On Saturday, a brewer at Stone Brewing Company, now identified by the Medical Examiner’s Office as Matthew Courtright, died of complications stemming from a forklift accident on the job.
According to a brewery blog post from earlier this year, Courtright was an avid homebrewer in addition to being a full-time brewer at Stone and had his “a-ha moment” with craft beer when he first tried Anchor Steam.
Michigan brewer, Todd Parker, knew Courtright personally and gave us permission to share a Facebook post he wrote on Sunday.
Sadly, we lost one of our own. A brewer, specifically Matthew Courtright, was lost in what I have heard was a freak accident. While we already lost earlier this week, Jan Muuse, a brewer chemist, and great friend to MI beer, and an all around great guy.
Matt is also very special in that he represented brewing’s future. He was still in his 20’s. He still homebrewed despite his full time work at the Stone Brewing Cos brewery. For him, it was all about being the best brewer possible.
He started out homebrewing here in MI, and then worked at Liberty St. Brewing in Plymouth. He jumped to Stone Brewing Co. from there. While he still loved MI, esp his Tigers and Redwings, he soon did get an appreciation of San Diego. He loved Stone Brewing Co. and was so proud to brew for the them. While he wanted to brew his own beers, he still loved making Stone Brewing Cos beers, and wanted to make great beers under their umbrella.
I have known Matt for several years. I first met Matt when he was visiting MI to see family, friends, and his first employer. I have stayed in touch since, mostly through Facebook and the occasional text. I was so happy to follow his progression as a brewer, and was eager to see it grow in the future. Now I am exquisitely saddened by the loss of his potential. That is the saddest part of this, that his potential was unbounded.
Rest in Peace Matt,
You will truly be missed!
We are sure that much will be written about Courtright in the coming days and you will get to know him through the words of those who were close to him. In the meantime, we would recommend taking a spin through Courtright’s Instagram page featuring photos that demonstrate his love for beer, his job, the brewing community, sports, friends and family…and life. Courtright looked like he was having a blast.
Our condolences to Stone Brewing Company as well as Courtright’s friends and family.