Sam Adams pays homage to craft brewing before it was “a thing” by partnering with retired Navy vet Jack McAuliffe and re-releasing his New Albion Ale more than 30 years after it’s creation.
Attempting to replicate ales he had sampled during tours of Scotland and Europe, McAuliffe crafted his own beer called “New Albion Ale” in reference to Sir Francis Drake. Drake named what is now Northern California (where the beer was created) “Nova Albion” after exploring/claiming it for England in the late 1500’s. Production had to halt back in 80’s due to lack of funds, but Sam Adams recreated McAuliffe’s New Albion Ale from his original recipe, right down to the label which features Drake’s ship The Golden Hinde departing San Francisco Bay.
Brewed exclusively with American Cascade hops, Albion Ale is recognized by beer experts as the original American Craft Beer. The initial pallet is very crisp and clean with a few subtle notes of citrus, pine and dough. The flavor, however, quickly falls short when compared to other Pale Ales like Southern Tier or Ellicottville Brewing Co.
Chalk this one up to being a sucker for packaging, at least the beer has an interesting history and it’s nice to see larger breweries trying something different and paying homage to their roots. Check out the video below by Sam Adams for more.