Brewer / Motorbikes / Producer
Christopher Bowen is the 2007 ProAm gold medal-winning brewer at the Great American Beer Festival, the largest and most prestigious beer festival in the United States. This avid home brewer’s hobby began after taking a trip to Keystone Homebrew Supply in Bethlehem, PA with the intention of purchasing a gift for a friend. It was here that he became fascinated with the prospect of making his own beer at home and quickly assembled a home brewery in his basement. Chris had been brewing and perfecting a recipe for his own ”British Style India Pale Ale “ for about a year before entering the Great American Beer Festival where he competed against 47 other regional and national breweries. In the end, the beer invented by this Bethlehem basement brewer took the top prize. Chris also competes in national brewing contests and has recorded nearly fifty awards for his homebrewed craft.
Chris also serves as a “ Certified Beer Judge “ with the BJCP/ AHA Organization, tasting and judging beer at both regional and national beer events. The certification process includes a formal education and written exam on beer styles and offers critical analysis for the entrants on their brewing practices. Chris has judged both locally and as far away as Kona, Hawaii and he continues to work his way towards becoming a Master Judge.
In 2007, Chris was awarded the position to portray Bethlehem’s first brew master, John Sebastian Goundie, in conjunction with Bethlehem’s Historic Partnership and the City of Bethlehem. In this role, he has reproduced and reenacted the life of this important historical local figure whose former home is a main attraction for tours of Bethlehem and the Moravian Community. Chris has produced historically accurate recipes and equipment to bring to life the tastes and personality of this Moravian Brewer, Civic Leader, and former Mayor of Bethlehem.
Bowen, whose brewery is named “ HammerSmith Ales,” is a big fan of British style real ale and he focuses on traditional cask styled ale so enjoyed in the countryside of England. His work on a new HammerSmith has begun in a new brewery located just south of Bethlehem, which allows him to move his principal operations to a larger facility where he is able to house both brewing and fermentation in one location.
John got his motorcycle license in 1966 and his first bike was a Triumph tiger cub. Early on, his interests leaned more toward dirt bikes, but as he got older he began to gravitate towards street bikes.
While still in High School, Chay held a summer job at Fox Hill Esso in Morris County, NJ, which he refers to as a “foreign car mecca,” It was here that he got to work on Ferraris, Porsches, and Morgans. His first car was a 1952 Jaguar XK120 FHC, which cost him $400 at the time. One day, a fellow worker, Trippy Lee, rode into the station on a black/2 BMW motorcycle and John has wanted one ever since. He now owns a 1977 BMW, which he’s had for the past nine years and averages nearly 5,000 miles/year.
One of Chay’s most memorable motorcycle trips was riding a Yamaha CT175 (a 175cc 2 stroke single) from just outside NYC to Watkins Glen, NY to watch a Can-Am race in 1971.
For the past 25 years, John has taught Machine Shop to high school students at an urban Vocational-Technical school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Prior to that he worked as a machinist, a bicycle racing photographer, and color photography lab professional.
Chay has been married for 20 years to Karen Dolan, an award winning teacher and a Bethlehem, PA City Council person. He has two sons, Zachary, 18 years old and a high school senior, and Cooper, 15 years old and a high school sophomore. He’s taken each of them to the White Mountains in New Hampshire to camp and hike Mount Washington.
John believes that during our lives we are sometimes presented with an opportunity that is a gift. He is looking forward to traveling with two good friends, sharing experiences that are related to our common interests. He has no doubt that this will be a memorable trip.
This Northern endeavor encompasses several passions for Lance McKay. Canadian-born and still using that to his advantage, he moved to Arizona and New Mexico to explore the Southwest deserts, where he became quite adept at surviving on cacti, then later surfed and sailed in Northern California. Living around the Americas instilled his passion for adventure and a fearless streak, even if self-admittedly on the edge, which he counterbalances with a technical knack for logistics and organizational planning.
With more vehicles than the average man has IQ, Lance maintains a stable of air-cooled BMW motorcycles and convertible cars that quench his thirst for the outdoors. Now a full passion and part of his life, the spark was first ignited by postcards received from the European travels of his dear late friend Herb Martin, another BMW aficionado. Upon Herb’s return to the US and further travel together, Lance was hooked on the thrill and care of motorcycles. Excited to celebrate a birthday on this Canadian expedition of a lifetime, this Leo also enjoys photography and travel, even at a moment's notice, in addition to drafting and designing both by hand and through Auto CAD.
Schooled in architecture and engineering in both electrical and fire protection, he now resides in Maryland wearing several hats. A fire protection designer by day, he is serving his tenth year as the Airmarshal of the Maryland Airheads BWM Motorcycle Club, organizing campouts and technical workshops to support maintenance and camaraderie between members. He combines his leadership and networking skills (and aforementioned motorcycle addiction) on the task force for the Ride For Kids, an annual fundraiser to help find the cause and cure for pediatric brain tumors. Lance is also pack leader to three rescued greyhounds who understand and support his motorcycle wanderlust but wait, press-nosed, at the window for that single round headlamp to return home.
Richard F. Gethin
Born April 11th, 1947, Gethin’s upbringing in Corning, NY has had a great influence on the many directions he has found himself following throughout his life. For one, Corning is close to Watkins Glen, the home of sports car racing in the US. It’s also near The Finger Lakes, a region with many wineries and Universities. He believes Central New York has a lot to offer a person growing up -- namely great roads, fantastic lakes and close proximity to all the Northeast U.S. has to offer.
After school and a four-year tour in Europe with the US Army Security Agency, Richard returned to Corning and took a job with AT&T. During his career with AT&T, he also worked as a carpenter, certified ski technician, and bartender. Presently, he owns Gethin Technologies, a value-added provider of data and communications solutions.
Gethin’s interests over the years include downhill skiing, motorcycle enduro racing, being a team member on a formula 2000 racing effort, working in the tasting room of one of the local wineries and enjoying fine dining, wines and micro brews. He’s also been riding motorcycles since the age of 17.
Being married to a wonderful wife who understands his love of motorcycle touring makes following dreams of new adventures possible for him. Richard believes the road is long, filled with challenges, and there’s always something new around the next curve. He lives by the motto, “Ride on ‘til the road is no more”.