $6 for a 20oz, and $16 for growlers to go. The menu was mostly tapas and looked good, but I didn't partake. Definitely worth a stop if you're in the area.

04-03-2010 19:17:23 | More by DrJay
Thirsty Bear Brewing Company in San Francisco, CA
86 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.