UPDATE: More information was placed on the funeral site for those who wish to read it here or there before signing the guest book with their thoughts. I have placed the updates below for your review along with the website.
(Seattle, WA) What was discovered on an acquaintance's website and confirmed by Big Horn Brewery's Dave Leonard, Jim Quilter has left us. There are additional details to unfold as his passing was sudden and little was said to the public regarding this. I can only offer my own personal reflections of the man that they loving named two beers after (Ram's "ZZ Hop" & Iron Horse's "Quilter's Irish Death").
It was back in 2005 under a rain filled sky that I walked into the doors of the Seattle Center's Pavilion and executed my usual perusement of breweries. Featured very prominently near the entrance was this man who had a beard so long you wondered how often it got drenched during brewing. Standing next to him was his wife whom had a smile about her. The two of them were relatively new in regards to their recent brewery then and still called Iron Horse Brewing. Based out of Ellensburg, Jim and his wife had ambitions of opening the brewery and expanding into Western Washington with bottled and draft beers.
I sampled his Locomotive Red and moved on with the sincerest intent on coming back another time either to the brewery or to find them on draft or the shelf somewhere. It wasn't until a few years later that I learned Jim had moved onto working for a chain of breweries in this case The Ram Brewery (aka Big Horn Brewing) and Restaurants. It was here (University Village) that he remained until his unfortunate passing this last Friday (June 26th).
I have met Jim numerous times outside of the brewery and the one thing outside of the prominent beard that I will miss will be his smile and that laugh. If I close my eyes right now I can still hear that scratchy voice, see those eyes fixed behind a set of spectacles, and recall that more salt than pepper beard.
The last time I saw Jim was during an impromptu walk in where he and his assistant Chachi Rodriguez were finishing up another brewed batch of beer. We shared an aged glass of Sleigher and talked for a bit with the intent on setting a later date for an interview with the both of them for my website. Sadly I spoke to Jim last on the 22nd of this month (June) regarding the pending Brewery Tour they were hosting two days later not knowing it would be my last time. James Patrick Quilter is survived by his wife Cheryl and his four daughters Larrissa Johnson (Shawn), Jennifer McKay (Robert), Brittany and Caitlin Quilter.
Jim, may clouds part, the sun burst, and the heavens applaud your arrival. You have left a noticeably vacant hole in not only the local and national craft beer world but also will forever be my 'Santa Claus' with a mug of beer in your hand.
Cheers & Slainte
UPDATED Information regarding Jim’s life …
“James Patrick Quilter was born on August 26th, 1956 in Tracy, California. He passed away at home on the afternoon of June 26th, 2009.
He grew up in the Paradise, California area with his close friend, Charles Henry. He was always close with his family.
Jim spent his twenties riding his harley, working for the school district, home brewing beer, and loving life with his friends.
He married Cheryll on June 29th, 1985 in Virginia City, Nevada, his new daughter Larrissa was ring bearer. They eventually had three more daughters, Jennifer, Brittany, and Caitlin.
James was a passionate brewer who loved seeing people enjoy his brews. He loved riding his harley, going on harley runs, rock music, and being Irish. He most recently acquired dual citizenship in Ireland which he was very proud of.
He was a sensitive man who cared a lot about people and loved life. He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his wife, Cheryll, who works at a local hospital as a switchboard operator and his four daughters. Larrissa Johnson is married to Shawn and they are expecting their first child in December, she lives in Bellevue. Jennifer McKay is married to Robert, they both work nights at an independent retirement community and she spends her days writing the best novels you ever read. Brittany is attending her second year at college as a sociology major. Caitlin is a junior in high school who loves cooking, music, and peace. He is also survived by a devoted dog, Skitzo.” –source, Evergreen Washelli Funeral Home