Beer Birthday: Mitch Steele

Today is the 52nd 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 two years ago 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 #986: Sometimes I Wonder If You Like Me For Myself … Or Just My Shape

Friday’s ad is for Michelob, from 1968. Using the double entendre tagline “Sometimes I Wonder If You Like Me For Myself … Or Just My Shape.” Are those false eyelashes on the bottle meant to make it look more female? And is that a tear dripping down its side, or merely a bead of liquid?


Beer In Ads #790: Anheuser-Busch Will Buy This Barley

Friday’s ad is for Anheuser-Busch, from 1913. It’s a beautiful illustration, but the way the boy is pointing down at the field coupled with the authoritarian-sounding “Anheuser-Busch Will Buy This Barley” (say it with a Colonel Klink accent), it almost feels ominous. And does anybody know if A-B only uses Bohemia’s Saazer hops, or ever did exclusively? Stan? But a cool image.


Beer In Ads #757: James Madison For Budweiser

Wednesday’s ad is another in the Budweiser historical series from 1908. The black and white ad is text-heavy and includes a history lesson on James Madison, our fourth president and one of the architects of the Constitution, often referred to as the “father of the Constitution.” It ends with some terrifically jingoistic ad copy. “The drink that delights your palate and aids the digestion of your food. Drink the drink of your forefathers; the drink of the nobelst men that ever lived; the drink of the great triumphant nations; the pure, nourishing and refreshing juices of American barley fields; the home drink of all civilized nations.” Are you feeling thirty and patriotic yet?


Under the Anheuser Bush

Another historical oddity, Under the Anheuser Bush, was a song written around 1903, with words by Andrew B. Sterling and music by Harry Von Tilzer. This version is sung by Billy Murray and is a 1903 Old Edison Recording.


Here’s the lyrics:

Talk about the shade of the sheltering palms
Praise the bamboo tree and it’s wide spreading charms
There’s a little bush that grows right here in town
You know it’s name it has won such renown
Often with my sweetheart just after the play
To this little place then my footsteps will stray
If she hesitates when she looks at the sign
Softly I whisper, “Now Sue, don’t decline….”

Rave about the place where you swells go to dine
Picture you and me with our sandwich and stein
Underneath the bush where the good fellows meet
Life seems worth living, our joy is complete
If you’re sad at heart take a trip there tonight
You’ll forget your woe and your eyes will grow bright.
There you’ll surely find me with my sweetheart, Sue.
Come down this evening, I’ll introduce you.

Come, come, come and make eyes with me
Under the Anheuser Bush
Come come drink some Budwise with me
Under the Anheuser Bush
Hear the old German Band
Just let me hold your hand YAH!
Do, do come and have a stein or two
Under the Anheuser Bush!

Here’s Verse 1:

And Verse 2:


Below is yet another version, a little more scratchy than the other one, but is also sung by Billy Murray. It was recorded in Philadelphia on January 15, 1904 and is Take 4. I found it at the National Jukebox at the Library of Congress.

This one was recorded on vinyl by Monarch Records.


Beer In Ads #755: George Washington For Budweiser

Monday’s ad is an old one for Budweiser, from the 1908. The black and white ad is text-heavy and includes a history lesson on Washington, along with this beautiful ad copy. “It shines like liquid gold — it sparkles like amber dew — it quickens with life — a right lusty beer — brewed conscientiously for over fifty years from barley and hops only.” But they’re not done yet. “It prolongs youth and preserves physical charm — giving strength to muscle, mind and bone — a right royal beverage for the home.”