Thirsty Bear has one of the best logos, check that out! Luckily this establishment was right in between out hotel and the ballpark. Nothing like resting your legs at a brew pub now is there?
This brew pub has a Californian vibe, thats for sure. A completely organic establishment with Spanish cuisine and a lot of ales on the menu. A departure from the standard 'Burger and fries' brew pub menu was a welcome change of pace, even though the word 'organic' scares me. When in
The beer list at Thirsty Bear was far more extensive than what they showcase on the website, or even the menu. I had to ask the waitress about the beers they had on these signs since they were not advertised anywhere else. Thirsty Bear seems to have around a dozen in house beers on tap at any given time. I would say eight or so seemed to be all year standards with three or four seasonal or special brews cycled in.
This is all information I gleaned off old flyers they had on the walls in the bathroom mind you, I am not too much of a detective.
Tuesday nights Thirsty Bear has a special- $3 draughts of their cask conditioned IPA! Not a bad deal so I once again order a cask conditioned beer to start off my night. You can't go wrong with that deal unless the beer is total shit. Luckily for me it was not!
This is the first IPA that I have had with even the smallest hint of vanilla in it. It was a bit bizarre at first but it actually went a long way to help mellow out this beer. This is not a hop head IPA by anyones standards. There are plenty of malts in this brew that hide most of the kick you would expect from the hops. Definitely a beer crafted for food pairing and not one of the extremely hoppy IPAs we all know and love.
I wasn't super impressed by this beer, but it was still pretty good and definitely worth the paltry sum I paid for it.
The Golden Hallucination was a definite fit for San Francisco- the poster I saw had a bear obviously on acid wearing some weird headband and drinking a beer. The beer itself had a lot of honey, wheat and bubbles in it and made for a pretty refreshing drink after a day full of touristing. A little bit of cane sugar made this sweet alongside the tartness of the hops. I expected this beer to taste extremely mild after the cask conditioned IPA, but it held its own pretty well against it.
This actually was a bit too sweet for me (surprise, surprise) but it turned out to be a pretty good beer. This brew fit pretty well with the breezy weather. I did not sadly hallucinate at all. It would have been nice to have a giant bear in a headband sitting next to me, as long as he didn't maul me or talk about his feelings.
For the final beer of the meal I decided on the Polar Bear Bohemian Pilsner primarily because polar bears are the most bad-ass of all bears. Sometimes I delegate my decisions to my inner twelve year old, deal with it!
This brew is bare bones but of definite quality. Quite a bit more bitter than I was expecting it and with no added flavors that I could discern. All in all this was my favorite beer of the three. After the slightly dissapointing cask conditioned IPA and fancy pants Golden Hallucination this no nonsense manly beer was exactly what I was looking for.
I actually thought this beer tasted a lot like a mild American pale ale instead of a pilsner but it could be that 'Bohemain Style' of it. I will have to do some more extensive 'research' on the subject!
This is what Kristina ordered. Pretty small (but very tasty) portions are the standard at Thirsty Bear. Actually small portions are a California thing, which was bizarre for this chubby Chicagoan. I am used to XL deep dish pizzas and hot dogs with 'everything' on them.
I did enjoy my experience at Thirsty Bear Brew Pub, but it wasn't the most memorable part of my vacation at all. Worth checking out if you are in the area but not a place I would go out of my way to go to. I did buy a shirt though, I am in love with that logo. Chug bear, chug!