Last night, Fritz Maytag hosted a private event at Anchor Brewery for the release of historian Maureen Ogle’s new book Ambitious Brew, The Story of American Beer.
It was a fun evening. It was nice seeing Maureen Ogle again (after meeting in Denver last month) and also meeting her husband, who flew out to spend a few days with her in San Francisco. She’s in the middle of a pretty intensive book promotional tour. At least with us for the evening she could relax a bit more. Anchor, as usual, were gracious hosts and had some delicious food and desserts, and of course their wonderful beers. And for a special treat, they were pouring their 2006 Christmas beer which won’t be released officially until November 6.
It was rumored that the long-reclusive Jack McAuliffe — who founded New Albion Brewing, the first modern microbrewery — would be in attendance but he backed out in the end. But in addition to Fritz Maytag, two other brewing legends were there, Michael Laybourn and Don Barkley. Laybourn was one of the founders of Mendocino Brewing Co. and Barkley was their first brewer. Mendocino Brewing hired him after they bought the brewing equipment from New Albion — where Barkley had worked — for the new venture in Hopland. It had been many years since I’d seen either of them. All in all, a great way to spend an evening.
Bill Owens, who founded Buffalo Bill’s in Hayward, catches up with Fritz Maytag in the Anchor tasting room.
Matt Salie, with Big Sky Brewing, Judy Ashworth, publican emeritus, and Michael Laybourn. In the background Natalie Cilurzo, from Russian River Brewing, talks with Don Barkley.
Matt Salie with Anchor brewer Mark Carpenter, who’s been with Anchor since 1971.
Our choice of libations for the evening.
Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo, from Russian River Brewing, R.J. Trent, former brewer now with BevMo, Dave Suurballe, President of the San Andreas Malts, and Dave Keene, from the Toronado.