Thirsty Bear Brewing Company

661 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA, 94105, United States
(415) 974-0905
Latitude: 37.78566, Longitude: -122.39960


  • Monday: 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:30 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 – 10:00 PM
Wifi Available
Cask Beer
Indoor Smoking
Available Parking
Beer Pricing: $$
Public Transit
Proper Glassware
Outdoor Seating
Family Friendly
Selection: 4.29 | Atmosphere: 4.50 | Service: 4.33 | Food: 5.00
out of 100
Overall Beer Mapping Score
Based on 6 reviews.
Score from Google Reviews:
out of 5
View Google reviews
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Menotomy (148)
Monday 11th of August 2014 03:14:07 PM
This place is located right next to the Moscone center. An important not if you have a conference there. I did, and I skipped the box lunches that were provided and headed over there for a beer and a real meal. They like to also tout how they are organic. That appeals to some, but repels others. I'm indifferent as long as the beer is good.

The bar is long with a good amount of seats. There are a lot of tables that run the length of the place. There's also an upstairs area where there are some billiards tables and more dining space, but I think those are reserved for events. It's also where the bathrooms are so you will have an excuse to check it out. Some TVs are placed throughout the dining area.

Toward the end of the bar where I was there was a chalkboard that listed the beers on tap. There was a good variety available. I had two beers and both were pretty good.

The food is a little more "artisan" than your typical bar, but not too far away from anything you would get at any other brewpub, which tend to have higher quality choices. I ended up with their pub burger which wasn't bad at all. I didn't see too many items that stuck out to me on the menu that I would enjoy, but I can be a picky eater.

Overall, a high quality place in a good location. There's also a strip club across the street, in case you were looking for that too. I'd definitely go back (to Thirsty Bear, not sure what the strip club is like).

Selection: 4.25 | Atmosphere: 4.5 | Service: 4 | Food: 4.5

dorandbob (272)
Thursday 9th of July 2009 05:44:54 PM
The Thirsty Bear is in a converted older building and has been here for quite a few years. The interior has been stripped down to the brick walls on either side and there’s a skylight in the middle to brighten things up during the day. The floors are polished concrete, except for the wooden flamenco dance floor under the skylight. The ceilings are tall. The large bar section is in the middle. The long copper-topped bar has tall chairs and there are quite a few tall tables scattered around. The bar back consists of glass shelves with liquor bottles. Behind this is a fairly short glass wall about 6 feet tall, and behind this is the brewery.

There is dining seating in the front and also way in the back, along side the open kitchen. Upstairs is banquet seating, a pool table, and the restrooms.

There were seven regular beers, two special beers, and one on cask on our most recent visit. Prices are high but the beer is good.

The place can be extremely busy, especially when there is a convention at Moscone Center a block away. But it’s a good atmosphere. And the food is unbelievably delicious. We’ve had various tapas and paella on our visits over the years and they’ve all been inspired creations. The food is Spanish in concept but often with California notes too. On our last visit we had squash blossoms stuffed with rice, Idiazabal cheese, and red pepper and they were fantastic.
Selection: 4.75 | Atmosphere: 4.75 | Service: 5 | Food: 5.0

bobcat78 (210)
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 11:00:00 PM
This place is within walking distance of 21st Amendment in the general area of Union Square in San Fransisco.

Tried the sampler, honestly nothing stood out, the most memorable was the golden vanilla, which was an interesting taste, however, it is not something I would go out of my way to order. The pricing was decent for a sampler.

It appeared to be a pretty trendy place, we were there on a Saturday night however and it was not overly busy. Service was ok considering it was a Saturday night.
Selection: 3.75 | Atmosphere: 3.75 | Service: 3.5 | Food: N/A

dzouras (49)
Wednesday 13th of August 2008 10:29:25 PM
I was in San Francisco for a technical conference in early June. Before leaving Chicago, I used The Beer Mapping Project to see what was available within walking distance of my hotel near Union Square. As you may have guessed, by the fact that I am writing this review, I decided on Thirsty Bear Brewing Company.

I arrived around 8PM on a Sunday evening. The place was packed. I was by myself, but I could find no space at the bar. I asked the hostess if she could possibly squeeze me in somewhere. I hated to take up a whole table for a single person on such a busy night, but I had flown all the way from Chicago and this was my first choice. After only a few minutes, they found a cozy little spot for me next to the wall at a high table that could have seated two. The willingness to accommodate me was appreciated as it really saved my evening. I also liked that my server, Elaine took good care of me and helped me to enjoy myself a little even though I was sitting alone.

I immediately ordered their "taste all beers" selection which was $9. I was here for the beer and I wanted to taste them all, so that worked out perfectly.
The sampler consisted of:
polar bear pilsner (ok, but not my fave style)
golden vanilla (nice hint of vanilla, but mild)
valencia wheat (out of it when I was there)
brown bear ale (very respectable brown ale)
meyer e.s.b. (I can't remember this one)
koslov stout (very tasty, I love stouts!)
howard st. i.p.a. (nicely hoppy and drinkable)
elixir of the damned (DELICIOUS dark beer!)

I'm a little fuzzy on some of the details, because I waited too long to write this review, but overall the beer was tasty. I had to work the next day, but I did have one more full size beer, which was the Elixir of the Damned.

The food menu consists mostly of Spanish tapas inspired dishes. I tried a couple of things (empanadas and chicken skewers) that were tasty, but it is hard to sample much of that type of food when dining alone. I would say that it was a bit on the expensive side, but the quality was good and the uniqueness of the choices was refreshing.

While I was enjoying the food and beer, I soon found out why it was so busy. Sunday is flamenco dancer night. There were live dancers and accompanying guitar. It got a little loud at times, but it was interesting and made for a more enjoyable experience.

Overall, I enjoyed this visit to Thirsty Bear and I would definitely go there again if I were in San Francisco.

The Next Day:
I liked this place so much that I actually went back for lunch the next day. It was a lot easier to get a seat this time. I had the lamb burger and the howard st. i.p.a. Both were delicious!
Selection: 4.25 | Atmosphere: 4.75 | Service: 4.75 | Food: 4.5

Graz (20)
Thursday 5th of June 2008 02:14:08 AM
We stumbled on this place returning to our hotel from the 21st Amendment last year. We vowed that we would return for Tapas and more of the beer.

This time I got the sampler of all the beers. I found the Brown Bear to be exceptional. I enjoyed the Belgian Dark Strong, but it was no comparison to some of the other commercial examples of this style very available all over the place.

the Tapas were good. We eventually were satisfied enough that we didn't order any Paella. though I fully intended to.

The staff was very helpful and extremely lovely. Our server was attentive and friendly.

Overall I recommend this place very highly.
Selection: 4.5 | Atmosphere: 5 | Service: 5 | Food: 4.0

Redrover (157)
Tuesday 1st of April 2008 04:18:02 PM
I’ve been here twice now and each time I have fun. Once I hosted a small business diner here. Some of co-workers were initially skeptical, but this place quickly won them over.

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

If you get a chance, go on a Sunday evening which is 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 than normally hangs here. .

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 is good but not earth shattering. Still, very solid representatives of the styles. I had a seasonal Mai Bock, a Irish stout, a wit and the IPA. The brewing equipment is on display behind the bar.

The service was a bit slow, but very friendly. The food did come pretty quickly after we ordered..
Selection: 4.25 | Atmosphere: 4.25 | Service: 3.75 | Food: 4.5
The main seating area
The main seating area
Image credit: dorandbob
Uploaded: June 28, 2009 11:10 PM
The bar
The bar
Image credit: dorandbob
Uploaded: June 28, 2009 11:10 PM
The fron entrance from across the street
The fron entrance from across the street
Image credit: dorandbob
Uploaded: June 28, 2009 11:09 PM
Front entrance
Front entrance
Image credit: rmilliron
Uploaded: November 22, 2008 12:51 AM
Lunch with a sampler set
Lunch with a sampler set
Image credit: rmilliron
Uploaded: November 22, 2008 12:50 AM
Bar with brewery behind it
Bar with brewery behind it
Image credit: rmilliron
Uploaded: November 22, 2008 12:50 AM
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