Thursday, December 28, 2017

Rest in Peace 2017 -- Thanks for all the beers

As I do each year, it's time to look back on those individuals and their significant contributions to the industry that we lost in 2017. Many thanks to additional feedback from Brian Yaeger, Tara Nurin, and Don Russell.

9/8/17, Tom Draper, 76, bicycle accident
  ~ Father and father-in-law to Mariah and Sam Calagione, Draper's passing was a sudden blow to the media world as well as the Calagione family. Sam referred to him as his "greatest business mentor" in a statement following the accident. [link to]

August '17, Trent Dolyniuk, cancer
  ~ A big personality and talented chef whose name Brian Yaeger passed along to me, Dolyniuk had a hand in Columbia County Brewing in St. Helens, Ore. so he, too, gets included here. [link to Portland Mercury and a profile that Yaeger wrote just prior to Dolyniuk's passing]

7/26/17, Tony Knipling, 63, heart attack
  ~ A major force behind craft beer over the last twenty years in Pittsburgh, Pa. and Vecenie Distributing. [several links here: link to his obituary; one from Chris Dilla of Bocktown link to Bocktown Beer & Grill; another from Bob Batz at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; and my piece that was published in Ale Street News]

4/28/17, Curt Plants, 33, blood infection
  ~ Trained in both brewing school and under John Maier at Rogue, Plants opened GoodLife Brewing in Bend, Ore. in 2011. His sudden loss was a shock to his family and the beer community. His Sweet As! Pacific Ale won a gold medal at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival. [link to The Bend Bulletin]

3/19/17, Pierre Zuber, undisclosed
  ~ Information was difficult to come by regarding Pierre's passing. A sad loss for the Belgian beer drinking community. My hope is that if you'd been to Brussels prior to his passing, you had a chance to meet and drink with this incredibly friendly, hospitable, and knowledgable personality who ran the Délices et Caprices beer shop. [link to a profile of Zuber at Brussels Life]

3/5/17, Zach Ziegler, 32, undisclosed
  ~ A founding partner in Molly Pitcher Brewing Company, Ziegler helped bring better beer at this still growing brewery in downtown Carlisle, Pa. [link to The Sentinel's website]

March '17, Ben Flerchinger, undisclosed
  ~ A long time brewer at Lucky Lab in Portland, Ore., Ben passed unexpectedly in March after a brief stay in the hospital. More recently he spent time at Gigantic Brewing and across the Columbia River in Washougal, Wash. at 54’40° Brewing. He was a significant presence on the Portland-area brewing scene including the Lucky Lab Barleywine Festival, Cheers to Belgian Beers Festival, and BenFest. [link to a video tribute at Lucky Lab's website]

2/4/17, Wajih Abed, 71, cancer
  ~ Abed and Fergus Carey were the two that opened and grew Fergie's Pub into one of Philadelphia's most must-visit bars over the last 22 years. [link to and link to Philadelphia Weekly and a column by Don Russell]

If you care to look back on the previous ten years that I've been doing this year-end wrap, consult the links here for: 2016, 2015,  2014,  2013,  2012,  2011,  2010,  2009,  2008,  and 2007.

As in past years, I'll repeat a soothing message: Be still sad heart and cease repining; Behind the clouds the sun is shining, Thy fate is the common fate of all, Into each life a little rain must fall, Some days must be dark and dreary. ~ Longfellow

© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2016. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at

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