Talk about an industry always in flux.
The Brewers Association, the trade organization that represents small and independent craft brewers in America, recently announced that its founder and president, Charlie Papazian is stepping down as POBA. (That’s President of the Brewers Association, inspired by POTUS.)
Here’s the quick rundown on Charlie Papazian’s credentials, in case you’re not familiar with the amazing man responsible for American craft beer as we know it:
- Founder, the Brewers Association (BA)
- Founder, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA)
- Founder, Institute for Brewing Studies
- Founder, Brewers Publications, a leading publisher of books on beer and brewing (For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops; Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brew House; Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers; and Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation among them)
- Founder, the World Beer Cup (the most prestigious beer competition in the world)
- Founder, the Great American Beer Festival, a major industry event that attracts 60,000 attendees annually
- Founding publisher, Zymurgy magazine for homebrewers and the New Brewer, the flagship journal for small and independent craft brewers
- Author, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, the “hombrewer’s bible” (along with several subsequent editions and other books)
Charlie Papazian is basically the godfather of the U.S. brewing industry, if the godfather was more like Mr. Rogers. He lobbied for homebrewing before it was legal, started two magazines for homebrewers and independent craft brewers, wrote the book(s) that many brewers depended on to learn their craft, and launched the major beer associations and events that attract tens of thousands of brewers and brewing industry advocates today. Oh, and he’s also a nuclear engineer.
After 37 years at the BA’s helm, he’ll be transforming his role into “founder,” and plans to continue involvement in several craft beer industry programs, the BA said.
“He will continue to attend key Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association events. He will also participate in other events in the U.S. and internationally, offering his perspectives on beer, brewing and its impact on social and business culture.”
He will also continue to contribute to both Zymurgy and New Brewer.
Like many of us who find ourselves wrapped up in this business and its ancillary community, Papazian is in it for the people.
“The tens of thousands of individual stories chronicling the success and joy that craft beer has brought to our lives inspires me. Ultimately it’s the people and their communities who have been and continue to be involved with beer who make our current beer world so special. I look forward to continued opportunities that will enhance the world of beer.” — Charlie Papazian
Although I’ve not yet had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Papazian, I look forward to the possibility someday. I wish him the best in this new stage as an ever-growing presence and proponent of the craft beer industry.
Featured image via the Brewers Association: “CHARLIE PAPAZIAN ADOPTS NEW ROLE AT BREWERS ASSOCIATION,” Jan. 2, 2016.