Hello! We are super excited to announce that we've been working hard on getting a national homebrew association going for Canadian homebrewers! It's 2018 and we are long overdue for a national organization that unites all of us homebrewers. And it's not just us who thinks so. We've surveyed homebrewers, club presidents, and it's an overwhelming YES that we need one.
A few groups have tried making this happen over the years, but struggled to make it expand outside of their region, so it was very important for us to make sure that when we decided to do this, it represented all Canadian homebrewers from all the provinces and territories. So we did a call out for regional directors, and we now have a board of enthusiastic homebrewers well-connected with their area to work with. The challenge is that Canada has a small population of homebrewers spread across a huge land mass, with each pocket of homebrewers having its own culture, so local representation is very crucial.
How It Began
Kathy and Scott have know each other for a while now from being in VanBrewers together. Scott trained Kathy on her very first beer judging (Poor Scott. He had to sit through a manically grinning Kathy for the whole flight of beers). After judging at the VanBrewers Awards competition in 2017, they got together and talked about how sorely Canada needed a national homebrew association. A group dedicated to the advancement the hobby of homebrewing in Canada, and to help with lobbying legislative changes to the different homebrewing laws across the provinces and territories. And voila! The Canadian Homebrewers Association was seeded!
We want your membership experience with the Canadian Homebrewers Association to be fun, educational and awesome. We are still working on the full list, but here's what we have planned for you:
Discounts to homebrew supply stores, breweries and bars all across Canada.Check out that homebrew supply store you've heard raving reviews about from across the country, and get a discount on maybe something you can't get at your own local store. Or get a slick CHA discount at that cool brewery you chance upon on a work trip away from home.
Monthly e-newslettersWe plan to cover what's happening in the regional homebrew scene with articles about breweries and award winning recipes. We would love hear which breweries you'd like to hear from.
French translation of all our content
Can't be a national organization if you can't communicate to a particular group of members, so we're working on having all our content in French.
Canadian Homebrew Convention
Our very own national homebrew conference that travels to a different city every year, showcasing the homebrew culture and craft beer scene in each different city. This is Kathy's ultimate dream.
What We've Done So Far
Federally, we're a go! In order to function in certain provinces, we need to be provincially registered as a non-profit to operate, and we are currently doing so one at a time.
Social Media accounts
Ready to Go!
Domain name is registered. Mostly done. Still populating with content.
We did a call out early May for seven regional representatives, and currently have most of the positions filled up. We're scheduling our first board meeting mid June to introduce everyone to each other, and to get some committee work going.
How You Can Help
We plan to charge $20 yearly membership. We're a non-profit organization with no current brick and mortar home base, but we do have costs. Exclusive for this Kickstarter, we are offering a two year membership for $30. Just $30! That's basically how much a batch of beer costs to make, but this way, you can actually have a hand in shaping the way homebrew grows in Canada as a whole. It'll give us a chance to see where and how the membership want the association to move and grow, and will let us better guidance on how to tailor our efforts to serve the needs of our membership.
Scott has been involved with VanBrewers for the past nine years, with three of those years as a board member and the rest as president. He's a BJCP Certified Beer Judge with Mead endorsement and has judged over 20 competitions in the past seven years. Brewing beer has always been a passion for Scott, but lately cider and mead making have really piqued his interest. Being involved in the beer scene for so long has allowed Scott to build lots of good contacts in BC, which he plans to utilize to grow the CHA as mcuh as possible. When not enjoying homebrew and craft beer, Scott works in the aviation industry providing tooling that repairs aircraft and turbine engines.
Kathy Yan Li
Kathy got into homebrewing in her third year of university at UBC when a bunch of her friends roped her into co-founding the UBC Brewing Club to get access to cheap, cheap beer. She ran the club in her last year of university as president, implementing the weekly brew sessions where members could drop in a learn how to brew hands-on. Since then, she's lived in Beaver Creek YT, London ON, and now Shilo MB, and has judged in over 30 homebrew competitions in six provinces and five states as a BJCP Certified Beer judge. She ran mead tasting exams within the first year of receiving her mead endorsement, resulting in a healthy number of mead judges in Vancouver and Toronto, with plans to run mead tasting exams in Regina and Edmonton in the next couple of years. In the last year, she also became the first International member to be voted on the governing committee of the American Homebrewers Association (which is not affliated with the Canadian Homebrewers Association, but super supportive nonetheless). She is passionate about homebrewing and the people that make it awesome. Right now, her thing is making wild fermented cider because she is lazy.
Risks and challenges
The only real risk is if we get bought out by the big guys. Ha! But for reals, we are confident that we have done the ground work and planning to truly make this a national association for homebrewers, by homebrewers.
One challenge we foresee is the translating of all our material into French. We are not French speakers, but see the importance of being to connect with all Canadian homebrewers, both English and French speaking. So this is something we're working very hard on.
Lobbying and legislative change is very important to us as there is no one answer across all the provinces and territories in Canada. Building up the membership and aligning breweries and beer related businesses will be a challenge as well, but it can only help all of us at the same time.
And or course a Canadian Homebrew Convention is a lofty goal and a bit in the future, but with enough interest there is no reason we couldn't pull it off.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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