Henry von Eichel dies; hops company chief executive was 64

Henry F. von Eichel, 64, the chief executive of the Washington-based company John I. Haas Inc., a leading international producer and vendor of hops used in beer brewing, died Aug. 13 at his home in Zell am Moos, Austria.

He had complications from leukemia, said his cousin Alex Barth. Mr. von Eichel had a home in Georgetown for more than 30 years.

(Family Photo) - Henry von Eichel, 64, the chief executive of the Washington-based company John I. Haas Inc., a leading international producer and vendor of hops used in beer brewing, died Aug. 13 at his home in Zell am Moos, Austria.

Mr. von Eichel joined John I. Haas shortly after it became part of the Barth-Haas Group, a major provider of hops-related products and services, in 1977.

John I. Haas specializes in research and development and the growing, processing and marketing of hops products. Mr. von Eichel was president from the mid-1980s until 2008, when he took medical leave and was succeeded by Barth. Mr. von Eichel became chief executive in 1992.

Hops, the dried blossoms of female hops plants, provide the bitter taste of many beers. “For craft brewers,” said Bob Pease, chief operating officer of the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colo., “John I. Haas is an important part of the hop supply chain. . . . You can’t have a great beer without great hops.”

Henry Friedrich von Eichel gen. Streiber was born July 8, 1948, in Munich. After graduating from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland in 1974, he was a banker in Canada and later became a U.S. citizen.

Mr. von Eichel was on the board of the Rahr Malting Co. in Shakopee, Minn., and the Castleton Festival in Rappahannock County, where he had a farm. He had been a board member of the Beer Institute in Washington.

His first marriage, to Linden Armour von Eichel, ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife of eight years, Monika Apponyi von Eichel of Zell am Moos; three children from his first marriage, Kira von Eichel, Julia von Eichel and Jakob von Eichel, all of Brooklyn; two stepchildren, Geraldine Apponyi and Alexander Apponyi, both of London; a sister; and eight grandchildren.