For a while now I’ve been meaning to get over to a new-ish beer store in San Francisco called “City Beer“.
At Folsom near Eighth, it isn’t a part of the city I really get to all that often. South of Market, but in the sort of no-man’s land between Market and the freeways.
Anyway, it’s kind of an interesting idea. A sort of cross between a beer store and a bar. Hmmm… Doesn’t really feel like a bar. Well, maybe a beer store and a small cafe. Or like something you’d set up in your basement if you really liked beer. It’s comfortable.
They sell beer by the bottle and by the six pack. You can either buy the beer and take it home or drink it there. They also have a small menu of food items of charcuterie and cheeses which they will serve with bread. Unusually, they also have beer on tap. And even more unusually, they’re recently started a program they are calling the “traveling keg”. There are all sorts of beers around the country that are just not distributed in California. How to get around that and have them available to sample? But a keg. Ship it to the brewery. Have them fill it and ship it back to the store. Sort of like a really big growler.
They have an interesting and esoteric selection of beers. A lot of Belgian Beer and a lot of American craft beer. Currently an unusually large selection of Norwegian craft beers, especially since there are only about 2.
Out of the 6 beers they had on tap Saturday, (Allagash Four, Russian River Pliny the Elder, Deschutes “The Dissident”, Jolly Pumpkin Brewing Company Calabaza Blanca, New Belgium Abbey Grand Cru, and Allagash Black,) we opted to try the Deschutes Brewing‘s “The Dissident“. Deschutes say it is a “Oud Bruin, Flanders-style sour brown ale” flavored with cherries. It’s not as dry or tart as something like a Rodenbach Grand Cru, but it is a very tasty American take on this style of beer. The cherries, especially are relatively cunningly deployed, showing up in the middle tastes and finish, but not dominating the beer. Especially well hidden is the fact that the Alcohol is about 9%!
City Beer Store is an interesting experiment. Even if it is a bit out of the way, it is definitely worth checking out to pick up an unusual bottle or two of beer and sample one of the delicious beers on tap.