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"Drink beer. Respect People." - Hoppedup

Author Topic: Jack McAuliffe  (Read 2192 times)


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  • May 17, 2007
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Jack McAuliffe
« on: October 29, 2012, 10:52:01 PM »

With the recent attention being refocused on Jack McAuliffe, here are the paragraphs describing him from "The Great Beer Trek" (1984) by Stephen Morris [ISBN 0-8289-0525-8]. This book changed my life. It was on the 'bargains books' table at Kroch's & Brentano's on N. Wabash Ave. in downtown Chicago for $1.98 when I bought it in 1986.


While others dreamed and schemed, he did it. He opened the first ground-up brewing venture in America since the post-Prohibition era. An ex-Navy man who developed a love for Scottish-style top-fermented ales while in the service, McAuliffe's New Albion Brewery is located in a ramshackle plywood barn in Sonoma, California {20330 8th St. E; 95476}. With two partners and some part-time help, they turn out four barrels of their ales and stout weekly. The beers look and taste like homebrew with just a little touch of class. (A commercial brewmaster described New Albion to us as “awful, just awful”. Later, however, the same brewer admitted that his own bland product could not be given away in England or Germany.)

Because this brewery is so small, there was no suitable equipment available commercially. Jack had to engineer everything himself. When something is not working right, wrenches fly and the air is filled with language that does justice to any ex-Navy man. When asked the brewmaster's most important skills, McAuliffe rapidly ticks off, “Welding, plumbing, scavenging... Stubborness and low initial intelligence don't hurt either.” Assistant Suzie Stern wear hip boots and smiles wryly as she starts up the steam hose, “Somehow this is not exactly what I imagined growing up”. The future for New Albion is as cloudy as their beers, but their place in American brewing history is assured.

[New Albion had bitten the dust by the time of the book's publication. Other early California craft breweries which had already come and gone were Franklin Brwg. (Emeryville - 1980), and DeBakker Brwg. (Novato - 1981).]
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Re: Jack McAuliffe
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 11:31:54 PM »

I discovered "The Great Beer Trek"  at the Library Alehouse in LA on my honeymoon in August 2005, and while they wouldn't let me purchase their copy, I subsequently acquired another one elsewhere.  I've only read read bits and pieces over the years, but you're inspiring me go back and actually read it.  Thanks Pudgy.



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Re: Jack McAuliffe
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2013, 08:30:31 PM »

This was cool to read, just drank a New Albion Ale the other day :cheers:
He was ahead of his time to say the least...

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