Beer Birthday: Dave Suurballe

toronado
Today is the 65th birthday of Dave Suurballe. Dave is a fixture in the San Francisco homebrewing and brewing community, being the president of his homebrew club and the former GM of the Toronado. Recently he was working at the Pi Bar, but he’s now back once more at the Toronado. Dave is one of my favorite people — and a kindred curmudgeon — and the fact that I think he’ll be annoyed yet again at having me point out his birthday is reason enough for me to keep it up. That’s just the kind of friend I am. So make sure you join me in wishing Dave a very happy birthday.

suurballe-keene
Dave with Dave Keene, owner of the Toronado, at GABF.

anchor-toro-2
Dave with Mark Carpenter, head brewer at Anchor Brewing at a party Anchor through to celebrate the Toronado’s 20th anniversary.

tbellunch08-13
Dave with his wife Honoria and Jen Garris and Rich Rosen, co-owners of the Pi Bar, at the Toronado’s Belgian Beer Lunch in 2008.

DSC_0743
Nice photo by Mike Condie taken a few years ago at the Boonville Beer Festival, with Terence Sullivan, W. Dan Houck, Dave and me. Good times.

Hops & History 2

sf-mint
Last year, the San Francisco Brewers Guild put together a fun event at the Old Mint with Flipside and the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society called Hops & History, in which I was the moderator of a panel discussion about opening and running a brewery in the city of San Francisco, and also helped with a breweriana display of brewery artifacts from San Francisco and California. I thought it was a great event, and it looks like I wasn’t the only one. Apparently, it was “one of the most popular events hosted by FlipSide for the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society last year.” That’s according to an Op-Ed on the Digital Journal, Hops History event displays that San Francisco is a beer town.

As a result of last year’s success, they’ve decided to another beer event at the Mint this year. The Hops & History 2 event takes place next Thursday, July 24, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Old Mint, located at 88 Fifth Street at Mission in San Francisco. Tickets to the event are $30.

Here’s more information about the event, from the San Francisco Brewers Guild website:

Its time to order another round. This 2nd annual event will feature Bay Area craft beer tasting, historical talks, a panel discussion, home brewing demos, local food vendors, and an expanded exhibit of rarely seen historical West Coast brewing memorabilia. Held in the historic 1874 San Francisco Mint, Hops and History Round 2 continues last year’s sold-out celebration of the unique history of brewing in the Bay Area while looking forward to the future of craft brewing in the City by the Bay and beyond.

Don’t get left out in the cold! Get your tickets early to join us to taste the past and enjoy the present of Bay Area craft brewing.

Event Info

Tastings from all breweries included

  • Presentations on brewing history
  • Home brewing demos by San Francisco Brewcraft
  • Exhibit of historic “breweriana” from the private Collection of Ken Harootunian
  • Bavarian pretzels from Bavarian Brez’n, and other local food for purchase
  • Docent led tours of the historic 1874 Old Mint
  • Souvenir sampling mug included
  • Music by DJ Timestretch

Program Info

  • Dave Burkhart and Jim Stitt: Handmade Labels for Handmade Beers
  • John Freeman: Shock Waves of the San Francisco Beer-Quake
  • Taryn Edwards: Lager, Ale, Porter, and Steam: “Healthful fermented liquors” at the Mechanics’ Institute’s Industrial Expostions 1857–1899
  • Panel discussion with SF Brewers Guild brewers from Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery, Triple Voodoo Brewery and Tap Room, and Cellarmaker Brewing Co.: moderated by Jay Brooks of the Brookston Beer Bulletin

Apparently tickets are selling briskly, so order your tickets quickly if you’re hoping to join us for another great evening of brewing history. There’s also more info at Flipside’s Facebook page. See you there.

hopshistory2

Beer Birthday: Ben Spencer

magnolia-new
Today is Ben Spencer’s 40th birthday. Ben is the head brewer at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery. Ben grew up in Virginia, and spent some time brewing in Colorado, and even worked for Greenpeace, before coming to the Bay Area in 2004. That’s when he left Boulder for San Francisco to make beer at Magnolia. Ben’s a terrific brewer and a great person, too. Join me in wishing Ben a very happy birthday.

jobrien08-08
Ben with Jesse Houck, when he was still brewing with 21st Amendment (he’s now at Golden Road) during Brews By the Bay 2008.

gabf08-53
A sextet from San Francisco at GABF in 2008. From left: Adrienne McMullem, with 21st Amendment, Ben, Sean Paxton, the homebrew chef, Ben’s wife Kelly, Shaun O’Sullivan, from 21st Amendment, and Dave.

olthunder-2
A satisfied Ben with Dave McClean after a vertical tasting of Old Thunderpussy in 2009.

Ben Spencer, Dave Hopwood & Dave McLean
Ben with Dave Hopwood (Stone) and Dave McClean (Magnolia) at the 22nd Celebrator Anniversary Party in 2010.

cheesebeerdin-09
After Bruce Paton’s cheese and beer dinner in 2008. From left, Arne Johnson (Marin Brewing), Aron Derosey (Beach Chalet), Bruce Paton, Sheana Davis, Ben, Ron from 21A, Brenden Dobbel (Thirsty Bear) and Rich Higgins (Gordon Biersch).

Beer Birthday: Andy French

southern-pacific
Today is the 46th birthday of Andy French, brewmaster at Southern Pacific Brewing in San Francisco, one of the new wave of breweries that opened in the city in recent years. I first met Andy when he brewed at Speakeasy, and after that would see him from time to time at Zeitgeist, though he first started brewing back East in the DC area. When his roommate Chris Lawrence, who also worked for Speakeasy once upon a time, decided to open his own brewery, he tapped Andy to work the mash paddles, and things have been going great since they opened a few years ago. Join me in wishing Andy a very happy birthday.

P1050466
Andy at his brewhouse in 2012.

Beer Birthday: Brian Yaeger

yaeger-brian
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.

schooners-beerdin-7
Craig Cauwels with Brian, the Beer Chef Bruce Paton and me at a Schooner’s beer dinner at Cathedral Hotel in 2008.

Beer Birthday: Forest Gray

speakeasy
Today is the 47th birthday of Forest Gray, co-founder and president of Speakeasy Ales and Lagers in San Francisco. I first met Forest when Speakeasy first bottled their beer when I was the beer buyer at BevMo. For the last severnteen years, his brewery has made some terrific beers, especially their Big Daddy I.P.A. Join me in wishing Forest a very happy birthday.

Forest Gray, Brian Lenzo and Meg Gill
Forest with Brian Lenzo, from Blue Palms in L.A., and Meg Gill, now with Golden Road, at a Speakeasy Anniversary event several years ago.

speakeasy-crew
The Speakeasy crew at the start of SF Beer Week in 2013. That’s Forest with the glowing hat. [Photo purloined from Facebook.]

Beer Birthday: Shaun O’Sullivan

21A-circle
Today is 21st Amendment brewer and co-owner Shaun O’Sullivan’s 51st birthday. Shaun is one my favorite people in the industry. He’s a tireless champion for craft beer and very supportive of other brewers, such as with his fun collaboration projects. He’s one of the founders and organizers of SF Beer Week and through his brewpub puts on many special and educational events all year, not to mention his extensive travel schedule. Plus, he’s one of the few people brave enough to read the rough draft of my book, Under the Table, and even claim to like it. Now that’s a friend. I just can’t say enough good things about Sully, so I’ll stop here. Join me in wishing Shaun a very Happy Birthday.

21A
Shaun O’Sullivan and business partner Nico Freccia in the front of their brewpub.

bistro-judge
Shaun and me outside the Bistro after judging the Double IPA Festival.

albion-don-08
Shaun O’Sullivan with Don Barkley of Napa Smith Brewing on the first day of SF Beer Week.

21a-canparty-4
Nico with Dave Keene and Shaun at a can party at the Toronado.

21a-busschool-23
Nico and Shaun in lederhosen during 21st Amendment’s Beer Bus School.

Beer Birthday: Brian Stechschulte

sf-guild-new
There’s a rumor that today is also the birthday of Brian Stechschulte, executive director of the San Francisco Brewers Guild. I’m just guessing at Brian’s age, but by my reckoning he’s got to be about 37 this year. In addition to his work with the guild and SF Beer Week, he also writes online at All Over Beer and Bygone Beer. Brian’s a terrific ambassador for beer and has been a welcome and wonderful addition to the guild. I think of him as a kindred spirit. Please join me in wishing Brian a very happy birthday.

Brian-Stechschulte-Portrait
Brian’s profile picture, used without permission but begged for here in the hopes that in the spirit of its use will be granted magnanimously.

Brian-S-01
Brian with Acacia Coast, from the Brewers Association.

Brian-S-03
Bob Brewer, from Anchor Brewing, with Brian at GABF a couple of years ago.

Brian-S-02
Brian after grad school graduation in 2003. Notice the can of beer he’s drinking.
[Note: The last three photos purloined from Brian's Facebook friends, blame them.]

Beer Birthday: Bruce Paton

beer-chef
Today is the Beer Chef, Bruce Paton’s 59th birthday. Bruce has been doing fantastic dinners pairing great beer and gourmet food for over ten years in the Bay Area, since 2001 at the Cathedral Hill Hotel, where, until recently, he was the Executive Chef. He’s about to start working at Miss Pearl’s Jam House in Oakland’s Jack London Square, so hopefully we soon starting seeing more of his beer dinners. I’ve been to many, many of Bruce’s food events and they’re all spectacularly top notch. He did around eight each year. Raise a toast and stuff your face in wishing Bruce a very happy birthday.

chocbeerdin08-4
My hands down favorite photo of Bruce, which I took for the Chef’s Association of the Pacific Coast newsletter. I don’t think this is the one they used, but, by far, as I think it captures Bruce’s spirit and his great love and passion for what he does with his cooking and beer.

garrett-4
Giving a cooking demonstration with Garret Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery and author of The Brewmaster’s Table at the 2005 GABF.

tion-din-03
Bruce with Russian River co-owner Natalle Cilurzo.

Me and Bruce Paton, redux
Me and Bruce New Year’s Day a few years ago at Barclay’s.

Beer Birthday: Jeremy Cowan

hebrew
Today is Jeremy Cowan’s 45th birthday. Jeremy owns Shmaltz Brewing, makers of He’Brew. Jeremy is a good friend and we’ve known one another since he first pitched He’Brew to me at BevMo many years ago (which is detailed in Jeremy’s memoir Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah). Though Jeremy splits his time between San Francisco and New York, I still manage to see him at beer events pretty frequently, but that may change now that he’s built a brick and mortar brewery in upstate New York. Join me in wishing Jeremy a very happy birthday.

citybeer-xmas07-1
Jeremy, with City Beer Store owner Craig Wathen.

he-tor-1
A few years ago at the Toronado for a He’Brew release party. From left: Alec Moss, recently retired from Half Moon Bay Brewing, Pete Slosberg, Jeremy, and Rodger Davis, when he was still with Drake’s Brewing.

gabf06-wed-08
Jeremy with Rich Norgrove, with Bear Republic, at GABF in 2006.

bistro-dipa09-08
Me and Jeremy at the Bistro Double IPA Fest in 2009.

Old-Skool-Jeremy
Jeremy shortly after he launched the Shmaltz beers, before all the grey hairs set in. (Thanks to the anonymous source that sent me this photo.)