Little did I know what exactly I’d be walking into last Thursday night. I headed to downtown Santa Rosa, in hopes of getting to try out a classic craft beer by New Albion & Boston Beer Company, but ended up with so much more.
Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River Brewing) and Jim Koch (Boston Beer Company) collaborated with Jack McAuliffe (New Albion) to recreate the beer that truly started the craft beer movement (the New Albion Ale). Using yeast from the original strain (big thanks to UC Davis for keeping it cultured), they have done their best to impart all of the original flavors back into this beer.
Here’s a little video of Vinnie introducing the evening, and some background on his trip through the wine industry, to making some of the most well known beers around.
Quite a few people, from all over the Northern California craft beer world were in attendance. Being apart of this experience reminded me what about it all makes me so happy – Everyone came together to pay homage for all the hard work these 3 men have done to bring us not only amazing beers, but an environment by which we enjoy spending time enjoying it.
At the end of it all, this really is about the people. Huge thanks to Jack McAuliffe for all that he has done to allow the rest of us to proliferate the ideals behind craft beer. Also, let’s not forget that without Jim Koch (and many other adventurous brewers in the early 80’s) breweries such as Russian River would not have been possible.