Beer Birthday: Alan Sprints

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Today is the 57th 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 a couple of years back, 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.

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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.

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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 two years ago.

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Toasting Fred Eckhardt earlier this year, Alan with the other founders of FredFest.

Beer Birthday: Fred Bowman

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Today is Fred Bowman’s 72nd 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 then 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. A couple of years ago, 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.

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With Lisa Morrison earlier this year in Portland for FredFest.

Beer Birthday: Matt Van Wyk

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Today is Matt Van Wyk’s 44th birthday. Matt was the brewmaster at Flossmoor Station but a number of years ago moved to Eugene, Oregon, where for a number of years he brewed at Oakshire Brewing. He also used to co-write one of the best brewer’s blogs, the Flossmoor Station Blog and again for Oakshire. Last fall, he announced his departure from Oakshire to start his own venture, Alesong Brewing & Blending, which should release its first beer later this month. 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.

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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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Two years ago during a trip to Eugene at the Oakshire tasting room in Eugene, Matt and me.

Beer Birthday: John Harris

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Today is John Harris’ 53rd birthday. Until not to long ago — and for a long time — John was the head brewer at Full Sail Brewing and was responsible for many of their excellent beers. He’s more recently opened his own brewery in Portland, Ecliptic Brewing. John also occasionally plays washboard with the Rolling Boil Blues Band. Plus he’s a terrific person, so join me in wishing John a very happy birthday.

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By the Celebrator booth at OBF, from left, John, Tom Dalldorf, and Fred Bowman, co-founder of Portland Brewing Co.

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John rocks out on washboard with the Rolling Boil Blues Band at CBC in Seattle, with Marty Jones (left) and Celebrator editor Tom Dalldorf (in the center).

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During a collaboration brew at Gigantic at OBF two years ago, with John and Gigantic’s Van Havig and Ben Love.

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John and his daughter at his 40th birthday party.

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John and the same daughter 10 years later at his 50th birthday party.

Historic Beer Birthday: Don Younger

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Today would have been publican extraordinaire Don Younger’s 75th birthday. He ran the famous Horse Brass pub in Portland, Oregon, along with a few others, for many years. Don was a wonderful person and his early and continuing support of craft beer helped make Portland the great beer town it is today. As you undoubtedly recall, Don passed away unexpectedly in January, five years ago. Join me in wishing Don a very Happy birthday and raising a toast to his memory.

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Don and Mark Silva, co-owner of realbeer.com and realbranding.com.

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Don Younger and me outside the Falling Rock in Denver, Colorado.

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Don with braided hair with Shaun O’Sullivan from 21st Amendment Brewery.

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10, 20, 30: The same year, Dave Keene (center) was celebrating his 20th anniversary, flanked by Don Younger (on the left), whose bar the Horse Brass in Portland celebrated its 30th anniversary, and Chris Black (on the right), whose Denver, Colorado bar, The Falling Rock, celebrated its 10th anniversary.

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Don bookended by Robin and Jonathan Surratt, who runs beermapping.com, displaying his excellent taste in attire at the Falling Rock during GABF week 2007.

Beer Birthday: Lisa Morrison

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Today is the 53rd birthday of Lisa Morrison (a.k.a. the The Beer Goddess). Lisa did a radio show, Beer O’Clock with The Beer Goddess, was the Portland correspondent for the Celebrator, and is also the author of Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest: A Beer Lover’s Guide to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Recently, she shifted her focus and became a co-owner of Portland’s best beer store, Belmont Station. Join me in wishing Lisa a very happy birthday!

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In front of BridgePort with promotional goddess Chris Crabb, who handles PR for the brewery and also the Oregon Brewers Festival.

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Lisa with fellow Portland beer writer Fred Eckhardt.

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With Dick Cantwell at an Elysian event during OBF.

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Me, Celebrator publisher Tom Dalldorf, Lisa’s husband Mark & Lisa in front of the three pink elephants. There’s an interesting story about this mural at Concordia Public House in Portland. It turns out that the building used to be a speakeasy called the Pink Elephant. The mural was discovered during renovations hidden behind several layers of wallpaper and paint along with an old matchbook that gave away the original name.

Beer Birthday: Christian Ettinger

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Today is the 43rd birthday of Christian Ettinger, founder of Hopworks Urban Brewery, or HUB, in Portland, Oregon. I first met Christian when was the head brewer at Laurelwood, also in Portland. A few years later, having won several medals and awards, he struck out on his own in 2007, and it’s been nearly ten years now. They started canning their beer in 2012, and also hard cider, and they make some wonderful beers. Join me in wishing Christian a very happy birthday.

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Former HUB brewer Ben Love with Christian on the brew system at HUB when it was still under construction in July of 2007.

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At the HUB brunch after OBF in 2008: Assistant brewery Jeremy, Christian and brewer Ben Love.

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Saturday at OBF in 2006, relaxing behind the Celebrator/Oregon Brewers Guild booth, Christian takes his son on a flying trip.

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Filling pints from a keg in the basement brewery at HUB, 2008.

Beer Birthday: Brian Yaeger

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Today is the 42nd birthday of fellow beer writer Brian Yaeger, author of Red, White & Brew and Oregon Breweries. Brian also writes online at his Red, White & Brew Beer Odyssey blog. A couple of years ago Brian and his lovely bride Kimberly lived in Portland, Oregon (having moved from San Francisco), but then moved to Amsterdam, before more recently moving back to Portland. Join me in wishing Brian a very happy birthday.

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Brian with Brian Lenzo, owner of Blue Palms Brewhouse, me and Meg Gill at the Speakeasy Brewery during SF Beer Week in 2010.

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Craig Cauwels with Brian, the Beer Chef Bruce Paton and me at a Schooner’s beer dinner at Cathedral Hotel in 2008.

Beer Birthday: Van Havig

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Today is the 46th birthday of Van Havig, co-founder and master brewer at Gigantic Brewing in Portland, Oregon. Van used to be the brewer at Rock Bottom in Portland, but left shortly after the merger between Rock Bottom and Gordon Biersch, when some offhand remarks got him the boot. That’s when I first became aware of met Van, when he brewed a beer called Ned Flanders for OBF, a Flanders red that was aged in five different kinds of barrels and then was blended back together. And this was back in 2006, long before sour beers became trendy. I remember enjoying the beer near the line for it and overhearing someone complaining about the beer, saying to a friend that it didn’t taste right and that something was wrong with it. Laughing to myself, that persuaded me it was a very bold choice of a beer to make for the festival, as there was clearly nothing else like it at OBF that year. I spent a morning with Van, Ben Love and John Harris, from Ecleptic Brewing, during OBF a few years ago as they brewed a collaboration together, which afforded me an opportunity to discover what a thoughtful, philosophical brewer Van is, and what a pleasure he is share a beer with. Join me in wishing Van a very happy birthday.

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Van, back in his Rock Bottom days, circa 2006.

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Van in the Gigantic brewery.

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During a collaboration brew at Gigantic a few years ago during OBF, with John Harris (from Ecliptic Brewing) and Gigantic’s Van and Ben Love.

Beer Birthday: Ben Love

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Today is the 38th — can that be right? — birthday of Ben Love. Ben was the head brewer at Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland, Oregon, and before that brewed at Pelican Pub & Brewery and Adler Brau in Wisconsin. He more recently opened his own place, Gigantic Brewing. I finally had a chance yet to visit it a couple of years ago during OBF and try his, and partner Van Havig’s, wonderful beers. Ben’s a great brewer, a good friend, an active board member of the Oregon Brewers Guild and a great cheerleader for the Portland beer scene. Join me in wishing Ben a very happy birthday.

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During a collaboration brew at Gigantic at OBF a couple of years ago, with John Harris (from Ecliptic Brewing) and Gigantic’s Van Havig and Ben.

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Ben, on top step, with Christian Ettinger, brewmaster and owner of Hopworks, shortly before they opened.

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At the HUB brunch after OBF in 2008: Assistant brewery Jeremy, brewmaster Christian and Ben.