The views and opinions expressed in this statement are those of the candidate and do not necessarily reflect those of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) or the AHA Governing Committee.
My name is Chris Hummert and I’ve been a homebrewer for approximately 8 years. I’ve served in various positions for the Oregon Brew Crew which is one of the oldest and largest homebrewing clubs in the United States. I will be serving as their President in 2013. I’ve also served as the Vice President in 2012 and 2011 and as the Competition Chair in 2010, 07 and 06. I was also part of the group that formed the Oregon Homebrewers Alliance and helped pass SB 444 which allowed Oregon Homebrewers the right to transport their homebrew outside of their homes. (For more information visit: http://oregonhomebrewersalliance.org ). I’m also the organizer of an event called Hop Madness.
I’m running for the AHA Governing Board because I’ve been unhappy with the way things have been run. In 2012 there were three things that caught my attention and fixing them is the reason why I’m running.
•NHC competition – The NHC competition in the northwest has become a joke. For the 2013 competition three clubs in the northwest have been asked to host the event and all three have said they are not interested. This comes down to a few reasons. First is that the northwest region is overcrowded. We have one of the highest concentrations of homebrewers which causes our region to sell out faster than any other. There have been calls to split the region up and all we’ve heard is nothing from the AHA. Second number of entries and the entry fees have increased, yet the money we’ve received to put on these competitions has decreased. Local clubs have had to take money out of their own budgets to cover the extra cost of the competition and not getting reimbursed for it. Finally, the support and direction we’ve received from putting on this competition has been lacking and there needs to be a better guide to help clubs put this event on.
•AHA national convention – While the number of attendees for this event has increased, the organizational level needed to handle that growth has not. Combine that with some archaic rules on hosting the event, the potential to change this event for the better become apparent.
•GABF – Ticket scalping has become a horrible disease that has infected this festival and is preventing true beer lovers from being able to attend without having to pay outrageous prices. I hope I could eventually be the AHA representative and push for the GABF to adopt something like the EPIC online registration system, which would drastically reduce the number of scalpers. This system has been so effective that scalping at some of the major shows has been almost unheard of.
I look at the current board and I see a lot of faces that have been on there for years. The AHA has grown in size and most of the local members I’ve talked to are just as unhappy about the way things are going as I am. It’s time for new blood on the board and some fresh ideas. If you vote for me, I promise to work on the things listed above and make this a better organization.