BA honors Talley, McDonald and Kopman

The Brewers Association honored two representatives of Missouri breweries and the first woman to receive its most coveted annual award reserved for brewers during the Craft Brewers Conference in San Francisco.

Jennifer Talley of Squatters Pub Brewery and Salt Lake Brewing Co. won the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing.

“Jennifer has won countless awards at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup against other beers that are of higher alcohol content in styles where alcohol is a key thread to carry the flavor of the beer,” said John Harris of Full Sail Brewing Co., another Schehrer award winner. “She has all of the character of previous winners of this award — a passion for beer, passion for our industry and passion for expanding her and her fellow brewers’ knowledge.”

The award was given in 1997 to honor Russell Schehrer’s contributions to the brewing industry. Schehrer died in 1996 at 38 years of age and was a founding partner and original head brewer at Colorado’s first brewpub, Wynkoop Brewing Co.

The Brewers Association Recognition Award went to John McDonald of Boulevard Brewing Co. McDonald founded the brewery in 1989 and began hand-delivering Boulevard beer to local restaurants in his own pick-up truck. McDonald’s brewery now employs over 90 people and has a capacity of approximately 600,000 barrels per year.

“John pioneered craft beer in a part of the country that did not have a lot of other active small brewers,” said Rich Doyle of Harpoon Brewery. “He was a missionary of sorts and has built a great brewery, brand and business. He is also a very good guy.”

The F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award went to Dan Kopman of St. Louis Brewery, which produces Schlafly Beer. Kopman has worked recently on to promoting legislation that would recalibrate federal excise taxes for small brewers.

“Dan deserves this award for his dedication and leadership on the excise tax bill,” remarked John Pinkerton of Moon River Brewing Co.

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.