Beer Birthday: Nicole Erny

cicerone-circle
Today is the 31st birthday of Nicole Erny, a certified Master Cicerone and passionate beer lover, who used to work at The Trappist and as a “Beer Ambassador” at the CommonWealth Cafe & Public House, both in beautiful downtown Oakland. She also used to work with Ray Daniels’ Cicerone program, but recently left that position for her next adventure. Nicole and I almost worked together on a great-sounding beer project, but alas it fell apart. She’s a great advocate for better beer and has more energy than any three people I know. Join me in wishing Nicole a very happy birthday.

Rodger Davis, Nicole Erny & Claudia Davis
Rodger Davis, Nicole and Claudia Davis at Triple Rock’s Sourfest during SF Beer Week in 2010.

Dan Shelton & Nicole Erny
Dan Shelton and Nicole during GABF in 2009.

Nicole Erny & Matt Brynildson Toasting the End of GABF Week
Toasting the End of GABF Week with Matt Brynildson at the Falling Rock in 2009.

nicole-erny-beer-school
A great shot for Nathan Smith and Nicole’s Beer School at The Trappist several years ago. (photo “borrowed” from Jon Weber’s Beer Obsessed, in the hopes he won’t mind.)

Beer Birthday: Merideth Canham-Nelson

beergeek
Today is also the birthday of Merideth Canham-Nelson, the better half of The Beer Geek duo that also includes Chris Nelson. I’d tell you what birthday she’s celebrating this year, but I don’t actually know. Merideth also recently published Teachings From the Tap, her account of the year she and husband Chris spent circling the globe visiting beer destinations. Join me in wishing Merideth a very happy birthday.

P1000252
Merideth at last year’s BevMo Holiday Festival last year.

srbf08-05
The first “official meeting” of the Bay Area Beer Bloggers. From left: Merideth, me, Chris Nelson, ditto, JJ, the Thirsty Hopster, and Gail Ann Williams and Steve Shapiro, both from beer by BART.

merideth-rocky
In front of the Rocky statue in downtown Philadelphia during our trip to the first Philly Beer Week.

obf07-20
At the OBF media tasting: Rick Sellers, from Pacific Brew News, Merideth and Chris Nelson, The Beer Geek, and Meagan Flynn (at right) with her assistant, Annalou, publisher of Beer NW during the 2007 Oregon Brewers Festival.

Craft: New Documentary About California Breweries

craft-doc
This looks interesting. Jeff Smith and Fran Ellsworth are directing and producing a new documentary film about California breweries entitled “Craft: The California Beer Documentary.” They recently released their first trailer, which you can watch below. All I know at this point is from a short description of their project. “A road trip throughout California, learning from the master brewers of the state. It’ll also feature interviews with beer enthusiasts and home-brewers.”

Beer Birthday: Fritz Maytag

anchor-new
Fritz Maytag, who bought the failing Anchor Brewery in 1965 and turned it into a model for the microbrewery revolution, celebrates his 77th birthday today. It’s no stretch to call Fritz the father of craft beer, he introduced so many innovations that are common today and influenced countless brewers working today. In the last few years, Maytag sold Anchor Brewery and Distillery to Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio of the Griffin Group, but continues to make his York Creek wine and consult with Anchor as Chairman Emeritus. I was happy to see him again recently at the CCBA 25th Anniversary COnference and again at the Anchor Christmas Party last week. Join me in wishing Fritz a very happy birthday.

anchor-xmas06-01
Fritz Maytag at the Anchor Christmas party in 2006 with fellow Anchor-ites John Dannerbeck and Mark Carpenter.

anchor-oba-06
Fritz with the organizers of SF Beer Week at our inaugural opening event at Anchor in 2009.

Speakers at the Symposium: Bruce Paton, Christine Hastorf, Fritz Maytag and Charlie Bamforth
Fritz with fellow speakers at the Herbst Museum Symposium a couple of years ago, from left: Bruce Paton, Christine Hastorf, Fritz Maytag and Charlie Bamforth.

Ken Grossman, me and Fritz Maytag
Ken Grossman, me and Fritz at a beer dinner at Anchor celebrating Sierra Nevada’s 30th anniversary.

Me and Fritz Maytag
Me and Fritz at the Anchor Christmas Party a few years ago.

CCBA 25th Anniversary Round-Up Video

ccba
Early last month, the California Craft Brewers Association celebrated its 25th anniversary with a two-day conference in Santa Rosa. I gave a talk on the history of craft beer in the Golden State, and there many other seminars, including a wonderful panel discussion with three craft beer pioneers, John Martin (Triple Rock), Ken Grossman (Sierra Nevada) and Fritz Maytag (Anchor), moderated by Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River). The Film Squad created a fun video showing an overview of the conference.

Beer Birthday: Natalie Cilurzo

russian-river
Today is the 46th birthday of Natalie Cilurzo, co-founder of Russian River Brewing, and the woman who makes everything run smoothly at both the brewpub and the production brewery. You’d be hard-pressed to find a nicer person in the beer world, and though she spent many years working with wine, the brewing industry is all the richer now that she’s left that all behind her. Join me in wishing Natalie a very happy birthday.

Natalie & Vinnie
Natalie with Vinnie at his 40th birthday party a few years ago.

P1060235
Jen Garris, from Pi Bar, Dave Keene’s wife Jen Smith, and Natalie at the Toronado 25th Anniversary Blending Dinner.

wbc-din08-07
Four out of Five, the Cilurzos and a Stan. From Left: Natalie, Stan Hieronymus, Vinnie’s mother and father, and Vinnie Cilurzo at the World Beer Cup gala dinner in 2008.

Best man Vinnie Cilurzo, Dave Keene, Jennifer Smith and maid of honor Natalie Cilurzo
Best man Vinnie Cilurzo, Dave Keene, Jennifer Smith and maid of honor Natalie at Dan & Jen’s wedding during GABF 2010.

Me, Natalie Cilurzo and Sean Paxton (and his daughter Olivia)
Me, Natalie and Sean Paxton (and his daughter Olivia) at the Pliny the Younger release in 2011. (photo by Mario Rubio.)

DSCN4098
Natalie last year for the 8th annual All Hopped Up for the Cure.

Did You Hear That? Only 2 Months Until SF Beer Week

sfbw-2015
Remember hearing the music of the ice cream truck, and running outside to meet it so you didn’t miss out on getting a popsicle, or whatever your favorite frozen treat was? Well, it’s about two months until the kickoff of SF Beer Week, and they’ve created a hilarious teaser video, reimagining the ice cream truck, or in this case beer truck, as the clarion call for beer week. Enjoy.

Beer Birthday: Bob Brewer

anchor-new
Today is the 66th birthday of Bob Brewer, longtime brewery rep. for Anchor Brewing. For many years, he worked from southern California, circling the country with the entire nation his territory (the only exception being the Bay Area) representing Anchor beers. More recently, he’s moved back to the Bay Area, but you can find him at every nook and cranny of the beer world. Join me in wishing Bob a very happy birthday.

bluesapal07-10
Bob serving a festival-goer at the Mammoth Lakes Bluesapalooza in 2007.

P1030422
Bob giving a tour at Anchor.

cbn18-03
Bob serves up the then-new Anchor Bock to Portland beer sage Fred Eckhardt.

DSC_2394
Me, brewer Mike Lee and Bob at the 2011 Anchor Christmas party.

Beer Birthday: Wil Turner

revolution
Today is the 47th 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.

gabf06-fri-19
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.

vanwyck-2
On the floor at GABF in 2007 with Andrew Mason (on left), Matt’s assistant when he was still at Flossmoor Station, and Wil.

gabf06-fri-18
Wil, also at the 2006 GABF, sadly empty.

Beer Birthday: Matt Brynildson

firestone-walker
Today is the 43rd 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. 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.

marstons-12
At Marston’s in Burton-on-Trent a few years ago.

tbwf08-07
Matt (center) outside the Toronado with one of his assistant brewers along with Sean Paxton, the Homebrew Chef enjoying the rare San Francisco winter sun.

boonville07-21
Matt bookended by Adrienne and Claudia, from 21st Amendment Brewery, at the Boonville Beer Festival in 2007.

P1090028
In Chile at Kross Cerveza Independiente with brewmaster Asbjorn Gerlach, Matt and Lars Larson from Trumer Brauerei.

P1050142
Matt at the first Firestone Walker Invitational, held three years ago.