San Francisco Stars #9: Thirstybear Cask Amber with Perle
Date: July 7, 2019 —
The Story— Thirstybear is a product of the 90s explosion in craft that has held on well through the ups and downs of the industry since then. They serve a good range of beers with a good menu with genuinely interesting and tasty tapas. It’s a superb choice for a light meal and some good beers.
The beers are all organic, and, as with most organic breweries they can vary a bit. Thirstybear does well with standard styles, though, and if you stay away from the gimmicks (Strawberry IPA), it’s hard to go wrong. The winners included a nice Kolsch, a wheat bock and today’s featured cask amber. It won’t be there when you get there, of course, but it does show that it’s worth giving whatever the current cask is a try.
The brewery is steps from the Moscone Center and a short walk from Union Square.
The Beer– Flavors develop slowly, but rival a good UK cask, though with a firmer body than most UK casks muster. Malt, soft toast with a quick entrance of some fruity hops lead to a slower developing creaminess and enough of a late bitter balance to make the next sip a pleasure.
Value — Good. Again, nothing’s cheap in SF except, maybe Tommy’s Joynt and Steam Beer at the Anchor Public Taps, but this is a decent value for a very nice organic beer.
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.
We just got back from a week in San Francisco. We hadn’t been there in eleven years and the remarkably vibrant beer scene we experienced then has become, well, even vibranter. Ellie, poor girl, had to work long hours during the day while I got to roam the streets checking out the best places to find great beers. At least when Ellie got off work I had places to take her before she crashed for the night. We’ll post a week or two of Beers of the Day by the Bay before returning to research for our book on Inns and Breweries of the Mid-Atlantic.
Interestingly, the downtown area of San Francisco, while awash with beers from the surrounding areas, has few brewing spots of its own. In that regard it reminds us of New York, where you have to leave Manhattan and go to Brooklyn to really find a nest of breweries. Away from downtown, several brewery taps thrive and public transportation gets you almost anywhere. Beyond the city limits, of breweries ring the city, and many of them produce exceptionally good beers and the myriad of tap houses all over town tend to focus on local beers. Name the style you like and you can find an excellent version of it, though at a price.
We’re often asked to share our tasting notes on over 33,000 beers; this blog is in answer to those requests. Not all our notes, though. The great beer writer Michael Jackson admirably followed the Thumper Rule, and we’ll try to do the same. (“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all.”) All the beers we post are from the top half of our ratings and most are from the top quarter. Of greater value, we think, are the stories behind the beers, and we try to give you enough about the brewery, the style and the places to find great beer to help you on your own beer journeys. At CulturAle Press we try to write books and publish posts that will help you “Drink Well and Travel Safely.”