Prestigious awards presented at Craft Brewers Conference General Session
Before thousands of industry professionals gathered at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego, the Brewers Association (BA) presented a trio of awards to influential members of the brewing community. Following remarks from San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio, BA board member Dick Cantwell announced the 2012 recipients of the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing, the Brewers Association Recognition Award and the F.X. Matt Defense of the Small Brewing Industry Award.
Described by a fellow brewer as an artist, a scientist and an inventor, James Ottolini of the St. Louis Brewery, Inc. is the recipient of the 2012 Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing. The list of his creative brewing solutions ranges from redesigned milling processes to reduce brewers' exposure to dust to extensive research on dry-hopping, which has been said to result in "beer with bold floral characteristics, but a soft, inviting quaffability."
It's been more than 10 years since the Brewers Association Recognition Award was presented to co-recipients, but this year, Doug and Wynne Odell and Doug's sister, Corkie Odell, of Odell Brewing Co. are all given the honor. Having started their brewery in 1989, the Odells are well known for their inspiring vision for their company. Their brewery has a co-worker-managed charitable committee to support local non-profits; they offer a profit-sharing plan for employees; and they have supported local homebrewers in their paths to starting their own professional breweries.
Lastly, the full-time executive director of the California Craft Brewers Association, Tom McCormick, is the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award recipient. Referred to as the "The Secretary of Defense for Craft Beer" by one peer, Tom has tirelessly devoted his work to the industry's issues at the state level. Much of his success has been due to his work to build and maintain relationships with elected officials.