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“Good lunch at the Thirsty Bear” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Thirsty Bear Brewing Company

Thirsty Bear Brewing Company
661 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94105 (SoMa)
(415) 974-0905
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Ranked #625 of 4,544 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $18
Cuisines: Spanish, Pub, Tapas
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Bar scene
Dining options: Dessert, Lunch, Dinner, Drinks, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: SoMa
Cross street: 3rd Street
Transit: New Montgomery Station MUNI & BART
Description: ThirstyBear is the first & only Certified Organic brewery in San Francisco!! Pairing Spanish cuisine of Tapas & Paellas with hand-crafted organic beer, sangria, Spanish & California wines, & full bar with premium spirits. ThirstyBear serves only sustainable harvested seafood; all natural meats free of growth hormones & synthetic additives; and local organic seasonal produce. ThirstyBear recycles all paper, glass, aluminum & plastic. We compost all organic matter; we recycle our cooking oil into biodiesel. Our menu paper is post consumer recyled; our to-go containers are recylable & or compostable. We use energy efficient lighting, heating, cooling & conserve water in the brewery & restaurant. Feel Great about what you eat & drink here!! We're an establishment that cares about your health & our environment!! Support your local Organic Brewery!!
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
71 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Good lunch at the Thirsty Bear”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

Enjoyed delicious tapas and an amber beer at the Thirsty Bear. The environment was nice and the service was very good.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ron S, Owner at Thirsty Bear Brewing Company, responded to this review, October 1, 2013
Glad you had a nice time with us! Good food, good beer, good atmosphere, good service—it sounds like we were right on point, which is really great to hear. If you're ever back in San Francisco, drop by for a bite!

Cheers,

Ron, Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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265 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    71
    122
    56
    12
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, South Bay
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Tasty brew pub w/Tapas”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

Far better tapas then you'd expect at a brew pub - and right across the street from the W. I'll be back.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ron S, Owner at Thirsty Bear Brewing Company, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
Happy to hear you enjoyed our food! We work hard to impress our guests with tasty tapas, and it's nice to know we were on point. I appreciate the review and look forward to welcoming you back next time.

Cheers,

Ron, Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
38 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Decent beers, ok food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Good selection of beers. Ok for a quick bite, and a nice change from traditional bar food. Wasn't blown away.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ron S, Owner at Thirsty Bear Brewing Company, responded to this review, September 1, 2013
Although I'm glad you were impressed with our beer selection, I'm sorry our food didn't blow you away. What did you order? How could it have been better? If you have any specific feedback to offer, feel free to email me at ron@thirstybear.com. We're always trying to improve and welcome constructive criticism. Thanks for your time.

Cheers,

Ron, Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Egham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
492 reviews
269 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 375 helpful votes
“Great beer, average food, expensive”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

We have eaten in many restaurants across Spain from small tapas bars to high end restaurants so feel competent to comment on the food served at the Thirsty Bear.

The first experience wasn't great. The place was pretty quiet and we were shown straight to a table and given menus and then waited, and waited and waited. Eventually took our order for beer and wine. I started with the Panda Beer (delicious) and my wife had Russian River Pinot Noir (nice).

We ordered Prawns (small helping and no real flavour), Cod Fritters (Bland), Patatas Bravas (the oddest Patatas Bravas I have ever eaten and nothing like the classic Spanish recipe), Filet Steak (OK but miniscule portion) and Mussels and Clams (OK).

Red Grizzly was also an exceptional beer.

Overall the service sucked and was very indifferent. Food was average but compared to the Spanish flavours you would expect it was very bland. Beer was great.

Great place to come with a bunch of friends and drink beer but only if the food takes second place.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ron S, Owner at Thirsty Bear Brewing Company, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
Although I'm glad our beer hit the spot, I'm sorry the rest of your experience was not so great.Our tapas are more contemporary than traditional, which may explain why they tasted different than those you had in Spain. That said, we hope our guests find our food bold and flavorful, and it's disappointing that we fell short with you. I'll let the kitchen know what you thought. They always appreciate honest feedback.

I also apologize for our service and will be sure to speak with my staff about picking up the pace. It's never too late for a training opportunity.

If you're ever back in San Francisco, I hope you'll stop by. We'd love to have you back for an improved experience.

All the best,

Ron, Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange, California
Level Contributor
44 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Good beer, fun food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

We went to San Francisco to sample beer at three breweries: Thirsty Bear, Rogue, and 21st Amendment. Of the three, I thought Thirsty Bear was the best. We went on a Monday at lunchtime and the restaurant was uncrowded, so we got great service. Our server, Betsy, was in training (so she had another waitress shadowing her to observe and help), but she seemed very competent, and what she didn't know, she was quick to find out. We had a sampler of all the beers, a small plate of Spanish cheese that came with a beer taster, two small plates (the Patatas and a the pollo al ajillo dish), and finally we split a smoked turkey sandwich (to soak up all the beer). The food was very good and so was the beer!

My favorite was the Panda Bear Ale, which is described as "A unique ale, lightly hopped and easy drinking, but “dry-hopped” with pounds of whole vanilla beans and now TCHO cocoa nibs to infuse the beer with flavor and provide an incredibly aromatic sensation." This beer was DIVINE, although not having been to the other breweries, I didn't have much to compare it too. After we went to the other breweries, we decided we wished we had time to go back to Thirsty Bear. If you are in the area, I definitely recommend this place.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ron S, Owner at Thirsty Bear Brewing Company, responded to this review, August 22, 2013
Thanks for stopping by! Great to hear you enjoyed our food and beer! The Panda Bear is indeed a unique beer! Thanks for your kind words and great review, we look forward to your next visit1


Cheers,

Ron, Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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