In 1964, I moved from Seattle to Portland to try my hand as a photographer in business there with a friend. I had long been a student of photography and it seemed like a good opportunity to change careers at that time: after all, I could always go back to swim pool management and teaching swimming. Seattle was getting far too large and Portland seemed to be just the right size for a new beginning.
Industry analysts were telling us, with great authority, that by 1990 there’d be only ten brewing companies remaining in business. That seemed to little hope for the U.S. brewing industry.
The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 alerted me to the possibility of nuclear war and I considered what useful occupation I might pursue in the wake of such a dreadful conflagration. I remembered our Marine Mess Sergeant was the most beloved of all people on Okinawa. He was a distiller of genuine 190 proof rotgut of the lowest possible quality. Nevertheless, his reputation was untarnished. I realized that when the stuff hits the fan, brewers, distillers and winemakers would always be welcome in any postwar civilization. Not so photographers and swim teachers. I soon began to make wine at home, while my business partner settled into the depths of alcoholism and business thinned considerably.
I turned to photographing bar interiors for the state license requirements for new pubs (lucrative). I began to switch from winemaking to homebrewing with the application of proven winemaking techniques to home beermaking. That proved to be a great success, and the proprietors at the Wine Art store in Portland welcomed my first homebrew (1969). They hired me, part-time, and persuaded me to write a small book, A Treatise on Lager Beer, (1969) which eventually sold 110,000 copies and convinced many homebrewers that they could brew some pretty good lagers at home.