What follows is a completely unbiased review of the grand opening party for True Anomaly. I have no skin in the game as the first investor in my friends’ brewery, and I receive no financial benefit whatsoever from the future success of True Anomaly. These are my views and my views alone as an innocent outsider who just happened to fly into Houston for this specific event. You can trust me in my honesty and definitely-not-influenced review on this momentous occasion.
With that disclaimer out of the way, let me just say: WHOOOOOOOO!!! I invested in my first brewery, and they actually built a brewery! And are serving beer! To paying customers! And the beer is good! Ever since I dove head first into the murky depths of hardcore beer geekdom, I had always dreamed of investing my hard earned money in a brewery (on my way to owning one, but that’s a topic for many years in the future). I first met this group of friends and later brewers around 2009 when I became commingled with a large group of people who worked at NASA. Duck, Tom, Ben, and David (whom I would later meet) had started homebrewing around this time, and we naturally bonded over a mutual love of beer. Over the years, I sampled their brews at many gatherings including NASA chili cookoffs, homebrew days, and random hangouts.
In the early days before any trademark disputes, they were known as Apogee Brewing. I was a big proponent and supporter of their collaboration beer with Buffalo Bayou, and I did my best to drink it around Houston whenever I found it on draft. I watched Apogee get heavily into sour beers and experiment with all manners of funky bacteria. I sung their praises early on, well before there were concrete ideas or business plans to build and operate a legit brewery. When they first told me they were planning on doing it for real, I was ecstatic and immediately pledged my future financial support. When the time finally came to put my money where my mouth is, I signed a big fat check over to Apogee Brewing Company and took a leap of faith into the unknown.
Fast forward two years and Apogee had morphed into True Anomaly and a legal brick and mortar brewery in East Downtown Houston. My move to New Orleans had unfortunately prohibited my participation in the brewery’s build out, so I did not get to visit until after they first opened in March. My next requisite visit was for the private investor’s party on April 26 and Grand Opening Party the next day.
The brewery was packed when I arrived Saturday afternoon. I like to think everyone was specifically there just because of True Anomaly, but attendance was no doubt aided by Dynamo and Astros game that day. A strong showing of old Houston friends made it out for the event, and I even got to meet a friend’s baby for the first time!
Logistics were handled well considering the swarm of people descending on the taproom. Lines for beer were long but moved quickly. I never found myself without a beer as they kept magically appearing in front of me. Sometimes it helps to know the owners of a drinking establishment. Beer highlights included Truffula: Blackberry + Blueberry, a delightfully fruity spin on their base Berliner Weisse. Sauvin Blanc was a lovely dry hopped grisette combining the easy drinkability of the Belgian style with some hops that lended a white wine quality. My favorite brew was Moonbow, a peach wild ale with a healthy dosing of dry hops. Funk and tartness interplayed beautifully on this approachable sour. This was the first foeder aged True Anomaly had released, and it begins to show the possibilities that exist in their sour program. As their repertoire matures, Houston is going to see some awesome barrel aged sours coming out of East Downtown.
By mine and all other accounts I heard, the grand opening party was a great event. Beer and good conversations flowed freely, and True Anomaly proved that they are a legit brewery ready to make a big impact on the Houston craft beer scene. I’m obviously pumped for what the future brings, and I can’t wait to taste what the boys come up with next. I hope to see you at the brewery in the near future!