R.I.P. Jack Joyce: 1942-2014

He was the original Rogue. I just learned from Lisa Morrison that Rogue Ale & Spirits founder Jack Joyce passed away yesterday. He was 71. My thoughts go out to his family. Jack was a terrific voice in the beer community and he will be missed. I can still picture him sitting at the bar in San Francisco, beer in hand, chatting away. Drink a toast tonight to Jack’s memory, one of the true pioneers of craft beer.


UPDATE: I just got the following from Rogue president Brett Joyce, and Jack’s son:

Yesterday the Rogue Nation and Family lost our co-founder, leader, friend, and father as Jack Joyce passed away at the age of 71.

Following a career as both a small town attorney and Nike executive, Jack and some friends founded Rogue in 1988 in Ashland, Oregon. From the outset, Jack set Rogue on a path of innovation, creativity, and rebellion. Rogue made hoppy, flavorful beers and was told that no one would drink them. Rogue made a wide range of beers and was told no one wanted variety. Rogue sold 22oz bottles of beer and was told no one would pay a premium for a single serve beer. Rogue opened multiple pubs and breweries and was told that it would be wise to follow a more efficient and logical business plan. Rogue took the road less, or perhaps never, travelled. Rogue was the first U.S. craft brewer to send beer to Japan. Rogue won 1,000 awards for product and packaging excellence. Rogue worried about getting better, not bigger. Rogue began distilling. Rogue began farming. Rogue remained dedicated to its small town roots and made sure to give back to its local communities. Rogue started a Nation. This was all vintage Jack.

He was the true Rogue and will be missed by us all.


  1. says

    This is a huge loss for the family, the company, beer and anyone who knew to original and unique, Jack Joyce. Extending sadness and support from the friends and family of RealBeer.

  2. says

    Jack was an original. His Ashland brewery, sometimes called “A River Runs Through It,” was a classic. He showed me around a huge boat storage building he bought in Newport many years ago to expand the brewery. It looked to be impossibly large for the size of the breweries at that time. Jack had a vision no one else could easily comprehend. He marched to his own drummer and the beer world is much the better for it. He will be sorely missed.

  3. Judy Ashworth says

    Jack and I were kindred spirits. We both believed in innovation and to ignore those that told us it couldn’t be done! Jack always treated me like a queen, he never forgot my birthday. I have known him since the 80’s. I remember boating (in the Green Machine) from his house to the OBF! Such a hoot, as was Jack! It is a sad day for the craft beer family. I raise my beer to toast Jack today and always.

  4. John Martin says

    So sorry to hear this. I haven’t seen Jack for a long time, but was very honored when he sent me a birthday note a few years back (by mail even!) and reminisced about the when we first met in Ashland back in the late eighties. My deepest condolences to his family and employees. The craft beer world will miss you Jack!

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