The Almanac Beer Company was founded in 2010 by Jesse Friedman and Damian Fagan.
Farm-to-barrel brewing is about selecting the best in locally sourced fruit and blending it into beers inspired by the great brewing traditions of the world. We aim to create something special and uniquely Northern Californian. Jesse and Damian collaborated to found the Almanac Beer Company—a brewery dedicated to producing seasonal artisan ales, brewed specifically to complement local cuisine sourced and prepared with the same great care and craft.
We came to the brewing world by way of homebrewing. For years in our respective San Francisco apartments we’d brew five gallon stove-top batches, developing a passion for crafting unique and unusual beers unavailable commercially. Using farmer’s markets as the launching pad for many unique homebrews, we knew right away we were on to something. We’ve taken that passion and adventurous spirit and decided to brew on a larger scale with the hope of sharing our vision with our community. Each harvest we partner with a different Northern California farm to supply the fruit used for our next brew. Every beer is a collaboration between us and the local terroir.
How we make our craft beers:
Before brewing ever begins, we collaborate on ideas for interesting, unusual and seasonal beers. Once we’ve settled on that idea, we carefully select our partner farm—focusing on small family run operations, just like us. Then we start with the basics.
Water, malt, yeast and hops are combined to create a balanced beer with equal parts sweet and bitter. Then the fruit is added, so that the hungry yeast can eat the sugars in the fruit as well. This creates a beer that has all of the flavors of the fruit, without overbearing sweetness. All of our base recipes are rooted in, but not limited to, classic beer styles and brewed in small batches.
For our barrel aged beers, the beer is racked into oak barrels. The beer—alive inside the barrels—continues to evolve during this secondary fermentation. The beer absorbs hints of toasted vanilla and oak from the barrel, and melds with fruits we sourced from local farms.
When ready, our beers are released to our favorite local restaurants and retailers to be enjoyed with food and friends. Almanac beers are excellent fresh, or can be cellared for years to allow the flavors to evolve in the bottle.
Can I visit the brewery?
Not yet, but hopefully someday soon. We produce our beer through “partner” brewing (or, if you’re feeling romantic, “gypsy brewing.”) This means we brew our beer at a local brewery, under their license. This allows us the creative freedom and access to create the kind of beers that would be otherwise impossible for us to share with you. We own the brand, the beer, and the recipes— just not the brewing equipment. Not yet anyway.