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Cellarmaker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Cellarmaker Brewing Co.Cellarmaker Brewing Co.
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BEER AVG
4.14/5
Based on:
128 Beers
2,668 Hads
Place Score: 97
Reviews: 45
Visits: 173
Avg: 4.45
pDev: n/a
Taps: 12
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar ]

1150 Howard St
San Francisco, California, 94103-3914
United States
phone: (415) 863-3940 | map
www.cellarmakerbrewing.com

Notes:
Place added by: danscott on 10-09-2013

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 45 | Visits: 173
Photo of rcamp28
4.78/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Awesome little spot! Randomly found this place while I was visiting off of a recommendation from the guys at City Beer Store and I'm really happy I stopped in. Every beer I had was great. Definitely a hidden gem and worth a visit. Only wish I could get their beers in South Florida!

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Photo of amano_h
4.87/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Cellarmaker is every beer geek's dream neighborhood brewery / brewpub. It's just unfortunate that the neighborhood in which it's located is not quite inhabitable by people who would most benefit from its existence.

By now, Cellarmaker's reputation far precedes it by leaps and bounds. It's notable, however, that Cellarmaker has achieved this without bottling a single beer and serving their deliciously concocted brews only to those who make the short trek in SoMa to visit their hallowed grounds (and the few places around the Bay Area that they "distribute" to, like the Rare Barrel) and without the RateBeer/BeerAdvocate/Untapp'd hype that other Bay Area breweries tend to get showered with.

You will hardly see any tap repeat in close proximity to its last appearance, but you almost wish it did; I haven't seen Tangarang, Coffee and Cigarettes, Tiny Dankster, and Original Dankster on tap more than twice in the 4 or 5 separate occasions I've been to Cellarmaker, yet they're all remembered and fondly talked about every time I go as if they're available everyday of the week.

Stirring the conversation back to my main point. Cellarmaker is super comfortable and was never designed to be big or house that many people. That being said, it's also located in SoMa so it's always flooded with people every time I visit, especially since their open times tend to lean towards later on in the afternoon. The staff is very helpful and not at all shy about beer suggestions or general conversations about beer in general; I think I had a 15 minute conversation about american hop additions during whirlpool for one of their heavily-hopped lagers with one of the bar staff at one time, which was a pleasant surprise.

I sense I'm still not getting my main point across, so I'll be more concise. The beer here is comparable to some of the more popular Bay Area destinations such as Lagunitas and Russian River, with the key difference being you can enjoy your brews without the risk of drunk driving across the Golden Gate Bridge. The food option here is somewhat limited, but you'll be in SoMa so good food is not very far from you at all. If you don't like tech yuppies / hipsters talking about their latest exploits on the interwebs, then I strongly suggest you come as early as possible else you'll find yourself drowning in obnoxious technobabble, but in the end, none of this will matter as soon as the bartender hands you a pint of some of the freshest, hoppiest beer you'll taste on this side of the Bay.

Sorry for not making too much sense in this review. Just make sure to make this place a pit stop while making the SoMa craft beer bar crawl (i.e. Mikkeller SF, City Beer, etc.) You won't be disappointed, I promise.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.03/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Visited on a Tuesday evening after dinner.

A - Small, minimalist but clean and bright. Crowded with no place to sit. 4

Sel - A wide selection of their beers, but mostly IPA-like beers. Had the Tiny Dankster. 3.75

Ser - 3.75

Q – Appropriate glasses were used. Temp seemed reasonable. 4.5

F - NA

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Photo of Coldstorage
3.93/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

The vibe is very much skewed towards what I find the less pleasant aspects of beer culture. Crowded as hell with new money beer geeks. Also really cant stand their sense of humour (Hops to the DOME, DANK Williams, DANK statement, etc) that kinda shamelessly panders to first year chumps and beer bros.

Quality of beer is through the roof. Cant argue with the results. Doing everything well in that dept.

They do a decent job of managing the sea of jerks.

Selection is weighted heavily towards hops, but the stout game is usually ok. (Always thought the name Cellarmaker was weird for a brewery that seems to be 90% hop forward beers and usually has between one and zero BA offerings)

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.38/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Long walk from the train station to find this place on a visit this summer...very glad I did. Cool but very small place, so get there early. Fab selection of great brews, including some highlights of my trip. Within SF, I haven't found a better place.
I should state that I came to the place when it was pretty dead. As more and more people came in, I am sure the quality of service went down.

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Photo of Magnum40s
4.87/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Great beers, Huey Lewis, easy parking. This should be the place you stop in the city if you want a really great beer. The IPA's are out of this world, the stouts are amazing! We have a bunch of beer bars in the city. This one has the best beer though.

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Photo of Barracudas
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

This is a very good stop for lovers of craft beer!

It has a very good selection of beers and it is very accessible from all public transportation choices.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.38/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

just a short walk from the mikkeller bar, if you dont mind a colorful couple of blocks, you can make a heck of a day in this part of this city, thats for sure. teeny tiny taproom here just a block off the beaten path. i was surprised how packed it was, standing room only, but probably 40 people is the most that could squeeze in here, something like that. small bar not too many seats there, but a colorful chalkboard menu displaying the days offerings, which were diverse and abundant. i had four beers here, with all of them being over the top delicious. contains nuts was one of the more unique brews out there, and the hoppy stuff was all simply sensational. its obvious that in a short time these guys have built quite a loyal following. growlers were being filled up at a frenetic pace, and the two or three bartenders had no chance of keeping up. they were still friendly and welcoming though, and i liked that they took such care. for how good the beer is, this place is shockingly unpretentious. everyone was cool, it felt like everyone there was in the know, like a club of beer people enjoying an undiscovered treasure. i know some hype is getting out there, but this is still a real humble operation and a place that should absolutely be on your san francisco bucket list!

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Photo of QuakeAttack
4.38/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

After an afternoon of hiking on a Sunday, my son and I hit Cellarmaker to relax and have a few beers before heading home. On a Sunday, parking on Howard wasn't a problem. While smaller than expected, it a nice layout with high ceilings and cozy tables. Good crowd which got to standing room only later in the afternoon. Mix of ages and pretty mellow. 12 choices on type of several different varieties with IPAs being center stage, but a nice variety of porters, English bitter, strong ales, and blonde ale.

Great addition to the SOMA area. We will be back!

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Photo of BDeibs
4.26/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

A nice selection of about 10 beers on tap. A nice variety of sizes available to be poured. A funky, but small room in a slightly strange part of SF, but overall nice beer with good quality across the board.

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Photo of James_Michaud91
4.45/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Great beers with an emphasis on all things hoppy and delicious. Slightly small space can fill up quickly and get a bit noisy/chaotic, but the beer is definitely worth it. Growlers available to go as well.

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Photo of Alequine
3.89/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

Cellarmaker Brewing Company is located in the San Fran neighborhood of SOMA with nothing else around it. I would think a hip spot like this would be in a neighborhood with restaurants and stores and such. The tasting room was . housed in a industrial modern warehouse setting with nicely done wooden bar and tables. Small place which easily can be overrun with people when busy. Well it wasn't so busy but when we arrived on a Tuesday evening the three tables available for patrons were being taken by people not drinking or drinking very little at all. Ordered a flight of 10 five ounce pours. A lot for a flight and I thought pricey at $23. Welcome to San Francisco. Read some positive reviews of this brewery so I was excited to be there until I started drinking the beer. I immediately noticed no stouts or porters on tap. It may be summer in San Francisco but a summer in San Francisco can be the coldest spring day. Cellarmaker you need a stout or a porter on the tap list. The beers that I did have were underwhelming except for a nut brown ale and one other that I don't remember as all of the other beers were underwhelming. Had Blonde Mom's, Contains Nuts, an English Bitter and two saisons lacking in aroma, mouth feel and finish.

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Photo of jrnyc
4.71/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

Visited this place 3 days in a row while in San Francisco for vacation, loved it!

The space is awesome, not too big, not tool small. High ceilings, brick walls, open air wall in front. Enough space at bar and at tables and stools away from bar.

Service was OUTSTANDING! Bartenders have great attitudes and super efficient.

I loved the Original Dankster, wish they had more IPAs on while I was there, but could have drank Original Dankster all night long.

Place is close to perfect.

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Photo of flexabull
4.33/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

I finally got a chance to visit Cellarmaker a few days ago.

Crowded and small place on Howard Street, packed on a week night, but I was served pretty quickly by a pleasant girl working the bar. Kind of bummed I had to stand the whole time I was there.

I tried two beers, a DIPA and a Pale, both were excellent, very tasty, and unique as well.

Selection was quite good. I believe they were a dozen beers with a pretty good variety of styles represented.

All in all, and outstanding place, would be nice if they had a bit more room.

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Photo of RoundTripper
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

always alot on the board. Pretty respectable selection. Always busy but never too crowded. Dig their selection- not mind blowing but better than average.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.64/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

ultra-friendly staff, really unique location (amazing they tucked a brewery away inside here), and beers that are really "on the mark"

keep your eye on these folks, they are doing great stuff

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Photo of Goldstar81
4.51/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

This might be my new favorite California brewery. I'm from Los Angeles but I used to live in SF before there were any real breweries here (sorry anchor steam). Arrived on a Friday at opening and there was a crowd of 20 or so waitng to be let in. You know it's gonna be good if there's a crowd. Parked myself at the bar and ordered 5 tasters: mocha and cigarettes, dank side of the moon, mo passion, new beer smell and ottos jacket. All stellar-mo passion was the standout for me. If you are a hop head and love a beautifully crafted, well constructed and balanced pale/ipa/dipa then run, don't walk to cellarmaker. Within 15 minutes the place was packed. Dank side and mocha were just released so that probably added to the crowd. Bring your empty (clean) growlers. These guys will fill just about any vessel that's from a brewery used to hold beer. One guy said he saw someone bring in a 1 gallon hydro flask from a brewery and they filled it. Definitely worth the trip-awesome place, awesome people, awesome beer. Expect big things from these guys.

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Photo of abaer123
3.99/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Even though my rating is not that high, for me, as a hop head, this is a go to. Their beverages are almost perfect in my opinion. I think they can do better in some other categories and they will in time.

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Photo of SFWD1934
3.8/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Very small place, but you will not be disappointed. Cellermaker does excellent beers. Very solid. Staff is usually very interactive with customers. I love the record player with all the vinyl available to play.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.65/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

I’ve grown to enjoy my visits to Cellarmaker over the past year and change, although I’ll be the first to admit I felt somewhat ambivalent at first. I think this is a combination of working out the opening-night quirks (not technically opening night, by the way—more like the early stages when they were working things out)—like server attitude and ambiance, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that I appreciate. I have a go-to beertender who I gravitate towards for her recommendations and raves, only because she’s yet to steer me wrong. That says a lot, especially because I am an infrequent visitor. But it’s things like that that make Cellarmaker such a treat to visit now. And the incredibly tasty beer only sweetens the deal.

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Photo of drew42e
4.73/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

The tasting room located in the SOMA district of San Francisco is a hidden gem. The word is starting to get out how good their beer are as people are coming from all over the Bay Area to experience them. Definite "beer geek" vibe, and I mean that as a positive. Very knowledgeable and friendly patrons, had a nice time talking to some on a recent visit. The space itself is a little small, and as their popularity grows I wouldn't be surprised if they needed to expand some.
They rotate about 8-10 beers on draft which you can generally get in several sizes from taster to pints depending on the brew. They are constantly changing up their line-up. Cellarmaker is very innovative, experimenting and mixing/matching various hops. They also will do things like making an APA, IPA and IIPA with similar hop profiles just changing the brewing technique. Or do single hop releases (Mt. Nelson Pale Ale comes to mind). Of the beers i've tried there hasn't been one that i didn't like and several have been just incredible. Double Dobis may be my favorite IIPA i've ever had. While they've have released many excellent beers, and while I love their experimentation and innovation, I think to get rated amongst the best they need a few flagship beers. And they are pretty young , so maybe they are still in that discovery stage, trying to craft that marquis brew. Lord knows its gonna be dank. But I want to tell my friends, get the Double Dobis at Cellar, but there's no guarantee they'll have it at that time (for example you know you can get Pliny at RRB).
They do growlers on many of their beers, but pretty much everything is on draft, they don't bottle their beers which is a little disappointing. Hopefully as they evolve this will change, as will them developing a flagship beer, which I really believe could elevate them to one of the elite brewers on the West Coast.

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Photo of chrisjws
4.63/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

I went there on a Saturday afternoon around 3pm. Stepping into the place made me feel like I was back in San Diego again. Nice decor, great vibe and overall very cool setup.

Every beer I had was excellent. Love the various IPAs and pale ales, so many great combinations of hops. Everything on the menu sounded interesting and everything I tried was 4+ star quality.

Service was good, it was a little packed and probably more people than two bartenders could really handle. When they attended to us they were on top of things, answered questions and had a nice setup for samplers (my pet peeve is places that give you 5 4oz pours then expect you to remember which one is which).

Selection was okay in that everything on the menu was pretty good. It was skewed very heavily towards IPAs and pale ales. I enjoy those styles but I also love to get to try some other styles as well. I enjoyed what they had, but a wider selection would have been cool. Also, maybe make some of the beers available in bottles instead of just growler pours.

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Photo of SFCraft
4.84/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Incredible things coming from this gem of a brewery here in San Francisco. Truly fantastic beer across all styles.

Quite small and often packed, I've caught myself standing every time I've gone to visit. Great vibe & top notch service to match.

Easily accessible via public transportation, a 5-10 min walk from the Civic Center Bart/Muni stations.

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Photo of dbannister
4.93/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Only reason I give selection a 4.75 is because there are no bottles and a lot of times, their best stuff can't be growlered....

This place is the best brewery in San Francisco currently (3/15). Its not the oldest, its not the biggest, but the beers they make are outstanding.

If you want to relax and enjoy a beer without too many people, make sure you go when they open. They get pretty crowded late in the day on weekends.

The brewery is only a block from City Beer and its pretty easy to find parking (very nice feature in the city). Pretty much all of their selection is high quality.

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Photo of erha2
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Friendly staff, great tap list. Only complaint was that they were not willing to open special bottles that I brought from the East Coast (maybe for legal issues). Not a big deal since its their loss.

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Cellarmaker Brewing Co. in San Francisco, CA
97 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.