Thirsty Bear Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thirsty Bear Brewing CompanyThirsty Bear Brewing Company
BEER AVG
3.61/5
Based on:
21 Beers
279 Ratings
Place Score: 85
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
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: 87 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bobsy
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I stopped by here with my wife shortly before new year's, and had an enjoyable experience. The bar is located very close to San Francisco's main shopping district which proved handy as my wife was trying to take advantage of the strong Canadian dollar.

My first impression on entering was that I had walked into a wine bar. Everywhere I could see lots of clean wood and exposed brick. The crowd seemed to be a well-dressed and richer than me. The trendy atmosphere worked for me, and we had a relaxed time. Very good, but expensive, Spanish food. The prices of the tapas on the menu may have required a call to my bank manager. We split a traditional paella, which was delicious. Service was courteous and efficient. Good beer selection of house brews, with maybe 12 on tap at time of visit. I opted for the winter seasonal, which was a kind of bock, while my wife opted for the ESB, which was solid, but not spectacular. I also grabbed a few samplers, and was impressed by the stout and IPA.

Photo of t0rin0
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Stopped here with my brother and an old roomate. We couldnt have been here much more than 25 minutes. Thats not to say that we didn't enjoy the place, it was just that we had a lot of stops to make that day.

Pretty neat atmosphere. like all the places in SF. Its in a real narrow building thats 2 or 3 stories tall on the inside. You can see all the fermenters and the boiler behind the bar. It was also neat to read their menu about how they got the concept for their name and their beers. Something about a thirsty bear coming after a guy that had a beer in his hand.

The beers were interesting to say the least. I really enjoyed their framboise. They had clever names for their beers like Brown Bear Brown Ale or Polar Bear Pilsner. Anyway, it was an enjoyable experience even if it was short, and reasonably priced.

Photo of DaveDLD
4.83/5  rDev +28.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

of all the brewpubs i went to in san francisco this weekend, i'd have to say that thirsty bear was my favorite. it's located in the south of market area which is right near union square. i had the ipa, brown, and wheat (which was a white ale) and all were delicious. they have taster beers for only .75 cents which isn't too bad. i had never eaten spanish cuisine, which is what they serve, however, i was VERY pleasantly surprised. everything was delicious and the waitress was friendly and was able to explain certain things on the menu that i wasn't familiar with. if you're going to be in union square or at the SFMOMA i'd definitely go to thirsty bear.

Photo of bboven
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

First place I went on my honeymoon and came back two more times. They have a pretty good variety of their own micro on tap and a really interesting concept of a menu focused on great tapas. They tap a new firkin of cask-conditioned ale on Tuesdays and serve it the right way. The second level of the building is more bar-like with a pool table and dartboards.

The food is fantastic though a bit pricey once you order enough for a meal. The micros are hit and miss; they seem to brew about half their beers to appeal to macro drinkers and the Stouts and IPA types are good but nothing outstanding. Definitely worth checking out especially on Tuesdays.

Photo of bjohnson
4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

After a lot of walking around Fisherman's Wharf and other places in San Francisco during the morning and early afternoon, Emma and I stopped into the Thirsty Bear Brewing Company located on Howard St. near the MOMA and Yerba Buena Gardens. This is our first beer stop during our week long stay in California.
While walking up to the door, I was pleasantly surprised that is wasn't just pub grub and actually was a bit more interesting. Spanish cuisine. Thumbs Up Set in an old brick building, the brick walls give this place a nice ambiance, highlighted by the low soft lighting. High bar tables and benches line one side of the bar area, with a long bar on the other.
I counted 9 taps, but only indulged in a couple of their offerings. On tap included a brown, red, ipa, pilsner, lager, golden, wheat, and a stout and esb both served on nitro.
Howard St. IPA came with a clear amber color. Soft fruity hop twang in the aroma. A good backbone of malt with a strong citrus bitterness in the finish. Not a bad IPA, but nothing that was overly amazing. Kozlov Stout on nitro came to me as it's head was still forming. Jet black with a tan head. Roasty and dry with hints of dark fruit. Quite smooth and soft from the nitro. Finished with this one.
I also sampled Meyers ESB (3oz. pour) and a sip of the Golden Vanilla. ESB was very nice and bitter with a fluffy mouthfeel. Golden Vanilla was, I believe, their golden pale ale. Vanilla was a bit too prominent. First thing that came to mind as I sipped was the smell of Vanilla extract.
Food was excellent and exactly what I was looking for. Hanger steak sandwich with blue cheese aioli, red onions, and watercress on an herb roll. The garlic herb french fries that accompanied the sandwich were also excellent. Never had those type of flavored fries before. Emma had a spanish meatball sandwich with the lightest, crispiest, and perfectly seasoned onions rings I've ever had.
All in all, exactly what we were looking for as the food by Fisherman's wharf is for the tourists, birds, or sea lions...depending on who gets there first. Not overly expensive as our bill came to around $35, not including tip. We sat at the bar and watched some Spanish league soccer highlights.

Photo of francisweizen
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4

This place is pretty good. The atmosphere is slick with a long bar and many tables downstairs with some ppol tables and more seating upstairs as well. The nice 2 level warehouse/loft style suits this place nicely, although the clientele does tend to sway a little too yuppy for my liking. The quality of the food and the beer here is pretty good, but the year rounds beers can be a little boring and bland to this weather BA. Never-the-less some of the heavier winter seasonals and experimental beers turn out pretty darn good. The selection is usually pretty boring though, and this place is quite pricey...I will say that the service is great on some occasions and bad on others, so all in all i'll give it a 3 for service...as for the little plates (tapas)...they are all very good, but again pricey...a popular place with beer-lovers and non-beer lovers alike...and certainly worth a trip when you are in the SoMa district of downtown SF.

Photo of PhiloPsych
4/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I went to the Thirsty Bear restaurant with a group of 8 friends. This is a great place to go with a large group. We ordered three paellas and several tapas. All the food was good, but I was mostly interested in the beer. Apparently they keep seven "regular" beers on tap (though these apparently rotate from time to time, too) in addition to a couple seasonal offerings. Though I wasn't there on a Tuesday, I understand that every Tuesday night they have a beer on cask.

I tried all the beers. All the regular beers were good. They had a vanilla beer that was unique, interesting, and good. Their website advertised an amber ale on nitro; they didn't have it, but they did have an ESB on nitro and it was very nice. I hadn't ever heard of anything but a stout being nitrogenated, so I was very interested and definitely pleased. The IPA and the stout really stood out though. Both were excellent. I had a 20 oz glass of the stout. One friend (a homebrewer) had two rounds of the IPA and was very impressed. Another friend had the ESB and also really loved it.

If you are ever in the Union Square area and looking for a place to get good beer, I heartily recommend Thirsty Bear.

Photo of jreitman
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Went to Thirsty Bear the first time for a conference despite living 2 blocks away at one point. The atmosphere is very tailored too the professionals that work in the area... a little upscale and modern. I found it to be totally comfortable with a group of 10 people near the bar. The upstairs has a couple pool tables and darts. The beer I had was an IPA, unfortunately I didn't analyze it enough for a proper review, but I found it very tasty. Service was a bit uneven. The waitress we had was friendly enough but wasn't very responsive a couple times over the course of a couple hours.

Overall I would definitely go back if I was downtown.

Photo of kdoc8
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

This was my final brewery to visit in San Francisco. It's located very conveniently and close to the whole Powell and Market area if you're a tourist or just want a beer before hitting the SF MOMA. It's large - several stories, and modern with lots of seating. The upstairs is cool - lots of bar games and pool tables. I could see how it would get crowded on a weekend evening, but it wasn't too crowded at lunchtime on a weekday. They were mainly a tapas restaurant, but I didn't have the patience for tapas that day so I just ordered a sandwich. It wasn't spectacular, but it also wasn't their speciality. They had a large selection of their beers on tap. It was priced quite reasonably for that area of town.

Photo of blgianbeer
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

The Thristy Bear is an interesting combination of brewpub and tapas restaurant. The tapas restaurants that I've visited in the past mainly focused on wine. The food was well done and reasonably priced. My wife and I shared four tapas courses and it was plenty of food. The manchego/crab brushetta was awesome.
We tried four beers. The Vanilla Ale was interesting. Aroma was good (I love vanilla) but the flavor was a bit off. I'd prefer vanilla flavoring from oak barrels as opposed to real vanilla. Both the Brown and Black Bear beers were superb. Very well balanced and drinkable. The IPA was also nice. This is a good stop for dinner with the spouse while visiting SF.

Photo of klewis
2.95/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

Photo of benito
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Thirsty Bear is a classy brewpub in the heart of SoMa. Turning the busy corner from 3rd Ave onto Howard, leaving SFMoma behind, Thirsty Bear's storefront jumps out with its fun design (a bear chugging!) and rich colors. Inside, the dining room is flanked by a long bar and exposed brick on the other walls.

They had nine of their own brews on tap as well as bottles of Chimay, Orval, and Lindeman's. I tried five of the nine, enjoying immensely the Black Bear (WBC winning Schwarzbier) and the very refreshing Organic Golden Vanilla. The ESB was a cut below, but still tasty, and the wit and maibock were average at best.

It's the food that makes this place special though. Not necessarily the quality of the food, but rather the type of cuisine they're serving. I never fault brewpubs for serving pub fare or pizza (bottom line--they go well with beer), but I often long for something different to break up to monotony. Maybe I need to visit fewer brewpubs, or maybe I need to visit more brewpubs like Thirsty Bear which does Spanish tapas and antojitos. (They also have flamenco shows every Sunday night.) As soon as I tasted the food and beer together here, the idea of pairing Spanish (not Latin American, but true Spanish, as in the Iberian Peninsula, Europe, Ferdinand and Isabella) food and craftbeer was both novel and logical. Spanish cuisine's two main ingredients--salt and oil--meet great partners in crime with some of Thirsty Bear's craftbrews. Spanish food may never replace pub grub or pizza as the staple fare of US brewpubs, but Thirsty Bear makes a good case as to why it should.

Overall, an inviting, friendly and inventive brewpub in downtown San Francisco. Recommended.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

I found a bit more class at the thirsty bear than I’m used to finding in the average brew pub. The stereo pumped Cole Porter era jazz, the tables were filled with well dressed businessmen in work attire, and the very idea of a Tapas Brew Pub seemed a touch upscale. Atmo was pleasing: high ceilings, good conversation space, large patio, multilevel, well separated bar/dining rooms, bright but well placed and uplifting lighting, etc… The food looked great but I didn’t try any. Service wasn’t very good. My bartender seemed to know the beer and answered my questions directly but didn’t offer any suggestions or elaborate much. He also seemed a bit annoyed that I was bothering him at all. He provided me with a couple of free samples (which should have been .$50 based on the menu) but did so as if it were a pother to him. Selection was mediocre. Aside from 10 or so house beers, the bar offered 3 Belgians in the bottle (Chimay and Lindeman’s). Quality was low. The Vaencia Wheat was a cloying disaster. The ESB was thick, heavy, and utterly unhopped. The only beer that I found at all pleasing was the Kozlov Stout on Nitro and that was just average. This place is low on my list of spots in the area but if you’re walking to 21st Amendment from the BART it’s right on the way so you might as well stop in and check it out. Maybe if you try some food you’ll like it more than I did.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Definitely a downtown feel to it, more of a swank bar feel than brewpub feel, the design of this place was very well thought through. Very clean and sophisticated use of materials, artwork on the walls, and an interesting and effective floor plan makes this architect a happy customer. Essentially a very long tall space, circulation is through the middle, with a tucked away dining area at front next to entry. Then, to the immediate left is another small bar table area, with the kettle room beyond, stretching the remaining length of the bar, encased with glass. In the middle is a very long and clean bar, with a thin dining area to the right. Also, there was an upstairs area, but was pretty much empty, even on such a busy night. We were there on St Patties Day, so it was quite crowded. As such, service was a little slow, but still dedicated, and she was willing and able to talk about the beers. We didn't get to too many beers, but the ones we had (the stout and golden vanilla) were definitely good. Its too bad I didn't get to more, cause there were several. Anywho, nice place, good beers, great downtown location, woudl definitely go back.

Photo of bultrey
4.05/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

I have a feeling that this is the type of place where your experience depends on what time of day you go. I went twice on a recent business trip for lunch, and really enjoyed myself, though I understand that this place is suppose to turn kind of "clubby" in the evenings, which I really dislike. Anyhow, it's got a very classy, slightly modern, and cleanly decorated interior -- lost of wood, iron work, nice curtains, etc. It's quite spacious... several tables in a front section by the windows, a long bar (12-15 seats?) along the left, but the room is wide enough to accomodate several more tables on the right side of the room adjacent to the bar area. There is also a staircase on the right that leads to another spacious mezzanine, and the downstairs continues on beyond the bar to yet another spacious seating area. So all in all, it's big.
Brews rangs from average to very good, with the Polar Bear Pilsner, Meyer ESB, Winterbock, and Bearly Legal Barleywine being particular standouts. They have about 5 or 6 regular beers on draft to choose from, plus usually one or two seasonals. They also have a cask-conditioned ale on all day Tuesdays, similar to the "kill-the-cask" Tuesday's that seem to be popular in several other area establishments. Service was impeccable, very attentive and friendly. I actually asked if I could meet the brewer, Brendan (sp?) -- I had wanted to ask about one of the beers, and he came out and had a long conversation with me, very passionate about his beers, but at the same time, seemingly having fun with it all. He gave me a couple of free samples (bock and barleywine), even though I was trying to avoid those because I was technically working. Really friendly guy. The food was a particular highlight -- I had some sort of sliced steak sandwich with caramlized onions, etc., on one occaison, which was very good, and a crab and cheese dip on another, which was fantastic (and a perfect match to the pilsner). I put "reasonable" for pricing, because it does seem like an upscale establishment, and I am from NYC, so the prices don't shock me. But it might be bumped up to "a little pricey."
All in all, if you find yourself stuck at the Moscone Convention Center, I would make a bee-line here for lunch every time, and might even come back for dinner one night.
Overall, a place that I think frames craft brew with a nice, sophisticated tapas bar kind of feel.

Photo of axisjones
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Thirst Bear is the "other" SOMA brewpub, 21st Amendment being its counterpart (I am not counting Gordon Biersch). This seems like the trendier and more upscale of the two.

Dim almost club like interior, really tall ceilings, very hip. A really long bar flanks an open dining room with a second floor coming up in the back. Worst placement of bathrooms ever, about 30 stairs up and around. The decor and vibe screamed yuppie, which i don't vibe as well with, it almost bordered on pretentious. The semi-exposed brewery was a site though, with the equipment coming up from below from behind the bar.

The service was okay, it was too crowded to even matter, tried to squeeze it at the bar, my friend had to stand for a while nearby.

I ordered the sampler (7 beers), all average to mediocre. Nothing really stood out and some choices were just weird. They seemed overly fond of using nitro taps on beer that was already somewhat weak. On the plus side, there were a lot of guest and house brews.

The food prices were more than I was willing to pay, so it was chevy's next door. I would go back if someone else was driving, otherwise this would be one of my last choices in the city.

Photo of baiser
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Quite a trendy place for a brewpub on Howard St between 2nd and 3rd. Wasn't expecting the type of food they served, which was spanish cuisine. I didn't think it went well with their beers, but nonetheless, I enjoyed a few of their hot tapas, which were priced $10 or less. Their main dishes were just under $20.

In terms of beer, they offered quite alot of their own brews. Many different styles and a range of tastes. I enjoyed their IPA and stout the most. They had 2 seasonals - a fruity beer called Hallucination and also a Dunkel weizen which was so-so. Every Tuesday, they offer cask pints for $3. Also, they offer 3 oz tasters of their beers for $0.50 which turns out to be cheaper than their pints.

Service was a bit slow, but it was also a busy night. It took a while for a waitress to come, and the drinks took even longer. But she was very friendly and appeared to know about their beers.

There is an upstairs with pool tables.

Overall, I was quite happy with this place and will probably go back for their stout. I can pass on the food though.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.14/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Second visit to the "other Bear".
Long bar and some tables lit with reddish tones.
Kind of an odd combination for a brewpub, upscalish with a DJ pumping up the "jam". Hmmm, better than 21st Amendment anyways.
They had a good selection of beers going, although when I ordered the Dunkleweizen, it was out. 7 on tap me thinks.
We both got the White beers which was as good as I remember.
Big glasses too. Like yum yum,- wish I had some now -yum.
Didn't eat or look at the menu, Pam was fading fast.
Brewhouse is behind glass in back of the bar, and there looked like there might have been an upstairs, not sure.
Service was very good, the barkeep gave us a verbal rundown of the beers and served 'em up quick and neat.
Recommended.

Photo of Bierman9
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Came here about 930PM on the Sunday night of Memorial Day weekend. Another long front-to-back place. Flamenco music playing on this eve. Long bar lines the left side of the room, with brew kettles visible behind glass behind the bar. Right side lined in brick, with numerous tables scattered about, booths along the wall, and with a small stage near the middle right for musical entertainment. Somewhat dimly lit, and rather sparsely populated on this night. Besides bier they have lots of liquor here...anything you might want. Does have a yuppy-ish vibe, as earlier noted; tries to be more of an upscale place. OK, overall. Had 8x biers on tap during this visit, and I enjoyed a couple of pints of their seasonal Maibock ($5.00), served in a great German, stange-type glass. Bartender was quite pleasant, an English chap. He was a few minutes late pouring me my second Maibock, and I wasn't bothered by it, but he comped it for me. Cool. Decent place in general, though I'd hit Toronado or Zeitgeist first, personally.

Prosit!!

overall: 4.08
atmosphere: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: n/a | $$

114

Photo of Mark
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This pub has a more upscale feel to it than most of my favorite places. Tanks are very hidden behind an exceptionally long bar. There is a thin eating area fronting the bar. There is also an upstairs area as well. A wide selection was available on tap, at least 6 offerings. These included an IPA, Pils, Stout, Porter, and an ESB, I believe the 6th was a wheat beer. Food is Spanish style, Tapas being the specialty. Looked good but also a bit expensive and I wish I knew how big the portions are. A decent pub in the south of Market area, while I prefer 21st Amendment, I thought this place had a wider selection of brew. One other thing we enjoyed was a good converstation with our bar man who was English. We conversed about the U.K. and cask ale. Nice guy. Worth going to by all means.

Photo of Redrover
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

I hosted a small business diner here. Some of co-workers were initially skeptical, but this place quickly won them over.

As described by others, this is a fairly narrow but long bar/dinning area. The upstairs contained the bathrooms, pool tables and some place for entertaining.

I was there on a Sunday evening which happens to be flamingo night! Some nice guitar playing and dancing entertained us. It really added a unique vibe and I wonder if this weekly event draws a different crowd.

For dinner, we went with a bunch of tapas dishes and some yummy seafood paella. Some of the best food I have ever had at a brewpub. Great combinations of flavors and very fresh ingredients!

The beer was fine, but it didn't blow me away. Still, very solid representatives of the styles. I had a seasonal Mai Bock and the IPA. The brewing equipment is on display behind the bar. I wish I had another chance to sample a few more.

The service was a bit slow, but very friendly. The food did come pretty quickly after we ordered..

I'm very glad I had a chance to stop by.

Photo of Troyone
4/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The atmosphere is business like and somewhat yuppy-ish. There is spacious dining areas downstairs and it looks as though the upstairs is mainly for entertainment with two pool tables and a dart board. They have an area in the middle of the restaurant next to the bar for live flamenco music on Sunday nights.

There are wooden tables and chairs; the bar is hard to figure out, looks like some thick transparent enamel over a type of art work. The restroom was clean. Kitchen is in the open and viewable from the southside dining area as is the brewing equipment behind the bar..

Kind of yuppy-ish but prompt.

A decent selection, no guest beers, and a good concept of cask beer (handpump) however only on certain nights. Their IPA and seasonal Viena Waltz are notables also their possible notables are the Valencia Wheat (similar to a hef) and seasonal Imperial Red (8.5%). The beers seem to be served a little on the cold side but are alright.

Have eaten there in the past, I recall the proportion did not add up to the price but was good. There appears to be some healthy options on the menu. The kitchen is wide open and viewable from the South dining area.

Food is pricey.

Photo of drewbage
3.75/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Last visit was during a foolish attempt to drink all 9 beers of the San Francisco Strong Beer Month in one night. (I did 8 of them for the record.)

The Thirsty Bear's concept has always been one of my favorites, but the execution has always left a little to be desired to me.

The menu concept is tapas (which gets translated by some as "yuppie chow") which to me is about as close to perfect for eating with groups over drinks. This is exactly why the Spanish invented this cuisine. Menu varies and has always been good.

The beer on the other hand has always varied. On this particular visit I had the Bearly Legal barleywine and the Winterbock. The winterbock was phenolic and the barleywine was fine, but still relatively lackluster.

The crowd here is my other problem here as the posing yuppies really do invade this place by nightfall. Hey, I like yuppie cusine, not yuppies.

Still a very nice place though.

Photo of boussh
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

On our second trip to Thirst Bear, we were much more impressed with everything. Our first trip was so-so ( the bartender ignored us and the beers were nothing special), but this time we stopped in to complete our stong beer card put on by 21st Amendment, Thirsty Bear and Magnolia. The idea to drink 9 stong beers of various styles and keep a cool glass.
So on this trip we tasted the Bearly Legal Barley wine which was well balanced between hops, malt and alcohol( about 10%), not too sweet and great with the blue cheese on my salad. The Winterbock wasn't as impressive, but still a good showing. A little more astringent then I like in a beer, but with the fried almonds and paprika it was not bad.
Our server was attentive and our food can rather quickly at lunch. After this experience, we might stop in again and give thier other beers a try.

Photo of Clembo1957
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I arrived at The Thirsy Bear to be greeted by a deafening clattering noise, unfortunately i'd arrived on the Bars regular Flamenco night! fortunately the Flamenco was fairly brief and i could enjoy my beer again in relative peace. I sampled a couple of beers on my visit, Howard St IPA and Polar Bear, both of which were enjoyable.

The bar seemed to be largely food orientated and while the food wasn't bad the servers seemed to be in a hurry to serve us, clear the plates again and free the table for the next customer so my eating experience felt somewhat rushed. The beer wasn't bad but next time i think i'll avoid the Flamenco Dancers...

Thirsty Bear Brewing Company in San Francisco, CA
85 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.