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City Beer Store
Taps: 15 / Bottles: 300
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Store ]
1168 Folsom St
phone: (415) 503-1033
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vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Come here every time I am in SF.
When you walk in, you are greeted by at least one employee almost immediately. I've been here both during the day and night and both times it was pretty hopping. The store itself is modern, clean, and well done. A great selection of beer for sale that you can open right after you purchase it at the bar, and an extensive bottle list that you are guaranteed to find something special on. As with everything in SF, it is a little pricey, but the quality of the place is worth it. Seek this place out.
06-07-2013 20:54:58 |
More by SpdKilz
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I lived in SF for several years after grad school and I'm proud to say this is one of the establishments I used to frequent when I was first getting into craft beer. Craig and Beth are two of the kindest people you'll ever meet and they run one of the most outstanding beer stores I've ever visited. It's awesome to see the success they're having with City Beer and I hope this success only continues for them. If you're a craft beer lover and happen to be in SF at any point, this place is a must.
06-05-2013 13:15:54 |
More by pisano
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | $$$
Always something great and unusual on tap. Some true "whalz" and gems during beer events and SF Beer Week.
They gotten a bit greedy since the expansion. Corkage fees on every bottle opened and everything on tap is at not moderately priced, but you truly are in a beer bar whereas the atmosphere is fantastic when it's not crowded. Events, Friday nights and weekends can get cramped.
I also find it quite a bit annoying the selection they have behind the counter which is "In store only" beers, whereas quite a few I've seen are IPAs and DIPAs. I'm assuming past freshness that I'd prefer.
Besides a few gripes, a must visit for any beer-head and when Craig and Beth are not overwhelmed, they're knowledgeable and friendly. Wish Heather was still there...
06-03-2013 17:50:37 |
More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | $$
Stopped in today after a trip to Marin BC.
Atmosphere was good. One steps down to enter from the street which is just the other side of downtown in a not so great neighborhood.
Beer quality was very good. Nice bottle selection ranging from west coast including Midnight Sun and Anchorage to Boulevard to Pretty Things. There were around 12 beers on tap including DuPont Saison Saison and Midnight Sun Red IPA to name a few.
Service was friendly and knowledgeable. I went in looking for a couple bottles of Pliny and learned they just sold out. But the young lady explaining today explained when the best time is to score some (Wednesday after 3). Ended up scoring brews from the aforementioned breweries.
Selection was very good in bottles and pretty good taps were to be had.
Overall the prices were good for San Francisco. I would have stayed longer and had a pint but Da Boss was ready to roll. Definitely stop if you are in the Union Square area.
06-01-2013 01:58:07 |
More by arizcards
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | $$
walking down into a basement-type setting, considering the size of the room it's a wide open space (kinda horseshoe-shaped) to navigate, bar on the right half, bottles on the left mostly - cool, comfortable atmosphere.... dark, plywood, concrete, pipes, metal - i could see this being uncomfortable in cooler weather, ideal in hotter (but this is SF we're talking about here...).... the keg room is visible to the back of the bar.... gummy bartop the best thing.... very pleasant yet impersonal(?) vibe, professional crowd
a damn shitload of hoppy beer in bottles (maybe as much as 3/4 of the beer?!?!) - surprisingly not enough West Coast beer (at least, being from Philly, WC stuff that's new to me), large representation of the DuPont range (that's novel).... mind-blowing, hilariously-overpriced "vintage" bottle list.... this is my first experience with a "corkage" fee and, no sir, I don't like it - a $ to pull off a cap?! - maybe it's figured into the price at places out here? who knows?
15 great drafts actually, nice variety in style - I didn't have anything spectacular, a wheat IPA and a Brown ale, both good for what they were, a lot of the other drafts I'd had elsewhere
food? crappy fatty nosh - some caramel bacon crud and something else, I forget, sorry - none of the grub inspired my sustenance-centric appetite.... the service was fine, the staff responded when you engaged them - all pleasant demeanor, doing their jobs
hey, if you've never been, definitely check the spot out once - it might be your thing
05-15-2013 05:10:01 |
More by Bouleboubier
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | $$
I visited CIty Beer during May 2013.
A: Atmosphere was typical. Lots of chatter, but more beer centric.
Q: Quality was excellent. Fresh bottles and small tap list.
S: Service was spot on. Both bar tenders were attentive and willing to recommend me selections.
S: Selection, A relatively small tap last 8-10 beers but all excellent. 2012 vintages of RR Sours, Drakes Aroma Coma and a handful of other Bay Area beers. The bottle list was average, although they had some rare bottles behind the bar for a premium price. (Also must be consumed on premise)
F: No food available. I saw a few people brought pizza in but no menu or recommendation of where food could be purchased.
V: Value was very reasonable. $6/$7 pints and the normal bottles were priced as expected $7-$10/ 22oz bombers) I didn't inquire about the rare bottles but I was told $20+ depending on what you were after. ($60/per Cantillon)
O: Overall ,this is another must visit places around the city. I was lucky enough to sit next to a local at the bar who provided excellent beer geek conversation (Thanks Cody!). While he recommended Toranado as the MUST visit, City Beer was well worth the trip. The upside was I was able to purchase a few bottles and head back to the hotel. Sadly, the bottle selection was nothing I didn't have access to at home (or via the net). RR stuff was few and far between, Bay Area stuff was hit or miss as well as the rest of California brews. At any rate, well worth the trip and I would defiantly recommend visiting. Just be sure to eat before hand or take something with you.
05-09-2013 06:48:33 |
More by WesM63
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Visited on 3/21/13 when I was in San Francisco for a conference. City Beer Store was, without any remotely close competition, the highlight of my trip.
Atmosphere: The store itself is not in a pretty area of San Francisco, but I won't judge the establishment for its unfortunate location. Stepping down the stairs into the City Beer Store is like stepping out of the city into a cave of solitude. Dark, yet very clean, and smaller than I expected. There's a small bar, some tables, and a number of shelves and fridges with beer. They have dedicated areas, including a fridge for IPAs and a fridge for sours, which was quite awesome. The staff were friendly. The place was not busy, but I was there right there after they opened at noon. Overall, a bit dark, except for the sun coming in from the street, which was shining on bottles (not ideal).
Quality: Fresh bottles, with many stored in fridges. Small tap list, but that certainly adds to the freshness.
Service: The woman in the bottles area was extremely helpful in giving me a tour of the store and giving me some recommendations of beers that I have never heard of. I don't know if these recommendations were any good, as my bottles are still in transit, but I will assume they were decent. The guy behind the bar was also friendly.
Selection: The emphasis of this store seemed to be quality over quantity. Honestly, the selection wasn't that huge. Something like 6 big shelves, and 6 fridges. I was happy to find some Russian River, Midnight Sun, Drake's, and Deschutes (all certainly unavailable on the East Coast). I didn't have any issues blowing $90 here. Oops. I got Supplication on tap after shopping, which was quite memorable.
Value: Compared to pricing in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the prices seemed pretty reasonable. Tap prices were also fair.
Final comments: It's worth fighting through the hoards of the living homeless to visit this lovely beer store.
03-27-2013 05:40:51 |
More by angrybabboon
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | $$$
This place is amazing. They don't have a ton of taps but what they do have is really high quality stuff. I had an '08 Serpent Stout and a few other really impressive taps. The place has a really laid back feel and a ton of bottles to pick from. I got there on the day of a Pliny shipment which was also really cool. I cannot say enough good things about the place!
02-19-2013 22:39:34 |
More by Hopsiam14
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | $$$
As a Belgian beer lover, this place was a disappointment. They seem to place a big emphasis on US beers. I came by here to pick up some Belgian classics for a tasting to introduce a co-worker to Belgian beers. They did not have Orval in stock. They did not have any Rochefort in stock (6, 8, or 10), they didn't have St Bernardus 6 or 8 in stock. I didn't see any Westmalle in stock... No Saison Dupont in stock... etc... I was a bit shocked, having heard that the selection here was amazing.
The girl who helped me didn't seem particularly knowledgeable, and she wasn't all that helpful. I bought a Gueuzerie Tilquin glass and she was going to charge me extra to wrap the glass separately in its own little paper bag (city of SF passed a law requiring a $.10 fee for a paper bag, but for some reason they charge $.15, which honestly is a bit cheap in my mind). Also, when she was done charging my card $35 for 3 12 ounce beers and a glass, I didn't get a "thank you" - she just walked away. Weird.
Atmosphere-wise, the "bar" portion of the shop was quite busy as I went in on a Friday late afternoon. Seems like it might be a decent place to have a beer, but the atmosphere as a shop is lacking.
All in all, I have no urge to return. Healthy spirits has friendlier and more knowledgeable staff, and a much, much better beer selection, especially for Belgians.
12-15-2012 18:19:19 |
More by od_sf
British Columbia (Canada)
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Well, what other place can you walk around drinking Dogfish Head 120 minute on tap while perusing the best selection I've ever seen. Walked out of there with Alesmith Speedway stout, Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout, Highwater Campfire Stout, Sculpin, DFH Punkin, Alesmith Wee Heavy. What more need be said? Well also that two lovely and friendly women were the servers. I plan to go back to the bar to try some more of the taps. The only way to push this place over the top would be to get more space, but still, what more could they offer? It's all there. I had to leave Pliny on the shelf.
10-11-2012 21:05:04 |
More by 604growler
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City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA