Today is the birthday of Aron Deorsey, brewmaster at the Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant in San Francisco, along with the Park Chalet and the Lake Chalet in Oakland. I got to know Aron much better a few years back when we roomed together attending Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp for SF Beer Week. He’s been making great beer at the beachside brewpub for a number of years now, and is great fun to hang out with. Join me in wishing Aron a very happy birthday.
Today is the 53rd birthday of Ron Silberstein, the founder, and original brewer, of Thirsty Bear Brewing in San Francisco. I’ve known Ron for a number of years but have gotten to know him better over the last couple of years working on SF Beer Week. We also spent a weekend together at Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp, which was an awesome experience for everybody who attended. Join me in wishing Ron a very happy birthday.
Fritz Maytag, who bought the failing Anchor Brewery in 1965 and turned it into a model for the microbrewery revolution, celebrates his 76th birthday today. It’s no stretch to call Fritz the father of craft beer, he introduced so many innovations that are common today and influenced countless brewers working today. In the last few years, Maytag sold Anchor Brewery and Distillery to Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio of the Griffin Group, but continues to make his York Creek wine and consult with Anchor as Chairman Emeritus. Join me in wishing Fritz a very happy birthday.
Fritz with the organizers of SF Beer Week at our inaugural opening event at Anchor in 2009.
Today is the 65th birthday of Bob Brewer, longtime brewery rep. for Anchor Brewing. For many years, he worked from southern California, circling the country with the entire nation his territory (the only exception being the Bay Area) representing Anchor beers. Recently, he’s moved back to the Bay Area, but you can find him at every nook and cranny of the beer world. Join me in wishing Bob a very happy birthday.
Today is the 38th birthday of Richard Brewer-Hay, co-founder (with his wife Allie) and brewer of San Francisco’s smallest almost brewery: the Elizabeth Street Brewery. Despite its size (it’s really more of a nanobrewery or even a picobrewery) and intermittent schedule, it was named last year by SF Weekly as San Francisco’s Best Microbrewery 2010. I thought I had a photo of Richard and Allie from when I ran into them at the Map Room in Chicago during CBC this year, but I can’t find it. Instead, I purloined the photos below from Facebook. Join me in wishing Richard a very happy birthday.
Below is a very, very short video I captured of Richard and Nico Freccia, from 21st Amendment, accepting their World Beer Cup award for the beer Richard and Shaun O’Sullivan made at 21A in Chicago.
Today is also the 46th birthday of John Tucci, who until it closed not too long ago, was the brewmaster for the San Francisco Gordon Biersch brewpub. John’s one of Gordon Biersch’s best and most senior brewers, especially his one-offs that he brewed at that location. He’s also a great champion for beer in San Francisco and was very active with the local brewers guild and SF Beer Week. Since the San Francisco location’s closing, he’s been brewing at their Palo Alto brewpub, while working on opening his own new brewery in San Francisco. Join me in wishing John a very happy birthday.
Anchor Brewing announced today the 5th beer in their Zymaster series. This latest offering — Harvest One American Pale Ale — is a beer made with a new, experimental hop variety. I had a chance to try it during GABF last week, and the nose has amazing peach aromas, with soft, fruit flavors.
Here’s the full story, from the press release:
It’s hard to imagine that the Cascade hop, today one of craft brewing’s most popular hop varieties, was ever new. Yet this distinctively aromatic hop, developed in Oregon by the USDA’s breeding program, was first released in the early 1970s. In 1975, Anchor Brewing featured Cascade hops with the debut of Liberty Ale®, America’s first craft-brewed, dry-hopped ale. Anchor Brewing has been using it in Liberty Ale® ever since.
Over the years, Anchor Brewing experimented with many different hops—both old and new—from around the world. For Zymaster Series No. 5: Harvest One American Pale Ale, Anchor Brewing decided to feature an experimental new hop variety. This yet unnamed, pre-commercial, aroma hop provides a uniquely Anchor twist to Zymaster 5.
Zymaster Series No. 5 (7.2% ABV) is made with a special blend of pale, caramel, and Munich malts, which contribute a distinctively complex maltiness and deep golden color. Nugget hops give it a tangy bitterness. But the hallmark of Zymaster 5: Harvest One American Pale Ale is the intriguingly novel aroma of an experimental new hop, which was used liberally in both the brewhouse and the cellar. A late addition to the boil plus dry hopping provides Harvest One with an incredibly lively hop aroma reminiscent of tree-ripened peaches, with just a hint of fresh melon. The result is a uniquely exciting new beer unlike anything brewed or tasted before.
“We have a fantastic and long-lasting relationship with the hop growers we work with,” said Mark Carpenter, Brewmaster at Anchor Brewing. “When we had the opportunity to sample and test a small set of experimental hops that were being grown, we were excited at the opportunity to work with something new and different. Out of about a dozen or so samples, there was one that really stood out to us. Right away, we knew this was a new hop variety we wanted to brew on a large scale. We were after something unique and aromatic, and this hop was one we hadn’t seen or smelled before and decided it would fit well in our Zymaster Series. Similar to how Anchor introduced the world to the Cascade hop in 1975 with Liberty Ale, we are proud and excited to share our take on this new, experimental hop in this beer.”
It’s being released today in California, though not all markets within the state, on draft and in 22 oz. bottles, and will be rolled out nationally in the next few months.
Today is Dave McLean’s 44th birthday. Dave is the soul behind Magnolia Pub & Brewery, the gastropub on Haight Street in San Francisco. He also owns Alembic and is a tireless champion of craft beer in the Bay Area, having worked on Slow Food Nation, The Eat Real Festival and SF Beer Week, among much else. He’s also hard at work building a production brewery in the Dogpatch neighborhood of the city, which should be up and running any minute now. Join me in wishing Dave a very happy birthday.
A sextet from San Francisco at GABF 2008. From left: Adrienne McMullem, with 21st Amendment, Ben Spencer, from Magnolia, Sean Paxton, the homebrew chef, Ben’s wife, Shaun O’Sullivan, from 21st Amendment, and Dave.
Food and beer mixed happily and deliciously at the Slow Beer Festival 2008, as evidenced here by Ian Marks (from Hog Island Oyster Co.), Taylor Boetticher (from the Fatted Calf), Dave, John Tucci (from Gordon Biersch San Francisco) and Shaun O’Sullivan (from 21st Amendment).
Today is the birthday of Justin Crossley, the man behind the mic at The Brewing Network, one of the industry’s best voices. He’s an avid homebrewer and talker, a deadly combination, especially on radio. He also recently filmed Porter’s Porter Day and it will fin to see the result of that project. Join me in wishing Justin a very happy birthday.
This is a fun one. I just heard from Shaun O’Sullivan at 21st Amendment Brewery that they’re sponsoring a team in the Rickshaw Run, which is a two-week, 2,000 mile journey across Northern India in what can best be described as a glorified lawnmower. O’Sullivan believes that “the sponsorship seed was planted last summer at Boneyard Beer in Bend, Oregon,” when this photo of him was taken.
Several months back, a friend of the 21-A (and beer PR consultant) Renée, told Shaun that she was driving a motorized rickshaw across India, and he tells me “I couldn’t stop thinking how cool it would be to have the 21A logo on an Indian rickshaw.” So they decided to sponsor her team in the Rickshaw Run, which they affectionately refer to as the “Gangetic Blunder.” All the money they’re raising — as in 100% of it — goes directly to Room to Read, a San Francisco-based charity that promotes children’s literacy in India. Their team, the Reading Rickshaw, consists of four team members and you can follow their progress on a map, and also on the adventurists, which also has a live map along with a list of all the teams, including Reading Rickshaw (2) — which is Renée and Gabriel — and also Reading Rickshaw (1) — which is Thuy and Vatsal.
21st Amendment will be sharing the Reading Rickshaws’ travel updates on twitter and the 21A blog, as these Bay Area adventurers make their way, slowly, through the land of Kingfisher beer. You can follow along using the links above, or better still, donate to the Room to Read.