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Special Visit with Jack McAuliffe and Pub Turns 7 Sunday!

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It’s hard to believe we opened our Pub in Downtown Santa Rosa 7 years ago this Sunday! How can this be? I still remember that day like it was yesterday. We are happy report that after 7 years not only is the Craft Beer business doing well, but our Pub is also staying very busy year-round. And I’m very proud to say we still have 7 original employees plus several more who have been with us for more than 6 years! So, to show our undying gratitude and appreciation to, you, our fans and customers, we have declared April “Customer Appreciation Month” and are offering FREE SHIPPING on any online gift shop purchases all month long! We are starting today since tomorrow is April 1st and I don’t want you to think this is an April Fool’s joke :-) Our Anniversary Party is on April 9th with HUGElarge and The Mud, The Blood, and The Beer!

So, we have had an amazing couple of days hanging out with one of our Craft Beer Industry’s true pioneers! Jack McAuliffe opened New Albion Brewery in Sonoma, CA, in October of 1976, long before this current movement in Craft Beer. He built the brewery himself, as well as the equipment, and opened the very first new microbrewery in our country since the repeal of Prohibition! Anchor had already been established and reopened by Fritz Maytag, but New Albion was a new brand and it happened right here in Sonoma County! We had a 3-Pliny lunch with Jack and his lovely friend, Patricia, at the pub yesterday where he offered to sign his old sign- the original, handmade New Albion Brewery sign! He crawled up the huge ladder and there he left his autograph. It has always been our most treasured brewery memorabilia, and now it is even more sentimental! Jack also told us how he and Fritz Maytag got a bill passed long ago to allow breweries to have restaurants attached. Think of all the jobs they created around the nation (40 at our brewpub) by changing the law!

Then today we met Jack and Patricia in Sonoma, along with Jay Brooks, and toured the original site of the New Albion Brewery on East 8th Street. We were all happy to see the old sheet metal building was still there! Jack showed us all around the property and described living like a spider in the loft upstairs and existing on only $40 a week. We sadly said our goodbyes but are sure we will meet again. Getting to know Jack has truly been a highlight of my and Vinnie’s brewing lives!

Here are some of my photos, and go to Jay’s website for even morehttp://www.brookston.org/:

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Jack signing his sign!

 
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Jack’s autograph
 

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New Albion Brewery building in Sonoma, CA