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 www.nababrew.com.
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!
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@ comcast.net.
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