Beer Review #274 New Albion Ale

02-28-02I have a true craft beer for review today. Perhaps THE craft beer, well the first modern one anyway. New Albion Brewing Company opened in 1976 and shutdown in 1982. It was just ahead of it’s time when it came to craft beer in America. Today’s version is brewed by the Boston Beer Company, but it uses the exact recipe from the original brewery. I love seeing things like this happen, it helps carry on a true legacy in our young craft brewing industry.

New Albion Ale pours a pale golden color. There is just a slight hint of some haze in there. A think white head goes along with everything and it eventually fades to just a ring around the edge of the glass. The nose has some slight pine/citrus hops along with a light malt sweetness. You can smell that this beer uses cascade hops. After some quick research I found that this beer only uses cascade hops and American 2-row for the malt. This is referred to as a SMASH beer as it uses a single malt and single hop.

The malt flavor is very light on this one. The cascade hops come in soon after the malt leaves but they are not the same cascade hops that we are used to by today’s standards. They are very mild and do not showcase the bitterness and flavor range that most are used to. They are slightly piney and citrusy but they are not strong at all. They are very muted to my taste and they actually are a bit more grassy then I remember.

This one comes in at 6.0% ABV. It’s a highly drinkable beer and a really cool throwback to what used to be/before I was born. I love seeing how craft beer has evolved over time and this beer really puts things perspective. This isn’t a killer beer by any means and the hopping rate isn’t enough by today’s standards, but its a hommage to the love of craft beer.