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Happy Birthday and Happy Trails Charlie Papazian

Happy Birthday and Happy Trails Charlie Papazian

Today, the legendary Charlie Papazian, founder of the American Homebrewers Association, the Great American Beer Festival, the World Beer Cup is celebrating his Independence from the Brewers Association which he also founded (as the IBS, then AOB). Today is Charlie’s 70th birthday – It’s also National Pie Day which founded too. Below is the tribute that ASN Editor Tony Forder wrote and read to the Homebrew Guru and Craft Beer Leading Light at a special celebration last weekend in Boulder, CO. Video and pics at

The One and Only Charlie P

Charlie P, a teacher, born to brew
Was it a vision, a seed, something special that he knew?
He pursued his passion, he blazed a trail
Turning corners, never afraid to fail

He pushed ahead, he followed his bliss
Garnering fans who became hip to this
The joy of homebrew, the impassioned apostle
The intense belief, the perpetual hustle

The lack of beer choice created a void
Only bland suds? People were annoyed
A movement got started, it soon became clear
Charlie wasn’t alone in liking good beer

Like a sculptor or potter he shaped this thing
Building, honing, ’til it began to sing
A harmonic convergence stronger and stronger
It took on a life of its own, longer and longer

The pool of craft beer filled by those who came first
Building up pressure until the damn burst
The floodgates were open, craft coursed o’er the land
With Charlie born forth by his merry band

Of artists and chancers and people of vision
Striking out on their own through bold decision
Structure came later, there were bumps in the road
Rules were adopted they established a code

The roots were now deep, a foundation to keep
But with money to be made and profits to reap
The waters turned murky, the beers went quirky
Some breweries just quit, went cold turkey

Now it’s up to others to carry the load
To uphold Charlie’s legacy, keep craft on the road
In quality rooted, independence saluted,
Brewers brewing to what they’re best suited

We wish Charlie the best as he signs off from this show
Where he’ll wander to next, who can know
Doubtless still spreading the word, beer in hand
With a cheers global friend, whatever the land

Showman, shaman, 40 years of fun
They’ll be many more accolades before he’s done
If we ask was he really one of the chosen few?
He’ll just tell ya to Relax, Don’t Worry, Have a Homebrew

Tony Forder 1/2019