Beer Birthday: Chuck Silva

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Today is also the birthday of Chuck Silva, brewmaster at Green Flash Brewing in San Diego. His West Coast IPA has taken the world by storm, and personally, I love his Tripel and Le Freak. The big, shiny new brewery they recently built is also pretty amazing. Join me in wishing Chuck a very happy birthday.

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Chuck at GABF two years ago.

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The beer chef, Bruce Paton, with Chuck at one his beer dinners.

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Chuck at Mammoth Lakes Bluesapalooza in 2007.

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Chuck serving the symposium beer at Stone Brewing during Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego in 2008.

Beer Birthday: Lew Bryson

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Today is my friend and fellow beer writer Lew Bryson’s 56th birthday. You used to be able read his writings at his website, lewbryson.com, Seen Through a Glass, and his Session Beer Project, but there’s less there now since he became the managing editor of Whiskey Advocate and isn’t writing about beer, although he’s still keeping up with his political Why the PLCB Should Be Abolished. His latest book is also about Tasting Whiskey. Lew is my favorite big galoot and the brother I never had. Join me is raising a glass of beer or whiskey and wishing Lew a very happy birthday.

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Award-winning beer writer Lew with Pete Slosberg at GABF several years ago.

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

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Birthday boy Lew (middle) flanked by fellow Pennsylvanians Don Russell (a.k.a. Joe Sixpack) and Jack Curtin. I’m originally from Pennsylvania, too. What is it about the Commonwealth and beer writers?

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Me and Lew at Triple Rock a few years ago.

Beer Birthday: Bruce Joseph

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Bruce Joseph, who’s been at Anchor Brewery for many, many years turns 59 today. There’s a big picture of him when he was very young in the stairwell at the brewery that I see every time I’m there. He’s been doing the distilling for Anchor’s whiskey and gin for a long while now and plays bass with the Hysters (Anchor’s big band) along with the Rolling Boil Blues Band (the Celebrator beer band that’s all industry musicians). If there’s a nicer person in the beer industry, I’ve yet to meet him. Join me in wishing Bruce a very happy birthday.

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On stage at the Northern California Rhythm & Blues Festival several years ago.

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A self-portrait of Bruce and me at the Anchor Christmas Party in 2006.

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With Melissa Myers at the Falling Rock during GABF 2007.

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With Garrett Oliver at an industry event during GABF years ago.

Beer Birthday: Jennifer Talley

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Today is the 46th birthday of Jennifer Talley, former brewer at Squatter’s Pub & Brewery, an oasis of good beer in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jen left Utah two years ago to become the Brewing Operations Manager for RedHook in Woodinville, Washington, and more recently joined Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, California. Unfortunately, Jen’s left Russian River to care for her ailing mother in Grass Valley and apparently has recently joined Brian Ford and Bill Wood brewing at Auburn Alehouse. Jennifer’s a terrific brewer and one of the coolest people in the industry. Join me in wishing Jennifer a very happy birthday.


In town to shoot a television pilot in 2007, Shaun O’Sullivan (21st Amendment), Dave McLean (Magnolia) and Jennifer outside Magnolia.


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.


At a beer dinner put on by The Lost Abbey near San Diego, Jennifer and Matt Brynildson stopped by our table for a visit with Adam Avery and Vinnie Cilurzo.


At CBC in San Diego, 2008. From left, Fal Allen (Asia Pacific Breweries), Jennifer and Geoff Larson (Alaskan Brewing).

Beer Birthday: Chris Rice

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Today is also the 43rd birthday of Chris Rice, who led a group that recently bought All About Beer magazine. Chris had worked at the magazine for many a moon, and in fact I got to know him much better during a press junket to Belgium a few years ago when I learned, among other things, that he’s a shark card player. He’s also a former brewery owner, having co-founded the Carolina Brewery in 1995, shortly after graduating from UNC. Having gone back to school for an MBA, he joined the staff of All About Beer and last year took over as president and publisher. Join me wishing Chris a very happy birthday.

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Pete Reid, me and Chris at Delirium Tremens in Brussels during a press junket to Belgium a couple of years ago.

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Chris being interviewed by Belgium television.

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A Belgian brewer, Chris, Craig Hartinger from Merchant Du Vin, Derek Buono from Beer: The Magazine, and me at our final dinner in Brussels.

Beer Birthday: Dylan Schatz

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Today is the 43rd birthday of Dylan Schatz, brewmaster at Mad River Brewing in Blue Lake, which is where he’s originally from. Dylan started in 1999 in the brewery’s packaging department, on the bottling line, and immediately fell in love with the beer industry. He took classes at UC Davis and became a brewer, and in 2005 was named head brewer. He’s a terrific person, one who often doesn’t get all the credit he deserves, especially since he’s been making some amazing beers. Please join me in wishing Dylan a very happy birthday.

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Dylan with some of the crew from Mad River after winning Small Brewery and Brewer of the Year at GABF in 2010.

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Behind the bar at Mad River’s tasting room during a visit there last summer, when I was in the research phase for my latest book, California Breweries North.

Beer Birthday: Tom Acitelli

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Today is the 38th birthday of Tom Acitelli, author of the wonderful history of craft beer, The Audacity of Hops. Tom reached out to me while he was working on his book, and we’ve been friends ever since. He’s a great new addition to the cadre of writers chronicling the beer industry these days. Join me in wishing Tom a very happy birthday.

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Tom reading selections from his book at Anchor Brewery.

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Tom and Vinnie Cilurzo during a visit to the Russian River production brewery.

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At Lagunitas for Tom’s book release party two years ago, with Joe Tucker, Jeremy Marshall, me, Tom and Ken Weaver.

Beer Birthday: Jeff O’Neil

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Today is the 41st birthday of Jeff O’Neil, who I first met when he was brewing at Drake’s here in sunny California. He’s since gone on to make a name for himself at Ithaca Beer Co. before leaving that gig to become the brewmaster at the Peekskill Brewery, both of which are in upstate New York, which is where Jeff originally hails from. Jeff’s a terrific brewer and an equally wonderful guy. Join me in wishing Jeff a very happy birthday.

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Jeff at GABF in 2007.

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Jeff O’Neil, from Ithaca Brewing, wearing his automatic-get-on-the-bulletin shirt, with Rodger Davis, when he was still with Drake’s, not wearing his, at the Craft Brewers Conference in 2008.

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Jeff O’Neil, a mild-mannered brewer was underneath wearing the Bulletin supporter costume that turns him into a superhero, coming into Deep Ellum in Boson for an event during the Craft Brewers Conference a few years ago.

Beer Birthday: John Hickenlooper

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Today is the 63rd birthday of Governor of Colorado — and former Denver mayor — John Hickenlooper. John was also the co-founder of Wynkoop Brewery in Denver’s LoDo District, and in fact is credited with helping to revitalize the whole area. After being a popular, and by all accounts very effective mayor, for several years, he was elected as the Governor of Colorado. John’s been great for Denver, Colorado and craft brewing. Join me in wishing John a very happy birthday.

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George Wendt, Nancy Johnson & John at the Great American Beer Festival three years ago.

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With Ken Allen, from Anderson Valley Brewing, and Dave Buehler, from Elysian Brewing at GABF several years ago.

Beer Birthday: Jay Sheveck

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Today is also the 45th birthday of Jay Sheveck, a beer writer and filmmaker in Los Angeles. In addition to writing for the Celebrator, Jay wrote the Beer Guppy’s Guide to Southern California . He’s also been working for many, many years on a documentary film about the early days of craft beer, Beer Pioneers. There’s a teaser trailer of it at the bottom of this page. Personally, I’m excited about his film (and not just because I may be in it, unless I end up on the cutting room floor, that is). Join me in wishing Jay a very happy birthday.

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Alec Moss, former brewer at Half Moon Bay, with Jay at the celebrator’s Best of the West Fest in 2009.

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Jay and a glass of Chimay.

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Jay and his wife Vicki at the Director’s Guild dinner in 1998.

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Jay and his new son Jake.

(Note: last three photos purloined from Facebook.)