Fans of Cellarmaker’s soft, pillowy pale ales and juicy IPAs can now find them in a new, second home: Cellarmaker House of Pizza. The added outpost at 3193 Mission Street is a lateral expansion for the SoMa-based brewery that won’t drastically increase its output of beer. But with a full kitchen, it offers something Cellarmaker’s original taproom can’t: A bite to eat.
“Beer always tastes better with food,” says Connor Casey, Cellarmaker’s CEO, who founded the brewery in 2013 with COO Kelly Sciasca and director of brewing and blending Timothy Sciascia.
For a food menu in keeping with the spirit of Cellarmaker’s playful beer, executive chef Michael Malyniwsky developed a recipe for Detroit-style pizza, a fluffy, square pie with crisp, caramelized cheese edges. And while it might offend a small number of Detroit pizza purists, Malyniwsky is taking his cues from the Bay Area, not Michigan.
“Obviously we’re in California, so we’re using everything we have in California,” says the chef, who tops his pies with local toma, “the king of cheeses,” rather than the typical Detroit-style Wisconsin brick cheese.
On the menu: Detroit “red top” ($16) with mozzarella, toma, tomato, and oregano; classic ($20) with pepperoni; and sausage and peppers ($20) with pickled peppers, onion, and house made Italian sausage.
For something even less traditional, there’s a white pizza ($22) with mozzarella, toma, pecorino tartufo, red onion, hen of the woods mushroom, confit garlic, and black truffle. And beyond pizza, customers can find seasonal salads and sides like a little gem Caesar, a roast winter squash plate, and a bowl of “millionaire’s Brussels sprouts” — a healthier spinoff of the locally popular brunch dish made with bacon, pepper flakes, honey, and lemon.
Cellarmaker’s team tweaked the layout and seating at 3193 Mission Street (with room for 49) and improved aspects of the space like the sound system. They also upgraded the four-barrel brew system, which is smaller than Cellarmaker’s original 10-barrel system at 1150 Howard Street. Aaron Wittman will be head brewer at the new location — he started in on his first batch of beer this week — and Jeffrey Fisher is the new location’s general manager.
Cellarmaker House of Pizza offers 14 taps of beer, with 9 to 11 of Cellarmaker’s own: Right now, there’s Dobis, a citra hopped pale ale, imperial Coffee and Cigarettes, a rich, 12% ABV smoked porter with Sightglass Toketee coffee, and Lost Wisdom, a yeasty solera saison.
In a first for Cellarmaker, whose SoMa brewery serves only its own beers by law, there’s room for guest beers at Cellarmaker House of Pizza, which operates under a different liquor license. Current visitors are Sante Adairius (Capitola), Alvarado Street (Monterey), and Highland Park Brewery (LA). In the future, says Casey, expect hard-to-find beers from Cellarmaker’s friends from out of state.
There’s also a short but interesting wine list, with seven options by the glass and bottle. Right now, it’s pinot noir from Whitcraft in Santa Barbara, gamay from Domaine des Duc, orange rosé from Purity Wines, and Sonoma Coast pinot from Claypool Cellars (the winery operation of Primus bassist and vocalist Les Claypool).
As Cellarmaker grows up, it’s also started to age and bottle more beers, and there’s a whole fridge full of them at the new Cellarmaker: Bottles from past years like Moon Sisters, a mixed-culture ale made with Watsonville blackberries, and the Vastness of Space, an imperial stout aged in Breckenridge Distillery Bourbon Barrels for 18 month.
“Each beer has a story to tell,” says Casey. They’re trying to keep old favorites in stock, but it’s not supposed to just sit there. What’s the point?
“Beer’s for drinking,” Casey says.
Cellarmaker House of Pizza is now open daily (except Tuesdays) from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.