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Home > Ken Grossman, Larry Bell and Steve Hindy honored at Brewers Conference

Ken Grossman, Larry Bell and Steve Hindy honored at Brewers Conference

Three successful members of the brewing community were recognized with awards for their dedication and service to the industry at the opening session of the Brewers Association's annual Craft Brewers Conference.

The Brewers Association Recognition Award went to Larry Bell, Founder and Owner of Bell's Brewery, Inc. Bell started the Kalamazoo Brewing Company and Bell's Brewery, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1985, the earliest craft brewery in the eastern half of the United States. Larry's dedication to the industry includes serving as a former chair of the Brewers Association's predecessor organization and acting as a driving force with current Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper for the creation of American Beer Month (which evolved into American Craft Beer Week).


"Larry is a leader in our industry known for his innovative beers and the passion he brings to craft brewing," said Brewers Association Board of Directors Chair Nick Matt, CEO of Matt Brewing Company. Mountain West Brewery Supply's David Edgar noted in documents supporting Bell’s nomination that "Larry is continually pushing the envelope with experimenting with different grains, different yeast strains and plenty of hops."

To select a winner of the Brewers Association Recognition Award each year, members of the association nominate candidates and the Brewers Association Board of Directors votes to determine the winner.

The Brewers Association presented the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing to Ken Grossman, CEO/President of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Grossman received this year's award for his leadership in technical brewing science for craft brewers. He is still deeply involved in technical brewing projects at Sierra Nevada and has led numerous initiatives in the area of sustainability and beer quality.

"Ken Grossman founded Sierra Nevada Brewing Company 30 years ago based on one principle, to make the highest quality beer in America," said Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing Co. in a nominating document. "I think Ken's never-ending quest in life is to make Sierra Nevada's beers even better than they already are."

The Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing was first given in 1997 to honor Russell Schehrer, who died in 1996 at 38 years old, for his contributions to the brewing industry. Schehrer was a founding partner and original head brewer at Colorado's first brewpub, Wynkoop Brewing Co. He was also one of the first brewers to produce mead, doppel alt, cream stout and chili beer.

Brewers Association brewery members submit nominations every year for the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing. The winner is chosen from the slate of nominees by a vote of the previous award winners.

The Brewers Association presented the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award to Steve Hindy, Chairman and President of The Brooklyn Brewery. Hindy recently testified in a Congressional hearing to communicate how state franchise laws can hinder the ability for small brewers to grow their businesses and how self-distribution is important to many small brewers to develop their access to market.

"Steve's work on behalf of the industry is almost too great to list," says Brewers Association Past Chair Richard Doyle of Harpoon Brewery. "His involvement on the Beer Institute board established credibility for craft brewers there and reaffirmed our place at the table."

The F.X. Matt Award is given in honor of a champion of small brewers, F.X. Matt (1933-2001), president of the F.X. Matt Brewing Co. in Utica, New York from 1980-1989 and chairman from 1989-2001.

Past Award Winners
Brewers Association Recognition Award Winners
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

Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing Winners
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

F.X. Matt Defense of the Small Brewing Industry Award Winners
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.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, USA, the Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade and education association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. Visit to learn more. The association's activities include events and publishing:, World Beer Cupฎ; Great American Beer Festival℠; Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo Americaฎ; National Homebrewers Conference; National Homebrew Competition; SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience; American Craft Beer Week; Zymurgy magazine; The New Brewer magazine; and books on beer and brewing. The Brewers Association has an additional membership division of 20,000+ homebrewers: American Homebrewers Association.

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