It really seems like the brewery openings just keep on coming. On Wednesday, February 20th, True Anomaly Brewing opened their doors, although a Grand Opening will come later. If you are not already familiar, True Anomaly Brewing was previously known as Apogee Brewing. Because they were not able to secure the trademark for the Apogee brand, the name was changed to True Anomaly Brewing.
True Anomaly Brewing sounds like a name with meaning behind it, and it is. First, the four founding members of True Anomaly work/worked at NASA. A True Anomaly is an angle that defines a position along an orbit. Makes sense for a bunch of guys that worked at NASA, right? But another meaning also describes their approach to the beers they hope to bring to the market: “a deviation from the norm”. More on that shortly.
True Anomaly is located in the EaDo (East Downtown) neighborhood of Houston. That puts the brewery within walking distance of a LOT of cool places: bars, a brewery, and event locations (The Truck Yard, 8th Wonder Brewery, The Secret Club, Toyota Center, etc). I have also walked past True Anomaly (prior to opening on my way to 8th Wonder) from Minute Maid Park, but honestly, I cannot recommend that walk unless you are in a fairly large group. The only negative I could come up with upon visiting the brewery was the tight parking that I encountered right before they opened on Thursday. Just a heads up, a number of the lots surrounding the brewery are paid lots. The good news is the neighborhood is very walkable and there is a lot to do.
True Anomaly has a really nice and clean taproom and there is the obvious, unique feature of the stacked brite tanks behind the bar. The majority of the of the seating is tall, four top tables, in addition to seating at the bar. The entire taproom is good to look at and really good for beer photos for Instagram (always a plus). The sight that I like the most, is the Foudres that have their own room in the brewery. For those who are not aware, Foudres are used in the making of sour beers. They are essentially larger barrels, which are also pretty commonly used. If you want to learn more, see What is a Foedre? or, for a time-lapsed video of one being built in 1 minute, see Foedre Build Time Lapse.
I visited the brewery last Thursday, the day after opening day, and I am glad I waited. On Thursday they had four beers on tap, while on Wednesday they only had two. I thoroughly appreciated the restraint and patience they had to not release a beer before they thought it was ready (something many of the hazy IPA breweries around the entire state could learn from). The four beers on tap Thursday were: Ben’s House IPA, Small Giant (a Grisette), Dark Matter (a Belgian Dubbel), and my personal favorite: UNLESS… (a Berliner Weisse). True Anomaly will continue to bring a variety of beers to the market including sours and wild ales. (UPDATE) Since our visit, True Anomaly has added three more beers to their tap list, including a NEIPA.
As mentioned before, True Anomaly opened their doors with Foudres. With these Foudres, they will be bringing a number of beers that feature Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. This was music to my ears. But not to worry, for all of the NEIPA drinkers out there, they also have a NEIPA in the works.
Ben’s House IPA: This IPA is clearly not NEIPA, but it is sweet. This is one of their original homebrew recipes, and it uses an English Ales yeast, which is the reason behind the sweetness. The hops (Columbus, Cascade, and Centennial) provide a nice balance between bitter and floral.
Small Giant (Grisette): For those not familiar with the style grisette, a grisette is basically a lighter version of a Saison. This is the light/sessionable beer that will appeal to those looking for a light beer, as well as those who appreciate light Belgian beers. While I am not a “lite beer” drinker, I appreciate the sessionable nature of the style. I also really like Belgian beers (Saisons/farmhouse) that are well executed.
Dark Matter (Belgian Dubbel): Dark Matter is another style that is under-represented in the Houston beer market. While I only had a taster, the beer seemed to be true to style. Nice sweetness, fruity esters, and spicy yeast character, as expected. Fruit notes were that of fig and apricot.
UNLESS… (Berliner Weisse): Wow. I really liked this beer a lot. I love sour beers, but normally an unfruited Berliner Weisse is not exciting to me. This might be my favorite base Berliner Weisse. I am excited to see how different variations of this beer turn out.
Overall thoughts on the beers: Pretty true to style. The IPA is the only beer that keeps me from saying very true to style. I’m really looking forward to having a local sour/wild brewery.
Address: 2012 Dallas Street, Houston, Texas
Phone: (346) 704-5701
Hours: Wed-Fri 4pm-10pm, Saturday 12pm-10pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm