Ladies and gentlemen, please rise to honor Sir Adam Carmer, just back from Belgium, where he was knighted—yes, knighted!—by the Belgian brewers guild. Carmer was “enthroned” by members of the Grand Council as a Knight of La Chevalerie du Fourquet des Brasseurs (the Knighthood of the Brewers’ Mash Staff) on September 5 as part of Brussels Beer Week “in appreciation of his dedication and acknowledgment of his significant contributions in education and promotion of the Belgian beer industry.”
The UNLV professor and Freakin’ Frog owner has received numerous awards over his more than two-decade beer career, and has presided over a selection of at times 400-plus Belgian beers. But this is about the highest honor a beer professional can attain; it also marks the first time a Nevadan has been bestowed with this title.
The festivities began—as all things in Belgium do—with the honorees sharing a beer. They were then given a decorative boutonniere made of beloved Belgian hops; trumpets announced the start of the parade. The streets of Brussels were lined with cheering people taking pictures and videos as the participants made their way through the town to the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. There, in an hourlong service, two priests and a Bishop called down the Lord’s blessings on the future Knights and on the brewing industry by consecrating a cask of beer.
“It was surreal!” Carmer says. “The church must have held nearly 4,000 people. There was a ceremony blessing the beer ingredients, there was singing—it was beautiful. I was knighted using a 6-foot mash staff, an old wooden utensil that was used to move the mash around.
“This is full circle for me. To get the fruits of the labor without knowing that it’s coming, it’s very rewarding to know that someone is watching and appreciating what I’ve been doing.” Carmer admits that when he received the call earlier this summer, the Guild had to follow up with him via email to confirm—and more than once. “Because I simply didn’t believe the call at first.”
So what does a newly made knight get for his reward? Well, for starters, Carmer can request to be called “Sir” anywhere he goes. He is of course now obligated to continue with his good works. His wife is now Lady Jill Carmer. And with his Guild medallion on, Carmer gets free beer for life in Belgium.
Asked whether he might even add the honorific to his business card, Carmer says, “I very well may.”