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City Beer Store

Not Rated.
City Beer StoreCity Beer Store
BA SCORE
98
world-class

231 Ratings
Ratings: 231
Reviews: 175
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.11%
Taps: 15
Bottles: 300
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Store ]

1168 Folsom St
San Francisco, California, 94103-6027
United States
phone: (415) 503-1033

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-08-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 231 | Reviews: 175 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of corby112
3.94/5  rDev -11.3%

This place came highly recommended by some local BAs so I made sure to stop by on my recent trip to the Bay Area.

The sign from the picture on here wasn't out so I drove and walked past this place. It's is surprisingly very, very small but they have a lot of room to sit at the counter and at various couches and tables set up. They have two coolers on the right when you walk in and two or three more to the right of the main counter. Opposite of these coolers there are about four shelves of room temperature bottles that are stacked to the ceiling.

This place is unlike any other bottle shop that I've been to in that it sells glasses of beer to drink while you shop or just to sit down and enjoy. It;s kind of like a mini bar inside of a bottle shop. A very unique idea that I wish I would see more of. They had about five different offerings on draft including Gouden Carulous Cuvee Van de Kaizer(one of my all time favorites) and four other decent craft selections.

Although the selection of this place was pretty small it was of high quality. They had some decent Belgians and vintage barleywines as well as alll of the year round AleSmith beers, Cascade Kriek, Cuvee de Tommee and Fresh bottles of Pliny for $4!

The woman working there was very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. I talked to her for a while about different beers and she gave me recommendations and answered all of my questions.

Although this place didn't have the best selection, the concept was really cool, the service was excellent and they had some nice CA rarities(at least to me). If I lived in the area I would probably be in there at least once a week. Recommended.

corby112, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of biggbossmanng
4.16/5  rDev -6.3%

I trekked down to to CityBeer one night after having dinner in Union Square. There's nothing like a walk through the Civic Center (which included a sheet covered corpse on the street) to build up some thirst. The store was at capacity when we arrived, with tables full and patrons sipping their brews in the small retail area. After checking the selection, I settled on the Mikkeller / Brew Dog collaboration Devine Rebel BarleyWine and a few familiar San Diego brews - Mission IPA and AleSmith Old Numbskull BarleyWine. While we took the beers to go, the staff kindly provided drinking water to satisfy our thirst, at least until we could get home to enjoy a little more...

biggbossmanng, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of flannelman808
4.31/5  rDev -2.9%

I love this place... It has a very cool vibe, like your at your buddies house (and does this not in its layout but just in the way you are treated). Very welcoming and a great value. Lots of rare beers to be had and 4 or 5 taps to boot. just so happened they had Allagash Interlude on while I was there...Sweet! I guess they have cheese and cured meats there as well though I did not partake in any. They carry some of the more rare Belgium and scottish beers (De Dolle and Mikkeller). Along with the hard to find brews made in the region (IE. Russian River). Brews were not overly expensive given there rarity. This place is worth a visit!

flannelman808, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of alfrantzell
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%

City Beer Store is a place to see and be seen, to drink and be drunk.

Ensconced in the trendy SOMA district, the space has an industrial basement motif. Think gray with accents of gunmetal. Cement is a recurring theme. But the piping on the ceiling is adorned with small peacocks. Proprietor Craig says they're a defense mechanism, but I think he just likes pretty things.

How many taps? It's difficult to say. Five or six. Definitely more than four. Even when the place is packed, Craig and Beth manage to be attentive to customers. Though their expediency is due in part to the draughts of beer they pull, which are limited to quantities ten ounces and under. How many bottles? Not sure. Every time I try to take inventory I end up drunk. Their event nights are all worth attending - it was here I tasted two vintages of Ommegang Rouge side-by-side, as well as the elusive -bal aged Papier.

You can also sample a wide variety of hipster body odor during peak hours. If that doesn't wet your whistle, consider visiting during the off-hours. When I say off-hours I mean hours that they're open, obviously. Not much point in going there when they're closed. Plenty of seating, but you won't be able to enter the premises. They're pretty good about keeping them locked.

alfrantzell, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%

This is one of the best beer stores on the penisnsula. In terms of beer selection, it is comparable to Healthy Sprits, although I'd give Healthy Sprits a slight edge.

This place is great in that you can grab a beer out of the cooler and drink it for a $1 corkage fee. I don't know of any other place you can do that. It's not a large place, but so far I've always found a place to sit. The staff is very friendly.

The website is nice in that they list their beer selection, although it'd be even nicer if they listed prices like Healthy Spirits and K&L, and maybe if they had all their beers on a single page (rather than a separate page for each letter of the alphabet).

They have quite a number of top rated beers, and I enjoyed trying them right there, so if I liked it enough I could buy more to take home with me.

If you're into the hard to find top 100 beers, this is a very good spot (though for overall selection, my favorite in the Bay Area is Perry's in Livermore).

Falcon91Wolvrn03, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of nickd717
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%

Excellent place. I used to be a regular, but sadly I got tired of the 1 hour trek up there. Need to get back soon though. Always 5 or 6 interesting beers on tap. Also a huge bottle selection that is one of the absolute best in the area. Salami and cheese plates are great also, and Craig and Beth are awesome people that love to talk about beer. They also have great special events, but they're often on weeknights, so the fact that I live so far away means I usually have to miss them. Atmosphere is not the best - it's in a half-basement more or less and the lighting is a little odd at night. On the plus side though, it can feel sort of like you're in a beer cave, which is a nice feeling. Prices are a little high for the area, but not so much compared to other places in the city, and the $1 corkage fee is not a bad deal.

nickd717, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of Aenema
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%

This is a really nice shop that I will definitely make return visits to. You can purchase a nice variety of quality draft beers (6 on tap at a time) or drink your purchase at the store (there is a $1 corkage fee).

Atmosphere - I went on a Sunday afternoon and there was a decent crowd there, but unfortunately there is little seating, so you need to luck out to snag a table if you have a group (there are only 3-4 seats at the bar). Size is the biggest knock on this place.

Quality - Lots of great beer both bottled and on draft.

Service - Friendly/helpful service.

Selection - Wide array of good beer and some tough to find beers.

Value - I thought most of the prices were quite competitive/reasonable. Some very good bargains and some that were a bit much.

Definitely stop by this store/bar if you have the opportunity.

Aenema, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of gabeerfan
4.21/5  rDev -5.2%

I used to work less than a block away from this place, and I have to say the neighborhood has changed a lot. For the better.
I was surprised by how small the place was, and the decor is typical industrial chic with cases of beer littered around the space. They had 4 beers on tap while we were there, but didn't get to try them as we were driving to SoCal as soon as we were done there, so I didn't note what was available.
Service was quite good. I was wearing my UGA hat and the bartender/salesperson and I chatted about being from the south as she went to Auburn and her family lives in Atlanta. She helped us find the beer we came to get and gave us a few recommendations that we accepted.
Selection was quite good, they had most everything available in the Bay Area and a few beers from smaller breweries that would be difficult to find elsewhere.
Prices were pretty reasonable. We bought a bottle of Consecration for $23 and it was $25+tip at the Russian River brewpub. Everything seemed reasonable and in line with more "mainstream" stores.
A good stop to look for a hard to find beer.

gabeerfan, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of wd40
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%

I really liked this place. The owner was very nice and knowledgeable about the what he had and was not afraid to make some recommendations. While selection isn't vast, every beer in the store is worth trying. There are some real gems in the store that can be difficult to find. Seems to have the Russian River hook up. Will be going back here every chance I get!

The store has some limited seating area and 5 or 6 beers on tap. At the time I think they were serving Green Flash Quadruple, Firestone Double Jack, Stone 9th anniversary, Stone 11th anniversary and Stone 12th anniversary. There may have been another beer that I can't remember.

There are three fridges full of Russian River, Port, and Alesmith among others, and a two walls that meet at a corner full of beers from many other breweries. Finally, in the back, adjacent to the bar and room temperature beer are three more fridges with sours and other specialty beers.

Prices are very reasonable

wd40, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of NorCalYeti
3.78/5  rDev -14.9%

City Beer Store is located on the left (north) side of Folsom Street between 7th and 8th, take the Civic Center BART stop and walk a few blocks or find street parking on Folsom. When I arrived this morning, I thought the place was out of business because there are no window displays. The real reason for the confusion is the store sits below street level. The store opened promptly at 12:00 p.m. (Saturday) and I was greeted by Craig (owner) who welcomed me in. I told him it was my first time at the store and asked him for a description of the store layout which he promptly shared. He asked what style of beer I liked. Armed with some information from his website he was able to respond to my specific questions. In addition to their rotating six taps (primarily west coast beers), he will open any of the bottled beers you purchase for an additional dollar. The space is small with approximately 300 beers on hand, at least half on shelves with the others in cold storage. Didn't find as many gems as I had hoped but I did come away with some Elysian beers I haven't spotted in the East Bay and a hard to find Lost Abbey. Prices seemed reasonable and the selection is above average to the amateur. The space is crowded and includes a small tasting bar, a high bar table, and two low chairs with a table for your beers. Although the floor plan makes it awkward to shop for beer while others are sitting at the tables, it's a nice service. It's a decent spot to stop for a draught beer and be on your way. The owner said the best way to keep on top of their latest selections is to subscribe to their e-mail list.

NorCalYeti, Jun 20, 2009
City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA
98 out of 100 based on 231 ratings.