Every year since 1987, the Brewers Association (and its predecessor, the Association of Brewers) presents the Brewers Association Recognition Award "to an individual or company whose inspiration, enthusiasm, and support have contributed to the brewpub and microbrewery movement" in the United States. The selection is announced during the Craft Brewers Conference.
In 1987, influential beer writer Michael Jackson received the first Brewers Association Recognition Award. Last year, in 2014, the award went to pioneering brewer Teri Fahrendorf, founder of the Pink Boots Society, "empowering women beer professionals to advance their careers in the beer industry through education."
Yesterday, at the 2015 CBC, in Portland, Oregon,, the BA recognized 'DA': Dave and Diane Alexander, the husband wife team that for many years brought good beer to the Washington, D.C. area, as co-owners of the venerable beer tavern, the Brickskeller, and later, R.F.D.
At the Brickskeller, the Alexanders organized tastings and appearances, bringing in brewers from across the United States, and Europe. (Some of the evenings quite infamous!) The couple was doing this years before such things became commonplace and accepted as the norm, as they are now. A dive bar appear in appearance, the Brickskeller Down Home Saloon would achieve national and international renown. Its beer list boasted over one-thousand choices (on paper, if not always in the cupboard).
After over fifty years of operation, the Brickskeller was sold in 2010. (R.F.D. remains open.) But the Brick's legacy lives on: many of the attendees at the Brickskeller's events, and many of the drinkers who poured over the beer menus, were inspired enough to become some of the next generation(s) of good-beer brewers.
Congratulations to Diane and Dave. Well-deserved!
- The Brewers Association awarded its F.X. Matt Defense of the Small Brewing Industry Award to Brook Bristow, of the South Carolina Brewers Guild, and the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing to Steve Dresler of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.
- Once transcriptions and audio tapes become available, this post will be updated.
- For more from YFGF: