It’s the summer solstice, and wouldn’t I just love to go back in time to visit New Albion for one of Jack’s renowned celebrations! From John Holl on craftbeer.com:
“According to legend, back in the late 1970s the folks of New Albion and Anchor Brewing would gather on the weekend closest to the summer solstice for what could loosely be called a ‘festival.’
“We had constant entertainment,” recalls McAuliffe, “and all the food you could eat and all the beer you could drink. We cooked a 140 pound luau pig as the main course, and a lot of people brought potluck items.”
To mark the occasion, New Albion created what McAuliffe calls “a right good snortin’ barleywine” and set up two kegs for all to enjoy.
Mix the hot California summer sun and a heavy, higher-alcohol brew and strange things are bound to happen. One brewery employee—fingers are usually pointed across the table at each other at this point in the story between McAuliffe and Barkley—had his want of barleywine and was observed on hands and knees moving down a row of young women with opened toed shoes and sucking the dainty digits.
When Sierra Nevada celebrated its 30th anniversary several years ago, Jack and Ken recreated that barleywine as Jack & Ken’s Ale. If you’ve got a bottle, today’s the day to crack it. I do and I will! Cheers and happy summer!