Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - jkeeler

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 5
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: State of home-brewing
« on: May 26, 2015, 06:50:46 PM »
Great discussion about Facebook...I mean, uh, shops and the hobby  ;)

Joking aside, I will join Martin, Jeff and Denny in stating that growth has slowed in the industry, but it's still there.  I chair the Industry sub-committee of the AHA Governing Committee - this committee is comprised of industry folks from manufactures, distributors and retailers both large and small.  We track the trends and data, and try to help put these things into context.  We also help connect the dots between our membership, and the industry/hobby at large.

There are certainly multiple factors at work causing the slowing in growth.  You cannot point to a single thing, which makes it hard for many shops to identify, adapt and adjust.  One thing is certain, homebrew shops (just like any business) need to pay attention to changing customer bases/demographics, changing economic landscapes, and advancements in consumer technology, awareness and habits.  Not to mention taking into account that this is a hobby industry in which homebrew shops exist; hobbies evolve, morph, advance, lose favor, become mainstream, become niche, etc etc.  What homebrewing was 5 years ago, or 40 years ago, has no guaranteed claim upon the future.  Further to that point, I would strongly challenge the notion that millennials (give or take 5 years) are not engaged in homebrewing at a significant level...I would argue they are having a real impact via how they participate, share, and classify homebrewing in their personal and communal lives.  They love homebrewing much like anyone else, just in a different way perhaps.

At the National Homebrewers Conference in a couple weeks, the AHA and the Industry sub-committee will be reviewing these trends, and related topics through a Homebrew Industry Track programming:

Registration for this programming is at a record high; shops and industry folk are engaged. Despite how some shops may be doing (60% down for instance) there is still real opportunity for growth and sustainable, long term profitability.


Jake Keeler

Greetings everyone,

I hope this finds you with full carboys, and brew-days on the near horizon.

This year's AHA Governing Committee election saw a roughly 15% increase in voter turn out, with 1,636 ballots cast, totaling in 8,915 votes - about 5.5 votes cast per voter.  With 25 candidates running for 8 open seats, it was one of the most exiting elections to date.

From this, the following candidates we're voted into the 8 open seats on the 15 member GC:

    Drew Beechum*| Pasadena, CA
    Martin Brungard | Carmel, IN
    Jeff Rankert | Milford, MI
    Aimee Richard | Philadelphia, PA
    Susan Ruud* | Harwood, ND
    Tom Schmidlin* | Redmond, WA
    Roxanne Westendord* | Cincinnati, OH
    Kim Wood | Greenwood, CA

*Returning Governing Committee member

I want to personally congratulate Drew, Roxanne, Tom and Susan on being re-elected, and welcome Aimee, Jeff, Martin and Kim to the GC.  Congratulations to you all, we have exiting work ahead of us!

To the other 17 candidates, thank you for running - the competition was close, and all candidates garnered healthy amounts of votes.  Your engagement, participation and membership is an inspiration to the AHA.

So, raise a glass of homebrew today to your returning and new GC'ers, to all those who ran, and to all who voted. 


Jake Keeler
Governing Committee Chair

More on the results:

James - being on the GC does not prevent/prohibit you from entering the NHC. 


Howdy citizens, AHA Governing Committee Chair Jake Keeler here.
I wanted to remind everyone that we are still taking nominations for the 2014 AHAGC elections.

There are 8 open seats this year, and we'd love to add some new faces to the mix.  I can say without hesitation or doubt, that serving on the AHAGC has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done as a homebrewer.  It's way to help give back to the AHA, the awesome members, and to this wicked-awesome hobby and community.

The deadline is November 30th - please consider throwing your name in the hat for consideration.

To learn how to nominate yourself, please visit this link:


Howdy members,

I'm pleased to share with you the 2013 AHA Governing Committee Subcommittee report.  Within this report you'll find a summation of the respective subcommittees' missions, accomplishments, challenges and next steps.

While the GC deals with topics, issues, challenges, member's feedback, and opportunities at large, the vehicle for change and action is largely done through the subcommittees.

AHAGC subcommittees are made up of AHA members and non-members alike, but all are chaired by an AHAGC member.  Subcommittees are created based on need and interest, and members volunteer their time and service.  Chairs are responsible for achieving sub-com goals, vetting new/potential members, and guiding the work and actions of the group.  If you are interested in contributing to a subcommittee, or want to learn more about what they do, please contact the sub-com using the "Contact the XXXX subcommittee" link listed under each subcommittee description.

Please take a minute to visit the AHAGC page here to learn more about who the Governing Committee is, and what we do for you:

To download the report, go here:

Cheers and happy brewing!

Jake Keeler
AHA Governing Committee Chair

Howdy everyone,

As the AHA Governing Committee Chairperson I'm happy to announce the results of the AHAGC 2013 elections.  There were 2 open spots this year, and 7 candidates running for election. This was a very strong group of AHA members, with qualities ranging from extensive BJCP experience, committee and non-profit experience, club organizing and leadership, and of course a myriad of other traits including the brewing of great beer!

Fred Bonjour - incumbent
Justing Crossley - incumbent
Steve Cook
Matt Johnson
Bruce Buerger
Chris Hummert
Martin Brungard

The election process ended on March 30th, with votes being tallied and verfied on April 1st.  Only current AHA members were allowed to vote.  The election process, and the candidates' respective platforms were disseminated through email to members, on this website, in Zymurgy, through all AHA social media channels and on-air thanks to the Brewing Network which brought each candidate on and gave them a chance to speak to their position, candidacy, and qualities.

Voter "turn out" was the strongest ever at 1423 votes, a 31% increase from last year, setting a new record. However, we would like to see voter participation increase and will make every effort to accomplsh this in 2014, when we will have 8 open seats!

After all votes were tallied, here are the two candidates that will be serving:

Fred Bonjour
Justin Crossley

I"m looking forward to working with both of these individuals yet again over the next 3 years.  They have been valued and integral members of the AHAGC thus far, and I expect them to continue their hard work.

To everyone who ran, who has ever run, or has ever thought about running...please do!
Getting involved is the single best way you can help the AHA deal with the enormous challenges it will face in the coming years. 

To see the existing AHAGC, and the respective sub committees please visit this page:

More about the results from the AHA:

Congrats to Fred and Justin, and thank you to all the candidates and AHA members that voted.

Jake Keeler
Chairperson - AHA Governing Committee

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AHA Membership
« on: December 09, 2012, 07:52:46 PM »
Thought I'd share my thoughts on being a member:

Did you know the American Homebrewers Association just turned 34?  Do you know how important this organization has been not only to homebrewing, but to the emergence of the craft beer movement?

I'm proud to serve as the Chairperson of the AHA Governing Committee.  In fact, I'm working on AHA stuff today!  As a member of the AHA, I enjoy all the benefits like pub discounts and Zymurgy magazine...but more importantly I have seen first hand the important work the AHA does in states where homerbewing is still illegal, and/or where the rights of homebrewers need to be defended.

If you are a homebrewer, please become a member.  The work of the AHA does not only help promote a better future for homebrewing, but a better future for great beer in general.

Cheers..and happy b-day AHA.

General Homebrew Discussion / BTV - Episode 55: All About Stouts
« on: February 10, 2012, 01:46:40 PM »

We are getting ready for St. Patrick's Day with stout on the brain! For the occasion, Jake and Mike brew two beers. One is a Dry Irish Stout on par with the modern Guinness Draught, which we serve on nitrogen through a stout faucet. The other beer is a Single Stout Porter, based on a beer Guinness produced back in the 1880s. We put the beers up against each other in a taste test… and find out the secret to Chip's Chocolate Stout along the way. [Original postdate: February 10, 2012]

For related links and content, see:

Events / Gordon Strong and Nathan Smith at Northern Brewer MPLS - 1/16
« on: January 17, 2012, 03:33:55 PM »

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Wisconsin Bill 290
« on: November 18, 2011, 02:42:42 PM »
The Senate hearing went very very well!
It's looking like it will pass through the Senate, and then onto the Governors desk.

David Mitchell from the Vine and Hop shop in Madison also showed up to testify in support and made some excellent points.

My impressions so far is that there is very strong, bi-partisan, and unified support for both this bill, and the efforts of the homebrewers.

Representative Dale Kooyenga who worked with NB to draft AB 290 said he is very interested in helping the WIHBA on any and all efforts of the "Homebrewer's Rigths" bill.  I think he has built strong relationships, trust and consensus in both houses on the issues Homebrewers are facing in WI.   His email:


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Wisconsin Bill 290
« on: November 14, 2011, 05:37:57 PM »
Hey everyone, I just got notice that AB290 has a public hearing this Thursday (see details below).
I'm planning on attending to testify in support.
I'm also going to make some supportive remarks for the WIHBA's efforts.

Wish me luck!


Committee on Energy, Biotechnology, and Consumer Protection
The committee will hold a public hearing on the following items at the time specified below:
Thursday, November 17, 2011
10:00 AM
330 Southwest
State Capitol

Senate Bill 205

Relating to: the manufacture of wine and fermented malt beverages not offered for sale.
By Senators Zipperer, Galloway and Schultz; cosponsored by Representatives Kooyenga, Mursau, Spanbauer, Rivard, A. Ott, C. Taylor, Brooks and Berceau.

Assembly Bill 290

Relating to: the manufacture of wine and fermented malt beverages not offered for sale.
By Representatives Kooyenga, Mursau, Spanbauer, Rivard, A. Ott, C. Taylor, Brooks, Berceau and Strachota; cosponsored by Senators Zipperer, Galloway and Schultz.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Wisconsin Bill 290
« on: October 26, 2011, 01:51:45 PM »
Good news, the bill was passed by a voice vote through the Assembly yesterday.
Also, the amendment requiring shops to obtain an operators license was fixed/adjusted to reflect the fact that shops DO NOT need to obtain an additional liquor license of any kind to qualify for the operators license.

In essence, this means shops will only have to obtain the simple "bartenders" or operators license for employees whom will serve or oversee giving out samples at said shop. 

For more information:

The bill now goes to the Senate.  It may require a hearing prior to going to the Senate floor, or it may go straight to the floor for a vote.  Since it passed on a voice vote through the Assembly, and no one has registered opposition, it may go straight to vote. 


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Wisconsin Bill 290
« on: October 24, 2011, 01:26:50 PM »
Hey guys/gals, I'm glad to see we're hashing this out, and giving it the proper constructive discussion it deserves.

On Friday, I sent an email to Rep. Kooyenga expressing some of our concerns about the operators license warranting a class A or B liquor licenses for homebrew shops.  I also brought up the concern about this having a ripple affect on homebrewers themselves in regards to serving their beer.

He replied to me stating that they will look into any and all adverse affects this amendment to AB 290 may cause, and expressed very clearly that taking the amendment OFF the bill was an option on the table.  The amendment was added as a component to help the bill pass, not punish shops or homebrewers in any way. I'll keep you all posted as to what they determine.

I do think, that without having any restrictions to sample sizes and/or frequency in a shop means there needs to be some kind of guarantee that sampling will not get out of hand, and, patrons do not become intoxicated.  So, I could see an amendment replacing this one that regulates amount and frequency of sampling, which seems reasonable to me.

I will also add that most liquor liability polices will not cover a claim unless the businesses employees have acquired the proper serving licenses for a particular state/county.  This is something that will need to be explored further. 

Two questions I like to get feedback on:

1.  If further amendments would allow shops to obtain operators licenses without having to obtain class A or B liquor licenses, would this make the current amendment more palatable?  I know this still leaves open questions to how licensing may affect homebrewers, but I'd like to get opinions.
2.  If the current amendment is striked, and they propose a sample size limit, and limits to frequency of sampling, would this be acceptable to shop owners?

Please pass this along to the WIHBA listserve/google group  (I still need to be added!)


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Wisconsin Bill 290
« on: October 22, 2011, 12:01:27 AM »
Tom, I replied to you post on the NB forum, but I'll repost here to make sure the cquaestions/concerned are addressed to the widest p[ossible audnece:

Early on, we got the impression that the WIHBA was going to pursue their bill for homebrewers rights separate from the homebrew shop concerns, so I think it was a mutual conclusion that having separate bills was the best way to proceed.

When I was stating that the NB office decide to adopt a separate route, I was attempting to make clear that we didn't want things like in-store sampling, or a business brewing on it's premise damaging the chances of the homebrewers rights bill. Sorry if that got lost in the translation.

We have supported our fellow homebrewers efforts through the WIHBA, and will continue to do so in the future. I pledge to make every possible effort be present at any and all public hearings and/or votes on the bill that is being worked on by the WIHBA. And, if NB can assist in any other way, we are prepared to do so. For the record, I mentioned the other bill and the efforts of the WIHBA and gave it/them/us full support.

I'm sorry if I/NB hasn't been on top of this as much as I/we may have noticed we're having some, cough cough, website issues...and we have to open a store in less of a month. I know, excuses, but please don't take any absence of NB's presence, input or support as an indication that we don't care.

I'll add:  I've put an email into Rep. Kooyenga to get some further details about how the operators license might affect homebrewers/events/etc.  The amendment was introduced as a way to protect the bill, so all intentions so far have been to help homebrew shops and homebrewers.  There may be some things being glossed over and missed, so I'm committed to follow up with Rep. Kooyenga next week via phone, and others involved with this bill, to make sure it does not have components that may hinder homebrewers and/or home brew shops down the line. 


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Wisconsin Bill 290
« on: October 21, 2011, 03:23:14 PM »
I'm happy to field questions, and clarify NB's actions in regards to WI AB 290.  I posted this response at the NB forum linked above, so pardon the repetition.  I 100% echo what Gary has said here, and I'd like to add the following:

1. NB and the AHA heard about the public hearing only days before it actually took place. So, we heard roughly the same time everyone else did.

2. NB decided to remove our business concerns from the WIHBA efforts on homebrewers' concerns 6/7 months ago because we did not want to railroad the efforts, and felt that separating the two concerns (business and homebrewers rights) would have be stronger served if dealt with separately. Our two issues were:

A. Homebrew shops cannot currently brew on the premise of our shop - homebrew/wine can only be made in one's residence. We sought to overturn this will bill 290 to simply allow us to brew homebrewed beer and wine on premise for research, development and educational purposes.
B. We cannot serve samples of any kind on our premise. For the record, this was never "legal" and if homebrew shops were doing it they were operating in legally grey area at best. Through bill 290 we sought to get legal permission to serve samples for educational purpose.

3. Rep. Kooyenga approached us to help draft the bill and we moved on the effort as quickly as we could.

4. The bill was introduced to committee last week with strong support, and it was then proposed to add an amendment requiring shops to acquire Operator Licenses for those employees who'd be serving the samples. These are often refereed to as "Bartender" licenses, and that is essentially all they are. Very simple, very reasonable. It would cost us, in West Allis, $97 for a two year license per employee.

This is something we already do in MN when throwing events and beer is served of any kind. It is required for our liquor liability insurance to be valid. Anyone serving alcohol of any kind should be properly trained, in the eyes of the law, to check ID's, verify age, and recognize over-consumption. This license is merely a way of ensuring that serving of samples is done in a responsible way.

5. The AHA is only involved in this effort (AB 290) as much as the fact that I am a member of the Governing Committee and I have been in touch with Gary Glass the entire time, and have deferred to him on judgment and opinion when taking action.  Gary has giving excellent support, guidance and advocacy for the homebrew shops in WI, and the homebrewers.  Although the efforts of Gary and the AHA may not all be visible on the surface, be assured they are involved and engaged.

6. I, and NB, truly think this bill is strong, makes sense for all homebrew shops, and will put any question as to serving samples and brewing on premise in the past. I do not think this will adversely affect homebrewers/WIHBA efforts in anyway, in fact I think it will help.

The WI government sees the economic vitality of the the homebrewing industry and customer base right now. They do not want to get in the way of it, and are looking to help in over-turning these interpretations and making sure homebrewing is once again vibrant and uninhibited in Wisconsin.

Further, I think this legislation, much like the legislation in Oregon, can be a blueprint for other states looking to protect homebrewers, and homebrew shops.

We, as an industry and hobby, have been operating in some grey legal space for a long time. Some places are better the other to be sure, but the days of flying under the government's (Federal, State, county or municipal) are over. Homebrewing is just too big to go unnoticed. Being that, I think it is better to get proactive about working with these entities to find practical solutions.

7. NB is committed to helping the WIHBA in their respective efforts, and the efforts of homebrewwers across this country. Sometimes we get distracted, busy and perhaps lose connection with these efforts....AB 290 admittedly may suffer from this. Regardless, we had every single shop and every single homebrewer in mind this entire time, and we will continue to do so moving forward.


Jake Keeler

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 5