Today is the 39th birthday of Jeff Bagby, who until a year or so ago was the head brewer extraordinaire at Pizza Port in Carlsbad. There, you can read the entire biography of Jeff “Extra Spicy” Bagby. I’m not sure when it was written, but it definitely needs to be updated, as it ends 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.” Three 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. 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 at wishing Jeff a very happy birthday.
Jeff with his then-girlfriend, now wife, Dande at GABF a few years ago. And yes, those are his lucky pants.
Greg Koch and Jeff at the Falling Rock.
Former Drake’s brewer Melissa Myers with Jeff at an event at Anchor celebrating the Toronado’s 20th anniversary.
Sam Calagione, Bruce Paton and Jeff at the Lost Abbey for a beer dinner during CBC.
Jeff at the Toronado for the annual Belgian Beer Dinner last year, with owner Dave Keene wearing his “Who the F@#k is Jeff Bagby?” T-shirt.
Today is the 59th birthday of Pat McIllhenney, brewmaster and owner Alpine Beer Co. near San Diego. Pat makes some amazing hoppy beers. Unfortunately, his beers are hard to find up our way, but rumor has it he’s building a bigger brewery to solve that problem. Join me in wishing Pat a very happy birthday.
Pat manning his booth.
Pat at GABF in 2008.
Pat at the Boonville Beer Festival in 2008.
Pat with Tomme Arthur at the inaugural Firestone Walker Invitational last year.
Today is the 39th 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’s Facebook Profile picture.
Drew at 21st Amendment.
Drew in a Jayne hat — from Firefly — with his fiancee, Amy.
NOTE: All photos purloined from Facebook.
Today is Steve Wagner’s 55th 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.
Mitch Steele, Stone Brewing’s brewmaster, with Steve, at CBC when it was in Austin, Texas.
The Stone crew: Arlan Arnsten, Steve and Greg Koch at CBC in San Diego 2008.
With Stone Brewing co-founder Greg Koch in a publicity shot (by John Schulz Photography).
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, three 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 behind the bar.
Publicity photo for Beer Wars.
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 at GABF two years ago.
The beer chef, Bruce Paton, with Chuck at one his beer dinners.
Chuck at Mammoth Lakes Bluesapalooza in 2007.
Today is also the 43rd 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.
Alec Moss, former brewer at Half Moon Bay, with Jay at the celebrator’s Best of the West Fest in 2009.
Jay and a glass of Chimay.
Jay and his wife Vicki at the Director’s Guild dinner in 1998.
Jay and his new son Jake.
(Note: last three photos purloined from Facebook.)
Wow, Jesse Houck, who used to brew at 21st Amendment, and most recently was at Drake’s, is moving to Los Angeles to become the new brewmaster at Golden Road Brewing. According to the press release:
Houck and Golden Road President, Meg Gill, first met at 21st Amendment Brewery in 2008, where they bonded over their mutual love for canned beers and California IPAs.
Golden Road has experienced a rapid expansion since opening in October of 2011, doubling the size of their brew house and brewing capacity, releasing four canned beers and over fifteen specialty brews, opening over 500 draft accounts throughout the greater LA area. Says Golden Road President Meg Gill: “As we look forward to 2013, we have big plans for the direction we want our beers to go. We’re thrilled to bring Jesse’s leadership and dry, hoppy, clean-beer loving palate to LA.”
Adds Houck, “I am looking forward to sharing Meg and Tony’s vision of crafting quality beers for LA, and excited to be part of one of the fastest growing craft beer scenes on the West Coast.” A long time bay-area brewer, Houck brings a blend of chemistry and artistry to his brewing, having studied Chemical Engineering before becoming fascinated — and later obsessed — with home-brewing and beer.
Co-founder Tony Yanow has also been a fan of Houck’s for years, commenting, “Jesse has created some of my favorite beers, and we’re excited to bring his creativity and brewing expertise to our team.”
That’s awesome news for Jesse. He’s a terrific brewer and should be a good fit at Golden Road.
Jesse (2nd from the left) at the Triple Rock Firkin Fest in 2008.
Today is the 51st 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 earlier this year and recently published 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.
Mitch with Stone co-founder Steve Wagner at the Craft Brewers Conference in 2007.
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 Hensley, Judy Ashworth, Mitch, Brendan Moylan & Bruce Paton at the Celebrator’s 22nd Anniversary Party in February of this year.
Mitch and 21st Amendment brewer Shaun O’Sullivan practicing their pointing during a collaboration brew in 2008 in San Francisco.
Outside the Bistro IPA Festival in 2007 with Publican Judy Ashworth, Former San Andreas Brewing owner Bill Millar, Mitch and Bistro owner Vic Krajl.
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.
Today is the 47th birthday of Arlan Arnsten, 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. Join me in wishing Arlan a very happy birthday.
Arlan at GABF in 2006.
Arlan with Stone co-owners Steve Wagner and Greg Koch at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego in 2008.
Arlan manning the Stone booth in Las Vegas in 1999 (photo purloined from the Stone Brewing website).