Coaster Critique: New Albion Ale

In 1976 in Sonoma, California, the New Albion Brewing Company was founded by Jack McAuliffe. New Albion was the first American microbrewery and New Albion Ale was the first beer produced. New Albion Brewing Company was hugely influential in the craft brewing industry. In November of 1982 the New Albion Brewing Company had to close its doors due to lack of funding. Thirty years later Jim Koch, Founder of the Boston Beer Company in collaboration with Jack McAuliffe has produced New Albion Ale from the original recipe and given us the opportunity to taste where it all started.

Name: New Albion Ale

Brewed By: Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams)

Style: Pale Ale

ABV: 6%

Purchased: Burby and Bates, Orono Maine

New Albion pours bright and clear, a golden straw color with visible carbonation. The pour raised a short white head.

The nose is very light and crisp; malts are coming through with a light toasted grain and some caramel sweetness. The hops have a pleasant aroma, citrusy with some pine and fresh cut grass.

First sip is very refreshing; I get a splash of citrus from the hops, lemons and even a touch of lime up front then it shifts into a light piney flavor as the bitterness sets in. There is a slight sweetness from the malts and a biscuity flavor.

Overall  an excellent pale ale, maybe a bit thinner in body than I’d prefer but it’s very refreshing and easy to drink. I really enjoyed the hop profile in this beer. I think the best part of this beer is its simplicity; it has everything you want in a beer without being over the top. I’ll be looking for another six pack next time I’m out.



Chad Lothian

About Chad Lothian

Chad Lothian lives in Old Town, Maine. He is a craft beer enthusiast and homebrewer. Chad has travelled to brewpubs, breweries and brewfests all over New England.