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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The year was 1976

By the sound of this title, I'm sure you're thinking, "Oh boy, I better buckle in, we're in for another long missive."

Not today. But in keeping with the daily posting directive of NaBloMoPo (did I spell it right?), I should be filing something for you to read today. Plus, I really do want to give you something that helps keep my Wikio ranking from slipping for a third straight month. Hopefully you know that I say this completely tongue-in-cheek.

Today is November 2. Let's see if I can come up with a relevant topic. Well, it is the birthdate, in 1976, of a niece of mine. So let's go with that.

Big deal, you might say. But, hold on and let's see how we can tie this in to a bit of beer history and education.

New Albion, in its brief six-year brewing history, some say before-its-time, is oft-credited with pioneering the American craft brewing industry as we know it today.

New Albion was founded in 1976, thirty five years ago this last October 8.

Don Barkley, a brewer with roots at New Albion, in 1983 moved on as a principal founder in the also-significant brewery of Mendocino in Hopland, Calif. Barkley, today, takes up residence at Napa Smith in, you guessed it, Napa.

I'm not going to go on much longer here about New Albion Brewing Company. After all, there are plenty of links that instead I can make to people much more closely associated with this historic brewery in northern California.

For more information about New Albion, Jack McAuliffe, Don Barkley, Mendocino, and other northern California beer stories, jump across to the following:

- the late William Brand writes in 2009 about the New Albion Ale re-brew.
- Jay Brooks writes about Don Barkley's New Albion Pub Crawl as part of SF Beer Week 2009.
- The history of craft brewing has deep roots in northern California as documented at Brewers Association
- Napa Smith's website, where Don Barkley's influence can be found today
- A flashback to my own encounter with the first SF Beer Week in 2009.

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