Historic Beer Birthday: Maria Best

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Today is the birthday of Maria Best (May 16, 1842-October 3, 1906). She was the daughter of Philip Best and wife of Frederick Pabst.

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The photo below was taken around 1870. Here’s its description: “Quarter-length studio portrait of Maria Best Pabst (1842-1906). She is wearing a dress with leg of mutton sleeves and ornate embroidery. The daughter of successful Milwaukee brewer Phillip Best, Maria married Captain Frederick Pabst in 1862. Together they had ten children, only five of whom survived to adulthood. Pabst went into partnership with his father-in-law in 1863 and eventually owned what would become the Pabst Brewery.”

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Frederick Pabst, before he became a brewery owner, was a steamship captain of the Huron, a Goodrich steamer on Lake Michigan. Maria Best, when she was a passenger on his ship, met the dashing Pabst and then began courting, marrying in 1862. Not long afterward, Pabst became a partner in his father-in-law’s business, the Philip Best Brewing Co.

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Beer Birthday: Gary Spedding

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Today is the 58th birthday of Gary Spedding, who owns and operates the Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services in Lexington, Kentucky. The BDAS focuses on “the testing of alcoholic beverages and beverage raw materials.” Gary was originally a biochemist before being bitten by the beer bug, and later becoming the director of the brewing test laboratories at the Siebel Institute of Technology. In 2002, Gary founded the BDAS and has been there ever since. I first met Gary when he started doing short seminars during judges orientation for both GABF and the World Beer Cup, creating sensory exercises for us to challenge our palettes and make us stronger judges. Join me in wishing Gary a very happy birthday.

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Gary looking every bit the scientist.

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Gary giving a presentation on Calculations for Routine Measurements and Parameters in the Brewhouse and Brewery Lab, at CBC, when it was in DC in 2013. [Photo by Thomas Cizauskas. Thanks, Tom!]

Historic Beer Birthday: John Schneider

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Today is the birthday of John Schneider (May 16, 1833-February 28, 1907). Schneider was born in Bavaria, and made his way to America in 1852. He settled initially in Cleveland, and worked all of his life as a journeyman brewer around Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Late in life he became “a stockholder in the Standard Brewing Co.” of Cleveland, and was named director and 2nd president.

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Brewery History has reprinted an autobiography Schneider wrote around 1904 and it’s an interesting read.

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The Standard Brewing Co. of Cleveland, Ohio

Peared Creation also has a nice history of the Standard Brewing Co., which was founded in 1904, when Schnedier began his association with the brewery.

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