The Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association (BA) announced that founder and past president Charlie Papazian will retire from the BA on Jan. 23, 2019, which also marks his 70th birthday and 40 years building the craft brewing community.

“We are all here today because of Charlie Papazian,” said Bob Pease, president and chief executive officer of the BA, in a statement. “His influence on the homebrewing and craft brewing community is immeasurable. Who could have predicted that a simple wooden spoon, ingenuity and passion would spawn a community of more than 1 million homebrewers and 6,000 small and independent U.S. craft breweries?”

Papazian, founder of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) and the Association of Brewers, set the stage for homebrewing back in the 1970s.

In 1978, Papazian, along with Charlie Matzen, formed the AHA in Boulder, Colo. Today, the AHA is more than 46,000 members strong.

In 1982, Papazian debuted the Great American Beer Festival in Boulder, Colo.

The following year, the Association of Brewers was organized to include the AHA and the Institute for Brewing and Fermentation Studies to assist the emerging microbrewery movement in the United States. In 2005, the Association of Brewers and the Brewers’ Association of America merged to form the Brewers Association.

Papazian will spend his final year at the BA completing many projects, including a craft brewing history archive project. The archives will house 40 years of craft beer history and will be accessible to researchers via the BA. BI