Today is also the birthday of Tyler King, who was the senior director of brewing operations, and employee #1, at The Bruery in Southern California. I first met Tyler at the Boonville Beer Festival several years ago although Patrick must have kept him locked up in the Bruery making great beer, because I didn’t run into him very often after that. At the beginning of 2015, he left to open his own brewery, and spent some time consulting and brewing for the Congregation Ale House and also Iron Triangle Brewing. His new place, Brewery Rex, opened in 2016. Join me in wishing Tyler a very happy birthday.
Today is around the 60th birthday of Greg Koch, though it’s not actually his birthday today. I mean, it’s possible it is but the odds are against it. I tried to get it out of him, but I still don’t know the actual date, and I’m only guessing at the year. So because I love celebrating everybody’s birthdays, this will be Greg’s until I get a better date. Greg started at Ohio State, but moved westward to pursue a career in music, and ended up starting a business renting rehearsal space for musicians, which is where he met his partner in the beer business, Steve Wagner. Greg, of course, is the co-founder of Stone Brewing Co. of San Diego, though specifically Escondido for the production brewery, at least. I first met Greg when the original brewery was in San Marcos and we’ve always gotten along quite well and become good friends over the years. Join me in wishing Greg a maybe very happy birthday, though the maybe part is simply because this is either his birthday or unbirthday. Either way, cheers!
Today is the 37th birthday of Kushal Hall, former Director of Brewing Operations for Speakeasy Ales & Lagers. Kushal had been brewing at Speakeasy since 2007, but left in May of 2017 to open his own space in Southern California. The new brewery is called Common Space Brewing and is located in Hawthorne. While Kushal studied photography at UC Santa Cruz, I think we can all agree the world is a better place since he became a brewer. A terrific brewer and person, please join me in wishing Kushal a very happy birthday.
[Note: last two photos purloined from Facebook.]
Today is Tomme Arthur’s 48th birthday. Tomme is Director of Brewery Operations for Port Brewing and the Lost Abbey. One of the established stars of the San Diego brewing scene, Tomme is justly famous for his terrific beers, like his Cuvee de Tomme, the Red Poppy, the Angel’s Share and the Track series. Plus, he introduced washoes to the brewing community. He’s also one of my favorite people to judge at GABF with. Join me in wishing Tomme a very happy birthday.
After the Five Guys and a Barrel Beer Dinner, a toast was offered with Isabelle Proximus, the Collaborative Sour Ale made by blending beer and done by the five of them. Top row: Adam Avery, Rob Tod, Bruce Paton and Sam Calagione. Bottom row: Tomme and Vinnie Cilurzo.
Today is the 53rd birthday of Yuseff Cherney, co-founder, former COO and head brewer of Ballast Point Brewing in San Diego. Although not too long after selling Ballast Point in later 2015 to Constellation Brands, Yuseff left the brewery, in July of 2016. For a time, he was focusing his energy on their rebranded spirits division, called Cutwater Spirits, although more recently that was sold, as well. I used to run into Yusseff in the Bay Area or at GABF, but I’m not sure we’ll see him as much in the beer world. He’s a great person and a terrific brewer. Join me in wishing Yusseff a very happy birthday.
Today is the 51st birthday of Steve Gonzalez, who is the Senior Manager of Brewing and Innovation for Stone Brewing. Gonzalez started in the beer world with Miller, and was briefly with Gallo Winery before joining Stone a little over eight years ago. I not sure when I first met him, but it feels like it’s been a while now. Most recently, I saw him at the grand opening to Stone’s new Napa location a few years back. Join me in wishing Steve a very happy birthday.
Steve with Mitch Steele, Matt Brynildsohn and Shaun O’Sullivan.
[Note: Last two purloined from Facebook.]
Today is the birthday of David Zamborski, better known to the brewing world as simply “Zambo.” He used to brew for BJs in Southern California but then number of years ago moved to San Francisco to take over the brewpub operations at 21st Amendment, where he spent several years. and later he moved to Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, where he was the Director of Brewing. Wanting to get back to his brewpub roots, Zambo was until recently the brewmaster and Santa Barbara Brewing, and since we were there on vacation a few years ago, stopped in for a few pints and to hang out. Zambo’s doing great things there, he’s a terrific brewer, and it shows it what he’s making there. I just learned today that he’s moved n to an L.A. brewery but will need to find out which one. Join me wishing Zambo a very happy birthday.
At the Anchor Christmas Party a few years ago: Zambo, Rich Rosen (Pi Bar, Chenery Park), Jen Garris (Pi Bar), my wife Sarah, Lloyd Knight (21A), Dave Suurballe (everywhere), James Renfrew (formerly with Potrero Hill Brewing) and Shaun O’Sullivan (21A).
Today is the 44th birthday of Julian Shrago, brewmaster at the Beachwood BBQ & Brewery in Long Beach, California. I can’t remember when I first ran into Julian, probably either one of the early Firestone Walker Invitational Festivals or possibly out at GABF, where in 2013, he won Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year and the following year, won big again as Large Brewpub of the Year. Julian is a great brewer and made his mark very quickly after turning pro in 2011. I visited the brewery a couple of years ago, and it really is one of the best. Join me in wishing Julian a very happy birthday.
[Note: Middle three photos purloined from Facebook.]
Today is the 41st birthday of Patrick Rue, founder of The Bruery in Orange County, California. I first became aware of Patrick when he started writing his blog about the travails of opening a brewery. We began corresponding, becoming friends and eventually meeting in person. I’ve since written several articles about Patrick and the Bruery as he’s become very successful in a very short period of time. More recently, he and his family moved to Napa, where he’s opened a winery, Erosion, to which they’ve added a beer hall and started brewing, as well. Join me in wishing Patrick a very happy birthday.
Patrick with then assistant brewer Travis Smith (who recently opened his own place, Societe Brewing) at GABF in 2009.
Today is also the 59th birthday of William Sysak, better known to the beer community as Dr. Bill. Dr. Bill’s massive tastings are the stuff of legends, and he later transported them — albeit on a smaller scale — to working at Stone Brewing’s World Bistro & Gardens. He has impeccable taste, be it in beer, wine, whiskey, cigars, what have you, and is one of the most fun people to taste with. He was working with Stone Brewing for a time, but more recently he started his own brewery, co-founding Wild Barrel Brewing, in San Marcos, California, which opened a few years ago. Join me in wishing Bill a very happy birthday.