Beer Birthday: Sean Paxton

sean-paxton
Today is the 42nd 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.

gabf08-21
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.

tbellunch08-24
Working with nitrogen at the 11-course Belgian Brunch, or Blunch, held at the Toronado.

nchf-bd12
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

47-hills
Today is also the 47th birthday of John Tucci, who until it closed not too long ago, was the brewmaster for the San Francisco Gordon Biersch brewpub. John’s one of Gordon Biersch’s best and most senior brewers, especially 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 close 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-tucci-1
John behind the bar pouring some of his beer. (Note: this photo by Winnie Hsu and purloined from Facebook.)

slowbeer08-15
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).

P1070087
John when I visited him last year at the Palo Alto Gordon Biersch.

john-tucci-2
Taking delivery of new brewing equipment at 47 Hills.

Beer Birthday: Barbara Groom

lost-coast-logo
Today is the birthday of Barbara Groom, co-founder of Lost Coast Brewing in Eureka, California. I first met Barbara when I was the beer buyer at BevMo in the mid-1990s and our paths have crossed on occasion ever since. She makes terrific beers and her brewery recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Join me in wishing Barbara a very happy birthday.

Barbara-Groom
Barbara in the brewery.

Barbara-Groom-1
This is what Barbara was wearing when I first met her, back when she called on me at BevMo.

Barbara-Groom-3
Thumbs up.

Barbara-Groom-4
In the beginning.

Note: All photos purloined from Facebook.

Beer Birthday: Tomme Arthur

lost-abbey pizza-port
Today is Tomme Arthur’s 41st birthday. Tomme is Director of Brewery Operations for Port Brewing and the Lost Abbey. One of the established stars of the San Diego brewing scene, Tomme is justly famous for his terrific beers, like his Cuvee de Tomme, the Red Poppy, the Angel’s Share and the Track series. Plus, he introduced washoes to the brewing community. Join me in wishing Tomme a very happy birthday.

thurs05-3
At GABF in 2005. Jeff Bagby, brewer at Pizza Port, Tomme, and Eric Rose, brewer at Hollister Brewing Co..

5guys-din-12
After the Five Guys and a Barrel Beer Dinner, a toast was offered with Isabelle Proximus, the Collaborative Sour Ale made by blending beer and done by the five of them. Top row: Adam Avery, Rob Tod, Bruce Paton and Sam Calagione. Bottom row: Tomme and Vinnie Cilurzo.

lostabb-din-6
Tomme and me after another beer dinner, relaxing in the Cathedral Hill bar with Blind Pig IPA.

port-brew-5
Tomme Arthur and his oldest daughter Sydney in front of aging beer barrels, when she was very young.

Beer Birthday: Morgan Cox

ale-industries
Today is the 37th birthday of Morgan Cox, founder and brewmaster of Ale Industries in Concord, California. Morgan started homebrewing at an early age, and washed kegs for Dave Heist at HopTown, before brewing at E.J. Phair. AFter eight years there, he left to open his own brewery, Ale Industries, where he’s been making inventive, tasty beers very since. Join me in wishing Morgan a very happy birthday.

boontstock-20
Morgan at the rainy Boonville Beer Festival in 2009.

Cox-1
Morgan with Annie, or Annie N Crew, at the opening gala for SF Beer Week earlier this year.

Cox-2
Morgan pouring at the Breastfest in 2012.

Note: the last two photos purloined from Facebook.

Beer Birthday: Don Gortemiller

pacific-coast
Today is the 62nd birthday of Don Gortemiller, former brewmaster for Pacific Coast Brewing in Oakland, California. Don was making beer there since the very beginning, back in 1988, helping to put Oakland and the Bay Area on the beer map, but left under an odd set of circumstances. I believe he’s currently on the lookout for a new opportunity. Join me in wishing Don a very happy birthday.

Steve Wolfe & Don Gortemiller, a bit lighter
Pacific Coast founder Steve Wolfe with Don at their 2009 annual Holiday Beer Tasting.

gortemiller-1
Don toasting with his beer.

gortemiller-3
Bruce Joseph with Don at Anchor Brewing.

gortemiller-2
Don rockin’ out as a young man.

Note: the last three photos purloined from Facebook.

Beer Birthday: Jesse Friedman

Almanac-circle
Today is also the birthday of Jesse Friedman, co-founder of Almanac Beer Co.. I first got to know Jesse when he was writing his beer and food blog, Beer & Nosh, but he’s since gone on to partner with Damian Fagan to create “Farm-to-Barrel” beers in 2010. They currently make three year-round beers and a plethora of individual seasonals under the “Farm to Barrel Series” umbrella, usually with local ingredients, often fruit or field. Join me in wishing jesse a very happy birthday.

Friedman-1
Jesse with Tim Clifford at the SF Beer Week Opening Gala earlier this year.

Friedman-2
Jesse, with Fraggle and Ron Silberstein, from Thirsty Bear, at the Anchor Holiday Party in 2012.

toropaxdinner09-11
Helping Sean Paxton with the Toronado Belgian Beer Lunch in 2009.

Friedman-4
Steve Altamari, Zak Davis, Jesse and Pete Slosberg at Jesse’s Pre-Wedding BBQ in 2010.
[Note: Pictures 1, 2, and 4 purloined from Facebook]

Beer Birthday: Alan Atha

Baeltane
Today is the 64th birthday of Alan Atha, co-founder and brewmaster of Baeltane Brewing in my former hometown of Novato, California. I first met Alan when he was a nanobrewery in planning, and he’s taken the experimental spirit of homebrewing and transitioned beautifully to commercial brewing, while retaining the playful nature that makes so many of his beer’s interesting, and delicious, with names like The Frog That Ate the World Double IPA and Rumplestiltskin. Join me in wishing Alan a very happy birthday.

Atha-1
Alan and his wife Cathy at the brewery.

Atha-2
Joe Tucker, me and Alan at the Craft Beerd book release party in Petaluma.
[Note: photos purloined from Facebook]

Beer Birthday: Yuseff Cherney

ballast-point
Today is the 45th birthday of Yuseff Cherney, co-founder, COO and head brewer of Ballast Point Brewing in San Diego. I usually run into Yusseff in the Bay Area or at GABF. He’s a great person and a terrific brewer and I’m certainly glad we can find his beers up north. Join me in wishing Yusseff a very happy birthday.

boonville07-25
Claudia Pamparana, co-founder of Faction Brewing, Yuseff, Jeff Bagby, and his then-assistant brewer, Noah Regney, now with Hollister Brewing at the Boonville Beer Festival in 2007.

DSCN0649
Sierra Nevada’s Steve Dressler with Yuseff and his wife at the Chico leg of Beer Camps Across America earlier this year.

DSCN8906
Yussef with Fal Allen (from Anderson Valley) at Prost Brewing during CBC this year in Denver.

Yusseff-01
Matt Matthew Brynildson, Earl Kight, and Yuseff at the European Beer Star Awards in Germany last year.

Yusseff-03
Yuseff with last year’s Hop Queen. (Note: last two photos purloined from Facebook.)

Beer Birthday: Dave McLean

magnolia-new
Today is Dave McLean’s 45th birthday. Dave is the soul behind Magnolia Pub & Brewery, the gastropub on Haight Street in San Francisco. He also owns Alembic and is a tireless champion of craft beer in the Bay Area, having worked on Slow Food Nation, The Eat Real Festival and SF Beer Week, among much else. He recently opened his new production brewery and smokehouse in the Dogpatch neighborhood of the city, and is renovating the Alembic on upper Haight. Join me in wishing Dave a very happy birthday.

bistro-dipa09-10
Craig Cauwels (from Schooner’s) and Sam Calagione (from Dogfish Head) stopping by to see Dave at the Double IPA Festival at the Bistro a couple of years ago.

gabf08-53
A sextet from San Francisco at GABF 2008. From left: Adrienne McMullem, with 21st Amendment, Ben Spencer, from Magnolia, Sean Paxton, the homebrew chef, Ben’s wife, Shaun O’Sullivan, from 21st Amendment, and Dave.

slofn08-10
Dave and me at the end of a very long, but satisfying, day at the first Slow Food Nation event four years ago in San Francisco.

slowbeer08-15
Food and beer mixed happily and deliciously at the Slow Beer Festival 2008, as evidenced here by Ian Marks (from Hog Island Oyster Co.), Taylor Boetticher (from the Fatted Calf), Dave, John Tucci (from Gordon Biersch San Francisco) and Shaun O’Sullivan (from 21st Amendment).