The Russell Scherer Award for Innovation in Brewing
The Russell Scherer Award for Innovation in Brewing was first given in 1997 to honor Russell Scherer, who died in 1996 at 38 years old. He was, by anyone’s reckoning, a character in the brewing world, reckless, risk-taking and wildly humorous—and a creative force in the brewing world of the nineties. 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.
Charlie Papazian, President of the Brewers Association, recalls “From being crowned Homebrewer of the Year in 1985 and then going on to partner with John Hickenlooper, Russ Scherer became the brewmaster of what was to be the largest producing brewpub in America. Russ’s vision for creative beers and quality was pioneering. His enthusiasm was infectious. Whenever I still visit the Wynkoop, I still feel the legacy which Russ left behind in everything that is Wynkoop.”
Full Sail brewer and 2001 winner John Harris remembered “The thing I liked about Russ was, he just brewed beer the way he liked it, and he hoped everybody else would like it, too. Some day someone will win this award who didn’t know Russ: that day probably isn’t that far away, but it hasn’t come yet.”
Previous winners of the award, who now number ten, select the newest recipient from a slate of nominees drawn from the members of the Brewers Association.