Historic Beer Birthday: William H. Biner

east-idaho
Today is the birthday of William H. “Billy” Biner (April 16, 1889-January 5, 1953). Biner was a journeyman brewer who worked for numerous breweries over his

He was born in the Montana territory to Swiss immigrant parents. His father, Theophil Biner, knoew Leopold Schmidt and even worked at his Olympia Brewery. Biner sent two of his sons, including Billy once he’s finished with a career as a boxer, to brewing school in Milwaukee. Biner’s first brewing job was at the Phoenix Brewery in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1912. He then worked as brewmaster at at least eight more breweries, from Los Angeles to Canada. The breweries he worked at included the Mexicali Brewery; the Orange Crush Bottling Company in L.A.; the Mexicali Brewing Company again after it was rebuilt following an earthquake; then the Kootenay Breweries, Ltd. in both Nelson and Trail, in BC, Canada; followed by the Ellensburg Brewing Co. in Washington, and then in 1937 he founded his own brewery, the Mutual Brewing Company. But it didn’t last thanks to World War II and supply issues, and it folded. Afterwards, he moved on to both Sicks’ Century Brewery in Seattle and the Silver Springs Brewery in Port Orchard, Washington. Finally, he ran the East Idaho Brewing Co. in Pocatello, Idaho until 1946, when he retired from brewing and bought his own bar, the Leipzig Tavern in Portland, Oregon. He stayed there until a year before he died, which was in 1953.

William-H-Biner

Here’s his biography from Find a Grave:

William Henry “Billy” Biner was born in Boulder, Montana Territory, on April 16, 1889. He was the fifth of nine children for Theophil Biner and Juliana Truffer, immigrants from Randa, Switzerland.

Theophil Biner was a builder and an acquaintance of Leopold Schmidt, founder of Olympia Brewery. He worked briefly for Schmidt in Tumwater, Washington from 1903-1905. Later in 1905 he purchased the Phoenix Brewery in the copper boomtown of Phoenix, British Columbia. Theophil became president of the company and his sons Albert and Dan ran it.

Younger son Billy became a boxer, eventually earning the title of welterweight champion of British Columbia. In 1911 Theo Biner sent his sons Billy and Gustave to the Hantke Brewery School in Milwaukie, Wisconsin where they graduated in 1912. Billy then became the brewmaster for the Phoenix Brewery and as an aspiring artist he also designed all of the beer labels. During this time he gave up boxing for curling where he found similar success.

Billy Biner married Harriet Lynch, the daughter of diamond drilling supervisor Dan Lynch in 1914. As prohibition approached Billy wrote articles for the local paper espousing the benefits of beer. But business declined in Phoenix and he moved south to Los Angeles in 1919 to work for the Canadian Club Bottling-Orange Crush Bottling Co.

From 1924 through 1929 he served as the brewmaster for the Mexicali Brewing Company in Mexicali, Mexico. In 1929 he returned to Canada and was a brewer in the towns of Merritt and Princeton, BC. From 1929 through 1936 he served as brewmaster for the Kootenay Brewing Company in both Nelson and Trail, BC.

In 1936 Biner moved to Ellensburg, Washington where he became brewmaster at the Ellensburg Brewery through 1942. After the Ellensburg Brewery closed Biner worked as a brewer at both Sick”s Select Brewery in Seattle and Silver Spring’s Brewery in Port Orchard, WA before moving on to Pocatello, where he ran the Aero Club Brewery until 1946.

He purchased the Leipzig Tavern in Portland, Oregon in 1946 and operated it until 1952 when he moved to Los Angeles to work for the North American Aircraft Company. He died of a heart attack on January 5, 1953.

Billy and Harriet Biner had four children; Betty, Bill, Bob and Fredericka (Fritzi). Bill and Bob Biner both worked for their father in Ellensburg before becoming members of the US Air Corps during WW II. Together they flew over 100 missions and are the subjects of the book The Brewmaster’s Bombardier and Belly Gunner.

Although none of Billy’s children or grandchildren became professional brewers, his great-grandson, Charlton Fulton, is the brewer at McMenamins Mill Creek Brewery near Seattle, Washington.

Binder-and-family
Biner with his sisters Julia and Mary Cecelia and his children Betty and Billy, c. 1925.

Phoenix Export Lager beer label
A label from his first brewery job, which he may also have designed.

Old-Style-Pilsener-Beer-Labels-Mutual-Brewing-Company

Silver-Springs-Table-Beer-Labels-Interstate-Brewery-Company

Aero-Club-Pale-Select-Beer-Labels-East-Idaho-Brewing-Company

Historic Beer Birthday: Karl Frederick Schuster

acme-script
Today is the birthday of Karl Frederick Schuster (April 2, 1890-November 4, 1976). He was born into a brewing family, and worked in several Bay Area breweries until prohibition, during which time he continued working with beer people though making cereal products. When prohibition ended, he was named president of Acme Breweries.

kark-frederick-schuster

The great Brewery Gems has the only biography of Schuster I could find, written by Gary Flynn:

Our subject’s grand-father, Frederick Schuster emigrated from the Alsace upon hearing of the California gold rush and made his way to the placer mines in Plumas County.

In the early 1850s he started a family and failing to strike it rich, he established a small steam beer plant, one of the first in California. The Pacific Coast Directory for 1867 lists the La Porte Brewery, F. Schuster, proprietor. When the placer mines played out Frederick relocated to San Francisco, and in 1870 he purchased the American Railroad Brewery. When Frederick died, his son Frederick Paul Schuster took control of the Brewery, and in 1902 he merged it with the Union Brewing & Malting Company. The American Railroad branch of the new company operated for two more years, and was then closed. Frederick became the vice president of the Union Brewery.

Frederick Paul’s son, Karl F. Schuster, continued the family tradition in brewing. In 1908 he started as an apprentice, drawing his first pay check from the Union Brewery, which had abandoned the manufacture of steam beer and entered the lager beer field in 1903. While Karl was learning all aspects of the trade, the brewing industry in San Francisco was undergoing many changes – in part from the effects of the ’06 earthquake, but also from the influx of brewers escaping early Prohibition in their home states.

In 1909 Union Brewing & Malting annexed the Wunder Brewing Co. by purchase, paving the way to a merger that would solidify its position. In Jan. 1917 the Union Brewery joined five other breweries in the formation of the California Brewing Assn., with Frederick P. Schuster subsequently named one of the Association’s directors.

Frederick’s son Karl, returning from WWI and facing the demise of his industry from Prohibition, took a position as assistant to Master Brewer Anton Dolenz at the Association’s Fulton plant. During this period with the Cereal Products Refining Corporation he worked with William Adams and Jacob P. Rettenmayer, and later assumed the position of plant superintendent.

By Repeal in 1933 Karl had moved up high enough in the company that in 1934, with the death of Samuel Clarke, the Board of Directors elected Karl F. Schuster president and general manager of Cereal Products refining Corp., aka the Acme Brewery.

On April 1, 1936 the company changed its operating name to Acme Breweries to reflect the addition of the Los Angeles plant.

Karl Schuster remained president of Acme Breweries until it was sold in January 1954. He died in November 4, 1976.

Acme-beer-sign

Cascade-beer

Top 50 Craft Breweries For 2016

ba
The Brewers Association just announced the top 50 craft breweries in the U.S. based on sales, by volume, for 2016, which is listed below here. I should also mention that this represents “craft breweries” according to the BA’s membership definition, and not necessarily how most of us would define them, as there’s no universally agreed upon way to differentiate the two. For the ninth year, they’ve also released a list of the top 50 breweries, which includes all breweries. Here is this year’s craft brewery list:


Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies

Rank Brewing Company City State
1 D. G. Yuengling & Son, Inc Pottsville PA
2 Boston Beer Co Boston MA
3 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co Chico CA
4 New Belgium Brewing Co Fort Collins CO
5 Gambrinus San Antonio TX
6 Duvel Moortgat Paso Robles/Kansas City/Cooperstown CA/MO/NY
7 Bell’s Brewery, Inc Comstock MI
8 Deschutes Brewery Bend OR
9 Stone Brewing Co Escondido CA
10 Oskar Blues Brewing Holding Co Longmont CO
11 Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn NY
12 Minhas Craft Brewery Monroe WI
13 Artisanal Brewing Ventures Downington/Lakewood PA/NY
14 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE
15 SweetWater Brewing Co Atlanta GA
16 New Glarus Brewing Co New Glarus WI
17 Matt Brewing Co Utica NY
18 Harpoon Brewery Boston MA
19 Alaskan Brewing Juneau AK
20 Abita Brewing Co Abita Springs LA
21 Great Lakes Brewing Co Cleveland OH
22 Anchor Brewing Co San Francisco CA
23 Stevens Point Brewery Stevens Point WI
24 August Schell Brewing Co New Ulm MN
24 Long Trail Brewing Co Bridgewater Corners VT
26 Summit Brewing Co Saint Paul MN
27 Odell Brewing Co Fort Collins CO
28 Shipyard Brewing Co Portland ME
29 Full Sail Brewing Co Hood River OR
30 Rogue Ales Newport OR
31 21st Amendment Brewery Bay Area CA
32 Flying Dog Brewery Frederick MD
33 Ninkasi Brewing Co Eugene OR
34 Gordon Biersch Brewing Co San Jose CA
35 Allagash Brewing Co Portland ME
36 Narragansett Brewing Co Providence RI
37 Green Flash Brewing Co San Diego CA
38 Tröegs Brewing Co Hershey PA
39 Uinta Brewing Co Salt Lake City UT
40 Bear Republic Brewing Co Cloverdale CA
41 Karl Strauss Brewing Co San Diego CA
42 Surly Brewing Co Minneapolis MN
43 Sixpoint Brewery Brooklyn NY
44 Left Hand Brewing Co Longmont CO
45 Lost Coast Brewery Eureka CA
46 Revolution Brewing Chicago IL
47 North Coast Brewing Co Fort Bragg CA
48 Avery Brewing Co Boulder CO
49 Real Ale Brewing Co Blanco TX
50 BJ’s Brewery Huntington Beach CA

Here is this year’s press release. The last couple of years, the BA has helpfully annotated the list, saving me lots of time, since I’ve been annotating the list for the last nine years, but they’ve abandoned that practice for a second year. So for the ninth consecutive year, I’ll also posted an annotated list, showing the changes in each brewery’s rank from year to year, but it will take me some time to put together so I’ll have that again later tonight or tomorrow.

And similar to last year, the BA created a map showing the relative location of each of the breweries that made the list.

Top_50_Craft_Breweries_2016

Top 50 Breweries For 2016

ba
The Brewers Association has also just announced the top 50 breweries in the U.S. based on sales, by volume, for 2016, which this year they’re calling the “Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies.” This includes all breweries, regardless of size or any other definitions or parameters. Here is the new list:


Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies

Breweries in bold are considered to be “small and independent craft brewers” under the BA’s current definition. That there are so many footnotes (23 in total, or almost half of the list) explaining exceptions or reasons for the specific entry, seems illustrative of a growing problem with the definition of what is a craft brewery. I certainly understand the need for a trade group to have a clearly defined set of criteria for membership, but I think the current one is getting increasingly outdated again, and it’s only been a few years since the contentious debate that resulted in the current BA one. But it may be time to revisit that again.

six-glasses

Rank Brewing Company City State
1 Anheuser-Busch, Inc (a) Saint Louis MO
2 MillerCoors (b) Chicago IL
3 Pabst Brewing Co (c) Los Angeles CA
4 D. G. Yuengling & Son, Inc Pottsville PA
5 North American Breweries (d) Rochester NY
6 Boston Beer Co (e) Boston MA
7 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co Chico CA
8 New Belgium Brewing Co Fort Collins CO
9 Lagunitas Brewing Co (f) Petaluma CA
10 Craft Brew Alliance (g) Portland OR
11 Gambrinus (h) San Antonio TX
12 Duvel Moortgat (i) Paso Robles/Kansas City/Cooperstown CA/MO/NY
13 Ballast Point Brewing Co (j) San Diego CA
14 Bell’s Brewery, Inc (k) Comstock MI
15 Deschutes Brewery Bend OR
16 Founders Brewing Co (l) Grand Rapids MI
17 Stone Brewing Co Escondido CA
18 Oskar Blues Brewing
Holding Co
(m)
Longmont CO
19 Sapporo USA (n) La Crosse WI
20 Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn NY
21 Minhas Craft Brewery (o) Monroe WI
22 Artisanal Brewing Ventures (p) Downington/Lakewood PA/NY
23 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE
24 SweetWater Brewing Co Atlanta GA
25 New Glarus Brewing Co New Glarus WI
26 Matt Brewing Co (q) Utica NY
27 Harpoon Brewery Boston MA
28 Alaskan Brewing Co Juneau AK
29 Abita Brewing Co Abita Springs LA
30 Great Lakes Brewing Co Cleveland OH
31 Anchor Brewing Co San Francisco CA
32 Stevens Point Brewery (r) Stevens Point WI
33 August Schell Brewing Co (s) New Ulm MN
33 Long Trail Brewing Co (t) Bridgewater Corners VT
35 Summit Brewing Co Saint Paul MN
36 Odell Brewing Co Fort Collins CO
37 Shipyard Brewing Co (u) Portland ME
38 Full Sail Brewing Co Hood River OR
39 Rogue Ales Newport OR
40 21st Amendment Brewery Bay Area CA
41 Flying Dog Brewery Frederick MD
42 Ninkasi Brewing Co Eugene OR
43 Gordon Biersch Brewing Co San Jose CA
44 Allagash Brewing Co Portland ME
45 Narragansett Brewing Co Providence RI
46 Green Flash Brewing Co (v) San Diego CA
47 Tröegs Brewing Co Hershey PA
48 Uinta Brewing Co Salt Lake City UT
49 Bear Republic Brewing Co Cloverdale CA
50 Pittsburgh Brewing Co (w) Pittsburgh PA

six-glasses


2016 Top 50 Overall U.S.
Brewing Companies Notes

Details from brand lists are illustrative and may not be exhaustive. Ownership stakes reflect
greater than 25% ownership:

(a) Anheuser-Busch, Inc includes 10 Barrel, Bass, Beck’s, Blue Point, Bud Light,
Budweiser, Breckenridge, Busch, Devils Backbone (partial year), Elysian, Four Peaks,
Golden Road, Goose Island, Karbach (partial year), King Cobra, Landshark, Michelob,
Natural Rolling Rock, Shock Top, Wild Series brands and Ziegenbock brands. Does not
include partially owned Coastal, Craft Brew Alliance, Fordham, Kona, Old Dominion,
Omission, Red Hook, and Widmer Brothers brands;
(b) MillerCoors includes A.C. Golden, Batch 19, Blue Moon, Colorado Native, Coors,
Hamms, Hop Valley (partial year), Icehouse, Keystone, Killian’s, Leinenkugel’s,
Mickey’s, Milwaukee’s Best, Miller, Olde English, Revolver (partial year), Saint Archer,
Steel Reserve, Tenth & Blake, and Terrapin (partial year) brands;
(c) Pabst Brewing Co includes Ballantine, Lone Star, Pabst, Pearl, Primo, Rainier, Schlitz
and Small Town brands;
(d) North American Breweries includes Dundee, Genesee, Labatt Lime, Mactarnahan’s,
Magic Hat, Portland and Pyramid brands as well as import volume;
(e) Boston Beer Co includes Alchemy & Science and Sam Adams brands. Does not include
Twisted Tea or Angry Orchard brands;
(f) Lagunitas Brewing Co ownership stake by Heineken;
(g) Craft Brew Alliance includes Kona, Omission, Red Hook and Widmer Brothers brands;
(h) Gambrinus includes BridgePort, Shiner and Trumer brands;
(i) Duvel Moortgat USA includes Boulevard, Firestone Walker, and Ommegang brands;
(j) Ballast Point Brewing Co owned by Constellation brands;
(k) Bell’s Brewery, Inc includes Bell’s and Upper Hand brands;
(l) Founders ownership stake by Mahou San Miguel;
(m) Oskar Blues Brewing Holding Co includes Cigar City, Perrin and Utah Brewers
Cooperative brands;
(n) Sapporo USA includes Sapporo and Sleeman brands as well as export volume;
(o) Minhas Craft Brewery includes Huber, Mountain Crest and Rhinelander brands as well as
export volume;
(p) Artisanal Brewing Ventures includes Victory and Southern Tier brands;
(q) Matt Brewing Co includes Flying Bison, Saranac and Utica Club brands;
(r) Stevens Point Brewery includes James Page and Point brands;
(s) August Schell Brewing Co includes Grain Belt and Schell’s brands;
(t) Long Trail Brewing Co includes Long Trail, Otter Creek, The Shed and Wolaver’s
brands;
(u) Shipyard Brewing Co includes Casco Bay, Sea Dog and Shipyard brands;
(v) Green Flash Brewing Co includes Alpine and Green Flash brands;
(w)Pittsburgh Brewing Co includes Iron City and Old German brands

BEER-generic

Here is this year’s press release.

The Price Of A Beer: 1952-2016

beer-money
I saw a slideshow recently on a genealogy website that took data from the Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and showed the price of a pint beginning in 1952 through last year, along with what that price would be in today’s money, in other words adjusted for inflation. I took it from a slideshow and turned into a table so you could more easily see the changes over time. Perhaps most surprising is that the average price of a beer is one-third less now than it was 64 years ago.

1-drink-bill

According to the data, the adjusted price for a pint peaked in the mid-1950s, 1956-57 to be specific. After that, the price has been coming down slowly but surely (with a few blips here and there) ever since. Part of that is undoubtedly efficiencies in both brewing and distribution. The on-and-off price wars that the big brewers engaged in over the last few decades must certainly have played a roll, as it kept prices artificially low across the board. At any rate, it’s interesting to see the prices all laid out like this over six decades. I’m sure others will see a lot more in the data, too.

wooden-nickel

Year
Price of Beer
Adjusted for Inflation
1952
$0.65
$5.93
1953
$0.65
$5.80
1954
$0.67
$5.93
1955
$0.67
$5.91
1956
$0.68
$6.01
1957
$0.69
$6.01
1958
$0.69
$5.82
1959
$0.70
$5.74
1960
$0.71
$5.77
1961
$0.71
$5.68
1962
$0.71
$5.62
1963
$0.72
$5.64
1964
$0.73
$5.64
1965
$0.74
$5.65
1966
$0.75
$5.63
1967
$0.76
$5.54
1968
$0.79
$5.61
1969
$0.82
$5.58
1970
$0.86
$5.58
1971
$0.89
$5.43
1972
$0.91
$5.32
1973
$0.94
$5.32
1974
$1.01
$5.38
1975
$1.09
$5.23
1976
$1.12
$4.93
1977
$1.15
$4.78
1978
$1.22
$4.76
1979
$1.32
$4.79
1980
$1.42
$4.63
1981
$1.52
$4.37
1982
$1.59
$4.14
1983
$1.65
$4.05
1984
$1.70
$4.04
1985
$1.75
$3.99
1986
$1.83
$4.03
1987
$1.88
$4.06
1988
$1.95
$4.06
1989
$2.03
$4.06
1990
$2.13
$4.07
1991
$2.35
$4.26
1992
$2.43
$4.22
1993
$2.47
$4.17
1994
$2.50
$4.10
1995
$2.54
$4.06
1996
$2.61
$4.05
1997
$2.68
$4.04
1998
$2.73
$4.08
1999
$2.80
$4.07
2000
$2.88
$4.09
2001
$2.95
$4.06
2002
$3.02
$4.04
2003
$3.08
$4.05
2004
$3.17
$4.08
2005
$3.23
$4.05
2006
$3.31
$4.01
2007
$3.41
$4.00
2008
$3.53
$4.03
2009
$3.64
$4.00
2010
$3.68
$4.06
2011
$3.73
$4.05
2012
$3.88
$4.00
2013
$3.87
$3.99
2014
$3.91
$3.97
2015
$3.95
$3.95
2016
$3.99
$3.99

nickel-beer

United States vs. Fifty Cases Of Bottled Beer

scales
While researching Joseph Fallert, whose birthday was earlier today, I came across an interesting lawsuit they were involved in brought by the Department of Agriculture in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, which was in Brooklyn. It seems the Joseph Fallert Brewery mislabeled fifty cases of beer they brewed and shipped them to Cuba. Apparently the beer was labeled “St. Louis” and “Bohemian Brewery’s Bottling” with the beer itself called “Brilliant BOHEMIAN Beer,” none of which was true.

Anyway, below is a report of the adjudication of the case interspersed with beer labels of breweries making Bohemian-Style Beer.

US-v-50-Cases-6

I’m not sure what “Bohemian Beer” was specifically as defined in the early 1900s. There were quite a few beers that called their beer Bohemian, or “Bohemian Style” or “Bohemian Type” beer from that time period up through the 1950s and 60s. But the U.S. Attorney, after an investigation by the Department of Agriculture, alleged the beer brewed by Fallert was not Bohemian.

Bohemian-Beer-Labels-Pabst-Brewing-Co

US-v-50-Cases-1

Bohemian-Lager-Style-Beer-Labels-Union-Brewing-Co

US-v-50-Cases-2

There even was Bohemian Beer brewed in St. Louis by the American Brewing Co.

abc-bohemian

US-v-50-Cases-3

Bohemian--Beer-Labels-AB-Company

US-v-50-Cases-4

Bohemian-Export-Beer-Labels-Fresno-Brewing-Co--Grace-Bros

US-v-50-Cases-5

Real-Bohemian-Style-Lager-Beer-Labels-Best-Brewing-Company

If you read through the case, taken from a “Report of Committee and Hearings Held Before the Senate Committee on Manufactures Relative to Foods Held in Cold Storage,” you may have noticed that judgment was rendered without the Joseph Fallert Brewery having brought a defense or even appearing in court. I guess they figured there really was no legitimate defense they could bring and it appears that only the beer was lost, confiscated and sold at auction, and they weren’t fined or in any other way punished as far as I can tell.

Bohemian-Style-Beer-Labels-Enterprise-Brewing-Co

Historic Beer Birthday: Joseph Coors Sr.

coors-red
Today is the birthday of Joseph Coors Sr. (November 12, 1917–March 15, 2003). He was the grandson of brewery founder Adolph Coors and president of Coors Brewing Company. “After graduation, he began work in the Coors Porcelain Co., the porcelain business that helped the company survive Prohibition. With his brother William Coors (whose desks were located only one foot apart), Joseph refined the cold-filtered beer manufacturing system and began America’s first large-scale recycling program by offering 1-cent returns on Coors aluminum cans. He served one term as a regent of the University of Colorado in 1967-1972, attempting to quell what he considered to be campus radicalism during the Vietnam war. He served as president of Coors in 1977-1985, and chief operating officer in 1980-1988. His leadership helped expand Coors beer distribution from 11 Western states in the 1970s to the entire USA by the early 1990s.”

joe-coors-sr

This short biography is from Find-a-Grave:

Businessman. Brewery magnate and leading member of the Coors Brewing family and company founded by his grandfather. Worked at the Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado, starting in 1946 as technical director, became Executive Vice President in 1975, President in 1977, and Chief Operating Officer from 1985-1987. Engaged in an intense conforation with labor over an effort to unionize the Coors Brewery. An outspoken conservative who helped establish (with Paul Weyrich) The Heritage Foundation, The Independnce Institute (Golden, Colorado), and the Mountain States Legal Foundation. Elected to one term as a Regent of the University of Colorado (1966). Member of the ‘kitchen cabinet’ of President Ronald Reagan.

joe-coors-senior

And this brief biography of Joe Coors is from CoorsTek:

Joseph Coors, Sr., one of Adolph Jr.’s sons, assumed leadership at the pottery in 1946 and began the process of becoming the industrial ceramic technology leader. He started the first formal R&D group at Coors Porcelain and strengthened the technical and design staff.

joseph-coors-bw

Here’s his obituary from CBS News:

Joseph Coors, who used his brewing fortune to support President Reagan and help create the conservative Heritage Foundation, has died at age 85.

Coors, whose grandfather founded Golden-based Adolph Coors Co. in 1873, died Saturday in Rancho Mirage, Calif., after a three-month battle with lymphatic cancer.

In the 1970s, Coors began providing money and his famous name to start the Heritage Foundation, the influential think tank in Washington, D.C. Even earlier, he served as one of Reagan’s advisers and backers in the “kitchen Cabinet,” which financed Reagan’s political career from the governorship of California to the White House. The two first met in Palm Springs, Calif., in 1967.

“Without Joe Coors, the Heritage Foundation wouldn’t exist — and the conservative movement it nurtures would be immeasurably poorer,” the foundation’s president, Edwin Feulner, said in a statement.

In 1988 he retired as chief operating officer. He remained a director until three years ago.

Coors used his chemical engineering background to refine the brewery’s cold-filtered beer manufacturing system, which he created with his brother Bill. The brothers also initiated what is believed to have been the first large-scale recycling program by offering a one cent return on Coors’ aluminum cans in 1959.

Until the 1970s, Coors beer was sold in 11 just Western states. But aggressive competition from industry giants Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing prompted the company to expand. By the early 1990s, Coors was available nationwide. It is the third-largest brewer in the United States.

But the company was the object of sometimes bitter criticism from activists who criticized Coors’ politics and accused the company of a variety of violations of labor and environmental laws and bias against gays and other minorities.

In 1977, labor unions launched a boycott after a bitter 20-month strike. The boycott ended 10 years later after the company agreed to forgo erecting legal roadblocks often used by management against an attempt to organize its workforce. The following year, Coors employees turned down Teamsters representation.

Born in Golden on Nov. 12, 1917, Coors was educated in public schools. He graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., in 1940 with a degree in chemical engineering.

His first job at Coors Co. was with the company’s ceramics division, working in the clay pits west of Golden where the raw material for porcelain was mined. The porcelain business, purchased in the early 1900s, helped keep the company afloat during Prohibition, when the brewery produced malted milk and near-beer.

Coors also served a term as a regent of the University of Colorado, confronting what he saw as campus radicalism during the Vietnam War.

Coors and his brother worked in the same office, their desks not more than a foot apart. But Bill Coors said their politics were quite different.

“He was very principled and dedicated. But we got along a lot better if we didn’t talk politics,” Bill Coors said. “He was conservative as they come. I mean he was a little bit right of Attila the Hun.

In addition to his brother, he is survived by his wife, Anne; five sons, Joseph Jr., Jeffrey, Peter, Grover and John, all of the Golden area; 27 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

coors-brewery-postcard

The Beer Tourism Index

travel
Undoubtedly beer tourism is growing phenomenon, and has been for some time. Fifteen years ago, when I was GM of the Celebrator Beer News, the “Hopspots” sections were the most popular in the brewspaper, as many readers reported that they always kept one in their car when they travelled to help them find a beer spot (remember that was before smartphones and GPS were ubiquitous). I know for at least thirty years I’ve been including beer destinations any time I travel, even before I did so as part of my profession. Having that information at your fingertips through apps, websites and GPS has only helped to increase beer travel, I think, and at least part of the success of beer weeks has to do with the goal of bringing tourism to specific geographic areas; essentially making the week the destination rather than a side trip. So it’s interesting to see that a popular travel website, Travelocity, is not only recognizing how beer people travel, but has created a Beer Tourism Index to rank the Top Beer Destinations, dividing them by large and small metro areas (though I’m surprised they consider Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Lancaster PA and a few others as “large”). Also somewhat curious is the total absence of the San Francisco Bay Area, or even San Francisco or Oakland/East Bay in the listings. What’s especially odd about that is that San Francisco is one of the top tourist destination cities (it’s number two according to EscapeHere and #5 according to TripAdvisor and #3 via Business Insider). At any rate, according to their press release.

By examining the location of all breweries in the U.S. and looking at other factors important to a successful “beercation,” including the availability of rideshare services, accessibility via air, and the average cost of lodging, this index identified the best large and small metro areas to sample some of the nation’s best craft beers.

Here’s the full list below:

Travelocity-BeerDestinations

And here’s the criteria used to arrive at this list:

*To find the top metropolitan areas for beer tourism, Travelocity scored the over 300 US MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) on four factors:

  • Breweries per 1 million residents: Working with the Brewers Association (an organization representing the majority of independent brewers in the US), every MSA was scored by the number of breweries and brewpubs per 1 million residents
  • Rideshare availability: To get a full sampling of a region’s beer culture, a beer tourist may need to visit multiple breweries across the area. Rideshare services like Uber or Lyft are invaluable for this, so each MSA was scored on availability of both, either, or neither of these services.
  • Nonstop air destinations: If the MSA has an airport with scheduled air service – from how many destinations is nonstop service available?
  • Lodging score: Each MSA was scored on the price of an average room night for the 2015 calendar year. The lower the price, the higher the score for the MSA.

The Brewers Association also released a joint press release, adding:

Beer tourism is a big deal. We estimate that in 2014, more than 10 million people toured small and independent craft breweries. That’s a lot of brewery tours. Just search “beercations” and you’ll get a plethora of results on where to tour local breweries.

More than 7 percent of craft sales (by volume) now happen at the source—the brewery. Craft brewers are now a main attraction for travelers. For example, in 2015, the Brewers Association’s three-day Great American Beer Festival generated the equivalent of 2 percent of Denver’s GDP, accounting for $28.6 million. Beer tourism is so strong that travel website Travelocity just published a beer tourism index.

In a Travelocity survey of 1,003 people, more than three-quarters said they would like to go on a trip where they visited craft breweries and sampled local beer. With numerous beer trails flourishing across the U.S. and beer events including festivals and special beer releases racking up millions upon millions of tourism trips and dollars, the modern beercation is a boon to beer.

The Brewers Association commissioned a Nielsen Omnibus panel in June 2016 that asked, “How many, if any, craft breweries have you visited at their site in the past 12 months while traveling?” The answer: on average 2.1 breweries. Impressive.

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GABF Awards With Photographs 2016

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On Saturday, October 8, the winners of the 34th Great American Beer Festival were announced. A record 7,227 beers were judged in 96 categories by 264 judges, of which I was again privileged to be one. I was on hand at the awards ceremony and thought I’d share the results again, this time along with some of the photographs I took during the awards.

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The theater quickly filled up for the awards ceremony.

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And competition director Chris Swersey read each of the medal winners’ names.

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This was the 35th GABF, and former Wynkoop Brewing co-owner, and current Colorado governor, John Hickenlooper, stopped by in the middle of the awards ceremony to present Charlie Papazian his own award.

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Two, actually. One for the 35th anniversary and Charlie’s own gold medal.

[Read more…]

Beer Birthday: Evan Rail

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Today is the 44th birthday of Evan Rail, expat American writer living, and writing about beer, in Prague, Czech Republic. Evan was born and raised in Fresno, but discovered his love for beer while attending U.C. Davis as a French and German literature major. While there, he spent his time at the nearby Sudwerk Privatbrauerei brewpub, and counted among his friends several students in the Master Brewers program. That’s also where he began homebrewing in 1993. He also studied in New York and Paris, before making the Czech Republic his home in 2000. His move to Prague was meant to be for a single year, but he’s still there fifteen years later. Given that he met his wife there, and they’ve started a family, it’s likely he won’t be moving home any time soon. In addition to writing the Good Beer Guide to Prague and the Czech Republic, Rail’s also penned Why Beer Matters, In Praise of Hangovers and Triplebock, all Kindle singles. We finally had a chance to share a beer in person last year when he was in San Francisco for an event sponsored by Pilsner Urquell. Join me in wishing Evan a very happy birthday.

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Last year at event in san Francisco, where Evan was doing an event for Pilsner Urquell.

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Earlier this year in Copenhagen, along with, clockwise from left: Martyn Cornell, Jeff Alworth, Evan, me, Stephen Beaumont, Pete Brown, Stan Hieronymus and Ron Pattinson.

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Talking with Stan Hieronymus during a tour of the Carlsberg Laboratory.

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A Facebook cover photo of Evan (which is where I purloined it from, along with the next one, too).

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A screenshot from a video of Evan talking about Czech beer.