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San Fernando

Taco Flavored Beer is Here, But it’s not Coming to Los Angeles

11:45 AM PST on December 9, 2013


Our friends up north clued us in to "Taco Hands IPA", a limited edition beer run with flavors inspired by tacos. Intrigued, we reached out to one of the founders, Connor Casey, to find out more about this ultimate taco-lifestyle combination. We were shocked and saddened to find that the beer is only available in San Francisco. If you've tasted this brew, please leave us a comment. If you're a brewer in Los Angeles working on something similar, please reach out.

What's the brief history of Cellarmaker Brewing?
Cellarmaker opened on October 8th, 2013. We are a small brewery in San Francisco started by two young beer enthusiasts with a history in the beer industry.

What's your connection to the LA area?
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley.

What are some of your favorite taco places, and what do you order?
Taqueria Cancun and Taqueria Farralito in the Mission District of San Francisco as well as Nopalito if you want some high end tacos! All of these taquerias have tacos that are out of control delicious. Especially after a night of crushing beers! Both of Nopalito's restaurants actually have Taco Hands IPA on tap this week!

Tell us the story on how Taco Hands was thought up and eventually created?
It all started as a joke that an exhausted, slightly hungover Tim, Kelly and Connor came up with on the way back to Boston from Hill Farmstead. The subject of funny beer names came up and someone, they’re not really sure who, said it would be hilarious if Tired Hands brewed a beer called “Taco Hands.” Taco hands is the state of having taco smelling hands for hours after eating tacos no matter how much rigorous scrubbing they see. This silly joke kept them roaring for hours (they were deliriously tired).

Fast forward a few months. Jean from Tired Hands was texting Tim and asking how Cellarmaker was doing. After bringing each other up to date on their respective projects, Tim made mention of the Taco Hands concept, presenting it as a joke beer Jean should brew. If you know Jean he has a proclivity for using spices in beers, so this joke instantly sparked his imagination. A fury of texts back and forth outlined the skeleton of a taco inspired beer. It was too good. Jean said he and his wife Julie were buying plane tickets for California. This was a joke no more.

On Friday Novemeber 15, Cellarmaker and Tired Hands brewed Taco Hands. So what is it? Well it’s a conceptual beer inspired by the king of street food. The base recipe is an IPA with a significant portion of corn in the form of flaked maize and taco shells. It is spiced with cumin, corriander, black pepper, sea salt, pasilla chiles, cilantro and the zest and juice of 140 limes. For hops we chose Citra and New Zealand Motueka to complement the floral, spicy, citrusy aspects of the beer.

What was the biggest challenge in creating the world's first taco flavored beer?
Adding spices that could easily become overpowering and using them in the right amounts in a way that would not throw the beer out of balance and focus solely on one of those ingredients. The flavor is a blend of all of these ingredients subtly incorporated.

Who are some of the other brewers/breweries you see as peers, or inspirations or both?
Tired Hands Brewing Company, Sante Adairius Brewing Company, Hill Farmstead Brewery, Russian River Brewing Company, Avery Brewing Company, The Rare Barrel, La Cumbre and Evil Twin.

When can people in LA drink Taco Hands beers?
Never. We only made 17 kegs of the taco beer and half of it has been distributed to beer bars and taquerias in San Francisco and the other half is available in our tasting room. Sorry hombre!

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