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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: theoman on January 18, 2011, 05:47:04 am

Title: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: theoman on January 18, 2011, 05:47:04 am
I just read the convention thread and saw the idea for the European Homebrewers Association. I love it! I've thought of this before but never very seriously. I'm still not thinking about it very seriously, but I did take a step and registered homebrewersassociation.eu. It's something, I guess.

Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: punatic on January 18, 2011, 12:06:35 pm
Wise decision, grasshopper.  A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: alikocho on January 18, 2011, 12:44:26 pm
It's definitely a step. Should we think about taking a few more, or even a leap. I'm game to explore this as an idea, and feel that Europe would really benefit from this kind of thing.
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: theoman on January 18, 2011, 01:45:40 pm
I think we need to ask some questions of ourselves. Let's start with: Why?

I'll try to contribute an answer or two after some sleep.
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: EHall on January 18, 2011, 03:30:42 pm
you guys should try to enlist some more women so it isn't such an overwhelming sausage party like it is here...
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: phillamb168 on January 19, 2011, 12:36:55 am
Hey guys,

Darin, thanks for registering that domain. I'm a web developer by trade so I wouldn't mind putting in a few hours to get something basic set up for now, including a forum, but you're right, the first question is "Why?"

For me, it'd be the same reason the AHA was started, with the possible exception of advocacy (I'm not sure there are any EU countries where homebrewing is illegal). Is there an AHA mission statement somewhere? That'd be a good place to start, but in my mind we should do it because we want to encourage the building of comraderie between disparate existing groups, hold events to promote homebrewing and educate people about beer, create a standardized competition system, and in general try to hook up more people with better beer :-)

In terms of next steps, I'd say a conference call with one or more people from the AHA board would be a good place to start. Those guys have done this already and have been quite successful. It's in their best interests, because forming an international community will bring some great publicity to the AHA and probably get more people joining in the US.

Of course we really can't do anything without manpower, and as my wife is a stay-at-home mom I've asked her if she'd be interested in helping out. She speaks French, English, Italian, Spanish and some German and Turkish (as well as Latin and ancient Greek  ;D ) so it seems like she'd be in a good position to talk to groups throughout Europe. I know a few homebrewers in Denmark and here in France, Darin is in Belgium, and alikocho you're in the UK right? So that's a pretty good start.

Are there any existing clubs that would be upset by the formation of a EU-wide group? We should make sure that we let people know that nobody's taking over their baby, so to speak.

Ok, that's enough for one post. Darin, if you wanna send me login credentials for the server I can get the site set up today. If you don't have a server, I have a VPS account I use for development that's pretty beefy so I'd be happy to host it if you want.
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: alikocho on January 19, 2011, 12:56:16 am
Philamb168's ideas seem pretty close to my own on this. I am aware of the need for manpower, but this is the perennial problem with these things. I know a fairly large number of homebrewers here in the UK (some of whom have experience of brewing elsewhere in Europe), a few in Finland and Russia (ok, not technically Europe). I can also cope with several languages - Russian, German, French (although I haven't spoken the last two in years), although it sounds as though there are others who are likely to have better skills than me.

I look forward to seeing how this might take shape!
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: theoman on January 19, 2011, 01:23:50 am
PL's take pretty much covers my thoughts as well. As an optimistic pessimist and a cynic, it's the problems that pop into my head. The biggest problem being language. I've attempted to connect with local homebrewers (hobby brouwers, as the call themselves in these parts) with very minimal success. Building a European community will be difficult, as I think others have discovered before us. But, the optimist part of me thinks maybe this doesn’t matter. Maybe it’ll be an association of expats. So what. At least they’ll be homebrewing expats. Or, the worst-case scenario I can come up with is that the three of us might end up sharing a homebrew at some point.

So I guess my answer to my own question is: Why not?

As for wives, mine speaks French and Dutch and organizes conferences for a living. I'll beg her for help if we get to that point.

Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: theoman on January 19, 2011, 01:27:58 am
BTW, the closest thing I could find to a homebrewers association is in the UK:
http://www.craftbrewing.org.uk/

Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: phillamb168 on January 19, 2011, 02:06:59 am
PL's take pretty much covers my thoughts as well. As an optimistic pessimist and a cynic, it's the problems that pop into my head. The biggest problem being language. I've attempted to connect with local homebrewers (hobby brouwers, as the call themselves in these parts) with very minimal success. Building a European community will be difficult, as I think others have discovered before us. But, the optimist part of me thinks maybe this doesn’t matter. Maybe it’ll be an association of expats. So what. At least they’ll be homebrewing expats. Or, the worst-case scenario I can come up with is that the three of us might end up sharing a homebrew at some point.

So I guess my answer to my own question is: Why not?

As for wives, mine speaks French and Dutch and organizes conferences for a living. I'll beg her for help if we get to that point.



Yeah, re the language barrier, in my mind most homebrewers are autodidacts and exhibit a high motiviation to do new things, no matter what country they're from. Ergo, I think it's safe to assume that a majority will have a basic understanding of English, so I don't see why we couldn't keep everything in English at least for official events and for the website.

As you say, at the very worst, it'll just be the three of us getting together and drinking, but that's already 100 times better than what there is right now, at least for me.
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: phillamb168 on January 19, 2011, 04:03:28 am
Ok, homebrewersassociation.eu is up and running. Feel free to register by going to homebrewersassociation.eu/user/register

-pl
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: alikocho on January 19, 2011, 04:18:29 am
BTW, the closest thing I could find to a homebrewers association is in the UK:
http://www.craftbrewing.org.uk/



I'm a member, but the CBA is a little stuck in the past. Non-British beers are 'specialty'. Even so, they'd be a group to also work with on a European association.
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: alikocho on January 19, 2011, 04:26:52 am
PL's take pretty much covers my thoughts as well. As an optimistic pessimist and a cynic, it's the problems that pop into my head. The biggest problem being language. I've attempted to connect with local homebrewers (hobby brouwers, as the call themselves in these parts) with very minimal success. Building a European community will be difficult, as I think others have discovered before us. But, the optimist part of me thinks maybe this doesn’t matter. Maybe it’ll be an association of expats. So what. At least they’ll be homebrewing expats. Or, the worst-case scenario I can come up with is that the three of us might end up sharing a homebrew at some point.

So I guess my answer to my own question is: Why not?

As for wives, mine speaks French and Dutch and organizes conferences for a living. I'll beg her for help if we get to that point.



Yeah, re the language barrier, in my mind most homebrewers are autodidacts and exhibit a high motiviation to do new things, no matter what country they're from. Ergo, I think it's safe to assume that a majority will have a basic understanding of English, so I don't see why we couldn't keep everything in English at least for official events and for the website.

As you say, at the very worst, it'll just be the three of us getting together and drinking, but that's already 100 times better than what there is right now, at least for me.

Language may be an issue, but we can probably manage to cope in English for the most part within the website and official events. The drawing together of a disparate group of homebrewer's though will make this interesting.

And if all this results in is three guys getting together to drink beer at some point in the future in Europe, then even that's something.

Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: phillamb168 on January 19, 2011, 04:46:34 am
BTW, the closest thing I could find to a homebrewers association is in the UK:
http://www.craftbrewing.org.uk/



I'm a member, but the CBA is a little stuck in the past. Non-British beers are 'specialty'. Even so, they'd be a group to also work with on a European association.

Well if anything I think this is actually a "good" thing. As an American, I really believe in the whole e pluribus unum thing. Each state has its own rules and regulations, motto, flower, bird, etc, and people from one state identify with each other. But there's still a unity. the EHA would basically create links between those communities. There's nothing there right now, and certainly nothing -online- that shows you which club is closest to you. In France (and Francophone Europe, it seems) there's Brassage Amateur, which is basically a forum. They're super active and there are a lot of nice guys there, but I don't think they currently do much exchange between the other clubs in Europe, and I think that's sad. Plus, it seems that for a lot of the 'competitions' in Europe they don't even do judging according to the BJCP guidelines. Lots of room for improvement. Also, it's incredibly difficult to find a good HBSS, and that could be a good function of the EHA as well. Just a thought.
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: uthristy on January 19, 2011, 04:50:46 am
Open Nederlands  Championship (ONK)
http://www.amervallei.nl/menuonk2010


------------------------------------------------------------
The biggest problem being language. I've attempted to connect with local homebrewers (hobby brouwers, as the call themselves in these parts) with very minimal success.


 Walter runs this forum, nice guy and lives near Brussels, speaks better english then me :D
http://vlaamsehobbybrouwers.yourbb.be/

Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: phillamb168 on January 19, 2011, 05:14:23 am
One thing that would be REALLY great to do: create video and text how-tos for homebrewing basics in different languages and make them super accessible. alikocho can do english english, I can do french (sorta), theoman can do dutch (?), etc. That'd be a great thing to have all in one place I think.
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: theoman on January 19, 2011, 05:34:59 am
Well if anything I think this is actually a "good" thing. As an American, I really believe in the whole e pluribus unum thing. Each state has its own rules and regulations, motto, flower, bird, etc, and people from one state identify with each other. But there's still a unity. the EHA would basically create links between those communities. There's nothing there right now, and certainly nothing -online- that shows you which club is closest to you. In France (and Francophone Europe, it seems) there's Brassage Amateur, which is basically a forum. They're super active and there are a lot of nice guys there, but I don't think they currently do much exchange between the other clubs in Europe, and I think that's sad. Plus, it seems that for a lot of the 'competitions' in Europe they don't even do judging according to the BJCP guidelines. Lots of room for improvement. Also, it's incredibly difficult to find a good HBSS, and that could be a good function of the EHA as well. Just a thought.

Well said and I agree on all points (almost - but we can argue judging guidelines later). I especially agree about the HBSS. That's something to work for, even if it's just resource pooling.
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: theoman on January 19, 2011, 05:38:57 am
Open Nederlands  Championship (ONK)
http://www.amervallei.nl/menuonk2010


------------------------------------------------------------
The biggest problem being language. I've attempted to connect with local homebrewers (hobby brouwers, as the call themselves in these parts) with very minimal success.


 Walter runs this forum, nice guy and lives near Brussels, speaks better english then me :D
http://vlaamsehobbybrouwers.yourbb.be/



Do you know him? I actually think he lives really near me. I've introduced myself on that forum (in Dutch) and never heard a response.
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: anthayes on January 20, 2011, 02:38:30 pm
The first European BJCP exam is being held on 29 January in London, sponsored by the London Amateur Brewers, a CBA affiliate and a member of the London Brewers Alliance.

http://londonamateurbrewers.wordpress.com/

Ant Hayes
Tonbridge, Kent
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: corkybstewart on January 20, 2011, 03:23:46 pm
I'll send this info to my nephew in France, he's homebrewed a batch with me and is very interested.
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: tschmidlin on January 21, 2011, 11:22:04 pm
Are there any existing clubs that would be upset by the formation of a EU-wide group? We should make sure that we let people know that nobody's taking over their baby, so to speak.
For what it's worth, we set up a Washington homebrewers association to organize events in our state, get some legislation passed, organize state-wide awards, etc.  We were also concerned about stepping on toes, but it turned out to be ok.  We basically made it clear that we were a resource for clubs, not a club ourselves.  Each club gets a vote, that kind of thing.  Our webpage has stuff about how to get in contact with clubs in your area, find homebrew supplies, etc.
http://www.wahomebrewers.org/
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: alikocho on January 22, 2011, 11:09:37 am
Are there any existing clubs that would be upset by the formation of a EU-wide group? We should make sure that we let people know that nobody's taking over their baby, so to speak.
For what it's worth, we set up a Washington homebrewers association to organize events in our state, get some legislation passed, organize state-wide awards, etc.  We were also concerned about stepping on toes, but it turned out to be ok.  We basically made it clear that we were a resource for clubs, not a club ourselves.  Each club gets a vote, that kind of thing.  Our webpage has stuff about how to get in contact with clubs in your area, find homebrew supplies, etc.
http://www.wahomebrewers.org/

On this, I'm happy to get in touch with clubs in the UK and see where things lie. Who knows, we may even find more people who want to help get this off the ground...
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: denny on January 22, 2011, 11:10:56 am
Ant Hayes, who posts here sometimes, could be a valuable contact for you.  Try sending him a PM.
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: alikocho on January 22, 2011, 11:23:09 am
Ant Hayes, who posts here sometimes, could be a valuable contact for you.  Try sending him a PM.

Even better, I'll have a chat with him next week, as he's organised the BJCP exam I'll be taking.
Title: Re: European Homebrewers Association
Post by: denny on January 22, 2011, 11:40:12 am
Ant Hayes, who posts here sometimes, could be a valuable contact for you.  Try sending him a PM.

Even better, I'll have a chat with him next week, as he's organised the BJCP exam I'll be taking.

Great!  Say hi for me.