Today would have been the 57th birthday of Publican extraordinaire Ray Deter, who passed away tragically three 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.
Today is the 65th birthday of Steve Hindy, one of the co-founders of Brooklyn Brewery, and the man responsible for running things day-to-day. Hindy was a journalist for many years before opening the brewery, reporting from numerous war-torn spots around the globe, and as a result has a different perspective on the world that makes him a fascinating person to share a beer with. If you haven’t already, check out his book Beer School, written with Brooklyn Brewery business partner Tom Potter. He’s also very active with the Brewers Association and in his local community,too, making it easier for small brewers that follow him. Join me in wishing Steve a very happy birthday.
Just before taking the stage during GABF 2007, from left, Glenn Payne (of Meantime Brewing), Charlie Papazian (of the Brewers Association), Mark Dorber (formerly of the White Horse on Parson’s Green but now at the Anchor Pub), Garrett Oliver, and Steve Hindy (both from Brooklyn Brewing), Dave Alexander (from the Brickskeller), and Tom Dalldorf (from the Celebrator Beer News).
Steve, Kim Jordan (New Belgium), Dave Keene (The Toronado in SF), Eddie Friedland (former owner of Philadelphia’s Friedland Distributing) and Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River) in Austin, Texas for the 2007 Craft Brewers Conference.
Today is Wendy Littlefield’s 58th birthday. Wendy, along with her husband, runs the Belgian export company Vanberg & DeWulf. Their portfolio includes such great beer lines as Dupont, Castelain and Dubuisson (Bush). They were also the original founders of Brewery Ommegang. Two years ago was their 30th anniversary of being involved in the beer industry and bringing great beer to America. Plus, they’re great fun to hang out and drink with. Join me in wishing Wendy a very happy birthday.
NOTE: Photos purloined from Vanberg & DeWulf’s website and Facebook.
Today is the 40th birthday of Jeff O’Neil, who I first met when he was brewing at Drake’s here in sunny California. He’s since gone on to make a name for himself at Ithaca Beer Co. before leaving that gig to become the brewmaster at the Peekskill Brewery, both of which are in upstate New York, which is where Jeff originally hails from. Jeff’s a terrific brewer and an equally wonderful guy. Join me in wishing Jeff a very happy birthday.
Jeff O’Neil, a mild-mannered brewer was underneath wearing the Bulletin supporter costume that turns him into a superhero, coming into Deep Ellum in Boson for an event during the Craft Brewers Conference a few years ago.
Today’s beer video is a tour of the Blue Point Brewing Co. in Patchogue, New York by The Brewery Show. Given the announcement today that ABI is buying the brewery, I thought readers might be interested in seeing the brewery and learning more about it. It’s from season 2 of The Brewery Show and runs about twelve minutes.
Anheuser-Busch announced today that they would be acquiring Long Island craft brewery Blue Point Brewing for an unspecified amount. The deal is expected to close in the next quarter, and like its other recent acquisitions, the brewery will remain at its original location in Patchogue, New York.
From the press release
Anheuser-Busch today announced it has agreed to purchase Blue Point Brewing Co., one of the nation’s top craft brewers with more than 40 beers and sales concentrated along the East Coast, in a move that will bring additional resources to Blue Point’s operations, allowing it to meet growing consumer demand for its award‑winning brands. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Blue Point, known for its creativity, was founded by Mark Burford and Peter Cotter 15 years ago in Patchogue, N.Y., where the brewery will continue to operate. Anheuser-Busch also plans to invest in the brewery to grow its operational capabilities and enhance the consumer experience over the next few years.
“We are deeply grateful to our family of loyal employees and customers. Our success was made possible by the hard work of good people and good beer in Patchogue,” said Peter Cotter, who will continue to be instrumental in the success of the brands along with co-founder Mark Burford. “Together, our talented brewing team and Anheuser-Busch will have the resources to create new and exciting beers and share our portfolio with even more beer lovers,” said Mark Burford.
In 2013, Blue Point sold approximately 60,000 barrels, with 50 percent of the volume from its flagship brand, Toasted Lager. It also sells Hoptical Illusion, Blueberry Ale and seasonal brands among others.
“As we welcome Blue Point into the Anheuser-Busch family of brands, we look forward to working with Mark and Peter to accelerate the growth of the Blue Point portfolio and expand to new markets, while preserving the heritage and innovation of the brands,” said Luiz Edmond, CEO of Anheuser-Busch. “With Anheuser-Busch’s strong beer credentials, we share a commitment to offering high-quality beers that excite consumers. Blue Point brands have a strong following and even more potential.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch also some additional information on the deal and its background.
And in case you’re unfamiliar with Blue Point, here’s an overview, also from the press release.
Blue Point Brewing Company is Long Island’s oldest and most award-winning brewery. Founded in 1998 by Mark Burford and Pete Cotter, Blue Point Brewery is headquartered in Patchogue, New York, and is currently the 34th largest craft brewery in the U.S. Blue Point Brewing Company is independently owned and operated and its beers are available in 15 states of distribution including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Michigan. Blue Point’s portfolio of more than 40 craft beers includes Hoptical Illusion, ESB, RastafaRye Ale, Sour Cherry Imperial Stout, Toxic Sludge, White IPA, No Apologies Double IPA, and its flagship Toasted Lager, which won the World Beer Cup in 2006.
Today’s beer video is short film of Brooklyn Brewery co-founder Steve Hindy explaining the reasons he left his job as a journalist to make beer. STeve also recently published his second beer book, The Craft Beer Revolution, this one on the history of craft beer from an insider’s perspective. The film was created by Transient Pictures for the brewery’s 25th anniversary.
Today is Garrett Oliver’s 51st birthday. Garrett is the head brewer at Brooklyn Brewery and has done more for the craft beer industry to promote pairing food and beer than just about any other person alive. If you haven’t picked up a copy of his book, The Brewmaster’s Table, you should definitely do so. He was also tapped to be the editor of the Oxford Companion to Beer, which came out two years ago (and which I also contributed to). He’s the best-dressed brewer in the world and a great person. Join me in wishing Garrett a very happy birthday.
Garrett and Bruce Joseph, from Anchor Brewery, at the Brewer’s Dinner before GABF a few years ago.
Giving a cooking demonstration with beer chef Bruce Paton at GABF in 2005.
Friday’s ad is for Knickerbocker beer, from 1953. It’s number 5 in a series, although I’ve only seen two of them so far, and I don’t know how many are in the series of ads. The ones I’ve seen depict scenes from the history of New York. This fifth one is about the Christening of Kip’s Bay, and the art for the ad was painted by Lumen Martin Winter. “Kips Bay was an inlet of the East River running from what is now 32nd Street to 37th Street.” According to Wikipedia:
Kips Bay was the site of the Landing at Kip’s Bay (September 15, 1776), an episode of the American Revolutionary War and part of the New York and New Jersey campaign. About 4,000 British Army troops under General William Howe landed at Kips Bay on September 15, 1776, near what is now the foot of East 33rd Street. Howe’s forces defeated about 500 American militiamen commanded by Colonel William Douglas. The American forces immediately retreated and the British occupied New York City soon afterward.
Today is the 68th birthday of Nick Matt, chairman and CEO of F.X. Matt Brewing in Utica, by the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. The brewery was originally founded in 1888, and their main brand today is Saranac. Nick is an active member of the beer industry, and especially through the brewers Association, and a big supporter of the community as a whole. Join me in wishing Nick a very happy birthday.