Beer Birthday: Wil Turner

Today is the 48th birthday of Wil Turner, brewer at Goose Island Brewery. Wil’s originally from California — or at least that’s where I first met him — but moved to Chicago to brew at the Clybourn Goose Island brewpub, eventually moving to the production side. Since the sale of Goose Island, Wil’s moved back over to brewpub brewing at Revolution Brewing, also in Chicago. Wil’s a great brewer, of course, and a terrific person for the industry, always a fun guy to drink with. Join me in wishing Wil a very happy birthday.

Wil, me and Greg Hall at GABF in 2006.

Tom Nickel & Will Turner @ Wynkoop
Tom Nickel with Wil at the Brewer’s Reception at Wynkoop during GABF in 2009.

On the floor at GABF in 2007 with Andrew Mason (on left), Matt’s assistant when he was still at Flossmoor Station, and Wil.

Wil, also at the 2006 GABF, sadly empty.

Beer Birthday: Matt Brynildson

Today is the 44th birthday of Matt Brynildson, brewmaster at Firestone Walker Brewery. I’ve known Matt for some time, though I got to know him a lot better when I traveled with him to Burton-on-Trent in England to do a guest brew at Marston’s. And a few years ago, we both were in Chile to judge at the Copa Cervezas de America. Last year, I wrote a profile of Matt for Beer Connoisseur magazine, too. But suffice it to say that apart from being incredibly gifted as a brewer, Matt is also one of the nicest and coolest people in the industry. Join me in wishing Matt — a.k.a. “Batman” — a very happy birthday.

At Marston’s in Burton-on-Trent several years ago.

Matt (center) outside the Toronado with one of his then-assistant brewers, Jim Cibak (who’s now head brewer at Revolution Brewing) along with Sean Paxton, the Homebrew Chef enjoying the rare San Francisco winter sun.

Matt bookended by Adrienne and Claudia, from 21st Amendment Brewery, at the Boonville Beer Festival in 2007.

In Chile at Kross Cerveza Independiente with brewmaster Asbjorn Gerlach, Matt and Lars Larson from Trumer Brauerei.

Matt at the first Firestone Walker Invitational, held four years ago.

Beer Birthday: Craig Cauwels

Today is the 49th birthday of Craig Cauwels, who started brewing at Schooner’s in 2003, when his longtime friend Shawn Burns needed his help, and he continuing brewing there until after Burns sold the brewpub to a new owner. For a time, he was also brewing at E.J. Phair brewing, and even went back to brewing at Schooner’s part-time, splitting his time between the two East Bay breweries. More recently, Schooner’s has a new owner, who shut down the brewpub, but moved the equipment to a production space in Tracy, and is rebranding the brewery as Morgan Territory, which Craig doing all of the brewing. They even brought home their first medal from GABF this year, for a beer Craig made at Schooner’s but under the Morgan Territory name since the BA allowed them to enter under the new name even though they haven’t opened yet, which is pretty cool. Originally a molecular biologist, Craig was running the core lab facility at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University when he gave it all up to become a professional brewer. And that’s certainly been good news for people who love great beer, because he’s a very talented brewer. Join me in wishing Craig a very happy birthday.

Craig Cauwels, from Schooner's, with Vic Krajl
Craig with Vic Krajl at the 2009 Bistro Barrel Aged Fest.

Craig with Sam Calagione (from Dogfish Head) and Dave McLean (from Magnolia’s) at the Double IPA Festival at the Bistro a couple of years ago.

Craig with Steve Altimari, from High Water Brewing at the Celebrator’s 18th anniversary party in 2007.

Craig with Brian Yaeger, the Beer Chef Bruce Paton and me at a Schooner’s beer dinner at Cathedral Hotel in 2008.

Beer Birthday: Peter Hoey

Today is the 36th birthday of Peter Hoey, who used to be the brewmaster at Sacramento Brewing, then left to launch a new brewery, Odonata Beer Co., with Rick Sellers, which sadly ran into some hurdles that had nothing to do with how good the beer was that Peter was making. He’s also brewed at Sierra Nevada and Bison Brewing, too. These days Peter is working happily at Brewers Supply Group, having taken over Mark Worona’s old job (since he’s been promoted), and I just heard this week he’s been promoted himself. Peter’s a great brewer and has become a good friend over the years. Join me in wishing Peter a very happy birthday.

Rick Sellers & Peter Hoey of California's Newest Brewery, Odonata Brewing
Former Odonata partner Rick Sellers with Peter at GABF in 2010.

Peter with his wife Britany, as they take their new baby daughter Lorelai home from the hospital a couple of years ago.

Peter at the GABF Brewers Reception in 2007, along with Rich Norgrove from Bear Republic and Arne Johnson of Marin Brewing.

Peter, looking about twelve, and Steve Altimari, from High Water Brewing, at the first Raley Field Beer Festival in 2007.

Beer Birthday: Ken Grossman

Today is the 61st birthday of Ken Grossman, who founded Sierra Nevada Brewing in 1980. It would be hard to say too much about just 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.

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.

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

“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.

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

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

Ken and Pete Slosberg, signing books at GABF a couple of years ago.

Beer Birthday: Steve Altimari

Today is the 57th birthday of Steve Altimari, founder and brewmaster of High Water Brewing. I first met Steve when he was still brewing for Valley in Stockton, before that went spectacularly south, and we’ve been good friends ever since. When Steve was working on the new brewing company, I even suggested the name and he graciously gave me a few shares in the company as a thank you. Of course, he’s also smart enough to never ask my business advice so I’m hardly involved and can remain in impartial. Though to be fair, the fact that he makes uniformly great beers helps. Join me in wishing Steve a very happy birthday.

Stephen Beaumont, Steve and me at Barclay’s during SF Beer Week 2010.

Peace Or 2 Medals: Steve Altimari, from Valley Brewing
A very happy Steve at the Falling Rock Taphouse in Denver, after winning two medals at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival.

The Three Steves: Steve Altimari, Steve Donohue and Steve Shapiro, from Beer by Bart, at the Breastfest. (Photo by Arie Litman.)

Craig Cauwels, from Schooner’s, with Steve at the Celebrator’s 18th anniversary party in 2007.

Peter Hoey, looking about twelve, with Steve, at the first Raley Field Beer Festival in 2007.

Beer Birthday: Richard Brewer-Hay

Today is the 40th birthday of Richard Brewer-Hay, co-founder (with his wife Allie) and brewer of San Francisco’s smallest almost brewery: the Elizabeth Street Brewery. Despite its size (it’s really more of a nanobrewery or even a picobrewery) and intermittent schedule, it was named three years ago by SF Weekly as San Francisco’s Best Microbrewery 2010. I thought I had a photo of Richard and Allie from when I ran into them at the Map Room in Chicago during CBC a few years ago, but I guess not. Instead, I purloined the photos below from Facebook. Join me in wishing Richard a very happy birthday.

Given it was Richard’s tweet from the World Series that reminded me it was his birthday, here’s him at the first game of the World Series two years ago.

A self-portrait with his wife, Allie, in the Cascades in Washington a few years ago.

With Jabber the Parrot at eBay On Location in San Jose.

Below is a very, very short video I captured of Richard and Nico Freccia, from 21st Amendment, accepting their World Beer Cup award for the beer Richard and Shaun O’Sullivan made at 21A in Chicago.

Beer Birthday: Glynn Phillips

Today is also the birthday of Glynn Phillips, owner of Rubicon Brewing in Sacramento, which also opened a production brewery not too far from the original brewpub. Glynn’s a great champion for craft beer and has done quite a lot for the cause. Glynn is also very active in both the California Small Brewers Association and the Northern California Brewers Guild. Join me in wishing Glynn a very happy birthday.

Brian Ford, from Auburn Alehouse, with Glynn at the Raley Field Brewfest in 2007.

Glynn Phillips (Rubicon), Brendan Moylan (Marin/Moylan’s), Alec Moss (Half Moon Bay), Brian Hunt (Moonlight), Rodger Davis (Triple Rock) and Josh Minor (Drake’s) at the Breastfest in 2008.

Glynn in his brewery last year when I visited him in Sacramento.

Arne Johnson, Chris Goehe and Glynn.

Beer Birthday: Sean Paxton

Today is the 43rd birthday of Sean Paxton, a.k.a. The Homebrew Chef. Sean is a mad alchemist in the kitchen and puts on some wonderful food and beer spectacles. Plus he’s a terrific homebrewer, an even better human being and a great friend. Join me in wishing Sean a very happy birthday.

At this year’s Great American Beer Festival in 2008. Bruce Paton, the Beer Chef, Sean and Dave Keene, from the Toronado, in the convention center.

Sean Paxton, with his daughter Olivia
Sean with his daughter Olivia at the Pliny the Elder release earlier this year.

Working with nitrogen at the 11-course Belgian Brunch, or Blunch, held at the Toronado.

My wife, Sarah, with Sean after the 10th annual beer dinner at the Northern California Homebrewers Festival held at Lake Francis Resort in Dobbins, California.

Matt Bonney, Stephen Beaumont, Sean Paxton, Pete Slosberg & Rick Sellers
Matt Bonney, Stephen Beaumont, Sean, Pete Slosberg & Rick Sellers at the Bistro for the Double IPA Festival this year.

Randy Mosher and Sean Paxton
With Randy Mosher at the world’s biggest beer dinner at CBC in Chicago.

Beer Birthday: John Tucci

Today is also the 48th birthday of John Tucci, who until it closed a few years ago, was the brewmaster for the San Francisco Gordon Biersch brewpub. John was one of Gordon Biersch’s best and most senior brewers, and especially with his one-offs that he brewed at that location. He’s also a great champion for beer in San Francisco and was very active with the local brewers guild and SF Beer Week. Since the San Francisco location’s closing, he’s been brewing at their Palo Alto brewpub, but after 16 years, recently left as he’s getting closer to opening his own new brewery, 47 Hills Brewing, which will be located at 137 South Linden Avenue in South San Francisco. Join me in wishing John a very happy birthday.

John behind the bar pouring some of his beer. (Note: this photo by Winnie Hsu and purloined from Facebook.)

At the Slow Beer Festival 2008, Ian Marks (from Hog Island Oyster Co.), Taylor Boetticher (from the Fatted Calf), Dave, John and Shaun O’Sullivan (from 21st Amendment).

John when I visited him last year at the Palo Alto Gordon Biersch.

Taking delivery of new brewing equipment at 47 Hills.