The 1970s and 1980s were a golden age for home brew. Large numbers of clubs were formed and flourished; there were
plenty of shows to enter and most population centres had a homebrew shop. Sadly, there has been a steady decline ever since. There are many
reasons for this - in particular the wider availability of reasonably priced alcohol from supermarkets (this could change with minimum pricing) or
through trips to France, the pressure on people's time, and (quite rightly) strong publicity on the dangers of drinking and driving.
There are now far fewer clubs and members in the country, although evidence from the remaining
homebrew shops suggests that there are
still a lot of people making their own wine and beer. We at NAWB believe that we have a key role to play in
keeping our hobby alive, but we need
your help. So, we have three groups to consider, Circles and Federations, Individuals who belong to clubs, and those wine/beer makers who do not
belong to clubs. What does NAWB have to offer each of these?
Circles and Federations
Individual Club Members
- We enable you to obtain insurance at a much lower cost than would be available as an individual organisation
- We provide supplies for Show Secretaries at competitive rates
- Our website provides you with National publicity and we can put individuals who
contact us in touch with their nearest club
- The website provides a show calendar to enable you to avoid clashes and make it easier to obtain judges
If your club is affiliated to NAWB, you may enter 24 of the classes at the National Show. If you become an individual member,
you benefit from a reduced rate of conference ticket and can enter most of the 88 individual classes in the show. You will be competing against some
of the leading wine and beer makers in the country, but you would be surprised at how many individuals gain places and even firsts at their
However, it is not just about competition. You will gain knowledge and make new friends from all parts of the country during a busy and sociable
Individual members will also receive (or access electronically through the website) our magazine, News and Views, which contains news of activities
around the country and articles of interest contributed by members.
Wine and Beer Makers
So, you donít belong to a club, possibly because there is not one nearby or you are not interested in competing. The public areas of the website
provide you with links to other sites such as the homebrew shops, most of whom provide on-line ordering and postal delivery. We need to support and
nurture the remaining homebrew shops in order to enable us all to continue to enjoy our hobby.
The only way to find out if you are producing good quality wines and beers and hopefully improving upon them is to compare them with somebody elseís
homebrew and best of all enter them in shows and have them assessed by qualified judges. Virtually all shows provide constructive feedback on each
entry to help the competitor improve his/her skills. Even more beneficial is the opportunity to steward for a judge and therefore taste the
quality (or otherwise) of other competitorís efforts. One of the most enjoyable aspects of home wine and beer making is to share your efforts with
friends. By joining a wine club and/or NAWB, you will make new friends and increase your enjoyment from the hobby as well as participating in
promoting the continuation of a craft that has been practised for thousands of years.