Beer Birthday: Charlie Papazian

Today is the 68th birthday of Charlie Papazian, one of the most influential persons in modern brewing. Charlie founded the AHA, the AOB and the IBS back in 1978 (which today is the Brewers Association) and organized the first Great American Beer Festival. His book, the Complete Joy of Homebrewing was one of the seminal works on the subject, and is now in its fourth edition. Join me in wishing Charlie a very happy birthday.

Just before taking the stage during GABF 2007, from left, Glenn Payne (of Meantime Brewing), Charlie, Mark Dorber (formerly of the White Horse on Parson’s Green but now at the Anchor Pub), Garrett Oliver, and Steve Hindy (both from Brooklyn Brewing), Dave Alexander (from the Brickskeller), and Tom Dalldorf (from the Celebrator Beer News).

Some NBWA luminaries at the 2008 NBWA welcome reception. From left, Jamie Jurado (with Gambrinus), Lucy Saunders (the Beer Cook), Charlie Papazian (President of the Brewers Association), Kim Jordan (from New Belgium Brewing) and Tom Dalldorf (from the Celebrator Beer News).

On stage at the Beer Wars Live premiere with Ben Stein and Greg Koch.

Charlie with Pete Slosberg at last year’s Craft Brewers Conference in San francisco.

Of the literally hundreds of GABF and World Beer Cup award-accepting photos I have with Charlie in them, this is one of my favorites.

The BA recently shared this great photo of Charlie from 1977.


  1. Kevin LaMar says

    Three cheers for Charlie! Happy Birthday to the guy who taught me how to brew and most importantly:

    Relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew!

  2. Dave Thomas says

    Happy Birthday Charlie!
    Now that you are a new daddy you will age no more!
    (p.s. That is Tom Hail and John Legnard of SandLot Brewery manhandling the man!)

  3. The Professor says

    Happy Birthday and many more.
    I started homebrewing in 1971, but it was really Charlie’s writing that set me on a much more productive and much, much tastier path a few years after that.
    The man’s an original! (And the fact that he’s also originally a fellow New Jerseyan doesn’t hurt either)

  4. says

    I too learned by reading Charlie’s book. I went from brewing in a 5 gallon bucket in my basement to actually getting paid to brew in a small brewpub. Happy birthday Charlie! If you are ever in Rapid City, SD relax, have a craft brew on us.

  5. Gary Gillman says

    Nice tribute to a man who’s was a ground-breaker in the craft beer movement. He stands with Fritz Maytag, Michael Jackson, Jack McAuliffe and Ken Grossman as one of the true pioneers, everyone interested in good beer today in whatever capacity stands on their shoulders. Charlie’s memoir volume should also be mentioned, the name escapes me for a moment but it was a rollicking and still informative read. At only 65, he has years more to give.


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