Greetings, my fellow ASHers! As the holiday season wrapped up – and the rainy weather ramped up, I found myself sitting with my new brewdog, Jagger, by the fireplace, reflecting on the amazing year that we just had. In 2022, we finally saw our membership numbers start to trend back upwards as Covid cases waned. We had three great parties with the most attendance in years. Our competitions were well entered and run like a top! We improved our clubhouse with a better network, a kick ass wetroom/breakroom with all the expected amenities – as well as a dishwasher, 3 bay sink, and rinse area for brewouts. We have many more plans for the clubhouse improvement over the next couple of years (budget permitting). The end of 2022 proved even more exciting with the appointment of several new Board members that are eager to dive in and make this club even better in the next year, as well as some of the older (ahem!), “veteran” Board members that are pulling their weight in their respective positions, and constantly coming up with innovative ways to make the club run like a well-oiled machine.
For 2023, we certainly have a few hurdles to jump – notably event planning, communication, sponsorship, and member acquisition – which I have asked the Board to focus on. Over the next few months, we will be reorganizing the website and driving more interaction with you all from that place as the central point of truth. We are building out next years calendar with tentative dates for brew-outs, parties, competitions, and perhaps even a bus trip and a camping trip! After the gorgeous weather starts to turn a bit warmer in May, we will be looking to knocking down some walls on the East side which will make that area of the clubhouse much more usable.
Many of you have asked how you could help… I think it’s pretty simple. Be an ASH Evangelist! Come to our meetings and bring a guest! Participate in our brewouts and parties – and help spread the word that ASH is a great club for all aspiring fermentologists… not only beer, mead, and cider. We even have two educational presentations planned for early 2023 that include other fermented products … wine(!) and hot sauce that I am looking forward to.
In closing, I wish to thank you for your contributions to ASH! It really is a special club, with great people – several of you are some of my closest, lifelong friends that I would not have found, if not for this club. Let us rise from the Covid ashes, like the bird of our city’s namesake, and get back to making great beer, mead, cider (and wine!) with our soon to be closest, lifelong friends from ASH. Cheers!