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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- Candidate Statement
- Joshua Austin
My name is Joshua Austin and I currently live in Beer City USA, Asheville, NC. I believe I would be an excellent candidate for the 2020 American Homebrewer’s Association Governing Committee because I have extensive brewing experience (professional and homebrew), I have founded and led multiple homebrew clubs, worked hand-in-hand with local city and county commissions regarding homebrew ordinances, and I owned and operated a homebrew supply store in Brunswick, GA.
I have been homebrewing for roughly seven years, and volunteered at several commercial breweries during this time. The experience gave me insight into several aspects of the brewing industry, most importantly, the quality and administrative aspects which I believe would be a tremendous asset to the AHA Governing Committee. This includes working with the federal TTB, state ABC, and local governing authorities. The knowledge gained from this helped me to co-found Fermented Nonsense Brewing in Arden, NC in 2018, a small 130 sq ft 2bbl brewhouse, where I am currently the head brewer.
After moving to Myrtle Beach, SC in 2011, I joined the Myrtle Beach Area Society of Homebrewers (M.A.S.H) where I became the president, and quickly implemented regular meetings, events, and club sponsored activities. I moved from the Myrtle Beach Area in 2013, and the club still has a strong standing, especially as the craft beer scene in the area grows. After moving to Brunswick, GA in 2013, I founded the Golden Isles Brew Club, which is currently run by the owner and head brewer of Hop Soul Brewery.
In 2014, the Georgia state law was changed to allow for permitting of special events that allows homebrew competitions and tasting events. After this change, the local city commission still did not recognize the updated law. I took it upon myself, with the help of another club member, to write a local ordinance which we then presented to the city commission. After this meeting, I worked with the city attorney to rewrite the ordinance to fit within the current city structure. Once the rewrite was complete, I presented it to the city commission for final approval, which received a unanimous vote. A link to the news article covering this is at the bottom of this statement.
In June of 2014, my wife and I opened Golden Isles Brew Supply, Brunswick, GA’s first and only homebrew shop. We created this spot, not only as a brew shop, but as a local hangout for fellow homebrew enthusiasts. I had a custom built 25 gallon electric system we would do brew-on-premises with, as well as teach classes. In 2015, we moved the shop to Historic Downtown Brunswick, and the shop quickly became a fun hangout during local events.
In conclusion, I believe I would be an excellent choice to serve on the AHA Governing Committee, due to my business, political, and brewing experience. If chosen, I know I would not let the AHA or its members down.
Joshua R. Austin