The Albany Ale Project is bringing back some of the beers of Albany’s past! In partnership with C.H. Evans Brewing Company, an adaptation of a 1901 recipe for “Amsdell’s Albany XX Ale” is about to be available for the first time in over 100 years.
A ceremonial “cask tap” event is planned for Saturday, November 2, 2013, from 5 to 7pm, at the Albany Institute of History & Art, to celebrate its return. Speakers include: the founding members of the Albany Ale Project, C.H. Evans’ brewer Ryan Demler, and the Institute’s Curator of History and Material Culture, Dr. W. Douglas McCombs. Food will be available and, of course, C.H. Evan’s version of one of Albany’s historic brews.
Tickets are $15.00 per person and are available at www.albanyinstitute.org. Tickets must be purchased in advance. The Albany Pump Station will also be selling C.H. Evans’ version of Albany Ale at the Albany Pump Station, throughout the month, with partial proceeds benefiting the Albany Institute. The 1901 recreation will also be available at a number of pubs and restaurants across the capital Region.
Co-founded in 2010 by beer bloggers Alan McLeod (www.agoodbeerblog.com) and Craig Gravina (www.drinkdrank1.com), the Albany Ale Project focuses on shedding new light on the history and stories of Albany’s brewing industry, and the mid 19th-century phenomenon of Albany Ale. Working with C.H. Evans, the duo has helped to translate the 1901 brewing logs from the Amsdell Brewing & Malting Company held in the collections of the Albany Institute.
The Amsdell Brothers Brewery opened in Albany in 1854, and grew to become one of the dominant ale breweries on the East Coast by the late 1860s—due much to the success of its Albany XX Ale. By 1901 it was one of the last breweries still making something called Albany Ale. The Albany Ale Project chose to recreate Amsdell’s XX Ale, a beer that is a copper-colored, lightly hopped ale, and about 5.3% ABV—a grandchild to the stronger Albany Ales that garnered the city fame during the 1850s and 60s.
“Making this beer,” says Gravina, “is the perfect way to connect the past and present. The goal of the Project is to reach out to folks who might have a bit of Albany’s brewing past locked up in their attic. Most importantly, we want to people to re-discover this often over-looked piece of Albany’s history. What better way to do that, than over a pint of Albany Ale at one of the oldest museums in the country?”
The award-winning C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station has a long connection to Hudson Valley beer-making, dating to the 18th century. Neil Evans revived the family tradition and opened the Albany Pump Station in the 1990s. Committed to using locally-sourced ingredients for the recreation, C.H. Evans brewer, Ryan Demler says of the Project, “We’re focused on being as historically accurate as we can be, but also on sourcing as much of our raw materials locally. In addition to roasting malt and making our invert sugar in house, 100% of our grains and heirloom hops used for the Albany Ale Project are New York State grown.”
The Albany Institute is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and promoting interest in the history, art, and culture of Albany and the Upper Hudson Valley. The museum achieves this mission through its collections, exhibitions, education programs, library, research projects, publications, and other programs offered to the general public.
For more information on The Albany Ale Project or the history of Albany Ale, go to www.albanyaleproject.com or find them on Facebook.
For more information about the cask-tapping event, please contact 518-463-4478. For tickets please go to www.albanyinstitute.org. A list of establishments also carrying C.H. Evans’ 1901 Albany Ale can be found at www.evensbrewing.com.