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 other San Francisco favorites — Healthy Spirits and The Jug Stop — and often has items you will find no place else.
The City Beer Store, on Mission Street, closed as of June 2022, due in large part to the pandemic. It is now located on Valencia St in the Mission District at its previously shuttered Amnesia music venue and bar. It is smaller than the Mission St. site, offering fewer indoor seats, taps, and coolers, but still offers a robust selection. There is a parklet for outdoor seating and there are no TVs.
Extras: Valencia St. bustles with a wide array of restaurants, bars and shops. Large parts are closed to automobiles on weekend evenings. Great beer options are available at Monk’s Kettle, Standard Deviant Brewing, Crafty Fox, and Zeitgeist within easy walking distance.
853 Valencia St., San Francisco • (415) 503-1033
Exit BART and walk south (away from downtown) 3 1/2 blocks to City Beer Store between 19th and 20th Sts.
Official 16th St Station and connecting transit info.