An intriguing new brewery and tap room, from a pair of guys who’ve spent some time at both Marin Brewing Company and City Beer Store, is headed to Howard Street between 7th and 8th this summer. It’s called Cellarmaker Brewing Company, and the guy behind it is Connor Casey, who’s worked in both the wine industry, at Fritz Winery and Press Club, and for Marin Brewing Company, and brewer Tim Sciascia, who was previously assistant brewer at Marin Brewing Company and worked at Samuel Adams in Boston prior to that. Casey tells Grub Street that the plan is to have twelve beers on tap at any given time, with a focus on unusual beers using unique hops from around the world, and the selections will be constantly rotating. “We will rarely make the same beer twice,” he promises.
“I am really trying to make our beers as fun as possible in an age where I believe way too many breweries settle on four to six flagship recipes (Blonde, Amber, Pale…) and then just brew them around the clock without passion,” Casey says.
In addition to a variety of hoppy beers, the plan is do Belgian-style saisons, stouts aged in bourbon barrels, and sour beers aged in wine barrels with different fruit combinations — a few ideas they’re batting around are a sour blonde ale with pluots aged in Chardonnay barrels, a saison with brettanomyces (funky yeast) aged with freshly sliced peaches in a sauvignon blanc barrel, and a a sour brown ale aged with blackberries in Pinot Noir barrels.
As for the hops itself, Casey and Sciascia are reaching far and wide to source unique varietals, including some experimental hops from the U.S. hop breeding program. “I am a huge fan of the tropical white wine aromas that the Sauvignon Blancs of Marlborough, New Zealand give off,” Casey says, “And we have been fortunate to source some of the highly sought after Nelson Sauvin hops which have a very similar aroma to a crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.”
Brewing will be done on-site with a ten-barrel system in the back half of the large, industrial space. There are 25-foot ceilings, and at the front bar (see a rendering here) Casey hopes to evoke the garage-like vibe of similar tap rooms and brewpubs in San Diego and Portland. Beers will be available in small pours, pints, and one-liter swing-top growlers to go.
Though they won’t be serving food, they hope to invite a regular roster of food trucks to make appearances, much like the new Tank 18 up the street.
Right now, they are on track for a mid-summer opening, likely by late July, but stay tuned for an update as the opening approaches.
Cellarmaker Brewing Co. - 1150 Howard Street, between 7th and 8th - Opening July 2013