And so my Bay Area trip came to a close with a visit to Cellarmaker Brewing, and I have to say it was an excellent finish. They’d opened about two months previous, and I didn’t know much about them. One of their beers was on tap at the new Mikkeller Bar in the Tenderloin, which was a good sign. They weren’t too many people in the taproom when I showed up on a Tuesday afternoon. I parked my carry-on under one of the tables, ordered a taster flight, and was promptly blown away. Loved everything they had on tap. They’re making some of the best beer in SF.

Update! October 6, 2015: Went back for a second visit on my January 2015 Bay Area trip and got eight more tastes. Visited in the evening this time, and it was quite crowded. Good vibe, but I’ll have to remember to go in the afternoon next time. As I type this update, they’re celebrating their second anniversary. It’s a week-long event, and once again I’m wondering why I’m not down there. Will have to put the date on my calendar for next year, I guess.

This beer makes me want to move back to SF.

Seven tasters of awesomeness at Cellarmaker Brewing — San Francisco, CA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Many Blessings – 4.7% – Saison. Lemony, dry, kinda grainy, a touch tart, with tropical fruit notes. Bit of a tannic finish.
  • Hop Making Sense! – 6.4% – Fun mix of citrus, guava, herbal, melon hop flavors. Light malt base. Some bitterness on the finish.
  • Admiration IPA – 6.3% – Big grapefruit and tropical fruit aroma and flavors. Light malt, bitter finish, a touch dry.
  • Cellarmaker Porter – 4% – Dry, with coffee, chocolate, and roasty maltiness. Light citrus edge.
  • Blammo! – 14.5% – Imperial stout with coconut. Big. Intense coffee, chocolate, alcohol, molasses. Light coconut on the finish. Appropriate name.
  • Bourbon Barrel Vastness of Space – 11% – Barrel aged for 13 months. Bourbon and chocolate aroma and flavors. Smooth and rich, with molasses sweetness and fairly big oaky vanilla aspect.
  • Coquette – 4.2% – Grisette, a wheat saison. Bready, a little funky, with some lemon and light spiciness. Light and refreshing.
  • Taco Hands IPA – 7.2% – 57 ITU’s (International Taco Units). Collaboration with Tired Hands Brewing of Pennsylvania. Made with light cumin, coriander, cilantro, pepper, pasilla chile, lime zest and juice. Mashed with corn and corn tortilla shells. “This beer should suck, but is actually super drinkable.” Yup. Lots of cool spiciness and citrus and fruit. Unique and awesome.
  • Questionable Origins #2 – 6.1% – Big tropical fruit hop blast, with light citrus and spicy hops, as well. Guess there’s some malt, too. Good lingering bitterness.
  • Cage Free IPA – 6.4% – Big citrus, tropical fruit, and light piney hop flavors. Underlying rye spice. Zingy lingering bitterness.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dank? – 8.5% – Even bigger tropical fruit hop flavor party. Some spicy and piney hops, too. Lovely lingering flavors.
  • Jezebel – 7.5% – Cloudy, fruity, lightly funky saison. Really smooth, with bits of sweetness to dry and lightly bitter finish.
  • Peach Nightmare – 4.7% – Light, lingering wheat sour with just enough peach flavor. Could drink this all day.
    The Rest

  • Saison des Flandres – 5.9% – Collaboration with Brasserie Thiriez. Good saison base with herbal hops to bitter finish.
  • Tim’s Brown – 6.4% – Coffee and chocolate with some roastiness. Bit of floral and piney hops at the end. Interesting.

As I’m finishing up this post, Cellarmaker is celebrating their first anniversary. It was tempting to fly down and help them celebrate by drinking more of their beer. Yeah, why am I not down there? Will have to head back to the Bay Area again soon.

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