When owners of Almanac Beer Company came up with the name Almanac, they wanted to bring to mind the Farmer’s Almanac, a seasonality reference guide for farmers that has been published every year in the U.S. since 1818. Their motto, “Farm to Barrel”, was adopted to reflect their passion for brewing bold and sustainably sourced beers.
Almanac Beer Company was founded in 2011 by Damian Fagan and Jesse Friedman, two avid homebrewers who bonded over their mutual appreciation for California farmers markets. They set out to brew beers inspired by California’s rich agricultural bounty and brewed their first beer—a Belgian-style golden ale aged in Sonoma Zinfandel barrels with Sonoma blackberries. They hand-sold that first batch one case at a time out of the trunks of their cars to local bars and restaurants in the Bay Area. The beer was so well received, they continued brewing and releasing quarterly beers for the next two years until they garnered enough support to quit their day jobs to pursue their passion for brewing and Almanac full time.
After nearly seven years of partner brewing and sharing a location, they moved into their very own 30,000 square-foot production & aging facility located on a historic naval airbase on Alameda Island in San Francisco Bay. The brewery is a former airplane hangar originally constructed in 1942 that boasts 37-foot ceilings, exposed original redwood beams, and hundreds of oak barrels and foudres. This new home allowed them the capability to greatly expand their product offerings. They now have a broad portfolio of beers that spans the gamut from delicate oak-aged lagers, to nuanced barrel-aged sours, decadent stouts, and of course, hazy IPAs.
For Damian and Jesse, farm-to-barrel brewing is about selecting the best in sustainably sourced ingredients and using them to create beers inspired by the great brewing traditions of the world. We aim to create something uniquely Northern Californian.
Come in to El Toro Gourmet Meats for this fine and unique California craft beer and search through our collection. Chat it up with Bobby Bacca, General Manager & Craft Beer Curator.