Jerry Bourbonnais

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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I grew up in Milwaukee, so I guess I have beer in my DNA. That was in the days when there were 5 major breweries there. I started homebrewing in the mid-1980’s when I was living in a small town in Northern Minnesota, and had to drive at least 50 miles to find any decent beer. The distance, and expense related to beer hunting, made homebrewing very attractive.

At that time, I was also a volunteer at a local Community Radio station, KAXE. Shortly after I started brewing, Steve Benson, another homebrewer, and I started the Brewpot show on KAXE. We broadcast on the 2nd Saturday of the month for an hour. We had wide ranging discussions about all things beer and brewing related, and played some beery music, as well! The show lasted almost 10 years, and from the contacts we made through the Brewpot, we were able to get the Boreal Brewers homebrew club started. It is still going strong today. Over the years, the Boreal Brewers have focused on sponsoring “open to the public” beer tastings, and teaching beer and wine making classes.

I have served on the boards of directors of several non-profit organizations, the Boreal Brewers, KAXE radio, Bemidji Community Theatre and Bemidji Habitat for Humanity. I also have held leadership positions in professional associations, most notably the Society of American Foresters, where I served as an officer and committee chair at the chapter and statewide level.

I joined the American Homebrewers Association shortly after I began brewing and have been a member ever since. I was the leader of one of the preconference sessions at the 2010 Homebrew con. I am particularly interested in furthering AHA’s commitment to educating the public about quality brewing at the homebrew and professional levels. We’ve come a long way since people equated homebrew with exploding bottles and awful tasting concoctions, but there is always room for improvement. I have enjoyed being a “Beer Ambassador” and would like to further that endeavor by joining the AHA Governing Committee.

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