10 Barrel’s Tonya Cornett to Receive Russell Schehrer Award

Among others to be recognized at the upcoming Craft Brewers Conference, the 10 Barrel brewmaster is set to receive one of the industry’s top honors.

Brewing Industry Guide Staff Apr 5, 2024 - 4 min read

10 Barrel’s Tonya Cornett to Receive Russell Schehrer Award Primary Image

Photo: Courtesy 10 Barrel Brewing

Tonya Cornett, brewmaster at 10 Barrel Brewing in Bend, Oregon, is to be this year’s recipient of the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing.

The Brewer’s Association announced this year’s Industry Awards on April 2, and a ceremony is scheduled for April 23 during the Craft Brewers Conference in Las Vegas. Besides Cornett, other honorees include:

  • John Pinkerton of Moon River Brewing in Savannah, Georgia
  • Laura Lodge of Customized Craft Beer Programs
  • Eric Orlando of the Zita Group and Brewers Guild of New Jersey

The Schehrer Award recognizes Cornett’s innovative contributions to the brewing industry. After starting her career in the 1990s at breweries in Colorado and Indiana, Cornett studied at the World Brewing Academy run by Siebel and Doemens. Upon graduation in 2002, she became brewmaster at Bend Brewing, and six years later was the first woman to be named World Beer Cup Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year. She became the R&D brewmaster at 10 Barrel in 2012. Over the years, she has won a combined 28 medals at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup.

Besides a focus on quality, Cornett’s peers have recognized her for her highly accomplished and nuanced approach to tart fruit beers. (For much more on her approach, in her own words, tune into Craft Beer & Brewing Podcast Episode 252: 10 Barrel’s Tonya Cornett Takes a Layered Approach to Fruit Beer.)

Moon River’s Pinkerton, meanwhile, is to receive the BA Recognition Award as someone “whose inspiration, enthusiasm, and support have contributed to the craft-brewing movement.” Besides serving on the BA Board of Directors from 2009 to 2014—the first member from the southeastern states—he also founded the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild and served as its president. He played a key role in lobbying to open up Georgia state laws for smaller, independent breweries, including for brewpubs and on-premise beer sales. Pinkerton also has continued to actively support Georgia’s homebrewing community.

Lodge, who also is executive director of the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival, is to receive the BA Mentor of the Year Award for her work in mentoring others in the industry. Besides her involvement in the BA’s mentorship program, Lodge during the pandemic cofounded Start a Brewery to help connect breweries-in-planning with expertise and resources in the industry. Lodge also owns the Customized Craft Beer Programs consulting business.

Orlando, meanwhile, will receive the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award. Orlando began lobbying for craft brewers more than two decades ago, including advocacy for on-premise sales in New Jersey in 2012. Last year, he led efforts to end several restrictions at New Jersey breweries, including caps on on-premise events and a rule that breweries had to provide tours to customers.