The City Beer Store & Tasting Bar changed the California beer world 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. They now have a total of 15 taps. 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.
City Beer is very social, but it is not strictly a bar scene. For one thing it’s not open late. Check the hours on their website.
Extras: You are one short block from Cellarmaker Brewery. Go up Rausch Street to find them. Good restaurants can be found across the street and nearby. You can bring pizza and other takeout food in, or even have it delivered. Many fine beer releases and special events take place here.
1168 Folsom Street
San Francisco • (415) 503-1033
Exit BART through the exit labeled B2. 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.