The City Beer Store & Tasting Bar changed the California beer world in 2006 by making a place where sipping small portions of multiple good beers and talking about them is encouraged, and you can grab a bottle to take home. This was the first beer bottle shop in the state licensed to allow tasting. Wine tasting rooms are an old standard, so it is amazing that this took so long. You either buy a bottle to try it in the shop before deciding to buy one to take home, or you enjoy draft-only selections. The carry-out choices are at least on a par with out other San Francisco favorites — Healthy Spirits and The Jug Stop — and often has items you will find no place else.
The new City Beer Store, now on Mission Street as of August, 2018, is much bigger and at street level. There a large bar and multiple seating options both inside and outside. The bottle shop has more cold storage and ample shelf space to offer an outstanding selection to drink in or take out. 30 taps and 2 hand pumps offer double the choice from the old store. There are no TVs.
Extras: The classic two-stop city craft crawl is still City Beer and Cellarmaker Brewery. (Now you simply walk back to 8th, turn left, left again on Howard.) Also nearby are Fermentation Lab, and The Beer Hall.
Note: As of early September, the food program has been suspended and is undergoing a revision. There may be periodic pop-ups in their kitchen until a new program is instituted.
1148 Mission Street
San Francisco • (415) 503-1033
Exit BART through the exit labeled B2. Walk down 8th Street, southeast from Market Street (into SOMA, the South of Market neighborhood.) Turn left off 8th onto Mission St. Walk until you pass 1160 Mission. Enter the gate in the long blue fence.
Official Civic Center Station and connecting transit info.
We prefer the 8th Street approach, but depending on where you emerge from BART, you may want to walk on 7th as Google Maps suggests: