Father Beer is Stepping Down as President, Continuing as Founder

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.


Beers to Drink and Brew this Fall: 5 Styles to Try and 5 to Make

I recently worked on two fall beer guides for craft beer novices and not-obsessed-but-interested drinkers. The first, published in Rally by Eventbrite, is a guide to popular beer styles that show up this time of year, along with specific suggestions of easy-to-find beers that also happen to be a few of my (approachable) favorites. The other, published in The Mash by Brooklyn Brew Shop, is a quick list for homebrew hopefuls who are looking to get their feet wet (or their brew boots wet, if they’re so experienced) with a few small batches this season.

In “Your Fall Beer Flavor Guide: Sip, Drink, Chug (No One’s Here to Judge)” AKA “Why You’re a Sucker if You Don’t Drink Spice Beer,” I walk through five craft beer styles that tend to hit the shelves as the summer transitions into leaf-falling, apple picking, hanging-out-in-bars-without-feeling-your-face-melt-off season:

  • Oktoberfest and Festbier
  • Pumpkin Beer
  • Harvest Ale
  • Herb and Spice Beer
  • Hard Cider (not beer, but see explanation in the post)

And since they’re psyched to spice up the season DIY-style, this Brooklyn Brew Shop list of “5 Fall Beers to Make Now” includes beer making kits and mixes that are perfect for fall imbibing:

  • Brooklyn Brewery Sorachi Ace
  • Rye-PA (Limited Edition)
  • Blackberry Red Ale (Limited Edition)
  • Chestnut Brown Ale
  • Chocolate Maple Porter

Of course, these are all great beers to drink or brew any time, but it’s always fun to get festive when the options are as vast as they are!


#WomanCrushWednesday: Wendy Littlefield

Wendy Littlefield. Photo via LinkedIn.com

Wendy Littlefield. Photo via LinkedIn.com

#WCW: Wendy Littlefield

Beer Cred:

In honor of Brewery Ommegang’s 18th birthday next month and my departure for Belgium today, this week’s #WomanCrushWednesday goes to Wendy Littlefield. Along with her husband, Ed, Littlefield’s accolades go far beyond a bulleted list. From a romantic start of eloping in college, moving to Belgium and falling in love—with the tradition and taste of Belgian beer, that is—she became the first American woman inducted into the Belgian Brewers Guild and was nominated for the Mercurius Award, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the Belgian government.

Back stateside,  in addition to starting two beer businesses, she started several community-driven food and drink events and associations in her now-hometown of Cooperstown, N.Y. (Belgian Comes to Cooperstown among them). You can learn more about the Littlefields in the self-told “Very Long and Boring Story” of  her career in beer—a lengthy one, yes, but there’s nothing boring about it.

Well Said:

“We have been at this business for 31 years and still adore it, and we are still married and capable of working together. How very fortunate we are. We think of ourselves as cultural anthropologists explaining culture through beer.” – “Why We Do What We Do— An Interview With Our New York Distributor,” March 2012, BelgianBeerExperts.com 

Brooklyn Brewery Sorachi Ace Kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop

In case you haven’t heard, you can now brew Brooklyn Sorachi Ace at home.

Sorachi-Ace-Out-Now Thanks to a recent collaboration between Brooklyn Brewery  and Brooklyn Brew Shop, brewing novices and intermediate beer makers have an easy route to replicating Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace, a saison showcasing the rare hop varietal of the same name.

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is available online as well as at the Brooklyn Brewery gift shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in both kit (ingredients + equipment) and mix (ingredients only) form. Both options pack all the grains, hops and yeast necessary for brewing the esteemed farmhouse ale in your own kitchen, known among hopheads for revitalizing the Sorachi Ace hop, a quirky, long-forgotten varietal originally created in Japan in the 1970s, later rediscovered by a family farm in Washington State in the early 2000s and officially brought back into the spotlight by Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster, Garrett Oliver in 2009.

See what Oliver and Brooklyn Brew Shop co-founders, Stephen Valand and Erica Shea have to say about the brand new release in this announcement posted on Brooklyn Brew Shop’s The Mash today.

#WomanCrushWednesday: Jill Redding

#WomanCrushWednesday is a BeerAffair series highlighting female leaders of the beer and brewing industries. View past crushes by clicking #WomanCrushWednesday or #WCW.

Jill Redding, editor for the Brewers Association.

Jill Redding, editor-in-chief at the Brewers Association.

#WCW: Jill Redding

Beer Cred:

As the Brewers Association editor-in-chief, Jill Redding is responsible for overseeing the bi-monthly publication (every two months) of Zymurgy,  a magazine “for the homebrewer and beer lover” which informs amateur beer makers on trends, best brewing practices, award-winning recipes and industry events, and the New Brewer, “a passionate voice for craft brewers,” created to provide commercial startup breweries with information on topics like brewing technology, problem solving, and management.

The Brewers Association (BA) is a non-profit trade association established “to promote and protect American craft brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.” In addition to its publications, education, insights and statistics pertaining to the craft brewing industry, the BA is responsible for major industry events such as the Craft Brewers ConferenceGreat American Beer Festival, SAVOR and World Beer Cup.

Well Said:

“Kudos to all homebrew clubs for teaching the world to brew, and for giving back to their communities!” — Brew’s Up, Indeed, Zymurgy Vol. 38 No. 5


Cheers, Jill!
Beer Affair

#WomanCrushWednesday: Julia Herz

#WomanCrushWednesday: Julia Herz

Julia Herz, Brewers Association Craft Beer Program Director. Photo via BrewersAssociation.org

#WCW: Julia Herz

Beer Cred:

Well Said:

“Our craft breweries are small businesses that have helped bring great innovation and a less gender-targeted approach to beer marketing than ever before—I’ll cheers to that!” – Weighing in on Women and Beer, craftbeer.com, Aug. 2015

Cheers to that, Julia!
– Beer Affair

Brewing Video Tutorials and Courses on the Cheap (and Free!)

Beer lovers are, more often than not, drawn to the craft beer scene after trying a new style or being introduced to a better form of the beverage. Before you know it, there are tap takeovers, beer festivals, day trips and vacations planned exclusively for breweries and basically, we pretty much have beer on the brain at all times. But even if you memorize every BJCP style guideline and keep up with all the latest trends, the only way to truly know beer is to make it.

If you’re interested in learning how to make beer and don’t have plans for the Siebel Institute or the  International Centre for Brewing and Distilling (ICBD) just yet, there are several online courses that will accomplish the basic “how to” of homebrewing without the hefty tuition. Here are three that are actually worth considering, both for their content and the cost.

All-Grain & Partial Grain Brewing by Craft Beer & Brewing.

This intro video is only the beginning.

All-Grain & Partial Mash Brewing by Craft Beer & Brewing 
Price: FREE IF ENROLLED BY 8/25, otherwise $24.99, or $9.99/month for access to all Craft Beer & Brewing classes.

Along with publishing a monthly print magazine and regular digital content, Craft Beer & Brewing produces comprehensive brewing basics courses (as well as more advanced techniques) in their online homebrewing education platform. The course offerings range from extract brewing to partial to all grain, and each class offers step by step segments complete with downloadable, printable instructions and checklists for your brew session.

The video/slideshow/handout combo is a big draw for me, so even though I’ve been all grain brewing from the start, I’m registering for today’s free course and considering signing up for the monthly access. (My first foray into flavoring – strawberries and mint sprigs in a summer wheat ale – is currently fermenting, and I’d love to learn more about incorporating fresh ingredients into future brews. The yeast harvesting may have to wait.)

Enroll for the free class here – it’s FREE today (Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015)!

Beer Brewing 101 by Brooklyn Brew Shop in collaboration with Brit + Co.

Look how happy she is after brewing her own beer!

Beer Brewing 101 by Brit + Co. and Brooklyn Brew Shop
Price: $19.99

Cutesy DIY fanatics, Brit + Co. recently collaborated with Brooklyn Brew Shop co-founder, Erica Shea to present Beer Brewing 101, a fun and easy guide to brewing a one-gallon batch of beer. The class uses Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Grapefruit Honey Ale beer making kit, which is also available for purchase at 10% off the original price of $40 when you buy the class for $20. The principles of this tutorial apply to any beer of any batch size, and divided by chapter, the course manages to condense the 4-6 hour brewing process down to less than 30 minutes of digestible, re-watchable content.

Check out Brooklyn Brew Shop’s blog post here or sign up for the class on Brit + Co.

Introduction to All Grain Brewing by the AHA.

Feel the satisfaction and joy of turning grains into beer.

Introduction to All Grain Brewing by the AHA
Price: Free?!

Although they don’t advertise these as brewing classes per se, the American Homebrewers Association is also full of resources and information on how to brew at the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels. These include videos, recipes, how-to guides and tips detailing the brewing process from start to finish (with pictures!).  As a member of the AHA, I’m thrilled to discover this – and I’m pretty sure it’s available for anyone to use.

Peek at the “Let’s Brew” section for a multitude of homebrew recipes and free offerings on how to brew.

Learning is cool, go do it!

Beer Affair