Today is Nancy Johnson’s birthday. Nancy is the Events Director for the Brewers Association, which includes being the director of the Great American Beer Festival, among others. She’s been doing that thankless job for a lot of years now and always manages to keep a smile on her face. Join me in wishing Nancy a very happy birthday.
Like most kids, I read (or had read to me) a lot of fables and fairy tales growing up. But a class I took in college on them reinvigorated my love of the genre, and I’ve continued to be a fan of fables ever since. Today, I have about two long shelves dedicated to collections of fairy tales from around the world, including the complete Brothers Grimm and an annotated volume of their more well-known tales. So I was excited to see the labels for the Grimm Brothers Brewhouse of Loveland, Colorado. The brewery opened in mid-2010 but somehow escaped my notice until recently. I don’t know if any of the brewery owners are brothers, or even named Grimm, but I’m guessing not, because their names are not readily available at the website or their Facebook page. But they’re certainly using the mythology of the Grimm stories to great effect in their beer names and especially the artwork, created by Ten Fold Collective, a local graphic design firm.
I just love the graphics for their labels. All of their packaging just looks amazing. I know that good packaging won’t mask a subpar beer for long, but it will enhance a good beer’s reputation and will help any beer stand out on increasingly crowded retail shelves. If their beer is only half as good as the packaging, it should be terrific. But it’s best to find out. Loveland is only about an hour north of Denver, on the way to Fort Collins. I definitely have to make a point to get out there during GABF week next year.
Snow Drop Honey Wheat Ale
Fearless Youth Dunkel Lager
Little Red Cap Alt Style Ale
Master Thief German Porter
The Griffin Hefeweizen Ale
The Farmer’s Daughter Oktoberfest Lager
And these labels are part of their “Fabled Series.”
The Count Imperial Stout
Big Bad Wolf Sticke Alt Ale
Sooty Brother Gratzer Ale
Weihnachts Bier Weizenbock Ale
Mirror Mirror Imperial Kottbusser Ale
Hare’s Bride Hefeweizen Ale
And this is a special release they did for Valentine’s Day earlier this year.
Bleeding Heart Cherry Chocolate Porter
Today is the 51st birthday of Bob Pease. Bob is the Chief Operating Officer of the Brewers Association and has been integral to their growth. He’s been with the BA since 1993 and was made V.P. in 1999. A few years ago he was promoted to COO. Join me in wishing Bob a very happy birthday.
Today is the 48th birthday of Chris Swersey, who’s on the staff of the Brewers Association as the Competition Manager for both the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. He coordinates all the judges, volunteers and the thousands of beers needed for each festival. It’s a big job and Chris seems to do it effortlessly. Join me in wishing Chris a very happy birthday.
Today is Paul Gatza’s 48th birthday. Paul is the Director of the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado. He’s held numerous executive positions with the BA and its previous incarnation, the Association of Brewers. An avid homebrewer, Paul is great face for the BA and a terrific person. Join me in wishing Paul a very happy birthday.
Wow, it’s been a good year for beer in Asheville, North Carolina. Not too long ago, Sierra Nevada Brewing announced they would build a second brewery in the county seat of Buncombe County. Now a second large craft brewery — New Belgium Brewing — today announced that they, too, have chosen Asheville as the city where they will build an East Coast brewery to brew and distribute their beers.
According to the press release:
The 400,000-barrel brewery and packaging facility will provide New Belgium with additional capacity allowing the Colorado-based brewer to expand into new areas of distribution. Upon completion in 2015, the facility will initially create 50 new jobs in the Asheville area with more than 100 positions expected at full buildout.
“After several years of searching, we are incredibly excited to have landed in Asheville,” said Kim Jordan, CEO and co-founder of New Belgium. “From the deep sense of community to the rich natural environment and the opportunity to revitalize a brownfield site near a vibrant downtown, Asheville has everything we’ve been looking for in a location for our second brewery.”
The 17.5-acre site located in the heart of the River Arts District will accommodate the 150,000 sq. ft. facility. The brewery will feature a 200-barrel brewing system, a tasting facility, and a process wastewater treatment center on-site. Tours will be available to the public. Total cost projections are over $100 million.
“Today’s announcement by New Belgium will enhance the craft brewery cluster that is growing in North Carolina,” said Gov. Bev Perdue. “The jobs and investment the company is committing will be a major boon for the region and for the state.”
Construction is expected to begin in early 2013 with beer rolling off the line in early 2015.
Let the brewing wars begin ….
There’s at least one every April Fool’s Day. Here’s Marty Jones from the Wynkoop brewpub in Denver, Colorado with a short video introducing their latest style of beer: Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout. Enjoy.
It was with a heavy heart that I received the news this morning that Danny Williams lost his battle with cancer last night, and passed away peacefully in his sleep. Ben Spencer sent me the word, and had this to say about his friend. “Danny was a great man. He was loved by many. This is a sad day for his family and friends. He will be missed.”
Ben added that “all Danny wanted out of his friends and family in his remembrance was no teary ceremonies, just ‘good people drinking good beers and smiling.’” There will be some sort of gathering of people to remember Danny, though the details, of course, are still being worked out. There was already a fundraiser scheduled for February 11 at Back Country Pizza in Boulder, and that will go forward as planned.
Danny’s family and friends want to thank everyone who donated generously to help make his remaining time more comfortable. Great progress was made toward saving the mine and keeping Danny’s home in the family, but additional donations are necessary to complete that work. If you haven’t already done so, please consider helping out Danny’s family as they struggle through this difficult time. As before, PayPal makes it easy to make a donation, and for larger amounts, there is a fund set up at First Bank in Boulder, Colorado under the name the “Danny Williams Fund,” where anyone can make a deposit. Their phone number is 450-120-3112.
Danny Williams: March 1, 1959-January 23, 2012
If you’re in the brewing industry, and especially if you’ve entered your beers in the Great American Beer Festival and/or the World Beer Cup, then you no doubt know Danny Williams. He’s worked with the Brewers Association at GABF for a number of years, and since 2001 has been in charge of the beer for competition judging. It’s his job to see that it arrives, is maintained under the proper conditions, and eventually makes it into the hands of the judges. Last year there were 3,930 beers judged at GABF. So it’s quite a task.
Unfortunately, Danny cannot work these days. He’s recently been diagnosed with cancer, and has cancerous legions all over his stomach and pancreas, which tragically is a type of cancer that typically has a very low survival rate. The pain he’s enduring is so great that he is simply unable to work, and he’s chosen not to attempt to treat it since the prognosis is so bleak and recovery unlikely. Danny’s decided instead to enjoy what time is left to him with his friends and family as best he can.
Danny is only 52 and has two grown kids from his first marriage. He also has an 8-year old son, Fletcher, from his most recent. As you might expect, not being able to work, having mouths to feed, and medical bills to pay, has left him in dire financial straits. At the moment, he is in danger of losing his home and the infamous “beer mine” — a former gold mine, sadly with no more riches — where he ages his beer collection. It’s even been mentioned in the New York Times. His friends and family are trying their best to make sure he can stay in his home during his remaining months and, if possible, that it can stay in his family after he’s gone. I can’t stress enough how precarious his situation really is.
His good friend, Ben Spencer — who’s the head brewer at Magnolia in San Francisco — recently went to Colorado to spend some time with Danny. Talking with Ben, I think it was rough on him seeing his friend in such a difficult situation. It’s hard for a lot of people to deal with such tragedy. I know. I went through something very similar with my own mother when I was in my early twenties. Ben reflected on seeing Danny last week and asks that you help out his friend, and your friend, as best you’re able.
Danny is a great man, and an amazing advocate of the craft brewing movement. He has affected all of us in many ways. I understand that times are tough, but please help my brother out. He needs us now.
Please donate what you can to help Danny. If you’re a brewery or other business and want to make a more substantial donation, there is a fund set up at First Bank in Boulder, Colorado under the name the “Danny Williams Fund.” Contact me or Ben Spencer for the account number and routing information. Or just post a comment below and one of us will send you the information.
To make a smaller, or really any amount, donation, we’ve set up a simple PayPal donation that’s very easy to use. Just click on the button below, fill in any amount you wish and follow the on screen instructions. Thank you.
Below are some photos of Danny enjoying life, which is how he should be remembered.
Be an angel, too. Please donate generously to make Danny’s remaining time as comfortable, enjoyable and stress-free as possible; and help secure a future for his family after he’s gone.
Also, while I don’t usually condone plagiarism, this is a special circumstance. If you write a blog or website, feel free to take any or all of this content, text, links and photos, to help spread the word to help out Danny. The more people we can reach, the more we can help. Thanks.
Business Week had an interesting article in the beginning of the month on New Belgium Brewing entitled New Belgium and the Battle of the Microbrews. It’s lengthy — at four online pages — and features an in depth interview with Kim Jordan and the future of her brewery and the craft beer industry as a whole. [And thanks to Michael O. for sending me the link.]