Three predominant members of the brewing community were recognized with awards for their dedication and service to the industry at the opening session of the Brewers Association’s annual Craft Brewers Conference.
The Brewers Association Recognition Award went to Dr. Michael Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Brewing Science at the University of California, Davis. With over 30 years of teaching experience, many of Lewis’ former students hold prominent positions in the American brewing industry.
The Brewers Association presented the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing to Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing Co. Cilurzo received this year’s award for demonstrating creativity, excellence in brewing and substantial contributions to the craft brewing community.
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.
Brewers Association brewery members submit nominations every year for the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing. The winner is chosen from the slate of nominees by a vote of the previous award winners.
The Brewers Association presented the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry award to John Carlson, Executive Director of the Colorado Brewers Guild.
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.