City Beer Store (Civic Center)
The City Beer Store & Tasting Bar is an innovative San Francisco resource — where tasting small portions of multiple good beers and talking about them is allowed and encouraged. This was the first bottle shop in the state licensed to allow tasting of beers. Wine tasting rooms are an old standard, so it is amazing that this took so long. You can buy a bottle and try it in the shop before deciding to buy another single bottle, a sixpack or a case. The carry-out selection is at least on a par with other San Francisco favorites of ours; Healthy Spirits and The Jug Stop as well as Ledger’s Liquors in Berkeley, and often has items you will find no place else. With the October, 2011, expansion they now have a total of 15 taps and a larger bar and seating area. There is also a planned small room for private parties. The tasting menu – plus cheese plates if requested – can often serve as an ever-changing master course in beer comparison.
City Beer is very social, but it is not a bar scene. For one thing it’s not open late, currently (Spring 2011) they are open noon until 10:00 pm, Tuesday thru Saturday, noon to 6:00 pm on Sundays. They are closed Mondays.
Extras: Good restaurants can be found across the street and nearby. You can bring pizza and other takeout food in, or even have it delivered.
1168 Folsom Street
San Francisco • (415) 503-1033
Map from BART
Get off at Civic Center. Walk down 8th Street, (you could walk down 7th, but you may find 8th less daunting, especially in the evening). Just take 8th Street southeast from Market Street (into SOMA, the South of Market neighborhood.) Turn left off 8th onto Folsom and look for the basement-level shop at 1168 Folsom.
Official Civic Center Station and connecting transit info.