skyI’m not usually at a loss for words. This is my 200th post writing as The Brewer’s Daughter, and it’s hard for me to find the right thing to say to mark the place where I now find myself in life.

Thanks to those of you who have stuck with my blog these past 5 years…even if you’ve just read a few entries here and there along the way. It has been a real mix of beer, life and love…and now loss. Where to begin to try to express the emptiness I feel since the loss of my life partner, my love, my best friend, my best everything? He was yin to my yang, peanut butter to my jelly, pretzels to my brew. We completed each other, as trite as that sounds. For us it was true.

Paul’s battle with CNS Primary non-Hodgkins lymphoma ended on October 16th. He was surrounded by those who loved him most in this world, and as his spirit left his ravaged body, the morning sun shone through the autumn leaves and was never so heartbreakingly beautiful. The painted sunset that evening was the final curtain on his final day, and we rushed into the street to witness it and hug and cry and say his name.

If you want to read his formal obituary, you can find it here. But he was so much more than that list of facts and accomplishments, of course. His “giant heart” as described by author Katharine Weber (in the condolences found in the online Guest Book) was always full of laughter and kindness, and he shared it liberally with all who crossed his path. If you had the chance to meet him, you were lucky.

I was lucky. Fifteen years never went so Thank you, Paul. For showing me how beautiful this world could be. For giving me your heart. You live forever in my soul.


cbw-logo-mainOctober 9th, 2015 is an important date to circle on any craft beer lover’s calendar, but especially those in Northeast Ohio. This Friday is the 39th anniversary of the official incorporation of the New Albion Brewing Company, and it’s the kickoff to the seventh annual Cleveland Beer Week! (Upon further review, the exact date was Oct. 8th…but we are celebrating all around!)

This year’s week of beer nirvana features over 350 keg tapping and beer sipping events throughout greater Cleveland. There are samplings, dinners, educational programs and much more. Who knew, when Jack McAuliffe founded his little brewery in Northern California all those years ago, that the country would see the rise of over 4,000 similar operations less than 40 years later–and craft beer weeks and festivals sprouting up all over the country!

Established back in 2009, Cleveland’s Beer Week is a not-for-profit celebration that raises awareness of the craft beer industry and promotes patronage at local establishments, from East side to West and even in outlying counties. Proceeds from all of the flagship events benefit the Jimmy Malone Scholarship Fund. It’s one of the biggest Beer Week celebrations in the whole U.S.–only Philadelphia and San Francisco’s boast more events.

The Friday Kickoff Collaboration events take place in neighborhoods across the region, from downtown to the hot new East Bank of the Flats, to Ohio City and Tremont, and out to Lakewood to the West and Willoughby in the East. Of course Cleveland Beer Week actually goes more than a full week, ending with events on Sunday, October 18th.

brewFor many people, the not-to-miss event is Brewzilla, A Monster of a Beer Tasting, on Saturday, Oct. 17th–with over 80 breweries from Ohio and beyond participating– being held at The Wolstein Center on the Cleveland State University campus downtown. Regular admission has been reduced to $40, but this year food is not included; it can be purchased on your own. A $75 Brewer’s Circle ticket includes food, early admission at 5 p.m. and a t-shirt.

If you’re interested in craft beer history, I’ll be pouring New Albion Ale and telling the story of its founding on NABFriday, Oct. 16th from 6-8 p.m. at Chuck’s Fine Wines in Chagrin Falls.  Also participating in this local beer event is Lucky Owl Brewing, Chagrin Brewing and Platform Beer. $20 per person, includes beer, food and fun! RSVP with credit card:440.247.7534.

Ticket Giveaway!

Thanks to organizers of Cleveland Beer Week, I have two regular admission tickets to Brewzilla to give away (and in exchange for this promotion, I’ve been given two tickets as well). Just comment on this blog post to be thrown in the hopper, I will draw on Monday, Oct. 12th. And for an extra entry, be sure to Tweet: “I want to win two free tickets to Brewzilla from the @BrewersDaughter!” with a link to this post. Or, you can always buy your tickets online here:

Hope to see you there for the ultimate celebration of craft beer and all that Jack built! Cheers~

10/12/15 UPDATE: Congratulations to my winner Stacy!


Finding Jack–5th Bloggaversary

by Renee on September 18, 2015

Hard to believe it has been five years since I began this blog. If you go back and read my very first post, I noted that I would eventually tell the tale of how I came to find Jack, and learned about my identity as The Brewer’s Daughter. I’m sure that I’ve mentioned that he is my birthfather, and that as a reunited adoptee, I became aware of him through my birthmom, Linda, many years ago. But the truth of the matter beyond that is I wouldn’t have met Jack if it wasn’t for my husband Paul.

PicMonkey CollageWhen Paul and I were dating back in 2001, we attended an Adoption Network Cleveland event–I was active as a board member after I had found my birthmother in the 90s. On the drive home, he asked if I was interested in finding my birthfather. I explained that Linda had become pregnant at the end of their senior year at West Nottingham Academy, a boarding school in Maryland, and her parents had whisked her away to a home for unwed mothers after their graduation–typical of the era. However, this meant that she never had the chance to tell Jack that she was pregnant–it was boarding school, and they both went back to their hometowns, and Jack went on to enlist in the Navy (which lead to his discovery of all those great European beers!). I was hesitant to spring myself on someone who didn’t even know I existed. Linda was worried about how he would react to know she had become pregnant.

I shared the West Nottingham yearbook with Paul. I showed him the photos of Jack and Linda, where there was some personal information about his hometown, etc. Fast forward to several weeks later. I’m out on a date with Paul, and he slides a piece of paper over to me and says, “I need to share this with you.” I was a little afraid of what it might be–I truly had no idea.

That piece of paper was printed from a page from a McAuliffe geneaology website board. Paul had gone ahead (without telling me) and posted an inquiry saying he was looking for a Jack McAuliffe who had attended West Nottingham and graduated in ’63–with a few other personal details. There was a response. It was from Jack’s sister Cathy, and it said, “That’s my brother–who should I say is looking for him?” WOW. Just wow.

jack and cathyPaul told me that if he had a child out there in the world he would want to know about it–and that was why he went ahead and looked for Jack for me–he admitted he may have overstepped, but my reaction–I was overjoyed–was what he was hoping for. He knew in my heart of hearts I wanted to know about my birthfather. (I had a wonderful adoptive father, who died when I was 24.) So Paul and I went back to his apartment immediately, and composed an email to my Aunt Cathy, explaining who I was and why I was seeking Jack. She completely got where I was coming from–it turned out she had been a birthmother herself in the 60s. Another WOW.

That is the very short version of what has become a much longer story. The McAuliffe clan welcomed me into their momsfamily, and Jack and I have bonded over the beer and more. I wouldn’t have learned about my heritage if it wasn’t for Paul–he knew me so well, even from the beginning. We were married about a year or so later, and my Aunt Cathy was there. Linda walked me down the aisle with my adoptive mom, Mary Ann. Our wedding was a real circle of life moment for me–and Jack and Linda actually talked on the phone that night–30+ years since the last time they had spoken.

paul and jackEverything that has happened in my life around New Albion–all the people I’ve met, from local beer bloggers to Jim Koch; all the beer festivals we’ve attended here in Ohio all the way to GABF; all the beer traveling we’ve done; the reboot of the beer–it’s all because Paul took a risk he knew I’d want to take.

Paul is my partner in life, my love. My compass star. And the reason you’re reading this today.



Round 4: Hoping for a Knock Out

August 29, 2015

The past couple of weeks at home between chemo treatments for Paul have had their ups and downs. We had many visits from health care pros–nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists. We had many visits from friends–including a former coworker of Paul’s from 20 years ago. We had an unexpected trip to the ER overnight, due […]

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