Posts Tagged ‘city beer store’

three pours in the city

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

last week AP and I headed up to SF to celebrate her birthday.  the food and drink were great, but three pours in particular stood out:

 

  • location: city beer store
  • beer: ’10 oerbier reserva
  • comments: AP and I hadn’t been to city beer since their recent renovation/expansion, so we headed over to check out the new layout.  despite doubling in real estate, the place was packed on an early thirsday evening.  craig grabbed this bottle from their “store only” cooler and executed a perfect pour of this well-balanced malty/sour oud bruin while we discussed the recent increase in bottle shop/beer bar combos.

 

 

 

 

 

  • location: CB’s backyard
  • beer: ducato’s beersel mattina
  • comments: CB and I shared this bottle while waiting for the barbecue chimney to heat up some lump charcoal.  the sun was setting, the weather was perfect out, and this effervescent, aromatic blend of saison and lambic was a great accompaniment.  it’s a shame it had to follow up CB’s earlier pour of dupont’s cidre reserve, a spontaneously fermented cider aged in calvados barrels that absolutely blew me away and is now top on my cider list.

 

 

 

 

 

  • location: social kitchen and brewery
  • beer: house pils (a belgian brown was being poured while I took the shot)
  • comments: the last time AP and I were in this building, it was wunder brewing and the service and beers were all over the place.  social kitchen changed things up for the better and now provide great food and some tasty beers.  the bartender was very attentive and let us sample through the available brews before making a decision.  their pils was clean with a pleasant hoppy finish and went well with the burger and brussel sprout chips I ordered up.  this is a great option for everyone out in the inner sunset.

 

 

 

 

 

              

 

beer [pop] culture

Friday, March 5th, 2010

you know beer culture is nearing its peak of trendiness when:

  • there is a line snaking out of city beer store longer than one at a nightclub.
  • at 6:30pm.
  • on a thursday.
  • I mean, sure, it was a special dogfish head night (pouring sah’tea, theobroma, and burton baton), but shit, when I saw that line I started thinking that maybe sam himself was in there on the bar spraying people down with 120-minute or something.
  • I was stoked for craig and beth (they always have great beers and prices), but toronado seemed a little more my speed that night.
  • after the usual half hour test of my patience over at rosamunde, I screamed out “never again!” and ran over to memphis minnie’s, where they had me fixed up in a heartbeat.
  • CB, TB, and DW met up, and we conspired regarding rosamunde’s demise over moonlight’s misspent youth, a pale with great aroma, and some ’09 temptation.

pizza port bottle shop carlsbad

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

port bottle shop outside

my folks are fortunate enough to live a stone’s throw from pizza port in carlsbad, and whenever I am down for a visit I can’t resist the temptation to stop by.  when the pizza port bottle shop opened next door it just sweetened the deal.

  • the spot is very reminiscent of city beer store, although no food is served (not surprisingly) and there is a back patio to chill out at, although there aren’t any seats inside.
  • there is also no corkage fee here, whereas city beer charges $1 a pop (last time I checked).
  • the place is packed with great beers, and most all are chilled (for better or worse).  they seem to be mostly organized by region, so moving from cooler to cooler is like doing a little beverage globetrotting.
  • as I had hoped, a cooler by the register had plenty of port/lost abbey goodies, including 2 sizes of cuvee de tomme and angel’s share – too bad I didn’t have a wad of cash on me!
  • to top it off, I was shooting it with the cashier and found out he worked at the bruery.  I love how connected the beer scene is in CA (not to mention the rest of the US).
  • all in all, the pizza port bottle shop is not to be missed – it has plenty of bottles that are not available or hard to find up in SF, as well as friendly staff and locals.  I’m actually glad I don’t live nearby, or temptation would attack my wallet with a vengeance.

tables at port bottle shop

some of the booty at port bottle shop

the coolers at port bottle shop

anchor christmas ale 2009

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

anchor xmas ale

ever since the 2009 anchor christmas ale magnums popped up in stores I was itching to pick one up.

  • they were pretty inexpensive (>$15 from what I remember) and looked like a great gift/party idea.
  • however, I wasn’t too keen on the last few christmas ales from anchor, so I wanted to try a little taste before jumping in head first.
  • I found singles for sale somewhere (was it city beer?) and picked one up for a taste test, but before I got to try it i buckled and got a magnum for UD for his birthday.  it didn’t hurt that dave over at healthy spirits gave the ’09 a good review, so I had some faith going into it.  and, well, shit, any russian river offering short of blind pig or pliny costs more than this magnum, so it’s all relative…
  • anyhow, I’m glad I grabbed these bottles.  the brew has a super piney hop aroma with a smooth spicy malt back.  I can’t overemphasize the “piney-ness” here – it is very woodsy and earthy.  however, spiced beers get to me a little – I can’t really drink more than one or two of em.  this is a great example of a christmas “winter warmer.”

anchor xmas ale in the glass

anchor xmas ale in the glass v.2

moonlight artemis at city beer

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

the lineup at city beer

last weekend AP and I happened to be south of market, so we figured a trip to city beer store was called for.

  • we scored some great seats, whipped out a deck of cards, and scanned the beer list for something interesting on draft.
  • AP decided on schmaltz human blockhead, which was listed as a “sweet, malty lager,” but which maybe used lager yeast but didn’t have any lager characteristics beyond that.  it was definitely sweet and malty, like a sweet barleywine.
  • as usual, the moonlight offering on draft caught my eye.  I ordered up a pour of artemis, a gruit evidently bittered and flavored with mugwort/common wormwood and monarda.
  • when Craig, the proprietor, asked me if “I wasn’t sure I just wanted a taste first,” I knew it was going to be interesting.
  • the beer was very earthy and woodsy.  another guy at the bar turned to me and said, “pretty medicinal, huh?,” and I had to agree.  although the beer was very drinkable, I think one pour was quite enough to satisfy my curiosity (plus homeopathically cure any possible stomach ailments I may have had).
  • all in all, it was just another relaxing afternoon at city beer, with a little surprise thanks to Brian.  keep pushing the boundaries!

artemis and human blockhead

the tap list

one of many beer fridges

city beer store

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

at the taps

City Beer Store is one of my favorite places to grab a beer, mainly because I can sip on one of six taps while perusing an impressive bottle selection.  I wish more bottle shops were able to do this.

  • if you’re claustrophobic, I would recommend coming here at an off time or during the week.  the place isn’t that big and can get super crowded.  yesterday night (tuesday) all tables were full, but there were some seats available by the taps.  it’s not a big deal though, as I’m usually on my feet checking out their fridges or shelves.
  • I have also noticed that city beer has good prices compared to their competition.  many times I will go here to price out somewhat hard to find beers that are going for a few bucks more at other places.  the owners are great too, very friendly and accomodating.
  • CB started with the bruery’s hottenroth berliner weiss, which is a great example of the style.  word on the street is that they are planning on bottling this one, so that is something to keep an eye out for.
  • I ordered up a mini-flight of dogfish head palo santo marron 2008&2009.  the ’09 was a little hot, but not overwhelmingly so.  I dont normally drink  a lot of browns, but I’m glad these guys got poured, they were definitely tasty.
  • to finish off the night, a bottle of allagash victoria 2009 was popped.  when we ordered up the bottle, CB asked me what style it was, and I told him we’d have to figure it out firsthand.  However, after a few sips, I was still at a loss.  beer advocate labels it a “belgian strong pale.”  it was very drinkable (kinda sweet and fruity) with a floral aroma, but I  don’t think I’m gonna be stocking up in the near future.
  • the best part about drinking at city beer? I left with a fresh bottle of fantome saison, cantillon cuvee des champions, new belgium la folie, Brouwerij Van Steenberge’s monk’s cafe, and ichtegem’s grand cru!

palo santo flight

back fridge

allagash victoria

mobile tap/bottle list updates

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

taplister

I doubt I’m the only guy who walks into a beer bar in the city and wishes he had a tap/bottle list available on his cell phone.  I always manage to block traffic or invade someone’s personal space as I scan the taps/chalkboard/etc. for the right brew. Sometimes I panic and go for a safe bet, then kick myself when I see something interesting that I overlooked.

  • city beer store has the occasional email update, and dave over at healthy spirits updates his blog on a regular basis, but I think we still have a way to go in this area.
  • the thing is, the idea of a mobile tap broadcast isn’t new. check out taplister, a user-updated bar database that is accessible via SMS and twitter and is optimized for mobile access.  they even have a live video feed of a bar’s chalkboard.  only thing is, it’s available only in Portland at the moment, and I don’t think it gets updated that often (Higgins has zero beers on tap? hmmm…).  a basic rundown can be found here.
  • on top of that, there’s this affiliated program called beer signal that enables you to tell your friends where you are imbibing real-time so they can meet up.  this could be a great way to organize a city beer store session after work or to promote a happy hour.
  • I figure some beer lover in SF could easily throw together a mobile web app (and maybe an accompanying iphone app) for the city in the same vein as taplister, but with even more features.  individuals could update and view existing tap lists using their phones, and the app could even link existing taps to style descriptions or even beeradvocate ratings to allow for more informed beer selections.
  • i had also read somewhere that one or two individual bars in portland have released proprietary mobile programs where they update their beer selection.  I would definitley prefer a more universal application, but I wonder how long it will take before toronado, magnolia, or 21st amendment jump on board and start offering similar services…
  • for other somewhat interesting phone beer apps, check out here and here.

pannepot old fisherman’s ale 2007, grand reserva 2005

Friday, August 28th, 2009

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last night I cracked open a bottle of de struise’s pannepot old fisherman’s ale 2007, a great belgian quad.

  • this beer was impossible for me to find for years, nobody carried it.  I talked to Dave over at Healthy Spirits and he initially said it couldn’t happen, but one day I rolled in and it was on the shelf.  before I knew it city beer store was carrying it as well.  I grabbed the bottle off the shelf so fast I’m surprised it didn’t break.
  • I think this beer is definitely slept on, it’s one of my top quads but I’ve seen it on the shelves for many months.  maybe there is just a huge supply of it in SF these days?  either way, I’ve got a couple tucked away for safe keeping.
  • the 2007 was great, awesome carbonation and aroma, with a thick, boozy taste that is smooth but kicks your ass at the same time.  you definitely know you’re putting down a 10% beer with this one, but it’s not harsh.

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sipping on this quad brought me back a year to Brussels, specifically Delirium Cafe, where I ordered an oak-aged pannepot grand reserva 2005 downstairs in the bottle room.  when the bartender came back with the (last) bottle, dusted it off, and cranked out an expert pour, all while I was thumbing through their inches-thick beer list, I was stoked.  the beer was great too, one of my all-time favorites, loaded with fruit flavors and unbelievably complex.

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