Today is the 68th birthday of Jack McAuliffe, the father of the modern microbrewery. Jack incorporated his New Albion Brewery in October of 1976, and began producing beer the following year from his tiny brewery in Sonoma, California. His 1-barrel system suggests he may also have been the first nanobrewery, as well. I finally got a chance to meet Jack when he was San Francisco for CBC a couple of years ago, and was privileged to spend some time with him the week after CBC when Jack visited Russian River Brewery and then the next day graciously showed us the original site of his New Albion Brewery. I’ve since been fortunate to talk with Jack on several more occasions, and it’s always a treat. Join me in wishing Jack a very happy birthday.
Esteemed Portland beer writer Fred Eckhardt turns 87 today. Portland’s Fred Eckhardt is a living legend, especially in his home city, having pioneered writing about and defining beer styles with his early book on the subject, The Essentials of Beer Style, published in 1989. Around his birthday also the 8th annual FredFest will be held, a beer festival honoring Fred. Join me in wishing Fred a very happy birthday.
At the Celebrator’s 18th anniversary party in February. From left: Shaun O’Sullivan, from 21st Amendment, Fred Eckhardt, the woman who wanted this picture of all her beer writing “heroes” in the first place, me, Tom Dalldorf, Celebrator publisher, and Randy Griggs, with DBi and the BN.
Today is Dave Alexander’s 50th birthday. Until recently, Dave was the co-owner, along with his wife Dianne, of the world famous Brickskeller beer bar in Washington, DC. They’re sill rocking the beer world at their other beer bar: RFD. Dave’s also a crack lead guitarist who often plays with the Rolling Boil Blues Band. Join me in wishing Dave a very happy birthday.
Today is the 50th birthday of Bill Covaleski, a co-founder of Victory Brewing Co., along with his childhood friend Ron Barchet. I first met Bill at the brewery doing an article on Pennsylvania breweries for the Celebrator nearly a decade ago. It’s been great seeing his brewery rack up victory after victory as they’ve grown and become one of Pennsylvania’s best, biggest and brightest. Join me in wishing Bill a very happy birthday.
Today is Danish brewer Anders Kissmeyer’s 57th birthday. He was a co-founder of Nørrebro Bryghus in Copenhagen. I first met Anders through corresponding with him for an article on collaboration beers I did for All About Beer magazine a couple of years ago. Then we met in person at GABF a couple of years ago and judged together at the World Beer Cup in Chicago. Kissmeyer recently left Nørrebro due to economic circumstances, but his mood was upbeat and with his talent will be brewing again any minute. Join me in wishing Anders a very happy birthday.
Today is the Beer Chef, Bruce Paton’s 58th birthday. Bruce has been doing fantastic dinners pairing great beer and gourmet food for over ten years in the Bay Area, since 2001 at the Cathedral Hill Hotel, where, until recently, he was the Executive Chef. He’s about to start working at Miss Pearl’s Jam House in Oakland’s Jack London Square, so hopefully we soon starting seeing more of his beer dinners. I’ve been to many, many of Bruce’s food events and they’re all spectacularly top notch. He did around eight each year. Raise a toast and stuff your face in wishing Bruce a very happy birthday.
My hands down favorite photo of Bruce, which I took for the Chef’s Association of the Pacific Coast newsletter. I don’t think this is the one they used, but, by far, as I think it captures Bruce’s spirit and his great love and passion for what he does with his cooking and beer.
Giving a cooking demonstration with Garret Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery and author of The Brewmaster’s Table at the 2005 GABF.
Today is iconoclastic brewer Brian Hunt’s 56th birthday. Brian owns and operates Moonlight Brewing in in Sonoma County, California, as almost a one-man show. If you’ve never had his “Death and Taxes,” “Twist of Fate Bitter,” “Bombay by Boat,” or his fresh hop ale, alternately called “Homegrown” or “Greenbud Ale,” then you’re really missing out on some of the most unique and wonderful beers around. Plus, Brian is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Join me in wishing Brian a very happy birthday.
Brian in his hopyard, with Russian River’s old assistant brewer Travis (who recently opened his own place, Societe Brewing), and Vinnie Cilurzo.
Today is Robert “Mac” MacTarnahan’s birthday, one of Oregon’s most famous athletes. Mac would have been 98 today, but unfortunately he passed away in 2004. He was one of the original investors in Portland Brewing Co., which was later named MacTarnahan’s Brewing in Mac’s honor. I met Mac twice, once in Portland at an event at the brewery, and once he visited me in California when I was still the beer buyer at BevMo. I hope I have half the energy he did when I’m in my eighties. A couple of years ago, my friend and colleague John Foyston wrote a nice remembrance of Mac in The Oregonian, which included the obituary he wrote in 2004. Raise a glass today to Mac’s memory.
Mac’s Oregon Sports Hall of Fame photo. Here’s his entry:
Oregon’s most accomplished Masters Athlete, Robert “Mac” MacTarnahan is the first masters competitor ever chosen for induction into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. His athletic feats are amazing. Mac is a four-time Masters world record holder with a national record in the mile plus three world record holders in the 3000-meter steeplechase. In the steeplechase, he is a six-time AAU National Masters champion, two-time USA National Senior Olympic champion, two-time World Senior champion. Mac is also a five-time National Masters wrestling champion. The wiry Scot owns more the 50 Masters Gold Medals.
Today is the 63rd birthday of Daniel Bradford. Daniel is the publisher of All About Beer magazine. He’s been involved in the beer world for many a year, from the early days of GABF to the Brewers Association of America, which a few years ago merged with the Association of Brewers to become the Brewers Association. Join me in wishing Daniel a very happy birthday.
Today is the 59th birthday of Pat McIllhenney, brewmaster and owner Alpine Beer Co. near San Diego. Pat makes some amazing hoppy beers. Unfortunately, his beers are hard to find up our way, but rumor has it he’s building a bigger brewery to solve that problem. Join me in wishing Pat a very happy birthday.