Brewers Association 2008 Achievement Award Winners

San Diego, Calif. April 18, 2008- 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.


Based in Boulder, Colorado, USA, the Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade and education association for American craft brewers and community of beer enthusiasts. Visit the Web site,, to learn more. The association’s activities include events and publishing: World Beer Cup®; Great American Beer Festivalsm; Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®; National Homebrewers Conference; National Homebrew Competition; American Craft Beer Week; Zymurgy magazine; The New Brewer magazine; and books on beer and brewing. The Brewers Association has an additional membership division of 15,000+ homebrewers: American Homebrewers Association.