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Brewing Achievement Awards 2010

Yesterday at the opening session of the Craft Brewers Conference in Chicago, the awards were given to “three successful members of the brewing community … for their dedication and service to the industry.” The three awards were as follows.

Dick Cantwell, from Elysian Brewery in Seattle presented the awards.

The first award, from the press release:

The Brewers Association Recognition Award went to Larry Bell, Founder and Owner of Bell’s Brewery, Inc. Bell started the Kalamazoo Brewing Company and Bell’s Brewery, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1985, the earliest craft brewery in the eastern half of the United States. Larry’s dedication to the industry includes serving as a former chair of the Brewers Association’s predecessor organization and acting as a driving force with current Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper for the creation of American Beer Month (which evolved into American Craft Beer Week).

“Larry is a leader in our industry known for his innovative beers and the passion he brings to craft brewing,” said Brewers Association Board of Directors Chair Nick Matt, CEO of Matt Brewing Company. Mountain West Brewery Supply’s David Edgar noted in documents supporting Bell’s nomination that “Larry is continually pushing the envelope with experimenting with different grains, different yeast strains and plenty of hops.”

The second award, from the press release:

The Brewers Association presented the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing to Ken Grossman, CEO/President of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Grossman received this year’s award for his leadership in technical brewing science for craft brewers. He is still deeply involved in technical brewing projects at Sierra Nevada and has led numerous initiatives in the area of sustainability and beer quality.

“Ken Grossman founded Sierra Nevada Brewing Company 30 years ago based on one principle, to make the highest quality beer in America,” said Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing Co. in a nominating document. “I think Ken’s never-ending quest in life is to make Sierra Nevada’s beers even better than they already are.”

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.

The third award, from the press release:

The Brewers Association presented the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award to Steve Hindy, Chairman and President of The Brooklyn Brewery. Hindy recently testified in a Congressional hearing to communicate how state franchise laws can hinder the ability for small brewers to grow their businesses and how self-distribution is important to many small brewers to develop their access to market.

“Steve’s work on behalf of the industry is almost too great to list,” says Brewers Association Past Chair Richard Doyle of Harpoon Brewery. “His involvement on the Beer Institute board established credibility for craft brewers there and reaffirmed our place at the table.”

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.

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