Since 1987, the Brewers Association 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

Vinnie & Natalie CilurzoThe 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.


2018 – Charles Bamforth, UC Davis

2017 – Vinnie & Natalie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing Co.

2016 – Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Brewery

2015 – Dave and Diane Alexander, Brickskeller

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 Craft Brewing Industry Award

Matt-McLaughlinThis 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.


2018 – Nancy Palmer, Georgia Craft Brewers Guild

2017 – Matt McLaughlin, McLaughlin, PC/Mississippi Brewers Guild

2016 – Nick Matt, F.X. Matt Brewing Co.

2015 – Brook Bristow, South Carolina Brewers Guild

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 Craft Brewing

will-meyersRussell 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.


2018 – Tomme Arthur, Port Brewing Co./The Lost Abbey

2017 – Will Meyers, Cambridge Brewing Co.

2016 – Jason Perkins, Allagash Brewing Co.

2015 – Steve Dresler, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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.

Brewers Association Craft Beer Wholesaler of the Year

The Brewers Association (BA) seeks nominations for the annual Craft Beer Wholesaler 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 beer from small and independent brewers.


Nominations are due in mid to late-February. The award is presented at the Craft Brewers Conference hosted by the Brewers Association. For more details, please visit the official nomination form or the BA’s distributor considerations page for information on the criteria used to select the winner.




Elite Brands of Colorado – Denver, CO


Odom Corporation – Coeur d’Alene, ID

From 2007 through 2014, the Brewers Association partnered with the National Beer Wholesalers Association to present the Craft Beer Distributor of the Year Award, Achievement Award and Recognition Award. The history of those award recipients is below:


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