Author Topic: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss  (Read 1883 times)

Offline garyg

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #60 on: April 16, 2019, 08:57:21 PM »
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.

You could vote and let your voice be heard.
Gary Glass
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #61 on: April 16, 2019, 09:00:06 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.

Those are valid points and are good reasons to perform the poll and post the results.

That said, in my opinion, and speaking only for myself, the poll doesn't do me a whole lot of good anymore.  Seventeen years ago, I think I read every word of the poll results with excitement and a hope I would learn which really good examples I could sample and learn from.  I quickly learned that most of the beers were regional, if not very, very, local, breweries and I was more than likely never going to see those in Mid-west, much less Iowa.

In recent years the beers that top list seem to be very consistent year to year and come from breweries that have grow quite large.  These breweries begin to look a lot like very large, if not macro, breweries and are developing national distribution systems.  Pliny The Elder is a very good beer but is it always the "Best Beer in America"?

Further down the list you still find smaller beers that are very likely excellent beers but with limited distribution.  Which means the small brewer with a fabulous Wit in Fargo may make it on the list but will never have a chance to beat Russian River. 

It seems like a more regional approach might be refreshing, now and then, to showcase beers that may only be available in the Southern Mid-west, for example.  That would give people who don't have the means to travel much an opportunity to find the best beers "near" them.

It will still be a few years before I have time to go GABF or any Homebrewer's conference, so I don't complain about where they're held.  The closest one to me was in Minneapolis and I flew to Europe two days before it opened.  Three weeks in Germany, Austria, Italy, France and London was no brainer over MSP.  ;) 

If being connected to the BA gets me some free hops or something when I renew my membership, even better.

Like I said, just my thoughts.  The AHA fills the need I have, for the most part, so no complaints really.  Keep up the good work and brew on!

Paul
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Offline Robert

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #62 on: April 16, 2019, 09:44:27 PM »
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.

You could vote and let your voice be heard.
I did.  But as others have expressed as well, my tastes don't tend align with the state of "craft beer," so choices in the survey don't necessarily reflect my choice of the best beers, or ones I buy most often, just the best ones that overlap the category.   Still, I did put in my $0.02.


BTW I was glad to see that there was an immediate and clear acknowledgment that my votes had been registered.  As I brought up earlier this year (apparently it was then addressed) this was not initially the case with voting for GC.  Hopefully this kind of confirmation will be incorporated into all polls and voting on the AHA site in the future.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 09:55:54 PM by Robert »
Rob Stein
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Offline garyg

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #63 on: April 16, 2019, 10:40:34 PM »
In my terms on the AHA Governing Committee, I've noted that BA and its members are solidly behind AHA and homebrewers. However, I don't believe its under the assumption that we'll be future craftbrewers. I believe its because we tend to be the pulse of craftbrewing and innovation and we are great craftbeer consumers and advocates. In other words, BA members are supporting their best customers.

Regarding who needs who...more, I don't believe that either does need the other. We would get by fine separately. But there is great synergy in our pairing and it was the creation of AHA that enabled Charlie P. to forge his craftbrewing alliances and acquisitions that now form BA. Overall, I'm very happy that AHA is part of the BA team.

By the way, BA does underwrite AHA operations. AHA does far more for homebrewers with the help of BA.

I totally agree with Martin on this. 

As a part of the Brewers Association, the AHA has access to resources that we wouldn't have as a standalone association.  We share our amazing events staff, member services team, marketing, web team, creative department.  Having access to all of that talent without being on the hook for all of their salaries is a great benefit of being a part of the BA.

If we weren't part of the Brewers Association, it would be hard to make major investments like building the Brew Guru app. 

Another example of an advantage of being a part of the BA: This weekend, the AHA staff are coming over to my house to brew a beer that we'll be serving in Washington, D.C. next month for legislators and their staffs at the BA's annual Capitol Hill Tasting event.  It's a great opportunity to educate federal legislators about homebrewing and promote the homebrew competition we organize for legislative staff every year.  We couldn't pull that off without the help of the BA's federal affairs manager.

Gary Glass
American Homebrewers Association Director
Boulder, Colorado

Offline BrewBama

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BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #64 on: April 16, 2019, 10:52:24 PM »

Another example of an advantage of being a part of the BA: This weekend, the AHA staff are coming over to my house to brew a beer that we'll be serving in Washington, D.C. next month for legislators and their staffs at the BA's annual Capitol Hill Tasting event.  It's a great opportunity to educate federal legislators about homebrewing and promote the homebrew competition we organize for legislative staff every year.  We couldn't pull that off without the help of the BA's federal affairs manager.

How cool is that! What’s the recipe? 



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Offline garyg

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #65 on: April 16, 2019, 10:54:04 PM »
On that California legislation.  If it weren't for the help of the California Craft Brewers Association, we probably wouldn't have gotten the bill we had to rush through in 2014 passed, and would have had to cancel the 2015 Homebrew Con in San Diego.  The CCBA also encouraged it's members to participate in Homebrew Con that year. 

The AHA has promoted homebrew bills that weren't specifically supported by state brewers guilds, but that's pretty rare, and I can't recall a brewers guild ever outright opposing a homebrew bill.  It's definitely more often the case that we rely on the support of state brewers guilds to help pass homebrew legislation.  They can help us navigate the political waters and definitely have a better understanding of their state's alcohol codes than we do. 
Gary Glass
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Offline garyg

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #66 on: April 16, 2019, 10:59:22 PM »
How cool is that! What’s the recipe? 

It's my saison recipe, which I've adapted from recipes I got from Zymurgy.  Muchas gracias to Drew Beechum and Dave Levonian!  It's on my laptop at home, so I'll posted it here later.
Gary Glass
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Offline garyg

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #67 on: April 17, 2019, 02:17:24 AM »
How cool is that! What’s the recipe? 

It's my saison recipe, which I've adapted from recipes I got from Zymurgy.  Muchas gracias to Drew Beechum and Dave Levonian!  It's on my laptop at home, so I'll posted it here later.

10.5 gallons

14 lbs Pilsner (2 Row)
5 lbs Vienna Malt
1 lbs Oats, Flaked
1 lbs Wheat, Flaked
8.0 oz Cane (Beet) Sugar
8.0 oz Corn Sugar (Dextrose)
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 65.0 min
1.00 oz Centennial [9.50 %] - Boil 65.0 min
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  15.0 min
1.00 oz Centennial [9.50 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  15.0 min
1.00 oz Coriander Seed (Boil 0.0 mins)
0.35 oz Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 0.0 mins)
0.32 oz Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 0.0 mins)
0.25 oz Peppercorn (Boil 0.0 mins)
Yeast: Lallemand Belle Saison
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 01:48:18 PM by garyg »
Gary Glass
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Boulder, Colorado

Offline BrewBama

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #68 on: April 17, 2019, 02:24:26 AM »
Imagine that — Drew brewing a Saison. LOL. Looks tasty.


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Offline dbeechum

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #69 on: April 17, 2019, 06:37:55 AM »
I swear I brew other things! This Saturday's my 45th birthday so I'm going to brew a 40 gallon batch of 45th IPA - 4 malts (45% Pale, 45% MO, 5% C-something, 5% corn (or other choice), 5 hops - OG of 1.074 and IBUs of 74 to match up with my birth year of 1974.

And to top it off - one of the hop additions will be hop terpenes to play with the fact that my birthday is 4/20.

(Plus, I'll probably take my grainfather along and brew a Saison....) :)
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #70 on: April 17, 2019, 11:10:35 AM »
Happy birthday Drew!

Paul
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Offline Robert

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #71 on: April 17, 2019, 11:23:47 AM »
Yes, happy birthday, Drew!  And also, Drew, thanks for initiating this "off flavor" series on the AHA site.   Looks like just the sort of basic educational content some of us here have been suggesting there ought to be more of.
Rob Stein
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Offline goose

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #72 on: April 17, 2019, 01:14:55 PM »
Happy birthday, Drew!  Enjoy your birthday and special brew day!
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #73 on: April 17, 2019, 01:43:34 PM »
Born on 4/20.  ;D

Have a great birthday brewing, young man!
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Offline garyg

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Re: BA needs homebrewers more than homebrewers need BA--discuss
« Reply #74 on: April 17, 2019, 02:44:42 PM »
Edit: I think the bought breweries are no longer on the list although that wasn't always the case in the past depending on the definition of craft.  While the Best Beer in America issue could be considered to be an ad for the Brewers Ass'n and its members particularly when other publications reprint the list, it is also an ad for the AHA.

Actually, we don't limit the options for members to choose from.  We do indicate which breweries meet the BA's definition for a craft brewery, but in last year's results there were a number of beers from breweries that didn't fall within the craft brewery definition that made the top 50.
Gary Glass
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