Dean Fikar (18.104.22.168)
|Posted on Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 02:48 am: ||
You have had a profound effect on my brewing and I will miss you greatly.
First, I might not even be a brewer today if I had not discovered a magazine with picture of beer bottles on the cover at my local bookstore in late 1996. It was the infamous "Why We Brew" special edition of Zymurgy with stories about homebrewers. I particularly identified with your profile as as well one other who was a physician like myself. I was intrigued enough to give homebrewing a try and have never looked back some 100 batches and 5 years later.
I first met you about 2 years later at the first MCAB in Houston. I saw you at the awards dinner and after some hesitation I worked up the nerve to introduce myself, fully expecting you to not have any idea - or care - who I was. You immediately shook my hand in a sincere and animated fashion and said that you "knew all about me", apparently because we had entered some of the same competitions earlier in the year and because we used the same homebrew store in Fort Worth and were both friends with the owners. You took me over to the group that you were hanging out with that night and made me feel like I was in homebrew heaven while we talked about brewing and I riddled you with questions which you answered with your patented enthusiasm and extensive knowledge.
This weekend is the Bluebonnet Brewoff and I am greatly saddened by the reminder that it was at the very same Bluebonnet last year that we had what turned to be our last chance to visit and hoist a beer together.
We had brief email contact during your illness and I was heartened by your upbeat attitude in the face of a gravely serious illness. We brewers have lost a legend and a truly nice guy. Thanks for being a big part of the homebrewing side of my life. You will be sorely missed.