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Fred Eckhardt

Fred Eckhardt: Beer Icon Passes Away

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News broke late on Monday, August 10, 2015, that famed U.S. beer icon, Fred Eckhardt passed peacefully in his bed in Portland, Ore. Eckhardt was 89.

Jay Brooks took to his blog, the Brookston Beer Bulletin, and shared that Eckhardt “was a pioneer in writing about and defining beer styles with his early book on the subject, The Essentials of Beer Style, published in 1989.”

From his home base in Portland, Fred was nothing short of a beer rock star, inspiring both beers and beer festivals to be named in his honor. Throughout his life, he continued to write on the subject of beer, encouraging others to think about beer in new ways.

“Fred Eckhardt was a friend, educator and lover of all things beer. Ever the iconic appreciator, he was also a veteran and a leader of the U.S. homebrewing movement,” said Bob Pease, Brewers Association CEO. “As an author and one of the best beer spokesmen ever to represent the beverage, he inspired many and will be greatly missed.”

I never had the chance to meet Fred, but he has definitely shaped my life through his body of work. Along with the rest of the Brewers Association, I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing. His legacy has, and will, continue to inspire others to explore the immense mysteries of beer. We raise a mug to you, Fred. Rest in peace.

Andy Sparhawk, the Brewers Association's acting editor-in-chief for Andy is a Certified Cicerone® and BJCP Beer Judge. He lives in Westminster, Colorado where he is an avid craft beer enthusiast. On occasion, Andy is inspired to write on his experiences with craft beer, and if they are not too ridiculous, you might see the results here on is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.