SAN FRANCISCO — If the Allman Brothers’ music transformed into craft beer, Harmonic Brewing‘s beers are what you’d get.
Since opening in August of last year, the Dogpatch neighborhood brewery has firmed its reputation as a unique and fresh presence in the Bay Area beer scene — with house favorites like their clean and soft grain Kolsch, a citrusy and cocktail-inspired Rye Old Fashioned Pale, and a Cold Press Stout on nitro that is truly the craft beer equivalent of an artisan ice coffee pour.
Striving for the same balance in composition and network of followers the Allman Brothers were known for, Harmonic’s approach to recipe building and beer slinging is largely based on fanbase feedback for what’s most popular.
“We don’t really want to determine anything; we want our beer fans to see what they like,” Co-Founder Ed Gobbo said. “Right now the Kolsch is selling the most of any of our beers. It’s crisp, clean and not what some breweries would usually have as their flagship — usually the hoppiest of bigger alcohol — but we kind of like that the Kolsch is what everybody loves.”
The three owners — Ed Gobbo, Jon Verna and Eric Tisch — all from different careers (engineering, advertising and a former Avery brewer, respectively), came together with a common vision of a brewery that was easy-going, community oriented, based on good relationships with their clientele, and true to their identity. Both Gobbo and Verna play in a band together and routinely frequent music shows since moving to SF.
“The timing was right for the city,” Verna said. “We all thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have our own slice of town; bringing good beer and quality to people, a little more unpretentious and more subdued, with a neighborhood kind of feel?'”
Walk into Harmonic’s taproom and you’ll notice the openness they intended: an open view to the production area, musical motifs abound, and a friendly atmosphere from the co-founders who all work the taps and are happy to talk beer.
Balance is a theme consistently spread throughout their lineup of beers. Even their pale ales and IPA counteract bitterness with a quenching malt backbone — easy to win over both hopheads and those not usually into the hoppy genres.
“Balance is a word we like,” said Gobbo. “We’re not entering our beer into any contests, we don’t want to necessarily wow your mouth of the first sip. We prefer to wow you halfway through and make you think, ‘Wow, I want to try another one.'”
It’s possible that Gobbo was being humble, as not only are Harmonics’ beers impressive upon the first sip, but their complexity in subtle flavors shine through as you make your way through the glass. It’s this balance between making clean beer and offering enough flavors to tickle the senses, that make Harmonic’s beers compose a sweet tasting melody.