The Man Behind Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Oct 21, 2013 © Brian Stechschulte Category: Beer, Photography


My annual trek to the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) yielded a few good photos this year, most of which I featured in a blog post on the San Francisco Brewers Guild website. GABF is a nightmare for photographers. The orange convention center lights make everyone look sickly, so I often have to alter the color settings in postproduction to make them look decent.

That wasn’t the case with my photo of Forest Gray, thanks to all the lights inside his brewery booth at GABF.  Gray is the owner of Speakeasy Ales & Lagers and that smile probably has something to do with two awards his brewery claimed. The first was for best GABF booth. They basically made a mini version of their brewery taproom, which is gorgeous, and all the staff wore period clothing, hence Gray’s suit. Speakeasy also received a gold medal for their Prohibition Ale in the American-style Amber/Red Ale category.

Although this photo looks highly staged, it was totally spur of the moment. Gray was standing in the right place at the right time for this composition. I simply yelled at him, he turned around, and I snapped the photo.

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