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2023 Brewers Association Industry Award Winners

2023 Brewers Association Industry Award Winners
Brian Phipps

Yesterday, the Brewers Association announced its Industry Award recipients for 2023. The five recipients are Ret. Representative Peter DeFazio, Ben Edmunds, Jessica and Richard Fierro, and Julie Rhodes. All will be officially honored at a ceremony on May 8, 2023, at the Craft Brewers Conference. Starting in 1987, the Brewers Association presents the Industry Awards to individuals that “inspire, defend, and innovate within the craft brewing industry.”

About The Winners

“In short, this year’s honorees have had an immeasurable impact on the craft beer community and beyond,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association. All award winners are nominated by their peers.

Excitingly, for our team, Julie Rhodes – an amazing contributor, friend to PorchDrinking.com, and owner of Not Your Hobby Marketing Solutions – won the Brewers Associations Mentor of the Year Award. Rhodes has over two decades of experience in the beverage industry. This specific award recognizes a volunteer mentor for their outstanding mentorship to Brewers Association program participants. Merida Teot, a mentee of Rhodes, said, “Julie not only took the time to get to know me but also to listen to me and my specific concerns and curiosities. Her confidence in me gave me the confidence to apply for and eventually get a job in marketing at a brewery here in Utah.”

Julie is a rock star and all of us at PorchDrinking are so happy for her! You ROCK!

Other Winners

In addition to Julie, four other great individuals were recognized.

Next, Colorado’s Atrevida Beer Co.‘s owners, Jessica and Richard Fierro, were given the Brewers Association Recognition Award for their contributions to the craft beer movement. Jessica, a brewer and stalwart, has fought biases and sourced funding so that she can have an all-female-and-one-male-brew-crew. With her husband, Rich, a 15-year Army officer, she embraces a diverse community at all costs.

Thirdly, Retired Representative won the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award for his support of the small brewing industry. DeFazio represented Oregon’s 4th Congressional District for 36 years and was a founder of the House of Representatives Small Brewers Caucus. Most notable of the caucus’s impacts is the Craft Beer Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA). This act saved brewers an estimated $80 million annually.

Finally, another Oregonian, Ben Edmunds of Breakside Brewery, was given the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing. Edmunds, a founder of Breakside, is a very successful brewer. He’s won:

  • Eight World Beer Cup award
  • 22 Great American Beer Festival medals since 2011,
  • Brewery of the Year honors at the Oregon Beer Awards in 2015, 2017, and 2019-22

Congratulations to all this year’s winners!


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