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Bert Grant, noted brewer, dead at 73.

Bert Grant, the Scottish-born brewer who helped start a renaissance in hoppy beers, died last week at age 73. Mr. Grant had suffered from a number of illnesses in recent years. He died at a nursing home in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday night. According to his family, the cause was a rupture of the bowel.

Mr. Grant helped spark the ongoing microbrewery revolution when he opened the Yakima Brewing and Malting Co. in 1982.

Mr. Grant, a long-time brewer for some of the biggest names in the Canadian and U.S. brewing industry, had become disenchanted with the blandness of mainstream beers, and often carried a vial of hop oil with him to juice up any bland lagers he might be confronted with.

He chose to live in Yakima, WA, in the early 1980s, to be close to the hops he loved. He founded Yakima Brewing at age 54 and developed his line of Grant's beers, including his signature Scottish Ale. Last year, Yakima Brewing produced 10,000 barrels of beer. The brewery employs 10 people, the pub about 40.

He opened a tiny brewpub in an old opera house in Yakima, and later moved the pub to a former railway station. In the early 1990s, he closed the original opera house brewery and moved operations into a large purpose-built brewery on the outskirts of Yakima. The Yakima Brewing & Malting Co. was sold to a wine company a few years ago, although Mr. Grant continued on as a consultant until recently.

Mr. Grant was very proud of his Scottish heritage, and kept a claymore (a large two-handed scottish sword) mounted on the wall in his office. He was also often seen in full highland regalia at beer events.

However, Grant had few memories of Scotland, since was two years old when his parents moved to Canada. A manpower shortage during World War II prompted him to leave school in 1945, at age 16, to work at a local brewery. He started at Canadian Breweries and then worked at Stroh Brewery Co. in the U.S. He later became an independent brewing consultant with clients around the world, including major hops companies with operations in the Yakima Valley.

Mr. Grant is survived by two sons and three daughters.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 13, 2001
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