(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser. Since this is a long post, if you are seeing it through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)
As we move into autumn, my hopes of returning to full-fledged inside Beerchasing are temporarily delayed although my first visit to the new Steeplejack Brewing’s on NE Broadway a few weeks ago convinced me I need to return in the future.
My friend, John Limb, just retired Publisher of the Catholic Catholic Press and I had lunch there and marveled at what co-owners Brody Day and Dustin Harder had accomplished to save this wonderful 112-year-old historic church (which might have otherwise been developed into condominiums) and to refurbish and restore it into a great brewery and brewpub.
Since I have not a whit of architectural or interior design expertise or comprehension, I will not attempt to give any description other than to say that this church building, originally dedicated In 1909 by then President of the United States, William Howard Taft, as the First Universalist Church of Good Tidings, was breathtaking and impressive.
The following article from the July 21st New School Beer and Cider article goes into more detail. (see link) I have been impressed in two phone conversations with Brody’s upbeat, but modest persona – plus his vision including their plans for a second facility in Hillsboro outside Portland, which is now in the planning stages.
In fact on their website, the owners – college buddies at the University of California at Santa Cruz, omit any reference to their own impressive entrepreneurial experience and talk strictly about the excellent brewing, culinary and management staff they have assembled.
Now the menu appears to be somewhat limited at this point, but the Smash Burger and fries we had were excellent and the beer befitting of the experience of the two female Brewmasters, who are both industry veterans. Anna Buxton was working on a batch on their impressive equipment a few yards from our table. (* external photo attribution at end of post.)
I had a pint of the Hermit Kolsch, (5.2 ABV), a lemony, fermented ale with a nice taste and John had the Gravity IPA, for which there was no information on their website. If these are representative, Steeplejack will not only become known for its architecture, but its suds!
I have been remiss in 2021 in publishing one of my favorite features of this blog – the Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter (BOQ) features an individual or group that may or may not have anything to do with bars or beers, but has made a contribution to society and has a good story.
While past “honorees” have included war heroes, athletes, academicians, authors and media personalities – most of whom I’ve know personally, the only recognition bestowed this year was in another one of my posts on lawyers published in May based on my forty years working with these characters: https://thebeerchaser.com/category/beerchaser-of-the-month-or-quarter/
That will change in the near future, but here’s an update on five past BOQ’s I’ve featured.
Dr. Sam Holloway
Those of you who bemoan the trend of the corporate brewery behemoths to acquire or absorb independent craft breweries will be encouraged to learn that Sam Holloway, who co-founded and is the President of Crafting a Strategy, entered a new partnership in August. He is also an award-winning professor in the Pamplin School of Business at the University of Portland:
UniteCraft Corporation, a collaboration of three brewing industry veterans, launched UniteCraft.com. This new online platform of web based applications enables the highly fragmented craft beer industry to enjoy the economic benefits previously only experienced by large breweries and brewery collectives.
(UniteCraft) has partnered with Sam Holloway to level the playing field against “Big Beer”. UniteCraft’s mission is to use its proprietary technology to organize the collective power of independent craft breweries, to expand market opportunities for any brewery, and to help small breweries create healthier businesses.”
Jay Waldron (and Shane)
I featured my former colleague at the Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt law firm, Jay Waldron, as my BOQ in March 2016. https://thebeerchaser.com/2016/03/29/jay-waldron-rugger-rafter-rider-and-lawyer-beerchaser-of-the-quarter/
It was to convey not only his public service contributions including Chair of the Oregon Health Sciences University Board, President of the Port of Portland and Chair of Metro’s Transportation Committee or his accomplishments as a trial lawyer, but his athletic achievements.
These include induction into the US Rugby Hall of Fame in 2017. Oh yeah, then there’s his rafting adventures on the Upper Yangtze and his motorcycle racing and treks. As pointed out in a January 2021 article on NBC Northwest in January by another BOQ, Dwight (The Godfather) Jaynes:
“But (Jay) is not the most famous person in the family these days — at least since last week, when his son, Shane, was named offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks……
After growing up on five acres in the family log home in Carver, Shane played football at LaSalle High School, Phillips Academy Andover and Tufts University in Massachusetts. After his playing career as a tight end and long-snapper at Tufts, he caught on as an operations intern with the New England Patriots, launching a career that carried him all the way to the Seahawks
…..with stops at Notre Dame, New England (again), U-Mass, the Washington Football team, Eventually he was hired by the Rams as a tight ends coach, then became passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach under head coach Sean McVay.”
As an aggressive litigator, it would not be surprising if Jay, based on his rugby exploits, tried to persuade Shane to toughen up his players by eliminating helmets and implementing a “scrum-type” offensive strategy. Fortunately, his son will be getting his direction from Seahawk Head Coach Pete Carroll.
Former Oregonian long-time history columnist, John Terry was one of my first BOQ’s. Many of us looked forward to his superb and interesting weekly accounts of Portland’s fascinating and colorful heritage and were aghast when first, the Oregonian reduced it to a monthly gig and followed by discontinuing it permanently.
As another BOQ, Portland attorney, Jim Westwood lamented:
“When The Sunday Oregonian discontinued John Terry’s weekly articles on Oregon history, I sighed and told myself I’d get used to turning to something else first thing every Sunday morning. How wrong I was. How long has it been now, a couple of months? It’s an eternity. I miss John Terry’s lively, superbly researched articles.
I miss them desperately. I’m frustrated and angry that The Oregonian could have taken them away without considering making them at least a monthly feature. Sunday will never be the same, and it hit me again this morning…..The Oregonian (should) resurrect John Terry and his wonderful works on the history of our state and its people.”
I sought John’s advice in 2012, shortly after I started this blog for resources on historic bars in Portland. In his quiet and unassuming manner, he gave me a wealth of advice. This lunch was followed by a Beerchasing event with the aforementioned Jim Westwood at the legendary Goose Hollow Inn (reviewed 1n 2012) owned by Portland’s former and most charismatic Mayor, Bud Clark.
Mayor Clark spent ninety minutes enthralling us with stories ranging from the political campaign in which he pulled off a stunning upset of the incumbent, to the unbelievable tale of how what was supposed to be a photo highlighting a campaign to combat venereal disease (“Zap the Clap”), became an internationally famous poster which still hangs in the Smithsonian Institute entitled (as will be obvious from the photo below) “Expose Yourself to Art!”
“Zap the Clap didn’t “fly”…….
We were saddened to hear that John passed away unexpectedly after a short hospitalization on March 8th. His legacy will live on.
Jack and Jan McGowan
This dynamic couple whose contributions to Oregon’s environmental health and public awareness, spanned eighteen years as founders and co-directors of SOLV (Stop Oregon Littering and Vandalism.) (The non-profit dropped the words from its name to just the acronym in 1998 and added the E in 2012 to reflect its expanded mission in the community and environment.)
When I interviewed them in 2020 at their ranch in Sisters, Oregon, Jack smiled when he stated, “When I started SOLV had no staff, no office, no phone, 100 sheets of letterhead and $12,000 in a checking account.” The office for the first five yeas, was in the family room of their house in Helvetia.
And from that staff of one and a budget of $12,000 to the time of their retirement in 2008 (Jan still has a thriving non-profit consulting firm) , it grew to a staff of twenty-six (now 32) and a budget of $2.6 million and tens of thousands of volunteers.
September 11, 2021 is the twentieth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as summarized in this excerpt from History.com:
“On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States.
Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defined the presidency of George W. Bush.”
So how does the anniversary of this catastrophe relate to Jack McGowan and his actions along with almost 1,000 intrepid Oregonians about one month after the attack?
And in our current time of a pandemic, multiple crises ranging from wildfires to tropical storms and national controversies that have polarized our country, how can the actions of this group in 2011 be an example of attitudes and actions which can help heal the divide. Read about the remarkable Oregon Flight for Freedom:
The following is an excerpt from Thebeerchaser.com post on Jack and Jan McGowan.
“In 2001, we were all stunned by the attack on the Twin Towers in New York City. But Jack, having grown up there (Jackson Heights) said, ‘When I saw the Towers go down, it affected me viscerally.’
Portland travel agency icon, Sho Dozono, his wife Loen, the late Commissioner Nick Fish and Oregon Congressman David Wu, John Ray along with Portland influencers, Len Bergstein and Elaine Franklin collectively began orchestrating the concept in the lobby of KGW television studios shortly after the attack on NYC.
At the time, Jack was co-hosting the local part of a national broadcast and pledge drive for the rescue workers. Elaine Franklin originated the name “Flight for Freedom” and Loen Dozono came up with the vision of a “Reverse Oregon Wagon Train” – only by air.
When New York City was struggling with the aftermath and people were avoiding airline flights as being too hazardous, they decided let’s get a group of Oregonians and “Fly to New York City, look terrorism in the face and not blink!” *12
Jack and John Ray went three days early as an advance party to pave the way for the official flight, which included Oregon dignitaries including Mayor Vera Katz.
The unique group of about 500 flew into Manhattan where the famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel was virtually empty. (Delta Airlines gave a great deal on cost of the flight.) Few people were going to Manhattan unless they absolutely had to – especially tourists.
The Oregonians filled the hotel – the only cost was for the room tax. All other lodging expense was gladly absorbed by hotel management. The Flight was covered by national and international print and broadcast media. And according to Jack:
‘New York City went crazy! Cops hugged us. We went to a restaurant and when the maitre’d announced that we were the group from Oregon, we got a standing ovation and multiple parties debated as to whom would pick up the bill for the meal.
We met with Rudy Guliani and Governor Pataki and had appearances on Good Morning America and Today.'”
This post is already too long and I won’t include one of the best Jack McGowan stories I’ve heard – and there are many – (It brought tears to my eyes when he told it.)
The picture above shows when Jack and several of the Oregon delegation rang the traditional opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange with Richard (Richie) Grasso the President of the New York Stock Exchange in their midst. (Check this link so you don’t miss it….)
And in Closing……
Stay safe, get vaccinated, wear a mask, help your neighbor, patronize your local restaurants, bars and breweries – even if it’s eating outside or getting take-out and pray for our health-care workers, emergency responders and teachers.
External Photo Attribution
*1-3 Steeplejack Brewing Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/SteeplejackBeer/photos)
*4-6 Crafting a Strategy Website (https://craftingastrategy.com/users/sam-holloway) and Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/craftingastrategy)
*7-8 Shane Waldron Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/shane.waldron.14/photos)
*9 Oregon Business Magazine – December 2003 Issue https://www.oregonbusiness.com/component/search/? searchword
*10 SOLVE Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/SOLVEOregon/photos/?ref=page_internal)
*11 Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:North_face_south_tower_
(This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Author: Robert on Flickr
13-16 Oregon Flight for Freedom Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/Flight-For-Freedom-191666124219332/photos
*17 Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Syringe2.jpg)
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Gosh, this one covered a lot of territory and the photo of 9/11 just stopped my heart. Back in the 1980s, my office in Manhattan was within walking distance. Of course, I was back in Oregon for 9/11, but still…I did smile when I saw Len Bergstein’s name. He wouldn’t remember me, but I took lessons from him when I was tasked with early work for PSU’s alumni organization. He was a kind of adviser to the committee as I recall, in his big ole cowboy hat. He wasn’t thrilled when I used the lessons to defeat him on a particularly critical vote. I believe his words were something like, “You’re a quick study.” And darned if he wasn’t right!
Thanks again, Don, for a wonderfully informative and nostalgic ride.
Molly, the JazzCookie
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Gosh, I forgot that you worked part of your amazing career in Manhattan. And yes, Len, who I worked with for many years in City Club of Portland, is one of the most savvy and accurate political analysts and commentators around. Thanks for the comment.
How unique to convert a church into a brewery! Thanks for sharing all these breweries… when I make it back to the west coast one day, I will have a long list of places to choose from!
Good to see you’re still getting out and about. Same here, hence my absence from the blogging scene. I went to the church brewery in Pittsburgh ages ago and when I was in NJ, there was one that was turned into a nightclub! haha
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Nice to hear from you, Rich and I would love to raise a mug with you at some point at Steeplejack.
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Having a problem accessing WordPress.com now. I sometimes manage to get to it but can never remember how. It’s certainly not as seamless as it once was. 😦