City Beer Store

City Beer StoreCity Beer Store
City Beer StoreCity Beer Store
Bar, Beer-to-go

853 Valencia St.
San Francisco, California, 94110
United States

(415) 503-1033 | map
citybeerstore.com

Notes:
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.45
Reviews:
201
Ratings:
148
pDev:
8.76%
View: Place Reviews
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by BrewerB:
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Reviewed by BrewerB from North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5
Craig and Beth have a great thing going for the SOMA folks and anyone else who loves beer in SF.

Though the atmosphere is fairly sparse and the place can get cramped during peak hours, selection is exceptional. You'll find 6 beers on tap at any time and hundreds of bottles to choose from.

This is the place to find those unique beers like barrel-aged Port Brewing/Drake's/Firestone Walker, Bear Republic X, and Black Albert.

Check their menu to see what's on tap and pay these folks a visit.
Dec 11, 2008
More User Ratings:
 
Rated: 4.5 by paulish from New York

Apr 27, 2022
 
Rated: 4.25 by slasich from Pennsylvania

May 17, 2020
 
Rated: 4.47 by Montanabeerz from Montana

Nov 06, 2019
 
Rated: 4.36 by UCLABrewN84 from California

Jul 11, 2019
 
Rated: 4.41 by BerryKumquat from California

Apr 27, 2019
 
Rated: 4.5 by NickThaFish from New Mexico

Mar 06, 2019
 
Rated: 4.18 by acurtis from New Jersey

Jan 02, 2019
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Rated by Rub_This_BBQ from Massachusetts

4.61/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
Killer bar with great selection and helpful bar tender whish I could have spent more time in the bottle shop, if you are in SF it is must stop.
Nov 13, 2018
Photo of Zonian1
Reviewed by Zonian1 from Ohio

4.53/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
I made my first-ever visit to City Beer store in June 2018 after doing the short walk past the homeless people from Cellar Maker. If you're from out of town and not familiar with San Francisco, the sketchiness of the neighborhood can be off-putting. But this store has been in this location for years, and the employees and regulars seem to take everything in stride. The store is moving a couple of blocks away later this year into a bigger location. That will be nice, I'm sure. The biggest surprise to me about City Beer was how small it was. That meant their selection was limited. But what they lacked in quantity, they made up for in quality.

I didn't arrive on a Pliny delivery day, but I did come away with some nice local and regional bottles to bring home with me, including several BA stouts, quads, and sours. The staff and a couple of regular customers spent a lot of time helping me choose wisely, given the limited space I had in my luggage. This is definitely a beer geek mecca. If possible, allow some time during your visit to have a beer or two on tap, as they had a pretty sweet tap list.
Jul 07, 2018
 
Rated: 4.42 by blisscent from Rhode Island

Mar 24, 2018
 
Rated: 4.47 by gspeer711 from California

Mar 23, 2018
 
Rated: 4.54 by grilledsquid from California

Mar 22, 2018
 
Rated: 3.97 by Miesemer from Pennsylvania

Mar 11, 2018
 
Rated: 4.64 by Richie_C_Johnson from Minnesota

Feb 16, 2018
 
Rated: 4.82 by eawolff99 from Minnesota

Jan 09, 2018
Photo of Beersnake1
Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75
Stopped by on a recent trip to San Fran. This was quite a hike from our hotel, but worth the trip. They had a huge fridge and several racks of beer. The selection was amazing. They had bourbon county, BA Ten Fidy, and lots of other limited releases. Someone walked in and asked if they had Pliny. He walked out with a case. The staff was nice (a bit busy since they just opened), and the prices seemed fair. By far the best place I have visited in SF.
Jan 03, 2018
 
Rated: 4.5 by coryhk from California

Nov 17, 2017
 
Rated: 4.5 by tobelerone from New Jersey

Nov 16, 2017
 
Rated: 4.5 by BartS from California

Sep 12, 2017
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Reviewed by RyanK252 from California

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.
Aug 15, 2017
Photo of mrcraft
Reviewed by mrcraft from California

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.
Aug 12, 2017
 
Rated: 4.28 by michiganbeerdrinker from Michigan

Jul 31, 2017
Photo of RixBeer
Reviewed by RixBeer from Massachusetts

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!
Jun 22, 2017
 
Rated: 4.61 by Inglewood from Illinois

Mar 10, 2017
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Reviewed by Bum4ever from California

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.
Feb 20, 2017
 
Rated: 4.37 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia

Feb 04, 2017
 
Rated: 4.75 by CanConPhilly from Pennsylvania

Jan 01, 2017
Photo of Beginner2
Reviewed by Beginner2 from Illinois

4.65/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5
After visiting again on 10/10/19, this now is an all new place that I will have to re-review.
They have added an almost fancy kitchen and tripled the bar seats and have 20 taps.
More review to come. Until then here is my review of the original store on Folsom Street

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 all me 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 them 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... but I didn't.)

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.

5/24/21 On-line ordered ten beers, eight from brewers untried by me. Since this was a Covid-era pickup, I could not go inside or eat their. Next time, for sure !
Oct 13, 2016
 
Rated: 4.53 by soze47 from Massachusetts

Aug 22, 2016
 
Rated: 4.15 by walt5 from Delaware

Aug 10, 2016
 
Rated: 3.93 by TheBlueJerzzzz from Virginia

Jul 16, 2016
 
Rated: 3.6 by JMarimon from Illinois

Jun 21, 2016
 
Rated: 4.86 by bennyman12 from Missouri

Jun 09, 2016
 
Rated: 4.47 by billab914 from Virginia

May 05, 2016
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Reviewed by ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

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.
Apr 13, 2016
 
Rated: 4.47 by DblDiamond from Arizona

Mar 29, 2016
 
Rated: 4.48 by SimcoeKid from California

Mar 19, 2016
 
Rated: 4.68 by StoutSnob40 from California

Mar 19, 2016
 
Rated: 4.86 by reggggg from Washington

Feb 19, 2016
City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA
Place rating: 4.45 out of 5 with 349 ratings