Beer Birthday: Kurt Widmer

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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.

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Kurt (at left) and Rob Widmer with their 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.

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

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Rob and Kurt Widmer accepting the gavel in July 2007 from Jack Joyce and John Maier from Rogue, for 2008 when that next year they hosted OBF.

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.

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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.

Mapping Beervana

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Today’s infographic was created by Portland Monthly for their Oregon Beer Guide and is entitled Mapping Beervana’s History. Showing the connections between the many Portland breweries and their founders and brewers, it makes clear just how incestuous the beer industry is, not just in Portland, but quite frankly everywhere.

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Click here to see the poster full size.

Beer Goddess Becomes Co-Owner In Belmont Station

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Whew, some great news was finally released yesterday. I’d known this was coming for many months, but was sworn to secrecy, so it’s terrific to now be able to spread the word. My good friend, and colleague, Lisa Morrison — a.k.a. the Beer Goddess — has become a co-owner of Portland’s well-known beer store, Belmont Station. According to the press release:

Belmont Station owner Carl Singmaster announced today that he is bringing on a new business partner, Lisa “Beer Goddess” Morrison, to manage the day-to-day operations at Portland’s most highly regarded beer store and café.

Morrison is joining the Belmont Station family as co-owner, sharing financial responsibilities with Singmaster, in addition to managing the daily operations.

“When my bride Amy & I decided to move to Oregon years back,” notes Singmaster, “I had planned to be an investor & part-time adviser to Belmont Station to help them grow the business. Instead I wound up buying the majority ownership upon arrival in 2006 and have spent the past seven years working with a phenomenal group of beer lovers in the best beer community in the world to grow Belmont Station into the special place it is now. Having recently completed an expansion of our Biercafe, I believe it’s time for someone new to lead the next stage. When I realized that Lisa Morrison, an internationally revered writer and promoter of craft beer, was interested, it seemed the perfect match to ensure that Belmont Station continues to be a premier place for brewers to display their art and beer lovers to congregate and share good times with great beer.”

As host and producer of Beer O’Clock Radio, the Northwest’s only weekly commercial radio show about beer; author of the beer traveler’s guidebook, “Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest”; and writer for several blogs and columns in national magazines, Morrison is one of the preeminent beer evangelists in the country. She also has taught dozens of classes on beer — from simple tastings to proper glassware — and has founded and organized numerous beer events and fundraisers. But Morrison says while her decade-plus of work has been mostly about broadcasting information about beer, she looks forward to working one-on-one with customers, brewers and distributors to craft a more personal connection with beer.

“When Carl asked me if I would be interested in partnering with him at Belmont Station, it was a dream come true,” Morrison said. “I am thrilled to be a part of such a well-known, highly respected, and well-loved part of Portland’s incredible beer community.”

Carl and Lisa will be celebrating this new chapter with a party at Belmont Station Friday, May 31 starting at 5 p.m.

As you probably know, Belmont Station was founded in 1997, and was originally located right next door to the Horse Brass, since Don Younger had a hand in its creation. It later moved four blocks away to its present location at 4500 SE Stark in Portland.

Congratulations to Lisa as she begins the next phase of her career in beer.

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