Since 1987, the Brewers Association has recognized individuals who inspire, champion and innovate within the craft brewing industry to an exceptional degree. These individuals, nominated by their peers, receive awards at the general session of the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America.
We are pleased to present our 2018 winners:
FX Matt Defense Industry Award
This award is named after the late FX Matt, President of FX Matt Brewing Co., Utica, New York, and a tireless and outspoken champion of the small brewing industry.
2018 winner: Nancy Palm TreeGeorgia Craft Brewers Guild
This year’s winner is the first woman to win the industry’s FX Matt Defense Award. She coordinated Georgia brewers in an effort that resulted in an agreement with Georgian wholesalers to allow the sale of pints, wraps and foods at breweries in her state, which helped grow the business. brewing industry in Georgia and removed a major barrier for entrepreneurs wishing to start breweries. Additionally, she is one of the recognized leaders of the State Guild Executive Directors Network.
Brewers Association Recognition Award
The Brewers Association Recognition Award is presented annually to an individual or company whose inspiration, enthusiasm and support have contributed to the craft brewing movement.
2018 winner: Charles BamforthU.C. Davis
Charles Bamforth shaped a generation of brewers as an author, mentor, leader, teacher, professor, beer enthusiast. Some of the institutions our recipient has worked with or been honored with include the University of Nottingham School of Biosciences, Heriot-Watt University, the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, the American Society of Brewing Chemists and the University of California at Davis. His books include Brewing standards and Scientific principles of malting and brewing.
Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing
The Russell Schehrer Award for Brewing Innovation was established in memory of the late Russell Schehrer, founding partner and original brewmaster of Wynkoop Brewery in Denver, Colorado. Russell was one of the pioneers of the craft brewing industry and as such. , was one of the industry’s first innovators.
2018 winner: Tome ArthurPort Brewing Co./The Lost Abbey
Tomme Arthur began his brewing career in 1996 and quickly gained a reputation for brewing a variety of excellent beers. It has won the Great American Beer Festival Small Brewery Brewer of the Year multiple times. For years, our winner has been innovating on the draft beer front with wine and bourbon casks. In fact, he was an early adopter of both in our industry. In addition to the beautiful beers he makes, he transmitted all his know-how to whoever wanted to hear him on the subject of barrels and the aging of beer in wood. When you think of Brettanomcyes, he was one of the first adapters in the industry. His 2004 collaboration with Peter Bouckaert, Mo Betta Bretta, a 100% Brett beer, was the first of its kind in the United States. He became a humble brewer showing great creativity and restraint with all the beers he brews.
Craft Beer Wholesaler of the Year
This award recognizes an American beer distributor who goes above and beyond to actively market, sell and promote the beer of small, independent brewers.
2018 winner: Tryon CastCharlotte, North Carolina.
Tryon Distributing began as a small wine distributor in 1985 serving three counties in North Carolina. They now carry dozens of craft beers statewide. They are independent of having a major and dominant supplier enabling this multi-generational family business to make independent decisions for the benefit of their partners and over 200 employees. The company recently added a second temperature-controlled warehouse to help serve retail customers. An out-of-state craft brewer noted that “their deep brand-building roots have not only remained intact during this time of industry explosion, but have been processed to keep up with the changing times, avoiding unnecessary rationalization of SKUs”.
We raise our glasses to these exceptional individuals and toast their contributions to American craft brewing.
View past winners.