The Free State Homebrew Club Guild was founded in 1998. Members of seven Baltimore-area clubs got together to start organizing in the Fall of 1997. The original seven clubs held a multi-club “Gathering of the Tribes” in January 1998, and a homebrew contest three months later, both at Oxford Brewing in Linthicum. Following the contest all other Maryland clubs were invited to join. At our peak, we currently have 18 dues paying member clubs.
The Guild is an association of clubs – there are no individual members. Each club runs all of their operations (meetings, dues, events, etc). The Guild is merely a sort of conduit for all Maryland clubs who wish to interact with one another. We hold multi-club events and trips where brewers, friends and family can meet each other, exchange ideas, sample each others’ brews and so forth. It is also an excellent communication channel for all clubs to promote their events, such as bus trips and festivals. The Guild has made it possible for smaller clubs to accomplish activities that may have been otherwise impossible because of their size.
According to the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), this is the first state-wide homebrewing “club of clubs” ever to be attempted. We continue to learn from this experience and are eager to share what we’ve learned with clubs from other states who might wish to start a state or regional organization of their own.
Our Current Officers:
President: Ben Schwalb
Vice President: Les White, firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer: Christianne Anderson
Secretary: Rob Kiernan
Electronic Communications Officers: Tim Sauerwein