by Gary Glass, American Homebrewers Association Director
On Monday, August 10, Fred Eckhardt of Portland, OR, one of the true pioneers of America’s homebrewing and craft brewing community passed away in his sleep at the age of 89. Fred Eckhardt was author of the first modern American book on homebrewing, A Treatise on Lager Beers, originally published in 1970. Fred was one of the original advising editors for and frequent contributor to the American Homebrewers Association’s Zymurgy magazine, as well as numerous other beer publications. He served on the AHA’s board of advisors from the early days of the AHA and was an emeritus member of the AHA Governing Committee until the time of his death.
Fred also was a judge, along with Michael Jackson, for the 1981 AHA National Homebrew Competition. Since then, Fred has been a regular speaker at the National Homebrewers Conference, speaking on both beer and sake. The American Homebrewers Association took the occasion of the 1998 AHA National Homebrewers Conference in Portland to “roast” Fred Eckhardt with Byron Burch, Ed Busch and others celebrating Fred’s lengthy accomplishments that inspired every homebrewer at the banquet.
Fred was a member of the Oregon Brew Crew homebrew club. He was also a regular speaker and judge at the Dixie Cup homebrew competition held annually in Houston, TX.
Few people have had a greater influence on America’s homebrewing and craft brewing community. Thank you for your contributions, Fred, we will miss you.