Saturday, May 18, 2013

CITY BEER STORE JUST TURNED SEVEN

In 2006, I sadly admit that I scoffed at the idea that San Francisco's CITY BEER STORE would survive long enough to see its 2nd anniversary, let alone its seventh. When I heard that a store that sold ONLY BEER, good beer, "microbrews", was opening up in my home city back then, I was so psyched and excited that I immediately emailed store proprietor Craig Wathen and proposed an interview with my then-blog Hedonist Beer Jive. He was kind enough to comply. I mean I was naturally going to support this place – but an all-beer store, on a quiet block of Folsom Street without a lot of foot traffic? Nah, no one's gonna go there. Man, I hope Craig doesn't lose his life savings on this boondoggle.

Here we are in 2013, and it's clear why I'm not an entrepreneur and tea-leaf reader. Craig and his wife Beth not only caught the craft beer wave as it was just starting to swell, they built a magnificent store (and bar) that you couldn't help but love. The owners are great people; they'll talk to you about beer, life and a life in beer as long as you'd like, provided there aren't 5 people standing behind you waiting to grab a glass of some bizarre rarity they've got on draft. Back when the store was much smaller than it is now, that was pretty much the way it was once word got out how fantastic this place was. They had a big expansion a few years ago, more than tripling in size, and now it's possible to heave your chest forward and take a breath if you need to.

The people they hire are friendly and knowledgeable, the beer that's stocked in uniformly first-rate, and the brewers that they get exclusives from – like this weekend's anniversary beer brewed by ALPINE BEER – are phenomenal. Kudos and congrats to Craig & Beth for proving me wrong and for thriving into their 7th year.

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