Beer Levels Rising: First Look at Cellarmaker Brewing Company, Hopwater Distribution, and Blueprint Coming Soon


The bar and taps at Cellarmaker Brewing Company. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©


Interior at Cellarmaker. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©

A report by Dana Massey-Todd. As previously mentioned in tablehopper, SoMa is getting a new brewery soon. ~CELLARMAKER BREWING COMPANY~ comes from partners Connor Casey (of Marin Brewing and City Beer Store, plus Fritz Winery and Press Club) and brewer Tim Sciascia (previously Marin Brewing, and Samuel Adams before that). Rather than having house recipes that are always available, they’re planning to have a constantly changing selection of things they like and want to experiment with. They’ll be brewing big flavors, like stouts aged in bourbon barrels, hoppy IPAs, sour beers with seasonal fruit, and saisons. They have 12 taps, and will keep their production small, so that they can continuously try new things. There isn’t a kitchen; instead, they’re planning to host a different food truck in front of the taproom each evening. This all keeps with their small, local focus, as well as their ever-changing approach.

The space used to be a garage, and they’ve kept the quintessentially SoMa exposed brick, high ceilings, and roll-up garage door in front. The L-shaped walnut bar seats 14, and high tables of wood and natural steel accommodate an additional 35 people. All the woodworking was custom-done by local folks, and the space feels warm and comfortable. In the back, the brewing equipment is brand-new and shiny, and visible through a glass wall. The idea is that brew fiends can see the space and check out the process, but it keeps the bar area from feeling too much like a factory. They’ve also got a large piece from Los Angeles-based artist Eliot Saarinen made of wood and pint glasses.

They are hoping to get their permit squared away any day now, and then they can start brewing. They can brew four batches at a time; the first four will be a porter, an IPA, a pale ale, and a sour ale with seasonal fruit. If everything goes according to plan, they hope to be opening the second week of October; for updates, check out their Facebook page and Twitter feed. Hours will be Tue-Wed 3pm-11pm, Thu-Fri 3pm-12am, Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-6pm. 1150 Howard St. at 7th St., 415-863-3940 (phone should be hooked up in the next couple of weeks).

Grub Street reported back in February that Nob Hill is getting a new place for the suds too. ~HOPWATER DISTRIBUTION~ is the newest project from Sky Wegman, Chris Barry (both of Dogpatch Saloon, 83 Proof), and Jon Guinea (of Wood Tavern in Oakland). The new spot will have 32 beers on tap, all from California, and a list of California wines as well. Bruce Paton is consulting on the menu of inventive comfort food, which will include small bites for sharing in the evenings, and brunch on the weekends. They’re hoping to do lots of special events with a beer focus, including food and beer pairing dinners and hosting visiting brewers. The space is still under construction, but when completed will include a patio for warm days, exposed brick, and skylights. Right now, they are hoping to open in November, but that is pending construction and final inspections. 850 Bush St. at Taylor.

Then, down in the Design District is ~BLUEPRINT TAP ROOM~, which we reported on a few weeks ago and is opening this Thursday September 12th, according to a Facebook post (though we weren’t able to get confirmation). To recap, Chris Wong, previously of Social Kitchen & Brewery and Luella, is running the kitchen. You’ll find comfortable pub food, like crisp black-eyed peas, a chopped salad, barbecued chicken thighs, and a burger; check out the menu here. They’ll have 20 beers on tap, including choices from Anchor, Drake’s, and Social, plus a small selection of wine. They’ll also be open in the afternoons serving Blue Bottle coffee and dessert. Hours are Mon-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri 11am-10pm, and Sat 12pm-10pm, closed Sunday. 680 8th St. #170 at Brannan, 415-796-2493.