Thirsty Bear Organic Brewing Collaborates with Beers Made By Walking


San Francisco, CA — ThirstyBear Organic Brewery is thrilled to team up with Beers Made By Walking for a limited-edition release of YERBA BUENA PALE GRUIT, one of six local beers inspired by the trails of Mount Sutro. On July 9, 2015, ThirstyBear’s brewmaster Brenden Dobel joined a cast of celebrated San Francisco brewers to identify native plants and subsequently brew hike-inspired beers. Beers Made By Walking hosts a special tasting event at Sports Basement (Grotto Room, 1590 Bryant Street, San Francisco, CA) on Saturday, November 14, 2015 from 4:30 pm – 7 pm; tickets are $15. Participating breweries include: ThirstyBear, 21st Amendment, Barrel Head, Headlands, Magnolia, and Woods in collaboration with Fort Point. Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite.

In this day and age, it’s quite easy to overlook what might be right in front of us: native edible plants and herbs growing wild on Bay Area landscapes. Sutro Stewards — an organization that offers various public hikes, collaborates with Beers Made By Walking to bring select SF brewers on an outdoor expedition to discover herbs and plants in plain site on familiar city hiking trails. The brewers in turn have churned out some of the year’s most distinct specialty beers.

“As a native San Franciscan, I’ve never really looked around to see which plants are edible,” says Brenden Dobel. “You can forage for plants if you know what to look for, and you can actually survive on berries, herbs, nuts, etc.; it’s all surprising consumable. Before modern agriculture, the herb Yerba Buena was very prevalent across San Francisco. Along the hike, we tasted many different herbs, but I selected Yerba Buena, Mugwort, Yarrow, Sage and Manzanita for their aromatic qualities.”

An herb-based beer pre-dating ales and lagers before the ascendency of hops, Gruit was popular leading up to the 16th Century before becoming an artifact of history partly due to Rheinheitsgebot (the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516). ThirstyBear’s YERBA BUENA PALE GRUIT features Organic Pilsner and Vienna malts, it’s fermented with Belgian yeast, and in lieu of hops, is spiced with Mugwort, Yarrow, Sage and Manzanita. A tincture of the rare Yerba Buena herb will be added for a post fermentation addition.

Dobel notes, “Our Gruit definitely has a minty quality to it, but also smoky notes are infused from the sage. If I had to sum it up, it smells like the Marin Headlands after a light rain or foggy day. It’s also similar to a Mint Julip with peat smoked Scotch Whiskey instead of Bourbon.”

ThirstyBear’s founding brewmaster, Ron Silberstein, adds, “Given our affinity for all things organic, traditional styles and sustainability, we had to jump at the opportunity of taking on this particular challenge. Beer was originally brewed using native plants, and going entirely local is too much fun to miss.”

Tickets to the Beers Made By Walking event at Sports Basement include entry and 4 oz. tasters of each of the beers. All participating breweries are donating their singular beers, and proceeds will support the Sutro Stewards’ education and stewardship programs. Sports Basement is giving a 20% off coupon to all event attendees.

YERBA BUENA PALE GRUIT will make its first public appearance at Sports Basement, and then will be available throughout the remainder of the year exclusively at ThirstyBear.

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

About Beers Made By Walking

Beers Made By Walking is a program that invites people to step outside and see the place they live in a new light. We invite brewers to take nature walks and make beer inspired by the plants identified on the trail. Since 2011, we have worked with over 100 breweries in Oregon, California, Colorado, North Carolina, and Washington. Our hiking and tasting events act as educational experiences and fundraising programs for environmental organizations in the regions we serve. 

About Sutro Stewards

The Sutro Stewards, a project of the San Francisco Parks Alliance (SFPA), a 501(c)3 California non-profit public benefit corporation, practice sustainable habitat conservation through stewardship. By working with volunteers on trail and habitat projects, we continuously connect people to their local environment and empower recreational users to conserve, maintain, and enhance the spaces they utilize. The Sutro Stewards also host special events including native plant walks, crew leader training, weekday nursery work, and conservation projects throughout Mount Sutro. This wide range of opportunities provides experience, training, and education provides the public with a deeper connection and greater long term impact.

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.