Beer Birthday: Bob Pease

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Today is the 52nd 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.

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On the floor at GABF in 2007, with Ray Daniels, Mark Dorber, publican extraordinaire, and John Mallet, from Bell’s Brewery.

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With Nancy Johnson at CBC in New Orleans.

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Bob with Rick Lyke at a Pints For Prostates event.

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The BA staff at CBC earlier this year in Chicago. That’s Bob second to the right of the tuxedo (which is Charlie Papazian) and next to Julia Herz.

Beer Birthday: Chris Swersey

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Today is the 49th 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.

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Chris reading the list of World Beer Cup winners in 2008.

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Nancy Johnson, Justin Crossley & Chris right before the GABF Awards Ceremony in 2009.

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Eric and Lauren Salazar, both from New Belgium Brewing, sandwiched by Jim Crooks, from Firestone Walker, and Chris Swersey, Competition Manager for GABF judging.

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Me, Chris and another BA staff member freshly arriving at CBC in Austin in 2007.

Beer Birthday: Paul Gatza

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Today is also Paul Gatza’s 49th 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.

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Toasting in New Orleans for CBC.

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Working the AHA booth at GABF.

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At the podium during the opening of CBC in 2008.

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Paul giving his annual state of the industry talk at CBC in 2012.

Beer Birthday: John Bryant

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Today is my good friend John Bryant’s 47th birthday. I first met John when he was with Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon. Several years ago he migrated to Odell Brewing in Fort Collins to work his magic on them, and then a few years ago he joined Dale at Oskar Blues. He recently left Oskar Blues and disappeared for a time, finally re-emerging in Spokane, Washington with the newly rebranded No-Li Brewing. Join me in wishing John a very happy birthday.

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At the Brewer’s Reception before GABF in 2006. From left: Bob Pease (Brewers Association), Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River Brewing), John and his wife Cindy, Banjo (Real Beer) and Tom McCormick (California Craft Brewers Association).

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John, with Ray Daniels of the Brewers Association, who celebrated his own birthday last week.

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John and me during a visit to the brewery a few summers ago, when we were in Colorado for my cousin’s wedding.

Beer Birthday: Adam Avery

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Today is also Adam Avery’s 47th birthday. Adam, of course, founded his eponymous brewery, Avery Brewing, in Boulder, Colorado. Since 1993, Adam’s been making some increasingly hoppy and big, challenging beers that are also quote wonderful, too. Join me in wishing Adam a very happy birthday.

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At a Collaboration Beer Dinner with Bruce Paton, center, pitting Adam Avery’s beers against Vinnie Cilurzo’s in 2007.

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Tomme Arthur, from Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey, with Adam — behind bars — and Eric Rose, from Hollister Brewing at CBC in Austin, Texas 2007.

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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, Rob Tod, Bruce Paton and Sam Calagione. Bottom row: Tomme Arthur and Vinnie Cilurzo.

Beer Birthday: Eric Warner

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Today is the 49th birthday of Eric Warner. Eric founded Tabernash Brewing in Colorado, and later ran Flying Dog Brewing, until they moved their operations to Maryland. He’s also the author of two brewing books, German Wheat Beer and Kolsch: History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes. More recently, he moved to Houston to be the brewmaster (although his official title is “Yeast Rancher”) at Karbach Brewing. I first met Eric at Tabernash, a million years ago, and several times since then, though for some odd reason I can’t locate any photos. Join me in wishing Eric a very happy birthday.

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Eric sitting for a local Texas magazine, 022Houston, about Menspiration.

Fairy Tale Labels From the Brothers Grimm

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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.

Here’s what the bottles look like, followed by close-ups of the labels themselves:
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Snow Drop Honey Wheat Ale

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Fearless Youth Dunkel Lager

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Little Red Cap Alt Style Ale

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Master Thief German Porter

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The Griffin Hefeweizen Ale

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The Farmer’s Daughter Oktoberfest Lager

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And these labels are part of their “Fabled Series.”

The Count Imperial Stout

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Big Bad Wolf Sticke Alt Ale

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Sooty Brother Gratzer Ale

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Weihnachts Bier Weizenbock Ale

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Mirror Mirror Imperial Kottbusser Ale

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Hare’s Bride Hefeweizen Ale

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And this is a special release they did for Valentine’s Day earlier this year.

Bleeding Heart Cherry Chocolate Porter

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New Belgium Announces Asheville As Site For 2nd Brewery

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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 ….