John Ferguson, President
Winter greetings to our NABA family! I have found that one of the best ways to stay warm during winter weekends is by staying indoors—especially at a Breweriana show. And there are plenty of them coming up—just look at the fine collection of shows listed on pages 58 & 59 of this magazine. Your NABA Board of Directors firmly believes that local shows are the lifeblood of this hobby. To be sure, there’s a lot of breweriana treasure that can be found in online auctions, especially those put on by Dan Morean and Glenn Miller, both NABA members and loyal sponsors of this magazine. These auctions supplement, but do not replace the camaraderie, information sharing, and interesting finds that turn up at breweriana shows.
Even when I don’t find something at a show, I’m always glad I went. There are old acquaintances to renew and new ones to make, and even though I’ve been at this hobby for a long time, I invariably learn something new. Those are the things that are such an important part of this hobby. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend quite a few shows in recent months. These have included the Cleveland-area show in October led by NABA Membership Committee member Clayton Emery, which is known as the Eastern Great Lakes Brewery Collectables Show and sponsored by Michigan, Buckeye & Lake Erie chapters. In November I went to the Three Rivers chapter show in Ft. Wayne, IN.
Also in November, NABA VP Ken Quaas and I hit the West Coast for NABA member Ken Harootunian’s terrific show near Oakland, the Western Regional Beer Can & Breweriana Show, sponsored by the 49er Chapter. Ken’s hospitality is unparalleled, and after the show he arranged an outstanding tour of San Francisco’s Anchor Brewery, which as beer fans know, started the American craft beer revolution.
What’s the common denominator among all of these shows? Local chapter support! At NABA, we have a renewed dedication to not only support and help strengthen our existing chapters, but also to add new ones and help them grow. Working together, we can grow the hobby and our memberships on both the local and national levels. In 2018, NABA had 23 chapters. As of this writing, we now have 39, an amazing increase of more than 60%. In this issue, we celebrate our partnership with four new chapters:
• Columbine of Colorado
• Richbrau of Virginia
• Schell’s Border Batch from No. Iowa & So. Minnesota
• Spearman of Florida
Our 2020 goal is to double the 2018 total to 46 chapters. Board member and chapter liaison Darla Long and Board member/ Membership Committee chairman Mike Michalik have done a terrific job in both building chapter and individual memberships. Why should a local chapter partner with NABA? We can promote the chapter and its events in this magazine and on NABA’s website (www.nababrew.com) and our Facebook page. NABA also can send out email promotional messages to all our members in the local areas where the chapter events are being held.
And if you have other ideas on ways that we can promote your chapter, please let me know!
NABA is everywhere!
Historically, NABA’s base was in the Midwest, and we certainly have strength in numbers there. But much of our growth in the past few years has come from the East Coast, West Coast, and Texas. Maybe you’ve seen NABA’s increased presence, featuring our stand-up banners with the famous “Handsome Waiter” character, borrowed from the historic Hampden Brewing Co. of Massachusetts. Thanks to our Board members and terrific Membership Committee, the Waiter has been highly visible, appearing at shows from coast-to-coast (see pg. 41 in this issue). Where you see the banner, you will find a NABA member with information about our organization and how to join. We chose the Waiter character purposely, because we believe that NABA is here to “serve” the local chapters and the overall hobby.
Who’s the handsomest of them all? Posing with the Handsome Waiter, Nov. 2019 at Fallfest in Auburn, MA: from top left,Dave Reid, president of the Rusty Bunch chapter, NABA webmaster Dan Bora, NABA members Dave “Daev” Larazzolo and Jon Melillo, president of the Red Fox chapter,
Exciting Convention plans
To help serve our East Coast growth, NABA’s Annual Convention has moved eastward to Pittsburgh this year and Chair Mike Michalik and Co-Chair Chris Watt have plans for what promises to be our biggest Convention ever, to be held on July 29-August 1, 2020. Please see the informational ad on page 15 of this issue for all the exciting details, with much more to come in the Spring issue of this magazine. There are some amazing things planned, from some spectacular home tours on Tuesday, to a Wednesday filled with a carefully curated bus tour of historic and current breweries, followed by a special Brewmaster’s Dinner. By popular demand, Thursday is being set aside for room to room trading, with seminars running only from 9AM-noon. Friday has our Annual Auction followed by a Pittsburgh craft beer tasting and then our meeting/banquet. A new feature on Friday evening will be a special Speakeasy event, with more details on that to come. Our concluding day is Saturday, which will feature a heavily promoted trade show, open free to the public, from 9AM to 1PM. Instead of the Saturday night dinner, we will have a full luncheon after the show and then the opportunity to attend a Pirates/Cardinals baseball game at the beautiful PNC Park, where we have our own special section reserved. The cost for the game will include tickets, transportation, food, soft drinks, and beer. For those who choose not to attend the ballgame, Saturday’s hospitality room will remain open, with food and drink, as normal. Please reserve your hotel rooms now! Many thanks to Iron City and the Pittsburgh Brewing Co. for signing on as our official beer sponsor and to the Penn Brewery for joining as a co-sponsor of the Convention. And many thanks to you, our members, who are helping your chapters, NABA, and our hobby, grow. I hope to see you while you are staying warm at many of the winter breweriana shows.