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Beer Birthday: Mario Celotto

Today is the 67th birthday of Mario Celotto, who founded Humboldt Brewing Co., along with his brother Vince, after his career as a professional football player with four teams, including the Oakland Raiders the season they won the super bowl in 1981. While I normally communicated with Vince, who was at the brewery day-to-day, I met Mario on a couple of occasions, including a memorable lunch in Oakland in the late 1990s. He always seemed like a great guy to me, and he did hire Steve Parkes, who created their wonderful Red Nectar Ale, one of best amber ales I’ve ever tasted. Anyway, join me in wishing Mario a very happy birthday.

This is the biography listed on the brewery’s website back in the 1990s:

Mario is the company’s founder and serves as its President. Prior to founding the company, he played professional football and was a member of the 1980 Oakland Raider Super Bowl championship team. Mario studied public relations at the University of Southern California, where he also played on the USC National Championship football sqad. After college he worked in mortgage banking and public relations. In 1987, Mario opened the Humboldt Brewing Company brew pub and restaurant.

This is the description of Red Nectar from Humboldt Brewing’s website in 1999:

Red Nectar is an American Ale with a deep reddish copper color and sweet malty notes from English crystal malt. The crystal malt comprises nearly 15% of the grist and gives our Red a toasted caramel flavor and a residual sweetness and malty aroma which melds with the strawberry esters of our own strain of ale yeast. We use two-row Harrington-Klages pale malt, a superior blend of ale malt, and in all our beers we add a small proportion of Pacific Northwest Malted white wheat. This aids in head retention and lacing in the glass. Red Nectar is brewed with Chinook hops for bittering, Willamette in the middle for a rounded hop flavor and Mt. Hood and Cascade in the finish for a delicate floral/spicy aroma and flavor.

Mario, when he was a linebacker for USC.
Mario more recently at a Raiders charity bowling event in Las Vegas.
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