American Homebrewers Association

The AHA is dedicated to protecting, uniting, and educating homebrewers while empowering an equitable homebrewing culture and showcasing the fun of fermenting. Our members are a part of the AHA membership community, benefiting from unmatched reasons and rewards to brew. The AHA is an individual membership group, part of the 501(c)(6) Brewers Association, was a catalyst for today’s full-flavored craft beer movement, and is supported by a committee of volunteer leaders. To learn more see our 2024 update here

American Homebrewers Association History

  • January 17, 1920: Prohibition begins as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • December 5, 1933: The 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition, however it left out the legalization of home beer making (home wine making was legalized at that time).
  • October 14, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signs H.R. 1337, creating an exemption from taxation of beer brewed at home for personal or family use.
  • December 7, 1978: The AHA is founded by Charlie Papazian and Charlie Matzen in Boulder, Colo. with the publication of the first issue of Zymurgy magazine.
  • February 1, 1979: Homebrewing becomes legal on a federal level in the U.S.
  • May 5, 1979: AHA holds its first-ever National Homebrew Competition and Gala Homebrewers Ball.
  • September 1, 1982: AHA debuts the GABF as part of the AHA‘s fourth annual conference for homebrewers.
  • 1985: The AHA and Home Wine and Beer Trade Association (HWBTA) create the Beer Judge Certification Program.
  • May 2, 1988: Representative David Skaggs of Colorado declares May 7th as National Homebrew Day before U.S. Congress. In response, the AHA created ‘Big Brew’ as an annual event to celebrate National Homebrew Day worldwide.
  • September 1992: The organization’s name is updated to Association of Brewers.
  • December 1998: The determination of the Association of Brewers (also representing the AHA) evolves to a 501(c)(6) from a 501(c)(3), setting the stage to fuel and grow today’s modern-day independent craft beer movement.
  • November 1999: Learn To Homebrew Day is established.
  • 2005: Association of Brewers and Brewers Association of America join to form the Brewers Association (as published in the March/April 2005 Zymurgy) “Under the new Brewers Association bylaws, the AHA Board of Advisors has been renamed the AHA Governing Committee.”
  • May 31, 2005: The AHA introduces the GABF Pro-Am competition, in which AHA members team up with professional brewers to compete with their award-winning recipes.
  • 2013: Alabama and Mississippi legalize homebrewing, officially making homebrew legal in all 50 states.
  • August 2023: The first annual Home Fermentation Day, formerly Mead Day, debuts.
  • December 7, 2023: The AHA turns 45 with over thirty thousand members from around the world.

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