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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

James 'Beer-d' Award recipient

This following was said as part of a keynote speech at a Craft Brewers Conference in the mid 1990s:

Beer brings together the Apollonian and the Dionysian.

I was there; I was struck that anyone could make such a classical allusion at a beer conference.

Who was the speaker?

Fritz Maytag —owner of the Anchor Brewing Company, and 2008 recipient of a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1965 Fritz Maytag acquired the Anchor Brewing Company of San Francisco and became a pioneer of American microbrewing. Since then, he has not only preserved the tradition of Anchor Steam Beer, but he has also made Anchor a national brand without ever compromising his high standards. In the 1980s and 1990s, due in part to Maytag’s example, more than one thousand small breweries sprouted up all over the country. <...>

In 1993 Maytag launched the Anchor Distilling Company whose Old Potrero Rye Whiskey and Junipero Gin quickly became models for a burgeoning artisanal distilling movement in America and around the world.

<...> since the 1960s Maytag has steered his family’s Maytag Dairy Farms in Newton, Iowa. Maytag Blue cheese, produced since 1941, was a creation of Fritz’s father, and the company has been a leader in the American artisanal cheese renaissance. <...>

Maytag is also the owner of York Creek Vineyards in the Spring Mountain District above St. Helena, where he grows more than a dozen grape varieties, and last year celebrated his 39th harvest.<...>

And, he is a classical scholar.

Congratulations to you, Mr. Maytag.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards are a program of the non-profit James Beard Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate, nurture, and preserve America’s culinary heritage and diversity...

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