Today is Mark Carpenter’s 74th birthday. Mark had been the head brewer at Anchor since 1971 and is responsible for much of their success over the years. Not too long ago, he celebrated his 40th anniversary at Anchor, and he began stepping back from his day-to-day duties, a process which took several years, but now he is officially retired, although happily I still see Mark from time to time around the neighborhood. He’s a terrific person and one of the nicest people I know. Join me in wishing Mark a very happy birthday.
Today is the 68th birthday of Dave Suurballe. Dave was 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, and then we returned once more at the Toronado to help out Dave Keene there. Unfortunately, he’s recently retired, but I want to continue to raise a toast each year on his birthday for no better reason then I know it annoys him. That’s just the kind of friend I am. Dave is one of my favorite people — and a kindred curmudgeon. So make sure you join me in wishing Dave a very happy birthday.
Today is Ben Spencer’s 43rd birthday. Ben was the head brewer at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery, but due to their Chapter 11 bankruptcy was making ends meet as an independent contractor. More recently, Ben became the Director of Operations and Brewmaster at Strike Brewing in San Jose. 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.
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).
Today is the 49th birthday of Andy French, former brewmaster at Southern Pacific Brewing in San Francisco, one of the new wave of breweries that opened in the city a few years ago. 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, though I hear Andy is now back doing shifts at Zeitgeist. Join me in wishing Andy a very happy birthday.
Today is the 43rd birthday of fellow beer writer Brian Yaeger, author of Red, White & Brew and Oregon Breweries. Brian also writes online at his Red, White & Brew Beer Odyssey blog. A couple of years ago Brian and his lovely bride Kimberly lived in Portland, Oregon (having moved from San Francisco), but then moved to Amsterdam, before more recently moving back to Portland. Join me in wishing Brian a very happy birthday.
Today is the 50th 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.
Today is 21st Amendment brewer and co-owner Shaun O’Sullivan’s 53rd 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. His new production brewery in San Leandro recently opened, and it appears to be going great. 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.
Today is also the birthday of Brian Stechschulte, former executive director of the San Francisco Brewers Guild, who is now working for Speakeasy Ales & Lagers as their Public Relations & Media Director, at least I hope he still is. The last time I spoke to him was just after the announcement that Speakeasy was shutting down. I know he was one of the few staying on as a transition team, and hopefully with the new buyer he’ll be kept on. I’m just guessing at Brian’s age, but by my reckoning he’s got to be about 39 this year. In addition to his regular work, he also writes online at All Over Beer and Bygone Beer. Brian’s a terrific ambassador for beer and a great addition to the industry now that’s a working stiff. I think of him as a kindred spirit. Please join me in wishing Brian a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of Jacob Adams (May 13, 1837-July 21, 1909). Born Jacob Adami, in Germany, he moved with his family to San Francisco in 1860. He bought the San Francisco Brewery in 1874, renaming it the Broadway Brewery.
Here’s a short biography from Find a Grave:
Johanas Adami [Adams] and family emigrated from Germany in 1860 to San Francisco and formed a brewery partnership. Johanas’ son, Jacob Adams, formally established the Broadway Brewery at 637 Broadway and Stockton St. in 1874. The brewery burned down in 1885, but was rebuilt at a new location on the corner of Treat Ave. & 19th St. Jacob died in 1909 and his son George C. Adams became president of the brewery. In 1916 another son, William F. Adams, became one of the directors of the newly formed California Brewing Association. During Prohibition William was working at Acme’s Fulton plant, (dba) the Cereal Products Refining Corporation, with JP Rettenmayer and Karl Schuster. In the 30’s & 40’s William held the position of Secretary for Acme Breweries in both SF and LA. He and his brother Edward J. Adams were Acme shareholders and also ran Acme’s Oakland distribution depot.
Today is the Beer Chef, Bruce Paton’s 62nd birthday. Bruce has been doing fantastic dinners pairing great beer and gourmet food for almost twenty years in the Bay Area starting at Barclay’s Restaurant and Pub in Oakland and continuing at the Clift and Cathedral Hill Hotels in San Francisco. He’s has been doing events and consulting at various food and beverage operations since the hotel closed in 2009, so look for more of his beer dinners in the coming months. I’ve been to many, many of Bruce’s food events and they’re all spectacularly top notch. He did around eight each year. More recent;y, he’s cooking at Fermentation Labs in San Francisco. Raise a toast and stuff your face in wishing Bruce a very happy birthday.
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.
Giving a cooking demonstration with Garret Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery and author of The Brewmaster’s Table at the 2005 GABF.