When Anheuser-Busch acquired Elysian Brewing last winter, the writing was on the wall. Two months following that devastating news, nobody with half a clue was surprised to learn that Dick Cantwell, one of Elysian’s co-founders and the mastermind behind the beer, tendered his resignation. Since then, the craft beer world has waited to find out what Cantwell would do next. Now we know.
The Brewers Association—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American craft brewers—announced today that it appointed Dick Cantwell its Quality Ambassador. In this roll, Cantwell will travel around the country making presentations at state guild conferences and other places where brewers gather with the aim of helping breweries improve the overall quality of the beer they produce.
“A commitment to ensuring high quality craft beer is a top priority for the Brewers Association,” said Paul Gatza, director, Brewers Association. “Dick not only understands this mission, he appreciates what quality truly means and how it is achieved. He will be a tremendous asset to our membership and the entire craft brewing industry in this new role.”
In addition to being one of the co-founders and head brewer at Elysian Brewing, Dick Cantwell earned a national and international reputation for his brewing prowess and his dedication to the advancement of the craft beer industry, which is why his departure from Elysian following the acquisition seemed inevitable.
During his tenure at Elysian, the brewery was named Large Brewpub of the Year three times at the Great American Beer Festival (1999, 2003 and 2004). In 2004 Cantwell received the BA’s Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing.
Cantwell is also a writer and has written for various beer magazines, including The New Brewer, Beer Advocate and American Brewer. His book publishing credits include Barley Wine (with Fal Allen) and The Brewers Association’s Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery, Second Edition. He is currently at work on a forthcoming Brewers Publications title about wood- and barrel-aged beers, with New Belgium’s Peter Bouckaert.
“I am delighted to be given this opportunity to connect with friends old and new around the country, helping to instill the culture of quality in beer and in business as we all strive to stay passionate and committed to this movement we’ve all created,” said Cantwell.