Last week, in Part I of this profile on Baltimore beer legend Joe Gold, Joe shared the story of his journey to England in the early 80’s to teach lacrosse, his immersion in the British beer culture and the events that led to his coming back to Baltimore as the Import Manager for Young’s Brewery in late 1986.
But lacrosse was never far away. Just after moving home to Baltimore, Joe was chosen to be part of a newly formed indoor professional lacrosse league. For the next five years, Joe was selling beer for Young’s during the week and playing lacrosse on the weekends. The tug of war between lacrosse and beer was strong, but beer was starting to win. In 1994, Joe took on the role of leading sales for Oliver Brewing. Joe Gold knew that once people tasted better beer, they’d want it again and again. His efforts paid off for Oliver Brewing, with accounts serving Oliver ales growing from nine to 109 in a year and a half! Baltimore’s craft beer scene was beginning to emerge.
With the right appearance, tap system, and beer line-up in place, Joe transitioned the operation at Max’s Taphouse into the capable hands of Bob Simko and Casey Hard and took on his next challenge: Director of Special Events for US Lacrosse. However, beer was never far away. Victory Brewing approached Joe about heading their sales effort, a position that was a great fit for Victory and for Joe. And then a long-time friend reached out.
That brewery was the first craft brewery in Maryland and was built at Sisson’s restaurant, soon to be Sisson’s Brewpub, in 1989. Joe and Hugh Sisson stayed in touch, from the time when Hugh was brewing beer at Sisson’s Brewpub through Hugh Sisson’s opening of Clipper City Brewing in 1995 and its transformation into Heavy Seas Beer. So when Hugh called Joe in 2011, it was a partnership that was years in the making. Joe spent eight-and-a-half years with the brewery, driving sales during the current rapidly growing and increasingly competitive craft beer industry. Then something somewhat unexpected happened.
And that’s just what took place, with Chesapeake Beverage now handling distribution of Heavy Seas to bars, restaurants and liquor stores.
And if all this isn’t enough for career accomplishments, Joe was Co-Founder of Baltimore Beer Week. Baltimore Beer Week ran from 2009-2018, ending only because by 2018 the craft beer world was so active that every day was almost like a day during Baltimore Beer Week!
Craft beer for Joe… and for all true beer enthusiasts… is more than a beverage, it’s a celebration of life. Today, all who know you, Joe Gold, celebrate your life and presence in the craft beer industry.
100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy