Brewing up a career change
Frederick "Fritz" Rahr '89, MBA '93 grew up in the brewing industry. Migrating from Germany in the mid-1800s, his family brewed until the Prohibition, and today the family business is the world's fifth-largest malt producer. "I was a home brewer since I was 13," Rahr admitted.
Rahr's plan post MBA was to get back to beer, but he was sidetracked for 11 years by the transportation industry.
Now Rahr is back on track with his own microbrewery. Rahr & Sons Brewery opened this fall in Fort Worth to rave reviews. Its Rahr Blonde is a clean, crisp traditional southern German lager with lots of body and flavor, while Rahr Red is a Vienna style with more body and character. Ugly Pug, a German schwarz, is due out this fall, taking the Red a "few steps further in color and in body." And on tap just in time for TCU football next fall is the Hoppin' Horned Frog, an India pale ale. "That one will be our first true English style ale," Rahr said.
But it won't likely pour purple.
Rahr's beers are brewed in strict accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516, have a higher malt content than most and are kept at a crisp 38 F. "And because we are in Fort Worth, we can guarantee the freshest beer in town," Rahr said.
The brewery's first bottle sales are slated to hit stores in December. "As soon as we can make sure we have enough product to meet the demand of the Metroplex area, we'll start expanding into the Houston, Austin, San Antonio markets."
Rahr said building a brewery from the ground up has been a lot of work, "but so far it's paying off."
No ads -- just inspiration
When Tod Lippy '85 decided to publish his own magazine, he knew he wanted it to be different than anything else out there. The result is a publication that captures the senses of those yearning for arts exposure -- sans advertising. The 112, thick-stock, matte pages of Esopus magazine, which recently produced a third issue, urge readers to do nothing more than enjoy and be inspired, ad free.
"One thing that always frustrated me was there was never anything non-commercial; and particularly in the art world, it's important to have that form of expression," Lippy said. "The idea was to provide the space where artists and the more general public can meet and have an exchange."
The coffee-table worthy book is a twice-yearly arts pub featuring fresh, unmediated perspectives on the contemporary cultural landscape from artists, writers, filmmakers, photographers, musicians, and other creative professionals. It includes long-form artists' projects, critical writing, fiction, interviews, and, in each issue, a CD of specially commissioned music. Library Journal named it as "One of the 10 Best New Magazines of 2003."
The name, pronounced ee-SO-pus, comes from a stream in the Catskill Mountains that empties into a reservoir then pours out the other side muddy and polluted. "Above the reservoir, though … the Esopus is still vibrant, full of rapids and trout," Lippy wrote in an editor's note. That may be all the writing Lippy has time for; he assigns, directs, edits, produces the magazine, walks it to the printer and watches the press run.
Lippy, who received a degree in history at TCU, went on to pursue master's degrees in both art history and film. After a brief stint in L.A., he returned to New York City and began a career in magazine publishing. He is the proud "father" of two magazines that circulated through the art and film worlds, Publicsfear and Scenario and last year established The Esopus Foundation, the non-profit organization that publishes Esopus.
Readers from 39 states and 11 countries flip through Esopus pages, Lippy said. "If you have a reader from North Dakota, you've got to know that something is working."
For information, go to www.esopusmag.com
As a boy growing up on a Wise County ranch, young Roy Eaton '59 could not wait for a chance to escape to big-city Fort Worth. Years later, however, he jumped at the chance to return to his roots, as owner of his hometown newspaper.
After years as one of Fort Worth's most recognizable journalists, the consummate newsman and his wife, Jeannine, bought the Wise County Messenger in 1973 and have spent the last 30 years providing the budding county northwest of Fort Worth with quality local news.
When the opportunity to return to Wise County -- a place Eaton describes as "far enough from Fort Worth to be a ‘real' community,"-- arose in late 1972, he was as eager to move his young family to the to the community-oriented county. The National Newspaper Association recently honored Eaton's commitment to community journalism by awarding him the Gen. James O. Amos Lifetime Achievement Award.
Nominated by fellow alumnus Jerry Tidwell '67, publisher of the Granbury-based Hood County News, Eaton says the award came a total surprise. It's an honor to be recognized, he says.
Eaton's journalism career started during his freshman year at TCU, when he landed a part-time job as reporter for Fort Worth's radio station KXOL in July 1956. In 1968, he became news director at Fort Worth's WBAP. Two years later he moved to WBAP-TV, now NBC-5, where he served as director of television news coverage and a news anchorman.
An avid antique car collector with many career honors to his credit, Eaton considers providing his hometown with a stellar local newspaper his greatest professional achievement. Published twice weekly, the Wise County Messenger, boasts a growing county seat, paid circulation of 7,000 and an overall market of nearly 21,000 non-subscribers.
The power of design
Always a believer in the power of words as the written manifestation of thought and the theory that design is the visualization of those thoughts, graphic designer Fred Drennan '69 (MA '03) sees the future of his craft slipping away.
Drennan, who dedicated more than 25 years to product design, packaging, display and promotions for such clients as Jimmy Dean Foods, Uncle Ben's and Neiman Marcus, also spent seven years as a graphic design instructor at a technical institute. He says his stent in the classroom showed him a harsh reality -- later to become his master's thesis -- about how computer technology is shaping education, the corporate culture and the design profession.
To illustrate his perspective Drennan developed a series of thought provoking design posters that illustrate his ideas words, images, thought, education, technology and the workings of the human mind. Two posters "Keyboard and Mouse-on design and technology" and "Parallax View-on education and communication" were selected for inclusion in the prestigious 2004 Graphis Poster Annual. Seen by design professionals as the world's premier compilation of innovative poster designs, Graphis receives thousands of entries worldwide but selects only those perceived as trend-setting or unique.
"Parallax view" illustrates a quote from Drennan's wife on writing to materialize thought.
The quotation, displayed as if it were the letters on an eye chart, reads, "To know what I think, I must see what I say."
Drennan is the founder of Fred Drennan and Associates. He serves as a design and communications consultant.
Brothers try murder
Kappa Sigma fraternity brothers Geff Anderson '90 (left in photo below) and Rob Freyer '92 (right) have shared countless memories in 15 years, and now they can say they've tried a murder case together.
Freyer, the assistant district attorney for Harris County, Texas and Anderson, a civil attorney and partner for Fort Worth's Anderson, Smyer and Riddle, teamed up to try one of the most unusual criminal cases in Tarrant County history. They served as special prosecutors in the murder trial of former Fort Worth physician Lydia Grotti, who will serve two years in prison for criminally negligent homicide for alledgedly occluding the breathing tube of a patient in her care.
Freyer, who volunteered for the case after the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office recused itself because it's civil division represents the hospital where Grotti was employed, said he could think of no better laywer to help him connect with the jury.
"With this conviction jurors sent a message that no one is above the law," Freyer said.
The case is expected to set precident in cases where medical malpractice results in a patient's death.
Anderson, who was trying his first criminal matter, says while the case was difficult, working with his long-time friend was a pleasure.
"I don't think either one of us ever dreamed when we became friends that we'd get to work together this way, but any time you can work with someone you know so well and respect so much, the rewards are great," he said.