As many of you know, I wrote a history of beer in America, a project that deposited me smack dab in the middle of the craft brewing industry. The last two chapters of the book examine the late 20th-century beer renaissance known as craft brewing — including a long section about the godfather-grandfather-guru of that moment: Jack McAuliffe. (Okay, one of the two 3-Gs, the other being Fritz Maytag; the book also covers his contribution.)
Jack’s original beer, New Albion Ale, is once again available, courtesy of Jack’s daughter, Renee DeLuca. You can learn more about her new enterprise in this story from Sean Scully of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. (Why that particular newspaper? It’s in Sonoma County, home of many superb craft breweries, including one of the world’s finest, Russian River Brewing Company. Among RRBC’s claims to fame is that owners Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo also own the original sign from Jack’s original brewery, New Albion Brewing. It hangs above the bar.)
As I’ve told many reporters over the years, although I’m proud of the book, I am perhaps most proud that it enabled Jack to get the credit he’s due as the (inadvertent) founder of today’s craft brewing industry. And to see his beer return, well, okay! I can die happy.
And by the way: As Renee notes in the article, the beer will strike many geeks as simplistic. It is! It’s a basic, delicious beer. No bells. No whistles. Simply a tribute to the art and craft of brewing.
Thanks to both Renee and Jack for adding a bit of 3-D history to history.