When Brian Yaeger introduced SFoodie readers to Old Oak Beer Co. a couple months back, the much-anticipated "farm-to-barrel" ale was waiting patiently in oak wine barrels, mingling with fresh Sonoma County blackberries. While nothing has changed about the beer company's vision and product, there has been one notable update: the name. After learning about a potential trademark issue with the Old Oak moniker, the duo behind the label settled on a preemptive name change, and Almanac Beer Co. was born (again). The inspiration for the new name came from the company's goal of integrating locally farmed ingredients into the craft brewing process. Just as a farmer's almanac provides an annual record of the harvest, weather, and tides, Almanac Beer Co. aims to capture local terroir by weaving seasonal and local products into its suds.
Damian Fagan, half of the company's brewing know-how (along with Jesse Friedman, of the drool-inducing Beer & Nosh blog) and the talented graphic designer behind Almanac's label design, spoke with SFoodie about the beer company's plans for its first product. The beer, which is about to be blended and bottled, should see a release in time for SF Beer Week in February. Revelers at select events can expect a rare, single-barrel version of Almanac's inaugural product. Almanac will also be the subject of a beer pairing dinner at one of S.F.'s most beloved restaurants (details to come), and the beer will certainly make an appearance at Friedman's annual Beer & Nosh dinner.
This blogger, for one, prefers the new company name to the old. You know what they say: When life gives you blackberries, make beer with 'em.