Beer Birthday: Mitch Steele

Today is the 54th birthday of Mitch Steele, production manager/head brewer at Stone Brewing. Mitch started out at the tiny San Andreas Brewery in Hollister, California but spent a number of years at one of the much larger Budweiser breweries when he brewed for Anheuser-Busch, before finding a home at Stone. He’s obviously a terrific brewer but is also a great person and close friend, too. He was also my roomie for GABF judging a few years ago (and will be again next year in Philly for World Beer Cup judging) and is also the author of IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale. He’s a big advocate for craft beer and always willing to help out a fellow brewer or homebrewer. Join me in wishing Mitch a very happy birthday.

Mitch with Stone co-founder Steve Wagner at the Craft Brewers Conference in 2007.

Mitch Steele, from Stone Brewing, took 3rd for Levitation Ale
Mitch picking up his 3rd Place award on the floor of GABF 2009 for Stone’s Levitation Ale on cask at a special judging at the Great British Beer Festival in 2009 (and which I had the pleasure to judge).

Betsy, Judy Ashworth, Mitch Steele, Brendan Moylan & Bruce Paton
Betsy Hensley, Judy Ashworth, Mitch, Brendan Moylan & Bruce Paton at the Celebrator’s 22nd Anniversary Party.

Mitch and 21st Amendment brewer Shaun O’Sullivan practicing their pointing during a collaboration brew in 2008 in San Francisco.

Outside the Bistro IPA Festival in 2007 with Publican Judy Ashworth, Former San Andreas Brewing owner Bill Millar, Mitch and Bistro owner Vic Krajl.

And no birthday post is complete without a blast from the past. Here’s Mitch’s high school prom photo in all it’s living color glory. It’s from Northgate High School Class of 1980 in Walnut Creek, CA (special thanks to Mitch for updating the old black & white photo with the glorious color one!). Love the powder blue tux.

Beer In Ads #1773: Holidays Were Made For John Forsythe

Monday’s holiday ad is for Michelob, from 1980. This holiday ad for Michelob featured actor John Forsythe, who’s best know for being the voice of Charlie in Charlie’s Angels and on the 1980s TV show Dynasty. And right before joining the cast of Dynasty, he did this ad for Michelob, where he’s putting out some bottles of beer into a bowl of ice for a party. Notice the six-pack in the corner that’s been decorated with a wreath. I can’t say I recall them doing special holiday carriers, but then I didn’t really drink the beer in 1980, either.


Beer In Ads #1734: Rolling Stone Breakthrough Can

Monday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1982. Today is the anniversary of the first issue of Rolling Stone magazine, so I figured I’d run this ad from the back cover of the music magazine from 1982. It’s a kinda cool ad showing the can breaking through from inside the magazine, and people on the street in the photo surreally looking up at it. They even offered it as a poster you could send in to have sent to you.


Beer In Ads #1714: Look Who Switched To Natural Light

Tuesday’s ad is for Natural Light, from 1980. Today is the birthday of baseball legend Mickey Mantle. In the mid-1970s, Mantle did some commercials, along with fellow Yankees teammate Whitey Ford, for Miller Lite. So when he did this ad for rival Natural Light, they played up his being a switch hitter “who switched to Natural Light.”


Beer In Ads #1643: Give Yourself A Break

Sunday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1956. When you’re sitting in the dark watching nature documentaries, feasting on the carcass of a chicken (or possibly turkey) with some cheese between two slices of bread, you’ll definitely want a cold beer. So “Give Yourself A Break” and have some “late in the evening.” I hope Bambi makes it out the forest.


Beer In Ads #1639: Black & Tan Babies

Wednesday’s ad is for Anheuser-Busch’s Black & Tan, from 1899. I’m sure this seemed like a cute idea at the turn of two centuries ago, around 116 years from now, but to our current sensibilities, it certainly looks odd. Back in 1995, A-B reintroduced their Black & Tan as part of their “American Originals” series, but this ad is from its original release, when it was “prepared only by Anheuser-Busch Brew’g Ass’n.” The patriotic ad shows a pair of American flags for most of the background behind the label, with a military camp showing beneath the flags at the bottom of the ad. The army “volunteers” referred to appear to be nine naked babies whose skin is either tan or black. And I’m not sure why there’s a dog — a black and tan doberman? — barking at them at the bottom of the label. I’m sure naked colored babies with rifles made sense in 1899, but I can’t imagine the ad being green-lit today.


Beer In Ads #1631: Anheuser-Busch Buck

Tuesday’s ad is for Anheuser-Busch Buck, from 1885. By “buck,” one presumes they mean bock and used a slightly alternate spelling. The lithograph was created by the Wittemann Brothers, Adolph and Herman, of New York. It’s odd poster, with the eagle and goat, or buck, looking almost garish or frightening, especially juxtaposed with the 1880s equivalent of a supermodel.


Patent No. 5021246A: Step Mashing Process For Producing Low Alcohol Beer

Today in 1991, US Patent 5021246 A was issued, an invention of Roger L. Sieben and Klaus D. Zastrow, assigned to Anheuser-Busch, for their “Step Mashing Process For Producing Low Alcohol Beer.” Here’s the Abstract:

A low alcohol reduced calorie beer is produced by a mashing technique wherein a main mash at a temperature below the activity range for beta-amylase is added incrementally to a brewing liquid at a temperature above the deactivation temperature of beta-amylase and below the deactivation temperature of alpha-amylase at a rate such that the added main mash is substantially instantaneously raised to the temperature of the brewing liquid. This mashing technique limits the conversion of starches by beta-amylase and other enzymes without significant loss of alpha-amylase from overheating to produce a wort having a low real degree of fermentation of from about 40% to about 46%. The main mash has a temperature of about 95° F. to 120° F., and the brewing liquid has a temperature of about 169° F. to 174° F. and can be water or a cooker mash that has been boiled and cooled. Beer can be produced having less than 2% alcohol by weight and less than about 118 calories per 12 ounce serving.