1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

City Beer Store SF

Discussion in 'US - Pacific' started by amart79, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. amart79

    amart79 Aficionado (130) California Jan 14, 2012

    I've never been, but i've read quite a bit about it. Seems like a pretty awesome place for craft beer. Anybody that's been wanna let me know how it is and what to expect? I'm going to a giants game this saturday (Go Giants! btw) and figured i'd make time to check it out before the game.
  2. CenCalMario

    CenCalMario Savant (285) California Jan 12, 2009

    Nice spot, some people point out that it can be overly expensive though. They offer some pretty good selections on beer tasting from their tap room. I think it's worthwhile to check it out. The bottle selection is pretty good.
  3. amart79

    amart79 Aficionado (130) California Jan 14, 2012

    Sweet, thanks for the tip! As far as being expensive, what isn't in SF? haha I was pretty much expecting it to be a little pricey
  4. cfh64

    cfh64 Advocate (655) Texas Aug 16, 2005

    Not to start a sh*t storm but I'll be visitng San Fran in about a month and may only have one opportunity to go to City Beer Store and Beer Revolution. Which one is preferrable to save my money for to bring beers back home as far as selection, price, etc?
  5. CenCalMario

    CenCalMario Savant (285) California Jan 12, 2009

    Well, if that's the predicament... I would chose BR, hands down.
  6. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    Beer Revolution is definitely better on price, City Beer is somewhat more likely to have hard-to-find things but they'll be massively overpriced (want a Firestone 14? It can be yours for $30!). Beer Rev will sometimes put out random goodies, last time I was there Oude Tart, Cantillon Gueuze and LP Gueuze were on the shelf. But that's atypical. I think Beer Rev probably has fewer bottles on the shelf, but it should be a pretty comparable number of unique things. Beer Rev also has like 8 times as many taps, but City Beer is more likely to have something rare on (although that perception may be biased by only going there during events, whereas I go to Beer Rev all the time).

    I'd definitely say to go to both if you can, but my preference is Beer Rev.
  7. afrokaze

    afrokaze Advocate (620) California Jun 12, 2009

    Beer Rev has more taps and generally better prices. City Beer has the selection if you're looking for bottles, although BR isn't too shabby to say the least and everything is chilled.
  8. cfh64

    cfh64 Advocate (655) Texas Aug 16, 2005

    Excellent! I'll definitely go to both but will save most of my shopping for beer revolution. Thanks for the tips. On a side note, I feel bad for all you SF BA's.

    Ever since I planned this trip a few months ago, I've been checking the Pacific forum. It seems like almost evry other day there is someone visiting SF and asking all the same questions that were asked a few days before. It must get annoying but you guys have always been friendly and helpful by helping out the other BA's. Kudos to all you SF BA's!
  9. teamizm likes this.
  10. smarks2327

    smarks2327 Aficionado (165) Ohio Apr 5, 2011

    Agree with this. All the help is much appreciated!!
  11. To cfh64: I figure you know this but just in case - City Beer is in SF, Beer Rev is in Oakland.
  12. cfh64

    cfh64 Advocate (655) Texas Aug 16, 2005

    Yeah, I know...'preciate the info though. I'm not going to start a whole new thread but if someone happens to see this. Is it worth renting a car for 5 days for roughly $200 and having to pay for parking in downtown SF or just using the public transportation? For the most part we will be in the city hitting up bars and will need to rent a car for one day to go to russian river but thats it. The Muni/BART looks slightly intimidating for an out of towner.
  13. I was just there and trust me, the BART is pretty easy to figure out. Can't speak to the Muni because I didn't really use it
  14. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    Bart is really, really simple. Google even knows it, so just set up your from/to on google maps and select public transit, it'll tell you which bart to take and when they run. Make sure to double-check the official bart site on times, though, I can't vouch for google's accuracy.
  15. cfh64

    cfh64 Advocate (655) Texas Aug 16, 2005

    Thanks again for the help guys...I think I have everything else figured out based on prior questions. I'll leave you alone now. Cheers!
  16. Ynot2

    Ynot2 Savant (310) California Jul 24, 2009

    So what beers are you bringing to share with the amazing California BA folks?
  17. beerme411

    beerme411 Savant (350) California Sep 28, 2010

    Muni is pretty good. I get the bus routes messed up sometimes, but as long as you are staying in SF or near the BART route you'll be fine no need for a car. maybe one day if you want to hit up Bear republic, RR, Lagunitas.
  18. AndrewK

    AndrewK Savant (345) California Oct 20, 2006

    you should also check out this site: www.beerbybart.com

    public transit info for getting to pretty much any beer spot in the bay area.
  19. cfh64

    cfh64 Advocate (655) Texas Aug 16, 2005

    Ha...as if you guys don't already have it all. TX is getting better but we're still lifht years behind you guys. Hell, you even get JK now. Anyways, I'd definitely be down for sharing/having a beer somewhere with any fellow BA's.
  20. matedog

    matedog Aficionado (185) California Jan 25, 2010

    It's worth mentioning that at least for me, I don't tend to buy a ton when I go to CBS or Beer Rev. So being that I live in SF, the cost of the BART ticket to Oakland is generally enough to balance the price difference between the two places. But yeah, Beer Rev has better prices (although CBS has more than one restroom).
  21. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    They do? I only know of the one.
  22. matedog

    matedog Aficionado (185) California Jan 25, 2010

    Maybe I'm mistaken. I thought they had a men's and a women's restroom. I just know it's a big issue at Beer Rev.
  23. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    Maybe they do, but last time I was there I was pretty sure it was just the one. And yeah, thanks to Beer Rev's bigger capacity it's a bigger issue. Fortunately there are some places for someone who's willing to take a short walk.
  24. Please point me towards a store that is selling FW14 at a significantly lower price (or selling it at all). Or do you think the reasonable thing to do after storing a limited release beer in a temperature-controlled cellar for a year is to charge the original MSRP?
  25. Only one restroom at both locations, but unless you go on a Friday/Saturday night it's likely not as big an issue at City Beer.
  26. afrokaze

    afrokaze Advocate (620) California Jun 12, 2009

    $30 is on par for bar prices but that doesn't mean it ain't pricey...
  27. Pricey? Sure, no one's going to argue that it isn't expensive. What I took issue with was characterizing that as "massively overpriced," when it isn't even a beer you can find on shelves anymore.
  28. I dont disagree that if you store it in a temperature controlled cooler there is a cost, but I dont believe it costs $10-15 per year, per bottle. Now, if you look at the cost to run the cooler it probably doesnt cost that much to run per month, but the market up per bottle doesnt really reflect that when you put the figures together. If you factor storage costs in that is only because the price is too high to move the product in which it creates less space for new product. An example is their on site consumption only bottles; they are selling bottles of 2010 Eclipse for $80-100 a bottle, so you're telling me that price is justified? Now, if they were allowed for offsite sale as well it still wouldn't be worth it. I have been to places that are still selling 2010 Eclipse(...and I purchased several), and they have had the bottles for the same amount of time and they are still regular retail price, $25-30. So I dont agree with marking the price sky high just because of its "rarity." Yes, they do have a great selection and decent pricing on bottles when they are released, but definitely not when it comes to the cellared, rarer beers.
    afrokaze likes this.
  29. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    Shrug. I think I've seen it elsewhere recently, but don't remember where. I have two bottles already so it's not something I'm looking for. I just think $30 (actually think it was $35, but it doesn't really matter) is a ridiculous price for something that was still all over shelves a few months ago at at $15. Even if they had it in some cellar facility (which isn't advertised, so I had no way of knowing) that doesn't add $15 per bottle, it's probably more like $2. Last time I was there they hadn't sold any. So there's that too.

    Now, I roll my eyes at every dipshit that says "city rape store" (for multiple reasons), but I find it kind of perplexing that anyone could defend that price.
    teamizm, afrokaze and PaulStoneAnchor like this.
  30. Unless things have changed recently, I think the only bottle that City Beer sells for $100 is Pappy Van Winkle Eclipse, which you can't buy anywhere for anything close to $25-30. I'm not saying whether or not the price is justified but just wanted to clarify that they're not charging that much for a 2010 Four Roses or Heaven Hill Eclipse.

    To the OP: definitely go to Public House before going into the ballpark. They have a pretty good selection and you can bring two beers into the stadium (make sure to ask for plastic cups).
  31. why? if someone will pay it, they'd be idiots not to. they're a business.

    and there's no reason to put rarity in quotation marks. look at the trading forums, see the obsession with rarity, and tell me it's unexpected that someone will monetize it.
  32. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    Yeah, if someone will pay it. I don't whine about their on-site prices because people will clearly pay it for that beer. But $30 for 14 seems pretty crazy to me (that beer sat around at $15!), and since I only saw a full shelf I assume it was crazy for other people too.
  33. Blackstudded

    Blackstudded Aspirant (40) Mar 2, 2012

    I'll pay a mark up to City Beer because they are a family run store, they aren't making money on volume like Whole Foods, they're a small shop. The proprietors of CBS have spent years building relationships with great breweries, and because of that they get allocated awesome kegs and cases. Not because of volume, like Bevmo or Total Wine, but because of their love of beer. I remember when they were serving Hoegaarden on draft, during Beer Week this last February they had Veritas 007.... Good luck ever finding that anywhere......in the Universe. Sometimes philosophy disagrees with your wallet, and that's not always a bad thing.
    penniwisdom likes this.
  34. penniwisdom

    penniwisdom Initiate (0) California Sep 10, 2010


    I drank their last pappy van winkle eclipse. It is gone now.
    Cheers!
    afrokaze and deeblo like this.
  35. Arbitrator

    Arbitrator Initiate (0) California Nov 26, 2008

    I freely admit I'm the biggest dipshit on BA, but I had no idea that anyone else used that phrase after I coined it a few years ago to describe their Eclipse futures pricing policy. It's crude, but it conveys their pricing scheme (and more importantly, the attitude behind it).

    So are Wal-mart, Ford, Samsung, and Disney. I don't understand that reasoning.

    When Russian River distributed Framboise for a Cure to a few stores with the agreement that they sell the beer at cost ($20) and not a penny more, City Beer Store was the ONLY store that marked up the bottles by $5. RR donates all proceeds from the beer, and Toronado did the same thing. CBS went the other way; they were literally the only people to profit off that beer besides eBay sellers. Think about that.

    I understand a business is a business, and SF is an expensive place to have a store, but let's not make naïve, feel-good arguments to lionize them. If they could take an extra dollar from your wallet, they would.
    teamizm, bugdoc and PaulStoneAnchor like this.
  36. drgarage

    drgarage Initiate (0) California Aug 19, 2008

    Any idea what Wanderer is going for there? It's the only one of the on-site only beers they have that I would think about splurging for.
  37. I wasn't at City Beer when FfaC was first released, but I've bought at least 6 bottles there, and paid $20 for all of them.

    $60
  38. Arbitrator

    Arbitrator Initiate (0) California Nov 26, 2008

    Good. A few of us complained to Russian River about their practice, and my guess is that RR asked them to change it. It's a dick move to profit off a non-profit beer for charity.
  39. Rzzzzz

    Rzzzzz Advocate (500) California Nov 10, 2007

    If you're hoofing it I believe it's about a 30 minute walk from the ballpark. And don't buy beer from the concession stand; take a walk to the Public House and grab something good, for less. Be sure to give Zito a big hand when he takes the hill.
    amart79 likes this.
  40. drgarage

    drgarage Initiate (0) California Aug 19, 2008

    City Beer Store is rolling out some pretty baller beers on tap this week. So far this week, they've added:
    • 2010 Brandy Angel's Share
    • 2010 Abyss
    • Life and Limb Batch 1 (2009, barrel-aged)
    • Deviant Dale's
    • Ballast Point Sea Monster
    • Midnight Sun Panty Peeler
    • Evil Twin Biscotti Break
    When Deviant Dale's is easily the weakest new beer on draft, you're doing something right.

Share This Page