Club of the Week: Mad Zymurgists
Name: Mad Zymurgists
Founded: April 2007
Location: Tri-Valley area of California (Dublin / Pleasanton / Livermore / San Ramon / Danville, and surrounding cities)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Website: MadZymurgists.org, our club message board is linked off our homepage.
Membership Dues: $25 per year, $35 per year for couples
Who we are and why we got started: Despite the existence of several clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area, there was a bit of a dead zone in the Tri-Valley region. It was with this in mind that our founder and President Emeritus, Brian Cooper, approached a local homebrew shop with the idea of starting a small homebrew club. He probably had no idea what he was getting himself into!
Our club vibe: Anyone who has run into us at the National Homebrewers Conference or any of the other large events will recognize our signature white lab coats. Like all clubs, we have a fair number of analytical types, but membership is still quite varied. The common denominator is a love of beer and homebrewing. We’re not trying to change the world, just make it a little brighter. The club has seen significant growth over the past few years. Despite increased membership, meetings and the general atmosphere remain low key. However, for our size, we are a very active club and participate in various activities, including cooperative efforts with the other clubs in the Bay Area. We co-host a large regional Oktoberfest event with the city of Oakland and have staffed and run the first round competition of the National Homebrewers Competition (NHC) in the San Francisco region for the past three years.
Meetings: Monthly meetings are held at various locations in the Tri-Valley area on the second Thursday of each month. Announcements go out in advance on our mailing list, available from our club website. Guest attendance is encouraged—we don’t bite. Well, most of us don’t! Every meeting begins with a 30-minute social period where members can share homebrew, discuss brewing techniques or get feedback from one of our many BJCP judges. Along with the standard bookkeeping requirements, meetings will often feature guest speakers, demonstrations of brewing gadgets and style appreciation segments.
Competitions: We sponsor an annual homebrew competition focused on German styles as part of the Oakland Diamond District’s “Oaktoberfest” celebration. In the past, we have also hosted AHA Club-Only Competitions, and our members and officers have been important figures in organizing the NHC first round judging for the San Francisco area for the past three years.
Fun Activities: Our club members love to participate in AHA events like Big Brew Day, Learn to Homebrew Day and Mead Day. Almost every weekend someone is brewing and there are always invites on the club message board to join in. We also hold an annual holiday party at an adventurous club member’s home. The party includes food and plenty of great beer along with a club homebrew competition and beer themed white elephant gift exchange. Future events include the Northern California Homebrewers Festival as well as a bus tour of several North Bay breweries.