Thursday, March 22, 2007

American Homebrewers Association

One year ago, for my 29th birthday, my wife gave me a 2 year membership with the American Hombrewers Association (AHA). I was quite surprised and happy to become a part of something larger/historic.

I wanted to share some of the benefits I've enjoyed.

1. Zymurgy - Their bi-monthly magazine dedicated to home brewing. There are some wonderful articles and recipes in there. Overall, its enjoyable.
2. TechTalk...email forum - Though I haven't asked/answered any questions yet, it seems as though every question gets answered thoroughly. I've been able to search the archives for answers to just about every question on my mind. Sometimes these are answered by well-known and respectable home brew authors and advocates.
3. Brewpub Discounts - Just the discounts alone have more than paid for the price of the membership. The closest brewpub for me is Goose Island and they offer a 20% discount on all food and drink for the whole party. I've visited Goose Island (Clybourne) throughout the changing seasons and love trying their seasonal and cask conditioned ales...simply marvelous.

Though I'm not very interested in competition, I think they host a good number of style specific competitions every year. Since they have a long lead time, listed in the events calender, I may brew some batches with it in mind (or my beers might correlate).

I've entered one competition last year in Racine, WI called the Schooner Homebrew Championships, but it was non-AHA. I pretty much know what I like and don't like about my beers. If I'm going for something authentic, I have lots of micro/large-scale commercial examples to base them off of. The best part about competitions is that you get your beer critiqued by more than one person, and the evaluation forms are mailed to you after the event.

All-in-all, I recommend becoming a member of the AHA. The benefits I mentioned above are really worth it. If your interested in sharpening your skills, participating in TechTalk will surely do it...with some practice that is. Zymurgy is a fun read! The discounts are really great, no matter where you are in the country...but for some reason...not in WA? The competitions and annual events are getting bigger every year, and members get discounts to it all.

3 comments:

sierrajuliettromeo said...

honey, does this mean i can just get you another 2 year membership next year for your bday? cuz that would be pretty easy to do.

Brian said...

Great info Ted, I'll be joining this week. I had no idea that the discounts would apply to Goose Island Brewpubs...which means over the past 2 months I likely could have paid the membership off right there! Anyway, we hit up the New Glarus Brewery this weekend up in Wisconsin, if you'd like to read about it a little check out my blog at http://breuni.blogspot.com/
. This site will be more focused on brew/home brewing in the future should you have any more interest.
Later! Oh and by the way the Cherry Stout-not so cherry nor stout..back to the drawing board!
Brian

Ted Danyluk said...

My Dear, I wouldn't mind at all receiving an extention to my AHA membership. But I think we'd have to plan some roadtrips with participating brewpubs in mind.

Brian, thanks for coming back to my blog. I'll definitely keep up with yours. Really sorry to hear about your Cherry Stout. I figured out how to make a good stout, and Schwartzbier for that matter, and would like to go over some things that might help. Would you like to swing by sometime soon to drink some homebrew and talk about some of these brewing details? Just shoot me an email...redted8 at yahoo.com