Beer Birthday: Tony Forder

asn-long
Today is the 60th birthday of Tony Forder, publisher of Ale Street News. Tony’s been putting out Ale Street News for over 20 years now, and was kind enough to give me a column when I first came back to freelancing when my son Porter was doing well enough so that I could return to work. I still run into Tony at a variety of beer events throughout the year, and he’s a great person to share a pint with or take a press junket with. Join me in wishing Tony a very happy birthday.

longshot09-4
After judging the finals for the 2009 Longshot Homebrew Competition in Boston. From left: Jason Alström, Tony, Bob Townsend, Jim Koch (founder of the Boston Beer Co.), yours truly, Julie Johnson (from All About Beer magazine), and Jason’s brother Todd Alström.

bamberg-09
Tony leading a toast at the end of the evening at Schlenkerla in Bamberg, thanking our host, Matthias Trum, and our guide, Horst Dornbusch, for a wonderful second day in Bavaria.

longshot09-2
Tony, Bob Townsend (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) and me at Longshot judging in 2009.

faust-39
During a trip to Bavaria in 2007, the gang of twelve plus three at the Faust Brauerei in Miltenberg, Germany. From left: Cornelius Faust, me, Lisa Morrison, Johannes Faust, Julie Bradford, Andy Crouch, Peter Reid, Horst Dornbusch, Jeannine Marois, Harry Schumacher, Tony Forder, Candice Alström, Don Russell, Jason and Todd Alström.

Beer Birthday: Sam Calagione

dogfish-head-green
Today is Sam Calagione’s 46th birthday. Sam is the owner and marketing genius behind Delaware’s successful Dogfish Head Brewing. Sam’s also a great guy, and a (former?) rap singer of sorts, with his duo (along with his former head brewer Bryan Selders) the Pain Relievaz. See the bottom of this post for a couple videos of him singing after hours at Pike Brewery during the Craft Brewers Conference when it was held in Seattle. Join me in wishing Sam a very happy birthday.

sam-cal-1
Sam gives the thumbs up behind his booth at the Great American Beer Festival a few years ago.

Hosts Ken Grossman & Sam Calagione
With Ken Grossman at a Life & Limb collaboration beer dinner.

Kite & Key co-owner Jim Kirk and me with Sam Calagione, Bill Covaleski & Greg Koch
Kite & Key co-owner Jim Kirk and me with Sam, Bill Covaleski & Greg Koch.

Sam Calagione @ Rare Beer Tasting
Sam at the Rare Beer Tasting at Wynkoop during GABF 2009.

cbc06-06
Rapping at Pike Place in Seattle in 2006.

This first video is “I Got Busy with an A-B Salesgirl,” the Pain Relievaz’ first hit single.

The second video is “West Coast Poseurs,” a smackdown to the hoppy West Coast beer and brewers.

Beer Birthday: Nick Matt

saranac
Today is the 70th birthday of Nick Matt, chairman and CEO of F.X. Matt Brewing in Utica, by the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. The brewery was originally founded in 1888, and their main brand today is Saranac. Nick is an active member of the beer industry, and especially through the Brewers Association, and a big supporter of the community as a whole. Join me in wishing Nick a very happy birthday.

33. Nick & Fred Matt, Saranac Brewing Co
Nick and Fred Matt at the Rare Beer Tasting at Wynkoop during GABF.

Matts
A promo shot at the brewery, Nick with his nephew, and company president, Fred Matt.

Beer Birthday: Judy Ashworth

publican
Today is Judy Ashworth’s birthday. She’s the Grand Dame of Publicans, having once owned the Lyons Brewery Depot in the East Bay, one of the earliest bars to really embrace, support and promote craft beer. Judy sold the pub in 1998 after some health troubles sidelined her, but she’s still a fixture in the Bay Area beer scene. I’ve judged with her many times and these days she’s very supportive of the homebrewing movement and she can be seen at most of the major beer events throughout the year. Join me in wishing Judy a very happy birthday.

gabf06-wed-07
Judy with Shaun O’Sullivan (21st Amendment) and Chris Black at his Falling Rock Taphouse during GABF week in 2007.

bistro-wood08-8
Out in front of The Bistro in Hayward at the Wood-Aged Beer Festival in August of 2008. From left: Jeremy Cowan, owner of He’Brew, Judy, Dave Heist, and Zak, also from He’Brew.

tbwfest07-08
At the Toronado Barleywine Festival in 2008, Judy Ashworth, Matt Salie (with Big Sky Brewing) and Judy’s daughter Laurel.

Judy Ashworth, Stephen Beaumont, me & Peter Hoey at the Pliny the Younger release
Judy with Stephen Beaumont, me and Peter Hoey at the 2010 Pliny the Younger release.

DSCN0280
Dave Suurballe, Judy, Julie Nickels and Bruce Paton at Anchor Brewing for the book release party for Tom Acitelli’s “Audacity of Hops” earlier this month.

Beer Birthday: Sabine Weyermann

weyermann-logo
Today is the 57th birthday of Sabine Weyermann, co-owner of Weyermann Malting in Bamberg, Germany. If you’ve visited any of the Craft Brewers Conferences, you’ve no doubt seen the bright yellow and red of the specialty malting company, which is sold in the U.S. by the Brewers Supply Group. Sabine’s family began the Weyermann Malt company in 1879, although she can trace her family back at least as far as 1510. She’s an amazing person, and her malt has helped fuel many a small and large brewery. Join me in wishing Sabine a very happy birthday.

P1030081
Sabine giving a presentation at their offices in Bamberg when I visited there in 2007.

CBC_San Diego_ 2012
Sabine and her husband Thomas Kraus-Weyermann at CBC in San Diego, 2012.

DSCN9902
You can see the Weyermann Malting Brewer’s Star that Weyermann’s starting making at the top of my home office/guest house, which we call “The Brewhouse.”

Beer Birthday: Jeff Bagby

bagby-beer
Today is the 41st birthday of Jeff Bagby, who until a few years ago was the head brewer extraordinaire at Pizza Port in Carlsbad. There, you can read the entire biography of Jeff “Extra Spicy” Bagby. I’m not sure when it was written, but it definitely needs to be updated, as it ends with the following sentence. “Jeff has his sights set on winning a GABF Brewpub of the Year award and we most definitely believe it is in his future as well.” Five years ago at GABF, Jeff won an amazing seven medals and Pizza Port Carlsbad was awarded the Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year. That means his plaid pants got to go up on stage a record eight times! You can see a retrospective of Jeff’s plaid choices over the years, too, at Jeff “Lucky Pants” Babgy Wins Big. Once he started working on opening his own brewery, I suggested he should consider “Plaid Brewing” or some variation of that idea, like “Plaid Pants Brewing” or “Lucky Plaid Brewing.” Unfortunately, he went with a more sensible Bagby Beer Co., which opened last year. All, well some, kidding aside, Jeff is a terrific brewer and a hell of a washoes player, though I still think Dave Keene and I could beat him and Tomme again. Join me at wishing Jeff a very happy birthday.

Jeff Bagby & His Girlfriend, from Pizza Port - Carlsbad
Jeff with his then-girlfriend, now wife, Dande at GABF a few years ago. And yes, those are his lucky pants.

Greg Koch & Jeff Bagby
Greg Koch and Jeff at the Falling Rock.

anchor-toro-3
Former Drake’s brewer Melissa Myers with Jeff at an event at Anchor celebrating the Toronado’s 20th anniversary.

labbeydin-16
Sam Calagione, Bruce Paton and Jeff at the Lost Abbey for a beer dinner during CBC.

P1030583
Jeff at the Toronado for the annual Belgian Beer Dinner in 2012, with owner Dave Keene wearing his “Who the F@#k is Jeff Bagby?” T-shirt.

DSCN1206
Dandelian and Jeff Bagby in the upstairs loft dining area of their new brewery. The plaid back of the bench seating was inspired by Jeff’s winning plaid pants that he used to wear for GABF award ceremonies, as I detailed several years ago in Jeff “Lucky Pants” Bagby Wins Big.

Beer Birthday: Bert Grant

grants-real-ales
Today would have been Bert Grant’s 87th birthday, and he is still definitely missed. Bert opened the country’s first brewpub in 1982 in Yakima, Washington and was a fixture in the industry until his death in late July of 2001. Join me tonight in lifting a pint to Bert’s memory.

bert-grant
Bert Grant and me at OBF in the mid-1990s.

Beer Birthday: Gary Spedding

bdas
Today is the 56th 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.

Gary-Spedding-lab
Gary looking every bit the scientist.

Gary-Spedding
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!]

Beer Birthday: Shaun O’Sullivan

21A-circle
Today is 21st Amendment brewer and co-owner Shaun O’Sullivan’s 52nd birthday. Shaun is one my favorite people in the industry. He’s a tireless champion for craft beer and very supportive of other brewers, such as with his fun collaboration projects. He’s one of the founders and organizers of SF Beer Week and through his brewpub puts on many special and educational events all year, not to mention his extensive travel schedule. His new production brewery in San Leandro is just about to open, and they recently did the first brews in the new facility. Plus, he’s one of the few people brave enough to read the rough draft of my book, Under the Table, and even claim to like it. Now that’s a friend. I just can’t say enough good things about Sully, so I’ll stop here. Join me in wishing Shaun a very Happy Birthday.

21A
Shaun O’Sullivan and business partner Nico Freccia in the front of their brewpub.

bistro-judge
Shaun and me outside the Bistro after judging the Double IPA Festival.

albion-don-08
Shaun O’Sullivan with Don Barkley of Napa Smith Brewing on the first day of SF Beer Week.

21a-canparty-4
Nico with Dave Keene and Shaun at a can party at the Toronado.

21a-busschool-23
Nico and Shaun in lederhosen during 21st Amendment’s Beer Bus School.

Sully-paralegal
But this by far my favorite, it’s hard to understand how he could have given up all that to start a brewery.

Beer Birthday: Brian Stechschulte

speakeasy
Today is also the birthday of Brian Stechschulte, former executive director of the San Francisco Brewers Guild, who’s recently started working for Speakeasy Ales & Lagers as their Public Relations & Media Director. I’m just guessing at Brian’s age, but by my reckoning he’s got to be about 38 this year. In addition to his paying work with the guild and SF Beer Week, he also writes online at All Over Beer and Bygone Beer. Brian’s a terrific ambassador for beer and a great addition to the industry now that’s a working stiff. I think of him as a kindred spirit. Please join me in wishing Brian a very happy birthday.

Brian-Stechschulte-Portrait
Brian’s profile picture, used without permission but begged for here in the hopes that in the spirit of its use will be granted magnanimously.

DSC_3203
Brian and me with San Francisco mayor Ed Lee at this year;s SF Beer Week opening gala.

Brian-S-03
Bob Brewer, from Anchor Brewing, with Brian at GABF a couple of years ago.

Brian-S-02
Brian after grad school graduation in 2003. Notice the can of beer he’s drinking.
[Note: The last two photos purloined from Brian’s Facebook friends, blame them.]