Beer Birthday: Grant Wood

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Today is the 52nd birthday of Grant Wood, co-founder and brewmaster at Revolver Brewing in Granbury, Texas. For many years, Grant worked at the Boston Beer Co., making Samuel Adams beer, and many of their more experimental offerings, which is where I first got to know him. I knew he’d left to open his own place back home, and he sent me a text at the end of the GABF awards last year inviting me to stop by his booth to see what he’d been up to. Not surprisingly, what that was is making great beer. All of the beers I tried were terrific and it looks like his new brewery is off to a good start. Join me in wishing Grant a very happy birthday.

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Grant with Revolver’s first keg sold.

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In case anybody was confused as to what they were doing; that’s Grant on the far left.

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Grant back in his Sam Adams’s days two-fisting a pair of Sam Adams Light Beer, before he traded them in for a pair of revolvers. [Note: photos purloined from Facebook.]

Beer In Ads #1374: Pioneering Since 1849


Friday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1949. The ad is 100 years from something, though it’s unclear what. In addition to the gold rush in California, I guess there was a lot of “pioneering” still going on 100 years before this ad ran, but Schlitz itself didn’t start brewing for another 25 years, in 1874. Still, this Oregon Trail-like painting is pretty cool, even if it has little to do with the beer.

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Beer In Ads #1373: Getting Outside A Guinness With R.L.S.


Thursday’s ad is for Guinness, from 1955. The ad features Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, who was born today in 1850. R.L.S. — as he’s referred to in the tagline — was the author of “Treasure Island,” the “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,” and many others. According to the ad, which ran in the Illustrated London News, Stevenson was aboard a cruise ship in the South Pacific in 1893, when he wrote a letter to a person named Colvin, a portion of which was also part of the ad copy:

Fanny ate a whole fowl for breakfast, to say nothing of a tower of hot cakes. Belle and I floored another hen betwixt the pair of us, and I shall no sooner be done with the present amanuensing racket than I shall put myself outside a pint of Guinness. If you think this looks like dying of consumption in Apia, I can only say I differ from you.

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Where Do You Fit In The Next Session?

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For our 94th Session, our host for the second time is Adrian Dingle, better known online simply as Ding through his Ding’s Beer Blog. For his topic, he’s asking folks to ponder their place in the world. Not the wider world, the whole ball of wax, but our little self-staked piece of it, the collective known as the beer community, or “Your role in the beer ‘scene’. What it is?

[W]here do you see yourself? Are you simply a cog in the commercial machine if you work for a brewery, store or distributor? Are you nothing more than an interested consumer? Are you JUST a consumer? Are you a beer evangelist? Are you a wannabe, beer ‘professional’? Are you a beer writer? All of the above? Some of the above? None of the above? Where do you fit, and how do you see your own role in the beer landscape?

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So time for a little self-examination — rubber gloves not included. To participate in December’s Session, simply try to figure out your very existence and post your answer on Ding’s comments section to his announcement or otherwise send Ding your link to your contribution by December 5th.

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Which one are you?

Brewing: Love & Talent With Peter Bouckaert

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You’re probably familiar with Ted Talks, but there’s also independently organized Ted events, known as TEDx. Recently Peter Bouckaert, the brewmaster at New Belgium Brewing gave one at TEDxCSU, the Fort Collins extension of the talks. In the talk, “[h]e explains his personal journey of challenging limitations to “brew” together a life of creativity,” and the YouTube page describes Peter as having “made a career through utilizing innovation and working outside the box.”

A Belgian native, he is a Biochemistry engineer, with a specialization in Brewing and Fermentation technology from the University of Ghent, Belgium. Before joining New Belgium in 1996, and moving to the US, he worked in the Belgian brewery world in breweries with difficult to pronounce names like Zulte and the world renowned Rodenbach. He was the 2013 winner of the Russell Schehrer award for innovation in Brewing.

It’s only a little longer than fifteen minutes. I only wish it was longer. Enjoy.

Beer Birthday: Don Russell

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Today is fellow beer writer Don Russell’s 59th birthday. Don writes a beer column for the Philadelphia Daily News under the nom de plume Joe Sixpack. He also writes a blog online, Beer Radar. His most recent book, What the Hell Am I Drinking?, was published last year and can still be ordered directly from the author. Don is a fellow Pennsylvanian, a crack card player, and one of my very favorite people to share a beer and discuss the issues of the day with. Join me in wishing Don a very happy birthday.

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Don (center) with me and Lisa Morrison at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich during a press junket to Bavaria a few years ago.

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Don, with fellow Pennsylvanians Lew Bryson and Jack Curtin at GABF.

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Me and Don at the kick-off for the first Philly Beer Week in 2008.

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Don with Pete Slosberg, signing books at GABF a couple of years ago.

Beer In Ads #1372: It Was Rugged, Mates


Wednesday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1962. A sailor at a bar telling tall tales. What are the odds? In this story, “it was rugged, mates,” our intrepid man of the sea begins. “33 days in a lifeboat and worst of all no Schlitz!” No Tiger, either, but can that really be the worst thing? Sounds like this must not be the first retelling.

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Beer In Ads #1371: Over The Border From Canada .. Comes


Tuesday’s ad is for Carling’s Canadian (Red Cap) Ale, from 1934. I like tat the ad is effectively showing one way to get through border security, though I don’t suppose that’s what they had in mind for this Canadian beer that — wait for it — was brewed in Ohio. And I love that the reason they decided to make it was for those “admirable people who have been impatiently waiting for someone in America to brew a real Canadian ale.” And according to the ad copy, “you’re going to like it.” Why? Because “it’s a palatable, hearty, comforting drink for a man’s man. That’s certain.” But what about the ladies, you may be asking yourself? Not to worry. “And for the girl who shoots and paddles and swings a wicked mashie.” Don’t do any of those things? Then stay the fuck away from this beer, you’re not the right kind of girl for Red Cap.

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Top 10 Beer Brands Worldwide 2014

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Last year, I posted a list of The World’s Top 10 Beer Brands . That list, from Drinks Business, was for sales as of the end of 2012. Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal tweeted a chart showing a newer list of the top ten, from Euromonitor International. Their data was accompanying a story, SABMiller Considers Best Route to a Global Beer Brand, though I couldn’t see the context, since only WSJ subscribers could see the entire article. No matter, I was keen to see if this year’s numbers were similar, as you’d expect, from last year, even though the source of the information is slightly different.

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It’s pretty close to last year’s list. The top two, both Chinese brands, remain unchanged. But Bud Light has jumped up from #5 to claim the third spot, while Bud slipped down one to #4. Yanjing Beer, which was #4 on last year’s chart, slipped to #6, while Brazil’s Skol shimmied up from seventh to #5. Heineken moved up one to #7, while another Chinese brand (owned by ABI) — Harbin — is at #8, but was not on last year’s list. Finally, Brahma and Coors Light switched placed at the bottom of the list. Last year, Coors Light was #9, this year it’s Brahma. Corona was #6 on last year’s chart, but is not on the list at all this year.

Beer Birthday: Ken Grossman

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Today is the 60th birthday of Ken Grossman, who founded Sierra Nevada Brewing in 1980. I can’t say too much about how much Ken has done and continues to do for the craft beer industry, while at the same time being wildly successful. Join me in wishing Ken a very happy birthday.

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Ken with two of his children, Brian and Sierra, both of whom work for the company. I took this in 2007 for an article I did for American Brewer on passing breweries from one generation to the next.

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At the Craft Brewers Conference in 2007, John Harris, from Full Sail, Ken’s daughter Sierra, Ken, and Garret Oliver, from Brooklyn Brewery.

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“Inside the Brewers Studio” at the 2006 GABF with Jim Koch of Boston Beer Co., Ken, Charlie Papazian, founder of what is now the Brewers Association, and moderator Tom Dalldorf of the Celebrator.

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Ken and Sam Calagione at the Life & Limb beer dinner in 2009.

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Ken and Jeremy Cowan, from Shmaltz Brewing, at GABF a couple of years ago.

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Ken and Pete Slosberg, signing books at GABF last year.