Beer Birthday: Art Larrance

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Today is the 73rd 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.

Historic Beer Birthday: Robert Neame

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Today is the birthday of Robert Harry Beale Neame, though he was generally known as Bobby (February 25, 1934- ). He joined his family’s company, Shephard Neame in 1956, and in 1971 became the chairman of the company, a position he held until retiring in 2005, when he was named president.

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Shepherd Neame is an English independent regional brewery founded in 1698 in Faversham, Kent. Evidence has been uncovered showing brewing has taken place continuously on the current site since at least 1573. It is the oldest brewer in Great Britain and has been family-owned since 1864. The brewery produces a range of cask ales and filtered beers. Production is around 281,000 brewers’ barrels a year. It owns 338 pubs & hotels predominantly in Kent, London and South East England.

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From the Neame Family Research:

The next generation faced the same difficulties in the 1960s. Bobby Neame came to work at the Brewery in 1956. In September 1957 he became a director when Madeleine Finn, due to retire, decided to step down. Jasper, his father was ill at the time, but Bobby was back at work in the following January. By the September 1969 AGM he had widened his range considerably and it was said that he was helping in the Brewery, and was in charge of the free trade, advertising etc.

Laurie’s son, Colin Roger Beale Neame joined the company in October 1959, to help his father in the bottled beer department, a month after Rex Neame had joined in Managing ‘Queen Court’. At the September 1961 AGM after serving a probationary period on the Board, they both became full members. As the production director, he was in charge of the more technical side of the brewing business, making improvements in the bottling plant and keg beer, by utilizing many labour saving techniques. He also introduced a small biochemical laboratory employing a laboratory technician.

Jasper died on 18 Jan 1961 at the early age of 56, Laurie then becoming sole managing director. He survived his brother for another nine years and continued his interest in production.

Following is his father’s footsteps, Bobby took particular interest in the sales side of the business. This became especially important once the larger brewers started investing heavily in advertising, especially on commercial television. Bobby then became marketing manager in charge of “improving the image of the Company in the eyes of the public”, showing greater attention to publicity, with advertising on Southern Television in 1970.

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In 1968 the Cobb brewing company in Margate (with its family connection) again came on the market, together with 38 licensed premises. The Cobbs found it increasingly difficult to survive independently after the increasing success of the Butlins hotels group took over much of its trade. It was taken over by the Whitbreads in Januray 1968 and ceased to brew in the following October. This now left Shepherd Neame as ‘the last independent brewery in Kent.’

On 19 Dec 1970, Laurie died suddenly and unexpectedly at the end of the day, after all the excitement when his second son, Stuart, was married. In March 1971 Bobby became chairman and Colin managing director.

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I love the stained glass windows showing the brewery’s history.

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Martyn Cornell has a nice photo tour of the Shepherd Neame Brewery. And on YouTube there’s an interesting tour of the brewery.

Historic Beer Birthday: Jim Patton

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Today is the birthday of Jim Patton (February 24, 1953-October 23, 2012). He was a founder of the Abita Brewing Co. in 1986, the first microbrewery in the south, and one of the earliest anywhere. This is from his Wikipedia entry:

He was an anthropologist and craft beer brewer. He was considered one of the pioneers in the craft beer brewing industry. He was one of the founders of the Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs, Louisiana. He also brewed beer for Key West Brewery and Wynwood Brewing in Miami, Florida. Patton’s first career was as a cultural anthropologist. He received a doctorate in the subject from Washington and Lee University. His specialty was Andean agricultural economics. Patton taught at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana and Xavier University of Louisiana. He eventually quit those jobs to become a full-time brewer. Patton co-founded the Abita Brewing Company in 1986. The first Abita Beer debuted on July 4 that same year in New Orleans and Mandeville, Louisiana. Abita Brewing Company was the first craft brewery to open in the South. Patton was instrumental in creating many of the recipes for the beers that Abita still produces today. Patton sold his share in the Abita Brewing Company in 1997 and co-founded the Zea Rotisserie and Brewery where he was also the brewmaster. Later, he would brew beer for Key West Brewery and Wynwood Brewery in Miami, Florida. Patton was also interested in wine making and worked for wineries in California and Oregon. Jim Patton died in Miami on October 23, 2012.

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And this is his obituary from the Miami New Times:

Born February 24, 1953, Patton earned a bachelors degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he met his wife of 42 years. His first career was in professorship, earning a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Washington and Lee University in St. Louis, where he was a Dougherty Fellow specializing in Andean agricultural economics.

In 1980, Patton took a break from academia to visit friends in Abita Springs, Louisiana for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Soon after he moved to teach at Southeastern and Xavier universities in southern Louisiana.

Patton made an abrupt career change, deciding to leave the “politics in the teaching” to become a full-time brewer, applying his research skills and business acumen to start a company that would become among the cornerstones of the craft beer movement in the United States.

“One thing my academic background did teach me was research and study,” Patton told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal in 1994.

Abita Brewing Company debuted its first beer on July 4, 1986, and brewed only 1,500 barrels that year. Patton sold the brewery in 1998, but his legacy continued in the recipes for Abita’s flagship beers: Purple Haze, Turbo Dog, Amber, Andygator and Abita root beer. In 2011, Abita brewed over 130,000 barrels, and their product is available in 46 states, making it synonymous with Louisiana and one of the most widely distributed craft beers in the U.S.

After leaving Abita, Patton continued his entrepreneurship and brewing knowledge to co-found Zea Rotisserie, a chain of brewpubs in New Orleans, where he was also a brewmaster.

Patton went on to brew for Key West Brewery. A San Francisco native, he also returned to northern California to study wine, taking distance learning courses through University of California-Davis. He was an avid wine maker, working for wineries in Oregon and California.

Earlier this year, Patton responded to Brignoni’s ad on probrewer.com seeking a brewmaster. Patton came aboard with Wynwood Brewing in late September. Patton settled into an apartment in the Wynwood district of Miami, where he was attracted by the arts and street culture.

When WBC opens later this year or early 2013, it will be the first production craft brewery to open in the city of Miami since Wagner Brewing Company in 1934.

Patton was an avid explorer and Sierra Club member. As a teenager he explored the mountains of his native California on foot, bike and cross-country skiing. In his twenties he hiked the Inca Trail, exploring Patagonia and the caves of of the Maya mountains. He was a champion for peace and passionate defender of wild places and sustainability.

An extremely kind man, Patton kept cool and confident during difficult situations, believing that good will eventually triumph.

He was a man of many locations throughout the U.S., traversing between Washington state, California, New Orleans, Key West and Miami, keeping an intimate connection to each place.

“I just had a real desire to get back into brewing,” Patton told Short Order earlier this month. “I looked into a lot of places. I really enjoy start-ups because they get my mind going and engaged. Miami is just open territory for craft beer. Not a lot of local stuff is going on here, compared to Seattle, where there are 30 craft breweries in the city. Miami is a place where we could go in and get some recognition.”

“I am more determined than ever to take this project open and thrive,” Brignoni says. “WBC wasn’t just my dream, it was Jim’s too and there is no better way to honor him than by doing so. So I ask you all to cheers today in Jim’s name.”

He is survived by his mother, Peggy, his wife, Kathleen, his daughter, Kathryn, his son, Will, and his two sisters, Amy and Betty.

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The Abita Brew Pub.

And this is from NOLA:

Jim Patton, a pioneer in the American craft beer brewing movement and a founder of Abita Brewing Co. and Zea Rotisserie & Brewery, died Oct. 23 in Miami, where he was helping to start a new brewery. He was 59.

Patton died suddenly of unknown causes, said his wife of 42 years, Kathleen “Catch” Patton.

An avid home brewer, Patton was a founding partner in the Abita Brewing Co. in Abita Springs. Taking advantage of the town’s famous artesian waters, he launched the company at a time when Americans were first developing a taste for indie craft brews. When its first beers debuted on July 4, 1986, Abita was just the 13th craft brewery to open in the United States and the first in the South.

“The first night we rolled out with a beer, we had one bar in New Orleans and one bar in Mandeville that carried it,” Patton recalled last month to writer David Minsky of Miami’s New Times newspaper. “We got some of the local television media in there, and they had some pictures of people dancing on the bar, and you just can’t buy that.”

Crafting beer intrigued him, Patton said in the article, because it was a “blend of science and art.”

Abita produced 1,500 barrels of beer its initial year. Patton sold his stake in the company in 1997, but the business he launched now brews more than 125,000 barrels of beer and 8,000 barrels of root beer.

Patton left Abita when he realized he was spending more time behind a desk than in the brewery, he told New Times. “I opened a brewery because I wanted to brew. Eight years later I was sitting in an office talking to distributors and bankers and that’s not what I wanted to do.”

After Abita, Patton was a co-founder and brewmaster of Zea Rotisserie & Brewery, and was brewmaster at Key West Brewery in Florida. Recently, he became involved with the launch of Wynwood Brewing Co., a craft brewer in Miami.

But beer wasn’t his only love. Patton also enjoyed making wine at his home on Lopez Island, in the San Juan Islands of Washington state, and he worked at several wineries in Oregon and California, Kathleen Patton said.

Before he got in the beer business, Patton was an anthropologist and taught at several universities, including Southeastern Louisiana and Xavier. He earned a doctorate in cultural anthropology as a Dougherty Fellow at Washington University and specialized in Andean agricultural economics.

A California native, Patton loved the outdoors and hiked, biked and cross-country skied throughout his teenage years. “In his 20s, he hiked the Inca Trail, explored Patagonia, and journeyed into the caves of the Maya mountains,” Kathleen Patton said by email Thursday night. “Recently he sailed the waters of the Florida Keys and hiked and kayaked extensively in his beloved great Pacific Northwest.”

He met Kathleen in 1970 during their first week of classes at Carleton College.

In addition to Kathleen, Patton is survived by his daughter Kathryn Braidwood Patton of Seattle, Wash; his son, William Anselm Patton, of Lopez Island, Wash.; his mother and two sisters

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Historic Beer Birthday: Georg Schneider II

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Today is the birthday of Georg Schneider II (February 24, 1846-1890) who co-founded G. Schneider & Son along with his father Georg Schneider I in 1872. His dad leased the royal “Weisse Brauhuas’ Hofbräuhaus in Munich in 1855 and purchased from King Ludwig II the right to brew wheat beer in 1872. Georg II, along with his father acquired the so-called Maderbräu Im Tal 10″ in 1872.

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Both he and his father passed away in 1890, and his son, Georg III, took over the brewery even though he was barely 20 at the time, and today George VI still owns and runs the brewery.

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The “Weisses Bräuhaus” in Munich, Tal (or Thal) is the founding place of their brewery. It’s the place where Georg Schneider I brewed his first Schneider Weisse Original in 1872.

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“In 1927 the owners, who to this day are descendants of Georg Schneider I, expanded their brewing operations into Kelheim and Straubing. After the breweries in Munich were destroyed in 1944 by aerial bombardment by the Allies of World War II, the entire production was relocated to Kelheim.”

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Historic Beer Birthday: Gottlieb Brekle

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Today is the birthday of Gottlieb Brekle (February 23, 1821-1888). He was born somewhere in Germany, most likely Württemberg, though possibly Ludwigsburg or Hamburg, arriving in America on July 31, 1852, along with his wife Marie and young son Frederick. In 1871, according to Anchor, “Brekle bought an old beer-and-billiards saloon on Pacific Street near Russian Hill for $3,500, transforming it into the American brewery that, twenty-five years later, would be renamed Anchor” when it it was bought by “German brewer Ernst F. Baruth and his son-in-law, Otto Schinkel, Jr.” Given how long ago Brekle was born, not to mention all of the records lost due to the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, little is known about Brekle’s life, and I don’t know of any pictures of him. Even the spelling of his name seems uncertain, with records existing where it’s spelled Breckle, Breckel, and Breckels, too, making trying to find information a lot harder.

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After Gottlieb, or George, as he took calling himself later, died, his son Frederick took over the business. Since we know the brewery was sold in 1896, we can be pretty sure Gottlieb died before then, but it could have been in 1888, or some other year, nobody seems sure. Anchor wrote on their blog, in a piece entitled Under the Crown: A Brewery is Born, which I assume was written by Anchor’s historian Dave Burkhart (who I consider a friend) that Gottlieb Brekle’s naturalization papers indicate he became a citizen in 1854, and they display a small image of those papers.

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But as much as it pains me, I’m not sure that’s right. Look at the paper blown up a bit, so it’s a little easier to read.

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From what I can make out, he was a subject of the King of Württemberg on September 21, 1861, but became a U.S. citizen August 5, 1854, which I don’t quite understand, but then some of language is hard to read. But the name on that document appears to be “Carl Gottlieb Breckles,” so I’m wondering if it may be a different person?

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I found this document on Ancestory.com, which is a voter “Register 7th Precinct, 4th Ward, San Francisco County, 1880.” Line 34, the third from the bottom, lists a Gottlieb Brekle, age 59 (which would make his birth year 1821 if he was 59 in 1880). It also lists his occupation as “Brewer” and his address as “1431 Pacific,” in San Francisco. But more telling is that last column, which lists the date he was naturalized. And for Gottlieb, what’s listed is August 4, 1879. And more confirmation is in the line below, where it lists a Frederick Brekle, also listed as a “Brewer” and living at the same address. Since we know that was his son’s name, it seems pretty clear that this document is referring to our Gottlieb Brekle.

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The Anchor Brewery in the early 1900s.

Sadly, there isn’t much more known, though Anchor also has some more information they found in researching newspapers at the time.

Fortunately for researchers of San Francisco history, most of its early newspapers survived. In early 1874, San Francisco’s largest brewery—the Philadelphia Brewery—took out an ad in an SF paper to brag that it had sold more beer than any of SF’s other 33 breweries the previous year. Anchor, then called the Golden City Brewery, ranked 29th out of 34, with sales of just 585 barrels, the equivalent of about 8,000 cases of beer. If that seems like a lot of beer, our brewery’s sales in 1873 were just .33% (not 33%, not 3.3%, but .33% or 33/100 of 1%!) of total sales in barrels by all SF breweries!

In 2011, Anchor Brewing released a beer named after their first brewmaster, Brekle’s Brown.

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And here’s a short video Anchor released at the time.

Beer Birthday: J.J. Phair

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Today is the birthday of J.J. Phair, co-founder of E.J. Phair Brewing. J.J. started homebrewing in 1990, and ten years later opened his brewery, which is named for his grandfather Ewart John Phair, who was an amateur winemaker and beer lover, as a way to honor E.J. The brewery’s grown since then, and today there’s a Concord Alehouse, a production brewery and taproom in Pittsburg. Join me in wishing J.J. a very happy birthday.

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J.J. and Craig Cauwels at the E.J. Phair brewery taproom in 2012.

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J.J. at the Bay Area Beer Festival in 2006.

Historic Beer Birthday: Samuel Charles Whitbread

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Today is the birthday of Samuel Charles Whitbread (February 22, 1937- ), an heir to the Whitbread Brewery, who was president of the brewery and Whitbread’s other businesses from 1972 to 2001, when he retired. There’s some basic biographical information from the Peerage:

Sir Samuel Charles Whitbread was born on 22 February 1937. He is the son of Major Simon Whitbread and Helen Beatrice Margaret Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis.3 He married Jane Mary Hayter, daughter of Charles William John Hugh Hayter, on 31 August 1961.

He was educated at Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. He held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for Bedfordshire in 1969. He was a director of Whitbread plc between 1972 and 2001. He held the office of High Sheriff of Bedfordshire between 1973 and 1974. He was invested as a Knight, Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (K.St.J.). He was invested as a Fellow, Linnean Society (F.L.S.). He was invested as a Fellow, Royal Society of Arts (F.R.S.A.). He was chairman of Whitbread & Company between 1984 and 1992. He held the office of Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire in 1991. He lived in 2003 at Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, England. He was invested as a Dame Commander, Royal Victorian Order (D.C.V.O.) in 2010.

b12-246 Lord Samuel Whitbread, outgoing Lord Lieutenant in the comfort of his own home at Southill estate.

This is his entry from the International Who’s Who for 2004.

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b12-246 Lord Samuel Whitbread, outgoing Lord Lieutenant in the comfort of his own home at Southill estate.

Beer Birthday: Fred Bueltmann

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Today is Fred Bueltmann’s 48th 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 a couple of years ago. (“borrowed” from her Facebook page, thanks Carolyn).

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Fred, with Jeff Mendel, at GABF in 2013.

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John Mallet, from Bell’s, with Fred at Red Horse Ranch in Michigan (photo purloined from Facebook).

Historic Beer Birthday: John Emmerling

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Today is the birthday of John Emmerling (February 21, 1851-May 24, 1912). He was born in Philadelphia, but moved to Johnston in Western Pennsylvania, where he founded the Empire Brewery in 1878. It was concurrently also known as the Emmerling Brewing Co. the entire time it was in business, until it was closed by Prohibition in 1920.

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Here’s a biography of Emmerling, written in 1896 from the Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Cambria County:

JOHN EMMERLING, proprietor of the Empire Brewery, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was born in Philadelphia, this State, February 22, 1851. His education was acquired in the public schools of his native city, upon the completion of which he learned the business of brewing. Subsequently, he traveled extensively, visiting many of the more important cities of the West, and finally, located in Pittsburg, where he married. In 1878 he came to Johnstown, and immediately embarked in the brewing business on his own account. Starting in the humble building now known as the Eintracht Hall, the brewery of John Emmerling prospered so well that in one year it was moved to the larger building now occupied by the bottling house of William Thomas. Six years more saw the business grow until it became necessary to build and remove to the large and commodious brick structure which occupies nearly half a square, fronting on Horner street. The plant is two hundred by one hundred and eighty feet, three stories high, and has an annual output of eight thousand barrels, and contains all the latest improved machinery known to the brewer’s art, including engines, two ten-ton refrigerators, seven pumps for various purposes, and bottling apparatus. A visit to the vault in which the beer is stored, gives to the uninitiated a genuine surprise. Following the guide, one wanders in and out among the huge hogsheads, some of which contain forty, and others as high as eighty barrels of the amber fluid, surrounded on all sides by pipes covered to the depth of several times their own thickness with white frost, produced by the intense cold of the ammonia and brine which they contain, one can but express astonishment at the wonderful advance made since the time when nature alone supplied the cooling substance. So large is the local demand for the beer brewed at this establishment, that very little is shipped out of the city. Two wagons are kept going constantly, and two others are used when the demand requires. The present force consists of fourteen men, to which several others are added when increased business makes demand. On September 26, 1872, Mr. Emmerling married Miss Phil. Houch, a daughter of Earnest Houch, a prominent citizen of Pittsburg, and to them have been born ten children. Mr. Emmerling was one of the organizers of the board of trade, in which he takes an active interest.

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And this is his obituary from the Western Brewer, June 1912

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John Emmerling at the wheel of a 1908 Maxwell that he drove round-trip between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in a race with a $20,000 prize at stake (around $532,258 today’s money). Emmerling (who owned Emmerling Brewery) came out on top.

This is John Emmerling’s brewery, also known as the Empire Brewery in Johnston, Pennsylvania, which also served as the family’s residence.
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Historic Beer Birthday: Philip Zorn

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Today is the birthday of Philip Lewis Zorn (February 21, 1837-January 4, 1912). Zorn was born in Wűrzburg, Bavaria, and learned brewing from his father, how was a brewer in Germany. In 1855, when he was eighteen, he emigrated to the U.S., and initially settled in Illinois, where he worked in breweries in Blue Island, Illinois. In 1871, he moved to Michigan City, Indiana and opened the Philip Zorn Brewery. Twenty years later, he incorporated it as the Ph. Zorn Brewing Co. After prohibition, his sons Robert and Charles, who had worked for the brewery beginning as young men, reopened the brewery as the Zorn Brewing Co. Inc., but it in 1935 it became known as the Dunes Brewery, before closing for good in 1938. He was also a city councilman and a co-founder of Citizens Bank of Michigan City.

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This account is from the Indiana Bicentennial:

Philip Zorn Jr. was the son of a brewer in Wűrzburg, Bavaria who immigrated at the age of 18. He worked at a brewery in Illinois from 1855 until he started his own in Michigan City. By 1880 he was making 3,000 bbls annually. He became a prosperous man, a city councilman and the founder of the Citizens Bank of Michigan City.

The company passed to Philip’s sons Robert and Charles who built a new brewhouse in 1903 and reached almost 15,000 bbls by the time of Prohibition. During the dry years they made the Zoro brand of soda pop. After Prohibition they changed the name to Dunes Brewing, possibly because of a court action against Zorn in 1935 for selling beer to unlicensed companies. They made Grain State, Golden Grain and Pilsenzorn brands.

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Zorn beers.

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And this excerpt is from “Hoosier Beer: Tapping into Indiana Brewing History,” by Bob Ostrander and Derrick Morris:

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