There are those who have profoundly influenced craft brewing throughout the years. Names like Sam Calagione and Jim Koch echo through the halls of craft brew history, but there’s one name that echoes louder than most — Jack McAuliffe, founder of New Albion Brewing Co., widely recognized as the first U.S. microbrewery when it was founded in 1976.
After lying low for the past 21 years since New Albion closed, McAuliffe is back in the headlines thanks to his original pale ale now brewed in collaboration with Boston Beer Co. founder Koch. He’s also stepping back into the public eye, with a tour to Cleveland, Indiana and Texas to talk to the craft brewers he inspired, reported the Ohio Beer Blog.
McAuliffe attended three separate events in Cleveland to promote his new brew, all while gruffly side stepping the spotlight he rightfully earned when his microbrew “how to” helped launch Anchor Brewing, Sierra Nevada and Hopland Brewing, to name a few. Rick Armon of the Ohio Beer Blog stated that after New Albion went out of business, Koch attained the New Albion trademark to preserve the brand’s legacy, which led to the Brewers Association honoring McAuliffe in 2007. McAuliffe met Koch in 2011 and Koch convinced him to collaborate on the New Albion Ale. McAuliffe said that it tastes as close to the original as “science and skill” would allow.
What will come of McAuliffe and the New Albion Ale profits now that he’s back? Reports are that he’s giving it to his daughter, who teased on her The Brewer’s Daughter blog that there are exciting announcements about New Albion Brewing “going forward in 2013.”