Sidellis Lake Tahoe Brewery and Restaurant to feature creative beer lineup
February 25, 2016
At Sidellis Lake Tahoe Brewery and Restaurant, it's all about the beer.
The new business on Sandy Way in South Lake Tahoe opened in early January and was already attracting a healthy following, with a bar full of patrons and more than a few tables of people perusing the food menu on Friday, Jan. 8.
"Beer first, then everything else," said Chris Sidell, one of the establishment's five owners, of the brewery's philosophy.
Sidellis (a combination of Sidell's and husband Ellwood Ellis' last names, pronounced with a "sid" rather than a "side") is a passion project for its owners, with each contributing to a different aspect of the operation. The passion lies both in beer and life at Lake Tahoe.
"We're all Tahoe locals," Sidell said. "We love living here. It's a good way to stay here."
Sidell and Steve Canali, Sidellis' head brewer and a co-owner, share the responsibility for the brewery part of the equation, with Sidell more focused on the science of brewing and Canali tasked with the art of crafting delicious suds. A serial associate-degree recipient from Lake Tahoe Community College, Sidell recently received a viticulture and enology degree from the University of California, Davis, and relishes opportunities to bust out the microscope to check out things like yeast counts, while Canali compared brewing beer to a seemingly unrelated passion of his — wildlife photography. Both pursuits require patience and a dedication to craft, Canali said. The reward from each comes when you see others enjoying the work.
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Canali has been brewing beer for 10 years and is looking forward to being able to create truly unique beers he hopes people will love.
"It's a dream come true," Canali said of operating the brewery. "It's a whole different world for me."
The brewery has a relatively small system that will allow Sidellis to get creative with its offerings and try new things, Canali said.
An amber ale, brown-style porter and hefeweizen are among the brewery's current options, and a pale ale and India pale ale are on the way. Canali said he's especially excited about being the first brewer in the area to do sour beers, something he's already received positive feedback on. He expects at least one sour recipe to become a mainstay among the brewery's tap handles, which should rotate frequently.
"We're always going to be working on something new," Canali said.
Keeping everything as local as possible, from the bread to the atmosphere, is another focus for Sidellis' owners. Sidell described the brewery's simple, inviting space as Tahoe cabin meets industrial. The business features a no-nonsense, affordable food menu that will expand over time, Sidell said, reiterating Sidellis' prime directive.
"I don't want people to come here for the food," Sidell said. "I want them to come here for the beer."
The brewery is currently going through a soft opening, with hours from 12-9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hours are expected to expand in the future.
Sidellis is located at 3350 Sandy Way, behind the California Department of Motor Vehicles building in South Lake Tahoe.
More information is available at http://www.sidellis.com.