Taps: 10 / Bottles: 75
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 22 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
4.64/5 rDev +14.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Coming here I felt like I had discovered a Hobbit-hole of beer geekery. The vibe of the place—from the nondescript symbol of a sign, to the ‘regulars’ vibe, to the barkeeper himself—felt more like I had stumbled into a man cave of craft beer. A real hole in the wall, they still managed to have 10 tap handles pouring and all sorts of proper glassware. The bottle list runs for pages and pages and makes for great reading. Prices are about what I’d expect for the beers. If this place was easier for me to visit I’d make it regular haunt. Hope I can drop in again sometime.
08-27-2012 19:44:04 | More by elNopalero
4.58/5 rDev +12.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This place is great! It is one of the only places to drink better beer in North Beach- and without the crowds.
They don't serve food yet, but along with the developing decor, storefront, and evolving beer menu, I've been assured that it's all only going to get bigger and better. They have only been open a few weekends and I've been in three times.
Unibroue bottles and drafts are all reasonably priced and Aventinus is on tap! Other usual suspects include: Delerium Tremens, xxBitter, Allagash White, Bluebird bitter, Dogfish head 90min, and NC Scrimshaw pils. There's also Hercule stout, DesRocs grand cru, and O winter and saison- some pricier and more rare offerings.
There's enough decent glassware to go around and a push for labeled/brewer intended glasses is underway.
There's a small, chill lounge upstairs perfect for hiding from the world or PDA.
If you like Lucky13 and wouldn't mind toning down the punkrock vibe, check it out. If you love Toronado, but find the smelly crowds to be a deterent, definitely check it out.
Oh, yeah...high life cans $2!!!ha!!
12-17-2008 11:02:31 | More by funkmaster229
4.46/5 rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Church Key is a tiny little bar in an area that has plenty of eateries and small shops. No name on the place, only a key sign hangs over the entrance. The bar is is the back and can only seat about 6-8 comfortably. A staircase heads upstairs, but I didn't check it out. There is a few tables so I can see this place getting packed quickly. Luckily when I visited there were only about 10 folks there. Overall the place is a bit dark with only a large window overlooking the street.
There were 10 beers on draft during my visit, with some notables like Deschutes Stoic, Orange Kush, Black Xantus, and DFH Palo Santo Marron. The beer seems to move quick here as it looks like all patrons were very beer knowledgable along with the bartender.
I would call this a must stop for any BA on a trip to San Francisco as they seem to offer some unique beers from the typical bars in the area.
10-10-2011 12:17:20 | More by Gavage
4.3/5 rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
A great small place in North Beach not far from the Rogue Ales taproom. Very knowledgeable bartender, friendly, full of information, happy to provide samples. Poured both of us samples of Ovila from bottle opened to try. Number of taps varies from 7-10 but there are lots or interesting bottles which many people were trying. Taps included Green Flash IPA, Nogne, Stone 15th, Firestone Double Barrel, Alaska Summer, a German Hefe, and Ephemere Cassis.
Interesting changing music selection from the Mac laptop. Friendly folks. One lady brought in a couple of Surly Furious cans as a gift to the bartender. Not crowded early on a Saturday evening, jammed on Friday.
Makes a good stop if you're hiking up to Coit Tower. Easy to get here from downtown or Fisherman's Wharf on frequent 30 trolley coach line or the big 6X bus, or the 41 and 45, all running every few minutes.
09-04-2011 05:40:12 | More by mactrail
4.25/5 rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
Church Key -
In my honest opinion. La Trappe has this place beat, so far. When I went there, they were serving some appetizers, and the beer selection (book) was pretty extensive. I had a Grand Cru and Saison. But they have a different 2$ tasty libation every night, from Mickeys to Highlife. I thought the bar tenders at La trappe knew a bit more and offered a bit better service. But this place started by one of the owners of another bar in Haight is just what he wanted. They had some rock music playing (i think avenged sevenfold or something to the same melody) and it had the exact environment that I'm certain the owner had in mind. While I do appreciate the menu so much and the food (buffalo something or other was delicious), I might only go here with friends every so often. I highly recommend going here to see if it fits your attitude and beer palate.
This was from 2 weekends ago. I just love seeing more places with good beer. Keep it up!.
03-16-2009 03:48:37 | More by Newmerator
4.17/5 rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
long walk through Chinatown from the downtown hostel to North Beach... entered into one of the smaller, more cozy spots I hit in town - seemingly devoid of lighting, chill feel - sat at the back near the end of the bar....
Tony, the barkeep that night - quite friendly/outgoing, good guy, enthusiastic - talked up the local food scene, gave a good overview, the best this the best that - conducted the room well
had a bottle of Petrus Oud Bruin, then a bottle of Velvet Merlin, then sampled some drafts.... the bottles range from reasonable to expensive, decent selection of those and drafts, locals don't make up a significant percentage of the bottles - decent-sized list, a lot of stuff I've had before, stuff I didn't care to try...
can't remember if they had a kitchen (don't think so)...hey, if I was a lil more local, I'd probably be semi-regs
05-15-2013 05:44:22 | More by Bouleboubier
4.16/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Nondescript sign with a church key is the only thing that adorns the outside of this bar. The only thing the keys you in that this is a bar is if music is playing and there is a bit of crowd noise coming from inside. Pretty small space that I remember used to be an antique record store years ago, narrow, with the bar downstairs and a lounge like area upstairs. Decor seems to be cobbled together from some modern furniture without much of a theme.
Usually one person working the bar by themselves and another person helping bus the empty glasses back to be washed. Pours drinks quickly though, but I went on a weekday night and it wasn't too busy. Decent 10 tap selection with mainly US craft beer options for a reasonable price, surprising given Church Key is located in North Beach where almost everything is pricey now.
10-30-2011 19:30:38 | More by nataku00
Church Key in San Francisco, CA
91 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.