Melt butter in large stockpot over low heat. Add clams, sugar, and beer.
Simmer for 15 minutes, but do not boil. Add potatoes, salt, pepper, basil, thyme and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
In a separate saucepan, slowly heat half & half. Add to stock and simmer for 15 minutes longer. Whisk flour and water together in a bowl.
Slowly add to chowder while continuously stirring. Heat almost to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat when desired consistency is reached. Serve with oyster crackers.Servings: 4