Today is the 70th 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.
Thursday’s ad is for Genesee beer, from the 1950s. The ad shows a hard-working farmer taking a break with a cool glass of beer, with beaded sweat dripping down his forehead. It’s quite a good illustration, but I don’t know who the artist is, sad to say. It also makes me glad I’m not a farmer. I’m way too lazy.
Thursday’s ad is for Knickerbocker Beer, from 1954. The beer was brewed by Jacob Ruppert. The illustration by Lumen Martin Winter shows a fanciful origin story for the Purchase of the Island of Manhattan, as told in the text. Isn’t that how the kids are wearing their pants these days? Wow, everything old really is new again.
Today is Jeremy Cowan’s 46th birthday. Jeremy owns Shmaltz Brewing, makers of He’Brew. Jeremy is a good friend and we’ve known one another since he first pitched He’Brew to me at BevMo many years ago (which is detailed in Jeremy’s memoir Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah). Though Jeremy splits his time between San Francisco and New York, I still manage to see him at beer events pretty frequently, but less so now that he’s built a brick and mortar brewery in upstate New York. Join me in wishing Jeremy a very happy birthday.
Jeremy, with City Beer Store owner Craig Wathen.
A few years ago at the Toronado for a He’Brew release party. From left: Alec Moss, recently retired from Half Moon Bay Brewing, Pete Slosberg, Jeremy, and Rodger Davis, when he was still with Drake’s Brewing.
Today would have been the 58th birthday of Publican extraordinaire Ray Deter, who passed away tragically four 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 66th 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, and also his newer book The Craft Beer Revolution: How a Band of Microbrewers Is Transforming the World’s Favorite Drink. 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 59th birthday. Wendy, along with her husband, ran the Belgian export company Vanberg & DeWulf, until quite recently, when the business was sold, although they’ll continue for several more months with the company before starting the next chapter. Their portfolio included such great beer lines as Dupont, Castelain and Dubuisson (Bush). They were also the original founders of Brewery Ommegang. Three 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, especially in Belgium. Join me in wishing Wendy a very happy birthday.
NOTE: Photos purloined from Vanberg & DeWulf’s website and Facebook.
Today is the 41st 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.
Tuesday’s ad is for Bock Beer by H. Clausen & Son, from 1879. According to BeerHistory.com’s page Brewing in America in 1879, there were 365 breweries in New York at that time, and H. Clausen & Son was the 9th largest, with barrels sold just under 90,000. it was located at 47th St. & 2nd Ave. The Library of Congress describes the ad as “showing a woman sitting back with her legs up, balancing on one foot a barrel with a goat standing on it; she is holding up a large glass of beer.” I think it looks more like a child, though, not a woman. Either way, what an odd position.
Today is Garrett Oliver’s 52nd 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 three 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.