Beer Birthday: Fred Eckhardt

Esteemed Portland beer writer Fred Eckhardt would have turned 91 today. Portland’s Fred Eckhardt was a living legend, especially in his home city, having pioneered writing about and defining beer styles with his early book on the subject, The Essentials of Beer Style, published in 1989. This weekend, the first FredFest will be held without Fred in attendance. The beer festival honoring Fred has been held around his birthday since he turned 80. Last Sunday the 12th annual FredFest. If you missed it, raise a toast to Fred’s memory, and today join me in wishing Fred a very happy birthday.

Fred Eckhardt and me at the Great American Beer Festival in 2005.

At the Celebrator’s 18th anniversary party in February. From left: Shaun O’Sullivan, from 21st Amendment, Fred Eckhardt, the woman who wanted this picture of all her beer writing “heroes” in the first place, me, Tom Dalldorf, Celebrator publisher, and Randy Griggs, with DBi and the BN.

Fred with fellow Portland beer writer Lisa Morrison.

Alan Sprints, of Hair of the Dog Brewery, with Fred Eckhardt, at Hair of the Dog’s open house in 2008 during OBF.


  1. Ward says


    This guy…”and a brewer from Brewmasters.” if I’m not mistaken is DOZE member, and B3 employee Randy Griggs.


  2. says

    Happy Birthday Fred! Holy S**T 86! Who’da ever thunk an old jarhead like you would ever make it this far and still have so much more to give! See you soon!

  3. Kendall Staggs says

    Fred is one of the true gentlemen in the beer world. I had the privilege of judging Best of Show at the Oregon Homebrew Festival with him a few times. It was an unforgettable learning experience.

    • Gary Gillman says

      Very pleased to add to all these wishes. He is a legend. Had the pleasure of meeting I’m in Portland some years ago. Fred was a teen-aged U.S. Marine in the Pacific in 1944-45, an early home brewer, author of a book on lager-brewing circa 1970, and an indispensable part of the beer renaissance. Good to see him still active and enjoying his favourite beverage.



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