The Papa Birds Have Left the Nest

It’s official: The papa birds have left the nest. For the next few weeks, our fearless leaders Greg Koch, Steve Wagner, and Mitch Steele will be kicking ass all across the European continent brewing amazing beer with fellow craft brewers, schmoozing at various beer events, and fervidly spreading the Arrogance. Sure, the beer will still flow and things will pretty much be the same around here, but we can’t help feel that brief exhilaration we used to get as kids when the teacher stepped out into the hall. I’m dodging spitballs as I type…

So what exactly will our beloved beer patriarchs be up to in the Old World? Well, Greg left on Sunday to attend the TEDGlobal 2009 conference at Hogwarts…err…Oxford, England. From there he’ll be heading to Norway on July 27th, where he’ll be joined by Steve and Mitch to brew the final iteration of Jolly Pumpkin/Nøgne-Ø/Stone Special Holiday Ale with Kjetil Jikiun at Nøgne-Ø (check out Greg’s last visit to Norway). The second, “funkier” iteration was brewed back in April with Ron Jeffries at Jolly Pumpkin, and this version is sure to be equally unique (Steve is actually bringing the San Diegan White Sage with him for the brew).

Remember this awesome graphic, well now it's July and we're on the third & final stop - Nøgne-ø in Norway

Remember this awesome graphic? Well now we're on the 3rd & final stop. Nøgne-Ø, here we come...

The three Stone beer diplomats will then be off to Scotland on July 30th to brew a new collaboration beer with our friends James Watt and Martin Dickie at BrewDog. They’re not sure exactly what they’re going to brew there, but one thing’s certain—the beer will be aged in Scotch Whiskey barrels, hand selected by the Stone crew and their brewing brethren at BrewDog. Steve will then depart the day after brewing, and Greg and Mitch will head off to London to appear at a slew of Stone events, as well as attend the Great British Beer Festival. For a full run-down of where they’ll be, check out our UK Stone Events google calendar (scroll to August). Event details may change, so call ahead before attending!

We wish Greg, Steve, and Mitch a safe, and most importantly, FREAKIN’ AWESOME, inter-continental beer adventure. It’ll be business as usual until they get back, but watch out for paper airplanes.

-Matt Steele

Greg’s CBC Keynote Address Posted on

Thanks to passionate craft beer lovers everywhere, I Am A Craft Brewer took on more of a life online than it did at the CBC. To borrow a trite social media buzzword, it went “viral.” Within four hours of being posted on Vimeo it was viewed 1,500 times, and it sailed past 20,000 views just five days later. The video is currently hovering around a respectable 33,700 views.

While the video stands alone as a testament to the camaraderie and integrity of the craft brewing industry, it was actually shown as the introduction to Greg’s keynote speech at the 2009 Craft Brewers Conference in Boston, titled “Be Remarkable: Collaboration Ethics Camaraderie Passion.” Famed beer writer Harry Schuhmacher said “It was the best speech I have ever seen,” and while it isn’t perfect, Greg’s inspirational keynote successfully illuminates the many strengths of the craft brewing industry and demonstrates that “if we don’t screw it up,” craft brewing stands poised to thrive for many years to come.

Check out Greg's Keynote Address at

Click above to check out Greg's Keynote Address at

You can see Greg’s keynote speech, complete with an impromptu musical performance with craft beer compatriots (perhaps they should stick to beer), at Pour yourself a tall glass and settle into a comfy chair because Greg had a lot on his mind (the speech clocks in at 46 minutes). You can also find two different versions of I Am A Craft Brewer on, as well as a bevy of quotes from bloggers and media types raving about the video and Greg’s keynote, and a short guide on how to share the video with as many people as possible to keep the movement rolling. Remember, we’re all craft beer crusaders, and it’s our job to spread the word about the spirit and integrity of the industry. Onward craft beer enthusiasts!

-Matt Steele