Okay, one could argue that he didn't invent the computer or some new fangled gadget that changed the world. And he didn't come up with the cure for AIDS or polio or acid reflux disease. But just think how many people he's brought joy, merriment, and stress relief to. Not to mention all the hangovers. Millions (billions?) of people have drunk products that he helped create. And talk about impact-- think of all these people who'd have gotten better grades in school or had better guts. Without him, would sports be the same? Would guys have anything to do? Would the Toronado even exist? Would anyone have gotten laid in college? We think not.

Owades got a Doctorate in biochemistry and wrote his thesis on cholesterol. Unable to get a job in the biochemistry field, he got a job in fermentation science at Fleischmann's Yeast. His experience with Fleischmann lead to a job at Rheingold Breweries were he developed "a process to remove the starch from beer, making it lower in carbohydrates and calories and, thus, cholesterol." Et viola, lite beer.

From there, he moved onto jobs with both Miller and Budweiser helping them develop beer. In 1982, he and his wife moved to Russian Hill and bought a home in Sonoma, and it was here that he helped create the formulas for various microbreweries, including Sam Adams and Pete's Wicked Ale. Years later, he would also lend his expertise to wine makers but still pledged his allegiance to beer drinkers in the great beer vs. wine debate. In an interview with the Chron in 1992, he said "the making of wine does not require the skills of a biochemist."

Take that wine snobs!

So here's to Joseph Owades. To paraphrase the world's most famous beer drinker, Homer Simpson: "Here's to Joseph Owades, the cause of, and solution to all of life's problems!"