CBC Achievement Awards

Brewers Association Announces 2011 Achievement Award Winners

Three members of the brewing community were recognized and awarded for their dedication and service before a packed room at the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) opening session. This year, CBC was larger than ever, with 3,900 attendees and over 50 different seminars.

Jennifer Talley of Squatters Pub Brewery/Salt Lake Brewing Co. won the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing. As the first woman to ever win this award, Talley was clearly honored and ecstatic to be recognized alongside the 13 other accomplished brewers who previously won the Russel Schehrer Award. She has been brewing for over 20 years, winning numerous awards and accolades along the way.

“Jennifer has won countless awards at the Great American Beer Festival® and World Beer Cup® against other beers that are of higher alcohol content in styles where alcohol is a key thread to carry the flavor of the beer,” explained John Harris of Full Sail Brewing Co. “She has all of the character of previous winners of this award—a passion for beer, passion for our industry and passion for expanding her and her fellow brewers’ knowledge.”

The Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing was first given in 1997 to honor Russell Schehrer’s contributions to the brewing industry. Schehrer died in 1996 at 38 years of age and 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.

BA brewery members submit nominations every year for the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing. Previous award winners vote to choose the honoree from the slate of nominees.

The Brewers Association Recognition Award went to John McDonald of Boulevard Brewing Co. In 1989, McDonald founded the brewery and began hand-delivering Boulevard beer to local restaurants in his own pick-up truck. A longtime Brewers Association (BA) member—since the early 1990s—McDonald’s brewery now employs over 90 people and has a capacity of approximately 600,000 barrels per year.

“John pioneered craft beer in a part of the country that did not have a lot of other active small brewers,” said Rich Doyle of Harpoon Brewery. “He was a missionary of sorts and has built a great brewery, brand and business. He is also a very good guy.”

BA members nominate candidates each year for the Brewers Association Recognition Award, and the BA Board of Directors votes to determine the winner.

Lastly, the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award went to Dan Kopman of St. Louis Brewery/Schlafly Beer. It is difficult to speak of Kopman and his brewery without noting that he has always worked in the shadow of Anheuser-Busch, also based in St. Louis. Nevertheless, his recognition at this year’s CBC has much more to do with his leadership within the craft brewing industry and his work to ensure that his fellow brewers, and his 20 year-old brewery, are treated fairly by federal regulations. Dan has devoted countless hours and significant energy to promoting legislation that would recalibrate federal excise taxes for small brewers.

“Dan deserves this award for his dedication and leadership on the excise tax bill,” remarked John Pinkerton of Moon River Brewing Co.

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.


  1. Jephro says

    Congratulations Dan!!!

    I know many people have never heard of Schlafly unless you have read Tom’s many articles in Brewers publications or are from the Midwest. Since they do not participate in GABF they do not have any GABF medals (that I am aware of) and therefore are “off the map” to a lot of people. Oh yea, if you read the BA forum you must at least know of Otto- he does have short posts on there once in a while.;)

    If you ever find yourself in St. Louis, be sure to stop by one of the Schlafly locations. The Hop in the City festival they do during the late-summer every year in the parking lot of the Taproom is one of the best single brewery fest’s i have had the pleasure of attending/working- 30+ beers and they are all Schlafly beers, they save a few kegs of every beer the brew throughout the year.

    Great people and Great Beer!! I learned much from the folks at Schlafly in my early days of brewing, Schlafly is one of the things i miss most about St. Louis. Actually, excluding family, Imo’s Pizza may take the #1 spot :p -but what good is pizza without good beer?

    – Jeff Byrne
    (changed my signature in celebration)