Friday, April 18, 2008

Achievement Awards Announced at Craft Brewers Conference

Three predominant members of the brewing community were recognized with awards for their dedication and service to the industry at the opening session of the Brewers Association's annual Craft Brewers Conference.

The Brewers Association Recognition Award went to Dr. Michael Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Brewing Science at the University of California, Davis. With over 30 years of teaching experience, many of Lewis' former students hold prominent positions in the American brewing industry.

Dick Cantwell, Head Brewer at Elysian Brewing Company and Brewers Association Board of Directors member says, "As one of the seminal educators of craft brewers, Dr. Lewis has taken our movement from improvisation to awareness of what it is we do. It's high time his patience, wit and knowledge is celebrated by those who owe him so much."

To select a winner of the Brewers Association Recognition Award each year, members of the association nominate candidates and the Brewers Association Board of Directors votes to determine the winner.

The Brewers Association presented the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing to Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing Co. Cilurzo received this year's award for demonstrating creativity, excellence in brewing and substantial contributions to the craft brewing community.

Cantwell says, "Vinnie is one of the quiet innovators, inventing beers that have become standard styles today, such as double IPA, and by crafting beers that defy description, like his many Belgian blended barrel-aged beers. He's brought a winemaker's style and sophistication to the craft of hands-on brewing."

The Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing was first given in 1997 to honor Russell Schehrer, who died in 1996 at 38 years old, for his contributions to the brewing industry. Schehrer was a founding partner and original head brewer at Colorado's first brewpub Wynkoop Brewing Co. He was also one of the first brewers to produce mead, doppel alt, cream stout and chili beer.

Brewers Association brewery members submit nominations every year for the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing. The winner is chosen from the slate of nominees by a vote of the previous award winners.

The Brewers Association presented the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry award to John Carlson, Executive Director of the Colorado Brewers Guild.

John received this award in recognition for being a tireless and outspoken champion of the small brewing industry. Cantwell says, "From the early days of the craft brewing movement, John Carlson has been on the front lines of its stewardship and its flowering. As head of the Colorado Brewers Guild he has shepherded one of the country's most active brewing scenes from its infancy to its maturity."

The F.X. Matt Award is given in honor of a champion of small brewers, F.X. Matt (1933-2001), president of the F.X. Matt Brewing Co. in Utica, New York from 1980-1989 and Chairman from 1989-2001.

A list of past award winners follows:
Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing Winners
2007 - Matt Brynildson, Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
2006 - Dan Carey, New Glarus Brewing Company
2005 - Greg Noonan, Vermont Pub and Brewery
2004 - Dick Cantwell, Elysian Brewing Co.
2003 - Phil Markowski, Southampton Publick House
2002 - John Mallett, Kalamazoo Brewing Co.
2001 - John Harris, Full Sail Brewing Co.
2000 - Mark Carpenter, Anchor Brewing Co.
1999 - Fal Allen, Anderson Valley Brewing Co.
1998 - Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery
1997 - John Maier, Oregon Brewing Co./Rogue Ales

Brewers Association Recognition Award Winners
2007- Dr. Michael Lewis, U.C. Davis
2006 - Chuck Skypeck, Boscos Brewing Co.
2005 - Carol Stoudt, Stoudts Brewing Company
2004 - Jack Joyce, Rogue Ales
2003 - Mary-Anne Gruber, Briess Malting Co.
2002 - George Fix, Clemson University
2001 - Jim and Bobbie Kennedy, Admiralty Beverage Russell
2000 - Ralph Olson and Ralph Woodall, Hopunion CBS, LLC
1999 - Bill Owens, American Brewer Magazine
1998 - Charles Finkel, Merchant du Vin
1997 - Jim Koch and Rhonda Kallman, Boston Beer Co.
1996 - Karl Strauss, Karl M. Strauss Consulting
1995 - John Hickenlooper and Russell Schehrer, Wynkoop Brewing Co.
1994 - Fred Scheer, Frankenmuth Brewery
1993 - Jeff Mendel, Institute for Brewing Studies
1992 - Paul Shipman, Red Hook Ale Brewery
1991 - Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
1990 - Bert Grant, Yakima Brewing and Malting
1989 - Roger Briess, Briess Malting Co.
1988 - Fritz Maytag, Anchor Brewing Co.
1987 - Michael Jackson

F.X. Matt Defense of the Small Brewing Industry Award Winners
2007 - George Hancock, Pyramid Brewing Co.
2006 - Daniel Bradford
2005 - Marc Sorini, McDermott Will & Emery
2004 - Marc Sorini, BAA Counsel
2003 - Jim Parker, Oregon Brewers Guild
2002 - Mike McKinney, Texas Wholesalers Association
2001 - David Edgar, Past Institute for Brewing Studies Director
2000 - Fred Bowman, Portland Brewing Co.

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