Monday, July 23, 2012

“New independent businesses are coming in and that’s what’s moving New Albany forward. We’ve all grown together and it’s great."

There was a nice description of our 25th anniversary celebration in the Monday morning CJ.


New Albanian Brewing Company celebrates 25 years with a festival, by Jenna Esarey (Special to the Courier-Journal)

The New Albanian Brewing Company threw itself a birthday party on Sunday, inviting the community to celebrate its 25 years in business with a festival on the river in New Albany.

Dubbed 25 Years of Beer and Loathing, the event featured live music from noon to dusk, a kids’ activity area, food from local restaurants and beers from the New Albanian Brewing Company.

“We’re celebrating 25 years as a business,” said New Albanian co-owner Roger Baylor. The company started in 1987 with Sportstime Pizza, which now operates under the name NABC Pizzeria and Public House.

The business expanded in 2009 with the opening of the Bank Street Brewhouse in downtown New Albany, featuring a restaurant as well as the brewery.

Both restaurant locations were closed for the day to allow employees to enjoy the party as well. “Everyone who can is scheduled for a one-hour shift in the beer tent,” Baylor said. “Other than that, we want them to just enjoy the party.”

Baylor said he enjoys supporting the community. “New Albany is growing,” he said. “New independent businesses are coming in and that’s what’s moving New Albany forward. We’ve all grown together and it’s great.”

The event also served as a fundraiser, with proceeds from beer sales being split between Rauch Inc., the Isabel Jade Pickhardt Fund and New Albany First.

Employees of Rauch Inc. oversaw the kids’ area, overseeing a duck pond, arts and crafts and applying temporary tattoos.

“Roger’s very community-minded,” Rauch work services coordinator Frank Kreps said at the event. “We had to look beyond state funding and Roger just stepped up to help.”

Lisa Mascio-Thompson brought her children, Lucas, 7, and Leena, 4, who were working on crafts. “I’m here to support local business and the New Albanian,” she said.

“And ride my scooter at the skate park!” injected Lucas.

The event’s theme, Beer and Loathing, is an homage to Louisville-native Hunter S. Thompson’s novel “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” “We’re all fans of Hunter S. Thompson,” said Baylor. “Plus, we’re like a rock band. We all fight with each other behind the scenes, but when the show starts we all work together.”

A number of New Albanian craft-brewed beers, including root beer, were available along with a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, a Sunday staple at the Bank Street Brewhouse. The River City Winery also offered wines and Sangria.

Food was provided by Charlestown Pizza Company (owned by former employees of the New Albanian Brewing Company) and Feast BBQ, a new restaurant in downtown New Albany.

Baylor said he expected a big crowd despite the heat. “If a Facebook event response is any indication, we had over 400 responses,” he said. “I expect we’ll see at least 1,000 people. If this works out, we might do it again.”

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