Brown Bear | Thirsty Bear Brewing Company

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25 Ratings

Brewed by:
Thirsty Bear Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-24-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by czfreeman:
Photo of czfreeman
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured as a sampler glass.
Dark brown color, medium head. Looks like a decent brown ale.
Smells are dark malt, some chocolate, lots of roasted notes in there, a hint of floral hops, and some pepper to balance the malt.
ON the palate, Dark fruits, earthy roated notes, coffee, some bitter cocoa, dark bread, and a touch of plum or some dried fruit. Finishes lighter than expected, which cleans up the mouthfeel and makes for an enjoyable finish.
Mouthfeel is medium, finishing fairly clean and slightly sweet. Leans a bit on the sweet side overall as most beers here seem to, i.e vanilla beer, etc, but overall decent brown ale.

 627 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kdoc8
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Thirsty Bear in San Francisco, CA. It was a dark reddish-brown color with a thick tan-brown head and lots of lacing. It had a roasty aroma. The taste was of sweet roasted malt, somewhat like a weaker porter. I've had very few Browns on this trip, so it was nice to pick up a good one.

 305 characters

Photo of jmccraney
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of k47k
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Arborescence
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of baiser
3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very good session ale IMO. Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. Caramel, roasted almonds and dark fruit in the nose. Very full and complex flavour. Quite satisfying. Some roasted coffee flavours. Light mouthfeel and great drinkability. I enjoyed this ale alot with my dinner.

 279 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: brown in color with a 1" head that lingers around a while. Some spotty lace dots the glass during the session.

Smell: caramel and malt sweetness are all you can detect.

Taste: caramel, some mild earthiness, a bit of dark fruit sweetness, and a soft bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smooth at the finish. Aftertaste is very short here.

Overall: a very sessionable brown ale that has a nice flavor profile that will keep you interested for a few pints. Definitely a beer worth having at the pub.

 539 characters

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Hellpop65
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of mattmarka1
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of litheum94
3.94/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the sampler platter. Reviewed 7/15/10.

P: Dark, brownish-red. Ring of tan head.

A: Chocolate and caramel malts. Touch of roasted coffee.

T: Nice coffee flavor, with out being burnt tasting. Hint of chocolate on the finish. Very smooth.

A great brown ale, and stands out in the sampler.

 297 characters

Photo of JDV
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark maroon, amber color. Rich caramel coffee smell. Heavily on the side of coffee flavored, with a touch of bitterness, but easy to drink and somewhat thin. This is a decent brown ale, but not my favorite. Worth a shot if you want a roasty, malty session beer.

 261 characters

Photo of harpus
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of DrJay
3.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, reddish brown with a beige/tan head. Lots of thick lace that formed rings outlining each sip, great head retention. Malty, nutty aroma, a bit of chocolate and toffee. Medium to low bitterness with the same malt profile as in the aroma. Hop flavour was almost non-existant. Lingering bitterness and sweet malts. Medium bodied and smooth, lowish carbonation. Not bad overall, a decent pint.

 395 characters

Photo of Wontonst
3.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of argock
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a slender weizen-style branded glass at Thirsty Bear Brewing Company (San Francisco, CA).

A: Very dark brown with short cap of light beige head which leaves a few scraggly lines of lace.

S: Caramel and toffee are light with more dark malitness and a light herbal hopping

T: A sweeter take on a brown ale with much more malt sweetness with caramel and toffee flavors and no buttery off-flavors. Hopping is light and herbal and grassy.

M: Solid medium-body with low carbonation and mildly dry finish.

O: A pretty good brown ale with a sweet caramel character. Thirsty Bear has definitely improved since I was here 3 years ago.

 646 characters

Photo of Piason
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of bboven
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Very dark for an amber, hence the name, I suppose., Good had retention.

Lot of malt and a bit too much diacetyl for the style.

Very smoky and a pretty sour finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin and there's not enough carbonation.

If you can look past some obvious flaws, it's decently drinkable.

 302 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Newmerator
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good brown ale. Luckily I work just around the corner so I can stop by here for lunch.

Pours a pretty deep brown. decent head, tho little retention and lace. Smells malty. Taste is pretty good. I prefer New Castle and many other browns, but the bear is a great beer. Can have a few of them to get tipsy. I'd recommend.

 329 characters

Photo of moneyfunnel
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Pugsly
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of dgilks
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, dark amber colour with very little head. Some lacing.

Sweet caramel aroma with some bitter toffee on the nose. Slightly nutty.

Crisp and clean malt with a touch of earthiness. Nice nutty character with some bread crust.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. Too fizzy.

A decent brown ale but nothing out of this world. Balance.

 346 characters

Photo of Hoppaholic
3/5  rDev -14%

Brown Bear from Thirsty Bear Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.49 out of 5 with 25 ratings