Today is Brendan Moylan’s 58th birthday. Brendan owns both his eponymous Moylan’s Brewing as well as Marin Brewing. He’s a very active part of both the local and beer community, and each year puts on the Breasfest to benefit breast cancer awareness. Join me in wishing Brendan a very happy birthday.
Bruce Joseph, who’s been at Anchor Brewery for many, many years turns 63 today. There’s a big picture of him when he was very young in the stairwell at the brewery that I see every time I’m there. He’s been doing the distilling for Anchor’s whiskey and gin for a long while now and plays bass with the Hysters (Anchor’s big band) along with the Rolling Boil Blues Band (the Celebrator beer band that’s all industry musicians). If there’s a nicer person in the beer industry, I’ve yet to meet him. Join me in wishing Bruce a very happy birthday.
On stage at the Northern California Rhythm & Blues Festival several years ago.
On Saturday the 19th annual Double IPA Festival was held at the Bistro in Hayward, California. I got there early for judging again this
- 1st Place: Kern River Double Church
- 2nd Place: Urban Roots Bigger On the Inside
- 3rd Place: Beachwood BBQ & Brewery Greenshift
- 1st Place: Morgan Territory Menace to Sobriety
- 2nd Place: Faction Brewing / SARA Cuddle Tent
- 3rd Place: Kern River YUB Trippin’
Peoples Choice Awards
- People’s Choice Award — Double IPA: Cellarmaker Triple Mt. Nelson
- People’s Choice Award — Triple IPA: Russian River Pliny the Younger
Congratulations to all the winners.
Today is the 53rd birthday of Scott Ungermann, who’s the Production Director at Anchor Brewing. When I first met Scott, he was the Brewmaster at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Fairfield, a position he held for almost six years, plus brewing stints at other AB facilities for over thirteen years. When I was working on my latest book, he gave me and my son Porter a great tour of the facility and I discovered we had several mutual friends since he was a 1995 graduate of U.C. Davis. Scott’s a very passionate brewer, and I was thrilled to run into him at the annual Anchor Christmas party a few years ago, discovering that he’d joined the team at Anchor. Join me in wishing Scott a very happy birthday.
Scott being interviewed in 2010 for a segment on KCRA Channel 3 NBC television in Sacramento.
Today is the 50th birthday — the Big 5-O — of Daniel Del Grande, brewer and co-owner of Bison Brewing. I’ve known Dan a lot of years, since shortly after he bought Berkeley’s Bison Brewery in 1997. Unfortunately, I’d been hearing rumors that he’s closed Bison, but I ran into him last year and he assured me that’s not the case, and there is a new website up, so hopefully he’ll keep on brewing. He’s been leading the charge for organic beer and makes some of the best organic beers anywhere. He also teaches at the American Brewers Guild, and spoke at my SSU class, as well. Join me in wishing Dan a very happy birthday.
Dan at the 99 Bottles of Beer Symposium at the Hearst Museum in 2009.
Today is the birthday of Denise Jones, longtime brewer in the Bay Area. Until last year, Denise had started with a new brewery, Napa Point Brewing before it closed, but brewed for long stints at Moylan’s and Third Street Aleworks, among others. More recently she’s moved to Bamberg, Germany and is working with Weyermann. She’s a very talented brewer, and makes especially great stouts. Join me in wishing Denise a very happy birthday.
Today is the 35th birthday of Nicole Erny, a certified Master Cicerone and passionate beer lover, who used to work at The Trappist and as a “Beer Ambassador” at the CommonWealth Cafe & Public House, both in beautiful downtown Oakland. She also used to work with Ray Daniels’ Cicerone program, but recently left that position for her next adventure. Nicole and I almost worked together on a great-sounding beer project, but alas it fell apart, and she’s got plans afoot, and is working as a consultant, as well. She’s a great advocate for better beer and has more energy than any three people I know. Join me in wishing Nicole a very happy birthday.
A great shot for Nathan Smith and Nicole’s Beer School at The Trappist several years ago. (photo “borrowed” from Jon Weber’s Beer Obsessed, in the hopes he won’t mind.)
Today is the 59th birthday of Vic Kralj, who is the co-owner of The Bistro in Hayward, California. Celebrator publisher Tom Dalldorf used to own the Bistro, which was originally a wine bar that Tom re-invented for beer, and then Vic and Cynthia bought it from Tom (with one deadbeat in between) and set it on its present course. He added the IPA Festival, then championed Double IPA with a second festival, helping it get style recognition. The Double IPA Festival also became one of the anchors for SF Beer Week. He also does a Wood-Aged Beer Festival and something with fresh hops. Vic’s a great person who I’ve gotten to know pretty well, especially since he’s been on the Celebrator Tasting Panel since the early 2000s. Join me in wishing Vic a very happy birthday.
Vic and Dave Keene from the Toronado.
Today is the birthday of Phil Cutti, co-founder, president and brewmaster of Headlands Brewing in Marin County. Phil spent most of his adult life as an Exercise Physiologist and extreme athlete. Needing something to do to relax, he took up homebrewing, and then the homebrewing took him. In addition to doing the brewing at Southpaw BBQ & Southern Cooking, he’s been making the beer at Headlands since they opened. Join me in wishing Phil a very happy birthday.
The Headlands crew during their first trip to GABF in 2013. Photo stolen from Brian Stechschulte. Hopefully he’ll let it slide in the spirit of the holdays.
Today is the 52nd birthday of Craig Cauwels, who started brewing at Schooner’s in 2003, when his longtime friend Shawn Burns needed his help, and he continuing brewing there until after Burns sold the brewpub to a new owner. For a time, he was also brewing at E.J. Phair brewing, and even went back to brewing at Schooner’s part-time, splitting his time between the two East Bay breweries. More recently, Schooner’s has a new owner, who shut down the brewpub, but moved the equipment to a production space in Tracy, and is rebranding the brewery as Morgan Territory, where Craig doing all of the brewing. They even brought home their first medal from GABF two years ago, for a beer Craig made at Schooner’s but under the Morgan Territory name since the BA allowed them to enter under the new name even though they hadn’t opened yet, which is pretty cool. Of course, the brewery is now open and has a taproom you can visit, too, enjoy a beer and take home a growler. Originally a molecular biologist, Craig was running the core lab facility at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University when he gave it all up to become a professional brewer. And that’s certainly been good news for people who love great beer, because he’s a very talented brewer. Join me in wishing Craig a very happy birthday.