Beer Birthday: Jeff Bell

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Today is the 36th birthday of Jeff Bell, whose alter ego was, until a few years ago, Stonch, one of England’s best bloggers. He had retired from blogging to concentrate on his new job as landlord of a London pub, The Gunmakers, in Clerkenwell, a village in the heart of London. I stopped by to meet Jeff on my way back from a trip to Burton-on-Trent a few years ago. And four years back, I saw Jeff several times during GBBF week. But last fall, the blogging started up again, a year or so ago he moved on from that pub, and instead is now the landlord of the Finborough Arms in Earl’s Court, next to the Finborough Theatre. I hope I’ll get a chance to visit his new place on my next trip to London. Join me in wishing Jeff a very happy birthday.

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Jeff Bell, a.k.a. Stonch, at The Gunmakers Pub in central London.

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With a Gunmaker’s bartender at the British Beer Writers Guild event before the start of the Great British Beer Festival in 2009.

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In front of Gunmaker’s in the summer of 2009.

Beer Birthday: Knut Albert

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Today, it’ also the 55th birthday of Knut Albert Solem from Oslo, Norway, who has one of the premiere beer blogs in Scandinavia, Knut Albert’s Beer Blog. Though I’ve never met him in person, we have corresponded a time or two through blog comments or e-mail and I certainly enjoy his perspective on beer. Join me in wishing Knut a very happy birthday.

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Hoisting a pint (photo nicked from Knut’s Facebook page).

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Knut near water, the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland actually (ditto).

Beer Birthday: Jessica Jones

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Today is, maybe and only kinda, the 31st birthday of Jessica Jones, COO of Ninkasi Brewing. I say maybe, because I’m guessing at her age, and oly kinda because her birthday is actually February 29, but as there’s no leap day this year then she can celebrate either today or tomorrow. When I first met Jessica, she was blogging at beer as the Thirsty Hopster and helped do some of the behind-the-scenes setup when I founded the Bay Area Beer Bloggers. She then put her education to good use by getting a job with Firestone Walker, and found that she liked working for a brewery. So she went back to school and got her MBA, before moving to Portland. Since 2011, she’s been keeping Ninkasi Brewing humming, and keeping Jamie in line. It’s been fun to watch Jessica’s evolution in the beer world, and how amazing she’s made Ninkasi. Join me in wishing Jessica a very happy birthday.

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At the Hard Liver Barleywine Festival in Seattle, in 2009. Clockwise from left; Shitwig (a nickname, I believe), Jessica, her sister and her sister’s friend.

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At the end of the Celebrator Anniversary Party in 2009.

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With Nicole Erny and, The Beer Chef, Bruce Paton, at his Beer & Chocolate Beer Dinner several years back.

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Jessica at the Falling Rock, along with her sister (bottom left) and friends, during an SF Beer Week event at the Falling Rock during GABF in 2008.

Beer Birthday: Art Larrance

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Today is the 71st birthday of Art Larrance, co-founder of the Oregon Brewers Festival, and also a co-founder of Portland Brewing, too. Art later started the Raccoon Lodge, in 1998, and more recently launched the Cascade Barrel Brewing House to concentrate on sour beers. In 2012, Art was named Restaurateur of the Year by the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association. But I know him best for his continuing work on OBF, which he’s been doing since the beginning of time, or at least 1988. Join me in wishing Art a very happy birthday.

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Jamie Emmerson, from Full Sail, with Art at the OBF Parade in 2009.

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Rick Lyke, me, Art and Charles Willet at OBF in 2011.

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Pedicab leading the OBF Parade with Grand Marshall Fred Eckhardt and Art in 2011.

Beer Birthday: Fred Bueltmann

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Today is Fred Bueltmann’s 46th birthday. Fred is a partner in New Holland Brewing, and works their sales and distribution side. He’s also a self-styled Beervangelist and will soon be publishing the “Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy,” which was successfully funded on Kickstarter. I’ve met Fred several times over the years but got to know him a lot better at GABF a couple of years ago, when it seemed like we judged together on every other session, and had a marvelous time in between rounds. Join me in wishing Fred a very happy birthday.

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Fred’s promo shot for his Beervangelist book.

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With Carolyn Smagalski at Wynkoop during GABF last year. (“borrowed” from her Facebook page, thanks Carolyn).

Beer Birthday: Meg Gill

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Today is the birthday of Meg Gill, founder and owner, along with Tony Yanow, of Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles. Things at the brewery appear to be going swimmingly and by all accounts the brewery’s cans are selling like hotcakes. Meg is also the former national sales manager for Speakeasy Ales & Lagers in San Francisco. When I first met Meg she was working for Oskar Blues, and later she organized the Opening Gala for SF Beer Week in years two and three, a Herculean undertaking. Meg is one of the best beer ambassadors for the industry I’ve ever met, so her continued success is understandable and well-deserved. Join me in wishing Meg a very happy birthday.

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Justin Crossley, from the Brewing Network, with Meg at the 22nd Celebrator Anniversary Party in 2010.

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Speakeasy owner Forest Gray, Brian Lenzo, from Blue Palms in L.A., and Meg at a Speakeasy Anniversary event several years ago.

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Faction’s (then Triple Rock’s) Rodger Davis, struggling to keep the sun out of his eyes, with Meg at the Sour Fest.

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Meg and me at SF Beer Week’s Opening Gala a few years ago. (Photo by Mike Condie.)

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An older photo of Meg and Dave Hopwood, from Stone Brewing. (Photo purloined from Facebook.)

Beer Birthday: Grant Johnston

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Today is the 61st birthday of Grant Johnston. Grant was the original brewer at Marin Brewing when it opened in 1989, and spent a number of years at Black Diamond Brewing in Concord, California. Grant was very influential in the early days of Bay Area brewing, and he’s an incredibly talented brewer. A few years ago he moved to the midwest, and these days can be found working a few days a week at the Argus Brewery in Chicago. Last year, I was in Belgium at the Cantillon Brewery when in walked Grant, quite by chance, so you never know when you’re going to run into him. Join me in wishing Grant a very happy birthday.

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Grant and me at GABF in 2006.

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Grant (on the right) judging the 2006 Double IPA Festival in the cellar of The Bistro, with Tom Dalldorf, Vicky, our hard-working beer steward in the middle, and the Toronado’s Dave Keene in profile on the left.

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Brendan Moylan and Grant shortly before Marin Brewing opened in 1989.

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Grant and Arne Johnston brewing his Wild Rice Ale for Marin’s 25th Anniversary.

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Grant, bottom left, among the GABF judges for the 10th anniversary of the festival in 1992.

Beer Birthday: Chris Black

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Chris Black, who along with his brother, owns the Falling Rock, the best beer bar in Denver and HQ for beer people during GABF, turns 52 today. Chris is a great guy and one of a handful of early Publicans across the country doing things right when it came to beer, something that happily we’re seeing more of now. Join me in wishing Chris a very happy birthday.

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Chris and me toward the end of the night at GABF several years ago.

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Vinnie Cilurzo from Russian River Brewing with Chris at the Celebrator’s 18th Anniversary Party.

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Shaun O’Sullivan (21st Amendment), Judy Ashworth (Publican Emeritus) and Chris at Falling Rock during GABF in 2006.

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Megan Flynn, of the now-defunct Beer NW (later Beer West), with Chris at the end of GABF Week in 2009.

Beer Birthday: Larry Sidor

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Today is Larry Sidor’s 65th birthday. Larry brewed for a long time at the Olympia Brewery in Washington before moving on to Deschutes Brewing Co. in Bend, Oregon. He left Deschutes at the end of 2011 to strike out on his own, and opened the Crux Fermentation Project, which is also in Bend. Larry’s a great brewer, of course, and an even nicer person. Join me in wishing Larry a very happy birthday.

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Steven Pauwels (Boulevard Brewing), me, Mark Campbell, Larry and Lisa Morrison at Apex in Portland during OBF two summers ago.

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Larry with Alan Sprints (from Hair of the Dog) and Gary Fish (owner of Deschutes) at their downtown Bend brewpub when we visited there a couple of years ago on a family vacation.

Beer Birthday: Teri Fahrendorf

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Today is brewer Teri Fahrendorf‘s 29th birthday again. That number is pure conjecture, but it sure seems right for a woman who spent a year or so on the road, criss-crossing the United States twice visiting friends and colleagues in the brewing world. Sadly, I was out-of-town when she passed through the Bay Area that year. Teri was the brewmaster for the Steelhead Brewing chain for nearly two decades before leaving on her odyssey. You can relive that journey her Road Brewer adventures. She also founded the Pink Boots Society, an organization celebrating women in the brewing industry. These days, she’s a territory manager for the Country Malt Group. Join me in wishing Teri a very happy birthday.

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Teri behind the Steelhead Brewing booth at GABF in 2006.

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Ken Allen, former owner of Anderson Valley Brewing, and Teri at CBC in San Diego 2006.

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Teri Fahrendorf, then head of brewing operations for Steelhead accepting the Silver Medal for U.C.I.P.A. in Category: 14 Cellar or Unfiltered Beer at GABF.

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After a panel discussion at GABF on women in brewing. From left: Carol Stoudt (from Stoudts Brewing), Jennifer Talley (from Squatter’s Pub Brewery), Natalie Cilurzo (from Russian River) and Teri Fahrendorf.