Top Menu

A Brew’s Who Of The Millennium

Remember last January when First We Feast posted a list of The 20 Most Influential Beers of All Time, inspiring Martyn Cornell, Mr. Zythophile, to counter with The REAL 20 most influential beers of all time?

More than 200 comments followed, and way toward the end somebody suggested, “Perhaps Martyn could start another list of the 20 most influential people!”

And he answered, “I am indeed considering that very thing.”

Every day I get up thinking, “Today will be the day.” Then I check Zythophile. I have learned to live with heartbreak.

Then today, while I was researching a pretty much unrelated story I bumped into the 1999 issue of American Brewer in which Greg Kitsock assembled such a list. “A Brew’s Who Of The Millennium: 25 Of The Most Significant Figures In Brewing Over The Last 1,000 Years” actually includes more than 50 names. He ended up with two lists of 25 (and in some cases had more than one name in a position), dividing them into B.J. and A.J. — Before Jack (McAuliffe) and After Jack. Kitsock explained in the introduction that the focus was on the profession of brewing. And when reading A.J. remember the list was compiled in 1999.

The top 25 B.J.
1) Louis Pasteur
2) Ferdinand P.A. Carre
3) Williams IV, Elector of Bavaria
4) Arthur Guinness
5) Adolphus Busch
6) Joseph Groll
7) Sir William Gladstone
8) George Hodgson
9) King Ludwig I
10 James Watt
11) Ralph Harwood
12) William Bass
13) Gerard Adriaan Heineken
14) Emil Hansen
15) Daniel Wheeler
16) Gabriel Sedlmayr the Younger and Anton Dreher
17) Jean Primus
18) Wayne Wheeler
19) Michael Combrune
20) Maximilian I
21) Jean De Clerck
22) Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier
23) Carl Joseph Napolean
24) Saint Hildegarde
25) Robert Burns

The Top 25 A.J.
1) Michael Jackson
2) Jim Koch
3) August Busch III
4) Bob Lenz
5) Henry King
6) Bert Grant
7) Michael Hardman, Graham Lees, Jim Makin and Bill Mellor
8) Charlie Papazian
9) Fritz Maytag
10) Paul Shipman
11) Paul Camusi and Ken Grossman
12) Bill Coors
13) Robert Uihlein
14) Jack McAuliffe
15) Candy Lightner
16) Dave Bruce
17) Charles Finkel
18) Rich Yuengling Jr.
19) Dave Rehr
20) Pierre Celis
21) Alan Bond
22) Joseph Owades and Karl Strauss
23) Alan Forage and Liam Byrne
24) John Mitchell
25) Bill Owens *

* For this one it seems best to include the explanation, since Owens owned American Brewer. “His Buffalo Bill’s Brewpub was the first establishment of its kind in the U.S. (a bar where beer is pumped directly from the serving tank to your glass). Owens has revived the old colonial style of pumpkin ale, and is publisher of American Brewer, a magazine about the business of beer that bridges the gap between knowledgeable consumer and professional brewer. Most important of all, his of-the-wall style adds some fun to an industry that takes itself too seriously much of the time.”

10 Responses to A Brew’s Who Of The Millennium

  1. Stan Hieronymus July 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    I guess I should be the first to complain. I think Ernest S. Salmon of Wye College in England should be on the B.J. list. The world of hops was totally different before he cross pollinated American and European hops.

  2. Ed July 12, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Good call on ES Salmon.

    Bill Owens was one of the people I got, I have a book by him from years back on how to build a brewery somewhere.

    Of all time/millennium lists seem a bit overblown to me as the information we have gets increasing vague if you go back more than a 200 years.

    My brewing hero is Horace Brown, a remarkable scientist who did much to bring brewing into the modern age:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.2050-0416.1916.tb02377.x/abstract

  3. Jeff Alworth July 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Instant reax: I’d throw Georges Lacambre on there as well, and probably Frank Boon, too (though I wouldn’t argue with the Van Roys). MJ and Celis are definitely Before Jack.

    I’ll have to give it more thought–though I’d prefer Martyn give it more thought. I pre-approve his message.

  4. Jeff Alworth July 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    One other thing. There are some people we’ll never really appreciate properly. The person or persons in Bremen who really pioneered the commercial use of hops as one example. There are also so many cases–more important in beer’s history–of collaboration. The emergence of styles almost never goes back to one person–although as I say that, the name Georg Schneider pops into my head as an example of one case where a single person can be fingered. (He saved a style, anyway.) And Elias Pichler at the Hofbrauhaus.

  5. Bailey July 12, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    We (Boak and I) have been pondering this lately.

    It will probably annoy some people to say it, but we think the influence of James Watt and Martin Dickie of Brewdog is just beginning to be felt and is already significant. There is something of a consensus among those in the industry we’ve spoken to that, love ’em or hate ’em, they’ve created a market for a certain type of beer (substitute your preferred term) among the under twenty-fives that simply wasn’t there before 2007.

    Even with a narrow focus on the UK, the chaps from Sierra Nevada more than earn their place on the second list: it’s getting to the point when we’re surprised when brewers/bar owners/writers *don’t* name SNPA as the ‘beer that really opened their eyes’.

    • Stan Hieronymus July 13, 2013 at 6:37 am #

      I think Ken Grossman would have to be placed much higher today. His behind-the-scenes impact on the increasing technical proficiency of (relatively) small breweries is immense.

  6. Pivní Filosof July 13, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    I don’t know if Josef Groll should be there, really. Let me explain: Groll had been hired by the owners of the brewery that would become Pilsner Urquell. He was asked to make a beer “the Bavarian way.” Any other brewer and if Evan Rail is right (and I think he is) the colour was more the result of the owners’ inventiveness than Groll’s skills. On the other hand, it is his name the one that everyone remembers (and that is mentioned by everyone at the brewery).

  7. Mike Kallenberger July 13, 2013 at 5:56 am #

    I’d be curious to hear more discussion on the inclusion of August Busch III, Bill Coors, and Robert Uihlein, given that the focus is on the profession of brewing. While all three were trained as brewers, I’m not sure how I see their influence in that regard (unless you count the negative influence of the Schlitz fiasco in the 1970s). They each had a major impact on the business of beer — but isn’t that another list?

    • Stan Hieronymus July 13, 2013 at 6:34 am #

      Agreed, Mike. There does seem to be a subtle shift in the list BJ and AJ – from brewing to business.

  8. Pete July 15, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Are you going to tell us more about these people? Are Wayne Wheeler and Daniel Wheeler related?

Powered by WordPress