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The Homebrew Digest Hall O' Fame

The Homebrew Digest
Hall O' Fame

To those who have gone before us!

The Digest has existed in various forms since before 1988. The most successful incarnation of the Digest came at the hands of Rob Gardner, the original Digest Janitor (though, I must say, its current instantiation may be more successful yet). The least successful incarnation occurred in 1996, and very nearly destroyed the Home Brew Digest.

Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen acquired the heart of the Digest, the subscription list, from the AOB in January of 1997. They also acquired the soul of the Digest: Rob Gardner's original scripts. Pat set about the task of building a server to house the Digest, with the help of many contributors now listed on the Donors page. Karl set about configuring the software to run on the new machine at its new address. The HBD was resurrected and the "new old Home Brew Digest" was born.

Several new features have been added to the Digest with this new incarnation, and a low-level moderation feature was introduced, due to the heavy influx of spam in recent times. Most importantly, though, the Digest has been returned to its former self, allowing its contributors to see what's on the queue and to cancel their postings should they have a change of heart.

The digest acquired its own domain name,, and a guiding Steering Committee - a body of representatives taken from the readership to guide policy setting on the Digest - in mid '97 (disbanded in late 2004). Additionally, since the Digest now exists as its own domain having excess capacity, this Digest web site was created. Housed on this site are information regarding the Digest, home brew club home pages and some interesting brewing related pages that either wouldn't have been created, or would have "blinked out" had the Digest not stepped in to preserve them. The new server has also allowed the centralization of cross-media publications of the Digest (HTML at and Usenet news at rec.crafts.brewing) and its archives (

The following presents information regarding the evolution of the Digest over the years.


Many people have, through their direct efforts, contributed to the HomeBrew Digest's success over the years. These people have been assigned the name "Janitor" in honor of their responsibility to the mailing list. We honor them below...

  • Rob Gardner
      The original Digest Janitor. Rob's innovations helped make the Digest one of the oldest and most active mailing lists on the net! (He's also the one to coin the term "Janitor" to mean Digest administrator.)
  • Shawn Steele
      The first Digest Janitor under the AOB. Shawn ported the Digest to majordomo, and introduced the "undigested" version.
  • Mike Donald
      Mike "took over" when Shawn left the AOB for greener pastures.
  • Adrian Goins
      Adrian was made an unwilling janitor when his company was hired by the AOB to "fix" the HBD. The Digest becomes strict majordomo.
  • Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen
      The "Bonny & Clyde" tag-team Janitorial staff of the HBD from January '97 to September 2003. The Digest was restored to the Gardner scripts at that time and has been continually enhanced ever since. As Pat says: "With the turnaround we've accomplished with the Digest, we could compare ourselves to Jack Welch of GE. I mean: going forward at the end of the day - as long as we're all on the same page. That's the hard rock!

      Mmmm, nah! That'd be truly stupid! We're absolutely nothing like him."

    • In a flash of unexpected (and uncharacteristic) brilliance, the term: "Management by clicking around" is born.
  • Pat Babcock
      With Karl's "retirement" from the HBD in September of 2003, the current Janitor is Pat Babcock. Having been in "Gottagetitdun University" since '97, Pat was forced into programmatic servitude to the HBD server, and can now wield code with the best of 'em. Using these newfound skills, Pat continues to enhance the Digest with such things as "auto-munged" email addresses to help reduce SPAM abuse, online queue viewer, etc.; and maintains the entire HBD.ORG and BREWERY.ORG domains. Now, with over ten years of running the Digest under his belt, he also wears the crown of The Longest Running Digest Janitor. Hail to the king! That, and a couple of bucks, will get you a decent coffee in most finer restaurants...
  • Pat Babcock and Spencer Thomas
      Life at the speed of light, coupled with SPAM at the speed of light, has taught Pat that the HBD cannot run as a one-man show. Spencer Thomas agrees to assist in moderating the queue shortly after Karl leaves the scene...
  • Pat Babcock, Jason Henning, and SpencerThomas
      Well! Isn't SPAM yummy?! Shortly after resurrecting the HBD yet another time, Pat enjoined the assistance of Jason Henning to put yet another set of eyes on the queue in the hope that even less of the insidious virtual meat product will make it onto the Digest. If 100% inspection is good for spotting 80% of the problems, we should float somewhere around 96%, one would hope. Now, to find a Janitor whose day is our night. Any Australian volunteers out there?
  • Pat Babcock, Jason Henning, and SpencerThomas and a whole bunch of UCE Blacklists...
      Enough already! To reduce the deluge of virtual potted meat products inundating the server, let alone making it into the Digest, I've incorporated several UCE blacklists into the mail processing on the HBD server. I've also incorporated processes to ensure that subscribers are not blacklisted (this after the blacklist process nuked almost 1000 subscribers from the list...); however, if you ARE in one of the UCE lists (wrongly or otherwise), your mail can no longer enter the HBD domain, and the HBD domain cannot mail you. Bummer. To aid in this horrid circumstance, I've added the means for you to request that your address be "whitelisted". This will allow you to subscribe to the Digest, which will ensure that your access to the HBD is not unfairly limited to the web version only, with no means to send posts. Visit the FAQ on this website for access to the form.


The hosts are no less important than the janitor! Without the host, the janitor, quite frankly, would have absolutely nothing to do! The host under Rob Gardner appears to be Hewlett-Packard. If you have information to these hosts, please let me know and I'll correct this page.

  • (Host under Rob Gardner 1986 - 1996)
  • The Association of Brewers (1996 - 1997)
  • The Observer & Eccentric Newspapers (1997 - 2000)
  • HBD.ORG (Present Host)


Editorial staff? What staff, you say! All those who have published informative, entertaining, or probing information to the digest over the years comprise the editorial staff of the HBD. Without you folks, there would be no Digest. And there are many notables among your ranks!


And, of course, there are those who sacrificed to ensure the Digest found a new home. Without this group, there would be nothing, as the Digest would suredly have perished. These generous people are listed on the HBD Donors page.

© 1997 - 2015 by HBD.ORG
Created 01/09/97
Last Updated: 02/22/2015
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