(San Francisco, CA) – If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair or head over to ThirstyBear Organic Brewery for a snifter of their 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love celebration IPA commemorating one of the city’s most iconic historical events. In 1967, San Francisco was a mecca for free-thinking youth venturing from all around the world to be a part of California’s counterculture movement. Only four years later in 1971, the beginnings of the California craft beer movement were taking shape with the release of the Cascade hop. The invent of the modern IPA with Anchor Brewing’s Liberty Ale (1975) and then Sierra Nevada’s classic Pale Ale (1985) would forever change the craft beer world. In as much looking to the past as looking forward with the arrival of new experimental organic hops, ThirstyBear pays tribute to the Summer of Love and latest hop varietals with SUMMER OF “X”-PERIMENTATION (7.1% ABV, 71 IBU).
Now recognized as an official beer style by the Brewers Association, New England IPA’s are taking the country by storm and ThirstyBear debuts its first hazy IPA with CHOWDAH NEIPA (7.5% ABV, 67 IBU). A departure from the light and dry mouthfeel of West Coast IPAs, NEIPA’s provide a rich, textured mouthfeel with a wonderful hop aroma and little hop bitterness on the finish. CHOWDAH NEIPA is brewed with Calypso, Bravo, El Dorado and Jaryllo hops to offer an incredibly juicy flavor profile. As a nod to Founding Brewmaster Ron Silberstein’s early days learning to homebrew while attending University of Massachusetts, ThirstyBear names their NEIPA after how Bostonians pronounce “chowder.”
ThirstyBear also releases its latest seasonal in their beloved barrel-aged program; a West Coast interpretation of the classic Berliner Weiss: STAVE SERIES #19: BERLIN BY THE BAY (5.3% ABV, 10 IBU). Soured in oak barrels for eight months, STAVE SERIES #19: BERLIN BY THE BAY will be enjoyed with a shot of Raspberry or Herbal Mit Schuss designed by ThirstyBear’s Executive Chef Robert McCarthy.
For detailed information regarding three of ThirstyBear’s latest summer releases, please see the beer descriptions below.
SUMMER OF “X”-PERIMENTATION (7.1% ABV, 71 IBU)
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love, ThirstyBear releases a single-hopped IPA brewed with the experimental hop X17. As Liberty Ale and Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale came to define the American craft beer movement, increased demand encouraged hop farmers to grow new varietals for the emerging craft brewers who provided a market outside of the contracts for the macro-brewers. Simcoe hop was released in 2000; Citra hop released in 2009; and more than 50 other varietals have come to market.
As an organic brewery that doesn’t always have access to new hops (since they’re often not organic), when hop farmer Pat Leavy of The Oregon Hophouse told Head Brewmaster Brenden Dobel about a new organic hop he was working on, Dobel was thrilled to brew a batch with X17. “X” refers to experimental and “17” to the fact of it being the 17th plant in a row of experimentals.
Dobel comments, “We’re producing a single hopped IPA to highlight X17 and are using it for bittering, flavor, aroma additions and dry-hopping. We also brewed this beer with light Crystal malt for a honeyed note and fermented it with our house ale yeast. Early in-house tastings exhibit notes of apricot and orange marmalade.”
CHOWDAH NEIPA (7.5% ABV, 67 IBU)
ThirstyBear’s interpretation of a NEIPA is brewed true to form with its hazy appearance by using a “non-flocculating” ale yeast strain to bring out the pine and citrus aromas, and flavors from the Calypso, Bravo, El Dorado and Jaryllo hops. The addition of grains high in protein and beta-glucan (wheat and oats) add to the haziness while providing a rich mouthfeel. There’s no bittering hop charge in the boil, and all the hop character comes in the later additions in ascending volumes, leading to wonderful hop aromas with very little bitterness. Dry-hopping is done during the high “Krausen” of primary fermentation with essential oils of the hops undergoing a “biotransformation” at higher temperatures.
STAVE SERIES #19: BERLIN BY THE BAY
A West Coast take on the classic Berliner Weiss style with slightly higher alcohol (5.3% ABV) and higher IBUs (10 IBU). STAVE SERIES #19: BERLIN BY THE BAY is a delicate wheat beer focusing on the sour character derived from Lactobacillus. Dobel notes, “We soured Berlin by the Bay in oak barrels for eight months after a primary fermentation involving a German Ale/ Lactobacillus blend. In Berlin, it is customary to add a shot, or ‘Mit Schuss,’ of either raspberry syrup or a woodruff syrup (Waldmeister) to offset the acidity of the beer. We’ll honor this culinary tradition, but provide a Californian twist on it.”
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 commitment to support sustainable agriculture, ThirstyBear brews CCOF and FDA certified organic beer. ThirstyBear sources its hops and grains from the world’s most renowned malt houses and premier West Coast organic hop farms to provide innovative, distinctive and always delicious flavors. ThirstyBear pairs its hand-crafted beers with equally 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, ales, 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 serves some of the City’s top paella, tapas, charcuterie/cheese and beer pairings, flatbreads, 100% grass-fed beef burgers, and specialty dishes prepared not only with beer, but with beer’s raw ingredients (hops, malts, yeast). In addition to its constantly rotating lineup of specialty, seasonal and classic craft beers, 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. ThirstyBear celebrated its 20th Anniversary in September 2016 as San Francisco’s longest operating brewery-restaurant.
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This coverage is made possible in part thanks to the generous support of Visit California, which flew us out to Northern California to tour one dozen breweries across San Francisco, Sacramento, Berkeley, Oakland and Sonoma. For more information on California’s craft beer boom, visit here.