New Albion Can Release Party

by Renee on October 9, 2017

What a great week I had with my Dad! Jack got into Cleveland a day or so ahead of our New Albion Ale can release party on October 5th, and I had the opportunity to take him to the new Platform production facility, which was once the old Cleveland Leisy Brewing Company. He enjoyed the tour given by owner Paul Benner, and seeing how much our brewing partners have grown since the last time he was in town for our original partnership kickoff party back in 2014.

The next night was the can release party, and it was all about family, friends, beer and fun! Jack was pleased that his brother Tom came in for it from Chicago. It was Tom’s first visit to Cleveland, and he was very impressed with the craft beer scene in our fair city. The party got rolling around 5 p.m., and we had the chance to say hello to many New Albion fans who stopped in for a taste and to take a six-pack home–Jack and I were happy to see everyone loving the latest incarnation of his standard bearer recipe. He enjoyed chatting with everyone and taking photos with everyone who asked. One of my favorite pictures of the evening included my daughter Ali, my Uncle Tom, my new puppy Porter, and of course Jack himself!

One of the most exciting things about the event was that along with the New Albion Ale, two other New Albion brews were on tap: the New Albion Red (once known as “Old Toe Sucker”) and the Oatmeal Stout. The brewers at Platform worked with Jack’s assistant brewer from back in the day, Don Barkley, to recreate the exact recipes. It was truly a thrill. (Today Don is the founder of Napa Smith Brewing.)

HOMAGE was also on hand to take orders for the New Albion t-shirts–those are just flying off the proverbial shelf! (You can get yours now for just $32.) Meanwhile, I hope if you’re in Ohio, you’ll ask your Platform Beer retailer for a six pack of New Albion Ale–it’s delicious and it’s selling out quickly! The timing of the release was perfect as October 8th was the 41st anniversary of the incorporation of New Albion Brewing Company.

Look for me around Cleveland in the coming week–it’s Cleveland Beer Week— and I’d love to know what you think about the new brew! Cheers!


Cleveland, Ohio--Mark Thursday, October 5th on your calendar for the historic release of the iconic New Albion Ale in cans at Platform Beer Co. The release party starts at 5 p.m. at 4125 Lorain Avenue, Cleveland, and also at the Platform Columbus tap room at 408 N. 6th Street. Look for a tap takeover in Cincinnati. (Location TBD) New Albion Brewing Company founder Jack McAuliffe is expected to make an appearance at the Cleveland location along with his daughter, New Albion President, Renée DeLuca. October 8th marks the 41st anniversary of the incorporation of New Albion Brewing Company.

McAuliffe’s New Albion is noted to be the first post-Prohibition microbrewery, founded in Sonoma, California in1976. It was shuttered six years later when McAuliffe could not get the funding he needed to expand. Boston Beer’s Jim Koch released America’s first pale ale for the first time since the brewery closed in 1982 at the Great American Beer Festival in 2013, when it was bottled by Samuel Adams and sold on store shelves across the country for several months.

Following that one-off release, McAuliffe’s daughter Renée revived the historic brew with Platform Beer Company in Cleveland in 2014. Platform is currently the exclusive brewer of New Albion. A gold medal winner at GABF in 2015 for their Black Eagle Gratzer, Platform celebrated its third anniversary in 2017.

Platform founder Justin Carson said, “We are excited to bring back this historic beer in cans so it can be distributed further and enjoyed by craft beer lovers throughout Ohio. Its clean, crisp refreshing taste is the foundation every craft beer that followed was built upon.”

To celebrate and honor the beer, HOMAGE, a vintage-inspired apparel company based in Columbus, OH, has designed a T-shirt featuring the iconic schooner that appears on the New Albion label. The shirts will be sold at Homage retail locations and at for $32.


The Tipsy Gypsy Caravan!

by Renee on July 10, 2017

I’m so excited to introduce the Tipsy Gypsy Caravan, dear readers– this is my best friend Cami Bell’s business dream and it has come to reality all because of her amazing vision and talent for entertaining. The Tipsy Gypsy is a mobile bar, and she’s currently operating in the Raleigh, NC area. Contact information can be found at here.


1.What IS a mobile bar exactly…and what are the advantages to throwing a party or event with one?

A mobile bar is a camper converted to a highly functional bar for serving beverages at any event – wedding, birthday party, customer service event, convention, pig pickin’ – wherever friends, family or customers are gathered.


  • It takes your event to the next level. The hospitality industry has done so much with food service for events, but has painfully ignored the beverage service. Instead of the tired old table with a white linen table cloth and a guy with a bow-tie serving drinks, the beautiful design and woodworking detail of the caravan, itself, becomes a center piece, and the bartenders are dressed to fit the occasion.
  • The drinks become an integral part of the service instead of an afterthought. No more well liquor and soda. We serve 3 custom craft cocktails, made with our own syrups and juices, created specifically to pair with the food and theme of the event. The wine and beer selection is also carefully chosen to pair as well.
  • The fixed drink menu has a few advantages. It keeps the costs down and saves all the half used bottles of liquor the host has to deal with after. Additionally, it allows the service line to move more quickly since the choices are fewer. And finally, the thought that goes into these cocktails adds a special touch for the guests. They know the host has put thought into the beverage service.
  • No muss, no fuss. We roll in, set up, serve, clean up and roll away – no footprint left behind.
  • It’s just plain fun! The guests love the caravan itself, peering inside and asking questions. The drink menu becomes a topic of discussion between the guests each inquiring about what the other has tried.
  • Esmeralda, The Tipsy Gypsy Caravan, makes a distinct impression and your guests will be talking about your event for years to come.


  1. What was your inspiration for the Tipsy Gypsy caravan?

Cami: I attended a clam bake in Hudson, Ohio and a similar caravan was serving the event. I was blown away by the concept. I did some research and decided my new home town of Raleigh needed this badly.


  1. What is your philosophy around great events? 

Cami: It’s all in the details. I’ve been throwing my own parties for years and it comes down to planning, preparation, staffing and fun.


  1. What happens when you contract with someone for a party? What is your role?

Cami: After we have an understanding of the theme and the food, we create 6 cocktails and provide a tasting for the friends and family of the host. Once the selection is complete, we provide a detailed spreadsheet of the liquor, beer and wine to purchase. Fortunately, I have some great relationships with local wine stores and breweries so discounts are available to our customers.

We set a timeline for purchase and pick up so juices, syrups, garnishes and batch drinks can all be created in the days leading up to the event. We provide the ice and plastic drink ware and all utensils needed to serve.


  1. What can people expect when you arrive?

Cami: We arrive 2 hours before the event to set up. We don’t need electricity or water – all are self contained within the caravan. We decorate for the theme and setting up the bar takes some time. We want to be sure everything is perfect before the first guest arrives. After the event is over, we clean up and roll out.


  1. Anything you want to add?

Cami: Bringing Esmeralda to life and sharing in the celebratory life experiences of others has been an unbelievable joy. I hope to continue for many years and add new caravans to the fleet.

You can follow the Tipsy Gypsy on social media:





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Empire Brewfest Appearance

June 26, 2017

Join me at the 2017 Empire Brewfest in Syracuse, NY, Saturday, July 22nd! I have been invited to speak about the rise and fall and resurgence of New Albion Brewing at this beery event. Looks like a good time, and I hope to see you there!   What: 2017 Empire Brewfest Where: New York Fairgrounds […]

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