Charlie Papazian, the president of the Brewers Association and founder of the Great American Beer Festival, will step back from day-to-day responsibilities this month after 37 years.
Papazian, who “discovered craft homebrewing 45 years ago,” will remain an integral part of the Brewers Association, according to a statement published on the organization’s website. His title will shift to “founder, past president” and current CEO Bob Pease will add president to his title, the BA said.
“My 37-year journey as founding president has provided me a lifetime of fulfillment,” Papazian said in a statement. “Being part of an organization that serves to enhance the opportunities for professional and amateur craft brewers is especially rewarding. The hard work, dedication and long hours of past and current association staff and the community of brewers it has served has undoubtedly made the world a better place for every beer drinker.
Papazian is credited with founding the American Homebrewers Association, the Institute for Brewing Studies, Brewers Publications, the World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival. He is the founding publisher of Zymurgy, a magazine for homebrewers, and The New Brewer, a bi-monthly journal issued by the Brewers Association.
“The tens of thousands of individual stories chronicling the success and joy that craft beer has brought to our lives inspires me,” he said in the statement. “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.”
In addition to continuing to offer his perspectives on beer, Papazian will still attend “key Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association events,” the organization said.
“The Brewers Association would not exist today without Charlie’s vision, guidance and determination,” Pease said in a statement. “What was once a dream is now an association that lifts up homebrewers, brewers, retailers, distributors, suppliers and beer lovers. We are honored and excited to continue building upon his success.”