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City Beer Store
Taps: 15 / Bottles: 300
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Store ]
1168 Folsom St
phone: (415) 503-1033
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
What a find - I didn't actually check the BA reviews on this place before I went there, but most are spot on. An excellent selection of beers - just got there when fresh Pliny the Elder was delivered. Bought a couple of beers to bring home and had an excellent draft. They have an amazing selection of bottles for consumption on premise, most are pricey as noted but almost all are hard to find. So worth it if you want to try.
Staff is very knowledgeable and friendly.
Not too busy when I was there, but it was 1pm on a Wednesday.
05-17-2012 04:53:39 |
More by 2dogbrew
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Visited here a couple times while in the San Francisco area. This store was awesome. Fantastic bottle selection for you to buy and take home. They had some amazing beers in a different cooler that you had to drink there, which I had no problem with. They were a little pricey, but they were rare beers so I totally understand the prices with that. I bought a 750ml bottle of Russian River Temptation, batch 4. They also had beer on tap!! Great selection too. This store fucking rules. Wish I never had to leave.
05-12-2012 02:27:01 |
More by WeedKing4
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
Stopped at this place on my vacation to SF last weekend. I loved being able to go to the bar and get a beer and walk around with a drink while I figured out what I wanted to buy. The guy working the bottle section of the shop was awesome. Very knowledgeable and friendly. They had a great selection including a decent variety of eclipse, mikkeller, 3 Fonteinen etc.
The only thing was that the beer at the bar was a little on the pricey side. I got a 5 or 6 oz tulip of bitches brew and my gf got a tulip of Stillwater Wine barrel aged Folklore Stout which I think came out to $20. Still loved the place tho. They also had some awesome rare bottles in the fridge behind the bar which were a little outside of what I wanted to spend. I really wanted to try the beatification but just couldn't spend the money on it. I believe it was around $60. Definitely worth the stop to anybody in the area.
03-08-2012 18:50:29 |
More by boltfan
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
My main focus of an entire day was to try this beer venue, and I'm glad I did. They have an amazing selection with an atmosphere full of people who are at least aware of the craft beer movement and its importance. Half of it is a beer store and half of it's a bar, so how can you lose?
It only gets 4.5 for service because this place gets BUSY, even early in the afternoon, and for two people to manage this kind of OCD about beer is too much to ask of any beer service team. I arrived at 12:30pm and the place filled up fast after that. The sign of a great bar. The bartender himself was a beer advocate, and his knowledge of beers from throughout the nation and world qualified him as an expert on the subject. He was able to advise me on my next beer steps throughout the city and even gave me advice about biking in the area. I'll definitely be back.
02-26-2012 23:35:25 |
More by LeeMarvin
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
I love tHis place, always something delicious on tap, vintage, new releases, and tasty treats. Some are a little pricey for me for such small pours, but I understand via the rarity of them.
Bottle selection is pretty vast and covers a lot of styles, countries, sized and prices.
Service is or has been to me always friendly and helpful.
Aside from it being on the other side of town from me I'd be there every day. So with the distance making it there once a week makes it such a treat.
Keep up the great work everyone.
02-10-2012 00:59:38 |
More by MexicanSkittel
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Headed down here on a recent business trip to SF. Was impressed enough to put up a review.
A little bit of background: The first time I happened upon City Beer Store was back in September of 2010. To say I was nonplussed would be overstating the fact. I spent 5 minutes in the store and skedaddled. It was small, the selection, while good, was far from expansive, and it struck me as a rather mundane stop in the scheme of things. (At that time, I would wager all Portlanders judged beer stores by Belmont Station.)
2012 and a renovation has brought on big changes, and City Beer Store deserves kudos for it. Showed up on a Wednesday night, and there was a good beer geek vibe without being crowded. Taps on the right from the entrance, with a very good selection. (Sadly, I had carry-on luggage only so I couldn't take home some of the goods which caught my eye.) Had I taken the opportunity, I could've filled up a suitcase. (This is no doubt helped by the current burst of local SF breweries, as well.) Huge difference here, and the presentation and vibe of City Beer Store do deserve 4.5's and 5.0's.
So, then, it was to the taps. It was a good night to stop in. Started with a reasonably priced snifter of Speakeasy's Scarface RIS after a good conversation with the bartender to narrow down my selection, then I followed it up with a snifter of 2007 Stone IRS. Not. Bad. I would've liked to have drunk most everything on the board, but I promised to limit myself to two. So, 5.0 there.
No food as far as I could tell, and as I had already eaten, I didn't ask about the policy.
In closing, i still rate all stores by Belmont Station because it was my first standard bearer, and they've continued to be a focal point for the PDX beer scene, even with numerous, and excellent, competitors. City Beer Store is definitely in the same tier. Well done.
02-08-2012 05:01:29 |
More by writerLJBerg
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
Visited 4th Feb 2012.
Nice little concept of bottle shop and tasting room. Great selection of taps were available when I visited. After waiting a while at the not busy bar (server thought changing music on the iPod was more important than serving beer, and then took orders from someone who arrived after me), I opted for the Heretic Evil Twin & Highwater Apholic BBL Baltic Porter (served way too cold). Prices were slightly on the high side, but still nice to have a beer whilst browsing the well stocked fridges and shelves.
Good selection of bottles for such a small place. All nicely presented and arranged in style. Again, prices were on the high side, for my liking and also compared with other bottle shops recently visited.
02-07-2012 19:48:54 |
More by Torontoblue
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
A-What a gem of a store here in San Fran!
Q & Sel-Great but small tap selection. Extremely nice selection of bottles to go but an even more impressive selection of ages bottles that had to be drank on premises.
S-Connor and the rest of the staff was extremely knowledgeable and awesome to hand out with. Also, the day i made t to City beer there just happened to be a very nice Belgian styles tasting going on and was able to take part. AWESOME!
F- Ok, so there wasnt any food at City beer, however there is a killer sandwich shop down the street. Fortunately for me, with the belgian tasting came a large supply of aged Gouda.
If you are in town, I highly recommend stopping by this fine establishment but be sure to have some scrilla, its gonna cost you and arm and a leg, but you will be happy to pay for that batch 1 consecration!
01-18-2012 17:29:04 |
More by ThirstyHerf
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
This is perhaps my absolute favorite beer store in the universe.
I honestly cannot afford to visit here on a regular basis so when I do it’s a real treat. Well-lit, well-stocked, and Beth and Craig, the couple behind it all, are just all-around fantastic people. More on that later.
Their recent remodel added more shelves and refrigerators full of beer to the place as well as expanded their tap handles—without making it seem any more spacious. But I think that’s just because they remain just as busy as ever. A sign to their success, as much as evidence of the growing craft beer scene. This is every bit how a bottle shop and tasting room should be.
For me, Beth and Craig make City Beer Store what it is. There’s not a lot of places that offer such a wide selection of beers, or allow one to taste on premise and take something to go. Certainly they’re unique but not the only ones on the scene. So when I say that I’d be a regular no matter what sort of operation they ran, I mean it. They could sell auto parts or brew gourmet coffee or run a furniture store slash cardboard box manufacturing factory but on the strength of their customer service alone I’d find a way to return. (Even if my tiny apartment would end up getting filled with fancy engraved chairs from the 17th century and the boxes to hold them in.) One of the reasons I like visiting so much is that I feel welcomed every time they’re there. Simple gestures like eye contact, greetings, and an acknowledgement on the busiest of days goes such a long way and I wish more places would realize that.
Since I moved away from the bay I don’t stop in as often as I once did. In fact, I’m guessing it had been around nine months since I last visited, and maybe another six months between that and my previous trip. But the last time I was in the bay I managed to go twice. I dropped in, briefly, on a rainy Friday night. They were packed for a bottle release so my companion and I opted to get dinner first then return—but didn’t. I came back mid-day the following week. Didn’t have enough time to sit down and try anything (believe me, that was hard not to do!) but I had a few minutes to peruse the selection (and drool over the rarities behind the counter). Craig snuck away from what he was doing long enough to make small talk and see how I was doing—mentioning in passing something like ‘it’s been a while since we’ve seen you. Welcome back.’ It was nice to hear. There’s a dozen other places I count as regular haunts and I’d be hard pressed to find the same level of recognition and reception at half of them. I know I’ll be back. Not soon enough.
01-14-2012 22:01:25 |
More by elNopalero
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$$
Hit up City Beer Store during the last day of my San Francsico visit. Very, very glad I did.
Industrial feel to the place, with a cement floor, wooden and metal benches and chairs. Seating is somewhat limited. Service was excellent, bartenders definitely knew their stuff and despite the crowd were able to keep the order flowing smoothly.
As a beer bar, City Beer Store has a meager, yet very polished tap selection. About 12-15 taps in all, but nearly every one a gem (and rotating constantly, I'm told). Bear Republic Tartare Berliner Weiss ($7 for 7oz) was the highlight, and it was joined by the likes of '08 ($5 for 5 oz), '10 ($6 for 7oz), and '11 ($8 for 12oz?) Deschutes Abyss, '08 Lost Abbey Ten Commandments, Ballast Point Sculpin, Cascade Sang Rouge, Stillwater Rule of Thirds, and De Ranke Pere Noel.
The bottle list behind the bar is extensive, expensive, and exciting for any beer geek. Bottles must be opened on-site, and I gladly emptied my wallet for the likes of Russian River's Framboise for a Cure ($20), Midnight Sun Arctic Devil ($30), and Firestone Walker Parabola ($30). Other notables included several Cantillons, Bruery releases (Cuir, Partridge--$80 or $100!!), and vintage Russian Rivers.
As a beer store, this place was much more reasonably priced vs. the tap/bottle selection at the bar. I grabbed some week-old Pliny, RR Temptation, Speedway Stout, and Midnight Sun Mayhem IIPA. Selection wasn't endless, but it surely felt that way.
Only negatives include: Friday night and the last call was at 9:30--bar closed up shop at 10. Also, there is no longer food served there, but you can order some delicious $6 sausages from a gourmet joint down the street. You can also bring in any food you'd like.
12-13-2011 23:15:35 |
More by wagenvolks
City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA