Jack Officially Makes History…

by Renee on March 15, 2019

Growing up in suburban Washington, D.C., every field trip of my life it seemed was at one of the Smithsonian museums–and sometime this fall, my father’s New Albion Brewing Company will be among the exhibits! I couldn’t have imagined it back in the day, when I didn’t even know who my birthfather was, let alone what he would be remembered for.

On Saturday, March 9, 2019, history came calling for Jack. Theresa McCulla, the historian for American Brewing History at the Museum of American History, along with her colleague Steve, came to Arkansas to record an oral history with my dad–forever known as the father of American craft beer.¬†They arrived in the morning, and first took an oral history from me. I told the tale of finding Jack, connecting with Jim Koch of Boston Beer, and regaining the New Albion trademark, and brewing the original New Albion recipes with Platform Beer.

After a short break, we went to Jack’s place, and he proudly showed Theresa and Steve his workshop, collection of memorabilia, books, and photos. They then sat down to take a formal oral history. This story of the origins of craft beer and New Albion, as told by Jack, will live on in the archives the Smithsonian. (Eventually you will be able to listen to it online as well, I’ll post a link when it becomes available.)

Following the formal interview, it was time for a beer or three to celebrate! Jack, Theresa, Steve, my aunt Cathy and I took a drive to his favorite brewpub in Siloam Springs, the Creekside Taproom. Our hero was welcomed with cheers and back slaps and of course his favorite brew. Everyone gushed about how they loved having Jack as their local regular. It was a day of celebration, recognition, making new friends, and of course, making history! Cheers to Jack and New Albion living on in the American archives of the Smithsonian Institution!

 

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