tennisjoel (32) Rochester, Minnesota | November 22, 2006| Updated May 6, 2008
Walked to the 4th street location from Union Square when I was here for business back in 2005. I was referred to Whole Foods by ElGaucho. It did not disaapoint. Many Stone products I can’t get back home, as well as North Coast, Bear Republic, Speakeasy, Russian River, to name a few. I also got my hands on a bottle of La Folie for $12.99, which I found out later is a really decent price. One other thing to mention is that the beer guy there was extremely helpful for a ratebeer newbie that I was at the time.
I would have never known this was here if it wasn’t for the Ratebeer map. I never shop at Whole Paycheck anyway unless there is a specific beer that I need but this is not visible at all from Van Ness. They have a parking lot underneath the store which is nice. You enter the store either through the parking lot or through a coffee house below. In the middle of the store is where they keep the beer, as evidenced by the stack of Goose Island cases on the end cap. The selection is decent at best. Not the most impressive Whole Foods, though it’s not bad. Like all Whole Foods they lean towards California-made options with some eclectic imports. I saw AleSmith, Stone, Anchor, Lagunitas, Drakes, Marin, Speakeasy, Firestone, etc. I also saw Chimay, Delirium, Urthel, Scaldis, Rochefort, Dupont, and Mikkeller among others. The “eclectic” choices I referred to include some Norweigen and Spanish beers. Oh, and they have Pliny. You can certainly find something good here, though it may not be the dream selection that you were hoping for. Prices are reasonable.
This may be the most diverse bottle selection in SF. Prices are high but that’s in line with every other Whole Foods I’ve ever been to. It’s hard to find anyone that knows anything about beer to answer questions.
Sub par beer selection, that said I could have found some stuff worth getting, but really nothing jumped at me. Compounded with the fact that beer dude just came off as a shitty guy, not a great experience. Pretty much a pass in comparison to whole foods SoMa, not to mention the wonder that is Healthy Spirits or City Beer Store.