Beer Birthday: Vinnie Cilurzo

russian-river
Today is the 46th birthday of Vinnie Cilurzo, founder and brewmaster at Russian River Brewing. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know Vinnie is one of the best brewers in America and is credited with having made the first Imperial IPA. Along with his partner Natalie, his Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa, California won unprecedented back-to-back best brewpub (and brewmaster) awards at the World Beer Cups in 2006 and 2008, and their flagship Pliny the Elder has been picked as the best beer in America by AHA members seven years in a row. And Vinnie is one of the nicest people in the industry you’ll ever meet. Join me in wishing Vinnie a happy birthday.

vinnie
Vinnie and his wife Natalie from presented to Tom Dalldorf (middle), owner of the Celebrator, a Balthazar of their yummy Damnation Ale in honor of the magazine’s 17th anniversary. A Balthazar is 12 liters or contains about 16 normal bottles of beer.

keene-vin
Dave Keene, owner of the Toronado, Natalie Cilurzo, Dave’s girlfriend Jennifer and Vinnie at CBC in Seattle.

oliver-vinnie
Garrett Oliver, brewer at Brooklyn Brewing Co., and Vinnie at the Brewer’s Dinner the night before GABF begins.

drakes-fest06-07
Vinnie and Rich Norgrove from Bear Republic at the Summit Hop Festival a few years ago at Drake’s.

Vinnie & Natalie Cilurzo
Vinnie with his wife and Russian River co-owner Natalie at GABF in 2009.

P1000599
Vinnie and me his 40th birthday party at the brewpub a few years ago.

fwibf-3
And again last month at the Firestone Walker Invitational, sharing some frites.

Beer Birthday: Alec Moss

half-moon-bay
Today is Alec Moss’ 72nd birthday, which is quite frankly still hard to believe. Alec doesn’t look a day over 40! Must be the beer and motorcycles. I first got to know Alec when I worked with him on some private label contract beers I did for BevMo when he was head brewer at the now-defunct Golden Pacific Brewery in Berkeley. Alec then spent some time at Redbird Brewing before moving to the coast to be head brewer at the picturesque Half Moon Bay Brewing, but he retired a few years ago. Every time I see him now he seems to be enjoying his retirement enormously, especially now that he’s also been working part time for Anchor Brewing, building them a pilot system and working on it, too. Join me in wishing Alec a very happy birthday.

Alec-Moss
Alec and me yesterday at his 70th birthday party at the Tornado.

alec-pours
Alec in the brewhouse at Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.

he-tor-1
At the Toronado for He’Brew’s release party. From left: Alec, Pete Slosberg, formerly of Pete’s Wicked Ales, Jeremy Cowan of Shmaltz Brewing and Rodger Davis, now with Triple Rock Brewing.

DSC_2357
Alec with Tom Dalldorf at the 2011 Anchor Christmas party.

P1000524
A few years ago at the Breastfest in San Francisco, from left: Alec, Jeff Botz, Arne Johnson, Betsey Hensley, Vinnie & Natalie Cilurzo and Abalone Rob Mika.

Beer Birthday: Arne Johnson

marin
Today is my friend Arne Johnson’s 51st birthday. Arne is the head brewer at Marin Brewing in Larkspur, California. Arne makes some great beers and is a terrific person to boot. Join me in wishing Arne a very happy birthday.

arne-j-2014
Arne and me earlier today at a birthday party for a mutual friend at the Toronado.

arne-j
Arne and me at the Brewer’s Dinner at GABF in 2006.

tbwf06-03
Arne relaxing with a few barleywines at the Toronado Barleywine Festival.

bistro-dipa06-04
Rodger Davis of Triple Rock and Arne enjoy a beer out front in the warm sunshine at the Bistro’s Double IPA Festival.

boontfest06-08
Arne Johnson and Melissa Myers, formerly with Drake’s Brewing, at the Boonville Beer Festival.

Beer Birthday: Tim Clifford

sante-adairius
Today is the 44th birthday of Tim Clifford, brewmaster and owner of Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, in Capitola, California, which is near Santa Cruz. Tim’s a longtime homebrewer and worked for Williams Brewing and also 7 Bridges for many years, and continue to be on the board of the Santa Cruz co-op. Although originally a history major, Tim’s passion went off in a different direction, happily, and he opened Sante Adairius in 2011, making some incredible and unique beers. Join me in wishing Tim a very happy birthday.

Friedman-1
Jessie Friedman and Tim at the SF Beer Week opening gala in 2014.

hop-tea-2
Me and Tim enjoying some hop tea, while picking hops at Moonlight Brewing’s hopyard in 2007.

Beer Birthday: Andy French

southern-pacific
Today is the 48th birthday of Andy French, brewmaster at Southern Pacific Brewing in San Francisco, one of the new wave of breweries that opened in the city in recent years. I first met Andy when he brewed at Speakeasy, and after that would see him from time to time at Zeitgeist, though he first started brewing back East in the DC area. When his roommate Chris Lawrence, who also worked for Speakeasy once upon a time, decided to open his own brewery, he tapped Andy to work the mash paddles, and things have been going great since they opened a few years ago. Join me in wishing Andy a very happy birthday.

P1050466
Andy at his brewhouse in 2012.

Beer Birthday: Forest Gray

speakeasy
Today is the 49th birthday of Forest Gray, co-founder and president of Speakeasy Ales and Lagers in San Francisco. I first met Forest when Speakeasy first bottled their beer when I was the beer buyer at BevMo. For the last severnteen years, his brewery has made some terrific beers, especially their Big Daddy I.P.A. Join me in wishing Forest a very happy birthday.

Forest Gray, Brian Lenzo and Meg Gill
Forest with Brian Lenzo, from Blue Palms in L.A., and Meg Gill, now “on the winning team” with Golden Road, at a Speakeasy Anniversary event several years ago.

speakeasy-crew
The Speakeasy crew at the start of SF Beer Week in 2013. That’s Forest with the glowing hat. [Photo purloined from Facebook.]

Beer Birthday: Tom Dalldorf

celebrator-long
Today is Celebrator publisher Tom Dalldorf’s 74th birthday. Since he’s famous for having his picture in the Celebrator and being at every beer event, I figured the Bulletin should be no different. Join me in wishing Tom a very happy birthday.

cbn18-01
Tom at the Celebrator anniversary party in 2007.

tdalldorf-02
Raising a toast with Full Sail brewer John Harris.

tdalldorf-03
Huddling up with the owner’s of Monk’s Cafe in Philadelphia, Fergie and Tom.

tdalldorf-04
Mine’s bigger. Russian River’s Vinne Cilurzo with Tom in D.C.

tdalldorf-07
Looking like a deer caught in the headlights at the roast I threw for Tom when he turned sixty. That’s Stephen Beaumont on the left and me on the right.

boontfest06-12
At Boonville, taking the Rubicon kegerator bike for a spin.

Beer Birthday: James Costa

oakland-brewing half-moon-bay
Today is the 44th birthday of James Costa. James is a brewer and co-founder of Oakland Brewing, and is also currently brewing at Half Moon Bay Brewing. But James has certainly made the rounds, and has also brewed for Moylan’s, Santa Cruz Aleworks, E.J. Phair and others. James is justly famous for his big, hoppy beers like the wonderful Sticky Zipper. Join me in wishing James a very happy birthday.

bistro-dipa09-03
James with Vic at the Bistro Double IPA Festival in 2009.

bravo-fest-06
James with Shaun O’Sullivan (left) and Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River) at the 2nd annual Single Hop Festival & Washoe Tournament in 2007.

toronado20th-19
James with his wife Caroline (left), with Iron Springs brewer Christian Kazakoff and his then-girlfriend, Jodi, at the Toronado 20th Anniversary Party in 2007.

tion-din-14
At the Beer Chef’s “Tion” beer dinner at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in September of 2006, James with Arne Johnson (Marin Brewing) and Vinnie Cilurzo.

allagash-bdin-04
At another Beer Chef dinner, this one with Allagash, James offers some “Shrimp flavored Chips” to his wife Caroline, who wisely declined.

Beer Birthday: Melissa Myers

good-hop
Today is my good friend Melissa Myers’ birthday. Though now several years ago, her most recent brewing gig was at Drake’s Brewing in San Leandro, California. She’s also brewed at Pyramid, Ross Brewing and Magnolia, among others, but now she owns and operates her own beer bar in Oakland, The Good Hop. Apparently there’s a stool there waiting for me with my name on it, but to my deep regret I have still not yet visited it, or Melissa yet, and I can’t wait to take it out for a spin. Join me in wishing Melissa a very happy birthday.

boontfest06-08
Arne Johnson, of Marin Brewing, and Melissa at the Boonville Beer Festival several years ago.

anchorx05-3
Former roommates Jen Garris and Melissa at the Anchor Christmas Party a few years back.

fr-thurs-1
Melissa and former Drake’s brewer Rodger Davis at GABF several years ago.

mm-jb
Melissa and me at GABF once upon a time.

myers-keene
Melissa with her adopted Daddy, “Big Daddy” Dave Keene.

melmye-1
Melissa in high school, believe it or not. At a Super Bowl party she threw, Melissa made the mistake of showing me this photo while I had my camera in my hand. I snapped a quick picture of it in the photo album, which is why is looks out of proportion and a little fuzzy. I had to seriously crop it and straighten it out and generally fix it up. But I think the effort was worth it, don’t you?

Stone Brewing To Open Taproom & Pilot Brewery In Napa

stone
Stone Brewing announced today that they were renovating the historic 10,000 square foot Borreo building in downtown Napa. Once completed, it will be a tap room and pilot brewery, which will do growler fills, as well as create exclusive beers for that location. The restaurant will use locally sourced food available “on premise or to take away picnic style.” The new Stone taproom is expected to open sometime next year.

Stone-napa

Here’s the press release from Stone Brewing:

Stone Brewing will begin renovations to a 10,000 square-foot iconic building in downtown Napa, bringing its bold and flavorful craft beer to the region well-known for its amazing wine. Stone’s newest outpost, located on 3rd Street and Soscol Avenue, will include a pilot brewing system, a dining experience, growler fills and Stone merchandise.

“The historic Borreo building is the perfect space for us to put down our roots in Napa,” said Greg Koch, Stone Brewing CEO & co-founder. “Not only is it literally made of stone, it’s one of downtown’s most iconic links to the 19th century and a landmark that’s been vacant for the past 15 years. We recognize the high quality of wine that comes from the region and the appreciation that Napa Valley locals and visitors have for fresh, well-crafted drink. We are elated to become a contributing part of such an artisanal town.”

The 10-barrel pilot brew system will enable brewers to produce Stone’s iconic bold and innovative beer using core recipes as well as indigenous ingredients from the local geography. The Stone Brewing Tap Room – Napa will fill growlers and serve Stone’s year-round beers as well as special releases brewed onsite.

Stone’s food philosophy will carry over to its newest Tap Room with a dining experience that incorporates the local Napa flavors for enjoyment on premise or to take away picnic style. Stone proudly specializes in locally grown, small-farm ingredients and features an eclectic menu of world-inspired cuisine and a unique take on comfort food. As strong advocates for environmental responsibility and high-quality food, Stone will purchase local and small-farm organic produce from the Napa region. Making the most of outstanding weather is something the San Diego-based company is quite familiar with. Locals and tourists visiting Stone Brewing Tap Room – Napa will enjoy an outdoor seating area complete with communal tables, fire pits and views overlooking downtown Napa.

The historic Borreo building, named for the family that formerly owned the historic stone structure, is an Italianate Renaissance design made from native-cut stone. It was completed in 1877 and has been vacant since 2001. While keeping historic elements in place, Stone plans to transform the building’s western wall, adding expansive doors to a stunning garden facing the Napa River.

“I’m a huge Napa fan,” said Koch. “I’ve been visiting for more than 20 years and I first toured through the Borreo Building nearly five years ago. We’ve tried a few times to make something happen there, and are thrilled to finally see it come to fruition!”

With an anticipated opening in 2017, Stone Brewing Tap Room – Napa joins two expansion projects already underway for the growing company. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Berlin will open its doors in Germany this summer. Stone Brewing — Richmond will begin supplying fresh Stone beer from its 250-barrel brewhouse in July.