Thirsty Bear Brewing Company

Thirsty Bear Brewing CompanyThirsty Bear Brewing Company
Thirsty Bear Brewing CompanyThirsty Bear Brewing Company
Brewery, Bar, Eatery

661 Howard Street
San Francisco, California, 94105
United States

// CLOSED //
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Photo of VABA
Reviewed by VABA from Virginia

4/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
I remember stepping out of the side door at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and sighting an organic brewery. The food was good (mainly Spanish tapas) and the beers were very diverse in style.

Sadly upon trying to get in recently on a visit to the Museum, I found that the place was permanently closed.
Oct 19, 2022
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Reviewed by VoxRationis from New York

4.16/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25
Thirsty Bear was only a block away for the Moscone Convention Center; what a find! The beer offerings included 9 house beers and two cask conditioned ales. I ordered the lunch special (a delicious take on chicken salad) and a flight, which consisted of all 9 non-cask conditioned house beers. Note specializes largely in Spanish cuisine, tapas and such.

Pretty empty when I got there, they didn't seem to be drawing the lunch crowd from Moscone. A modern teak and polished steel kind of look. Bar stretches along much of the left hand wall with tons of seating along the right. Chatted with a couple of Canadians about international politics.

The service was attentive but was not terribly knowledgable about the beer (of course, often the bar staff are the only ones in the know). Great range: the offerings ranged from a spicy saison through to a barrel aged stout and from good to excellent. The brown ale I tried was cask conditioned and really interesting.

Would have eaten at Thirsty Bear more had I known it was so close.
Oct 18, 2018
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Reviewed by knp5280 from Colorado

4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
Great feel and the choices between the beers and tapas make this work for whomever you bring with you. You all can find something to like at this place.
Dec 17, 2017
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Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5
i really dug this place, and we sort of only came here on a whim. i had never heard of thirsty bear before, but as we made our way around some san francisco breweries, we kept seeing everyone had a collaboration with these guys, seriously, like three or four of our stops had done a beer with these guys, so we decided to check it out. warning, watch where you park, we were about a black and a half away, and my car window got smashed out and all my stuff stolen, granted this has nothing to do with thirsty bear, and its a common act in the city from what i now understand, but just a heads up. the place is rad inside, pretty big, oriented the long way with the bar all down the left side when you walk in, an elevated dining area in the back, and the tanks down underneath but rising up behind the bar so that the view is of the top part of the fermenters and stuff, all neat and clean and sort of artsy feeling, a neat layout making a pretty large space feel comfortable. we sat kind of out of the way and still had pretty good service. the beers were both ambitious and delicious, covering just about all the bases, we enjoyed all we drank in here, some of them were incredible. the food we got was also absolutely killer, and while it was just an appetizer, it was impressive enough that i will be back to eat a full meal when i am in town again. this felt very urban, very san fran, but also very cozy and cool, i loved it actually, and for a place i had never heard of, i left fully stoked on it. looking forward to another visit here, highly recommended!
Nov 15, 2017
Rated: 3.7 by GaryColeman from California

Jul 18, 2017
Rated: 3.78 by Antc2382 from New Jersey

May 27, 2017
Rated: 3.5 by MonkeyPilates from Minnesota

Nov 26, 2016
Rated: 3.79 by Pacioli1445 from South Dakota

Nov 25, 2016
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Reviewed by flagmantho from Washington

3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5
I visited Thirsty Bear last night for some beers and dinner. Frankly, I was more impressed with the latter -- the food alone is reason to go there. They have 3 kinds of paella! 3!

The beer was mostly OK, with 9 taps and 2 additional rotating cask offerings. They are focused on organic beers, which isn't especially important to me but could be important to some. Service was OK while I was sitting at the bar. If I ever return, though, it will be for the food, and not the beer.
Nov 02, 2016
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Reviewed by QuakeAttack from California

3.13/5  rDev -17%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3
Live in the SF Bay Area and have wanted to visit for a couple of years. They have two of my favorite things: beer and Spanish food. On a rainy weekend, my wife and I went with another couple for a late afternoon of beer tasting and dinner. Unfortunately, we were the point that after appetizers, we went somewhere else for dinner.

It's a nice spacious place which was kind of slow at first, but picked up at the end of a SF game. We tried a flight of seven beers. While there were a couple of good beers (cask and nitro porter), most of the beers were average. Food was disappointing. Calamari breading didn't stay, empenadas got cold fast, and the potatoes weren't crispy.

Service was friendly, but nothing special. In looking a previous reviews, I think that one of them got it exactly right. This is an old micro brewery from the 90s which survives based upon location. Otherwise, there is really nothing to recommend to come back.
Apr 11, 2016
Rated: 4.21 by tbeaton from Massachusetts

Mar 30, 2016
Rated: 3.54 by tjcamm from Oregon

Feb 08, 2016
Rated: 3.78 by metter98 from New York

Oct 27, 2015
Rated: 3.96 by Daniellobo from District of Columbia

Oct 11, 2015
Rated: 4 by Cmazzatta from Oregon

Jul 21, 2015
Rated: 3.98 by spointon from Illinois

Jul 03, 2015
Rated: 3.35 by AgentMunky from New York

Jun 11, 2015
Rated: 4.11 by Snatchariah_Jackson from New York

May 31, 2015
Rated: 3.79 by gspeer711 from California

Apr 30, 2015
Rated: 4.21 by Geoffq from California

Mar 06, 2015
Rated: 3.53 by bschinelli from Illinois

Feb 18, 2015
Rated: 3.61 by Spaceman_Jer from Colorado

Feb 15, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by ivegot3Dvision from Oregon

Feb 14, 2015
Rated: 3.71 by italianstallion from Wisconsin

Dec 23, 2014
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Rated by twb0392 from Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
paella is really good.
Dec 15, 2014
Rated: 2.24 by bobbyhands from California

Dec 08, 2014
Rated: 4 by MadHopster from California

Dec 01, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by Hellpop65 from Kansas

Dec 01, 2014
Rated: 3 by Russkiy from California

Nov 02, 2014
Rated: 4.32 by Niedzws from New York

Nov 01, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by PaleAleWalt from New York

Nov 01, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by kingpin1010 from California

Oct 25, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by aoampm from Hawaii

Sep 10, 2014
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Rated by MikeDAdams from Idaho

4/5  rDev +6.1%
Great selection of beer including two firkins
Aug 31, 2014
Rated: 3.64 by Bumblebtna from Massachusetts

Aug 18, 2014
Rated: 4 by little_star from Illinois

Aug 16, 2014
Rated: 4 by DrMindbender from South Carolina

Jul 20, 2014
Rated: 2 by andy1701 from Florida

Jul 19, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by atpca from California

Jul 16, 2014
Rated: 3 by Real_JasonN from California

Jul 04, 2014
Thirsty Bear Brewing Company in San Francisco, CA
Brewery rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 331 ratings