I remember the first Mac & Jack’s experience I ever had; my brother and I were going to dinner when I was about 19 or 20, he was wearing a “Mac & Jack’s African Amber” shirt and there just so happened to be the African Amber on tap. I literally had no idea about Mac & Jack’s then (okay, or any beer except that disgusting stuff you drink in college) but instantly thought it was cool because, honestly, I just wanted to be as cool as my brother.
Fast forward a few years and I still believed that that was the name of the beer- and I know I’m not alone here… Chances are if you’ve worked at a bar and have anything on tap from them, everyone assumes it’s just the African Amber. And I bet you might even be guilty of that as well (no judgment… I did it too).
Mac & Jack’s is a brewery out of Redmond, WA and was founded in 1993 by Mac and, yes, Jack. Today the brewery is still owned AND operated by those two gentlemen. Yep, that’s right. No corporate beer here! These two dudes started brewing in their garage years before, only now they are brewing out of an old automotive garage off 520.
They are known for their African Amber, but also have a few staple beers (seriously, try their stout because it’s damn good) and are coming up with more rotating brews to keep us all on our toes. So. Why the hell are they canning now? What happened after 24 years that pushed them in that direction? Well, they say why the hell not. Craft beer has some serious competition these days and you have to make your beer interesting, exciting and readily available- and that’s exactly what they’re doing.
You Say Oulde We Say New Pale Ale is an English style ale with American hops and is a collaboration with their friends from Foggy Noggin; Fn is a brewery out of Bothell that operates out of a garage (with all the legality there) and seemed like the perfect combination for M&J’s canning dreams.
This beer is small batch; which means you shouldn’t expect it to stick around long. While Mac & Jack’s is just starting to can, they want to keep it small and keep it fresh.
This ale was a bit of a surprise for me; it was pretty refreshing with a nice level of hop bitterness but had a little English malt twist to it. A little under carbonated, but still pretty crushable.
Maybe english malt isn’t your jam, but this beer really is something worth trying! If you love your west coast style beers, this one will tug at your heart strings! Plus it’s still hot as hell outside and you can suck this beer down way too quick.
While Columbia Distribution has gotten a bit of these, definitely check out their brewery (sorry, no tasting room but you CAN get some cans– see what I did there?) and you better do it quick! Also keep your eyes peeled for more exciting and amazing things coming from the crew at Mac & Jack’s!!
Cheers to local brews, small batch & drinks on a Wednesday.