City Beer Store

City Beer StoreCity Beer Store
BA SCORE
96.1%
Liked This Place
4.45 w/ 332 ratings
City Beer StoreCity Beer Store
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Beer-to-go

1168 Folsom St
San Francisco, California, 94103-6027
United States

(415) 503-1033 | map
citybeerstore.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-08-2006

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
199
Ratings:
332
Liked:
319
Avg:
4.45/5
pDev:
8.99%
 
 
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 332 |  Reviews: 199
Reviews by Arbitrator:
Photo of Arbitrator
4.13/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

I live quite a ways from the city, and I hate the hassle of finding parking, so I don't shop here as often as I would like. It's too bad, because this is one place where I'd like to establish a relationship as a regular.

This is a combined bottle shop / taproom.

The selection is quite wide. Four coolers and a couple of room-temperature shelves. Consistently fresh product (Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig are always refrigerated, with the most recent bottling dates). Lost Abbey, Oskar Blues, Avery, FiftyFifty, JW Lees, AleSmith, The Bruery, Ballast Point -- these beers are consistently found here.

Prices for new beers are a little higher than Monument or Bottle Barn, but this is smack in the SoMa district. They don't really offset their prices by selling high-margin stuff like BMC. So I understand.

But I don't like their vintage pricing strategy, which is aggressive. They'll hold back a case or two of stuff like Cascade sours, Russian River sours, etc. for a few months and then charge $10 more than the original retail price. Most recently, I found it a slap in the face when they sold the re-release of FiftyFifty Eclipse (Pappy van Winkle) for $60 a bomber. Since they own their distribution company, I guess they have us by the balls on those exclusive releases. Sigh.

A nice tap lineup, usually accompanying a release of some sort.

Don't come here looking for deals; however, if you're in the city, this is by far the best bottle shop in San Francisco. I never fail to walk out with something.

 1,520 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BartS
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of RyanK252
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

A must stop for beer enthusiasts. Huge selection of bottles and cans of all styles, plus a nice tap selection, often heavy on local brews (all stellar). You can often luck into some real gems here.

 197 characters

Photo of mrcraft
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

City Beer Store was a nice find near the Civic Center area of San Francisco, a few blocks south of Market Street.

You enter, walk down some steps and you will find the retail bottle shop on the left side and an area to enjoy your purchases. The selection was solid. Most of their beers were refrigerated with some on shelves. The service was very friendly.

I found a nice beer to enjoy back at the hotel. I will definitely return when in SF and in this area again. Very nice.

 484 characters

Photo of michiganbeerdrinker
4.28/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of RixBeer
1/5  rDev -77.5%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1

So what kind of jerk tells you that you can't bring your kid in while you buy beer to go? This is the first time EVER in any of the states I have ever visited where anyone said anything this stupid to me! Or maybe it was my Red Sox shirt the guy was staring at?

No worries- I'll buy beer elsewhere. I won't make a second special trip to your "Mecca"... Do you know where you are? Good businesses don't turn away customers who are about to drop $1000 on beer and send them to a competitor....

No worries- they took my money with a smile on their face!

Buyer beware- not tourist or child friendly! A millions places to spend your money is San Fransisco- choose elsewhere!

 673 characters

Photo of Inglewood
4.61/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Bum4ever
4.14/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Low key bar and bottle shop in downtown SF. Pretty small supply of bottles, but some pretty decent stuff included some vintage bottles.
Service was great and everyone there seemed to be having a good time. I was there to see the bottle selection, but if I ever go back I would love to sit down and see what's on tap.

 318 characters

Photo of Cpmitchno1
4.37/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of CanConPhilly
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of Beginner2
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

You would have to spend a lifetime to find a beer store with a higher concentration of great beers and knowledgeable staff... and you probably would not succeed. I was there twice, hunting for the beers that would put me over the top of my goal of drinking 500 of the "1001 Beers To Drink Before You die." I found the last six. Three were so rare that I had to consume three on-site from their behind-the-bar cooler (Cantillon Lou Pepe, Black Albert and The Dissident.) While much of what is in that cooler is expensive on a relative basis.... if you gotta have, well, you gotta Have it.

Also on my list and fortunate for me, Pliny The Elder, had just come in; so, I bought three (and I may save one as my first trade.)

The staff are, quite simply, the best. Helpful, extremely knowledgable and very patient in reading through my 1001 list and the 300+ on MJ's "Great Beers of Belgium."

If you live in SF, you know City Beer. If you travel to SF, visit City Beer.
I was a resident of SF for the first decade of Fritz Maytag's ownership of Anchor. Today, I am glad to have visited twice what seems to be a center of the third generation of SF's craft beer scene.

 1,166 characters

Photo of HaoleToYouToo
4.54/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of soze47
4.53/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Photo of walt5
4.15/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of TheBlueJerzzzz
3.93/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Photo of JMarimon
3.6/5  rDev -19.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of bennyman12
4.86/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of billab914
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.08/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I always like to stop in here when in San Francisco and checking out Cellarmaker which is not far from here. There's a good selection of bottles and cans although I get the sense that their best beers get cleared out almost immediately upon arrival. If you can appreciate great shelf beers you'll find plenty here.

The tap selection here has never blown my mind but always has some good stuff.

If you are willing to spend some change, the on-site consumption bottles offer some serious, serious gems.

 504 characters

Photo of DblDiamond
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of SimcoeKid
4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of dwagner003
4.68/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Photo of reggggg
4.86/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of W_Des
5/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Stopped by during a vacation to grab some beer and the guys working were extremely helpful offering suggestions related to what beer I was looking for. Seemed to be pretty busy on the bar side as well and I would have loved to stop and have a pint. Next time.

 259 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.54/5  rDev -20.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

My favorite part about this store is the several coolers have little lights that shine right on the front bottle in each shelf, so you can actually see what they hell they are. Otherwise it's cramped and the random shelves and boxes make it hard to see what else they have. The location means you have to walk through some of the worst south of Market blocks. Service seemed brisk and efficient, but I didn't ask for anything I didn't see.

Selection seems utterly eclectic and they typically have just one or two beers from a given brewer, rather than the full range. Not really that great a selection of Bay Area beers either. Mostly there are a lot of random oddities and expensive rather than rare stuff. It's the place to go if you want the $20+ sours and wild ales and barrel aged concoctions.

 799 characters

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City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA
Place rating: 96.1% out of 100 with 332 ratings
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