SOMA’s Cellarmaker Brewing Company just celebrated their 1 Year Anniversary and the lines were out the door to get in for the weekend celebration. It’s no surprise as the creation of Connor Casey and Brewmaster Tim Sciascia is making some of the most innovative beer we’ve seen in the Bay and beyond.
Casey runs the day-to-day and he’s youthful and unassuming. You can tell he loves beer, has a vision and is realizing it daily at the Cellarmaker facility on Howard St. A veteran of the wine industry, Marin Brew Co and City Beer Store, Casey with the help of Sciascia (whom he met at Marin Brew Co.) are doing everything they can to stand out. “Of our 100 first batches, 73 have been unique beers” Casey tells me. That’s kinda mind-blowing.
There’s really an absence of flagship beers, but their Coffee & Cigarettes Porter with smoked malt is about as close as they get right now. “We get just-roasted coffee from Sightglass (conveniently around the corner) to use in the batch.” The freshness comes through in the flavor and there’s currently an Imperial version of the brew right now, which recalls the fond flavors of a chocolate covered espresso bean (yes, it tastes as good as it sounds).
But for me, the thing that they really do well, is harness their hops to create complex and interesting flavors that make you come back for more. On tap right now, the Christopher Riwakan is a single hop pale that uses rare New Zealand Riwaka hops.
The Double Dobis IPA uses 100% Citra hops and the finished product is immaculate. It comes out kinda cloudy, which adds so much depth and character to the brew, without it tasting like the hop explosion that is typical of DIPA’s. It has an earthy aroma that hints of lemongrass and the output has a tropical quality that truly highlights all that is wonderful about Citra hops.
Do yourself a favor and hop over to Cellarmaker at 1150 Howard St and indulge. The beers are always rotating and they have a big TV for sports (it’s also killer pre/post-game spot for Giants games.) Cheers!