Pouring beer from can into glass
America's Fascination With Craft Beer Started With One Schoolteacher's Curiosity
Charlie Papazian, a schoolteacher from Boulder, Colorado, is to thank for the evolution and popularization of homebrewing and indie craft beer in America.
In the 1970s, Papazian first learned about homebrewing beer through a neighbor, who had been making Prohibition-style ale that piqued Papazian’s interest.
Papazian said the taste “was cidery,” and “it wasn’t better or worse than store-bought beer, but it was very different, and that was enough.” He was thoroughly inspired.
Papazian began his own innovative home-brewing journey, incorporating unusual flavors like fruit, honey, and tea. Eventually, he started teaching others his beer-making methods.
He went on to co-found the American Homebrewers Association. He also served as president of the separate Brewers Association, and started the Great American Beer Festival.
Bob Pease, the president of the Brewers Association as of 2023, said of Papazian, “His influence on the homebrewing and craft brewing community is immeasurable.”
Papazian said his mission was educational and “to make beer knowledge accessible to all.” His book “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing” has now become an industry standard.