It has been clear from the first inklings that there was a big story on Albany brewing that has yet to be told that there's been a silent force out there keeping us down. Mainstream media. There. I've said it. Whew! What a relief. I've been keeping that in for some long. You have no idea. But now? It's over if this old media utter capitulation by the Times-Union of Albany is anything to go by:
An amazing fact: For decades during the mid-19th century, Albany was second only to London among cities with the largest capacity for beer production. Also true and also amazing: A signature style produced by many of the dozens of Albany breweries was so widely distributed that researchers have found mention of "Albany ale" throughout the U.S., from New Orleans to San Francisco, and abroad, from Nova Scotia to Buenos Aires to Germany. From what local beer blogger Craig Gravina has been able to determine, Albany ale was a double-strength beer of about 8.5 or 9 percent alcohol, fairly sweet and heavily hopped. Gravina and Alan McLeod, a Canadian blogger and fellow student of the history of Albany brewing, maintain separate blogs (drinkdrank1.blogspot.com and beerblog.genx40.com), as well as a joint Facebook page titled The Albany Ale Project They use all three outlets to document their findings, including details about more than 40 breweries that operated in Albany from 1650 to 1875.
Well, there you go. And while I am a bit upset that Craig did not refer to me expressly as, you know, his hero I have to say (i) yes, I can read between the lines and (ii) his work on this project has been something that... errr... I could not, you know, pull off. At all. While I may have him totally if we are measuring by bulk, age and old Maple Leafs hockey cards (suck on that) his energy on this file has not only inspired my own continued interest first piqued by that pesky ad in an early Victorian newspaper ad from Newfoundland that I posted about over three years ago now. But, since then, he has simply run with it like a crazy man. Like a crazy man with his pants on fire. All praise Craig.
But it does not stop there. He's telling the tale of Albany ale on public radio, too. Check out his instructions to find the archives for Midday Magazine on WMAC for that. And this very Saturday right around happy hour time, he is speaking to the Albany Institute, the oldest museum in America, on the topic. Boo. Yah.
I believe the phrase is I am not worthy. Or at least I am stuck in another country. Let's go with that.