Today is the 61st birthday of Marty Velas, who is the owner/brewmaster of Fanatic Brewing in Knoxville, Tennesee. I only recently met Marty at CBC in Nashville, though it’s possible out paths have crossed before, especially since he’s been around for a long while, and started brewing in California around 1979, starting his first pro gig brewing at Alpine Brewing. He’s also brewed for Manhattan Beach Brewing Co., Redondo Beach Brewing Co. Huntington Beach Beer Co. Brewski’s in Hermosa Beach, Fredricksburg Brewing Co. in Texas, Turul Brewing Co. in Szalapa, Hungary and Echigo Landsbrauerei in Niigata, Japan and as the head of brewing operations at Smoky Mountain Brewery. In the 1990s, he consulted for numerous breweries and has trained over 200 successful brewers. He was also “instrumental in establishing the first craft brewery in Japan in 1994.” Join me in wishing Marty a very happy birthday.