Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Sad news

By asoglin
Friday, February 20th, 2009 at 7:53 am in what's on tap.

Our dear friend and longtime reporter Bill Brand passed away early this morning at S.F. General Hospital.

A brief obituary has been posted on the Oakland Tribune.

More will be added later about memorial services and the life of this wonderful man.

There is a guestbook with the story for those who would like to leave a message.

SAN FRANCISCO — William Brand, a longtime reporter for the Oakland Tribune, died early Friday as a result of injuries suffered in a Muni train incident in San Francisco Feb. 8. He was 70.
Brand died at San Francisco General Hospital, surrounded by family and friends, according to a friend of the family.
A recently retired reporter, Brand was walking near Second and King streets around 9:10 p.m. Feb. 8 when he was hit by oncoming N-Judah train, SF police said.
Brand was knocked into a nearby pole by the impact, police Inspector Dean Taylor said.
The investigation is continuing, but it appears to have been an accident, Taylor said.
Brand retired from regular news gathering at the Tribune in November after 27 years at the paper. He continued to write a well-read beer blog titled “What’s On Tap.”
The night he was struck by the train, Brand was returning from the 21st Amendment Brewery on Second Street where he had attended a food and beer pairing event he was writing about for his blog.
A memorial service is planned and details will be announced later today, a friend said.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • greg

    I am so sad to hear this news…please send condolences from us at the N Judah Chronicles to his family. These stories are always so sad and I just hope they do something to make the system safer.

  • Pingback: Bay Area Beer Writer Bill Brand Passes Away | Brew Community()

  • easong

    I started reading this blog about a year ago, soon after finding Bill’s column syndicated in the Merc in a section of the paper I rarely read. A beer afficionado in the freaking local newspaper? C’mon!

    Been a daily reader and frequent commenter since, and I thank Bill and all his fans here for constantly updating me on all the important beer news I have needed to get the lupulin elixer I surely require for a quality existence.

    Bill, this bottle of Pliny that has only been available in Santa Clara County for the past month or two, as I so often used to complain — this Pliny is for you.

  • Matt

    It is truly a sad day in the beer world. I was never fortunate enough to meet Bill, though I wish I had. I, along with many others, will always be indebted to him for all of the knowledge he has shared, both through this blog and through his column in the Times, which I have read, religiously. I will deeply miss his guidance to that better pint. My sincerest condolences to his family. Cheers!

  • Pingback: The Urban Beer Explorer » Blog Archive » Rest in Peace William Brand()

  • Cyn and Vic

    We love Bill Brand.
    You touched our soul with your heart.
    We will miss you.
    Our deepest sorrow to the family for a man loved by many.

  • Pingback: beer school » Blog Archive » William Brand()

  • 2ch

    I too was really hoping that Bill pulled through. This is a tough time for all who cared about him. You only had to meet Bill once to know that he was a really nice guy, who just happened to love beer and the brewing community. Rest in Peace.

  • Melissa

    What a sad sad day. Bill thank you for all of your contributions to the craft beer industry. You are already greatly missed. Condolences to Bill’s wife and family.

  • Mario (Brewed For Thought)

    This is devastating news.

    The numerous time a day I start my web browser, the first thing I’d check was William’s blog. As an engineer attempting to write, he helped me learn the ropes of blogging and encouraged me to think of bigger things.

    He was always willing to exchange emails, text or talk about beer or anything going in our lives.

    I’ll never forget the woman outside The Trappist who asked if he was my father, ignoring the fact that I stood nearly a foot taller than he did.

    I’ll miss you Bill.

  • Alex Drobshoff

    There are very few people who understand the passion and work involved in producing exceptional beer. Bill was one of those people. I met him in Denver at the Longshot brunch and he really stood out as an exceptional reporter, always polite but getting in there and getting the story. He was the only reporter in the room with a pad and pen reporting the way it should be done. My sincerest condolences to his family.
    -Alex Drobshoff

  • Shaun O’Sullivan

    This is tough.

    A great man, a huge supporter of the craft beer industry. As popular as good beer might be, our community, our craft-beer family is small and when we lose one, lose a scribe like Bill, a witness to what we are all doing the blow seems deeper and harder to realize. The enormity is apparent. We all feel it as the comments here attest. My heart and thoughts go out to his wife, Daryl and family. Your husband and father was part of something, touched more people that some can only dream of while on this planet. You will be missed.
    -Shaun O’Sullivan – 21st Amendment Brewery

  • Sixpack

    Rest in peace, Bill. Your family lost a husband and father, many of us lost a friend and the world lost a good newsman. I second Shaun’s comments above – it’s obvious Bill touched so many lives, even beyond our world of beer. Philly will remember you.

  • Pingback: Appreciation for Bill Brand | Your Ale()

  • Derrick

    My thoughts and prayers to Bill’s friends and family. I only knew him elecronically and never met him in personl, but still feel like I’ve lost a friend.

  • Judy Campbell

    My condolences to Bill’s family and many, many friends. Peace.

  • Hans Wolters

    Just got word that Bill passed away. I am shocked and
    very sad and my thoughts go out to his family. I only met Bill once in person, but I could tell right away that he was a very gracious human being enjoying life. RIP Bill.

  • Steve McDaniel

    A sad day, indeed. I miss already the discussions I won’t get to have, the critiques and toasts that were certain to occur, and the support I know Bill would have brought to the bar.

  • Pingback: Hop Talk » Blog Archive » William Brand succumbs to injuries()

  • Georgia

    Very sad news. My thoughts are with Bill’s loved ones.

  • Aaron

    Very sad news…. my condolences to his family and friends.

  • Pingback: Bill Brand, Beer Columnist: 1938-2009 | San Francisco Metblogs()

  • Pingback: Beer Reporter, Bill Brand, Passes Away()

  • Stu Stuart

    What more can be said that has not already been said? I am in disbelief of this sad, sad news. My heartfelt condolences to the Brand family. Bill, thanks for being you and Godspeed!
    –Stu Stuart

  • larry

    Bill, you will be missed. The one column I waited for religiously each week. I know your family knows what a great guy you were. RIP.

  • Mike S

    This is such a tragedy, my condolences to his family.
    Bill truly had a passion for “good beer” and he will be missed. He introduced me to so many different beers and his blog was a favorite of mine. Very saddened.

  • Brewmot

    I just noticed this post.

    I had a couple very nice email exchanges with William. I read everything I could find by him.

    The way he wrote of his family, I know what kind of person he was. The world is not as good of a place without William. Condolences to the Brand family.


  • Andy Altman-Ohr

    I worked with Bill at the Tribune for several years, and attended several beer events with him after I left.

    We shared a love of beer and a disdain for modern-day newspapers’ lack of respect for news and their employees.

    What a great, unique guy. I will miss him very much.
    My condolences to his wife and family.

  • Tom Montgomery

    R.I.P. Bill and condolences to family…this is so sad. What a remarkable guy.


  • Pingback: Bill’s Beer | Elizabeth Street Brewery()

  • Andy

    I’ll miss reading your blog and your insights to what craft beer can and should be about.

    My condolences to Bill’s family on such a tragic loss.

    RIP Bill.


  • J R

    I have been reading Bill’s column for many years. I am so sad to know of his passing. My condolences to his family. I have purchased a number of beers upon his recommendation that I would have never know about. There is a BIG hole in the newspaper where his column once was.

  • Tisha and James Singleton

    We just wanted to take a moment to extend our deepest sympathies to Bill’s family. We have gotten hooked to his weekly column and have purchased many of our beers based on his recommendations. He opened our pallets to beers we never knew where out there. We were actually in SF at 3 different breweries on the day of his accident because we read about “Beer Week”. It was our first time at 21st Amendment and we were thrilled…just like he said we would be. He will be missed deeply.

  • Richard

    A loss for sure. Hell, I even remember him from years ago when he was a reporter for the Trib. His byline was pretty familiar in the old days

  • Brian Holton

    As a longtime reader of bill’s blog, I’m heartbroken to hear of this news. The beer world has lost a hero. His family will be in my prayers.

  • Ron Givens

    I had the good fortune to meet Bill on a press trip in the mid-’90s. He was a kind and thoughtful man, warm and funny and smart. I am glad to have met him and sad to hear of his passing. Cheers.

  • Andy Altman-Ohr

    Here’s a tribute to Bill I wrote in j. -the Jewish newspaper of the Bay Area.

  • Pingback: SF Beer Week - Devil's Canyon Events | - Beer News, Beer Reviews and Beer Event Coverage.()