Beer Birthday: Ray Deter

Today would have been the 60th birthday of Publican extraordinaire Ray Deter, who passed away tragically six summers ago after he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle in New York City. Ray was the owner of the d.b.a. beer bars in New York City (Manhattan and Brooklyn) and also New Orleans. He is most definitely missed by those of us who knew him. Please join me in raising a toast today to the memory of Ray Deter. Happy birthday Ray.

Ray in front of the New Orleans d.b.a. with Garrett Oliver several years ago.

Historic Beer Birthday: Jim Patton

Today is the birthday of Jim Patton (February 24, 1953-October 23, 2012). He was a founder of the Abita Brewing Co. in 1986, the first microbrewery in the south, and one of the earliest anywhere. This is from his Wikipedia entry:

He was an anthropologist and craft beer brewer. He was considered one of the pioneers in the craft beer brewing industry. He was one of the founders of the Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs, Louisiana. He also brewed beer for Key West Brewery and Wynwood Brewing in Miami, Florida. Patton’s first career was as a cultural anthropologist. He received a doctorate in the subject from Washington and Lee University. His specialty was Andean agricultural economics. Patton taught at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana and Xavier University of Louisiana. He eventually quit those jobs to become a full-time brewer. Patton co-founded the Abita Brewing Company in 1986. The first Abita Beer debuted on July 4 that same year in New Orleans and Mandeville, Louisiana. Abita Brewing Company was the first craft brewery to open in the South. Patton was instrumental in creating many of the recipes for the beers that Abita still produces today. Patton sold his share in the Abita Brewing Company in 1997 and co-founded the Zea Rotisserie and Brewery where he was also the brewmaster. Later, he would brew beer for Key West Brewery and Wynwood Brewery in Miami, Florida. Patton was also interested in wine making and worked for wineries in California and Oregon. Jim Patton died in Miami on October 23, 2012.


And this is his obituary from the Miami New Times:

Born February 24, 1953, Patton earned a bachelors degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he met his wife of 42 years. His first career was in professorship, earning a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Washington and Lee University in St. Louis, where he was a Dougherty Fellow specializing in Andean agricultural economics.

In 1980, Patton took a break from academia to visit friends in Abita Springs, Louisiana for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Soon after he moved to teach at Southeastern and Xavier universities in southern Louisiana.

Patton made an abrupt career change, deciding to leave the “politics in the teaching” to become a full-time brewer, applying his research skills and business acumen to start a company that would become among the cornerstones of the craft beer movement in the United States.

“One thing my academic background did teach me was research and study,” Patton told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal in 1994.

Abita Brewing Company debuted its first beer on July 4, 1986, and brewed only 1,500 barrels that year. Patton sold the brewery in 1998, but his legacy continued in the recipes for Abita’s flagship beers: Purple Haze, Turbo Dog, Amber, Andygator and Abita root beer. In 2011, Abita brewed over 130,000 barrels, and their product is available in 46 states, making it synonymous with Louisiana and one of the most widely distributed craft beers in the U.S.

After leaving Abita, Patton continued his entrepreneurship and brewing knowledge to co-found Zea Rotisserie, a chain of brewpubs in New Orleans, where he was also a brewmaster.

Patton went on to brew for Key West Brewery. A San Francisco native, he also returned to northern California to study wine, taking distance learning courses through University of California-Davis. He was an avid wine maker, working for wineries in Oregon and California.

Earlier this year, Patton responded to Brignoni’s ad on seeking a brewmaster. Patton came aboard with Wynwood Brewing in late September. Patton settled into an apartment in the Wynwood district of Miami, where he was attracted by the arts and street culture.

When WBC opens later this year or early 2013, it will be the first production craft brewery to open in the city of Miami since Wagner Brewing Company in 1934.

Patton was an avid explorer and Sierra Club member. As a teenager he explored the mountains of his native California on foot, bike and cross-country skiing. In his twenties he hiked the Inca Trail, exploring Patagonia and the caves of of the Maya mountains. He was a champion for peace and passionate defender of wild places and sustainability.

An extremely kind man, Patton kept cool and confident during difficult situations, believing that good will eventually triumph.

He was a man of many locations throughout the U.S., traversing between Washington state, California, New Orleans, Key West and Miami, keeping an intimate connection to each place.

“I just had a real desire to get back into brewing,” Patton told Short Order earlier this month. “I looked into a lot of places. I really enjoy start-ups because they get my mind going and engaged. Miami is just open territory for craft beer. Not a lot of local stuff is going on here, compared to Seattle, where there are 30 craft breweries in the city. Miami is a place where we could go in and get some recognition.”

“I am more determined than ever to take this project open and thrive,” Brignoni says. “WBC wasn’t just my dream, it was Jim’s too and there is no better way to honor him than by doing so. So I ask you all to cheers today in Jim’s name.”

He is survived by his mother, Peggy, his wife, Kathleen, his daughter, Kathryn, his son, Will, and his two sisters, Amy and Betty.

The Abita Brew Pub.

And this is from NOLA:

Jim Patton, a pioneer in the American craft beer brewing movement and a founder of Abita Brewing Co. and Zea Rotisserie & Brewery, died Oct. 23 in Miami, where he was helping to start a new brewery. He was 59.

Patton died suddenly of unknown causes, said his wife of 42 years, Kathleen “Catch” Patton.

An avid home brewer, Patton was a founding partner in the Abita Brewing Co. in Abita Springs. Taking advantage of the town’s famous artesian waters, he launched the company at a time when Americans were first developing a taste for indie craft brews. When its first beers debuted on July 4, 1986, Abita was just the 13th craft brewery to open in the United States and the first in the South.

“The first night we rolled out with a beer, we had one bar in New Orleans and one bar in Mandeville that carried it,” Patton recalled last month to writer David Minsky of Miami’s New Times newspaper. “We got some of the local television media in there, and they had some pictures of people dancing on the bar, and you just can’t buy that.”

Crafting beer intrigued him, Patton said in the article, because it was a “blend of science and art.”

Abita produced 1,500 barrels of beer its initial year. Patton sold his stake in the company in 1997, but the business he launched now brews more than 125,000 barrels of beer and 8,000 barrels of root beer.

Patton left Abita when he realized he was spending more time behind a desk than in the brewery, he told New Times. “I opened a brewery because I wanted to brew. Eight years later I was sitting in an office talking to distributors and bankers and that’s not what I wanted to do.”

After Abita, Patton was a co-founder and brewmaster of Zea Rotisserie & Brewery, and was brewmaster at Key West Brewery in Florida. Recently, he became involved with the launch of Wynwood Brewing Co., a craft brewer in Miami.

But beer wasn’t his only love. Patton also enjoyed making wine at his home on Lopez Island, in the San Juan Islands of Washington state, and he worked at several wineries in Oregon and California, Kathleen Patton said.

Before he got in the beer business, Patton was an anthropologist and taught at several universities, including Southeastern Louisiana and Xavier. He earned a doctorate in cultural anthropology as a Dougherty Fellow at Washington University and specialized in Andean agricultural economics.

A California native, Patton loved the outdoors and hiked, biked and cross-country skied throughout his teenage years. “In his 20s, he hiked the Inca Trail, explored Patagonia, and journeyed into the caves of the Maya mountains,” Kathleen Patton said by email Thursday night. “Recently he sailed the waters of the Florida Keys and hiked and kayaked extensively in his beloved great Pacific Northwest.”

He met Kathleen in 1970 during their first week of classes at Carleton College.

In addition to Kathleen, Patton is survived by his daughter Kathryn Braidwood Patton of Seattle, Wash; his son, William Anselm Patton, of Lopez Island, Wash.; his mother and two sisters


Beer Birthday: Jaime Jurado

Today is the birthday of Jaime Jurado, who for many years was the Director of Brewing Operations for the Gambrinus Company, which included several beer brands and breweries, such as Shiner, BridgePort, Pete’s Wicked and Trumer. A couple of years ago, he moved to Pennsylvania, where he was the brewmaster at Susquehanna Brewing Co. in Pittston, but a couple of years back he moved once again, this time to Louisiana, to become Director of Brewing Operations at Abita Brewing. He’s an incredibly talented brewer. More importantly, Jaime is one of the nicest people I know in the business. Join me wishing Jaime a very happy birthday.

A blushing Jamie at OBF in 2006.

Jamie with Lars Larson, brewmaster of Trumer Brauerei, at the Celebrator 18th anniversary party.

Jamie (far left) with some NBWA luminaries at the 2008 NBWA welcome reception. From left, Jamie, Lucy Saunders (the Beer Cook), Charlie Papazian (President of the Brewers Association), Kim Jordan (from New Belgium Brewing) and Tom Dalldorf (from the Celebrator Beer News).

Jamie with Todd and Jason Alström, founder of Beer Advocate, at the 2008 GABF.

Couch Trippin’ Contest

Lagunitas Brewing, my local down the street, is having a fun contest to win a a party in your home. That is, they’ll bring the Lagunitas Couch Trippin’ party to your home. What could be simpler?


So it is pretty simple, just do the following:

  1. Snap a photo of your couch & Lagunitas
  2. Tag it #couchtrippin on IInstagram and/or Twitter


So what can you win? Here’s how Lagunitas explains it: “We’re gonna bring the Lagunitas CouchTrippin’ party to your house … A killer band, tasty munchies, and we’ll even bring our own couch… All for you and up to 30 of your friends (sorry, we can’t have the whole town showin’ up). Follow the super simple instructions above. Or see full legal fine freakin’ print.”

Here’s mine, on our new giant sofa. It’s supposed to be a sofa bed, but we just keep it open all the time and use it as a “snuggle sofa” that fits our family of four perfectly, making it great for watching movies, playing video games, or of course, snuggling.


Let’s see yours. You have until the end of the month, specifically “August 31, 2014 at 11:59:59 PM PST” to post or upload your own Couch Trippin’ photo. But make sure you read the rules first to make sure you don’t disqualify yourself. For example, I’m not actually “drinking or consuming an alcohol product,” because that’s one of the restrictions. I’m just holding the beer, giving it a sniff.


We’re looking for a house to bring our CouchTrippin’ party to — so show us a pic of your couch with Lagunitas and tag #couchtrippin on Instagram or Twitter.

Jaime Jurado Moving To Abita

One of my favorite people in the industry, veteran brewer Jaime Jurado, who recently left Susquehanna Brewing, is moving back to the south. Abita Brewing announced Tuesday that Jurado would be joining them as Director of Brewing Operations, beginning this November. Prior to the Pennsylvania gig with Susquehanna, Jurado was Director of Brewing Operations for The Gambrinus Company breweries, which included Spoetzl Brewery, BridgePort Brewing, and Trumer Brauerei. His earlier experience includes having been the International Brewing Development Manager for The Stroh Brewery, manager at Courage Brewing’s Berkshire Brewery in England and five years at the Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre. He’s also a past president of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas. He recently sent me some malt flour that Sean Paxton, the Homebrew Chef, and I are working on using in a fun food project. Full details of his move to Abita can be found in their press release. Congratulations to both Abita and Jaime.

Jaime Jurado with Lars Larson from Trumer Brauerei at the Celebrator’s 18th Anniversary Party.

DBA Owner Ray Deter Critcally Injured In Bicycle Accident

I learned this morning that Ray Deter, the owner of the d.b.a. beer bars in New York City and New Orleans, was critically injured in a bicycle accident last night in New York. That information comes from Tom Peters of Monk’s Cafe in Philadelphia.

Although not mentioning Deter by name, DNAinfo, a local news website covering Manhattan has the story. According to Tom, Ray “was struck by a car while he was riding his bike back to DBA last night.” He is apparently in critical condition at Bellvue and the prognosis looks very grim.

My heart goes out to Ray and his family at this difficult time.

Ray Deter in front of the New Orleans d.b.a. with Garrett Oliver several years ago.

Louisiana Beer

Today in 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state.


Louisiana Breweries

Louisiana Brewery Guides

Guild: None Known

State Agency: Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control

Other Trade Groups: Beer Industry League of Louisiana


  • Capital: Baton Rouge
  • Largest Cities: New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, LaFayette, Lake Charles
  • Population: 4,468,976; 22nd
  • Area: 51843 sq.mi., 31st
  • Nickname: Pelican State
  • Statehood: 18th, April 30, 1812


  • Alcohol Legalized: April 13, 1933
  • Number of Breweries: 6
  • Rank: 43rd
  • Beer Production: 3,849,482
  • Production Rank: 18th
  • Beer Per Capita: 27.1 Gallons


Package Mix:

  • Bottles: 40.8%
  • Cans: 55.6%
  • Kegs: 3.4%

Beer Taxes:

  • Per Gallon: $0.32
  • Per Case: $0.73
  • Tax Per Barrel (24/12 Case): $10.00
  • Draught Tax Per Barrel (in Kegs): $10.00
  • * Municipalities and counties may assess a tax of up to $1.50 per barrel

Economic Impact (2010):

  • From Brewing: $36,209,782
  • Direct Impact: $868,936,804
  • Supplier Impact: $394,401,774
  • Induced Economic Impact: $848,102,310
  • Total Impact: $2,111,440,888

Legal Restrictions:

  • Control State: No
  • Sale Hours: On Premises: No state imposed restrictions on on-premise hours. “24 hour” bars are common in New Orleans and in Jefferson Parish. Some municipalities and parishes require on-premise service to stop at 2:00 am.
    Off Premises: No restrictions on hours of package sales statewide.
  • Grocery Store Sales: Yes
  • Notes: Packaged alcoholic beverages of any strength may be sold in supermarkets, drug stores, gas stations, and convenience stores 24 hours a day. Local municipalities may not restrict this. As a result, dedicated “liquor stores” are mostly specialty stores in larger cities, and some supermarkets have large selections of liquors and wines, and compete on the basis of liquor prices and selection.

    Alcohol can be consumed in plastic cups in the streets of New Orleans and taken from club-to-club if the establishment allows it. Otherwise it depends on the locality. Most parishes other than Orleans Parish do not permit alcoholic beverages served at on-premise establishments to be taken from the premises. However, many parishes and municipalities permit consumption of packaged beverages (for example, cans of beer) on the street, as long as the packaging is concealed. Glass bottles on the streets are prohibited. One can enter most bars at 18 years of age but must be 21 years old to purchase or consume alcohol.


Data complied, in part, from the Beer Institute’s Brewer’s Almanac 2010, Beer Serves America, the Brewers Association, Wikipedia and my World Factbook. If you see I’m missing a brewery link, please be so kind as to drop me a note or simply comment on this post. Thanks.

For the remaining states, see Brewing Links: United States.

Beer In Art #120: Eddie Morman’s Abita Bottles

This week’s work of art is by Eddie Morman, created for Abita Brewing. Of the four works available at Abita’s online store, two are paintings of Abita beer bottles. The first painting is of an Amber bottle.


And the second is for Purple Haze.


There isn’t any information about the artist, sadly, but I suspect he’s a local and the two works are fairly recent.

When Common Sense Gives Way To Business Sense

First Anchor Brewing trademarked Steam Beer, but did so at a time when absolutely nobody else in the world made anything even remotely similar, so it was entirely understandable. As the years rolled on, and many brewers have been forced to call the same or similar type of beer a “California Common,” I can’t help but think it’s an idea whose time has passed. I know it’s too valuable, but personally I’d like to see them relinquish their hold over the name and allow the rest of the world to call it by its proper name.

Then Full Sailing Brewing came out with their genius stubbie bottles that they called Session Lager and Session Black. And that might have been the end of it, but as I understand it, they also trademarked “session beer” and related marks. No one objected, of course, because there’s nobody to object. “Session beer” was, and in my mind remains, a generic term so there really was no one to file an Amicus curiae or otherwise oppose the trademark. What I don’t understand is how an already established generic term can be appropriated for private business use. When a trade name becomes so common — remember Scotch tape? — that it becomes the generic word for it then it loses its status as a protected trademark, in effect a product of too much success. Other examples of generic words that used to be trade names include aspirin, escalator, heroin, kerosene, laundromat, linoleum, pilates, thermos, videotape and zipper, to name just a few. But session started out as a generic, loosely defined term. I love Full Sail, but hate the notion that they “own” the term “session beer.”

That brings us up to yesterday, when Abita Brewing of Louisiana sent a cease and desist letter to a local charity, claiming that they own the trademark on the term “pub crawl,” and have since 1999. According to the Baton Rogue Business Report:

An attorney representing the Abita Brewing Company has sent a cease-and-desist letter to a charity organizer, ordering him not to use the term “pub crawl” to refer to his events. Todd Owers III, an attorney with the New Orleans firm of Carver Darden, says Abita owns the Louisiana state trademark for “pub crawl” and that for Manu Kamat to use the term in referring to his events in downtown Baton Rouge is a clear infringement on the brewery’s rights. Kamat says he started organizing monthly bar tours across downtown Baton Rouge in December to benefit the New Orleans Council for Community and Justice. Participants pay a few dollars, which entitles them to drink specials at participating bars for the night. Kamat says he finds Abita’s actions “a little bully-ish.” David Blossman, president of Abita, says the brewery is trying to protect its rights. “We’re trying to work these things out amicably,” he says. Kamat says he got the letter from Owers on Feb. 18, the night of his most recent event. In the letter, Owers attached documents that show Abita filed an application to use the trade name “pub crawl” with the Secretary of State in July 1999 and renewed it for another 10 years in July 2009. Kamat says he’s seen the term “pub crawl” all across the U.S. and Europe and that Abita’s action is like trying to trademark the term “happy hour.” But Blossman says that Abita made the term “pub crawl” known across Louisiana and that the term is now synonymous with the brewery. Kamat says he’s a “huge fan” of Abita and is looking for ways to continue to have his events without further upsetting the popular local brewery. He’s dubbed the next event, set for March 25, a “bar golf.” But he won’t comply with one request from Abita—to transfer control of the domain name to the brewery.

Now I don’t live in Louisiana, but I still have to question the statement that “Abita made the term ‘pub crawl’ known across Louisiana and that the term is now synonymous with the brewery.” I’ve heard, and used, the term everywhere I’ve traveled, both here and abroad and I think you’d be hard pressed to convince me that it’s not a near universal term in the English-speaking world. I certainly have no such association between Abita and pub crawls. In 1999, when they apparently were granted a state trademark, again there would have been no one to oppose them or speak on behalf of such a generic term. My bet is nobody even realized they “owned” the term “pub crawl.” And while I know full well that trademark holders have an affirmative duty to vigorously defend their marks, I can’t see how this won’t be a dead loser in the goodwill department or for that matter what advantage there is to actually owning the trademark on a term most people already believe is generic in the first place.

UPDATE: In a swift and smart move, Abita president David Blossman today posted a note to their Facebook page reversing their position. Here’s an excerpt:

In the 1990s big corporate breweries began trying to mimic craft beers and take over the types of events smaller breweries like us had created. To protect the Pub Crawl for our fans we trademarked the name of the event in Louisiana only. Our intent was to prevent any confusion and to stop the big breweries from copying our success. Over the years, we’ve sent out letters asking others not to use the name Pub Crawl unless it is an Abita sponsored event.

We’ve heard from you today on this trademark issue and we agree. Your respect is far more important to us than two little words.

This morning we reached out to the New Orleans Council for Community and Justice and let them know we’ve changed our mind and our position on the trademark issue. We have offered and they have accepted our support of their next event, scheduled for March 25. Abita is proud of our history of charitable giving to our community through our fundraising brews and our commitment to non-profit organizations.

That’s a classy move, in my opinion. Few businesses can admit they’re wrong or at least admit an error in judgment. They appear to have listened to their customers and understood that their loyalty and respect was more important than being in the “right” legally.

Beer In Art #114: Sam Rigling’s Crying In His Beer

This week’s work of art is by American artist Sam Rigling, who it appears is from around Shreveport, Louisiana. The title of the painting is Crying in His Beer.”


There’s not much information about Rigling, or the painting. The Fine Frame Gallery has the following:

Many of Rigling’s paintings exhibit an undercurrent of humor depicting small fragments of the “human comedy.” Scenes in his paintings often depict bar scenes, conversation or parties. He has participated in many one-man and group shows, winning many honors and fans. Galleries throughout North America have represented Sam. Fine Frame Gallery has been selling his work for over 15 years and is pleased to represent such a fine artist. His paintings are in collections in Canada, the U.S., Japan, and Europe.

And here’s one of his many paintings depicting scenes in bars, this one’s titled One For the Road.


You can see a few more of Rigling’s paintings at the Fine Frame Gallery and Nader’s Gallery.