Massachusetts brewer wins Noonan scholarship

Benjamin Howe of Allston, Mass., has won the inaugural Greg Noonan Scholarship for an intensive class at the American Brewers Guild.

The scholarship was created in memory of Greg Noonan, who died last fall. Noonan opened Vermont’s first brewpub in 1988 and two others after that but his influence was far wider. His 1986 book “Brewing Lager Beer: The Most Comprehensive Book for Home- and Microbreweries” became a guidebook for those opening small breweries in the 1980s and ’90s.

The winning candidate was chosen by a panel of experienced brewmasters from across the country. The panel consisted of: Dan DelGrande, brewmaster and owner of Bison Brewing Company, Oakland, Calif.; Russ Fitzgerald, brewmaster with Vermont Pub and Brewery, Burlington, Vt.; Nick Funnell, brewmaster with Great American Restaurants a chain of brewpubs in Northern Virginia; Brandon Greenwood, brewmaster with Mark Anthony Brewing in Rochester, N.Y.; and Scott Shirley, brewmaster with Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, Vt.

Howe impressed several of the panel with his motivation and approach to getting into the industry. One member of the panel said, “He forced his way into a brewing job by volunteering and taking whatever opportunities came his way, however menial. This is the old school way of doing it and we don’t see this much anymore.”