Thirsty Bear Launches New Beer Program, Releases Azacca Smash IPA


San Francisco, CA — 2016 marks the 20-year anniversary of San Francisco’s oldest brewery-restaurant ThirstyBear Organic Brewery. In 1996, when ThirstyBear was established, the craft beer landscape was quite the contrast to the booming beer scene that’s now taking shape in San Francisco with nearly 30 breweries currently in business. Craft beer sales were barely approaching 1% of the overall beer market. Today, craft beer is over 11% of total beer sales with projected sales for 2020 pushing 20%. ThirstyBear proudly enters its third decade of brewing alongside its many Bay Area contemporaries, who collectively have established Northern California as one of the top beer destinations in the world.

Since 2007, ThirstyBear has been San Francisco’s only certified organic brewery — it’s also a certified Green Business. ThirstyBear’s annual output of 1,500 barrels of organic beer has primarily focused on seven flagship brews, as well as specialty cask conditioned ales and barrel-aged releases. With craft beer fans now more ready than ever to discover their new favorite beers, the hyper-elevated degree of consumer exploration is a dream come true for ThirstyBear’s Founding Brewmaster Ron Silberstein and Head Brewmaster Brenden Dobel.

With its steadfast commitment to always pushing the brewing boundaries, Silberstein and Dobel forgo all of their flagship beers to now feature an ambitious monthly rotating craft beer menu. Along with their chalkboard of various beer styles, Dobel will work with newly cultivated organic hops and malts as well as cutting-edge brewing techniques to churn out small batch brews that are available exclusively at ThirstyBear.

“As we enter our 20th year as a SOMA neighborhood brewery, we’re elated by the fact that the brewing and artisanal food worlds are really experiencing an incredible renaissance. Never before has there been such support for true experimentation with handcrafted menus. Our creative freedom is at the forefront of our brewing and our cuisine. We are in a moment when we can put everything on the table, not hold back, and brew beers that we can’t wait for drinkers to taste. In the kitchen, our Executive Chef Rob McCarthy can work with the freshest seasonal produce and meats, sourced from local farmers, and conceive new menu items on a daily basis. And now, we are doing that in the brewery as well.”

The debut seasonal release from ThirstyBear’s latest beer program is a single malt and single hop, AZACCA SMASH IPA (7.9% ABV, 55 IBU). The American Dwarf Hop Association recently released its new varietal Azacca, which is named for the Haitian god of agriculture. Traditionally, hops grow on trellis systems that can reach more than 20 feet, making harvesting quite challenging. The new “dwarf hop” method cuts the height in half for better ergonomics and reduces water usage.

“To highlight the Azacca hop, I kept the malt bill simple, with no crystal or roasted malts,” says Brenden Dobel. “I really wanted the Azacca hop to sing. For the malt, we chose organic Pale Ale Malt from Gambrinus Malting (BC, Canada) for a juicy malt character. The Organic Azacca is grown by Roy Farms (Moxee, Washington), right in the heart of America’s finest hop growing region. It has excellent aromatic qualities of citrus and very ripe mango, along with hints of lemon and pine. We finished the IPA by dry-hopping it post-fermentation with more Azacca.”

Azacca Smash IPA is on tap exclusively at ThirstyBear starting this week through March 2016. Come enjoy a pint and celebrate ThirstyBear’s 20-year history in the craft beer business.

ThirstyBear Organic, Small Batch Beers Are Available Fresh, Only On Draught, Only At ThirstyBear!

About ThirstyBear Brewing Co.

Established in 1996, ThirstyBear Organic Brewery is the first and only brewery in San Francisco to brew certified organic beer and become a certified Green Business. Born out of Founding Brewmaster Ron Silberstein’s longstanding commitment to support sustainable agriculture, ThirstyBear brews CCOF and FDA certified organic beer with the finest hops and grains. ThirstyBear sources its ingredients from the world’s most renowned malt houses and premier West Coast organic hop farms to distinctly pair their craft beers with its exquisite Spanish cuisine. Since 2002, Silberstein has collaborated with Brewmaster and Certified Cicerone Brenden Dobel to define a singular German-influenced West Coast style of brewing, with a special emphasis on pilsners, IPAs, stouts, Belgian-inspired ales, cask conditioned ales, session beers, and barrel aged brews. Dobel’s expertise with German beer styles is the result of his extensive training at Doemens Brewing Academy in Munich, Germany.

As one of the first critically acclaimed Spanish tapas restaurants to open in the Bay Area, ThirstyBear’s Executive Chef Robert McCarthy churns out some of the city’s top paella, tapas, charcuterie/cheese and beer pairings, flatbreads, 100% grass-fed beef burgers, and specialty dishes cooked not only with beer, but with beer’s raw ingredients (hops, malts, yeast). In addition to its year-round and seasonal craft beer line-up, ThirstyBear also proudly serves local wines from kegs to reduce its overall carbon footprint.

According to the Brewers Association, which keeps the most comprehensive information on craft breweries in the United States, ThirstyBear brews and serves more craft beer in-house than any other brewpub in San Francisco.