Honoring the Best

A capacity crowd attending the opening session of the Brewers Association’s annual Craft Brewers Conference applauded the recognition of three outstanding individuals in the brewing industry who were presented awards for dedication and service.

The Brewers Association Recognition Award went to Jack McAuliff, founder of New Albion Brewing Company. McAuliff’s inspiration, enthusiasm and support have contributed to the development of the North American craft beer movement.

Steve Bradt, Head Brewer at Free State Brewing Company and Brewers Association Board of Directors member says, “As founder of what author Maureen Ogle calls ‘…the most important failed brewery in the industry’s history, the New Albion Brewing Co.’ Jack McAuliffe epitomizes the kind of tough, ingenious, creative and fiercely independent men and women who have come since in the Craft Brewing world. In fact, we could probably find reason to present him with each of the awards presented today, not just this one.”

Each year the Brewers Association Recognition Award is presented. 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 Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Brynildson received this year’s award for demonstrating creativity, excellence in brewing and substantial contributions to the craft brewing community.

Bradt says “Matt successfully operates the only commercial Burton Union type brewing system in the U.S. He’s been a leader in barrel aging experimentation and contributed greatly to the education of his fellow craft brewers on the subject of hop use as well. I think he’s a perfect fit for the Russ Schehrer Award.”

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 George Hancock, Chair of Pyramid Brewing Co. and past President of the Washington Brewers Guild.

George received this award in recognition for being a tireless and outspoken champion of the small brewing industry. Bradt says, “George Hancock has shown tremendous leadership during his tenure as president of the Washington State Brewer’s Guild. The Guild was instrumental in establishing the Washington Beer Commission, the first of it’s kind in the U.S. One of the descriptions used for the late F.X. Matt was that he was a tireless defender of small brewers – George has certainly shown that same spirit and determination in his work in Washington State.”

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
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
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
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.