Good Beer Hunting

no. 238

Like most things in life, you tend to be limited by the model in which you were raised, for better and worse. Betsy DeVos, for example, can't seem to comprehend public education because she never experienced it. She doesn't understand the burden of student loans because she's more used to collecting on them than paying them. So if we're looking for an indication of how she might shape U.S. policy toward education, it's predictable that it'd be in her own self image

So when Jesse Friedman told me he was opening a taproom and restaurant for Almanac in San Francisco's Mission, I was excited about this human tendency to reflect the things we hold dear, in this case for the better. And that's because in the few times I've been lucky enough to dine with Friedman, he's shown a curiosity and veraciousness toward flavor, texture, and surprise. The things I've seen him seek out in other restaurants might be, if I were lucky, exactly how he'd approached the menu and offerings at Almanac. 

Sourdough bread with a citra hop salt butter. Oysters with a mosaic dry-hopped saison vinegar. And a sort of sushi-slider thing with fried chicken glazed with fermented chili pepper. Fuck me, it's good. It's also fun and bright and memorable alongside Almanac's wide-ranging portfolio of fresh, barrel-aged, and fruited beers. 

I don't get excited about most brewpub offerings—they tend to be predictable and serviceable, which is fine. But when a man who eats like Friedman decides that he wants to fire up a kitchen of his own, you'd be forgiven for having too-high expectations. I'm just glad I've been around to see the influence, and knew enough to go directly from the airport to the Mission in the 15 minutes it usually takes me just to piss after getting off the plane.

—Michael Kiser