Brewers Association

Passing of beer legend Greg Noonan

Passing of beer legend Greg Noonan

Brewers, beer enthusiasts, Noonanites mourn passing of beer legend Greg Noonan

Greg Noonan, Vermont homebrew and brewpub pioneer passed away earlier this week .  He will be remembered as one of the most generous contributors to American pioneering craft beer and brewing knowledge.

It was in 1984 that I first met Greg at an American Homebrewers Association homebrewing event in Boston, Massachusetts.  He was then a homebrewer living in western Massachusetts.  There were a couple of hundred homebrewers at this first ever AHA Boston beer event.  I had never met Greg.  He approached me, introduced himself and offered me a shoe box full of papers.  “Charlie, I don’t know if you would be interested in reading this, but I have a type written manuscript about brewing lager beer in this box.”

From that point on I learned that Greg seemed to always understate his knowledge and passion upon first encounter, but behind all that understatement, there was an immense passion and tremendous knowledge of beer and brewing.  He always seemed to want to share his enthusiasm with other brewers and as it came to be, with beer drinkers.

That original carbon copy type written manuscript came to be the very first book that the Brewers Association (then called the Association of Brewers) ever published.  Brewers Publication emerged in 1986 with Greg Noonan’s quintessential book, Brewing Lager Beer (later revised and greatly expanded in 1996 New Brewing Lager Beer  ).  It represented Greg’s passion for pioneering information, which up to that point remained inaccessible to small and homebrewers.  The book became a legend.  His followers and disciples called themselves Noonan-ites.

In 1988 Greg and his wife moved to Burlington, Vermont and opened the state’s first brewpub, The Vermont Pub and Brewery .  On a recent visit this past summer I found the beers to be a continuation of the frontiers which Greg continued to explore.

The beer and brewing community will miss Greg Noonan, but certainly his spirit will long be remembered with American home and craft brewed beer for a long time coming.  Thank you Greg.

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