Houston apparently has some beer. But I'm gonna write about Almanac in San Francisco, since I don't know shit-all about Texas beer beyond Spoetzel (Shiner Bock) and a coupla bars in Austin (spoiler: go to Lovejoy's).
This would be a good time to reiterate that if you want to write one of these for an upcoming series, I'm all ears. (I mean seriously, Atlanta?!)
I'm writing up Almanac Beer Co for two reasons. One, I'm pouring for them this Sunday at the Ferry Building, so if you're going to the Summer Celebration, come say hi. Two, I'm friends with the two founders/owners/brewers, so I can write this shit from memory.
Oh, shit. I guess the third reason is that the beer is really good. Probably should have said that one first. If any of you guys come on Sunday and talk to them, tell them I did.
Jesse Friedman & Damian Fagan taken a different route than most other breweries, in that they've released four beers by season, starting in Summer 2010. Each beer is made with local ingredients, and highlights a specific crop from a specific local farm. The current Spring 2012 is a biere de mars (similar to biere de garde and Belgian saison) with fennel from a farm in Hollister. They made a pretty blog post about it and everything. My favorite was the Winter Wit with orange and ginger.
They also stash a bit of it aside to play with. In that picture above, I'm holding a glass of the Summer 2010 Blackberry draught, and a glass of that beer with more blackberry added, and soured (which was fantastic). They've also given some to Fatted Calf to make sausage (warning: sausage being made), and they also have Humphry Slocombe make an Almanac ice cream or two come beer week.
Later this year, they're going to be releasing year-round table beers- a pale ale and a saison- that'll be available in four-packs. The seasonal releases are pretty easy to find upon release, but supplies dwindle quickly (though there'e usually some left somewhere- City Beer has a good amount of the Spring 2012, for example). The kegs are harder to find, but places like Toronado and Beer Revolution will always get a few. And there're usually a few restaurants carrying it, as part of Almanac's mission is for beer to take its proper place on the table alongside wine. Fat Angel & Local Mission Eatery are two good bets for that.
To finish, I must fulfill my quota of saying something mean about Jesse in public, and it should suffice that he, who is none interested in sports of any kind at all, got to witness this in person. That bastard.