Beer Birthday: Tony Magee

lagunitas-circle
Today is the 56th birthday of Tony Magee. Tony is the founder and owner of Lagunitas Brewing. We first met in the mid-1990s when I visited the old brewery, before they moved to their present location, and have been good friends ever since. I recently wrote a profile of Tony for Beer Connoisseur magazine. With his beautifully twisted, iconoclastic vision, Tony’s built an amazing empire by never compromising his ideals. His unique beers, and especially their quirky label designs and text, are always a treat. And now that they’ve installed a new 250-barrel brewhouse in both Petaluma and Chicago, are talking about a third in the not-to-distant future, I’d say he’s poised to take over the world. Local newspaper articles keep referring to him as a “beer baron,” which cracks me up. Bwa, ha,ha,ha. Join me in wishing Tony a very happy birthday.

lagucircus-20
Tony as Ringmaster of the Lagunitas Beer Circus in 2009, with Vinnie Cilurzo from Russian River Brewing.

bistroipa06-08
Tony and me at the Bistro’s IPA Festival in 2006.

hopmonkt-6
Tony warming up for a set at the Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol in 2008.


Performing the Big Bill Broonzy song, Key to the Highway, at the Brewing Network’s Winter Brews Festival in January of 2010.

SAM_3102
At the CCBA’s California Beer Summit last year.

Patent No. 5906151A: Apparatus And Method For Brewing An Alcoholic Beverage

patent-logo
Today in 1999, US Patent 5906151 A was issued, an invention of Adam Firestone, Jeffers Richardson, Donald E. Othman, and Michel A. Blom, assigned to Firestone Walker, LLC, for their “Apparatus And Method For Brewing An Alcoholic Beverage and Beverage Brewed by Same.” Here’s the Abstract:

An apparatus for brewing an alcoholic beverage includes a plurality of wooden barrels including at least one first wooden barrel, at least one second wooden barrel, and at least one third wooden barrel; an enclosed trough; a plurality of first conduits providing flow communication between each of the plurality of wooden barrels and the enclosed trough; an enclosed catch pot in flow communication with the enclosed trough; a plurality of second conduits providing flow communication between the enclosed catch pot and each of the plurality of wooden barrels; and devices, such as valves, for controlling flow between each of the plurality of wooden barrels and the second conduit. The at least one first wooden barrel is a new barrel that has been filled with an alcoholic beverage up to 5 times, the at least one second wooden barrel is a middle aged barrel that has been filled with an alcoholic beverage from 6 to 12 times, and the at least one third wooden barrel is an old barrel that has been filled with an alcoholic beverage from 13 to 30 times.

This is essentially a patent for Firestone Walker’s modified Burton Union System that they pioneered when they first started, and then scaled-up when they bought the old SLO Brewery in Paso Robles and increased the size of their beer production. Jeffers, of course, is still there is the Barrelmeister, or Director of the Firestone Walker Barrelworks. That system is one of only two such brewing systems left in the world, the other being at Marston’s in Burton-on-Trent in England.
US5906151-1
US5906151-2
US5906151-3

Here’s a few photos of the system at the Paso Robles brewery in 2012.

P1040642

P1040672

Beer Birthday: Judy Ashworth

publican
Today is Judy Ashworth’s birthday. She’s the Grand Dame of Publicans, having once owned the Lyons Brewery Depot in the East Bay, one of the earliest bars to really embrace, support and promote craft beer. Judy sold the pub in 1998 after some health troubles sidelined her, but she’s still a fixture in the Bay Area beer scene. I’ve judged with her many times and these days she’s very supportive of the homebrewing movement and she can be seen at most of the major beer events throughout the year. Join me in wishing Judy a very happy birthday.

gabf06-wed-07
Judy with Shaun O’Sullivan (21st Amendment) and Chris Black at his Falling Rock Taphouse during GABF week in 2007.

bistro-wood08-8
Out in front of The Bistro in Hayward at the Wood-Aged Beer Festival in August of 2008. From left: Jeremy Cowan, owner of He’Brew, Judy, Dave Heist, and Zak, also from He’Brew.

tbwfest07-08
At the Toronado Barleywine Festival in 2008, Judy Ashworth, Matt Salie (with Big Sky Brewing) and Judy’s daughter Laurel.

Judy Ashworth, Stephen Beaumont, me & Peter Hoey at the Pliny the Younger release
Judy with Stephen Beaumont, me and Peter Hoey at the 2010 Pliny the Younger release.

DSCN0280
Dave Suurballe, Judy, Julie Nickels and Bruce Paton at Anchor Brewing for the book release party for Tom Acitelli’s “Audacity of Hops” a couple of years ago.

Beer Birthday: Jeff Bagby

bagby-beer
Today is the 42nd birthday of Jeff Bagby, who until a few years ago was the head brewer extraordinaire at Pizza Port in Carlsbad. There, you used to be able to read the entire biography of Jeff “Extra Spicy” Bagby. I’m not sure when it was written, but it’s no longer there, but it ended with the following sentence. “Jeff has his sights set on winning a GABF Brewpub of the Year award and we most definitely believe it is in his future as well.” Six years ago at GABF, Jeff won an amazing seven medals and Pizza Port Carlsbad was awarded the Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year. That means his plaid pants got to go up on stage a record eight times! You can see a retrospective of Jeff’s plaid choices over the years, too, at Jeff “Lucky Pants” Babgy Wins Big. Once he started working on opening his own brewery, I suggested he should consider “Plaid Brewing” or some variation of that idea, like “Plaid Pants Brewing” or “Lucky Plaid Brewing.” Unfortunately, he went with a more sensible Bagby Beer Co., which opened two years ago. All, well some, kidding aside, Jeff is a terrific brewer and a hell of a washoes player, though I still think Dave Keene and I could beat him and Tomme again. Join me in wishing Jeff a very happy birthday.

Jeff Bagby & His Girlfriend, from Pizza Port - Carlsbad
Jeff with his then-girlfriend, now wife, Dande at GABF a few years ago. And yes, those are his lucky pants.

Greg Koch & Jeff Bagby
Greg Koch and Jeff at the Falling Rock.

anchor-toro-3
Former Drake’s brewer Melissa Myers with Jeff at an event at Anchor celebrating the Toronado’s 20th anniversary.

labbeydin-16
Sam Calagione, Bruce Paton and Jeff at the Lost Abbey for a beer dinner during CBC.

P1030583
Jeff at the Toronado for the annual Belgian Beer Dinner in 2012, with owner Dave Keene wearing his “Who the F@#k is Jeff Bagby?” T-shirt.

DSCN1206
Dandelian and Jeff Bagby in the upstairs loft dining area of their new brewery. The plaid back of the bench seating was inspired by Jeff’s winning plaid pants that he used to wear for GABF award ceremonies, as I detailed several years ago in Jeff “Lucky Pants” Bagby Wins Big.

Beer Birthday: Shaun O’Sullivan

21A-circle
Today is 21st Amendment brewer and co-owner Shaun O’Sullivan’s 52nd birthday. Shaun is one my favorite people in the industry. He’s a tireless champion for craft beer and very supportive of other brewers, such as with his fun collaboration projects. He’s one of the founders and organizers of SF Beer Week and through his brewpub puts on many special and educational events all year, not to mention his extensive travel schedule. His new production brewery in San Leandro recently opened, and it appears to be going great. Plus, he’s one of the few people brave enough to read the rough draft of my book, Under the Table, and even claim to like it. Now that’s a friend. I just can’t say enough good things about Sully, so I’ll stop here. Join me in wishing Shaun a very Happy Birthday.

21A
Shaun O’Sullivan and business partner Nico Freccia in the front of their brewpub.

bistro-judge
Shaun and me outside the Bistro after judging the Double IPA Festival.

albion-don-08
Shaun O’Sullivan with Don Barkley of Napa Smith Brewing on the first day of SF Beer Week.

21a-canparty-4
Nico with Dave Keene and Shaun at a can party at the Toronado.

21a-busschool-23
Nico and Shaun in lederhosen during 21st Amendment’s Beer Bus School.

Sully-paralegal
But this by far my favorite, it’s hard to understand how he could have given up all that to start a brewery.

Beer Birthday: Brian Stechschulte

speakeasy
Today is also the birthday of Brian Stechschulte, former executive director of the San Francisco Brewers Guild, who is now working for Speakeasy Ales & Lagers as their Public Relations & Media Director. I’m just guessing at Brian’s age, but by my reckoning he’s got to be about 38 this year. In addition to his paying work with the guild and SF Beer Week, he also writes online at All Over Beer and Bygone Beer. Brian’s a terrific ambassador for beer and a great addition to the industry now that’s a working stiff. I think of him as a kindred spirit. Please join me in wishing Brian a very happy birthday.

Brian-Stechschulte-Portrait
Brian’s profile picture, used without permission but begged for here in the hopes that in the spirit of its use will be granted magnanimously.

DSC_3203
Brian and me with San Francisco mayor Ed Lee at this year;s SF Beer Week opening gala.

Brian-S-03
Bob Brewer, from Anchor Brewing, with Brian at GABF a couple of years ago.

Brian-S-02
Brian after grad school graduation in 2003. Notice the can of beer he’s drinking.
[Note: The last two photos purloined from Brian’s Facebook friends, blame them.]

Beer Birthday: John Martin

triple-rock-check drakes-new
Today is the 56th birthday of John Martin, one of the founders of Triple Rock Brewery & Alehouse in Berkeley. John, with his brother Reid, started on of the first five brewpubs in the U.S., and the only one that’s still owned by the same family that founded it. John also owns Drake’s Brewing and the Jupiter Taproom, too. He’s active in the local beer community and also with the CCBA, plus he’s a great guy with a very distinctive laugh. Join me in wishing John a very happy birthday.

firkinfest08-05
Christian Kazakoff, former brewer at Triple Rock (now at Iron Springs) with John during the 2008 Firkin Fest.

P1030343
John, with his brother Reid, and Triple Rock brewmaster Rodger Davs at the brewpub’s 25th anniversary.

P1010474
John, me and Peter Hoey at last year’s opening gala for SF Beer Week.

Triple-Rock-Opening-Day-4
John in the brewhouse with his brother 26 years ago, on opening day.

Historic Beer Birthday: Jacob Adams

broadway-sf
Today is the birthday of Jacob Adams (May 13, 1837-July 21, 1909). Born Jacob Adami, in Germany, he moved with his family to San Francisco in 1860. He bought the San Francisco Brewery in 1874, renaming it the Broadway Brewery.

jacob-adams-med

Here’s a short biography from Find a Grave:

Johanas Adami [Adams] and family emigrated from Germany in 1860 to San Francisco and formed a brewery partnership. Johanas’ son, Jacob Adams, formally established the Broadway Brewery at 637 Broadway and Stockton St. in 1874. The brewery burned down in 1885, but was rebuilt at a new location on the corner of Treat Ave. & 19th St. Jacob died in 1909 and his son George C. Adams became president of the brewery. In 1916 another son, William F. Adams, became one of the directors of the newly formed California Brewing Association. During Prohibition William was working at Acme’s Fulton plant, (dba) the Cereal Products Refining Corporation, with JP Rettenmayer and Karl Schuster. In the 30’s & 40’s William held the position of Secretary for Acme Breweries in both SF and LA. He and his brother Edward J. Adams were Acme shareholders and also ran Acme’s Oakland distribution depot.

Broadway-Brewery-ltrhd

The wonderful brewery gems also has a more thorough history of both Jacob Adams and the Broadway Brewery in San Francisco from 1862 to 1917, when it closed.

Broadway-Brewery-Steam-Beer-sign

Corks & Suds Benefit For Autism Friday Night In Novato

corks-&-suds
Tomorrow night in Novato, at the Unity In Marin church, located at 600 Palm Drive, a benefit for Autism — a cause near and dear to me — will be held. Corks & Suds will take place from 7:00-10:00 PM, and will feature music by “The Decades” and special guest piano performance by young man with autism.

Lagunitas, Anchor Brewing, Iron Springs and many more special guest beers from San Francisco Brewing Collective, Food from Alta Cuisine and Sonoma wines plus much more will be there! An evening of fun for a great cause.

Tickets are available at both Eventbrite and Global Offerings and there’s more information at the event’s Facebook page. I’m not sure how long this coupon will work, but put in Coupon code “CAS-SPECIAL” and get your ticket for $45 instead of $70!

corks-&-suds-2016

Beer Birthday: Jack McAuliffe

new-albion-banner
Today is the 71st birthday of Jack McAuliffe, the father of the modern microbrewery. Jack incorporated his New Albion Brewery in October of 1976, and began producing beer the following year from his tiny brewery in Sonoma, California. His 1-barrel system suggests he may also have been the first nanobrewery, as well. I finally got a chance to meet Jack when he was San Francisco for CBC several years ago, and was privileged to spend some time with him the week after CBC when Jack visited Russian River Brewery and then the next day he graciously showed us the original site of his New Albion Brewery. I’ve since been fortunate to spend time with Jack on several more occasions, and it’s always a treat. Join me in wishing Jack a very happy birthday.

P1010239
Me and Jack at Russian River Brewery earlier this year when they launched the new New Albion beer in bottles.

P1030638
Maureen Ogle, Jack and Julie Johnson, from All About Beer magazine, during the Craft Brewers Conference in San Francisco last year.

P1030788
Vinnie Cilurzo, from Russian River Brewing, with Jack, showing us around the original site of the New Albion Brewery.

P1000136
Jack and Boston Beer’s Jim Koch at their annual media brunch during GABF week two years ago.

P1030766
Jack and me at Russian River Brewery.