City Beer Store
Ratings: 227 | Reviews: 175 | Display Reviews Only:
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).
11-14-2009 06:07:32 | More by Falcon91Wolvrn03
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.
10-19-2009 16:42:19 | More by nickd717
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.
09-17-2009 03:21:12 | More by Aenema
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.
08-26-2009 17:49:18 | More by gabeerfan
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
07-19-2009 02:22:45 | More by wd40
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.
06-20-2009 21:47:00 | More by NorCalYeti
4.5/5 rDev +1.4%
Visited on 5/30/09. Five taps, had the 21st Amendment Black IPA. The service was great. The place is pretty small but the selection is very good. Good selections from RR, Ballast Point, Stone, and many other great California brews. Good selection of begians and english beers as well. The owner was busy with other customers but was good enough to talk beer when he had a free moment. Anytime I'm back in SF will hit this place up. If your in the city, check it out, prices are fair and its a very relaxed environment.
06-06-2009 20:49:01 | More by BevMoPatrick1
4/5 rDev -9.9%
Went to SF to do some research/writing, and I decided to hit this place up before I had to head back home. Got off at Civic Center BART and walked a couple short blocks.
There were tons of people. Everyone sitting at tables stopped to watch you as you walked in, and the set-up was a little awkward. But it was a small space and the owners were working with what they had (a ton of beer). Two coolers of beer, and two tall shelves all packed with options, both domestic and import crafts. I was especially excited about the beers I bought from Alesmith, Ballast Point, HotD, and Stone. I was looking forward to having a beer or two while I was there, but there were just too many people and no places to relax. I would definitely go back to both buy more brews and enjoy some on premise, though maybe not on a Saturday.
One note about the service: No one offered to help me out, but it didn't bother me too much since there were plenty of other folks that the two employees (owners?) were probably dealing with. I would surely enjoy a conversation with them, so I look forward to going again.
05-24-2009 20:07:51 | More by washburnkid
4.72/5 rDev +6.3%
I was in town last week for my friend's wedding and this was one of the stops I wanted to make. A close walk from the Civic Center BART. Nothing fancy, just a plain floor with a couple tables and the bar. Cool selection of cold and warm bottles, any of which can be opened on-premises for a buck extra. Six taps, mainly local stuff but I was happy to see DFH 90 on. I had a Lost Abbey Carnevale and Iron Springs Witbier.
Craig was top-notch as far as customer service goes. Awesome guy who was very helpful to this out-of-towner. A bit pricey but it's the city, so I can't fault that.
If I lived in SF I'd definitely become a regular. Check out this little gem and do what you can to support this excellent small business
04-28-2009 15:17:24 | More by NikkiMacBrain
4.74/5 rDev +6.8%
This place is an absolute must-stop for any beer fan visiting San Francisco.
A tiny spot, the walls are lined with a really top notch selection of beers, both domestic and imported. Best selection of Russian River brews I've seen, and all the stock is very fresh and well-maintained. I actually got a bottle of Pliny the Elder last night that was bottled 3 days ago.
Respectable rotating taps for 4 or 5 bucks per fill, and a staff that is as knowledgeable as it is friendly.
The ambiance is really nice here, well lit, and everyone seems to be friendly. The size of the place is a big downside though, there isn't much seating, and if you are trying to bottle-shop while people are drinking, it can be problematic.
Prices are very slightly on the high side, but for the most part, the prices are reasonable. I frequently find great deals here. At City Beer, you know you are getting a quality product, and I never feel uncomfortable with the prices.
04-11-2009 19:43:28 | More by photomike
City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA
98 out of 100 based on 227 ratings.