“Delighted” Barely Describes It: Jack’s Beer Rides Again

As I’ve mentioned here on many occasions, of the many pleasures that writing the beer book has provided, perhaps none as meant more to me than knowing that I helped Jack McAuliffe get the attention and credit he deserves. (For those just tuning in, Jack founded what is rightfully regarded as the first American micro-brewery.) (For more information, see this piece by my pal John Holl; it’s the most substantive bio available online.)

Photo courtesy of Michael E. Miller and Jack McAuliffe

Jack’s an intensely private person and so, no surprise, also a bit of a recluse (one of many reasons he’s a man after my own heart). (*1) When the beer book first came out, and people “discovered” him, he was uncomfortable with the attention. I’m happy to report that he’s managed to overcome that discomfort (proving, apparently, that old dogs CAN learn new tricks) and that’s a good thing because in the past couple of years, he’s gotten plenty of love and respect from the “good beer” community.

And now a new, and truly exciting, honor: The folks at Sam Adams (aka Boston Beer Company and Jim Koch) invited Jack to brew up a new batch of his old (and long gone) New Albion Ale. The beer will be introduced at the Great American Beer Festival in October, and released to the public in January 2013.

For details of this happening, see this terrific piece of reporting from my pal John Holl.

I could not be happier.

Oh: And by the way, Jack and I will be signing copies of my book at the GABF in October. Hope to see you there. (Tickets go one sale to the general public on Thursday, August 2. They sell out VERY quickly, so if you’re thinking of going, don’t think too long.)


*1: Other reasons I’m so fond of him: He’s smart, talented, creative, crazy as a loon, and eccentric as hell. What’s not to like?

One thought on ““Delighted” Barely Describes It: Jack’s Beer Rides Again

  1. Excellent news! Recently I was in Ukiah, CA to see Mendocino Brewing Company’s bar there, relocated from Hopland some years ago as many know. I thought its Blue Heron Pale Ale was excellent, and was wondering if it might descend from New Albion Pale Ale at least in part, since I understand the yeast and some of the staff of New Albion went to Mendocino Brewing Company in the early 80’s after New Albion had ceased to operate. (I recall Michael Jackson reporting on this in various books). The Blue Heron was the best Northern California bitter style I encountered on that trip. After 30 years of course it was unlikely it would be similar even assuming it ever was, but it was interesting to ponder the question.

    Now that it is confirmed Jack McAuliffe personally has worked with Jim Koch to recreate New Albion Pale Ale, those of us who never got the chance to taste that first iconic beer will be able to see what it was like. For its part, the Blue Heron had a fine flavor but not as “grapefruit”- or “pine”-forward as most APAs I’ve encountered. It seemed a true cross between one of those and an English bitter. Whether the revived New Albion Pale Pale Ale will be similar or not, only time can tell, but I’m sure it will be great either way. Jack McAuliffe is a legend in craft brewing and it is great that his original pale ale formulation will be on the market again sometime soon.

    Thanks much for this information.


    P.S. Now if only Ballantine IPA could reappear! If any other American beer deserves a second act, that one surely does.


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