Most – or at least many – craft beer fans have probably never heard of “New Albion Brewing Company,” or their ale. Fact is, it was arguably the first American craft beer back in the late 70’s – in the sense that it was a new enterprise and created a new beer (unlike the existing Anchor Brewing Company that was “revived” under the ownership of Fritz Maytag).
Based in Sonoma, CA, New Albion was founded by Jack McCauliff and eventually folded due to logistical and financial issues. Ahead of it’s time, it nonetheless laid the groudwork for the boom that followed. For more info on their history, check out their wiki page. You may also want to give it a try if you see the modern interpretation on your local beer list.