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Almanac Beer Company

Citrusy Beers for Refreshing Spring Sipping

Citrus naturally complements many beer styles—there's not much better than fresh-squeezed lime in a Mexican lager or fresh orange into a Belgian wheat. beer. And adding citrus to a beer while it’s being brewed isn’t unheard of either; traditional Belgian-style witbiers are made with orange peel. However, like all things West coast, local craft brewers are pushing the envelope, in this case by including lots of fruit and citrusy hops into their brews. We've rounded up a few options that may be the perfect replacement for your morning OJ.

Limited Release Brew at City Beer Store

If you’ve been looking for a good excuse to visit the recently expanded and re-opened City Beer store, your search is over. Next Friday, November 18 at 6 p.m., Almanac Beer Company is holding the bottle release event for their second and latest seasonal ale.

Almanac’s co-founders, Jesse Friedman and Damian Fagan, settled on a Belgian Farmhouse style ale to create this limited release brew: Almanac Autumn 2011 Farmhouse Pale with Organic Plums.

Almanac Beer Company's Summer 2010 Blackberry Ale: Out at City Beer Store June 30th

Last July, Jesse Friedman and Damian Fagan started brewing what would become time capsules of a summer in Sonoma. 

The two founders of the newly-formed Almanac Beer Company added 250 pounds of hand-picked blackberries from Sebastopol Berry Farm into used oak wine barrels containing the Belgian-style golden ale they had contracted to be brewed by Drakes Brewery. The Duvel yeast in the beer discovered that it had additional material to work with and set about converting the sugar in the berries into alcohol. Over the next eleven months of barrel aging, the flavors of the malt, hops, berries, and oak melded and mellowed.

Last February, a prototype of their beer was a sell-out favorite at SF Beer week. In May, the brewing pair did some barrel tests and tastes, blended the aged beer with a fresh batch of their Citra-hopped ale to brighten the character, then primed and bottled the result. On June 30, the beer will have had sufficient time for bottle conditioning and will be ready for drinking. The crisp and complex beer is recommended to be paired with rich dishes like creamy cheeses, roast pork and duck.

While their web site should soon list the area stores and restaurants that will be stocking the ale, their bottle release event is scheduled: City Beer Store on June 30. Jesse and Damian will be on hand to talk about this beer, as well as serving a sour version from the same batch. Hapa Ramen will be doing the food paring.

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