Today is Kurt Widmer’s 63rd birthday. Kurt is, of course, one of the bros in Widmer Brothers. He and his brother Rob 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 Kurt a very happy birthday.
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.
Brett and Jack Joyce from an interview by World Class Beverages in 2010.
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.
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.
In front of the brewhouse at Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery, his brewery under construction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rob with the Ralph’s (Olson and Woodall) from HopUnion at the 15th Anniversary Party for the Celebrator Beer News.
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.
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.
By the Celebrator booth at OBF, from left, John Harris (head brewer at Full Sail Brewing), Tom Dalldorf, and Fred.
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.
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.