Dr. Paul D. Ogg, Microbiologist and Brewer, Dies at 46

News by | Aug 2016 | Issue #115

After more than a year-long battle with peripheral T-cell lymphoma, a rare blood cancer, Dr. Paul D. Ogg passed away on July 6 in Colorado. He was 46 years old. Ogg was a mentor to many beer-lovers, brewers, and scientists in Colorado and beyond.

A professor of microbiology and fermentation science at the Colorado School of Mines, Ogg’s passion for good beer spread to all he met. An early member and trader on BeerAdvocate.com, Ogg (@mentor) and his wife, Kristen, introduced many Colorado Front Range beer drinkers to classics like Pliny the Elder and Bell’s Expedition Stout at tasting events held in their Denver home.

While battling cancer, Ogg worked with two friends to open Declaration Brewing in February 2015, where he developed recipes, started an analytical yeast lab and cultivated about 65 unique strains of yeast.

For the Brewers Association’s American Craft Beer Week in May, breweries in all 50 states released the Biggest Small Beer Ever, a version of Ogg’s Heath-bar-inspired Imperial Porter, a beloved homebrew recipe that had yet to be brewed commercially.

“He taught me how to homebrew and in turn helped inspire what became Riff Raff Brewing Company,” says Riff Raff co-founder Jason Cox, who brewed one of Ogg’s go-to homebrew recipes, Tears in Rain ESB, as a fundraiser for the Ogg family and a tribute to his mentor. “He was a scientist first—inquisitive, logical, predictable—but he brewed with a sense of artisanship that didn’t really need measuring spoons and timers. It was his true canvas and he painted many masterpieces,” says Cox. “Most of all, we’ll miss his constant sense of wonder and discovery, and exploration to fulfill that wonder. He traded beers from around the world and shared those hard-won beers with others while teaching that beer is more than a drink—it’s a way of life.”