Yesterday afternoon The Trappist in downtown Oakland, California, opened their doors and hearts for a memorial to honor our fallen comrade, beer writer Bill Brand. It was a gathering of the Bay Area beer community to pay our respects to Bill’s memory and tell stories of Bill’s life and how his infectious enthusiasm and passion for good beer intersected in so many of our own lives. I was honored to be asked to MC and got the ball rolling with a toast and some of my own reminiscences and then for a little over an hour, a parade of brewers, writers, and assorted friends and fans stood on a chair and told their personal stories of Bill to the assembled throng, a veritable who’s who of the Bay Area beer scene. We were also honored to have Bill’s wife, Daryl, in the audience, along with Bill’s two daughters, Amanda and Meredith. The event ended up being a fitting and moving tribute to Bill’s life and his involvement with the beer community, as we drank toast after toast with one of Bill’s favorite beers, Anchor Porter. L’Chaim, Bill. You will be missed.
Jim Koch, from Boston Beer, generously sent a wreath of beer flowers that made a terrific centerpiece. Thanks, Jim — it was appreciated by all.
A friend of Bill’s, Mike Condie, put up a display of recent articles celebrating Bill’s life in various local papers along with a couple of framed photos taken at beer events. These and a guest book signed by everyone who attended the memorial were then given to the family.
Chuck, co-owner of The Trappist (at right), served up pints of Anchor Porter, from a keg tapped especially for the event.
Steve Bruce, from the Toronado, and Jen Garris, were early arrivers and managed to secure seats.
Ed Chainey graciously donated a 3L bottle of Chimay Blue.
I started things off with a toast and a story.
Last up was Shaun O’Sullivan, who had written a Ken Kesey-ian rant for the occasion.
Bill’s daughter Amanda, wife Daryl and Shaun O’Sullivan after the memorial.