More than 3,500 attendees attend keynote address
Kim Jordan of New Belgium Brewing Company kicked off the 30th edition of the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) with a keynote address that emphasized the interconnectivity of fellow craft breweries and the importance of the collective identity shared as American craft brewers. She looked back on her colleagues' remarkable success in recent years with a message of pride and also a call to fellow brewers to keep focused on quality and innovation.
Prior to Jordan's remarks, BA board member Dick Cantwell announced the 2013 recipients of the F.X. Matt Defense of the Small Brewing Industry Award, the Brewers Association Recognition Award and the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing.
David Katleski, president of the New York State Craft Brewers Guild and owner of the Empire Brewing Co., was honored with the the F.X. Matt Award for his tireless efforts to make regulatory reform possible and change legislation. Katleski operates a small brewpub in Syracuse and is constantly working to help the local craft market. This past year, he had five major pieces of reform legislation passed in New York.
The BA Board of Directors awarded the Brewers Association Recognition Award to Art Larrance of Cascade Brewing/Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub for his innovation in producing award-winning beers. Larrance has been in the industry since the early 1980's and opened Cascade Brewing Co. in 1998.
The third and final award was presented to Peter Bouckaert of New Belgium Brewing Co. He received the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing for implementing the biggest barrel ageing operation in the U.S. Brewmaster for the past ten years. Bouckaert makes all kinds of experimental beers, many of which are released under New Belgium's "Lips of Faith" series. He imparted a bit of wisdom in his acceptance speech: "Beer is simple, just three ingredients: knowledge, experience and creativity."
Additionally, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) was presented with an award in appreciation of his five years of leadership in the House Small Brewers Caucus. DeFazio was recognized for his unstinting commitment in support of America’s small and independent brewers and for his personal passion and enthusiasm for craft beer and homebrewing.