By Gail Oberst
It would be just like Jack Joyce to show up at his own memorial celebrations and laugh at our gullibility. “So what?” he’d say. “I just wanted you all to rethink the definition of death.”
But maybe this is just wishful thinking from a person who wishes he had not walked on so soon. June 6 patrons, friends and family raised a glass to the man who founded Rogue Ales. Born in Eugene, he died May 27 at the age of 71 in Honolulu, Hawaii. His wife, Joan, his son, Brett, his daughter, Anna Joyce, two grandchildren and his sisters Sandra Nelson and Marilyn Hyncik survive him.
Brett has been managing the business for several years. His daughter is the solicitor general for the State of Oregon.
Joan was raised on Oahu, so the Joyces lived there part-time. “I like it over there. It’s warm,” Jack had said.
Jack Joyce’s influence extended far beyond the boundaries of his breweries and pubs. By 1988 (at age 46) when he started the original Rogue River Brewing Co. in Ashland, he’d already had a notable career as an attorney and a Nike executive. With partners, he expanded his Rogue brewery and pub in 1989 to Newport’s waterfront, finally consolidating headquarters in a boat repair shop on the south side of Yaquina Bay, where all official Rogue beers are brewed. Rogue now has 12 “meeting halls” in Oregon, Washington and California, two farms and a few other properties. Rogue beers can be found nationwide and in several foreign countries.
Stories about Jack have now officially ascended to legend.
But it was his management style – both feared and beloved – that attracted my son to a brief employment with Rogue as he was exploring careers in Oregon’s beer industry.
“He would personally train everyone who came into Rogue, even the bartenders. He would even bring in his old pals from Nike and Adidas to teach us about what real customer service looked like,” Will said. Will helped start up Rogue’s Independence Farm pub in 2011-12, before he developed plans for this publication.
“He was a hard guy to work for, sometimes refusing to let us eat breakfast if we were late for a meeting. But he would always send you a gift on Christmas, and if you were ever in a bad place, he would get you anything you needed to help you recover. One time one of his managers had a death in the family. He took all her shifts so she could take as much time as she needed to help her out,” Will said.
Throughout his life as head Rogue, Jack Joyce attributed his success to John Maier, who has been Rogue’s head brewer for 25 years, insisting that Maier join him as the Grand Marshal leading the Oregon Brewers Festival parade this month in Portland. Maier, it turns out, will lead it without his late boss.
At a celebration of his life in Newport June 6, Rogue staff prepared an eight-minute video, which included many of his revealing “Joyce-isms.” The entire video is on Rogue’s Facebook page. A few of my favorites are listed here:
“I was born ... not on the wrong side of the tracks. I was born on the tracks.”
“I hate rich people, even though I am one.”
“Keep the business people out of product development.”
“We’re Newport-fucking Oregon. Do you want to be part of our adventure?”
“Good things take time; great things do not.”
“If at first you do succeed, try something harder.”
“We prefer to hire the hard-core unemployable.”
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity. Clarity is hard to get used to.”
“Some drink at the fountain of knowledge: others just gargle.”
“You’ll get further by accepting criticism than rejecting it.”
“How did we kick their ass, other than the fact that I’m a genius?”
By Alethea Smartt LaRowe
Who can create the healthiest beer? That was the challenge presented to 11 Oregon brewers by Upstream Public Health for their 10th anniversary fundraising event in June.
The blind tasting took place at the Leftbank Annex in northeast Portland. Over 150 people turned out to help raise money for the nonprofit, which promotes policies to improve the health of all Oregonians.
When asked how they chose the theme for this event, Upstream’s co-founder Raquel Luz Bournhonesque referenced a popular television program, The Daily Show: “Jon Stewart is a brilliant satirist who talks about serious issues and makes people laugh. We’re a nonprofit that does serious work but everyone still needs to have fun. A lot of our work centers on nutrition and Portland is a beer-loving town, so the ‘Search for the Healthiest Beer’ is a fun vehicle to expand awareness of Upstream and to raise money. We gave a lot of latitude to the breweries to be serious or playful with this theme.”
Each participant took an entertaining approach to describing the beer. Breakside Brewery referred to their Guayasa Hibiscus Sour Ale as a “cornucopia of healthfulness,” a term which could also be used to describe many of the ingredients used in the featured beers: “high protein wheat malt;” “Ecuadorian guayusa tea leaves, which are full of antioxidants;” “pumpkin, which is known for its high levels of vitamin A, beta carotene, fiber and potassium;” “pomegranate, which contains an abundance of vitamins C and K;” goji berries, which are loaded with iron, vitamin C, healthy amino acids and 21 trace minerals;” plus “polyphenols, an antioxidant found in hops that lowers cholesterol and fights cancer;” and “xanthohumol, which is found in hops and inhibits cancer-causing enzymes.” So what exactly is a healthy beer? Josh Grgas, head of Sales & Distribution for The Commons Brewery in Portland, defined a healthy beer as “one that’s consumed in moderation. It should be produced in an ethical manner with clean ingredients and enjoyed in a pleasant environment with friends and family. It’s really more about the context and attitude than anything.” Of course, a healthy beer should also taste good, so it’s entirely appropriate that The Commons’ ‘Bien Etre’ was declared the winner of the blind tasting. The beer is a blend of Fleur de Blanc, a white farmhouse ale, with rose, elderflowers and Townshend’s Brew Dr. Nutritonic Kombucha. After the event it was featured on tap at Beer Mongers, Wilder Bar Cafe, Belmont Station, and Green Zebra Grocery, all in Portland. The runner-up, Cancellation Ale, was brewed by James Neumeister, founder and owner of the first dedicated gluten-free brewery in Portland, Harvester Brewing. James describes the ale, which contains milk thistle, hibiscus, lemon juice, goji berries, dandelion root and burdock root, as an ongoing experiment in making a beer with health benefits. “I pick a lot of wild mushrooms so that’s why I know about the medicinal properties of milk thistle (as a liver detoxifier that is used in emergency rooms to block liver damage from mushroom poisoning). And hibiscus flowers are traditionally used in Egypt to combat dehydration.”
Upstream enlisted long-time beer writer for The Oregonian, John Foyston, and Charlie Herrin, star of The Beer Traveler television show to sit on the panel of five judges. In keeping with the lighthearted nature of the event, their purpose was more for comedic relief than to provide professional criticism of the beers.
As event MC, Sasha Summer Cousineau stated “If there are two things I value in life they are health and beer.” Upstream successfully paired the two together on this special evening, raising $43,000. Drinking beer for a good cause - now that’s something everyone can support!
To donate to or volunteer for Upstream, visit the website, www.upstreampublichealth.org/donate.
Oregon's Brewers are Bringing Home the Bling
By Gail Oberst
If you had any doubts that Oregon beer is the greatest, results of the World Beer Cup Awards presented at the Craft Brewers Conference results last month should have put them to rest. For its beers and brewers, Oregon won 17 medals and a Champion Brewery and Brewmaster award in the Small Brewing Company category. Nine of the medals were gold, tying with California for the most coveted bling.
Getting one of these awards is no small feat: the biennial international contest drew 4,754 entries from 58 countries. Several of Oregon’s breweries won multiple awards and three of the beers entered – Bend Brewing’s Ching Ching, Widmer’s Hefeweizen and Pelican’s Kiwanda Cream Ale – also were winners in 2012. And – to dispel the urban myth that all good beer comes from Portland – 11 of the 17 Oregon awards went to non-Portland breweries. Counting Hood River, five of those rural breweries were from east of the Cascades. Portlanders: this is your call to hit the road. More delicious Oregon beer awaits you just beyond your borders.
Still basking in its Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year award from the Great American Brew Festival (GABF), Pelican Brewery’s Darron Welch and Steve Panos earned bragging rights to the title “World Beer Cup Champion Brewery and Brewmaster” in the Small Brewing Company category. This is the third time Pelican has won the World Beer Cup award. Way to represent, Pelican.
“We’re very proud of our team and the awards they brought home,” said company officials.
Old Town Brewing doubled its anniversary celebration April 15 when it heard about its two medals — not the first for the company that has been brewing since 2008. The company’s pizza restaurant was also celebrating its 40th anniversary in business.
Little Chetco Brewing in Brookings turned one year old in April with a World Beer Cup medal in its hands. “It’s still sinking in,” said Michael Frederick, brewer. The brewery doesn’t have its own taproom … yet. Its beers are available at Vista Pub, 1009 Chetco Ave., Brookings.
Exclamation marks flew like foam across the web-osphere after the awards were handed out April 11. “Raise the Flag!” said Pete Ricks of Beer Valley in Ontario, referring to its gold-winning Black Flag Imperial Stout. Weighing in at 11% ABV, Black Flag was Beer Valley’s first beer, first brewed in 2007. Proving his GABF gold medals were no fluke, Tyler Brown of Barley Brown’s won gold for yet another beer: Turmoil, an American black IPA.
The Special Collections & Archives Research Center at Oregon State University Libraries & Press established the Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives (OHBA) in 2013 to collect and provide access to records related to Oregon’s hops and craft brewing industries. As the first archive in the United States dedicated to hops and beer, OHBA will bring together a wealth of materials that will enable people to study and appreciate these movements.
At 6:30 p.m. March 28, we’re hosting “Tap into History,” an event at the Mission Theater, 1624 N.W. Glisan St. in Portland to introduce OHBA to our diverse audience. We’ll bring together a panel for a public talk about brewing history in Oregon. I’ll be talking about the project and its impact. Peter Kopp, agricultural historian, will talk about his use of archival materials and the relevance for researchers. John Foyston, an Oregonian writer since 1987, will talk about his work documenting the Oregon beer scene. Irene Firmat, CEO and Co-Founder of Full Sail Brewing Company, will talk about her work as a female brewing pioneer. Daniel Sharp, PhD student in the OSU College of Agriculture’s Fermentation Science program, will talk about his research and the OSU program.
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