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.

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  • Arnas

    RIP, Bill

  • http://beermerchants.wordpress.com phil_l

    RIP – Condolences to family…

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  • http://www.sudsorduds.com Travis Smith

    RIP buddy. You will be missed not only here in the bay, but all around the world.

  • http://www.YoursForGoodFermentables.com Thomas Cizauskas

    Thoughts and condolences to Bill’s family and friends. I’ve never met Bill, but I feel as if I have gotten to know him –and his love for good beer and food– through his column.

  • Deb Anderson

    I was soo saddended to hear this news this morning. I am heartsick and my thoughts go out to his family.

  • http://www.musingsoverapint.com David Turley

    Our prayers go out to Bill and his family. I never met Bill in person, but we exchanged emails on occasion. He was always interested in hearing about beer-related activities, even on this side of the US. I’ll miss his postings.

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  • midfielder5

    You will be missed. RIP and many condolences to his family.

  • http://www.beerguppy.com Jay Sheveck

    Such a sad day indeed. I have lost a friend. My condolences to Bill’s family, he will be sorely missed.

  • http://www.fermentedlychallenged.com/ Dave Butler

    You will be missed Bill. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  • Tom Meyer

    RIP Bill. I will miss your column. Condolences to the Bill’s family

  • Robb Kluba

    You will be missed.

  • http://www.brewlounge.com Bryan Kolesar

    I was fortunate to meet Bill for the first time at his last beer dinner. He was as classy in person as he was from across the country. Cheers, Bill, to a life well-lived. You will be missed for your great contributions. My thoughts and best wishes go out to your family and close friends.

  • Renee Davidson

    This is so incredibly sad. Good-bye to a true professional, a great writer, and a friend of beer lovers everywhere. Bill, you will be sorely missed. Condolences to your loved ones.

  • Corbin Hollis Choate

    God bless you Bill.

    I will miss your intelligence, your sense of humor and your fantastic writings on great beer and good food.

    My condolences to your family.

  • Chris Crabb

    I am so sad to learn of Bill’s passing – I was really hoping he was going to pull through. My thoughts are with his family, who can take strength in knowing how much of a positive impact Bill had on the world. He will be greatly missed.

  • Shail

    Many condolences to the Brand family. I am still in shock over the news.

  • Jim Smith

    We will dearly miss the great Bill Brand. He was a great writer and an even better man. His column and blog will certainly be missed, along with the classy man that Bill was. I last clinked glasses with him the day before the tragic accident. God rest his soul. Prayers for his family.

  • http://drakesbrewing.blogspot.com/ John Martin

    Boy this is a tough one. Very sad. My thoughts and condolences to Bill’s family.

    I’ve known Bill since he first wrote an article in the Oakland Trib about our impending opening of Roaring Rock Brewery, back in early 1986. He was a beer guy even then, at the start of the modern brewpub movement. It was great to see Bill around Berkeley over the years as he covered the goings on at City Hall and on campus for the Trib and the Times. His “What’s on Tap” print newsletter was always a favorite read too, before the internet. Speaking for all local craft brewers, I can’t thank Bill enough for his suport of us and the industry over these more than 20 years.

    It was great to see you Bill, at Anchor the week before last! Who would have thought it would be the last time we’d get the chance to talk? You’ll be greatly missed!

  • http://www.jackcurtin.com Jack Curtin

    He was one of the most interesting characters I ever met in the cohort of folks who write about beer, mostly because he lived his life in a much wider world than the one seen from a bar stool. Almost every story I could tell about Bill is an amusing one (as he would have wanted, I suspect), but they all seem sad today. Rest well, old friend.

  • Drew

    Sad, sad news. Condolences go out to the Brand family.

    Despite what a tragic and senseless accident this was, I feel that Bill will still be here in spirit every time someone toasts a hoppy west coast IPA or finds a great new beer and food pairing.

    Here’s to you, Bill. May you rest in peace.

  • Matt Knudsen

    RIP, That is so sad. Condolences to his family.

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  • http://wetyourwhistles.com Jen McDaniel

    This is very sad news. Cheers to you, Bill. You will be missed.

  • Chris

    RIP Bill. You will be missed by many.

  • http://www.beeratjoes.com Joe

    very sad. Bill every time I saw you or talked to you – you had a smile on your face and a beer in your hand – You will be missed by many.

  • http://21st-amendment.com Nico Freccia

    Bill, you were a great supporter, promoter and friend to the craft beer world. Your loss leaves a giant hole in the craft beer world and in our hearts. You will be missed.

  • Chris

    My condolences to the family. He mentioned them often on this blog. This is a loss for many communities: beer lovers, beer writers, beer readers!

  • AC

    Only got to know Bill through the blog but felt like I knew him better than that. His knowledge and great spirit will be missed. My deepest condolences go out to his family.

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  • http://beerbybart.com Gail Williams

    Such hard news.

    Bill touched a lot of lives, and many of us are hurting, but my deepest condolences of course are to his family. Thank you for keeping us informed, and for being in our friend’s life. You too are deeply appreciated by many you have never met.

  • http://beerByBART.com Steve Shapiro

    This is indeed very sad news for all of us who knew Bill personally and for the many people who knew him thru his writing. He was a good soul, friendly, optimistic, creative and thoroughly dedicated to building the craft beer movement. What made him so special was that her really cared about the people he met and worked with.

    I feel so fortunate to have met him and will dearly miss him.

  • http://www.betterbeerblog.com Peter

    This sucks. My condolences go out to the Brand family. I’ve only known Bill through his writing and his blog. I’ve grown to respect his words and his contributions to the beer industry.

  • http://destroy.net Nathan Smith

    Rest in Peace Bill. Thank you for being a pioneer in beer journalism and raising the status of a form of creativity which is just now starting to get the recognition it deserves. We have people like you to thank for your professional journalism and coverage of this topic for over 20 years. You will be very, very missed. I raise a glass in honor of your legacy. My condolences and best wishes to the family.

  • beerguy101

    Bill will be missed. He was such a vital part of the Bay Area Beer Scene. I shared many a beer with Bill over the years. My thoughts are with his family and friends. I will raise a pint in his honor this evening.

  • http://www.brewerman.com Brewerman

    So sad to hear this news. As others have said, much respect to a life and body of work that touched so many. Condolences to his family and loved ones.

    Will crack a special bottle tonight for Bill.

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  • Christian

    You will be missed but not forgotten. Rest in peace my dear friend.

  • http://www.ibabuzz.com/bottomsup Jessica Yadegaran

    Thank you all for your kind words. This is an incredibly difficult time and most of us here at the office are still in shock. Bill was not only a fantastic journalist and community builder, but he was a kind and upright human being.

  • Dave Hopwood

    Bill’s blog was the first thing I checked every morning when I sat down at my computer. Not only did he do so much for the Craft Beer industry, he was just a very person to boot.

    My heart goes out to all his family and friends that care so much about him.

    Here’s to Bill Brand!

  • Marty Nachel

    My condolences to the Brand family. I had the wonderful opportunity to judge Sam Adams’ beer with Bill last June in Boston. On the ride from our hotel to the brewery, Bill and I had a great conversation on the state of beer in the U.S.
    I’ll always remember what a nice, down-to-earth kinda guy he was.
    My nightly pint will be sipped in his honor. Here’s to ya Bill!

  • http://www.goodbrewer.com Julie@GoodBrewer

    As with many others, I knew Bill solely through his writings on this blog, but it is still sad and upsetting to read of his passing. His was the first beer blog that I actively began reading, and his news and reviews were always a great read.

    Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and those friends who had the privilege of knowing him personally. He will be missed.

  • Amisk8er

    this is a sad moment for the bay’s beer aficionados… Condolences to the Brand family and friends. I never had the privilege of meeting him, but read “What’s on Tap” nigh religiously…

    Thank you Bill, you will be missed!

    A high toast of Pliny to you Bill…

  • http://www.neroorder.com Ross Hoyt

    RIP, Bill. Your blog/columns were rich with life and content, as I imagine your life was.

    My condolences to the Brand family.

  • Merideth Canham-Nelson

    A true loss. Thank you for everything Bill. My heart goes out to all his family and friends.

  • http://bcbrews.wordpress.com Rick Green

    How tragic! Unlike many of you, I never had the privilege of meeting Bill. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading about the Bay Area places I would frequent when I lived in Oakland. Having become a beer writer in the last year, I expected it would only be a matter of time. Sadly, it’s not to be. My deepest sympathies to Bill’s family, friends, and to you, Jessica.

  • zythum

    I’m stunned and deply saddened. Bill will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Brand family.

  • The Duke Of Dunkel

    A sad, sad day. Bill’s column made every Wednesday special for me, and I looked forward to meeting him “on the trail” one day. Will hoist something special for Bill this evening.

  • http://www.realbeer.com Mark Silva

    You’ll be missed here, Bill. Our deep condolences to Bill’s family, near and beer friends one and all.

    We suspect Bill’s already begun exploring and converting those on the other side with his unique craftiness. To your work here and beyond we raise a toast. Cheers!