The Schlafly Beer Employee Blog

May 4, 2012

Schlafly's James "Otto" Ottolini Wins Prestigious Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing

We’re incredibly excited and proud to announce that our own Head of Schlafly Brewing Operations, James “Otto” Ottolini was awarded the prestigious Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing from the Brewers Association this week at the 2012 Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego.

ottosmallA press release from the Brewers Association included this quote about Otto:

“Described by a fellow brewer as an artist, a scientist and an inventor, James Ottolini of the St. Louis Brewery, Inc. is the recipient of the 2012 Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing. The list of his creative brewing solutions ranges from redesigned milling processes to reduce brewers’ exposure to dust to extensive research on dry-hopping, which has been said to result in “beer with bold floral characteristics, but a soft, inviting quaffability.”

Emailing from the conference, Otto shared with us a bit about his acceptance speech (a video of which may be forthcoming from the Brewers Association).

“I wanted to thank my family, and I went on to explain that my family is first and foremost my wife and kids, then there is my family at Schlafly who really made this award possible. You are the ones I have to thank for the opportunity for such an honor and privilege. The extended family of course is our industry and I am grateful to be a part of such a large, diverse cool family.

Thank you for all your support and congratulations. I am proud of this award and proud of our accomplishments. Truly this award is a recognition of our collective efforts as a company and a family of phenomenal individuals. I am looking forward to Saturday where hopefully we will bring further recognition to our collective efforts and bring home some medals from the World Beer Cup.”

suckamaticOne of Otto’s many inventions, the “Suck-o-matic”, which is used to lift and clean our empty 750 ml bottles at the Tap Room.