Since 1987, the Brewers Association (BA) has been recognizing individuals who inspire, defend and innovate within the craft brewing industry. In addition to the individual awards for brewers, the BA also conducts two prestigious national and international brewing competitions.

Brewing Competitions

Great American Beer Festival®

World Beer Cup® (biannual)

Individual Awards

Brewers Association Recognition Award

Brewers Association Recognition AwardThe Brewers Association Recognition Award is presented each year to an individual or company whose inspiration, enthusiasm and support have contributed to the brewpub and microbrewery movement.


2014 – Teri Fahrendorf, Founder of Pink Boots Society

2013 – Art Larrance, Cascade Brewing/Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

2012 – Doug Odell, Wynne Odell and Corkie Odell, Odell Brewing Co.

2011 – John McDonald, Boulevard Brewing Co.

2010 – Larry Bell, Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

2009 – Ken Allen, Anderson Valley Brewing Co.

2008 – Dr. Michael Lewis, U.C. Davis

2007 – Jack McAuliffe, New Albion Brewing Co.

2006 – Chuck Skypeck, Boscos Brewing Co.

2005 – Carol Stoudt, Stoudts Brewing Company

2004 – Jack Joyce, Rogue Ales

2003 – Mary-Anne Gruber, Briess Malting Co.

2002 – George Fix, Clemson University

2001 – Jim and Bobbie Kennedy, Admiralty Beverage Russell

2000 – Ralph Olson and Ralph Woodall, Hopunion CBS, LLC

1999 – Bill Owens, American Brewer Magazine

1998 – Charles Finkel, Merchant du Vin

1997 – Jim Koch and Rhonda Kallman, Boston Beer Co.

1996 – Karl Strauss, Karl M. Strauss Consulting

1995 – John Hickenlooper and Russell Schehrer, Wynkoop Brewing Co.

1994 – Fred Scheer, Frankenmuth Brewery

1993 – Jeff Mendel, Institute for Brewing Studies

1992 – Paul Shipman, Red Hook Ale Brewery

1991 – Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1990 – Bert Grant, Yakima Brewing and Malting

1989 – Roger Briess, Briess Malting Co.

1988 – Fritz Maytag, Anchor Brewing Co.

1987 – Michael Jackson


The call for nominations is announced on the Brewers Association Forum and begins approximately three months before the Craft Brewers Conference. The Brewers Association Board of Directors votes to determine the winner.

F.X. Matt Defense of the Small Brewing Industry Award

F.X. Matt Defense of the Small Brewing Industry AwardThis award is named for the late F.X. Matt, president of the F.X. Matt Brewing Co. in Utica, N.Y., from 1980-1989, and a tireless and outspoken champion for the small brewing industry.


2014 – Jester King Brewery, Austin, Texas

2013 – David Katleski, New York State Craft Brewers Guild/Empire Brewing Co

2012 – Tom McCormick, California Craft Brewers Association

2011 – Dan Kopman,St. Louis Brewery/Schlafly Beer

2010 – Steve Hindy, The Brooklyn Brewery

2009 – Eric Wallace, Left Hand Brewing Company

2008 – John Carlson, Colorado Brewers Guild

2007 – George Hancock, Pyramid Brewing Co.

2006 – Daniel Bradford, past BAA President

2005 – Marc Sorini, McDermott Will & Emery

2004 – Marc Sorini, BAA Counsel

2003 – Jim Parker, Oregon Brewers Guild

2002 – Mike McKinney, Texas Wholesalers Association

2001 – David Edgar, Past Institute for Brewing Studies Director

2000 – Fred Bowman, Portland Brewing Co.


Nominations are open to individuals who have given aid and support to the causes of small, independent brewers, and by doing so have supported the Brewers Association’s goal of vigorously defending the craft beer industry.

Call for nominations is announced on the Brewers Association Forum and begins approximately three months before the Craft Brewers Conference.

Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing

Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in BrewingRussell Schehrer was a founding partner and the original head brewer at Denver’s Wynkoop Brewing Company. He passed away in 1996 at the age of 38. While he will always be fondly remembered for his special charm and sense of humor that knew no boundaries, the Brewers Association continues to honor Russell for his contributions to the brewing industry. Besides helping establish the first brewpub in Colorado, he was the first (or one of the first) microbrewers to produce mead, doppel alt, cream stout and chili beer.


2014 – Mitch Steele, Stone Brewering Company

2013 – Peter Bouckaert, New Belgium Brewing Co.

2012 – James Ottolini, St. Louis Brewery, Inc.

2011 – Jennifer Talley, Squatters Pub Brewery/Salt Lake Brewing Co.

2010 – Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

2009 – Steve Parkes, American Brewers Guild

2008 – Vinnie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing Company

2007 – Matt Brynildson, Firestone Walker Brewing Company

2006 – Dan Carey, New Glarus Brewing Company

2005 – Greg Noonan, Vermont Pub and Brewery

2004 – Dick Cantwell, Elysian Brewing Company

2003 – Phil Markowski, Southampton Publick House

2002 – John Mallett, Kalamazoo Brewing Co.

2001 – John Harris, Full Sail Brewing Co.

2000 – Mark Carpenter, Anchor Brewing Co.

1999 – Fal Allen, Pike Brewing; Anderson Valley Brewing Co.

1998 – Garrett Oliver, The Brooklyn Brewery

1997 – John Maier, Oregon Brewing Co./Rogue Ales


Call for nominations is announced on the Brewers Association Forum and begins approximately three months before the Craft Brewers Conference. The winner is determined by vote from a committee made up of members of the Brewers Association advisory board.

Craft Beer Distributor of the Year

Craft Beer Wholesaler of the Distributor of the YearSince 2007, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and the Brewers Association (BA) seek nominations for the annual Craft Beer Distributor of the Year Award. The award recognizes an American beer distributor who goes above and beyond in their efforts to actively market, sell and promote craft beer.


Nominations are due in early to mid-August. The award is presented at the Great American Beer Festival® hosted by the Brewers Association in Denver, Colorado. For more nomination details and official nomination form (pdf) visit NBWA.Please send completed forms to: Craft Beer Distributor of the Year Application, c/o National Beer Wholesalers Association, 1101 King Street, Suite 600, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 683-4300 or Fax: 703-683-8965 or Email:



Winner – J.J. Taylor Distributing Florida, Inc. – FL

Achievement – Windy City Distributing, LLC – IL

Recognition – Maletis Beverage – OR


Winner – DeCrescente Distributing Company – NY

Achievement – Central States Beverage Company – MO

Recognition – Mussetter Beverage – CA


Winner – Brown Distributing Company – FL

Achievement – DeCrescente Distributing Company – NY

Recognition – Tryon Distributing – NC


Winner – Powers Distributing Company – MI

Achievement – J.J. Taylor Distributing – FL

Recognition – Gretz Beer Company – PA


Winner – Imperial Beverage – MI

Achievement – Andrews Distributing – TX

Recognition – L. Knife & Son – MA


Winner – Origlio Beverage – PA

Achievement – National Distributing Company of New Mexico – NM

Recognition – Muller, Inc. – PA


Winner – Click Wholesale Distributing – WA

Achievement – Premium Distributors of Washington, D.C., LLC – DC

Recognition – Little Guy Distributing – AZ


Winner – Monarch Beverage Company – IN

Achievement – Louis Glunz, Inc. – IL

Recognition – Cavalier Distributing Co. – OH