The most important brewer you never heard of.

Well, the readers here are a pretty informed bunch so that statement might not apply to you. but it’s certainly all too sadly true in the craft beer community as a whole.

I cannot tell you how hard I tried to contact Jack McAuliffe for a story a few years back about the rise of craft brewing on both the West and East coast in the last quarter of the 20th Century for American Brewer magazine, but to no avail.

Why? Jack McAuliffe created  New Albion Brewing Company, the first modern day brewpub in America; only Fritz Maytag, for saving and resurrecting Anchor Brewing ranks at the same level of significance in our beer history.

Now, in a wonderful story at, writer John Holl tells the tale I wanted to tell, longer, better and in great detail. It is a Must Read for anyone who cares about the history of craft brewing, just as the forthcoming collaborative brew from Sierra Nevada is a Must Buy.

On that latter….I’ve periodically mentioned here in recent months that I am conducting my own personal celebration of Sierra Nevada’s 30th anniversary this year by regularly buying their beers when I’m out drinking and, though I’ve never said it before, silently toasting them with the first sip of each. Their special series of beers brewed with luminaries from craft beer’s past is a large reason for that; finally enticing Jack McAuliffe (even if briefly and cautiously) back into the limelight is another.

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