¡Para el ausente, el presente y para los que no podrían hacerlo! (For the absent, the present and for those who just couldn't make it!).
It’s an old Mexican drinking toast that my mother taught me early in life and I think of it every time I do something with the Jayhops. The Jayhops were born from members of another club. These members wanted more camaraderie and a brewing schedule that didn’t interfere with the other facets of their already busy lives. They needed a club that didn’t have the restrictions of voting, parliamentary rules, scheduled meeting and all the other things that seemed to get in the way of having fun.
The Jayhops are a unique home brewing club in the fact that we have absolutely nothing of what people want! It’s all very…individual. When I joined the club a few years back it was exactly as I’ve written. It appealed to me because I just didn’t have the time or drive to commit to a regular club. The commitment was too much for me and my family. The Jayhops were a perfect fit.
When I wanted to enter my beers into the American Homebrewers Association’s Club Only Competitions I realized that we needed to be an AHA registered club. I emailed my fellow club members and the response was, “Sure, go ahead!”. So I did. I registered the club and then entered my beers. That’s seems to be the response to all my questions and the basis of our club. Do what you want and we’ll help if we can. Well I have and they have also, all to our club’s great success.
This is our inaugural year at the AHA’s National Convention and we’re going at it big. I had an old whiskey barrel that I wanted to convert into a jockey box on wheels but it ended up being the basis of our Club Night booth, a western saloon! “Jayhops, Recalcitrants of the Range!” Between me, my wife Leigh, Phillip Leonard, Pamela Klifar and Marc Gaspard we’ve been able to put together a saloon that would be used on the set of Deadwood on HBO! We even have a light that shines on the ceiling with our club logo and motto!
And…to top it off, we even took a Gold medal in the stout category! Phillip Leonard and I accepted the medal at the awards banquet on Saturday night. Rob Beck, Phillip and I made this Russian Imperial Stout over a year and a half ago and the brewing was the cake under the gold medal icing!
One idea, a bunch of enthusiasm and no restrictions or rules and we came up with a huge pile of fun! Our club is proof that home brewing has so many faces and opportunities. If the local club isn’t quite your fit, make up your own! You’ll be surprised how many others are looking for a club like yours. This is our way of keeping it fun.
You’re probably wondering how to join? You just have to utter the word, Jayhops three times and show up to one of our irregularly scheduled events. Go ahead, say it…
President…oh that’s right, we don’t have one!