Beer Birthday: Drew Beechum

maltose-falcons
Today is the 40th birthday of Drew Beechum, who’s a past president of the Maltose Falcons homebrewing club and its current webmeister. He’s also the author of The Everything Homebrewing Book: All you need to brew the best beer at home! and writes a regular column for Beer Advocate magazine. Join me in wishing Drew a very happy birthday.

drew-beechum-1
Drew’s Facebook Profile picture.

drew-beechum-2
Drew at 21st Amendment.

drew-beechum-3
Drew in a Jayne hat — from Firefly — with his fiancee, Amy.

NOTE: All photos purloined from Facebook.

Beer Birthday: Steve Wagner

stone
Today is Steve Wagner’s 56th birthday. Steve is a co-founder of Stone Brewing and the president of the California Craft Brewers Association. In the late 1980s, Steve was a member of the band “The Balancing Act,” who put out several albums on I.R.S. Records. Now he just presides over one of the most successful microbreweries in the U.S. Join me in wishing Steve a very happy birthday.

cbc07-37
Mitch Steele, Stone Brewing’s brewmaster, with Steve, at CBC when it was in Austin, Texas.

cbc08-35
The Stone crew: Arlan Arnsten, Steve and Greg Koch at CBC in San Diego 2008.

gk-sw-cheers
With Stone Brewing co-founder Greg Koch in a publicity shot (by John Schulz Photography).

Beer Birthday: Anat Baron

anat
Today is the birthday of filmmaker Anat Baron, whose Beer Wars movie started people writing and talking about the beer business, from all sorts of angles, four years ago, and while it’s slowed down, the discussion has yet to have completely gone away. Or as Alan from A Good Beer Blog puts it, “joined to the long standing discussion about the beer business and added an interesting interpretation.” Love it or loathe it, it has certainly managed to capture people’s attention, and if that’s all it’s done, that’s still a huge positive to my way of thinking. But it’s also opened quite a few minds to what those of us who’ve been embedded in the beer business have known forever, which is how the business operates, where it’s fair and unfair, and what you can do as a consumer to support the beers and breweries you love. Join me in wishing Anat a very happy birthday.

anat-tall-glass
Anat behind the bar.

anat
Publicity photo for Beer Wars.

Beer Birthday: Alexandra Nowell

three-weavers
Today is also the birthday of Alexandra Nowell, brewmaster of the soon-to-be open Three Weavers Brewing in Inglewood, southwest of L.A. She’s brewed previously at a variety of Bay Area breweries, including Moylan’s and Drakes, before moving south to Kinetic Brewing last year. Just recently, she joined Three Weavers, who is looking for a little help on Kickstarter with their tasting room. Join me in wishing Alexandra a very happy birthday.

nowell-03
The Drake’s/Stone Quarter Century of Issues Celebrator 25th Anniversary Pale Ale brew crew (from left to right): Drake’s owner John Martin, Stone Northern California regional brewery rep. Dave Hopwood, Stone brewmaster Mitch Steele, Stone San Francisco regional brewery rep Michael “Zippo” Parzick and, obviously the only one doing any real work, then-Drake’s brewmaster Alexandra (on the brew deck).

nowell-01
Alexandra scooping out spent grain at Drake’s.

nowell-04
With Jesse Houck, who also worked at Drake’s, but is now brewing at Golden Road. in L.A.

nowell-02
Alexandra with Mike “Tasty” McDole (purloined, er … borrowed from the Weekly Pint)

Beer Birthday: Chuck Silva

green-flash
Today is also the birthday of Chuck Silva, brewmaster at Green Flash Brewing in San Diego. His West Coast IPA has taken the world by storm, and personally, I love his Tripel and Le Freak. The big, shiny new brewery they recently built is also pretty amazing. Join me in wishing Chuck a very happy birthday.

Chuck Silva, from Green Flash Brewing
Chuck at GABF two years ago.

greenflashdin-7
The beer chef, Bruce Paton, with Chuck at one his beer dinners.

bluesapal07-09
Chuck at Mammoth Lakes Bluesapalooza in 2007.

Beer Birthday: Jay Sheveck

beer-guppy
Today is also the 44th birthday of Jay Sheveck, a beer writer and filmmaker in Los Angeles. In addition to writing for the Celebrator, Jay wrote the Beer Guppy’s Guide to Southern California . He’s also been working for many years on a documentary film about the early days of craft beer, Beer Pioneers. There’s a teaser trailer of it at the bottom of this page. Personally, I’m excited about his film (and not just because I may be in it, unless I end up on the cutting room floor, that is). Join me in wishing Jay a very happy birthday.

bestowest09-37
Alec Moss, former brewer at Half Moon Bay, with Jay at the celebrator’s Best of the West Fest in 2009.

sheveck-03
Jay and a glass of Chimay.

sheveck-01
Jay and his wife Vicki at the Director’s Guild dinner in 1998.

sheveck-02
Jay and his new son Jake.

(Note: last three photos purloined from Facebook.)

Pizza Port To Release Their Beer In Cans

pizza-port-long
Pizza Port, a.k.a. Port Brewing, announced today through a press release from Ball Corp. that they will be releasing three of their beers in cans this week throughout their home market of San Diego, California. From the press release

For the first time in its 26-year history, Pizza Port will be entrusting its hand-crafted passion to a new, more portable can package. “It was a natural evolution for us,” said Pizza Port co-founder Gina Marsaglia. “Our consumers like to be outside and want to take great beer with them. The can is a portable and sustainable way for them to do that.” Vince Marsaglia, her brother and co-founder of Pizza Port Brewing, adds, “Our highest priority has always been to deliver the best quality beer to our consumers and aluminum cans help us keep our beer fresh by keeping out light and oxygen.”

Beginning this week, three of Pizza Port’s most popular beers will be available in recyclable cans throughout San Diego County. The labels will include Chronic Amber Ale (known as ChronicAle), Ponto Pale Ale and their very “sessionable” Swamis IPA that has the hoppy-ness of an IPA but is still very drinkable.

“By putting their exceptional beer in Ball cans, Pizza Port further confirms that aluminum cans are a premium packaging option for many of the best craft brewers in America,” said Rob Miles, senior vice president of sales for Ball’s global metal beverage packaging business. “Aluminum cans from Ball are helping craft brewers differentiate their products while realizing efficiencies in operating costs and energy savings.”

Here’s the three beers to be released in cans:

Swami’s India Pale Ale
port-swamis

Chronicale
port-chronic-ale
Note: Curiously, a number of years ago Lagunitas was turned down when they submitted their amber ale under the label Kronik, which seems awfully similar. They were told it was rejected due to the drug reference, though I remember joking at the time that “Bud” was okay. Today it’s called Censored.

Ponto S.I.P.A.
port-ponto

Beer Birthday: Mitch Steele

stone
Today is the 52nd birthday of Mitch Steele, production manager/head brewer at Stone Brewing. Mitch started out at the tiny San Andreas Brewery in Hollister, California but spent a number of years at one of the much larger Budweiser breweries when he brewed for Anheuser-Busch, before finding a home at Stone. He’s obviously a terrific brewer but is also a great person and close friend, too. He was also my roomie for GABF judging two years ago and is also the author of IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale. He’s a big advocate for craft beer and always willing to help out a fellow brewer or homebrewer. Join me in wishing Mitch a very happy birthday.

cbc07-37
Mitch with Stone co-founder Steve Wagner at the Craft Brewers Conference in 2007.

Mitch Steele, from Stone Brewing, took 3rd for Levitation Ale
Mitch picking up his 3rd Place award on the floor of GABF 2009 for Stone’s Levitation Ale on cask at a special judging at the Great British Beer Festival in 2009 (and which I had the pleasure to judge).

Betsy, Judy Ashworth, Mitch Steele, Brendan Moylan & Bruce Paton
Betsy Hensley, Judy Ashworth, Mitch, Brendan Moylan & Bruce Paton at the Celebrator’s 22nd Anniversary Party.

mitch21a-5
Mitch and 21st Amendment brewer Shaun O’Sullivan practicing their pointing during a collaboration brew in 2008 in San Francisco.

bistro-ipa07-09
Outside the Bistro IPA Festival in 2007 with Publican Judy Ashworth, Former San Andreas Brewing owner Bill Millar, Mitch and Bistro owner Vic Krajl.

mitch-steele-prom-color
And no birthday post is complete without a blast from the past. Here’s Mitch’s high school prom photo in all it’s living color glory. It’s from Northgate High School Class of 1980 in Walnut Creek, CA (special thanks to Mitch for updating the old black & white photo with the glorious color one!). Love the powder blue tux.

Beer Birthday: Tyler King

bruery
Today is also the birthday of Tyler King, who is the senior director of brewing operations, and employee #1, at The Bruery in Southern California. I first met Tyler at the Boonville Beer Festival five years ago although Patrick must keep him locked up in the Bruery making great beer, because I don’t run into him very often. Join me in wishing Tyler a very happy birthday.

boonville08-20
Tyler, with Rachel and Patrick Rue, shortly after they opened The Bruery at the Boonville Beer Festival in 2008.

tyler-king-2
Tyler with Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery along with Bruery founder Patrick Rue, after they did a collaboration beer together.

tyler-king-unicorn
Apparently Tyler has a thing for unicorns. I wonder if he ever visited the Mystic Brewpub in Pennsylvania before they went out of business? That places was a unicorn lovers’ dream.

Beer Birthday: Arlan Arnsten

stone
Today is the 48th birthday of Arlan Arnsten, who until very recently was the Vice-President of Sales for Stone Brewing. He was born in 1965, the same year Fritz Maytag bought the Anchor Brewery, with whom he also shares a birthday. Coincidence? Maybe, but he doesn’t think so. Arlan’s been with Stone since 1997, and has been a huge part of their success. He’s a terrific person to share a beer with and an indefatigable poster boy for craft beer, although he’s now looking into other pursuits. Join me in wishing Arlan a very happy birthday.

gabf06-thu-13
Arlan at GABF in 2006.

cbc08-35
Arlan with Stone co-owners Steve Wagner and Greg Koch at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego in 2008.

Arlan-1999
Arlan manning the Stone booth in Las Vegas in 1999 (photo purloined from the Stone Brewing website).