Brewers association

The Brewers Association announces the departure of Charlie Papazian

Father of home brewing, founder and innovator leaves lasting legacy after 40 years

Boulder, Colorado • January 23, 2018—The Brewers Association (BA)—the nonprofit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting small, independent craft brewers in the United States—announced today that Founder and Past President Charlie Papazian will be leaving the Brewers Association on January 23, 2019, marking his 70and anniversary and 40 years of building the craft brewing community and inspiring brewers and beer lovers everywhere.

“We are all here today because of Charlie Papazian,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association. “His influence on the home and craft brewing community is immeasurable. Who could have predicted that a simple wooden spoon, ingenuity and passion would spawn a community of over a million home brewers and 6,000 small independent American craft breweries.

Charlie Papazian, founder of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) and the Association of Brewers, paved the way for home brewing in the 1970s. His expertise and friendly tone assured people that making good beer was possible at home. He pointed to his catchphrase of “Relax. Do not worry. Have a homebrew” in his first book, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and inspired millions to take up the hobby of home brewing.

Charlie revisiting the spot in Charlottesville, Virginia where he brewed his first batch of beer in 1970. The photo was taken in 1979.

In 1978 Papazian, along with Charlie Matzen, formed the AHA in Boulder, CO. They published the first issue of zymurgia magazine, announcing the new organization, publicizing the federal legalization of homebrewing, and calling for participation in the AHA’s first national homebrewing contest. Today, the AHA has over 46,000 members.

Charlie Papazian
Papazian (L), along with Charlie Matzen (R), formed the AHA in Boulder, CO.

In 1982 Papazian started the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Boulder, CO. Now in her 37and year, GABF is the largest ticketed beer festival in North America with over 60,000 attendees annually and its accompanying competition is one of the most coveted prizes in the brewing industry.

The following year, the Brewers Association was organized to include the AHA and the Institute for Brewing and Fermentation Studies to help the emerging microbrewery movement in the United States. In 2005, the Brewers Association and the Brewers Association of America merged to form the Brewers Association.

When asked, “Charlie, did you ever imagine beer would turn into this?” His answer is always yes.

“I had a playful vision that there would be a homebrewer in every neighborhood and a brewery in every city. But what I didn’t imagine, what I couldn’t imagine, what I never considered was the impact that craft brewing would have on our culture, our economy, and American life,” Papazian said. .

Papazian will spend his final year at the BA completing numerous projects, including an archival project on the history of craft brewing. The archive will house 40 years of craft beer history in the form of more than 100,000 publications, photographs, audio tapes, films, videos and documents, including 140 video interviews of America’s craft brewing pioneers, and will be accessible to scholars via the BA. He will also deliver the keynote address at AHA’s 40and Annual National Homebrew Conference,”Homebrew Con“, in Portland, OR on Thursday, June 28.

Charlie Papazian
Charlie at the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado.

Brewers and home brewers are invited to share their well wishes and Charlie Papazian’s stories about the AHA and BA facebook pages.

Contact: Abby Berman Cohen, The Rosen Group, 646-695-7044


About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the nonprofit trade association dedicated to America’s small, independent brewers, their beers, and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents more than 4,000 American breweries. The BA Independent Craft Brewer Seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers from small independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the Beer World Cup℠, Great American Oktoberfest®, Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®, SAVOUR℠: An American Craft Beer and Dining Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The new brewer® magazines, and Brewers’ Publications™ is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the United States

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the vibrant world of craft beer at and on homebrewing via BAs American Homebrew Association and free Brew Guru™ mobile app. follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, orientation or marital/family status. The BA complies with the provisions of Executive Order 11246 and relevant rules, regulations and orders of the Secretary of Labor.