Since Jesse Friedman and Damian Fagan founded Almanac Beer Co., in 2010, they’ve been doing the beer-making equivalent of couch surfing — guest brewing at the facilities of other local breweries, what in the industry is known as contract brewing. In 2016, the duo opened Almanac’s first storefront, a taproom and restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission District, but it still didn’t have its own brewing space. Now, that’s finally changed. Almanac has found a permanent HQ in Alameda.
On Friday, Feb. 2, Almanac opens its new home base within a 30,000 square foot redwood building that was once a naval hangar. Inside is its brewing facilities, barrel house, packing and distribution center, and most importantly for beer drinkers, a 2,000 square foot on-site taproom where it can serve fresh beers directly to customers. The taproom boasts a redwood bar that seats 50, plus a beer hall with plenty of picnic tables. Although the taproom’s main focus is barrel-aged beers, there’ll also be IPAs and fresh beer (lagers and pilsners) on tap amongst the 30 handles.
Friedman told Nosh that having an in-house brewery for the first time will allow Almanac to have more control over its product and to “focus on making the best possible beer.”
As for food, Friedman told Nosh that the taproom will eventually offer bites, but for now, it will have rotating food trucks selling on site. Unlike its San Francisco spot, Almanac Alameda will not have a full kitchen or a full-time chef, so expect snacks, rather than full meals. “The emphasis is on the beer,” said Friedman.
The new space also boasts an outdoor beer garden, a perfect spot to take advantage of that primo East Bay weather.
Almanac Beer Co. is right next door to another Alameda newb, Admiral Maltings, a craft barley malthouse that just opened its new barley taproom in January. In fact, the founders of Admiral were key in helping them get the space.
“They’re the best neighbors we could possibly have,” said Friedman. The close proximity works well for both companies, as Admiral supplies its fresh organic malt to Almanac to make its beers.
So far, Friedman is feeling Alameda. “We love it here. We can’t get over how nice everyone is. The community on the base is really great. People have been knocking on our door asking if we’re open.”
Finally, he can welcome them in.
Almanac Alameda is open from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m., Sunday.