Thirsty Bear

661 Howard St
San Francisco, California United States 94105
brewpub (Thirsty Bear)  3.5/5.0 66 reviews
Mon - Thu: 11:30 am - 10:00 pm; Fri: 11:30 am - 11:00 pm; Sat: 12:00 pm - 11:00 pm; Sun: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Mayor: brokensail (1) | Taps: 9 | Bottles: 0
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80
  • AMBIANCE 5/5
  • SERVICE 7/10
  • SELECTION 12/15
  • FOOD 10/10
  • VALUE N/A
  • OVERALL 16/20
Taverner  (83) San Ramon, California | January 10, 2008
The food here is amazing! Who woulda thunk? Spanish food and beer - but it works so fricken well. Yeah, its a trendy SF place, but the keyword here is San Franciscan. That means its pretty low key and casual. Kids donít do so well here, but any other situation works.
80
  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 8/10
  • SELECTION 11/15
  • FOOD 8/10
  • VALUE 8/10
  • OVERALL 17/20
Luvystypotables  (129) Virginia Beach, Virginia | November 13, 2014
Pleasant ambiance with a decent selection of beer.
78
  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 9/10
  • SELECTION 11/15
  • FOOD 8/10
  • VALUE 7/10
  • OVERALL 15/20
bytemesis  (754) Sunnyvale, California | November 16, 2014
Not sure why this place gets such low reviews. I visited on a Saturday afternoon, it was doing a good business but not crowded. Took a seat at the bar and ordered a sampler tray for $15. The bartender knew his beer (not only Thirsty Bear, but the whole city scene), and was happy to talk. Food was quite good and prompt. Beers ranged from pretty meh to quite good. All in all a place I would gladly return to.
76
  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 7/10
  • SELECTION 12/15
  • FOOD 8/10
  • VALUE N/A
  • OVERALL 15/20
PorterPounder  (479) Tallahassee, Florida | October 3, 2005
Stopped by twice on my honeymoon in September 2005. Once on a Sunday night and the place was packed - there was local flamenco singer...not great - but it drew a crowd. Second time was for dessert and a night cap on a Friday night. Spanish tapas style cuisine was excellent. Attentive waiters, good beer selection - most were excelelnt - one or two missed the mark - but overall an excellent downtown brewpub - a must visit if in the downtown San Francisco area.
76
  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 6/10
  • SELECTION 12/15
  • FOOD 9/10
  • VALUE N/A
  • OVERALL 16/20
Ernest  (207) Boulder, Colorado | May 28, 2007
Quite a surprising delight. Pleasant, clean, slightly posh place with a nice view of the brewing equipment. Lots of beers to choose from (about 6-8 year-rounds and 2 seasonals when we were there). Ales were solid, lagers even better. Some of the best food Iíve ever had in a brewpub (which are typically terrible-to-ok)...inventive and assertive spicing that really works. Service wasnít terribly attentive, but then again we were seated at small tables in the bar area, not at a real dining table. I wish I had a brewpub this good in Boulder (Mountain Sun is the closest thing wrt to beer selection and food enjoyment).
74
  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 7/10
  • SELECTION 11/15
  • FOOD 8/10
  • VALUE N/A
  • OVERALL 15/20
Dansting  (114) Overland Park, Kansas | June 27, 2007
Went on a Wednesday night and we got seated right away. The place was very contempory/modern looking. Very "hip" looking, I suppose. And the main thing is that in my opinion, this is a tapas restaurant first and a brewpub second. The beer comes second to the atmosphere. The service was okay, although they wouldnít let my wife and I each order a sampler, as they said they didnít have enough glasses. So we just ordered another one when the first was finished. The food was good, not great. The tapas-style portions were bigger than we expected, so we didnít finish all we ordered. They had a 9-beer sampler, and the beers were okay as a whole. They had a vanilla bean lager that wasnít good at all, but their nitrogen ESB was pretty solid. After the sampler, I had a glass of their cask stout which was pretty good, and maybe the hoppiest stout Iíve ever had. The prices were steep, but considering the location and the atmosphere, it wasnít unexpected. I wouldnít make this a destination brewpub, but you wonít be disappointed if you go there.
74
  • AMBIANCE 5/5
  • SERVICE 6/10
  • SELECTION 11/15
  • FOOD 7/10
  • VALUE N/A
  • OVERALL 15/20
Gorbalev  (58) Ontario | December 7, 2005
Stopped by for a drink and a snack in the lounge area off to the side of the bar on a Saturday night. Dark, elegant yet funky lighting. Service was ok but not very knowledgeable and pretty fake friendly (she did remember as we were about to leave they had an unlisted barleywine, I promptly sat back down. She also screwed up our food order...). Selection was good, there were approx 8 house brews on including the fabulous aforementioned barleywine. The interesting food menu served up a couple of good treats. A very stylish place that you would not guess is a brewpub, we left before the party got started, so the noise level was fine.
74
  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 8/10
  • SELECTION 11/15
  • FOOD 9/10
  • VALUE N/A
  • OVERALL 14/20
Bobsy  (25) Toronto, Ontario | January 2, 2008
Wine bar ambiance, with a very clean trendy look. Not something I usually want in my brewpub, but it worked. Very good, but expensive, Spanish food. Good beer selection of house brews, with maybe 12 on tap at time of visit.
72
  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 7/10
  • SELECTION 11/15
  • FOOD N/A
  • VALUE 7/10
  • OVERALL 14/20
ruigo  (132) , Portugal | March 23, 2015
A bit packed but a nice place and a long time brewpub. Just in the center of the city.
72
  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 7/10
  • SELECTION 10/15
  • FOOD 8/10
  • VALUE 5/10
  • OVERALL 15/20
t0rin0  (1516) Do Not Resuscitate, California | March 20, 2013
Visited half a dozen times since 2006.

I dont mind the ambiance, Iím not sure where the complaints stem from. My only problem is when the place is packed. Otherwise itís clean, friendly, and has a nice decor. The service is decently knowledgeable and can at least describe the beers and tell you a little bit of relevant info (style, when it was brewed, etc) but arent necessarily beer nerds, not that I ask them a lot of questions.

They always have at least 7 or 8 house beers on of which a couple rotate. I dont think they make amazing beers but I guess I havent really had a terrible beer from them either. This is not a place I go all that often but every once in a while (once a year) Iíll stop in on my way to/from 21st Amendent.

Beer prices are a bit high and the food is definitely expensive (but not bad either) so for me itís just a pint of the newest beer usually.

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