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  • 22 Sep 2020 9:56 PM | Danny Bora (Administrator)

    I hope you all are staying well during these challenging pandemic times! The summer months have sadly, but understandably, only produced a few shows to attend, and I know we all are missing the good times and camaraderie that come with seeing each other and sharing stories at our “beer show” gatherings.

    I attended a show hosted by NABA member Jon Newberry at his Wiedemann Brewery in St. Bernard/ Cincinnati, OH. This event, largely arranged by NABA’s Queen City and Miami Valley Chapters, was well attended. And yes, masks and social distancing were recognizable. I know we all yearn for a return to some semblance of normalcy, and hope it happens soon.

    NABA Survey Success: Now, how about some good news? It’s easy to say that the best news about NABA is the active and generous participation of you, our terrific members, in this club! In June, we asked our membership to complete an emailed survey about the convention as well as what they think is working and what should be changed about the club.

    What’s clearly working is membership interest in NABA, because an astonishing 45% – 433 members – answered the survey. Your opinions were both clear-cut and instrumental in guiding your NABA Board on our decision to cancel the Convention. We also got some terrific feedback on what you value most about NABA and things we can change for the better. Please see page 8 for complete reporting on the survey. Your responses and suggestions are invaluable toward guiding the Board in setting priorities and developing strategies going forward.

    NABA 2021 Convention: The 2021 Convention marks our 50th, and we will be celebrating in the city where it all began: Milwaukee. Our meeting will be at the recently-renovated Ingleside Hotel in Waukesha, which has an ideal set-up and where we successfully held two prior conventions in 1996 and 2004. And yes, we will have all the rooms together to encourage the kind of room-to-room trading we all love.

    This 50th Convention is truly an event you won’t want to miss, so mark your calendars now for July 28th-31st. Chairman Joe Gula and Co-chair Mike Michalik are already making great plans for this gala celebration. We all hope the Covid situation is in the rear view mirror by then.

    NABA appointments: Those who regularly attend our conventions know that Board of Director elections are part of the agenda. Since Pittsburgh was cancelled, elections were not formally held. The good news is that we have retained all our valuable Board of Director members for the next year.

    You’ll also see on our masthead in this issue that George Baley, by unanimous vote of the NABA Board, was elected both Director Emeritus and our first Club Historian. A past president and editor of this magazine, George has done it all for NABA and was awarded our highest honor, the Herbert A. Haydock Founder’s Award, in 2014. His new appointments are additional well-deserved honors, which recognize his continued contributions to NABA.

    Tom Curran, who splits his time between Wisconsin and Arizona, also accepted the Board’s invitation to join our stellar Membership Committee. Tom is a long-time NABA member and valued contributor to NABA, including as a writer for this magazine.

    Norm Jay: Time marches on and inevitably, we lose members who pass on. We try to memorialize them in our “Taps” section of this magazine, which in this issue, sadly includes four members, including Norm Jay. A past president of NABA and Director Emeritus, Norm did so much to help build this organization over the years and his good cheer will be missed by the many NABA members who called Norm a friend.

    This Magazine: The NABA Board voted unanimously to give back to our membership by spending the extra money to create this special 80-page issue to kick-off our 50-year celebration. It was only in the Spring of 2019 that we expanded from 48 to 64 pages, and 80 pages was not even imagined.

    And what’s most amazing is that we could have made this issue even bigger. Why? Because of the overwhelming interest from and willingness of you, our NABA members, to contribute to our magazine. More than 100 members were involved in creating this issue and the interest and enthusiasm for this publication continues to grow. We are sincerely grateful for the time and effort of so many of you who are willing to participate in making this magazine one for all to enjoy!

    Editor Lee Chichester and Editorial Director, Ken Quaas, have built a great team of writers and have established a new Editorial Board, consisting of Dave Alsgaard, Joel Gandt, and Mike Paul. This group will continue to help in the overall assembly and editing of the magazine, as we move to constantly improve and bring you the great stories of our hobby.

    In closing, let me say that I hope you stay safe and in good health, but I hope also to see you at a show sometime soon. In the meantime, sit back, relax, and enjoy this magazine!

    John Ferguson, President -

  • 04 Sep 2020 6:18 PM | Danny Bora (Administrator)

    Blue Gray Show 2021.pdf

  • 15 Jun 2020 8:51 PM | Danny Bora (Administrator)

    Dear NABA Members:

    It is with great disappointment that your NABA Board of Directors is announcing the cancellation of this year’s annual Convention. This will mark the first time in 49 years that our cherished annual event will not be held. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and the danger of another surge in the virus, we do not want to risk the health and safety of our members.

    This Board decision was unanimous and strongly supported by our membership in the recent survey we conducted, where nearly half of the entire membership responded. Many thanks to all of the members who took the time to share their thoughts! We would not have wanted to make such a momentous decision without the strong consent of our members.

    Before Covid, the 2020 Convention was set to be our biggest and best ever. With more than 250 new members added to the NABA roster in the past 30 months we had anticipated a very large turnout. Chairman Mike Michalik and his team had set up an outstanding schedule of house tours, a bus tour of breweries past and present, a new Friday night “speakeasy” event and a variety of interesting seminars. We had all the rooms together on a few floors and anticipated outstanding room-to-room trading. And there were some special surprises for the auction, too.

    Much of our membership growth has come from the East Coast, and the Pittsburgh location was proving to be a huge draw based on early registrations. That’s why we are re-scheduling with the same great plans at the same great hotel in Pittsburgh, two years from now, in 2022.

    For those of you who already have registered for this year’s now cancelled Convention, you will receive a full refund and of course still receive your free commemorative tin-over-cardboard sign. We will not be mailing them out due to expense, but we do have a list of everyone who already had registered and will make a concerted effort to hand them out at various shows, etc.

    In addition, we have cancelled all the hotel room reservations at the Doubletree that were made as a part of the NABA group, so you need not worry about cancelling your hotel reservation if you already have made one.

    As for next year, our 50th will be in Milwaukee – where the founding of the club and our first convention all began. Mark your calendars for July 28-31st 2021 – our 50th will be the biggest celebration in NABA history! We have booked the newly-renovated Ingleside Hotel in Waukesha, a Milwaukee suburb for this event. Many long-time NABA members will recall that we held highly successful conventions there in 1996 and 2004.

    Thank you for your support of NABA and the decision to cancel the Convention in the wake of the pandemic. Like you, we hope that life returns to normal again soon and we can once again resume our breweriana gatherings. In the meantime, we wish you all good health and hope you stay safe!


    NABA Board of Directors

    John Ferguson, President

    Ken Quaas, Vice President

    James Kaiser, Treasurer

    Dave Alsgaard, Recording Secretary

    John Stanley, Executive Secretary

    John Bittermann, Director

    Paul Cervenka, Director

    Joe Gula, Director

    Darla Long, Director

    Mike Michalik, Director

    Matthew Olszewski, Director

    Don Roussin, Director

    Barry Travis, Director

    Christopher Watt, Director

  • 12 Jun 2020 4:11 PM | Danny Bora (Administrator)

    We are extremely sad to notify you of the passing of Norm Jay, a stalwart in the breweriana hobby who was greatly admired for his knowledge, collection and sense of humor.

    Norm was a past president of NABA from 1999-2002 and was currently our director emeritus. We were privileged to profile Norm in the Summer, 2016 issue of the NABA Breweriana Collector magazine. Attached is that article, for your reference.

    As many of you are aware, Norm, well into his 80’s, was still regularly attending shows and the NABA Conventions up until recently. He will be sorely missed.

    As John Stanley so aptly summarized it, “We lost a great guy.”

  • 26 May 2020 5:44 PM | Danny Bora (Administrator)

    Nashville, Tennessee • May 26, 2020 — A new historical marker recognizing the Brewery at Mill Creek was recently installed by Metro Nashville Public Works at Elm Hill Pike and Massman Drive.

    The brewery was founded by Arthur Redmond, a European brewer, who immigrated to Nashville in 1815.  He established a small brewery (often referred to as “the brewery at Mill Creek” and bakery on Chicken Pike (now Elm Hill Pike) along the east side of Mill Creek.  He brewed porter and ale using grain purchased from local farmers.

    The opposite side of the historical marker depicts an actual 1815 advertisement for consideration in the Nashville Whig to purchase barley for the brewery.  Redmond also received a US Patent for “brewing improvements with a steam apparatus” in 1819.

    Jessica Reeves, historic preservationist with the Metro Historical Commission, stated: “As the craft beer scene in Nashville continues to grow, I think it is exceptional that we are still honoring the history of beer-making in Nashville. Every new marker that we install just adds to the richness of our understanding of early life in Middle Tennessee and the integral part that brewing had in it. The Historical Commission is so thankful to have the support of community partners like Scott Mertie, who is a tireless advocate for remembering our past, especially when it comes to beer.”

    This is the fourth brewery-related historical marker commissioned by Scott Mertie and his wife, Candy: 

    • 1.    The Nashville Brewery marker was erected on 6th Avenue South at the original location of the Nashville Brewing Company (1859-1890) and the Wm. Gerst Brewing Company (1890-1954). 
    • 2.    The Germantown Brewery District marker is located on 5th Ave North.  It recognizes the four neighborhood breweries that operated in Germantown in the 1860s (this marker was destroyed by the March 2020 tornado, but there are plans to replace it). 
    • 3.    The Nashville Porter and Ale Brewery marker is located at 1901 Charlotte Ave, which was originally established in 1815.

    Mertie is a local healthcare executive that dabbles in Nashville’s brewing history during his free time.  He is the author of Nashville Brewing (Arcadia Publishing; 2006) and owner of the Nashville Brewing Company, which has won numerous awards for their traditional German-style lagers. 

    Contact: Scott R. Mertie

    Phone: 615-943-8855



    Brewery at Mill Creek
    Historical Marker
    Brewery at Mill Creek Historical Marker Located at Elm Hill Pike and Massman Drive

    Located at Elm Hill Pike
    and Massman Drive
    Brewery at Mill Creek Historical Marker Located at Elm Hill Pike and Massman Drive

    The Nashville Brewery
    Historical Marker

    The Nashville Brewery Historical Marker Located at Sixth Avenue South and Mulberry

    Located at Sixth Avenue
    South and Mulberry

    The Nashville Brewery Historical Marker Located at Sixth Avenue South and Mulberry

    Germantown Brewery
    District Historical Marker
    Germantown Brewery Distric Historical Marker Located at Fifth Avenue North and Madison

     Located at Fifth Avenue
    North and Madison
    Germantown Brewery Distric Historical Marker Located at Fifth Avenue North and Madison

    Germantown Brewery District 
    Germantown Brewery Distric Historical Marker (post tornado)

    Historical Marker (post tornado)
    Germantown Brewery Distric Historical Marker (post tornado)

    Nashville Porter and Ale Brewery Historical Marker
    Located at Charlotte Avenue and 19th Avenue North

  • 21 May 2020 12:39 PM | Danny Bora (Administrator)

    NABA President John Ferguson

    Greetings to all fellow captives

    Strange days, indeed.

    I do hope everyone is faring as well as possible during this COVID-19 crisis and that things will return to something resembling normal in the very near future. Difficult times like these make one aware of how important family and friends are, especially as we endure a forced separation from many of them.

    A challenge for the hobby.

    Although necessary to ensure safety, it has been sad to see the cancellation of so many great breweriana shows across the country, especially the many held during Spring that help pull us collectors together again and out of the winter doldrums. We are sad that our good friends at ABA/ECBA were forced to cancel their first combined annual meeting, but fully empathize with their reasoning. Your NABA Board believes that local chapters and shows are the lifeblood of breweriana collecting and the building blocks of the camaraderie that is such a special and valued feature of our hobby.

    June 30th decision on holding our Convention.

    We earnestly hope to still be able to hold our Convention in Pittsburgh beginning July 29. Your NABA Board will make the final decision and announce it to the membership on June 30th, a month prior to the planned start date. This is as late as we can delay the decision without paying hotel fees. Delaying until the 30th not only will give us more information on which to base our decision, but also, still gives our members enough time to plan travel arrangements.

    Your safety is paramount.

    If we do move ahead with holding the Convention, we have planned a number of new safety guidelines to accommodate social distancing and sanitation There is nothing more important to us than the well-being of our members and our decision will be guided with that imperative in mind. Convention chair Mike Michalik and his team have put together tremendous plans.

    Cancellation = Full refund.

    But in the unfortunate event that the Convention is canceled, full refunds will be issued to those who already have signed up early to get their free tin-over-cardboard commemorative signs.

    NABA continues to grow!

    Despite the pandemic, our membership continues to increase, and we welcome not only our many new members, but also our 43rd chapter, the long-established Hawkeye Chapter. Our chapter growth has almost doubled from 23 just two years ago and we hope to have 50 chapters under the NABA umbrella by year’s end.

    Our best wishes to Norm Jay.

    Our Director Emeritus, Norm Jay, of Glen Ellyn, IL, has been ailing. Your NABA Board of Directors sent him a beautiful signed card, hand-created by Board member Barry Travis. Norm is a past president and much beloved part of NABA, and has been a mainstay at local chapter shows in the Midwest and at our national Convention for many years. Godspeed, Norm! Now as much as ever, we wish you good health and safety during these challenging times!

    The Handsome Waiter can’t “wait” until the
    breweriana shows resume! Here he is with
    (from left) John Ferguson, Ken Quaas,
    and Joe Germino at the Blue & Gray Show
    on February 13, 2020 in Herndon, VA.

    John Ferguson, President -

  • 11 May 2020 2:39 PM | Danny Bora (Administrator)

    NABA is offering a special deal on dues – three years for $90 – which is $15 off the annual price of $35 per year. Just go to the “Join NABA” tab on this website to find out how to join or renew your membership!

    Now as much as ever, we thank you for your membership and wish you good health and safety during these challenging times!

  • 31 Mar 2020 4:14 PM | Danny Bora (Administrator)
    Spring greetings to our NABA members across the country! And I’m happy to report that there are more of you now than there have been since the late 1990s. In the past two years, our club has been rebuilt and energized. Our magazine has expanded from 40 to 64 pages. We have brought back our printed directory, by popular demand. And our last two Conventions, in Madison and Cincinnati, have set attendance records.

    We’ve also had some incredible growth in chapter affiliations. In the past couple of years, we’ve almost doubled our number of chapters from 23 to 42. The most recent chapter additions since our last issue are Chesapeake Bay of Maryland, Officer Suds of Utica, NY, and Cascade from the Pacific Northwest. We are thrilled to add these great chapters and firmly believe local chapters and shows are the lifeblood of our hobby and pledge to do all we can to promote them.


    NABA has a revitalized Board of Directors who are working hard to grow our organization and hobby. The incredible Danny Bora has re-built our website into a powerful asset to our members, with easy digital access to back issues of this magazine and all the latest news on NABA as well as breweriana shows and events across the country. Please check it out at

    What’s next? NABA members will be gathering from July 29-Aug 1 for our 49th Annual Convention in Pittsburgh—and we have some amazing events planned. We have three phenomenal home tours, a great historic and craft brewery bus tour, the Brewmaster’s dinner being conducted by a world-class beer expert, room-to-room trading, educational seminars, our exclusive auction, craft beer tastings, the annual banquet, a new Speakeasy after-party featuring live jazz music and craft cocktails, public trade show, lunch and—for those interested—a Pirates/Cardinals baseball game Saturday evening. The Convention team is led by Mike Michalik and Chris Watt with Iron City Beer as the official sponsor and Penn Brewery joining the sponsorship team. Let me put it simply: You need to be there!

    Matthew Olszewski of Syracuse, NY was unanimously elected to the the NABA Board of Directors in January.Elections are part of the annual gathering and 2018-2020 Board of Director members John Bittermann, Paul Cervenka, Darla Long, and Mike Michalik have raised their hands for another 2-year term. We also have added Matthew Olszewski—a well-regarded hobbyist and founder of the 5000+ member Breweriana Buy Sell and Trade Facebook page—to our Board (see photo below). Your NABA officers’ terms expire this August and I am glad to report that Ken Quaas, Jim Kaiser, Dave Alsgaard, and myself are game for another two years of NABA growth. If anyone wishes further information about board participation, please email me at fergkate@

    Sadly, our wonderful BC editor, Lee Chichester, plans to retire soon, as of the Winter 2021 issue. But she is assisting in finding someone to help do what she does. Notice I did not say “replace” her, because that would be impossible. Lee has been instrumental in making this magazine the best in the hobby and will be hugely missed. But we are fortunate to have the editorial leadership of Ken Quaas and great staff of writers in place, so the BC should not miss a beat. Thanks Lee!

    Our Handsome Waiter membership banner has been showing up everywhere these days, traveling to as many shows as possible, thanks to our great Membership Committee. The Waiter is so busy, I can’t keep up with his travels.


    The Handsome Waiter and NABA support local breweriana shows. Above left: Board member Barry Travis and Membership Committee member Stevan Miner at the Hamm’s Beer Club show in Medina, MN, on Feb 15.

    On a sour note, we have spent a good deal of time investigating the legitimacy (or lack thereof) of some suspect mirrored signs that have surfaced in the past year. I am very pleased that the national clubs worked closely to jointly investigate this situation and keep our members informed and protected. See pg. 54 of the spring issue for the investigation’s details. Make sure to sign up for the Convention and reserve your hotel room today in Pittsburgh! Rooms are going fast.

    I look forward to seeing you then, if not sooner at a local chapter show.

    John Ferguson, President

  • 15 Mar 2020 6:49 PM | Danny Bora (Administrator)

    Don Monroe Jr. Did an excellent job promoting the hobby and the Buckeye Show.

  • 20 Feb 2020 8:34 PM | Danny Bora (Administrator)

    WWII Veteran Vince Speranza describes his famous beer run for his wounded friend.

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