Tomorrow we’re Celebrating Good Beer & Good Friends and we hope you join us!
In attendance will be a couple of our ‘friends’ who have been very influential in the craft beer world from the very beginning, Judy Ashworth and Julie Nickels!
Judy Ashworth has been described to me, by one of our customers, as THE lady in the craft beer world during the 1980’s. In 1983 she purchased Lyon’s Brewery of Sunol which was a ‘longneck Bud bar’. She was converted to craft beer by a local homebrewer, Bob Hufford, who also was the person who told her about an amazing startup in Chico, Sierra Nevada Brewery. With Sierra Nevada and Anchor as influences, Judy created the first all craft beer pub in the Bay area. Her pub had 19 handles and she even hosted a Farewell to Bud party where she threw out all the remaining kegs of Bud!
With ex-husband Bret, Julie Nickels helped shape the craft beer world we know today by launching the first ever ‘brewspaper’ known today as the Celebrator. First covering only California breweries it didn’t take long before out of state breweries contacted them for coverage. They also started doing European beer tours and the Smithsonian requested a copy of the first paper to feature beer in the US. Their contribution to the craft beer world can’t really be measured. Their little ‘rag’ brought all the micro-breweries together and informed beer lovers about beer events and where they could find their beers. Today, the Celebrator is a national magazine that truly celebrates craft beer!
How did Julie and Judy meet?? Julie, a Canadian, was in California on a beer sojourn when she ran into Judy, also on a brew crawl, at Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico. Judy suggested they visit her pub in Sunol and even invited her to stay at her house. And that as they say, was a start to a great friendship!
These two ladies have seen it all! From the very beginning of the movement, they’ve been at the top of the heap telling everyone about all the wonders that is craft beer. Both have met many of the movers and shakers of the industry and I’m sure we’d all agree, they are in that class too!
Judy describes the craft beer world as “most and foremost a FAMILY. A family that shares their knowledge, their resources and their dedication to ‘Real Beer’ – all styles.” We wholeheartedly agree with her!
We also agree with her when she says “. . . and we are so LUCKY”!!!