This is history turned upside down, the James-Youngers actually donating money to Northfield.

It came in the form of a $1,400 check delivered by Jason Markkula of Bank Beer Company. He is the brew master who developed the James-Younger 1876 Rye Ale last summer for a Northfield Historical Society (NHS) fundraiser. It was unveiled at Defeat of Jesse James Days and received good reviews.

The money is a donation based on Markkula brewing and distributing, with the help of College City Beverage, some 200 cases and 16 kegs of the specialty rye ale. “This turned out to be a great fundraiser for Northfield Historical Society,” said Hayes Scriven, executive director of NHS. “It injected a new wrinkle into the celebration, generated some great publicity and brought a return to the historical society.” Markkula is a fundraiser at heart. Beer is his medium. His company, Bank Beer, has helped Pheasants Forever build wildlife areas through a similar project. Since 2003, they have purchased 3,000 acres. “Sometimes companies plan on giving back to the community once they have turned a profit,” Markkula said. “We just make it a higher priority.”

The James-Younger 1876 was a new recipe that utilized malted rye and chocolate rye. It featured a floral citrus finish complemented by the spiciness of the rye.  Plans call for Bank Beer and NHS to bring a second series of James-Younger rye ale to the market next summer. In addition, Markkula is developing a “barrel-aged stout” that will be unveiled next August. Scriven said the beer is another vehicle to introduce people to the dramatic 1876 James-Younger Raid on Northfield’s First National Bank and other chapters of Northfield’s history.  Markkula also brews Rooster Lager and Walleye Chop, which are available in liquor stores locally.