The Brewers Association is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to our Draught Beer Quality Subcommittee, Erik Budrakey and Matthew Laibson.
Erik Budrakey has a long history and extensive experience in many segments of the beer industry, from managing CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewery in Fort Collins to Craft Beer Division Manager at DeCrescente Distributing, Craft Beer Distributor of the Year (2013). Budrakey was a committee leader on the group that developed the New York State Brewers Association Draught Beer Quality Certification Program and is currently a contributing writer for True Brew – A Craft Beer Lifestyle Magazine.
“Draught beer quality has been a passion of mine for more than 15 years,” said Budrakey. “Addressing a general lack of education on ‘what good looks like’ for quality draft beer is still a huge opportunity. Serving on the BA Draught Beer Quality Subcommittee is an honor, as it allows me to shed light on this vital and important topic.”
Matthew Laibson started with Ballast Point Brewing in 2013 as a quality lab analyst. In 2015, Matt co-founded Ballast Point’s field quality program and currently manages a team of four people dedicated to field quality for Ballast Point in the U.S. and beyond. As part of Ballast Point’s larger quality department, the team educates and trains their sales team, distributor partners and retailers around the country about the importance of draught and packaged-beer quality.
“I am very excited to serve on the Brewers Association Draught Beer Quality Subcommittee,” said Laibson. “As an extension of my job and passion, I welcome the opportunity to help the BA further educate other breweries, distributors, retailers, and even consumers about the scientific details that go into maintaining and improving draught beer quality. I firmly believe that the growth and success of the craft beer industry is only as strong as its quality – every step of the way from brewing to serving.”
The Draught Beer Quality Subcommittee focuses on delivering high quality draught beer at retail. Subcommittee activities include publication of the Draught Quality Manual, DraughtQuality.org, presentations at the Craft Brewers Conference®, and the Draught Quality Summit at the Great American Beer Festival®. The other subcommittee members are Jason Bowser, Bridget Gauntner, Ben Geisthardt, Rob Gerrity, Ken Grossman, Jaime Jurado, Charles Kyle, John Mallett, Matt Meadows (Chair), MillerCoors colleagues Jeff Bell, Todd Blondis and Jeff Schaefer, David Munro, Ken Smith, Neil Witte and Brewers Association staff members Paul Gatza, Damon Scott, Chuck Skypeck and Chris Swersey.