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Thirsty Bear Brewing Company
Active Beers: 18
Beer Ratings: 206
Beer Avg: 3.66
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
661 Howard Street
phone: (415) 974-0905
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 58 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Was in San Francisco for a few days and wanted to go to 21st Amendment. Checked website and they are open till 9:30, good enough. Walk there and they are closed for their anniversary...huh? A brew pub closing for their anniversary? That is a cause for a party there not to go to bed early...lame.
Anyway, saw Thirsty Bear while walking around the previous day. Headed that way and was pleasantly surprised to find a Spanish tapas place that was also a brew pub...awesome! Not only that but it was a Sunday night so they had live Flamenco dancing.
Tried 3 beers, the dubbel, the ESB, and the IPA. The dubbel was quite good, was actually surprised at how good it was. The ESB was good, not the best but a good example of the style. The IPA was also good, wish it has a little more citrus character but tasty none the less.
All in all, I was glad that 21st Amendment wussed out on the anniversary and closed down like some old folks...had a great time at the Thirsty Bear!
08-28-2009 02:22:00 |
More by steelerguy
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Brewpub located in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco. Slightly upscale decor. They have about 8 of their beers on tap. Mostly basic brewpub styles. I sampled the IPA and it was pretty good. The food is Spanish with a trend towards tapas. The food is decent and a bit pricey. A bit of a step-up from the standard brewpub food. None of the beers are what you would call outstanding but they are all decent. This is one of the better brewpubs in San Francisco. It's near downtown and Union Square, thus easily accessible for tourists.
07-17-2009 02:11:41 |
More by willjschmidt
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5 | $$$$
Big open space, modern loft style, exposed brick, modern art (right next to the MOMA in fact), lots of light. Really not the vibe I like in a brew pub, looks more like an upscale lounge.
Friendly, cute waitresses knew the ABV of the seasonal, even though it's not listed on menu. Very knowledgeable on the food menu, all the Spanish pronunciations, but I was a little disappointed to see it as all tapas, paella and flat bread being the only other items of substance. I got an order of flat bread for $10, it was fine, but I'd need like 5 more to make a meal of it, and wasn't try to spending $100 at a brew pub, so I decided to go somewhere else for dinner. I had 2 of their beers, both seasonals. The trippel wasn't that great, the bourbon barrel stout was better. r They had 7 regular taps as well. I talked to a local at 21st Amendment (where I later walked to for a real meal) and he didn't speak to highly of their house beers. Too foo-foo for me overall, mostly suits and pointy loafer crowd. At least they were playing classic rock, I think it was Santana (which would make sense with their Spanish theme). The sliders, also $10, were ridiculous, you got 4, the patty couldn't have been bigger then a quarter, maybe a poker chip, but probably not even that. Brewpub food for bulimics.
03-26-2009 22:19:21 |
More by ccrida
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
my first time in Thirsty Bear was last night, Fat Tuesday, which was their cask night as well.
local, organically brewed, cask conditioned ale for $3 per imperial pint means this is going to be my tuesday spot from now on.
the atmosphere was okay, very loud, but not pretentious or beer snobby at all. some cool art on the walls is also a plus.
as I mentioned it was cask night, so I didn't try a wide variety of brews, but the cask conditioned IPA was really quite nice. a milder english style but with good bitterness and a great mouthfeel. I also tried the pils and was pleased with that brew as well.
service was fine, but nothing special from what I could tell.
selection was good, with house brews representing a wide variety of ale and lager styles.
didn't try any food, but what was being served looked good enough.
overall this place is worth stopping by, but I would recommend you try to make it for the unbeatable tuesday cask nights.
02-25-2009 20:36:37 |
More by JoshuaCain
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
A - CLASSY joint to say the least. There was a huge focus on decorating this place. Nice downstairs with an impressive bar and great tables. Upstairs had FREE pool and darts with tons of room (I think it is used for private parties).
Q - The beer is tasty. Sure there is better but this is the best brewpub in SF.
S - A very knowledgeable waitstaff. Very prompt and pleasant - every time I have been there.
S - Couple of good selections. Nothing that you can't find anywhere else. Every once in a while they have a black lager which is always nice.
F - Not your typical brewpub.... This place offers Spanish cuisine! Nice Papas (small plates) of really tasty food. The potatoes and calamari are a must.
Best brewpub in SF IMHO.
01-25-2009 03:02:45 |
More by xhcadamx
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
The Thirsty Bear is an open-air brewpub which brews good but not great beers. The beers are developing, but they still require heavier malting overall. I tried their Polar Bear Pilsner and their Meyer's ESB (nitro-poured). Both beers suffered slightly from undermalting, and the pils was also underhopped. Their food is Americanized tapas, which is a good choice to pair with beers and probably provides them with a good profit margin although serving sizes were above-average for sharing among 5 people. The service was friendly but so-so on accuracy (in a group of 5 people our server made 3 mistakes in the beer orders alone). Their beer selection is quite good (8 different draft selections made on-site). The prices were also good -- $6 for 20oz draft, $4 for a 12oz draft, and the pours were full with proper head. The bill for 5 patrons with 5 tapas dishes and with some having 1 and some having 2 beers was about $125.
I liked Thirsty Bear but didn't love it.
11-05-2008 16:10:15 |
More by argock
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$
On vacation in San Francisco and using my phone's navigator to find a brewpub nearby, we landed at the Thirsty Bear. The first very pleasant surprise- everything they brew is organic! I was inclined to try the sampler, having never heard of their brews before. After trying the seven regular beers and a double sample of the seasonal brew, I settled on a Kozlov Stout. It was very tasty and quite nitrogenized. I was not as impressed with the Meyer E.S.B., which was good as a sample but proved too bitter for my taste after the Kozlov. Running short on time, we vowed to return the next day for dinner. On this second trip I stuck to the Kozlov, since it stood alone at the top of my list (after all, the Golden Vanilla sample just really didn't do it for me!). I ordered the house smoked baby back ribs with brown bear ale BBQ sauce and was quite pleased. They were fall off the bone tender and very tasty. The portion was just right and I felt satisfied with the value. Will I go there again next trip? Maybe, but only after I check Beer Advocate first to see what else is out there, a tactic that hadn't occured to me previously (thanks to the friends who pointed this strategy out).
10-15-2008 01:06:56 |
More by hotglassmama
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
I keep thinking this place is chester cheetah cheesy, but I keep coming back and enjoying every time I go, so it can't be all that bad, right?
It's not. Had a wet hop beer, and also a multi grain pale ale with roasted oats and rye. Good glassware for those that care, decent prices, waitstaff cute and friendly. This place is just good enough to like.
The tapas food was good too. Tasty empenadas that look like hot pockets, ribs, fig salad, ceviche, all good and fairly well priced.
Pool tables upstairs, cask conditioned beer for 3 bucks... I'm going to start recommending this place, so go there. I like how they have a lot of different styles of beer, some are worse than others, but they have a few good ones.
09-14-2008 06:16:30 |
More by Murchmac
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$$
the thirsty bear basically caters to a more professional/corporate crowd. when there most people were in suit/ties.
overall, a nice place, but nothing to jump hoops for. they happened to be out of their vanilla beer, but their other beers i'd put as middle of the road. not terrible, but not great.
the food is "ok" as the party i was with just ordered appetizers. the flat bread was stand out with the other choices being so-so and their cerviche was not good at all i.m.h.o.
overall, if short on time and need a brew pub that is close to the bay bridge and if you have to select one that you have not been to before, drive up the street a bit and head over to 21st amendment.
thirsty bear is still worth at least a "one time" visit, but with other better choices s.f. has to offer i'll doubt i'll return when in the city.
06-27-2008 22:13:58 |
More by koolchas
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
This place is located pretty much at the heart of the city and is right accross from a fire station.
The atmosphere was kinda cool with pool and other games to play up stairs and the people that go there seem pretty cool as well.
The beer was just ok to me with nothing really sticking out. I had the sampler and tasted them all and nothing i thought was amazing. Seemed like it was all about average.
I your in the area i would give it a go but it wasnt anything special. If i lived near by i would go there often but i probably wont go back since i live in so cal. Suposidly they have cask beers on certain days but i didnt get to try them.
05-30-2008 20:38:55 |
More by PeprSprYoFace
Thirsty Bear Brewing Company in San Francisco, CA
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