Craft Beer VIPs Remember Fred Eckhardt
Earlier this week, the craft beer community lost a legend in Mr. Fred Eckhardt. Long before there was TheFullPint.com or many other voices giving opinion on this industry, Fred Eckhardt was pioneering the coverage of our favorite beverage, beer.
Sad to say, Fred was well before my time, but needless to say, he had quite a reputation, and that amazing mustache. Here is his quick bio from WikiPedia, and some kind words from those who did know him.
Fred Eckhardt (1926 – August 10, 2015) was an American brewer, homebrewing advocate and publicist. He wrote about brewed beverages—beer and sake, and wrote the 1989 book, The Essentials of Beer Style. He is identified as a “beer writer,” a “beer historian”, and as a “beer critic.” He was a local celebrity in Portland, Oregon, which Eckhardt described as “the brewing capital of the world.”
Alan Sprints, Owner/Brewmaster Hair of the Dog Brewing
“Fred has been a big influence on my life, both in the Beer world and as an example of how to be a good person. His outgoing and compassionate personality, his desire to share his knowledge with others, has made me a little better person I will miss his stories, his ability to wander through related subjects and still come back to the point, but most of all, his smile
Cheers to you, Otto”
Mitch Steele, Brewmaster of Stone Brewing Co.
“1989, the year after I started brewing professionally, Fred’s book The Essentials of Beer Style was published. This was my brewing bible for many, many years. What made Fred’s book so great was that he took the work started by Michael Jackson in categorizing beer styles, and then expanded it to include target OG, AE, alcohol, color and IBU’s, the key analytical parameters every brewer needs to develop their recipes. It was an invaluable resource, and I am forever grateful to him for writing it. I judged with him several times at the GABF, and always enjoyed his beer knowledge and his wit. His iconic stature in the world of craft beer, especially in the Pacific Northwest, is unquestionable.”
Ken Grossman, Owner and Founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
“I first met Fred Eckhardt as a fledgling homebrewer back in the early 70’s through his book “A Treatise on Lager Beers.” Fred’s was one of the first books focusing on the small-scale brewing of quality beer, and a major influence on my brewing.
Years later, during our 30th Anniversary celebration, I had the opportunity to brew with him, and we really got to know each other in a different way.
Fred was such a vocal and influential advocate for craft beer from its earliest days. He had impeccable taste and integrity, and his honest and plainspoken evaluation of beer, saké and spirits was much appreciated.
Fred will be missed. Sierra Nevada and the entire community of craft beer owes him our gratitude.”
Charles Finkle, Owner and Founder of Pike Brewing
“I first met Fred, in Portland around 1979. He was, at that time brewing and tasting every flavor he could think of. Even then he was an old hand at exploring beer’s taste and flavors. He was both curious and studious. Sake was hardly known in the US at the time yet he brewed that too – delicious! He was and will remain an inspiration. Even tempered and thoughtful, he was honorable, and companionate. Fred was his own person, from “listening to beer” to maintaining his mustache. His impact on home brewing and how it influenced the Craft Beer Renaissance is historical, more significant than many people realize. I am proud to have designed the covers for Fred’s book, The Essentials of Beer Style, a work that defined brewing styles for many people who went on to craft a giant industry. Let’s all toast him and when we do, lets listen to our beer. It will surely whisper, Fred we will miss you.”