Midyear 2024 Update for AHA Members 

By Julia Herz, American Homebrewers Association (AHA) Executive Director

Hello, everyone, and happy May. I’m pleased to share this midyear update. If you are reading this post or watching the video, I hope you have homebrew bubbling away in a fermenter, chilling in your fridge, and frosting up your glass. 

Membership Cards, Member Deals and More

Physical membership cards are back! If you’d like one, request yours online at HomebrewersAssociation.org. Also, all members automatically have a digital card that you can access from your HomebrewersAssociation.org account.

 A friendly reminder from January 2023: the AHA discontinued our BrewGuru app in favor of mobile responsive access to recipes and Member Deals. The app was expensive, and had modest membership usage. However, you can still save the Member Deals map on your phone’s home screen. Note: since apps are frozen in time, if you have not deleted BrewGuru, your app’s membership status may say ‘expired’. Check ‘My Account’ on HomebrewersAssociation.org, in the upper right corner of the screen, or contact our team for real-time membership status updates. 

AHA membership card

Q1 2024 Member Survey         

Hundreds of members filled out AHA’s most recent survey. Here are the top replies for each of the three questions asked:

Q: The AHA is here to help members grow their brewing experience. What are your preferred top three areas of assistance?

A: Information on brewing technology and techniques; providing validated recipes; and improving homebrewing rights and privileges.

Q: Another role of the AHA is to foster community. What are your preferred top three avenues of education and engaging with other homebrewers?

A: Homebrew shops; Websites; and Magazines or other print.

Q: Zymurgy celebrates AHA members and educates those who want to brew and ferment. What are your top three areas of interest for magazine content?

A: Beer styles; Recipes; and Gadgets and technology.

Thank you for your responses. It’s important to remember that survey results skew towards those who respond. Surveys help us plan for the future of the AHA, including programs, benefits, and events. Please be a part of that planning by responding to future surveys. We want you to play an active role in the direction of your Homebrewers Association.

Strategic Planning 

In 2024, the AHA is in strategic planning for 2025 and beyond. This is an essential process for membership groups. Assessment may include marketplace analysis, documenting gaps and opportunities, stakeholder and membership interviews, a review of the AHA’s mission and relevance, membership and retail supply shop trends, staff input on operations and program impact, committee insights on member benefits, and more.

With such a brave new world since COVID, and evolutions in homebrewing with homebrew supply shop sales overall down, AHA membership is less than it once was. Strategic work for future innovation, evolution, and leadership are valuable pursuits.  

Here are some questions on my mind for planning:

  • What investments serve the most members?  
  • What resources and member benefits fit for tomorrow’s members? 
  • What solutions should the AHA provide, and what programs or services will see the most engagement?  
  • What business model sets the AHA up for future success?  
  • What type of national and annual gathering will resonate and attract the most members, where should it be hosted, and what is a reasonable cost of attendance?
  • How can the AHA continue providing community when fewer members attend events?   
  • What role should the AHA play in supporting homebrew clubs and retail supply shops? 
  • What technologies and media platforms best serve how you, as members, want to receive information? 
  • How can we get more beginners to homebrew and those who are intermediate to advance? 
  • What evolutions in homebrewing should we anticipate, and what other fermentation and beverage interests will AHA members have? 

We look forward to sharing updates with you at the AHA Member Gathering on October 11 during AHA at GABF in Denver, CO and in Zymurgy magazine.  

AHA at GABF in 2024

October 10–12, Denver, Colo. 

This year represents a shift from our annual June conference (Homebrew Con) to a national gathering in Denver at GABF. We know AHA members will miss HBC this year. I will miss it too, and as recently as June 2023, I believed we could execute HBC in 2024. Unfortunately, the AHA cannot host multiple annual events where revenues do not meet expenses. In 2022 and again in 2023, registration numbers at HBC were encouraging (1,300 each year), but final attendance was lower than projected. Thus, we need a chance to reassess the existing HBC model.  

The good news is, for 2024, we have retained a chance to connect, have more fun than your wort-filled hearts can imagine, and also host the National Homebrew Competition (NHC) awards on a grand level. AHA at GABF will be a chance to feature homebrewers on a national stage, and gather around beer and education. The GABF attracts more beer lovers, brewers, judges, and beer/beverage media than any other event in the U.S. Here are just a few reasons to join us in Denver for October’s celebration.  

Keeping with Homebrew Con Tradition 

  • Pittsburgh hosted HBC in 2022, and San Diego hosted in 2023. This year, the central location of Denver aligns with our desire to maximize member accessibility to the AHA’s annual event by continuing to move it to different U.S. regions.
  • The Beer Judge Certification Program will again host beer, mead, and cider exams, helping advance today’s judges and shine a spotlight on competitions.  
  • The second annual Bootcamp For Club Officers will be held Friday, October 11, before the Friday night festival.  
  • On Thursday we will also announce the National Homebrew Competition Award winners. This event will be accessible to all festival attendees. The awards will also, as in years past, be streamed live by the Brewing Network.  
  • We will host the AHA Member Gathering and AHA Headline Session inside the Convention Center on Thursday, October 10.  
  • Satellite events will likely pop up around Denver. Keep an eye on the GABF week events calendar.  
  • Any AHA member who attends may choose which GABF sessions to be at. This will keep member costs lower than they were for a full conference pass in 2022 and 2023.  

New This Year 

  • Homebrew Headquarters is a private AHA member-only event in the festival hall during each GABF session. Homebrewers will be on hand to serve their homebrew and educate us on the story behind their delicious beverages. We will have live brewing demonstrations, the You Be the Judge area, during which attendees learn how to be a beer judge, GABF Competition Pro-Am entries exclusively served inside Homebrew HQ, a homebrew marketplace, and more. 

Club Night

Club Night, traditionally hosted during HBC, attracts clubs from across the U.S. The mission is to wow attendees with themed booths and costumes and serve some of the best flipping fermented beverages you’ll EVER find. It is a gem of an exclusive AHA-sanctioned member-only private event. I’m excited to share…the AHA has secured a brewery location (thank you, Denver Beer Co., who are ready to offer a behind-the-scenes tour of their production facility that the public doesn’t get to check out while clubs deliver Club Night)!

With that, we need a sense of club participation. If your club is interested in serving at Club Night on October 9, please let us know no later than 5:00 p.m. MT on Monday, July 1. We will provide more details once we can confirm the event is a go and based on club participation.

What about 2025 and Homebrew Con? The status of Homebrew Con 2025 is still undetermined. We look forward to 2024 planning to evaluate what is and is not possible for next year’s event.

New AHA Forum

The upcoming evolution of the new AHA Forum platform is an example of 2024 investment. As one of the longest-standing online homebrew forums, the AHA Forum has helped tens of thousands of homebrewers find community, education, answers to their specific homebrewing questions, and more. This deep body of work is a testament to volunteer leaders such as Denny Conn, Drew Beechum, Jeff Rankert, Keith Yager, former and past AHA members and staff, and many others.

Members can expect enhanced functionality, an improved search format, ease of publishing image and video files, streamlined boards and threads, a robust user interface, and more. If you are an existing AHA Forum registered user (free to register, and membership is not required) please be ready to verify your account when prompted. If you are not using the AHA Forum, you’re missing out. Consider setting up your access today.

Recognition Award Evolution 

Nobody does homebrewing awards like the AHA. As the world’s leading membership group for decades, we have recognized individuals who inspire, defend, and innovate. In addition to the NHC (45 years strong), long standing awards include the annual committee award, Homebrew Shop of the Year, and Radagast (recognizing homebrew clubs making an exceptional impact on their communities).  

We have had a very low number of Radagast award applications for the past two years. Thus, we are shifting to a cash prize of $500 awarded to the National Homebrew Competition Club of the Year Winner. Also in 2024, a new award will be the HomebrewersAssociation.org Best Member Deals Award. Determined by AHA member votes, this award will recognize top deals, and will spotlight the organizations supporting AHA members who extend discounts and savings. Stay tuned for more details on member voting this summer.  

Membership Type Updates 

For 2024, we are streamlining membership offers to best manage and facilitate member involvement in the AHA.

  • To join: a monthly subscription (digital); a one-year subscription (print); a three-year subscription (print); and a lifetime membership (print). 
  • To renew: a monthly subscription (digital); a one-year subscription (print); a one-year subscription (digital); a one-year family subscription (print); and a three-year subscription (print).  

Again in 2024 we are extending the free book offer to new and renewing members, allowing them to choose from over 60 qualifying Brewers Publications books priced at $24.95 or less.

What Else is New?

  • Have you been watching AHA’s Zymurgy Live webinar series? Check out this incredible and growing body of work exclusive to AHA members, brought to you by AHA’s Events and Education Subcommittee.
  • Zymurgy Magazine has a new editor-in-chief. Amahl Turczyn—an accomplished homebrewer and longtime associate editor of Zymurgy and The New Brewer—is now the leader of Zymurgy, the magazine of AHA. Look for evolutions in Zymurgy content, departments, and columns as Turczyn makes the most of this new opportunity.
  • 2024 First Round National Homebrew Competition winners are streaming in, with nine first-round locations being hosted from May through June. Keep an eye on the NHC Winners Page results and remember Final Round winners will be announced in Denver, Colo. October 10 during AHA at GABF. This year’s almost 4,000 entries are a testament to AHA members’ ongoing commitment to brew, ferment, and improve. Also thank you to the hundreds of judges, stewards, volunteers, competition organizers and the Beer Judge Certification Program for their efforts making this grand-scale competition possible year after year.

Want To Know More? 

If you are thirsty for more behind-the-scenes information, apply to volunteer as a member leader, read Zymurgy magazine, scan our News section for detailed posts, make sure you have signed up to receive AHA member emails and the What’s Brewing newsletter, and don’t hesitate to contact our membership team with account access questions. We stand ready to help.  

I also readily accept requests to speak at your next group gathering.

Cheers and good beers to all of you. Thank you for your ongoing membership. The more members we have, the more we can do.

Linked URLs

  1. Membership card request
  2. BrewGuru App Sunsetting
  3. Membership Join/Renew
  4. Homebrew HQ at GABF
  5. Club Night at GABF
  6. AHA Forum
  7. Zymurgy Live
  8. National Homebrew Competition
  9. AHA Committee
  10. News on HomebrewersAssociation.org
  11. Newsletter Signup
  12. Contact Us
  13. Speaker Request

Executive Director 
American Homebrewers Association | Boulder, CO 80302 
HomebrewersAssociation.org  | Email Julia

Follow me on @ImmaculateFermentation and us on @homebrewassoc 

About the AHA

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.  

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