I don't like to talk about my flair.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Rock Bottom Brewery, COS - A Tragic Loss

I got this email a few minutes ago from the Rock Bottom Mug Club regarding the local store:
As loyal friends of Rock Bottom we want to share with you the tragic news of the loss of two restaurant teammates. Our Cook and Certified Trainer Brian Neff and our Senior Brewer John Hanley both passed away early this week during separate incidents at their homes.

John and his beers were legendary. Many of you will recall past tapping parties with John perched on the bar cracking jokes and waxing poetic about his beer. Those of you lucky enough to know him or attend his tappings or brewers dinner know first hand his passion for beer and easy-going nature. He was bright eyed and had an unmistakable laugh and smile.

For the past four years, John amazed the entire Rock Bottom family with his award-winning brewing talents and unforgettable sense of humor. John took great pride in his craft and had the ability to make everyone laugh. He had a never-say-no attitude and wanted to share his love of brewing with the entire world. He will be forever missed.

This is a devastating and heartbreaking loss for us and especially for John and Brian's families and friends. We have very few details about their passing and out of respect for the families are choosing not to share them at this time.

Many of you have already reached out to the Rock Bottom family with emails, phone calls and flowers. We cannot thank you enough for your kindness during this difficult time. It helps ease some of the pain we are feeling.

I feel for them so much...about a year and a half ago at L'Idiot, we lost our sous chef in a tragic car accident. It was alcohol-related, and though I miss the heck out of Jimmy, part of me is still angry with him for making a dumb decision.

We were devastated. A restaurant staff becomes a second family...it's a unique profession with unique challenges, and people in the industry form an automatic bond.

I sent an email to the corporate communications manager for Rock Bottom. I don't know if the message will make it to the staff, but I hope my prayers do.