Cellarman’s American Pub will soon receive some financial assistance from the Sherman Economic Development Corp. for its planned retail brew pub expansion that will see the business adding four new jobs.


The SEDCO board of directors approved a one-year operating agreement for $19,000 Tuesday to assist the local restaurant with its plans to convert its current location at 2130 Texoma Parkway into a retail brew pub.


“They’re going to be starting a new brewery, much like when 903 (Brewers) got started, and will be developing their own recipes and beer,” SEDCO President John Plotnik said. “They will be purchasing and installing $380,000 worth of equipment to produce a new beer in Sherman and they will be also hiring four additional employees.”


Cellarman’s owner Randy Derzapf said construction work is likely to start in the next month with a goal of the brew pub being up and producing beer by the end of the summer. Plotnik explained since Cellarman’s will be producing and manufacturing a product, it qualified for funding from SEDCO for 5 percent of the business’ $380,000 investment, which is how the corporation got the $19,000 payment.


“Our grant dollars are performance based, so not until we are able to see the invoices and kick the equipment do we write the check,” Plotnik said.


Derzapf said his plans for Cellarman’s are a little bit different than what 903 Brewers has done locally.


“We’ve been in business for 18 years and this is kind of an enhancement to our pub,” Derzapf said. “We’re not going to change the way Cellarman’s is, as far as the food, and we’re still going to offer a variety of outside craft beers. We’re just going to enhance our offering by brewing a large portion of our beers.”


Derzapf said Cellarman’s brewery is going to focus more on brewing for the pub and its customers.


“We’ll do a small amount of packaged sales, bottles and cans, down the road,” Derzapf said. “But our main focus is really for the pub and the local market. It’s not to be a large brewery or a microbrewery, it’s really to just enhance our offerings.”


Cellarman’s received site plan approval and a specific use permit for the retail brew pub in December from Sherman’s Planning and Zoning Commission, as well as a separate site plan for a working galvanized grain silo on the lot that would be between the current restaurant and Peyton Street next to its patio area.


Derzapf said in December that the 1,400-square-foot addition, which will be attached to the back of the existing restaurant along Peyton Street, will add a clear view of the brew equipment to let customers experience the brewing process. In addition to brewing beer, Derzapf said Cellarman’s will expand its craft soda offerings, bringing back a creme soda its previously produced and adding other varieties.


Derzapf was instrumental in the recent change in Sherman’s liquor laws, organizing the group Sherman for Progress to petition to get a local option election called and successfully campaigning for voters to remove all alcohol sales restrictions.


“We’re going to start with one at a time, but we plan to have five (beers) year round, and then four seasonal beers and a few specialty beers,” Derzapf said. “And we’ll let the customers kind of determine which beers we keep on throughout the year. We’re not really focusing on package sales and cans and having to brew a huge amount of one beer. We get to actually do a little more variety and if the customers like it, great, we’ll keep doing it. If not, we’ll move on to something else.”