Don Younger, of Portland's Horse Brass Pub, passed away last night.
Though I've never met Don Younger, been to his pub, nor visited Portland, Oregon (one of my beer shortcomings), whenever a presence like his is lost, we all feel it. I've read of Don through the years and seen interviews with him. I'd always hoped the day would come when I'd be visiting Portland and get a chance to meet the man who helped create the fabric of the Portland Beer Scene and continue it thirty years on. For those of you who have, I'm sure you have special stories to share.
As much as it takes brewers to make the beer that fuels the industry, it takes publicans like Younger who help make it accessible to the masses. Hopefully, you are all fortunate enough to have your own Don Younger manning the taps in your neighborhood. We, like Portland, would all be better off if we did.
Cheers to Don's life and may he rest in peace. Observations also by Pete Brown, OregonLive.com, via a BeerAdvocate forum posting, and earlier information from Jay Brooks. And, for additional reference, Imbibe Magazine has a nice profile of Don Younger on their site.