Over 500 members of North Carolina’s growing craft brewing industry gathered in Winston-Salem on November 8 to recognize their industry’s leaders and thank their strongest supporters. The North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild presents several awards each year to members and supporters of the industry who demonstrate exemplary service and commitment.
Brad Johnston of Tryon Distributing received the Industry Impact Award, which recognizes an individual or business for exemplary work to build the craft brewing industry in North Carolina. “When few other wholesalers in the Southeast even knew what craft beer was, Brad was working with bars and restaurants across North Carolina to change perceptions about beer quality and make craft beer something that people in North Carolina could find and enjoy,” said Jamie Bartholomaus, President of Foothills Brewing and Vice-President of the NC Craft Brewers Guild board of directors. “He helped raise awareness of our industry so that it could begin to thrive.”
Kristie Nystedt of Raleigh Brewing Company received the Community Contributor Award, which recognizes an individual or organization for their charitable and philanthropic service to the larger community. Kristie serves on several local boards and commissions, and Raleigh Brewing Company partners with dozens of non-profits annually, and recently donated over $12,000 to the Multiple Sclerosis Society as a result of their 10% Tuesdays program with Team OnDraft.
Tyler Cranfill of Catawaba Brewing Company received the Guild’s Extra Effort Award, which annually recognizes a volunteer for their extraordinary level of service to the NC Craft Brewers Guild. Tyler served as the Guild’s intern in 2016 and became a regular volunteer after going to work for Catawba. He has donated countless hours to promoting North Carolina craft beer with the Guild.
Legislative Leadership Awards were presented to:
Representative Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford), who has been a tireless advocate for the state’s craft brewers since she joined the North Carolina House of Representatives in 2005.
Senator Kathy Harrington (R-Gaston), who has sponsored or co-sponsored a number of bills to update and modernize the system of alcoholic beverage regulation in North Carolina since she joined the NC Senate in 2011.
The awards were presented by Rep. Chuck McGrady and Senator Rick Gunn, who were the inaugural recipients of the NC Craft Brewers Guild’s Legislative Leadership Awards in 2015.
North Carolina is now home to 245 independent craft breweries – more than any other southern state. The North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild is a not-for-profit 501(c)6 tax-exempt organization comprised of brewers, vendors, retailers and craft beer enthusiasts focused on promoting North Carolina beer. The NC Craft Brewers Conference is an annual three-day, industry-wide event that brings together brewers and other industry members from across the state and the Southeast.