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.

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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 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: John Harris

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Today is John Harris’ 51st birthday. Until a little while ago, 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 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 speaking very passionately about something or other at Elysian Brewing in Seattle, as Shaun O’Sullivan from 21st Amendment is about to accost him.

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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 last year’s OBF, 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.

Beer Birthday: Lisa Morrison

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There is more than one reason to celebrate Portland today, because it’s also the birthday of Lisa Morrison (a.k.a. The Beer Goddess). Lisa does a radio show, Beer O’Clock with The Beer Goddess, is 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. Last year, she also 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: Don Younger

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Today would have been publican extraordinaire Don Younger’s 73rd 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, three 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: Brian Yaeger

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Today is the birthday of fellow beer writer Brian Yaeger, author of Red, White & Brew. Brian also writes online at his Red, White & Brew Beer Odyssey blog. Until recently, Brian and his lovely bride Kimberly lived in Portland, Oregon (having moved from San Francisco), but they’ve moved to Amsterdam. Join me in wishing Brian a very happy birthday.

Brian Yaeger, Brian Lenzo, owner of Blue Palms Brewhouse, and Meg Gill
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 44th 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 last year’s OBF 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 at last year’s 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 36th — 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 recently opened his own place, Gigantic Brewing. I finally had a chance yet to visit it last year 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 last year’s OBF, 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.

Beer Birthday: Chris Crabb

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Today is also the birthday of Chris Crabb, who does public relations for the Oregon Brewers Festival and other clients in the beer industry through her agency, Crabbsoup. If you’ve had any dealing with OBF, you’ve undoubtedly encountered Chris, because she does an amazing amount of work to get OBF up and running smoothly every year. Plus, she does all that hard work while keeping a smile on her face the entire time. Join me in wishing Chris a very happy birthday.

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The Always Delightful Chris Crabb at the OBF Parade in 2009.

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Chris with Lisa Morrison at OBF several years ago.

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Day 3 of OBF in 2007.

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Day 4.

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Chris with Celebrator publisher Tom Dalldorf in 2006.