Rogue Brewmaster John Maier is stepping down after over 30 years crafting beer on the brew stand. He's the reason we have Dead Guy Ale, 7 Hop IPA, Hazelnut Brown Nectar and Old Crustacean Barleywine. And he famously originated Beard Beer with yeast from his own old growth beard. He'll be retiring this week — but not before we throw him a party at Rogue Eastside Pub & Pilot Brewery.
July 24, 2019 — Thirty years , 22,768 brews and 2,021 awards.
Those are just a few stats we can attribute to the one and only Brewmaster Rogue Ales & Spirits has ever had: John "More Hops" Maier. But it doesn't measure the impact John has had on all of us as Rogues. That can't be counted in numbers or expressed in words.
Later this week, John will retire. We'll throw him a party at Rogue Eastside Pub & Pilot Brewery, raise our glasses to him, tell our stories about him and wish him a wonderful, well-deserved summer off. And then some.
There's no doubt in anyone's mind that John deserves this. In his thirty-plus year career as a brewer, he's earned accolades, invented beer styles, made headlines and worked his butt off. He created one of the most iconic brews in craft beer with Dead Guy Ale. But he didn't stop there.
John defined what it meant to be Rogue for brewers. At a time when beers were pretty bland, John earned his nickname "More Hops" by adding as many hops to a brew as he could for more flavor. Sure, it sounds pretty standard these days but not so much back in the early days of craft beer. When he brewed Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale no one had even thought about brewing a beer that tasted like a pastry. Then he found a wild yeast in his beard (which he's had since the '70s) and crafted Beard Beer. He led the pack with pepper beers like Chipotle Ale and Sriracha Stout. And continued to make incredible standards, like Chocolate Stout, American Amber Ale, Brutal IPA and Hazelnut Brown Nectar, day in and day out.
John often shied away from the spotlight that he naturally attracted for his work. Even so, he would happily pose for photos at brew fests and sign bottles that his fans brought to him. We're so honored to have worked alongside this legend. But we're also humbled that we got to know the man — the guy that everyone agrees is kind, generous, humble and hardworking.
This Saturday, please join us in toasting John either in person at the party or on Instagram and Twitter. Tag @rogueales and #30yearsrogue — we'll share the heartfelt toast posts to our Instagram Story or Retweet them on Twitter.
So let's all raise our glass to John: we'll miss your daily presence and insights at the brewery but we know you won't be far away. We expect to see you come by the pub from time to time. Once a Rogue, always a Rogue. Cheers, John.