Albion Don In the Temple of Beer

Yesterday the first five events of SF Beer Week were all “Albion Don” Barkley and the recreation of the original beer that started the modern craft brew movement. New Albion’s Pale Ale, dubbed Napa Smith’s Original Albion Ale was tapped every hour, on the hour, for five hours at a different location in San Francisco. Beginning at the Temple of Beer, the Toronado, Don arrived, beery scepter in hand to christen the day (and the week’s) activities.

Don Barley, with the scepter of St. Gambrinus in hand.

The first pints poured of Napa Smith’s Original Albion Ale.

Don’s first sip.

By the power of St. Gambrinus, he declares that it is good.

Less impressive than it looks, I got to hold the magical scepter while Don availed himself of the facilities.

Next stop on the tour was Magnolia. Here Don poses with Dave McLean, owner of Magnolia and fellow SF Beer Week organizer extraordinaire.

And again, the scepter declares that the beer is good.

I missed the next two tappings at Monk’s Kettle and City Beer Store due to having to do some prep work for SF Beer Week, but caught up with them at 21t Amendment, where Shaun O’Sullivan was on hand to greet Don.

And again, it was good.



  1. […] Then there’s Don Barkley, a local homebrew who was unceremoniously dismissed the first time he came around to New Albion offering free labor. (McAuliffe says he was in the middle of a brewhouse emergency at the time). Barkley tried again and was allowed to stay, got to know the New Albion operation well, and went on to found Mendocino Brewing (which got New Albion equipment after it shut down). Barkley is at Napa Smith today, where he was the first to briefly revive New Albion pale ale. […]

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