Celebrating Summer the New Albion Way

by Renee on June 20, 2012

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.

The beer became an instant hit and a summer classic, and earned the name Old Toe Sucker.”

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!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy June 20, 2012 at 10:24 am

Maybe today is the day I should open my last bottle of Jack and Ken’s Ale…


Pat Crisco June 20, 2012 at 10:44 am

I would have loved to have been at one of the original celebrations. I did get to enjoy the famous “pig in the ground” cooked by Chief Com-on-a-wana-laya. It was delicious. I have sadly consumed my last bottle of Jack and Ken’s Ale. I think it is time for another batch.


Renee June 20, 2012 at 9:29 pm

What fun! Maybe next year we’ll be able to get Jack to travel to Cleveland, where we can recreate his Summer Solstice party! (Well, all but that toe sucking part. Is that a deal breaker? LOL)

I really enjoyed reading this and imagining the good times they must have had.


Randal Locke June 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

The party, The 3rd annual, the one that I was at was wonderful.


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