Brewers association

The American Homebrewers Association celebrates 40 years of home brewing

Boulder, Colorado • December 6, 2018 – On Friday, December 7, the American Homebrew Association® (AHA) celebrates its 40th anniversary. Founded in 1978 by Charlie Papazian, the AHA has worked on behalf of the homebrewing community for four decades, serving tens of thousands of members, as well as the 1.1 million homebrewers nationwide, with events, publications, resources, etc.

“At a time when most beers made in the United States were light-tasting lagers, Charlie started a movement that showed people how to brew their own flavored beers and cultivate their craft, turning brewing into a career for some and in camaraderie and community for many,” said Gary Glass, director of the American Homebrewers Association.

History of home brewing

  • January 17, 1920: Prohibition begins with the coming into force of the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, prohibiting the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol, including home-brewed beer.
  • December 5, 1933: The 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition, however, the repeal legislation mistakenly omitted the legalization of home beer brewing (home wine brewing was legalized at this time).
  • October 14, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed HR 1337, creating an exemption from taxation for home-brewed beer for personal or family use.
  • December 7, 1978: AHA is formed with the publication of the first issue of zymurgia® magazine.
  • February 1, 1979: Home brewing becomes federally legal in the United States
  • May 5, 1979: The AHA is hosting the first-ever National Homebrew Competition and Gala Homebrewers Ball.
  • September 1984: Charlie Papazian publishes The Complete Joy of Homebrewingwidely regarded as the bible of home brewers.
  • May 2, 1988: Rep. David Skaggs of Colorado declares May 7 National Homebrew Day ahead of Congress.
  • May 31, 2005: The first year of the famous Great American Beer Festival® Pro-Am competition where AHA members partnered with professional brewers to scale their award-winning recipes. The AHA estimates that at least 90% of professional brewers started out as home brewers.
  • September 1, 2012: The White House unveils its home brewing recipes. Although many of the country’s founding fathers were home brewers, White House Honey Ale is the first known beer to have been brewed in the White House.
  • 2013: Alabama and Mississippi legalize homebrewing, officially making homebrew legal in all 50 states.
  • December 2016: AHA hosts the first-ever Hill Staff Homebrew competition.
  • 2018: 1.1 million home brewers produced and estimated 1.4 million barrels of beer, or 1% of total beer production in the United States.

“The AHA helped take home brewing from off-limits to mainstream,” Glass added. “The homebrewing revolution began with the founding of the AHA and has become a catalyst for the explosive growth of today’s craft brewing community. Who could have predicted that Charlie’s simple wooden spoon, ingenuity and passion would spawn a community of over a million home brewers and 7,000 small independent American craft breweries.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the AHA is offering a 24-hour flash sale on December 7 with a 40% discount on digital subscriptions. See details on American Homebrew Association website.


Alex Kofsky, on behalf of the American Homebrewers Association, (212) 255-75417


About the American Homebrew Association:
The American Homebrewers Association® (AHA) has worked on behalf of the homebrewing community since 1978 and celebrates a membership of over 46,000 homebrewers. the American Homebrew Association organizes events including Homebrew Con™ and the National Homebrew Competition. The AHA also publishes zymurgia® magazine for home brewers and beer lovers, and offers savings deals and recipes through the Brewing Guru® mobile app. The AHA is part of the Brewers Association (BA), whose independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers from small independent craft brewers. BAs Brewers publications® is the leading publisher of contemporary brewing literature relevant to today’s craft brewers and home brewers.

Beer lovers and anyone who wants to make their own beer are invited to learn more about Follow the AHA on Twitter, Facebook and instagram.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, orientation or marital/family status. The BA complies with the provisions of Executive Order 11246 and relevant rules, regulations and orders of the Secretary of Labor.