AHA - American Homebrewers Association

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crusader1612

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Hi Team,

I live in New Zealand.
We have a big number of homebrewers in New Zealand. However, we have no "over-arching" national homebrew entity as such. SOBA is our current closest, which is the society of Beer Advocates, they generally operate with a commercial intent (i.e. they have little interest, aside from one NHC per year in homebrewers).

I've also had a number of commercial brewers and bar owners, express their dislike of SOBA as well.

Can someone tell me their personal thoughts on the AHA and is it a worthwile entity to have in the US?

If anyone from the AHA also sees this can you send me a message, I'd love to chat and talk about how to make it all works etc (NZ is small, so it would be on a not for profit basis essentially).

Cheers :)
 

MaxStout

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I've been an AHA member for a few years. Aside from the tangibles--articles, recipes, competitions, tips, etc.--it's the intangibles to also consider. They lobby for more favorable laws regarding alcoholic beverages in general and homebrewing in particular. They promote better education of homebrewing and the brewing community. Homebrewing is still maligned in the eyes of many, and AHA is helping to break down those barriers. The hobby has come a long way since it was legalized in the late '70s. AHA had a big role in that.

AHA has its faults, and criticisms. But I think it has had a positive influence on our hobby.

Maybe somebody (you?) could get people in some of the local brew clubs together and discuss if there is a way to create an over-arching organization that represents all New Zealand homebrewers. Good luck!
 

beerfactory

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I am under the impression AHA facilitates liability coverage for clubs - that seems important.
 

Sammy86

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Can someone tell me their personal thoughts on the AHA and is it a worthwile entity to have in the US?
Yes, for the mere fact they lobby the government at all levels municipal, state and federal to make home brewing more accessible and legal.

The AHA has to provide its members something for the money, so all the perks plus discounts offered it makes it worth while.

Its not difficult to start an organization with an intent behind it...if you have the people who are willing to do the work you can be up and running fairly quickly.

I hope someone from the AHA reaches out and it not, shoot them an email, i know from experience they respond to emails.

:mug:
 
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If anyone from the AHA also sees this can you send me a message, I'd love to chat and talk about how to make it all works etc (NZ is small, so it would be on a not for profit basis essentially).
There is contact information at the AHA web site (check the bottom of the page).

In addition to the contact information, the AHA web site has forums (don't have to be a member to join the forums) where there are some current (and previous) governing committee members who should be able to help.
 
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crusader1612

crusader1612

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I've been an AHA member for a few years. Aside from the tangibles--articles, recipes, competitions, tips, etc.--it's the intangibles to also consider. They lobby for more favorable laws regarding alcoholic beverages in general and homebrewing in particular. They promote better education of homebrewing and the brewing community. Homebrewing is still maligned in the eyes of many, and AHA is helping to break down those barriers. The hobby has come a long way since it was legalized in the late '70s. AHA had a big role in that.

AHA has its faults, and criticisms. But I think it has had a positive influence on our hobby.

Maybe somebody (you?) could get people in some of the local brew clubs together and discuss if there is a way to create an over-arching organization that represents all New Zealand homebrewers. Good luck!
Thanks Max, A really good balanced review. The liquor licensing laws are relatively liberal here, which is great, so at least i can discount that off a big list of things to do.

I am under the impression AHA facilitates liability coverage for clubs - that seems important.
This is a really good point, something I should look into a bit more probably.

Yes, for the mere fact they lobby the government at all levels municipal, state and federal to make home brewing more accessible and legal.

The AHA has to provide its members something for the money, so all the perks plus discounts offered it makes it worth while.

Its not difficult to start an organization with an intent behind it...if you have the people who are willing to do the work you can be up and running fairly quickly.

I hope someone from the AHA reaches out and it not, shoot them an email, i know from experience they respond to emails.

:mug:
What kind of discounts etc and where from? I realise this will be a big part of the association, and i assume there will be an element of sponsorship from these places, so they can be promoted / plugged.

There is contact information at the AHA web site (check the bottom of the page).

In addition to the contact information, the AHA web site has forums (don't have to be a member to join the forums) where there are some current (and previous) governing committee members who should be able to help.
I did actually flick them an e mail a few months back, when i first started looking into it, but no response. I might shoot them another e mail, to see if i can discuss anything with them.

-------------------------------

On a side note, i do have 2 other people i have spoken to, who are keen to help me out (1 is in the biggest city in Chch), the others are more local to me.

The next step is gaining an idea of interest, via a survey and so on, to see if there really is interest at the grass roots level.
 

Sammy86

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What kind of discounts etc and where from? I realise this will be a big part of the association, and i assume there will be an element of sponsorship from these places, so they can be promoted / plugged.
Discounts come from homebrew shops, restaurants and breweries. They range from $1 off pints to 20% off the bill. The AHA has an app that has a map feature that shows where all the discounts are near you.
 

Oleson M.D.

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Good discounts at Rock Bottom. All day Happy Hour pricing, and with a Mug-Club membership, full size mug pours for the price of a pint! Plus a discount on food!
 
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crusader1612

crusader1612

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Wow, sounds like they got things sorted.
The app sounds really good, and clever. So it might be worth investing sometime into stuff like that down the track.

I see they have a good sized team to keep up to date on stuff too.

Is there anything els,e i should be thinking about on this?
 

mashinary

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I love the AHA. I started home brewing in 2004, in a state where it was illegal. A local law student worked with the AHA to draft and get legislation passed to legalize homebrewing. I really appreciate what the AHA was doing for the hobby and was already a member. So since 2009 I'm no longer a criminal. I do miss the rush though. :cool:
 

Knightshade

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I joined the AHA earlier this year and feel like I've gotten good value out of it so far. Just between the recipes, the articles and the occasional homebrewcon vid that I might watch. I always forget to use the damn discount tho...
 

Witherby

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The AHA is owned by (a subsidiary of?) the Brewers Association, which is the craft beer association. They depend on events for a huge part of their income and so were severely hurt by the pandemic and had some layoffs last year so that may explain why you haven’t heard back. I have been a member of the AHA for a decade now and I will continue to be a member as they do so much for homebrewing, but I feel like homebrewing is viewed as less important than craft beer. Homebrewing is a beautiful thing In itself, not just a step on the path to professional brewing and not a captive audience for craft beer, but that is how the AHA feels to me sometimes. The two have an intertwined history because of Charlie Papazian and the the rise of craft brewing and homebrewing in America in the 70s and 80s, but if I were starting from scratch I think I would want to start an organization that is by homebrewers for homebrewers.
 

Steveruch

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AHA membership includes six issues of Zymurgy every year. Right now it's the only homebrew magazine I get. To me that alone is worth the cost of membership. Disclaimer: I'm a regular contributor.
 

Knightshade

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AHA membership includes six issues of Zymurgy every year. Right now it's the only homebrew magazine I get. To me that alone is worth the cost of membership. Disclaimer: I'm a regular contributor.
Fair enough disclaimer. I've only gotten two issues of Zymurgy so far, but I've read both cover to cover fairly quickly upon receipt. I rarely do that with any others I receive, paper or digital.
 
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crusader1612

crusader1612

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The AHA is owned by (a subsidiary of?) the Brewers Association, which is the craft beer association. They depend on events for a huge part of their income and so were severely hurt by the pandemic and had some layoffs last year so that may explain why you haven’t heard back. I have been a member of the AHA for a decade now and I will continue to be a member as they do so much for homebrewing, but I feel like homebrewing is viewed as less important than craft beer. Homebrewing is a beautiful thing In itself, not just a step on the path to professional brewing and not a captive audience for craft beer, but that is how the AHA feels to me sometimes. The two have an intertwined history because of Charlie Papazian and the the rise of craft brewing and homebrewing in America in the 70s and 80s, but if I were starting from scratch I think I would want to start an organization that is by homebrewers for homebrewers.
Perfectly put.


Here in NZ we have SOBaA, it is much like the "craft beer association in the US. They do minimal for the homebrewingcommunity, and more for the craft beer and brewing community (although many commercial brewers, bars etc have mentioned that they're generally pretty uselss.

but like you say, by home brewers, for homebrewers.
I always anted to start my own brewery, but as costs increase and i see friends struggling to make ends meat. I am further veering towards a life long hobby that i enjoy. Rather than turning ia hobby into a job, that down the line I may end up disliking etc.

Its a fine line, and i still want to be involved in the craft beer industry, I just feel as though it will be in a more voluntary capacity as a passion, rather than something i'll be paid to do.

this is definitely a fun proicess and its cool to see americans take on it, as one of the pioneering countries in craft beer.
 

easttex

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I'm an AHA member and I enjoy reading Zymurgy. I've paid for my membership each year with discounts off pints and brewing supplies. I have no complaints.
 
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