Beer Birthday: Stephen Beaumont

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Today is my good friend and colleague Stephen Beaumont’s 50th birthday, the big 5-0. And not only a friend, but a neighbour, partner and ally, too (inside joke). In addition to his temporary Blogging at World of Beer online, Stephen’s written numerous books, including the recent World Atlas of Beer (along with Tim Webb) and the Pocket Beer Book, now in its second edition. Join me in wishing Stephen a very happy birthday.

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Stephen with Tom Dalldorf at the Great Divide reception at GABF in 2007.

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Stephen Beaumont and his now-wife Maggie, and me, in the Bay Area for the Celebrator anniversary party a million years ago.

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Stephen, Tom Dalldorf and me at 21st Amendment for a roast I threw for Tom’s 60th birthday several years ago.

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Stephen and Maggie at their wedding reception in Toronto in August 2008.

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Enjoying a pint of Fuller’s at The Dove in London a few years ago.

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With Luke Nicolas from New Zealand’s Epic Brewing in D.C. for CBC last year.

Beer Birthday: Alan McLeod

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Today is also beer blogger extraordinaire Alan McLeod’s 51st birthday. Alan runs a good beer blog, called — curiously enough — A Good Beer Blog. I’m not sure what came first, the goodness or the blog. Anyway, though I’ve yet to meet Alan in person I feel as if he’s already a great, not just good, friend through our many conversations via e-mail and commenting on one another’s blogs. If you haven’t read his essay in the book Beer & Philosophy yet, rush right out and buy yourself a copy. He also recently published The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer, with Max Bahnson, available as a Kindle single on Amazon. Join me in wishing Alan the very merriest of birthdays. Cheers, mate.

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Alan pondering the mysteries of Stonehenge at age 7.

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A night with bald pate, circa 2002.

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Contemplating a jump near Prince Edward Island a dozen years ago. Happily, he decided against getting wet.

Beer In Ads #1045: When Good Friends Get Together They Say O.K.


Thursday’s ad is for O’Keefe’s Ale, from 1953. Showing either a tiny wreath or a giant crown, it’s actually a cool-looking Christmas wreath, but what I really love is the ad copy: “When good friends get together they say O.K. for O’Keefe’s.” Followed by “No finer ale was ever brewed.” Pretty bold coda.

Oh, Canada Day: Friends, Neighbours, Partners, Allies

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This is somewhat of an inside joke. When I was in D.C. earlier this year for the Craft Brewers Conference, I went for a long walk around the city, a little sightseeing. I made my way past the Canadian Embassy, in part because I had been invited to an event there later that same night by my good friend Stephen Beaumont, and I wanted to know where I would be going so as not to get lost. As I ambled past the embassy, I noticed four sleeves on four columns, part of a circular ring of columns, in front of the building. On each, was a word expressing the nature of Canada’s special relationship with America: Friends, Neighbours, Partners, Allies.

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I chuckled to myself, but for some reason it stuck in my mind and when I saw Stephen later that day, I badgered him incessantly, repeating to him — in a low, serious voice — Friends … Neighbours … Partners … Allies. I changed the delivery, the emphasis and inflection, each time, like an actor trying out different versions searching for just the right one. If it was funny the first time (and I say charitably it was), by the fiftieth, Stephen’s patience was wearing understandably thin. But I was too far gone, it was an earworm caught in my head like an annoying song that you can’t stop from replaying over and over again until you want to scream. To his credit, he suffered through it for the next few days until the conference was over. But seeing that today is Canada Day, it brought back those four little words and so I’d like to say to everyone I know in Canada: “Happy Canada Day to my Friends … Neighbours … Partners … Allies!”

Beer In Ads #902: Molson’s Completes The Picture


Tuesday’s ad is for Molson, from 1957. The Canadian ad shows two couples watching sports on television — because it’s Canada they’re watching hockey, of course. With the “complete’s the picture” tagline, part of the ad is framed, so that one of the men can reach his long arm through that frame to reach for another bottle of Molson.

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