Welcome to PW's 50-Beer Countdown to Philly Beer Week! Every day from now through the Opening Tap ceremonies on May 31, we'll be getting in the mood by spotlighting a different great craft brew that's been poured by one or more Philly Beer Week participating venues.
Before there was Samuel Adams or Sierra Nevada or Dogfish Head or anyone in craft beer, there was Jack McAuliffe’s New Albion Brewing Company, the first craft brewery of the modern era. America wasn’t ready. New Albion opened in 1976 and closed its doors in 1982. Their legacy, however, endures. They influenced countless others and helped introduce the idea that American beer can be hoppy. Samuel Adams recreates that influential beer with New Albion Ale, brewed with the original recipe provided by McAuliffe himself. Considering how far craft beer has come in the more than 30 years since New Albion folded, you’d expect this to be pretty tame. You’d be wrong. It’s a bright, hoppy, bitter-but-drinkable brew with an aroma that would not be out of place on today’s shelves. It’s a little taste of history, but if you don’t care about history then just look at it as a taste of something good. Samuel Adams New Albion Ale is sometimes available at Growlers.