Herman Ronnenberg

Herman Wiley Ronnenberg, 68, of Troy

Herman Ronnenberg pic

After a long and brave battle with cancer, Herman Wiley Ronnenberg, Ph.D., passed away on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, at the age of 68 with his son and daughter by his side.  He is survived by his son, Wiley Ronnenberg, his three grandchildren, Corey, Jessica and Logan, and his great-grandson Atlas.  He is also survived by his daughter, Heather Ronnenberg Caton, son-in-law, Jeff, and his grandson, Erik.  His beloved dog Shadow, has a permanent home with Heather’s family.

Herman wore many hats in his lifetime, including teacher, librarian, professor, restaurant and bar owner, historical writer, bookstore owner and publisher.  However, what he was most known for was his passion for beer and brewing, earning him the moniker, “Dr. Beer.”

Over his lifetime, Herman amassed an extensive collection of beer memorabilia, including cans and bottles, openers, signs, books, and anything else he could find relating to beer.  He was very proud of his collection and built a museum at his home in Troy, Idaho, to accommodate it.

After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Idaho, Herman dedicated his life to the research and history of beer and brewing in Idaho.  He wrote and published numerous books on the subject.  In 2014, Herman was honored with the prestigious Esto Perpetua Award from the Idaho State Historical Society for his lifetime work with Idaho Brewing history.

A celebration of Herman’s life will be held Saturday, June 20, at Schierman’s Clubhouse and Event Center, located at 3225 Robinson Park Road, in Moscow, Idaho from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.  His friends and family are invited to come share a story and a six-pack of his or her favorite beer.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Troy Historical Society at P.O. Box 351, Troy, ID 83871.

7 Responses to Herman Ronnenberg

  1. Delbert Wall says:

    To Herman’s family , you have my prayers and condolences at this difficult time . Herman and I were childhood friends beginning at a very young age and lasting until our middle high school years . This was in the small town of Evansville , Illinois located in southern Illinois . Around 1963 Herman with is family moved to southern California . Many years past and we found one another on the internet and stayed in touch with each other . I was sadden to learn of his ill health and his battle being lost . Many years ago , Herman was my best friend and I still have fond memories of that friendship today .

  2. Jim Massey, DuBuque,Iowa says:

    Very sorry to hear of Herman’s passing.

  3. Ralph Nielsen says:

    I remember Herman with great fondness as a librarian at the University of Idaho Library. My condolences to his family.

  4. Steven Talbott of Oregon says:

    My sympathies and prayers go out to Dr. Ronnenberg’s family, children and Grandchildren. Although we’d never met, Hermann & I had been in contact by exchanges of emails this year. I was going to take the opportunity to meet him and visit his beer-museum in July. I’m disappointed that we’ll miss that opportunity to meet in person. I learned much from reading 2 of his books. He is a well researched author regarding pre-prohibition Breweries. He will be missed. Cheers & Ein Prosit to his life and contributions!

  5. Susan Appel says:

    My sincere condolences to Herman’s family and friends. I knew him as a brewery writer from my own involvement with brewery architecture. He asked me to consult on his dissertation, and I was happy to help. After that we stayed in touch by email, and he provided me with copies of many of his books and annual reviews of his activities in the form of his remarkable Christmas letters. We finally met once, at a brewery collectors conference, and I found him a personable and entertaining man. I know he’ll be missed, not only by his family, but also by a wider audience for his very good life’s work. Rest in peace, my friend. Susan Appel (Illinois)

  6. Doug Hoverson, of Minneapolis says:

    It was a great pleasure getting to know Herman during the past decade through our shared passion for brewery history. As book reviewer for American Breweriana Journal, I had the pleasure of reading several of his books, and was always impressed both by the thoroughness of his research and the way in which he made western history come alive. Some of the stories he recounted would have been considered too implausible for movies or television, yet his documentation showed they were as authentic as they were unbelievable. I enjoyed having lunch or dinner over a beer with him in several brewpubs around the country, and offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends. I will be speaking at a beer festival at the same time as celebration of his life on the 20th, and I will be sure to offer a toast to Herman, his work, and his memory.

  7. Scott Ollar says:

    I was a non-traditional student of ‘Docs’ here at the UI, and discovered we are both from southern IL, he from Chester and I from Carbondale. Doc taught me much about history, writing, life, and was always a joy to visit with before or after class.
    Another good educator gone….he will be missed. I brought him back a beer made in so. IL (a Saluki (go Dawgs) beer) and was looking up his contact info so I could deliver in person. Sniff.
    Scott (7/15/15)

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