Jack McAuliffe, a pioneer in craft brewing and founder of The New Albion Brewing Company, and Jim Koch, beloved brewer and founder of Samuel Adams, are collaborating to brew McAuliffe’s original New Ale for the first time in 30 years. Considered by beer experts to be the original American craft beer, the American pale ale will be brewed according to the recipe using the original yeast that has been carefully preserved at the University of California since 1977.
These two brew icons share a tremendous passion for craft beer and without them, the American Craft Beer Revolution may never have happened. McAuliffe, a Navy veteran, first acquired a taste for flavorful beer while stationed in Scotland in the 1960s. He next developed a thirst for homebrewing and eventually started the nation’s first craft brewery ~ you guessed it, The New Albion Brewing Company ~ in 1976.
Jim Koch recalls, “Jack was brewing craft beer when nothing was easy. Nobody made small scale brewing equipment, nobody wanted to invest, retailers and distributors didn’t want your beer, drinkers couldn’t understand why the beer didn’t taste ‘normal.’ It was so different from today.”
McAuliffe came to Boston in early July to join Koch and the Samuel Adams brewers as they brewed the first batch of New Albion Ale ~ deep, golden, and brewed with American Cascade Hips and a 2-row malt blend. The Cascade hops, sourced from the Pacific Northwest, create a moderate hop bitterness and lingering citrus and floral noted. These are balanced by the upfront cereal character and sweet finish from the malt.
McAuliffe added, “Jim and I share a common passion for homebrewing, so I was honored when he approached me about bringing the New Albion original recipe back to life. I can’t believe I’m brewing New Albion for a new generation of craft beer drinkers ~ a group that has more great beer choices than I ever had! New Albion will have a place in the growing and diverse craft beer landscape thanks to a fellow craft brewer.”
These two gentlemen were bound to collaborate at some point; Koch insisted even before he brewed his first bottle of Samuel Adams Boston Lager in his kitchen in 1984 (from a family recipe) that only the finest ingredients can produce the best beer, and that quality and flavor are the only standards worth pursuing ~ exactly the kind of craftsmanship and pride McAuliffe insisted upon as well.
New Albion Ale will be brewed, bottled and sold by The Boston Beer Company, with all the profits going directly to Jack McAuliffe. It will be available in six-packs nationwide beginning in January.
Photo of Jim and Jack taken on their brew day in Boston. Special thanks to Michelle Diamandis.