New Albion Ale at Russian River Brewing with Koch, McAuliffe

New Albion Ale returns using original recipe, yeast. Collaborators McAuliffe, Koch at Russian River Brewing

new albion ale
New Albion Ale will be re-released in January 2013 by Boston Beer Company

new albion ale
New Albion Ale will be re-released in January 2013 by Boston Beer Company

As if the news of the forthcoming release of Pliny the Younger (and this surprising news) weren’t enough to get local beer fans frothing, Russian River Brewing has announced a meet-up with legendary brewing pioneer Jack McAuliffe and Sam Adam’s Jim Koch Thursday, Jan. 10 from 6-8p.m. at the Santa Rosa pub (725 Fourth St., Santa Rosa).

But hold onto your pint glasses because there’s more. On tap will be a revival of the original New Albion Ale, recognized by beer experts as the “original American craft beer”.  McAuliffe and Koch resurrected the brew with New Albion yeast preserved at the University of California since 1977 using the original recipe. Russian River Brew Pub will be serving the brew “that evening and hopefully for a few days after,” according to their Facebook page.

The Boston Beer Company will release the ale commercially this month, the first time its been available in more than 30 years.

McAuliffe, locals may remember, founded New Albion Brewing Company in Sonoma in 1976. Although it closed in 1983, McAuliffe is considered by many to be the inspiration for the American microbrewery movement.

All profits from the beer will go directly to Jack McAuliffe. The beer will be served at special events during the 2012 Great American Beer Festival (October 13), in Denver, CO and available nationwide beginning in January of 2013. New Albion Ale will be available in six-packs with a suggested retail price of $7.99.




8 thoughts on “New Albion Ale at Russian River Brewing with Koch, McAuliffe

  1. I was drifting along after my first degree from USF, probably 1978 or ’79 when a bud and I decided to go exploring north. We stopped at a gas station in Marin and I picked up a six of this. Had had many an Anchor Steam, Porter, and Christmas ale before but this was different. Been drinking local IPA, for many years now but I still remember having this and thinking this was special long before I put down the regular “King of Beers” or it’s brothers. Not that I don’t still have a Coors Light in the fridge. But this was a different time. Not your Crappy Bud or Miller that we were used to as kids. I’d love to pick some up, close my eyes and remember.

  2. Was excited to try N.A., but was then quite disappointed- didn’t even finish the pint (not like me to leave the glass unempty) the enjoyed a Janet’s Brown…

  3. My husband used to distribute this in Santa Rosa way back when he worked for AJAX DISTRIBUTING. They used to sell SCHLITZ, MOOSEHEAD along with NEW ALBION. He considered it the best…..If he were still alive we’d most certainly be there.


  4. Yes, thanks for the heads up! We’ll be there. No doubt there will be a gajillion people but you can’t pass up this kind of history.

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