Beer Birthday: Jack Joyce

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The original rogue, Jack Joyce, who founded Oregon Brewing — better known today as Rogue — would have celebrated his 72nd birthday today. Sadly, he passed away earlier this year, in late May. Join me in drinking a toast to Jack’s memory today.

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Jack (on right) at the Oregon Brewers Festival with Fred Bowman, co-founder of Portland Brewing and Tom Dalldorf, Celebrator publisher.

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At the OBF Parade in 2007, Jack Joyce with festival organizer Chris Crabb await the arrival of the mayor.

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Brett and Jack Joyce from an interview by World Class Beverages in 2010.

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One of the best photos of Jack I’ve seen. This was taken by Leah Nash for a New York Times article entitled Food and Fuel Compete for Land.

Beer Birthday: Christian DeBenedetti

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Today is the 41st birthday of fellow beer writer and aspiring brewery owner Christian DeBenedetti. In 2011, he wrote The Great American Ale Trail and you can check out a lot of his other work online. His latest project is building a brewery on his family’s property, Springbrook Farm, to be called the Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery. In fact, through CrowdBrewed, the dedicated beer crowd funding site, he’s in the process of raising funds to finish building the brewery, the majority of which is already in place. He’s getting close to reaching the necessary amount, around 80% there, with just one day to go. So perhaps everyone can give Christian an early birthday gift today so he can get the brewery finished and the beer flowing. There are all sorts of levels for donations and you can read all about the project and what the funds will be used for at CrowdBrewed. Join me in wishing Christian a very happy birthday.

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Christian with Stephen Beaumont at the Denver Rare Beer Tasting in 2013.

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With Vinnie Cilurzo in the barrel room during a visit to Russian River Brewing.

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With Charlie Papazian at GABF.

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With Jim Koch at Ale House at Amato’s for the book release party for the Great American Ale Trail, during GABF in 2011.

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In front of the brewhouse at Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery, his brewery under construction.

Beer Birthday: Darron Welch

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Today is the 47th birthday of Darron Welch, brewmaster at Pelican Pub & Brewery in Pacific City, Oregon. Darron has something like a gazillion awards for his beers, including “Brewer of the Year” four times (at GABF in 2000 and 2005 for small brewpub and in 2006 for large brewpub; and at the World Beer Cup in 2008 for large brewpub). In addition to being a great brewer, Darron is also a terrific person, as well. Join me in wishing him a very happy birthday.

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At a beer dinner at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco several Januarys back, Pelican Pub brewmaster Darron Welch with the Beer Chef Bruce Paton.

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Darron and the gang (including Ben Love at far left) from Pelican Pub & Brewery winning Gold for their Kiwanda Cream Ale at GABF in 2006.

Darron Welch (2nd from Left) with the Pelican Brewpub Team
Darron, again with the Peilcan Crew, this time at GABF in 2009.

Beer Birthday: Brett Joyce

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Today is the 42nd birthday of Brett Joyce, President of Rogue. Joyce grew up in the brewery, which his father Jack founded when Brett was sixteen. Having gone off to college and made a name for himself working with Adidas, building their international golf shoe business from the ground up, he returned to work for the brewery a number of years ago. I’ve gotten to know Brett much better since his return, beginning with when I interviewed him a few years ago for an article profiling him. Join me in wishing Brett a very happy birthday.

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Brett at the Full Sail Smoker during OBF, after a quick interview I did with him for Beer Advocate magazine.

The wedding party: Vinnie, Dave, Jennifer, Natalie, minister Brett Joyce and me, who gave the bride away
At Dave & Jen’s wedding during GABF a few years ago: Vinnie, Dave, Jennifer, Natalie, minister Brett Joyce and me.

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Brett, me and Brian Dunn, from Great Divide, at SAVOR a few years ago in Washington, DC.

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Me, Brett and Rogue’s maltster at their floor malting facility in Portland.

Beer Birthday: Gary Fish

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Today is the 58th birthday of Gary Fish, founder of Deschutes Brewing in Bend, Oregon. Gary grew up in Northern California wine country, but relocated to Bend to start the brewery in 1987, opening the original brewpub the following year. Since then, they built a production brewery and have gone on to open two additional brewpub locations, one in Bend and one in Portland. As of last year, they were the 5th largest craft brewery and the 11th largest brewery in America. Not bad for a brewery with a Porter as its flagship. Plus, Gary is a great person to discuss politics with, preferably over a beer. Join me in wishing Gary a very happy birthday.

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Larry Sidor, former brewmaster at Deschutes (and now at his Crux Fermentation Project), with Alan Sprints (from Hair of the Dog) and Gary at their downtown Bend brewpub when we visited there last summer on a family vacation.

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Gary Fish, Kurt Widmer (from Widmer Brothers) and beer writer Fred Eckhardt at Don Younger’s memorial (photo by Tom Dalldorf).

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Gary accepting the OBF hammer after the parade in 2009.

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U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio, Gary, and Representative Greg Walden — all from Oregon — enjoying craft beer at a Capitol Hill reception when the Small Brewers Conference held their first meeting.

Beer Birthday: Rob Widmer

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Today is Rob Widmer’s 58th birthday. Rob is, of course, one of the bros in Widmer Brothers. He and his brother Kurt helped found the Oregon Brewers Festival, created the style American Hefeweizen and are one of the few small brewers that have managed to retain their spirit and reputation as they’ve grown much larger. Join me in wishing Rob a very happy birthday.

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Kurt and Rob Widmer with ther wives at the Oregon Brewers Festival several years ago.

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Kurt and Rob after their win for Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year at GABF in 2002.


Rob with the Ralph’s (Olson and Woodall) from HopUnion at the 15th Anniversary Party for the Celebrator Beer News.

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Rob with the late, great Don Younger at Wynkoop during GABF in 2009.

Beer Birthday: Alan Sprints

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Today is the 55th birthday of Alan Sprints. Alan is the founder of Hair of the Dog Brewery in Portland, Oregon. Alan makes some of the most unique and wonderful beers, not just in Portland, but anywhere, all the more impressive because he brews out of an old Campbell’s soup kettle. He recently relocated the brewery, now with a tasting room, to a new location on S.E. Yamhill in Portland. And last year, he came over to our home and brewed a version of his wonderful Doggie Claws with my son Porter on his brew sculpture. Alan is simply one of the best brewers anywhere. Join me in wishing Alan a very happy birthday.

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Alan pouring his beer at the Sasquatch Pro-Am Golf Tournament in 2006. (Photo by Bob Brewer.)

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Alan standing in front of some of his aging beers, in 2007.

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Alan, with Portland beer writer Fred Eckhardt, at his annual open house during OBF in 2008.

Alan Sprints from Hair of the Dog with his two Washington Cask Festival ribbons
Alan with his two Washington Cask Festival ribbons at Brouwer’s in Seattle a couple of years ago for the Keene Tasting.

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Sean Paxton, the homebrew chef, my son Porter, and Alan, when he brewed a version of Doggie Claws with Porter at my house last October.

Beer Birthday: Fred Bowman

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Today is Fred Bowman’s 70th birthday. Fred co-founded the Portland Brewing Co., which was bought a few years ago byPyramid Breweries, which in turn was bought by Magic Hat and now recently again by North American Breweries. Fred continues to be very active in the craft beer community, and has been supportive of the movement since the beginning. Last year, he dropped by and stayed with us during his drive ’round the country in a van, visiting old friends and family. Join me in wishing Fred a happy birthday.

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By the Celebrator booth at OBF, from left, John Harris (head brewer at Full Sail Brewing), Tom Dalldorf, and Fred.

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Dick Cantwell, co-owner of Elysian Brewing Co. in Seattle, with Fred at an after party at the Falling Rock during GABF.

Beer Birthday: Megan Flynn

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Today is the 31st birthday of Megan Flynn, former publisher of Beer Northwest and Beer West, a magazine focusing on beer in the Pacific Northwest, later rebranded to include northern California. She’d done a wonderful job with her quarterly publication, though I may be slightly biased as I’ve done several articles for her. Unfortunately print is a tough medium these days and she had to close down the magazine. She’s recently launched Wandering Fork, “a full service consulting firm specializing in food and beverage — specifically craft beer.” She’s also a terrific person and a great personality for the craft beer industry. Join me in wishing Megan a very happy birthday.

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Megan presenting the very first issue at their booth at GABF in 2007.

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At the Oregon Brewers Festival in 2008.

Megan Flynn, of Beer NW & Chris Black, Owner of The Falling Rock
Megan and Chris Black, Owner of The Falling Rock at GABF a couple of years ago.

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At the OBF media tasting: Rick Sellers, from Odonata, Merideth and Chris Nelson, The Beer Geek(s), and Meagan Flynn (at right) with her assistant, Annalou Vincent, during the 2007 Oregon Brewers Festival.

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With Eric Rose and Matt Brynildson at the Brewer’s Dinner before OBF last year.

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At the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival; me, with Megan Flynn, our friend Marieke Gerritsen, and another friend.

Beer Birthday: Matt Van Wyk

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Today is Matt Van Wyk’s 42nd birthday. Matt was the brewmaster at Flossmoor Station but a a number of years ago moved to Eugene, Oregon to brew at Oakshire Brewing. He also used to co-write one of the best brewer’s blogs, the Flossmoor Station Blog and is now blogging for Oakshire, though not nearly as much these days. Join me in wishing Matt a very happy birthday.

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On the floor at GABF in 2007 with Andrew Mason (on left), Matt’s assistant at Flossmoor Station, and Wil Turner (on right) from Goose Island.

Jamie Floyd, from Ninkasi, and Matt Van Wyck, from Oakshire
Jamie Floyd, from Ninkasi Brewing, with Matt at GABF in 2009.

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A self-portrait with Matt, from Oakshire Brewing, Jonathan Surrat, and me at the Goose Island cask event during CBC in Chicago.

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Matt at the Boonville Beer Festival a few years ago.

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Yesterday at the Oakshire tasting room in Eugene, Matt and me.