Homebrewer & Beer Pioneer Byron Burch Passes Away at 75

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by Gary Glass

The American homebrewing community lost one of its pioneers with the passing of Byron Burch on August 20th. Byron authored one of the original modern American books on homebrewing, Brewing Quality Beers, first published in 1974. Byron founded The Beverage People homebrew supply shop along with Nancy Vineyard, in Santa Rosa, CA in 1980.

The homebrew club that Byron helped found, the Sonoma Beerocrats, held a lock on the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) National Homebrew Competition (NHC) Homebrew Club of the Year Award for ten straight years, from 1986 to 1995—the most wins of any club in the competition’s history. In that first year of the Beerocrats’ reign, Byron won the NHC Homebrewer of the Year title with his best of show homebrew entry. Byron is also the only three-time NHC Meadmaker of the Year, submitting the best of show mead entry in the 1992, 1994, and 2001 competitions.  In 1990, Byron was honored with the AHA’s annual Recognition Award.

The cause of death was organ failure brought on by circulation problems in his legs. Byron was 75.

It is no understatement to say that the current US homebrewing community would not be what it is today were it not for the contributions of Byron Burch. Cheers to you, Byron!

Photo taken from Facebook

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