Real Beer: Who would be the first three people you'd put in a Homebrew Hall of Fame?
Ray Daniels: Charlie Papazian is the obvious first choice. Charlie has taken some criticism in recent years, but regardless of what you think of him, you can not deny the fact that homebrewing as we know it in the US would not exist without Charlie. He stands head and shoulders above all others in thatregard.
Fred Eckhardt would probably be number two. As I begin to feel like a veteran in the brewing world, I often look at Fred and hope that I can exhibit some fraction of the good humor and panache that he exudes each time that you see him. He is truly a class act who has contributed much to the hobby and continues to do so, even today.
If forced to choose just one after Fred, I'd have to ponder my feelings about David Miller and Greg Noonan. I read their books nearly simultaneously after I graduated from Charlie's "Joy" and referred back to them often as I mastered all-grain brewing. In addition, both have contributed many other writings (Noonan's Scotch Ale book is wonderful as are Miller's columns from Brewing Techniques) as well as talks, appearances, etc. that have enhanced homebrewing across the country. Both have given much and both have been friendly and supportive of my efforts over the years, so it would be hard to choose between them.
Lynne O'Connor: 1. Charlie Papazian for Complete Joy and Zymurgy. 2. Dave Logsden because I honestly think homebrewing would have never boomed without good and widely available yeast. 3. George Fix because he represents endless passion for his hobby. George is the antithesis of the "been there, done that -- nothing new under the sun" homebrewer.
But I should say that the people I most admire are the ones that work the hardest -- people like Michael Jackson and Tom Dalldorf. They never turn it off.
Dan Juliano: Charlie Papazian, because that was the one book I read over and over. John Isenhour, because he turned BUZZ (the homebrew club in Champaign-Urbana where Juliano became active in homebrewing) from a backwater club of drunks into a fairly knowledgable group (BUZZ has its own yeast bank). Then either Michael Jackson or Fritz Maytag (Anchor Brewing), for keeping the tradition of beer alive.
Sean Quinlan: Charlie Papazian, for the organization and planting the seed. Dave Miller, for his books. Fred Eckhardt, for great columns.
Andy Anderson: Well ... I think the concept of a "Homebrew Hall of Fame" runs counter to the very essence of homebrewing. There are no superstars in the world of homebrewing because the concept has been around for so long. Homebrewing has been with humans ever since the Egyptians realized that their bread would ferment when left in water for long periods of time. Homebrewing was an essential function of the woman of the house in the middle ages. If you drink the wonderful beers of Traquair House, all you are really doing is drinking from the "home brewery" equipment that was rediscovered 40 years ago.
On the other hand, you could re-define the question and ask who should be in the Modern Homebrew Hall of Fame. In that context, I would offer the following suggestion purely from my own point of view. Jimmy Carter for signing the legislation that made our hobby legal once again, Charlie Papazzian for being at it's forefront for so long, and Jeff Peters who introduced me to this wonderful hobby 14 years ago. He stopped brewing over a decade ago, but he planted the seed that continues to grow even to this day.
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