The following statement was prepared by the candidate, and the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the American Homebrewers Association.
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Story time, flash back to the summer of 2005… As a spry lad fresh out of college I thought to myself: “you need a hobby, that’s what adults do.” Fate must have been listening, because that very same day I came across a copy of the 3rd Edition of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing on sale and thought “beer is good, I should do that!” Eager to get started, I read just enough to produce the wort and jumped right in, “I can figure the rest out later!” Long story short: KABOOM! Turns out stashing your fermentation bucket in your uninsulated, unchilled garage in July because “at least there aren’t any windows” is not an effective means of temperature control. Though that first batch might have been a sacrifice to Ninkasi, I was hooked. My new mission in life was to make beer, learn everything, and share with fellow brewers. (I never did find the airlock.)
Hi, I’m Derek! I was born and raised in San Diego and have a passion for all things beer-y. I am a proud AHA member, officer and past president of the Society of Barley Engineers, and an active National-ranked BJCP judge. I also attended and spoke at the last few Homebrew Cons, where you may have seen me present in San Diego, Baltimore, or Minneapolis. In my free time I blog about homebrew and contribute to open-source projects like the BeerXML Shortcode plugin for WordPress. I would say the pinnacle of my beer journey was traveling to Plzeň and sampling unfiltered, unpasteurized Pilsner Urquell straight from the casks: it’s worth the trip!
As a potential AHA Governing Committee member, I most interested in leveraging my experience as a club president to help homebrewers everywhere get connected with clubs as well as to help provide the resources that clubs need to expand and enrich their members’ experiences. Additionally, I would love to use my experience as a web developer and blogger to help both the AHA and fellow homebrewers better utilize web technology to connect, educate, and share. Finally, as a frequent National Homebrew Competition participant and judge, I have quite a few thoughts on streamlining and improving the competition.
I have always thought homebrewers are the friendliest, most generous, and generally the awesomest folks one can meet. Homebrewers changed my life for the better, and I consider it an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to give back by serving on the AHA Governing Committee. I hope you will vote for me and I hope to see you all at Homebrew Con this year in Portland. Cheers!
Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @FiveBlades or online at fivebladesbrewing.com