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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 BevMoPatrick1
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.

BevMoPatrick1, Jun 06, 2009
Photo of washburnkid
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.

washburnkid, May 24, 2009
Photo of NikkiMacBrain
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

NikkiMacBrain, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of photomike
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.

photomike, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of braddo
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%

Amazingly great concept. Every city needs a City Beer Store!! Part store and part bar. Pull a beer off the shelf and drink in the store. Also have a couple taps set up. $5 per pull. Owners have great beer knowledge. Again, great concept. I wish more states would allow stores like this.

Sampled:
Oro de Calabaza - Sour Bier de Garde (Draught) - Love the sour apple taste. Very refreshing. One of my favorite Bier de Garde's.

Telegraph Robust Ale - Belgium IPA (Draught) - Full bodied and well balanced beer. Very complex nose.

http://www.burrstreetbrewblog.com/2009/03/san-francisco-beer-week.html

braddo, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of jwolfie70
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%

City Beer Store is a must stop for Bay Area BAs. While it does not look like much at first glance (i.e. it looks like someone's basement with some beer shelves), Craig and Beth have a wonderful store. It usually has the best selection of beers in the bay area, and the owners are always willing to take the time to point you in the right direction. They have a handful of great taps and some great cheese selections, but other than that is a beer store. I would, and have, recommended this store to all BAs.

jwolfie70, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of mjl21
4.44/5  rDev 0%

City Beer Store is a great ***little*** beer shop located south of Market in the City. The first time I went there was right after they opened and I remember driving around the block a few times as I saw no signage. Luckily they now have a sandwich baord sign on the street. They are located in an area where there is plenty of street parking, both hourly and metered.

When you walk into the space you go down a small flight of stairs. To your right are a few coolers with tons of beer. Some rare in these parts (Alesmith), some not (Racer 5). There are a few tall tables where people are drinking beers from their 6 taps or from a bottle that they purchased at the store ($1.00 corkage). There are a few shelves lined from top to bottom with beers from all over and there are a few other coolers in the back that have a lot of good stuff.

The bar area has a few stools. The drink menu is on a little clipboard and they give a nice description of each beer. If you want to have a drink while shopping they serve in 5 and 10 ounce glasses. The beer selection is always rotating and they usually have offerings that you don't see outside of the Toronado or the respective brewpub. They frequently update their tap list on their site. They also serve cheese plates if you feel like eating.

The beer selection is good. They carry the harder to find NorCal beers and do a good job of bringing in brands like Alesmith to increase their offerings. They have a ton of beers from around the world. Since the store is on the small size I have found the turnover of beers to be quite good. This is one of the few places that I will buy IPAs with no best by date. Due to the store's popularity they do tend to run out of the popular offerings quickly.

The prices are a little higher than some of my East Bay hunts, but when you factor in rent it is understandable.

The owners, Craig and Beth, are both extremely amiable and know their stuff.

mjl21, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of ipa247
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%

Made a return trip here last night after a long hiatus. Made the less than pleasant walk from the Civic Center Bart Station after dark down 6th street. My suggestion is use 7th or 8th street. A lot of sketchy looking people and what appeared to be criminal activity taking place on 6th.

The sign to the store is dimly lit and you could easily walk by the place and miss it. Inside is pretty tight cramped quarters as many reviews have noted. Nonetheless it is an inviting atmosphere and I did not mind the fact I had to stand for the first hour. There are a few tables and chairs if you are able to get there right when it opens. The service is excellent and friendly and Craig the proprietor was more than willing to answer questions and offer beer suggestions.

The place has 5 hard to find beers on tap and you can also purchase bottled beer which can be opened and drank on site which is a nice set up. The beer selection is above-average to excellent and has an emphasis on Belgian and California craftbrews. I was delighted to see some Alesmith products as they do not distribute to Northern California. The prices are what you would expect from San Francisco and lean more to the expensive side. I can purchase some of their beers for 2-3 dollars cheaper at my local beer store in the East Bay. Such is the nature of buying beer in San francisco

There appeared to be a cheese and cracker plate that could be purchased. I did not partake and enjoyed my liquid dinner of Chicory Stout, Telegraph Porter and Marin Brewing White Knuckle Double IPA.

I will definitely be back as it is a nice environment and has a host of beers that I cannot get elsewhere.

ipa247, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of yeastsipper
4.94/5  rDev +11.3%

CBS is a must stop for anyone visiting SF - and a regular haunt for all beer lovers in SF.

The store is relatively small, but jammed with all sorts of great beers. The highlight for me are the always rotating taps with some very hard to get beers showing up very regularly. Get a beer, browse, and chat with other beer lovers or the very friendly and knowledgeable owners. A very cool concept of bar/retail store.

As I have started going in more often, I notice that new beers come in often. There is a lot of turnover and a lot of great beers on the shelf. Even if you are not looking to by bottles, this is a great place to stop in and have a beer. Chances are great that there will be something on tap that you haven't had.

A must stop in SF. I highly recommend City Beer Store.

yeastsipper, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of popery
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%

Great little beer store with a high quality selection and some well-used taps. I like City Beer quite a lot. My main complaint is that the space is too small for everything that's going on. They always have good to excellent beer on tap with the occasional rarity from a, usually, local brewery. The owner seems to have quite a few contacts in the craft beer world. I will admit that I don't love the service. It's not so much a problem with anyone who works there, but it's always been a bit too busy for me to ask questions. The place is halfway between a bar and a store, so there's an odd tension between serving drinks/talking about the tap beers and helping bottle customers. My other slight problem is the crowd tends to get a bit heavy on the yuppies, not really the store's fault so much as the city's. At times, it gets dangerously close to feeling like a wine bar, not really my favorite type of establishment. The selection is a tad on the small side, which is a function of the store size, but it's all high quality. You definitely see bottles, particularly from local breweries, here that you won't see anywhere else in the city. Of course, other stores (Healthy Spirits particularly for imports and Blackwell's occasionally) can make the same claim, but City Beer more likely has the hot California beers. Anyway, prices are a bit steep, only annoying when Whole Foods down the street carries some of the same bottles for fifty cents to a dollar cheaper, but I don't begrudge them that. It's expensive to run a store in this city. At any rate, they have a very nice little bar and a very nice selection of high quality beer.

popery, Dec 26, 2008
City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA
98 out of 100 based on 231 ratings.