Beer Birthday: Chris White

white-labs
Today is the 48th birthday of Chris White. Chris founded the yeast company White Labs in 1995 and he’s also on the faculty of the Siebel Institute. He’s also a fixture at virtually every brewing industry and homebrewing conference, and was kind enough to talk to my SSU beer appreciation class about yeast. Join me in wishing Chris a very happy birthday.

cbc07-23
Chris and his brother Mike bookending Chuck, from Green Fash Brewing, Natalie Cilurzo, from Russian River Brewing, John Harris, from Full Sail Brewing, and Vinnie Cilurzo, also from Russian River, at CBC in Austin, Texas in 2007.

P1040254
Chris at the new White Labs taproom during the Craft Brewers Conference a couple of years ago in San Diego.

chris-white-2
Surly brewer Todd Haug with Chris.

chris-white-1
Chris with Technical Sales and Marketing Coordinator Ashley Paulsworth at the NHC.

[Note: last two photos purloined from Facebook.]

Beer Birthday: Jeff Bagby

bagby-beer
Today is the 42nd birthday of Jeff Bagby, who until a few years ago was the head brewer extraordinaire at Pizza Port in Carlsbad. There, you used to be able to read the entire biography of Jeff “Extra Spicy” Bagby. I’m not sure when it was written, but it’s no longer there, but it ended with the following sentence. “Jeff has his sights set on winning a GABF Brewpub of the Year award and we most definitely believe it is in his future as well.” Six years ago at GABF, Jeff won an amazing seven medals and Pizza Port Carlsbad was awarded the Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year. That means his plaid pants got to go up on stage a record eight times! You can see a retrospective of Jeff’s plaid choices over the years, too, at Jeff “Lucky Pants” Babgy Wins Big. Once he started working on opening his own brewery, I suggested he should consider “Plaid Brewing” or some variation of that idea, like “Plaid Pants Brewing” or “Lucky Plaid Brewing.” Unfortunately, he went with a more sensible Bagby Beer Co., which opened two years ago. All, well some, kidding aside, Jeff is a terrific brewer and a hell of a washoes player, though I still think Dave Keene and I could beat him and Tomme again. Join me in wishing Jeff a very happy birthday.

Jeff Bagby & His Girlfriend, from Pizza Port - Carlsbad
Jeff with his then-girlfriend, now wife, Dande at GABF a few years ago. And yes, those are his lucky pants.

Greg Koch & Jeff Bagby
Greg Koch and Jeff at the Falling Rock.

anchor-toro-3
Former Drake’s brewer Melissa Myers with Jeff at an event at Anchor celebrating the Toronado’s 20th anniversary.

labbeydin-16
Sam Calagione, Bruce Paton and Jeff at the Lost Abbey for a beer dinner during CBC.

P1030583
Jeff at the Toronado for the annual Belgian Beer Dinner in 2012, with owner Dave Keene wearing his “Who the F@#k is Jeff Bagby?” T-shirt.

DSCN1206
Dandelian and Jeff Bagby in the upstairs loft dining area of their new brewery. The plaid back of the bench seating was inspired by Jeff’s winning plaid pants that he used to wear for GABF award ceremonies, as I detailed several years ago in Jeff “Lucky Pants” Bagby Wins Big.

Beer Birthday: Pat McIllhenney

alpine-beer
Today is the 62nd birthday of Pat McIllhenney, brewmaster and founder of Alpine Beer Co. near San Diego. Pat makes some amazing hoppy beers. Unfortunately, his beers are hard to find up our way, but that hopefully will be improving since last year Alpine was acquired by Green Flash Brewing. Join me in wishing Pat a very happy birthday.

P1050081
Pat manning his booth at the Firestone Walker Invitational.

gabf08-49
Pat at GABF in 2008.

boonville08-29
Pat at the Boonville Beer Festival, also in 2008.

P1050082
Pat with Tomme Arthur at the inaugural Firestone Walker Invitational four years ago.

Beer Birthday: Drew Beechum

maltose-falcons
Today is the 42nd 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 wife, Aymee. (NOTE: All photos purloined from Facebook.)

Beer Birthday: Alex Puchner

bjs-new
Today is the 55th birthday of Alex Puchner, who’s the Senior Vice President of Brewing Operations, and its first brewmaster, for the BJ’s Restaurant Brewhouse chain. He started with the chain in 1996, a co-founder, when they built their first brewpub. Alex had been homebrewing for a decade before that first brewery. There now have 174 locations in 23 states, although they backed away from their brewpub model and contract most of their beer, but have added lost of guest taps and good bottled imports, including a great selection from Belgium. Alex has been very active over the years in the beer community and the CCBA, and has been great for beer in California, providing many people’s first introduction to craft beer with BJ’s. Join me in wishing Alex a very happy birthday.

Greg Hall and Alex Puchner
Alex with Greg Hall, formerly with Goose Island, during a visit to San Francisco a few years ago.

Alex-Puchner-1
Alex in the brewhouse (Note: purloined from Facebook).

Beer Birthday: Steve Wagner

stone
Today is Steve Wagner’s 58th 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).

P1000220
The day after we tried all of Stone’s Vertical Epic’s in San Diego; with Steve, me, Joe Tucker, Jason and Todd Alstrom and Greg Koch.

stone-first-12oz
Lee Chase with Steve on April 14, 1999 celebrating their first bottling run on their then new Maheen bottler. [Note: photos purloined from Stone Brewing’s website.]

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, five 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 recently opened 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 a few years ago. More recently, she joined Three Weavers, located in Inglewood. 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, and for a time brewed at Golden Road. in L.A., but more recently moved to Hawaii to brew on Maui with Maui Brewing.

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

Beer Birthday: Meg Gill

golden-road
Today is the birthday of Meg Gill, founder and owner, along with Tony Yanow, of Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles. Meg is also the former national sales manager for Speakeasy Ales & Lagers in San Francisco. When I first met Meg she was working for Oskar Blues, and later she organized the Opening Gala for SF Beer Week in years two and three, a Herculean undertaking. Golden Road made some waves last September when they were acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Meg was a great beer ambassador, so it will be interesting to see how things go under ABI’s tutelage. Join me in wishing Meg a very happy birthday.

The Brewing Network's Justin Crossley interviewing Meg Gill from Speakeasy
Justin Crossley, from the Brewing Network, with Meg at the 22nd Celebrator Anniversary Party in 2010.

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

P1020925
Faction’s (then Triple Rock’s) Rodger Davis, struggling to keep the sun out of his eyes, with Meg at the Sour Fest.

DSC_0458
Meg and me at SF Beer Week’s Opening Gala a few years ago. (Photo by Mike Condie.)

meg-and-dave
An older photo of Meg and Dave Hopwood, from Stone Brewing. (Photo purloined from Facebook.)

Beer Birthday: Chuck Silva

california
Today is also the birthday of Chuck Silva, former 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. But eventually Chuck wanted to something of his own, and is in the process of opening Silva Brewing Company in the Central Coast of California, around his native San Luis Obispo area.
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.

cbc08-05
Chuck serving the symposium beer at Stone Brewing during Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego in 2008.