Today is the 75th birthday of Ed Stoudt, co-founder along with his wife Carol of Stoudt’s Brewing in Adamstown, Pennsylvania. Growing up near there, in Shillington, Ed operated the Black Angus Steakhouse for as long as I can remember (1962 in reality, but I was three then), and we ate there from time to time growing up, in part because Ed’s aunt was married to my grandfather Harry, who after he retired worked part time doing maintenance at the brewery. The brewery opened in 1987, one of the earliest new microbreweries in the state. Because of Pennsylvania’s famously arcane alcohol laws, the brewery was owned by Ed’s wife Carol (who was also its first brewmaster) who then sold it to the Black Angus Restaurant, delivering it next door. After high school I’d lost touch with the Stoudt’s until the early Nineties, shortly after I published by first beer book, when during a trip to GABF I discovered that we were both in the beer world. Since then, of course, I see the Stoudts more frequently at beer events throughout the calendar. Join me in wishing Ed a very happy birthday.
Today is the 54th birthday of John Hansell, publisher of Malt Advocate, the whisky magazine in America, which also puts on WhiskyFest in several cities, including San Francisco. John’s a terrific person I don’t see nearly often enough. Join me in wishing John a very happy birthday.
Today is the 52nd birthday of Bill Covaleski, a co-founder of Victory Brewing Co., along with his childhood friend Ron Barchet. I first met Bill at the brewery doing an article on Pennsylvania breweries for the Celebrator a decade ago. It’s been great seeing his brewery rack up victory after victory as they’ve grown and become one of Pennsylvania’s best, biggest and brightest. Join me in wishing Bill a very happy birthday.
Friday’s ad is for the Stegmaier Brewing Company, the Home of Gold Medal Beer, from maybe the 1950s. It’s a postcard overview illustration of the brewery in Pennsylvania. I love these.
Today is the 51st birthday of Mark Edelson, a co-founder and the managing partner of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, a small brewpub chain that operates eleven brewpubs in the tri-state area of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mark’s been a vocal and active member of the brewing community, especially around his mid-Atlantic home but also through the BA, too. Join me in wishing Mark a very happy birthday.
Today is my 56th birthday, and even though it’s still early in the day, as in previous years I’ve again been overwhelmed by an embarrassment of friends and colleagues wishing me a happy day via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook. My sincere thanks to one and all. Since it’s usually me posting embarrassing photos of friends and colleagues, for the sixth year in almost a row (I think I skipped a year), here’s some more priceless artifacts of me from over the years.
When I was five, my Mom remarried. The reason I look so happy in this photo, or so the story goes, is that she just told me I wouldn’t be accompanying them on the honeymoon, and apparently I was not thrilled at this news.
Visiting Cooperstown, in front of the display for Lou Gehrig, my favorite old-time player, and rocking my Orioles windbreaker (big fan of Brooks Robinson and the Birds as a kid) and some super spiffy stripey slacks.
There’s many more where these came from, for a good laugh just check out the photos from the last five or so years at Beer Birthday Redux: Jay Brooks, Beer Birthday Again: Jay Brooks, Beer Birthday: Jay Brooks, Beer Birthday: J (Yes, Embarrasing Myself This Time) and Beer Birthday Overkill, from 2009, when I posted a bunch encompassing my first 50 years on planet beer. Oh, and thanks once again to everybody for the generous birthday wishes.
Today is my friend and fellow beer writer Lew Bryson’s 56th birthday. You used to be able read his writings at his website, lewbryson.com, Seen Through a Glass, and his Session Beer Project, but there’s less there now since he became the managing editor of Whiskey Advocate and isn’t writing about beer, although he’s still keeping up with his political Why the PLCB Should Be Abolished. His latest book is also about Tasting Whiskey. Lew is my favorite big galoot and the brother I never had. Join me is raising a glass of beer or whiskey and wishing Lew a very happy birthday.
Over in Gobbler’s Knob, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Phil the Groundhog — a.k.a. Brewhog — raised up his head this morning and looked around, and this year saw his shadow everywhere he looked for the second year in a row. You know what that means. It’s six more weeks of drinking winter beers this year. Or something about a late spring, I can’t keep it straight. You can see a video of Punxsutawney Phil here. And there’s more information about Groundhog Day at the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.
Today is the 47th birthday of fellow Pennsylvania transplant Marc Worona. Marc used to be the brewer at Stoudt’s Brewing in Adamstown, Pennsylvania but several years ago moved to California and currently works with Brewers Supply Group, and currently is their VP of Sales and Marketing. Join me in wishing Marc a very happy birthday.
Marc (center) with Brendan Moylan and Denise Jones getting the top prize in the Chocolate Beer competition sponsored by Brewers Supply Group and TCHO chocolate company during CBC in San Francisco a few years ago.
Out in front of the Bistro at the Double IPA Festival in 2008. Rodger Davis’ wife Claudia (who nworks at 21st Amendment), brewster Melissa Myers (working on opening her own brewpub), Shane Aldridge (brewer at Marin & Moylan’s) and Marc.
Today is fellow beer writer Don Russell’s 59th birthday. Don writes a beer column for the Philadelphia Daily News under the nom de plume Joe Sixpack. He also writes a blog online, Beer Radar. His most recent book, What the Hell Am I Drinking?, was published last year and can still be ordered directly from the author. Don is a fellow Pennsylvanian, a crack card player, and one of my very favorite people to share a beer and discuss the issues of the day with. Join me in wishing Don a very happy birthday.