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Portland's Most Influential Beer Writer Fred Eckhardt Has Died

After many suds and salutations, Eckhardt passes at 89

Lisa Morrison

Fred Eckhardt is a celebrated man. Hair of the Dog brewery's golden strong ale is named "Fred"; his image appears in the Mad Hatter's Tea Party painting by Lyle Hehn in the McMenamins Hillsdale Pub & Brewery; and the annual FredFest beer festival is thrown in his honor. He authored A Treatise on Lager Beers and The Essentials of Beer Style, and he was a regular contributor to the Celebrator beer magazine. When it broke last night, the sad news traveled quickly and widely that Fred Eckhardt passed away at age 89.

Long-time friend to Eckhardt, Lisa Morrison, confirmed the news on Facebook yesterday evening, and dirges and cheerses have flooded from all taps. The Oregonian's John Foyston, who couldn't bring himself to referred to Fred Eckhardt simply as Eckhardt, but as Fred, throughout the article, describes Eckhardt as "the man known as the dean of American beer writers and who, with Charlie Papazian, started America homebrewing in the 1970s with his books on lager brewing and beer styles." Foyston concludes the article stating, "Look for a longer post Tuesday, the story I hoped I'd never have to write."

The New School Beer blog's Ezra Johnson-Greenough says that Eckhardt "was often referred to as America’s greatest living beer writer," and Willamette Week's Martin Cizmar writes, "His many contributions to craft beer culture include popularizing cheese as an ideal pairing partner to beer and increasing American awareness and appreciation for sake."

An list of Fred Eckhardt quotes and memories is currently being cultivated by Lisa Morrison on Facebook.