Why the Brewers Association Hired an Executive Chef

In an effort to expand the reach of beer in the culinary world, the association has announced its plan to strengthen ties to a culinary pro who already collaborates with the trade group—making him the association's first executive chef.

To extend beer’s reach into the culinary world, the Brewers Association has added an unusual position to its staff roster: executive chef.

Most associations don’t need a chef on staff. But then again, the Brewers Association isn’t like most associations.

Last week, BA announced that it had hired Adam Dulye as executive chef, a role that’s meant to play up a connection between high-quality brews and great food. Dulye already has a relationship with the association, having worked with it on various projects over the past seven years, but the step formalizes his role.

“As the demand for craft beer continues to grow, so does the desire from beer lovers, chefs, and food and hospitality professionals to educate themselves to lead in the art of pairing beer and food,” BA’s craft beer program director, Julia Herz, said in a news release. “We’re thrilled to have the expertise of Chef Adam, a longtime friend and collaborator of the BA. He knows how to push the palate, and he is a valuable ambassador as we continue to provide resources on beer pairing.”

The move comes as the association is working to educate consumers an how beer can improve the taste of food. Last year, Herz and Dulye teamed up for an online Beer & Food course that offered tips on pairing different kinds of beer with meals, along with advice on pouring, tasting, and serving the brew.

That’s why it makes sense for BA to have a food expert on staff, Dulye told SmartBrief blogger Janet Forgrieve. “Few culinary schools are teaching craft beer, and those that are still are not spending the time they spend on wine and spirits,” Dulye said. “The idea of the course from the student level is stripping down what you commonly find out there. You rarely find anything not written by a brewer, and much of it is technical.”

He added that chefs and brewers have a lot of flexibility in working together to make beers that are good matches for foods.

“When you’re working with craft beer, brewers are constantly evolving, changing, modifying, improving, and the conversation with chefs is phenomenal. Do we need more malt? More hops? The ability to fluctuate to the chef’s needs is very unique,” Dulye said.

On top of his new duties, Dulye will continue much of his previous work with the association, including his Craft Beer With Chef Adam blog for


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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