NASHVILLE — Winners of the 2023 industry awards, announced in April, were honored today in Music City during the general session of the Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America®.
Each year since 1987, the Brewers Association (BA) has recognized individuals who inspire, defend, and innovate within the craft brewing industry.
2023 Industry Award Recipients
F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award
Ret. Representative Peter DeFazio
Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing
Ben Edmunds, Breakside Brewery (Portland, Ore.)
Thank you to the Brewers Association for this tremendous honor. It’s truly a pinch-me moment.
Family first. I want to thank my husband Vincent, above anyone else, whose support has enabled my career and permitted me the greatest professional and personal satisfaction that I’ve known. He’d be here today but thinks that brewers spend too much time only talking about beer, so sweetie, I love you.
Thanks to my parents who always encouraged me to pursue a career that fulfilled me both intellectually and emotionally.
Brewers Association Recognition Award
Jessica and Richard Fierro, co-owners, Atrevida Beer Co. (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Thank you, Bob, and the amazing BA team, for this opportunity. We are incredibly humbled to receive this honor. Atrevida started as Jess’s vision to influence change in both the front and back of the craft brewhouse. Jessica has built a brand in Atrevida Beer Co originating with the motto “Diversity, it’s on tap.” While living our motto, on November 19, 2022, violence changed our lives forever. The mass shooting at Club Q projected evil on our community during an evening of love and celebration. Atrevida is persevering through the most unbelievable adversity to reach our goals as a brewery. Jess is leading her brewers Tasha, Telour, and Kassy to becoming the next women to lead in craft beer. Jess built Atrevida to make amazing beer and influence her community. She is the epitome of what our great teacher Yoda said, “No! Try not! Do or do not, there is no try.” SOMOS UNIDOS, gracias y thank you.
Jessica and Richard Fierro
Brewers Association Mentor of the Year Award
Julie Rhodes, owner, Not Your Hobby Marketing Solutions
It is truly an honor and a privilege to be recognized by the BA and my peers for work that is so extremely important to me. As someone who didn’t have a lot of help or a pool of colleagues to rely upon when I first got started in this industry, I ferociously believe that access to and utilization of mentorship programs plays a vital role in helping anyone in this industry accelerate their career path, especially for traditionally underrepresented communities in the beer space. This program is not work for me, it’s not a box to be checked, it’s a value add, as I tend to learn more from my mentees than I feel like they do from me. I’m truly grateful for Dr. J, Alana, the BA, and their teams for giving me the opportunity to pass along knowledge that could potentially map out a lifelong career in the beer space. Thank you!
Read the complete release announcing the 2023 industry award winners.