Author Topic: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss  (Read 1573 times)

Offline BrewBama

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BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #45 on: April 14, 2019, 07:20:38 PM »
[... with regard to the Best Beers in America thing in Zymurgy, if it doesn't interest you, don't read it (as others have said)...


My .02:  You have certain members that have an issue with certain annual features. Don’t I recall taking a poll a while back where questions pertaining to content were addressed?  If I’m not dreaming, why not use that polling information to address the issue?  If the majority like it, keep it. If not, dump it.  When the question comes up instead of ‘ignore it’ the answer can become ‘50+% of our members like it so we should probably keep it.’


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« Last Edit: April 14, 2019, 07:23:02 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline phunhog

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2019, 07:40:39 PM »
I can see why someone would feel that maybe there should be more distance betweeen the AHA and the BA.  A case in point is that I doubt the AHA would ever support laws that might be advantageous to home brewers to the detriment of craft brewers.  Case in point.  In California we can serve Homebrew at the same festival but they have to be separate areas.  The reason being so the beer drinker isn’t “confused”.   What difference does it make.....they are drinking beer.  I believe that at the NHC in San Diego a few years ago it was an issue.
Anyways I still love the AHA!

Those are state laws.  Nothing the AHA/BA can do about them.

I realize that.  But if homebrewers were pushing for a law that the California Craft Brewers Association was opposed to?  Would AHA support homebrewers and the BA support the pro brewers? That seems awkward and unlikely to happen.  My guess is we would not be supported.  Ultimately the allegiance is to the pro brewers.

I don't think you can make a blanket statement like that.  Do you have an example in mind?

I know a few years ago in CA when homebrewers were legally allowed to pour at charity beer festivals it came with several stipulations.  One of which was that homebrew and commercial beers shall not share the same space.  I remember listening to one of the San Diego NHC presentations with the President of the California Craft Beer Assoc.  I thought he said that was something they wanted that stipulation so that the consumer wouldn't be "confused" between commercial beers and homebrewed beers.  I also remember reading somewhere that the BA pretty much goes along with whatever the state guild of professional brewers wants.  It makes sense.  They are protecting their business interests.  And the BA/AHA are protecting their largest income stream.....professional brewers.  It used to bug me but now.....not so much.  At least in CA I think we are too the point where no one cares what you do with your homebrew within reason.

Offline dbeechum

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #47 on: April 15, 2019, 06:40:50 AM »
I know a few years ago in CA when homebrewers were legally allowed to pour at charity beer festivals it came with several stipulations.  One of which was that homebrew and commercial beers shall not share the same space.  I remember listening to one of the San Diego NHC presentations with the President of the California Craft Beer Assoc.  I thought he said that was something they wanted that stipulation so that the consumer wouldn't be "confused" between commercial beers and homebrewed beers.  I also remember reading somewhere that the BA pretty much goes along with whatever the state guild of professional brewers wants.  It makes sense.  They are protecting their business interests.  And the BA/AHA are protecting their largest income stream.....professional brewers.  It used to bug me but now.....not so much.  At least in CA I think we are too the point where no one cares what you do with your homebrew within reason.

That direction wasn't from Tom and company at the CCBA, those conditions were actually from the CA ABC Director. The ABC has been very clear that their primary goals, in regards to homebrew, are to prevent homebrewers from collecting money on untaxed beer, prevent confusion in the collection/service of beer on licensed premises and make sure the public is painfully aware when they're going to be served homebrew.

Part of this is that the state, rightfully, tends to look with a jaundiced eye towards anyone trying to pull a dodge around the control systems in place. What really dug the ABC's feet in place originally was in the great "Kickstarter" phase of brewing startups, they discovered homebrewers who were serving homebrewed beer at festivals while starting breweries to drum up interest and get the name out there. That's a serious no-no and a painfully stupid move to make as a would be licensee, but never doubt that people will try and work the system as much as they can.

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Offline narvin

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #48 on: April 15, 2019, 02:03:19 PM »
There are some legitimate gripes here, but I'll say that I do appreciate that 1) many homebrewers want to become professional brewers, and 2) the goal of encouraging this by the AHA/BA back when there were absolutely none in the US was a noble one.  Perhaps it has outgrown this role in the current climate?
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Offline phunhog

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #49 on: April 15, 2019, 05:28:56 PM »
I know a few years ago in CA when homebrewers were legally allowed to pour at charity beer festivals it came with several stipulations.  One of which was that homebrew and commercial beers shall not share the same space.  I remember listening to one of the San Diego NHC presentations with the President of the California Craft Beer Assoc.  I thought he said that was something they wanted that stipulation so that the consumer wouldn't be "confused" between commercial beers and homebrewed beers.  I also remember reading somewhere that the BA pretty much goes along with whatever the state guild of professional brewers wants.  It makes sense.  They are protecting their business interests.  And the BA/AHA are protecting their largest income stream.....professional brewers.  It used to bug me but now.....not so much.  At least in CA I think we are too the point where no one cares what you do with your homebrew within reason.

That direction wasn't from Tom and company at the CCBA, those conditions were actually from the CA ABC Director. The ABC has been very clear that their primary goals, in regards to homebrew, are to prevent homebrewers from collecting money on untaxed beer, prevent confusion in the collection/service of beer on licensed premises and make sure the public is painfully aware when they're going to be served homebrew.

Part of this is that the state, rightfully, tends to look with a jaundiced eye towards anyone trying to pull a dodge around the control systems in place. What really dug the ABC's feet in place originally was in the great "Kickstarter" phase of brewing startups, they discovered homebrewers who were serving homebrewed beer at festivals while starting breweries to drum up interest and get the name out there. That's a serious no-no and a painfully stupid move to make as a would be licensee, but never doubt that people will try and work the system as much as they can.

While never having a Kickstarter I totally served homebrew at various charity events when I really wanted to open a brewery.  I would sell merchandise to cover my costs.  So happy that now I can do it legally even though I have almost zero aspirations to own a brewery.   

Offline chumley

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #50 on: April 15, 2019, 10:58:22 PM »
My two cents on this topic.  I don't care that the AHA is in cahoots with the craft brewers.  My annoyance is more with the disdain for the factory brewers that both groups seem to share (well, the craft brewers until they sell out  ;)). What so awful about some craft brewer selling out to the big boys?  What's so awful about shopping at Northern Brewer?

Truth be told, I spend more money on PBR and Coors than I do on craft beer. There sure seems to be a lot of IPAs being made with nasty tasting hops.

Offline Robert

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #51 on: April 15, 2019, 11:08:16 PM »
My two cents on this topic.  I don't care that the AHA is in cahoots with the craft brewers.  My annoyance is more with the disdain for the factory brewers that both groups seem to share (well, the craft brewers until they sell out  ;)). What so awful about some craft brewer selling out to the big boys?  What's so awful about shopping at Northern Brewer?

Truth be told, I spend more money on PBR and Coors than I do on craft beer. There sure seems to be a lot of IPAs being made with nasty tasting hops.
I believe you are in the same minority as me, as I groused about in post #15.  I raise a glass of fine, sparkling lager to you.  Don't care who made it.
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Offline Visor

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #52 on: April 16, 2019, 03:13:34 PM »
My two cents on this topic.  I don't care that the AHA is in cahoots with the craft brewers.  My annoyance is more with the disdain for the factory brewers that both groups seem to share (well, the craft brewers until they sell out  ;)). What so awful about some craft brewer selling out to the big boys?  What's so awful about shopping at Northern Brewer?

Truth be told, I spend more money on PBR and Coors than I do on craft beer. There sure seems to be a lot of IPAs being made with nasty tasting hops.

   Yes, and I tasted a surprisingly large number of them last week at CBC, whooda thunkit?
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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #53 on: April 16, 2019, 05:28:06 PM »
The AHA is required to cover its costs.  Sharing office space with the BA helps, but that's about it.

FWIW, the AHA outgrew their offices in the BA building and moved a few blocks down the street.

I don't think you can make a blanket statement like that.  Do you have an example in mind?

It's certainly debatable, but here in Colorado we recently legalized full-strength beer sales in grocery stores, gas stations, etc. after years of opposition by lobbying groups including the BA. If you're willing to make the assumption that AHA members' views were aligned with the general public, then the BA and AHA were in conflict on the bill.
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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #54 on: April 16, 2019, 05:53:31 PM »
The AHA is required to cover its costs.  Sharing office space with the BA helps, but that's about it.

FWIW, the AHA outgrew their offices in the BA building and moved a few blocks down the street.

I don't think you can make a blanket statement like that.  Do you have an example in mind?

It's certainly debatable, but here in Colorado we recently legalized full-strength beer sales in grocery stores, gas stations, etc. after years of opposition by lobbying groups including the BA. If you're willing to make the assumption that AHA members' views were aligned with the general public, then the BA and AHA were in conflict on the bill.

I'd totally forgotten about the move.  As to the law, I have no idea....
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #55 on: April 16, 2019, 06:51:54 PM »
The AHA is required to cover its costs.  Sharing office space with the BA helps, but that's about it.

FWIW, the AHA outgrew their offices in the BA building and moved a few blocks down the street.

I don't think you can make a blanket statement like that.  Do you have an example in mind?

It's certainly debatable, but here in Colorado we recently legalized full-strength beer sales in grocery stores, gas stations, etc. after years of opposition by lobbying groups including the BA. If you're willing to make the assumption that AHA members' views were aligned with the general public, then the BA and AHA were in conflict on the bill.

I'd totally forgotten about the move.  As to the law, I have no idea....
IIRC, the BA needed more room.

Maybe the AHA got better parking out of the deal? Parking at the  BA offices was, well, interesting.
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Offline garyg

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #56 on: April 16, 2019, 07:58:07 PM »
On the topic of BA & AHA and Best Beers in America, I think a little history might be helpful.
We're now on the 17th rendition of the Best Beers in America AHA member poll.  The idea for the poll originated with Ray Daniels, who was then editor-in-chief of Zymurgy magazine.  That first Best Beers feature appeared in the July/August 2003 issue, two years before the Brewers Association was established.  Back then the AHA was part of the Association of Brewers, which was created by Charlie Papazian in the early 1980s.

Ray's point in creating the poll is still true today:
"The premise of this exercise was that you, the Zymurgy reader, brew beer.  Therefore, you not only drink beer on a regular basis, you also know how it's made and what's good and bad in beer flavor...you keep an eye on what the commercial producers are doing and you know who's getting it right."
The fact that it is homebrewers who are voting is what makes this poll stand out from any other rating system out there. 

That's why our Best Beers in America results get picked up by media outlets nationwide every year.  In fact, nothing else that we do all year long gets more media attention for homebrewing and the AHA than the results of Best Beers in America poll.  That drives traffic to the HomebrewersAssociation.org.  Most of that traffic is from non-homebrewers, which means we’re exposing a whole lot of non-brewers to all of the resources we provide for getting people started in homebrewing. 

So, promoting homebrewing is a big part of the why we do it.  The part that’s more directly aimed at benefiting the members of the AHA, other than the results themselves, is that the poll results let us know what clone recipes are of greatest interest to our members.  Those recipes are among the most popular content we provide to members.

It’s not at all surprising that some members aren’t interested in the results of the poll.  I’m sure that’s true of pretty much every feature we publish.  It’s hard to create content that appeals to every reader.  However, I sincerely hope that readers aren’t ditching the entire July/August issue just because they aren’t interested in one feature in that issue. 
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Offline Robert

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #57 on: April 16, 2019, 08:20:39 PM »
On the topic of BA & AHA and Best Beers in America, I think a little history might be helpful.
We're now on the 17th rendition of the Best Beers in America AHA member poll.  The idea for the poll originated with Ray Daniels, who was then editor-in-chief of Zymurgy magazine.  That first Best Beers feature appeared in the July/August 2003 issue, two years before the Brewers Association was established.  Back then the AHA was part of the Association of Brewers, which was created by Charlie Papazian in the early 1980s.

Ray's point in creating the poll is still true today:
"The premise of this exercise was that you, the Zymurgy reader, brew beer.  Therefore, you not only drink beer on a regular basis, you also know how it's made and what's good and bad in beer flavor...you keep an eye on what the commercial producers are doing and you know who's getting it right."
The fact that it is homebrewers who are voting is what makes this poll stand out from any other rating system out there. 

That's why our Best Beers in America results get picked up by media outlets nationwide every year.  In fact, nothing else that we do all year long gets more media attention for homebrewing and the AHA than the results of Best Beers in America poll.  That drives traffic to the HomebrewersAssociation.org.  Most of that traffic is from non-homebrewers, which means we’re exposing a whole lot of non-brewers to all of the resources we provide for getting people started in homebrewing. 

So, promoting homebrewing is a big part of the why we do it.  The part that’s more directly aimed at benefiting the members of the AHA, other than the results themselves, is that the poll results let us know what clone recipes are of greatest interest to our members.  Those recipes are among the most popular content we provide to members.

It’s not at all surprising that some members aren’t interested in the results of the poll.  I’m sure that’s true of pretty much every feature we publish.  It’s hard to create content that appeals to every reader.  However, I sincerely hope that readers aren’t ditching the entire July/August issue just because they aren’t interested in one feature in that issue.
Thank you for that perspective on the survey.  I'll pay more attention to it. 

And if the most discerning of consumers really appear not to appreciate the sort of beers I'm enthusiastic about, I should once and for all put away any lingering thoughts of going pro, and just start yelling at kids to get off my lawn.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #58 on: April 16, 2019, 08:28:35 PM »
Thank you for that perspective on the survey.  I'll pay more attention to it. 

And if the most discerning of consumers really appear not to appreciate the sort of beers I'm enthusiastic about, I should once and for all put away any lingering thoughts of going pro, and just start yelling at kids to get off my lawn.

Definitely second the thanks to Gary for chiming in. As far as where the craft beer industry is headed, though, I'd say the climate for brewers to specialize has never been better. It seems like everywhere I go (in decent-size cities) there are breweries doing all or mostly lager, or IPA, only wood-aged, only sours, etc.
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Offline Robert

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #59 on: April 16, 2019, 08:35:01 PM »
Thank you for that perspective on the survey.  I'll pay more attention to it. 

And if the most discerning of consumers really appear not to appreciate the sort of beers I'm enthusiastic about, I should once and for all put away any lingering thoughts of going pro, and just start yelling at kids to get off my lawn.

Definitely second the thanks to Gary for chiming in. As far as where the craft beer industry is headed, though, I'd say the climate for brewers to specialize has never been better. It seems like everywhere I go (in decent-size cities) there are breweries doing all or mostly lager, or IPA, only wood-aged, only sours, etc.
So maybe classic (or other) styles aren't well represented in surveys simply because they aren't widely available, but there might still be a market?  That would suggest that trends are driven more by the industry (brewers, distributors, somebody) than consumer demand, and consumers just follow.  I've heard suggestions to this effect, but I just don't know how to assess this.
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