Beer Birthday: Gary Fish

Today is the 59th birthday of Gary Fish, founder of Deschutes Brewing in Bend, Oregon. Gary grew up in Northern California wine country, but relocated to Bend to start the brewery in 1987, opening the original brewpub the following year. Since then, they built a production brewery and have gone on to open two additional brewpub locations, one in Bend and one in Portland. As of last year, they were the 5th largest craft brewery and the 11th largest brewery in America. Not bad for a brewery with a Porter as its flagship. Plus, Gary is a great person to discuss politics with, preferably over a beer. Join me in wishing Gary a very happy birthday.

Larry Sidor, former brewmaster at Deschutes (and now at his Crux Fermentation Project), with Alan Sprints (from Hair of the Dog) and Gary at their downtown Bend brewpub when we visited there last summer on a family vacation.

Gary Fish, Kurt Widmer (from Widmer Brothers) and beer writer Fred Eckhardt at Don Younger’s memorial (photo by Tom Dalldorf).

Deschutes Accepting the Hammer
Gary accepting the OBF hammer after the parade in 2009.

Presenting a World Beer Award for “World’s Best Stout” last week in Bend to Gary and his crew at Deschutes.

U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio, Gary, and Representative Greg Walden — all from Oregon — enjoying craft beer at a Capitol Hill reception when the Small Brewers Conference held their first meeting.

Beer Birthday: Greg Hall

virtue goose-island
Today is also the 50th birthday of Greg Hall, former brewmaster at Goose Island Brewing. Goose Island, of course, makes some incredible beers. Founded by Greg’s father John Hall in 1988, Greg became brewmaster a few years later and has been setting high standards ever since, though he left after the family business was acquired by ABI. His new venture is Virtue Cider. Join me in wishing Greg a very happy birthday.

Greg with Alex Puchner, head of brewing operations for BJs.

Greg with the owners of Monk’s Kettle in San Francisco.

Wil Turner, also with Goose Island, me and Greg at the 2006 GABF.

Greg pulling a proper pint of English brewed Honkers Ale at the Crosse Keys in London (this last photo purloined from Facebook).

Beer Birthday: Rob Widmer

Today is Rob Widmer’s 59th birthday. Rob is, of course, one of the bros in Widmer Brothers. He and his brother Kurt helped found the Oregon Brewers Festival, created the style American Hefeweizen and are one of the few small brewers that have managed to retain their spirit and reputation as they’ve grown much larger. Join me in wishing Rob a very happy birthday.

Kurt and Rob Widmer with ther wives at the Oregon Brewers Festival several years ago.

Kurt and Rob after their win for Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year at GABF in 2002.

Rob with the Ralph’s (Olson and Woodall) from HopUnion at the 15th Anniversary Party for the Celebrator Beer News.

Rob Widmer & Don Younger @ Wynkoop
Rob with the late, great Don Younger at Wynkoop during GABF in 2009.

Beer Birthday: Rick Lyke

Today is the 54th birthday of Rick Lyke, a fellow drinks writer in North Carolina. Rick writes for a variety of publications and online at Lyke 2 Drink. It’s especially terrific that we can all celebrate Rick’s 54th today, because he fought and won a battle with prostate cancer, which prompted him to found the grassroots organization Pints For Prostates. Rick is a terrific champion for both great beer and men’s health. Join me in wishing Rick a very happy birthday.

Rick Lyke, Organizer of Rare Beer Tasting @ Wynkoop
Rick at the first Rare Beer Tasting at Wynkoop during GABF Week in 2009.

Carol Stoudt, Amy Dalton & Rick Lyke @ Rare Beer Tasting
Rick with Carol Stoudt and Amy Dalton at the first Rare Beer tasting at Wynkoop to raise money for his Pints for Prostates organization.

Lew Bryson and Rick at the World Beer Festival in Durham in 2008.

Jeff Bearer, Stan Hieronymus, Stephen Beaumont, me and Rick Lyke @ Great Divide
Jeff Bearer, Stan Hieronymus, Stephen Beaumont and me with Rick at the Great Divide open house on the first day of GABF a few years ago.

And finally, the ubiquitous Sam Adams brunch photo I use four times a year, with Daniel Bradford, of All About Beer, Jim Koch, Amy Dalton (who used to be with All About Beer) and Rick.

Beer Birthday: Richard Brewer-Hay

Today is the 40th birthday of Richard Brewer-Hay, co-founder (with his wife Allie) and brewer of San Francisco’s smallest almost brewery: the Elizabeth Street Brewery. Despite its size (it’s really more of a nanobrewery or even a picobrewery) and intermittent schedule, it was named three years ago by SF Weekly as San Francisco’s Best Microbrewery 2010. I thought I had a photo of Richard and Allie from when I ran into them at the Map Room in Chicago during CBC a few years ago, but I guess not. Instead, I purloined the photos below from Facebook. Join me in wishing Richard a very happy birthday.

Given it was Richard’s tweet from the World Series that reminded me it was his birthday, here’s him at the first game of the World Series two years ago.

A self-portrait with his wife, Allie, in the Cascades in Washington a few years ago.

With Jabber the Parrot at eBay On Location in San Jose.

Below is a very, very short video I captured of Richard and Nico Freccia, from 21st Amendment, accepting their World Beer Cup award for the beer Richard and Shaun O’Sullivan made at 21A in Chicago.

Beer Birthday: Glynn Phillips

Today is also the birthday of Glynn Phillips, owner of Rubicon Brewing in Sacramento, which also opened a production brewery not too far from the original brewpub. Glynn’s a great champion for craft beer and has done quite a lot for the cause. Glynn is also very active in both the California Small Brewers Association and the Northern California Brewers Guild. Join me in wishing Glynn a very happy birthday.

Brian Ford, from Auburn Alehouse, with Glynn at the Raley Field Brewfest in 2007.

Glynn Phillips (Rubicon), Brendan Moylan (Marin/Moylan’s), Alec Moss (Half Moon Bay), Brian Hunt (Moonlight), Rodger Davis (Triple Rock) and Josh Minor (Drake’s) at the Breastfest in 2008.

Glynn in his brewery last year when I visited him in Sacramento.

Arne Johnson, Chris Goehe and Glynn.

Beer Birthday: Armand Debelder

Today is the 64th birthday of Armand Debelder, master blender and owner of Proef 3 Fonteinen — a.k.a. Drie Fonteinen — a lambic brewery and blendery making traditional geuze and kriek in Beersal, Belgium. According to their U.S. importer, Shelton Brothers:

Drie Fonteinen is the only remaining traditional geuze blender in Belgium, using only 100% spontaneously fermented lambik beer, aged in oak casks, with no artificial sweeteners or other additives. The blendery is connected to the very popular Drie Fonteinen Restaurant in Beersel, on the outskirts of Brussels. The proprietor, Armand Debelder, buys pure lambik from three breweries in Belgium, ages them in oak, and blends them, employing the skill, knowledge, and supreme passion for real geuze that his father handed down to him.

I had a chance to meet and talk with Armand a couple of times during Philly Beer Week a few years ago. And, of course, his beer is amazingly good. Join me in wishing Armand a very happy birthday.

Tom Peters, Frank Boon, Jean Van Roy, Fergie Carey and Armand Debelder
Tom Peters, Frank Boon, Jean Van Roy, Fergie Carey and Armand Debelder at a Lambic Beer Dinner held at Monk’s Cafe in Philadelphia earlier a couple of years ago.

Me and Armand Debelder
Armand and me at the Great Lambic Summit at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology & Anthropology on June 9, 2010.

Beer Birthday: Melissa Cole

Today is the 40th birthday of Melissa Cole, UK beer writer extraordinaire. I’d met Melissa first online and then in person at the Rake in London a few years ago. She’s also been coming over to our side of the pond to judge at both GABF and the World Beer Cup. She’s a great advocate for beer generally, but especially for women, and is great fun to hang out and drink with. She also writes online at Taking the Beard Out of Beer! which is subtitled “A Girl’s Guide To Beer.” Her first book, Let Me Tell You About Beer, was published a couple of years ago. Join me in wishing Melissa a very happy birthday.

At the Great British Beer Festival three years ago, with Roger Protz.

Greg Koch & Melissa Cole Again
Melissa with Greg Koch, from Stone Brewing, at GABF in 2009.

Tomme Arthur and Melissa Cole
The Lost Abbey’s Tomme Arthur with a blushing Melissa at the World Beer Cup dinner in Chicago a few years ago.

A couple of years ago at the Rake in London, Melissa and Matt Brynildson, from Firestone Walker.

With friends at University sometime between 1993-97 (photo purloined from Facebook).

Beer Birthday: Jonathan Cutler

Today is the 43rd birthday of Jonathan Cutler, brewmaster/owner of Piece Brewing in Chicago. His brewpub makes great pizza and even better beer. Plus, he’s a terrific, fun person. He even got a shout-out at the Academy Awards a couple of years ago, when Quentin Tarantino said “Piece Out” during his acceptance speech. Join me in wishing Jonathan a very happy birthday.

Serving beer and pizza at the CBC Reception at the Field Museum.

At Stone Brewery during CBC in San Diego in 2008. From left: Peter Schell, Eric Rose (Hollister Brewing), Ian Ward (Brewers Supply Group), Jonathan Cutler (Piece Brewing), Chad Kennedy (Laurelwood Public House) and Fal Allen (now back at Anderson Valley).

Jonathan picking up another GABF award for Piece in 2007.

Jonathan Cutler always cries at weddings
Jonathan tearing up during Dave Keene and Jennifer Smith’s wedding during GABF a few years ago.

Beer Birthday: Lucy Saunders

because beer is food: in cooking, at the table, and by the glass …

So begins the website of beer cook Lucy Saunders, whose birthday is today. Lucy has done much to promote both cooking with beer and enjoying food with beer through her books and other writings. She’s a treasure, in more ways than one. Join me in wishing Lucy a very happy birthday Lucy.

At the beer bistro in Toronto for Stephen Beaumont and Maggie’s wedding reception.

Lucy with Stacy Williams, Brand Manager for Gambrinus, at the Hot Brands reception at the NBWA Convention, when it was in San Francisco a few years ago.

During CBC in Austin, Texas in 2007, at the Moonshine bar for an event with Lucy for her book, Grilling with Beer. Here, Lucy with three contributors to her book, myself included.

Lucy with Vinnie Cilurzo at the GABF brewers reception in Denver in 2006.

Shaun O’Sullivan from 21st Amendment, Fergie Carey, co-owner of Monk’s, Lucy Saunders, the beer cook, and Tom Peters, also co-owner of Monk’s at the Canned Beer Dinner several Junes ago.