Beer Birthday: Alec Moss

Today is Alec Moss’ 72nd birthday, which is quite frankly still hard to believe. Alec doesn’t look a day over 40! Must be the beer and motorcycles. I first got to know Alec when I worked with him on some private label contract beers I did for BevMo when he was head brewer at the now-defunct Golden Pacific Brewery in Berkeley. Alec then spent some time at Redbird Brewing before moving to the coast to be head brewer at the picturesque Half Moon Bay Brewing, but he retired a few years ago. Every time I see him now he seems to be enjoying his retirement enormously, especially now that he’s also been working part time for Anchor Brewing, building them a pilot system and working on it, too. Join me in wishing Alec a very happy birthday.

Alec and me yesterday at his 70th birthday party at the Tornado.

Alec in the brewhouse at Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.

At the Toronado for He’Brew’s release party. From left: Alec, Pete Slosberg, formerly of Pete’s Wicked Ales, Jeremy Cowan of Shmaltz Brewing and Rodger Davis, now with Triple Rock Brewing.

Alec with Tom Dalldorf at the 2011 Anchor Christmas party.

A few years ago at the Breastfest in San Francisco, from left: Alec, Jeff Botz, Arne Johnson, Betsey Hensley, Vinnie & Natalie Cilurzo and Abalone Rob Mika.


  1. Jim Parker says

    Wow, 66? I remember the first time I met Alec. I was working on my ill-fated video tour of Northern California breweries (VHS no less) and wanted to pick up some beer to drink while editing. SF Brewing was close by, but the beers could be hit and miss. I tentatively ordered a pint… porter, I think it was … and took a sip. Hmmmm…. it wasn’t bad. Took another, bigger, sip. Hell, it was actually GOOD! I looked around to make sure I was in the same place I thought I was. I guess the surprise showed on my face, because the guy on the next barstool grinned and said something to the effect of, “Is everything OK?” “Better than OK,” I said. “This beer doesn’t suck. I wonder who brewed it.” He just grinned (that sly Alec grin I came to know so well) and said, “I did.” Another beginning to a wonderful friendship over a pint of good beer.

    Happy birthday and happy retirement Alec!

  2. Rory says

    The guy on the right is Abalone Rob Mika (Sp?) Worked for a while at Marin and tended bar at Barclays.

  3. Bear says

    Alec Thanks for all you taught Bryan, Justin and I at HMB Brewery re: brewing/ABC rules/etc. But you aren’t really “retired” right??? You’re much too young for that

    HMB Brewery Beer Delivery Guy

  4. beerman49 says

    Alec’s CLASS! I’ve known him for 28 yrs as a fellow San Andreas Malt. Great brewer w/TOTAL integrity about his brews, “homey” or for sale! His former employers sometimes had no clue – 2 cases:

    1) Allan Paul (SF Brewing Co, now gone – he sold & moved to TX, where his wife found & holds a high-end job) refused to dump bad brews (knowing full well that most of his financial district customers had no clue) – the beer geex knew better & stayed away.

    2) Half Moon Bay has served beer in COLD glass since Day 1 – Alec gave up trying to clue the owners in on this issue. However, when sitting @ the bar, most times the Alec-clued-in bartenders found me a room-temp glass when I asked.

    A couple weex ago, the Chron ran a big article on HMB’s charitable work that made no mention of Alec, but cited the current brewer. I talked to Alec about it @ the Breastfest 7/17 – he’d seen the article, & was neither surprised nor insulted by being excluded from it. That’s CLASS – I in the same situation would have been max PO’d!

    Alec – belated KUDOS – you & Donn Westmoreland share the same

  5. Kim and Harry says

    Happy Bday Alec!!!! Hope you had lots of fun on it or just kicking back and relaxing, you deserve it. Mark hit the nail on the head. That is so true about SF Brewing. You always had good stuff on tap and bring great beers to the Oyster BBQ. We’ll toast one to you tomorrow at the Malts event here. Wish you could come!!!

  6. beerman49 says

    Kim/Harry – I didn’t see your post until now – but you forgot to do it; if I remember, we’ll do it Thursday @ Pi Bar – MJK

  7. Kim and Harry says

    Another year of fun! Sorry we didn’t see you at the Breast Fest, too much fun I guess. Hope to see ya before the Oyster BBQ, maybe for a pub crawl! Happy bday!

  8. David Brattstrom says

    Why is it that all these brewers I have know for years keep getting older and I never change? I am looking for any person out there that has ever seen Alex without a smile. A.M. Is one of the niceest guys in the world.

  9. Kim and Harry Graham says

    Wow I can’t believe a year has gone by since your last day!!! We’ll toast you tonight with a pils or alt in Neuwied!!! Cheers, have a wonderful bday!!!

  10. Beerman49 says

    Alec- sorry I couldn’t make your gig @ Toronado (running a bridge game that I’d warned you about @ Breastfest came to pass). Whatever – 70 is the new 50! – Keep on motorcyclin! MJK

  11. Steve Ferguson says

    Alec!!! Happy birthday! Sorry I missed it. Oregon has some great breweries so you and Marina should cruise up here for some pints some time soon! Cheers, the Ferguson’s (Amber and Steve)

  12. Michael Hale says

    Man it is so great to see Alec looking so happy !! I go way back with Alec to the mid 70’s when I lived at Lake Sherwood and he used to come out from Maryland. Then in the late 70s I moved to Pacifica and Alex was a stone’s throw away. What a great guy, back then he was just starting to make beer in “carboys” ( plastic water bottles). I;m not a beer person myself, but I love really great people and Alex was and still is one of the dearest men I ever knew. So happy birthday to you Laddie Buc !!

  13. Kim and Harry says

    Happy bday Alex!!!!! Hope you have a great bday today and many great beers. We’ll toast you tonight! Hope to see ya soon. Hoppy Beerday!

  14. Beerman49 says

    You’ve hit the 1st of 3 PRIME # ages in the 70’s (73 & 79 are the others; I’m putting in the #’s for the math non-savvy) – may you make those, the 2 in the 80’s (83 & 89), 97 & the 4 in the 100’s (101, 103, 107, & 109)! Stay forever young, my great brewer friend!

  15. Beer Delivery Guy says

    Time flies….its been 2 years since your BIG PARTY!!
    I kept knowledge of my BIG ONE” low profile” last week. Cheers

  16. beerman49 says

    May you keep on truckin’ for many years, fellow Deadhead (you the “taper” way more than I)!

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