The Suncoast Barley Mashers is an American Homebrewers Association registered group.
The founding members are Robb Goodwill, Bob Bridges, Michael Vetter, Vinnie Giordano, Mike Lee, Mike Hershberger, Laurie Bridges and Steve Shanks.
The Suncoast Barley Mashers are a group of brewers who are united as a guild. Our primary goals are increasing our knowledge and ability in the craft of brewing. We are committed to exploring beer styles, the chemistry and mechanics of brewing and processes of the craft, as well as improving our ability to taste with discernment and recognize areas for improvement. We encourage competition in an effort to obtain feedback on our beers and then work to mitigate any flaws or weaknesses.
Members will foster an atmosphere of camaraderie with other members of the guild, with other guilds and with professional breweries in the Suncoast area. An underlying goal of the guild is to have fun while we strive for higher levels of competency in brewing.
Membership in the guild is controlled. The guild does not consider a high membership count to be among the metrics that necessarily reflect the success of the group. The guild does not automatically accept members simply because they are willing to pay dues. Membership is attained by meeting the requirements of the guild and showing support for the guild through meeting attendance, interaction, participation in brew days, events and guild projects, etc. The guild-member relationship is a two-way relationship in which the members give to the guild and the guild gives back as a whole to the members.
Suncoast Barley Mashers guild is not associated with a particular brewery, venue or commercial entity and strives to support and encourage all the craft breweries and other commercial entities supporting craft brewing and craft beer throughout the Tampa Bay area.
Prospective members may contact a current member and have their name proposed at a meeting or current members may use the private Facebook page or a meeting to suggest individuals they feel would be an asset to the guild. Current members will discuss any knowledge they have to help decide if the group wishes to invite the individual to participate in a trial period.
A membership request form must be completed by the prospective member and submitted to the guild. This form will provide the guild with information that will help in the decision to invite prospective members to try out the guild and to determine the level of skill/craft of a prospective member. Guild membership will only be considered for persons age 21 and older.
If the guild approves a potential member to participate in a trial period, the individual will be sent an official invitation through the firstname.lastname@example.org email account. A template is located in the email account's "Templates" folder. The email will include the following: 1) The scenario by which the person is receiving the invitation to participate (requested by individual, suggested by a member, etc.); 2) A brief description of the guild and its membership policies; 3) Upcoming events to which the individual and their spouse/s.o. are invited to attend; 4) The caveat that guild events are limited to members and invited individuals; 5) RSVP methods and deadlines for the events to which they and their spouse/s.o. have been invited.
The length of an individual's trial period may vary, depending upon how many and how well current members know the prospective member, and how much the individual participates in guild events to which he/she is invited during the trial period. A typical trial period will generally be around three months, providing the prospective member the opportunity to attend a brew day and one or more other activities. Current guild members are encouraged to interact with prospective members as much as possible during their trial period in order to ascertain whether or not the person will be a good fit for the guild. Membership is not based upon brewing knowledge and ability, but rather on the individual's efforts to brew on a somewhat regular basis, to participate in guild events and activities, to work on increasing their brewing knowledge and ability and to contribute to the guild in a positive manner. The trial period is a two-way assessment. If the prospective member finds that the guild does not meet his/her expectations or he/she is not comfortable with the guild’s style of operation, there are other guilds/clubs in the area that may be a better fit.
When a current guild member feels that a prospective member has interacted sufficiently with the group, such that members can make an informed decision as to whether or not to admit that individual; the guild member will contact the membership committee and request a poll be placed on the private, full member, Facebook page. Members will vote YES, NO or CONTINUE TRIAL PERIOD and may offer discussion on the reasons for their vote. The poll will remain on the page until all current members have voted or for one week, whichever occurs first. New members are not invited based upon a simple majority, but rather when consensus is reached by the membership. If consensus cannot be reached, the trial period will be continued for the prospective member. A Membership Committee member will contact the individual with a membership invitation if the group agrees to offer guild membership to the individual, along with a copy of the guild’s operational documents. Once the new member accepts via email, he/she will be granted access to the guild’s private Facebook page. The new member’s first post on the private page will be a confirmation of their acceptance of guild membership. The new member will then be added to the Google calendar access and will be sent an email by the Membership Committee with additional guild information regarding shirt purchase, Google calendar use, upcoming events to which the member was not previously invited, etc.
New members will make a one-time, non-refundable contribution towards future guild expenses. The current contribution amount will remain in place until the guild membership feels an adjustment is appropriate and votes to change the amount.
Membership in the Guild is a privilege and the guild has certain expectations for a member to maintain that membership. · Barring extenuating circumstances it is expected that each member will attend a minimum of one (1) monthly meeting each quarter of the year.
· A member is also expected to attend at a minimum one (1) guild brew day quarterly.
· Guild members will convey constructive criticism of other members’ brewing processes and brews in a respectful and helpful manner and will be gracious in their acceptance of same. Constructive criticism is considered healthy and desirable in the context of the guild, and is intended to encourage the growth of the brewer and improvement of the brew.
· Guild members will treat other members, guests and hosts with respect at meetings and other guild events and will act in a manner that reflects well upon the guild.
· Guild members are not required to enter beers in competition but if they do, they are expected to enter them as members of the Suncoast Barley Mashers. If a member is also affiliated with another homebrew guild or club and wishes to submit entries under the other affiliation they may do so, however 50 percent of competition entries are to carry the affiliation of Suncoast Barley Mashers.
· Members are expected to maintain a high level of integrity in all competitions and follow all competition rules. Any member entering a beer in a competition shall enter only beers brewed by them or co-brewed. Beers entered into competition shall not have been brewed on professional equipment. Any member entering professional or commercially brewed beer as their own shall have their membership immediately revoked. · At no time will members sell their beer, mead or cider unless done so within the beverage laws of the United States of America, the state of Florida and county/local municipalities.
· All members are required to represent the guild and act in a professional manner. This is of particular importance when the guild is at public events. Public intoxication will not be tolerated.
Inability to meet the guilds requirements may be terms for revocation of membership in the guild. Revocation of membership is by consensus of the current members in good standing.
The guild functions in a goal oriented manner. Each guild member will be assigned a level and this is not to be seen as class setting, but a skill leveling.
Guild Apprentices are novice brewers, working to learn the craft.
Guild Journeymen are members who have gained basic brewing skills, understand the underlying processes of the craft of brewing and display those skills by brewing.
Guild Brewmasters are members who have shown a high degree of expertise in the art of brewing. This is demonstrated by the member having brewed a large number of batches combined with competition participation (even if it is only internal) and the guild membership acknowledging the attainment of this level.
All members help each other and no member is less important than another. “Guild” has been added to each level to indicate the level is not pro. Brewmaster is an important title in the professional field and the guild does not wish to infringe upon this designation.
The guild exists to help all members achieve the goal of becoming a better brewer. If a member enters as an apprentice, the guild will assign a mentor to help the member progress toward journeyman status and acquire equipment, etc. A mentor will help with initial brewing and the mentor or another guild member may loan equipment to the new brewer so the new member can experience the craft before committing to buying expensive equipment. Apprentice brewers and mentors need to brew once a month for the first 3 months. The first brew should be performed by the mentor with the guild apprentice assisting. The second brew will be the reverse and then the third brew will be each of them brewing at the same time.
The business of the Guild will be guided by a Steering Committee of Elected Officers consisting of the following positions:
The ongoing operations of the Guild will be guided by Elected Standing Committee Chairs
Except as specified in the Charter, Members may hold only one elected office or committee Chair position. All Officers and Standing Committee Chairs are to represent the Guild in a positive manner and to perform other tasks as specified in the SBM Charter.
The duties of the President shall be as follows:
The duties of the Vice-President shall be as follows:
The duties of the Secretary shall be as follows:
The duties of the Treasurer shall be as follows:
The duties of the Communications Officer shall be as follows:
Standing committees are as follows:
Responsibilities specific to the Communications Committee shall be as follows:
Responsibilities specific to the Competitions & Events Committee shall be as follows:
The duties specific to the Competitions & Events Chair shall be as follows:
The responsibilities of the Education Committee shall be as follows:
The duties of the Education Committee Chair shall be as follows:
The responsibilities of the Fundraising Committee shall be as follows:
The responsibilities of the Membership Committee shall be as follows:
The duties of the Membership Committee Chair shall be as follows:
Term of Office
Terms for all Officers and Standing Committee Chairs will be for a period of one year, commencing on March 1st.
Steering Committee Meetings
Steering Committee Meetings will be held at least quarterly. The date and agenda shall be set by the President and announced to all Guild members on the Suncoast Barley Mashers private Facebook page at least 28 days in advance. All Members are invited to attend the meetings, but only Steering Committee Members will have voting rights at the meeting. Three Steering Committee Members must be present to achieve quorum. Prospective Members and guests may not attend Steering Committee Meetings. If quorum is not achieved, no votes will be taken and the meeting will not count as a quarterly Steering Committee Meeting. Official minutes of the meeting will be taken and posted to the Files area of the Suncoast Barley Mashers private Facebook page within a week of the meeting.
Annual Membership Business and Elections Meeting
A Membership Business and Elections Meeting Steering Committee Meeting will be held in February of each year. The date and agenda shall be set by the President and announced to all Guild members on the Suncoast Barley Mashers private Facebook page at least 28 days in advance. Any votes that will be taken at the meeting must be announced at the time of notification. Members who will not be present during the meeting may submit a written proxy assigning another Member their voting rights for that meeting for membership business votes and/or the election. Alternatively, a proxy notice may also be posted to the Suncoast Barley Mashers private Facebook page no less than 12 hours prior to the start of the meeting. Prospective Members and guests may not attend the Annual Membership Business and Elections Meeting. Official minutes of the meeting will be taken and posted to the Files area of the Suncoast Barley Mashers private Facebook page within a week of the meeting.
Special Membership Meetings
Most of the business of the Guild that is not conducted in Steering Committee Meetings will be conducted on the Suncoast Barley Mashers private Facebook page, but a Special Membership Meeting may be called by the President or by fifty percent of the Members with a minimum of two weeks’ notice. Any votes that will be taken at the meeting must be announced at the time of notification. Members who will not be present during the meeting may submit a written proxy assigning another Member their voting rights for that meeting. Alternatively, a proxy notice may also be posted to the Suncoast Barley Mashers private Facebook page no less than 12 hours prior to the start of the meeting. Official minutes of the meeting will be taken and posted to the Files area of the Suncoast Barley Mashers private Facebook page within a week of the meeting.
Educational sessions may be attended by Members, Prospective Members, and guests of the Guild. A Member and Prospective Member’s spouse or significant other is always welcome to attend as a guest. A Member may sponsor a single guest at an Educational Session, subject to the advance majority approval of the other Guild Members. Members must be given at least one week to vote, in the form of a poll on the Suncoast Barley Mashers private Facebook page (YES/NO/ABSTAIN, with YES as the default). A guest may only attend one Educational Session. If the guest has further interest in attending Guild Educational Sessions, he/she may apply to become a Prospective Member.
Nominations for Steering Committee Officers and Standing Committee Chair positions will be coordinated by the Membership Committee Chair, using an “event” created for this purpose on the Suncoast Barley Mashers private Facebook page. Nominations will be opened at least 28 days prior to the Annual Membership Business and Elections Meeting and will remain open until one week prior to the Annual Membership Business and Elections Meeting. Any Guild Member in good standing who will have been a Member for six months or more at the time of the meeting may be nominated or may self-nominate. Anyone nominated by another Member must confirm their acceptance of the nomination. Nominations will be re-opened at the meeting for any positions that have no nominations already submitted. Members nominated at the meeting must be present to accept the nomination. All candidates (those who are qualified and have self-nominated or been nominated and accepted the nomination) are encouraged to, but are not required to, post a short candidate statement on the election event page.
Elections will be held at the Annual Membership Business and Elections Meeting for Steering Committee Officers and Standing Committee Chair positions. The election will be conducted by the Membership Committee Chair. If the Membership Chair cannot be present at the meeting, the Steering Committee will appoint another Standing Committee Chair to conduct the election.
Members who will not be present during the election may submit a written proxy assigning another Member their voting rights for that election and/or any membership business votes that will take place at the meeting. Alternatively, a proxy notice may also be posted to the election “event” on Facebook no less than 12 hours prior to the start of the Annual Membership Business and Elections Meeting. For positions having more than one qualified candidate, election will be by closed ballot.
For positions with only one candidate, the election may optionally be conducted by an open YAY/NAY confirmation vote. A candidate is elected by a majority of votes cast, including proxy votes. If no majority is received when more than two candidates are running for the same position, the candidate(s) with the fewest votes will be dropped and runoff elections will be conducted. If a majority is not produced by when two candidates are running for the same position, or if runoff voting is unable to provide a majority for any candidate, the position will be assigned by a vote of the current Steering Committee.
The order of elections shall be as follows: 1) Chair, 2) Vice Chair, 3) Secretary, 4) Treasurer, 5) Communications Officer, 6) Education Committee Chair, 7) Competition & Events Chair, 8) Fundraising Committee Chair, and 9) Membership Chair. Once a Member has been elected to a position, they are automatically removed from candidacy for other positions.
Removal from Office
Any Officer or Standing Committee Chair not maintaining the status of “Member in Good Standing” during his/her term of office, without reasonable excuse, shall be removed from office and replaced as soon as possible. A reasonable excuse shall be determined by the Steering Committee.
Any Officer or Standing Committee Chair, as determined by a majority of the Steering Committee, found not satisfactorily performing his/her duties or representing the Guild in a positive manner, may be removed from office, subject to the approval by an absolute majority YES vote of the Members (NOT of the votes cast), following a report from the Steering Committee to the membership. The vote shall be conducted by the Membership Committee Chair and shall be announced by email to all Members and the Officer/Chair in question. Voting will take place by email, with a minimum of two weeks allowed for voting. Members may vote YES, NO or may abstain from voting.
Removal from the Steering Committee or a Standing Chair position will not affect the Member status of the Officer/Chair.
Vacancy of Office
Any interim vacancy on the Steering Committee or in a Chair position shall be filled by appointment by the Steering Committee, subject to the approval by a majority vote of the membership on the Suncoast Barley Mashers private Facebook page, with the vote open for two weeks or until all Members have voted, whichever comes first. Members abstaining or not voting will be counted as YES votes.
In the event the membership votes down the appointment by the Steering Committee, the Steering Committee will appoint a different Member and then follow the same approval process, repeating the process until the position has been filled.
Returning Suncoast Barley Mashers Guild Property
All Officers, Chairs, Members, or others acting on behalf of the Guild, upon completion of their term in office or assignment, or upon relinquishment or revocation of their membership, shall return to the Guild any and all papers, documents, and property deemed to be important to the operation and history of, and belonging to, the Guild. Failure to comply may result in revocation of membership or association with the Guild, and civil action if deemed necessary.
No member is authorized to commit the guild to participation in an event/activity without first confirming the guild’s interest at a meeting and/or on the private Facebook page. No member is authorized to incur any financial obligation on behalf of the guild without prior authority of the guild. Members will not accept additional compensation or favor for their efforts in coordinating the guild’s participation in an event/activity beyond what other guild members receive for their participation in the event. No member will accept compensation or favor in return for recommending or selecting a venue or supplier for guild business.
Other than the initial membership contribution, there will be no dues collected for guild membership. Financial obligations/needs for the guild will be met through the initial membership contributions, voluntary “pass the hat” contributions at meetings/activities, income from merchandise sales and contributions from outside sources. If agreed upon in advance by the membership, a member “special assessment” may be used to complete a guild purchase or fulfill a guild financial obligation.
SUPPORT OF LOCAL CRAFT BREWERIES
Suncoast Barley Mashers guild is not associated with a particular brewery, venue or commercial entity and strives to support and encourage all the craft breweries and other commercial entities supporting craft brewing and craft beer throughout the Tampa Bay area.
GUILD ACTIVITIES AND MEETINGS
The Education Committee is responsible for the planning and hosting of meetings, educational activities and guild brew days. All members are encouraged to help with procuring meeting locations and educational presentations, as well as volunteering to perform presentations and demos themselves. Unless declared otherwise, guild activities are for guild members and invited guests only. Invited guests normally includes spouses/significant others and may include prospective members. Prospective members are not invited to business meetings at which membership issues will be discussed. Limited access guild activities will not be posted to the guild’s public Facebook page, but may be recounted on the page after the event. Meetings will be held once a month and the date will be posted 2 weeks in advance. When possible, the guild will offer technology based access to the meetings (via Internet) for those who are unable to attend. Meetings will be held in round table fashion. The order of business for the meeting will be:
The guild will try to have a brew day available to its members at least once a month. It is understood that some of the advanced members have upgraded to equipment that is not as mobile. These members should brew at least once a month and then try to attend brew days as observers/helpers. Brew days can be on a single system going over the process, evaluating and making suggestions about improvements. The guild hopes to have the support of the local breweries with the availability to have brew days at their locations.
PARTICIPATION IN EXTERNAL EVENTS
The Events Committee is responsible for coordinating guild participation in external events such as demonstrations, festivals, special events and charity events, with the exception of brew competitions. The committee will oversee and coordinate such items as member participation, communication, equipment/supply transportation.
When officially representing SBM at a public or paid admission event such as a beer festival, members will wear an official SBM shirt. Wearing a guild shirt is optional (though highly recommended) when attending an event planning meeting with other organizations or attending a beer event as a group.
The guild banner will be displayed whenever possible at events in which the guild is officially participating. A file will be maintained on the private Facebook page to document current responsibility for the banner and where it was last used. The member currently in possession of the banner will transport it to the next official event or convey it to another member who will take over responsibility. The member who takes the banner to an event is responsible for ensuring it “comes home” from the event and is responsible for updating the banner location file.
Guild members will conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively upon the guild when wearing their official SBM shirt or otherwise officially representing the guild. Behaviors that reflect poorly upon the guild include, but are not limited to:
Negative behavior when representing the guild may affect a member's rights to represent the guild in subsequent events or may result in revocation of guild membership. At both internal and external activities and events, guild members will only serve alcohol products to people over the legal drinking age; if the guild is serving at an event and someone looks under age 21, the member will request I.D. if the hosting organization has not provided its own age check and provided a proof of age token, such as a hand stamp or wristband. At both internal and external activities and events, guild members are responsible for themselves. Guild members may participate in meetings, events and activities and consume alcohol as a group, but the group in no way is responsible for a member’s personal actions and conduct.
REPRESENTING THE GUILD
Expressing differences of opinion in social media discussions are totally acceptable, but members should do so with respect and make clear that it is their personal opinion when any portion of the topic relates to beer, brewing, craft beer venues, brew organizations, guilds and clubs. Official SBM accounts (Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.) will not be used to express negative commentary unless officially decided by the guild membership. For example, the guild may decide to officially state the group's dislike of a new law that is harmful to the craft brewing industry or home brewing communities.
PUBLIC FACEBOOK PAGE
The Communications & Documents Committee is responsible for maintaining and moderating the guild’s public Facebook page. The committee is responsible for posting content on behalf of the guild, scanning content posted by other parties and removing inappropriate content, including unapproved advertising and promotion.
When posting to the public SBM Facebook page, members will change the focus to their own Facebook account rather than posting as Suncoast Barley Mashers Guild, unless intending to post officially on behalf of the guild. Do not "Like" a Facebook post that was made by the guild account when posting as the guild account. Members should refrain from posting to the public page from a mobile device that does not allow them to change the focus to their personal account. Guild posts should use the term "we" instead of "I" since they represent the group. External events in which the guild is participating may be posted on the public Facebook page, but this page is not an advertising forum for other beer/brewing commercial ventures. Advertising will be removed from the page and repeat offenders may be blocked. Most of the guild's meetings, brew days and educational activities are limited to guild members and invited guests, and so will not be posted on the public page in advance. Photos of guild events may be posted to the page following the event, but should be limited to photos that would not reflect negatively on the guild. Public posts to thank guild supporters and host venues are encouraged.
PRIVATE FACEBOOK PAGE
Discussions on the private guild page, along with documents and other files posted to that page are not to be disclosed or distributed to individuals who have not been granted access to the page. Potential members will not be granted access to the page during their trial period; access is only granted upon full membership. Discussions/polls relating to specific membership pledges/decisions will be deleted prior to adding the member to the page. Guild members are expected to view the private Facebook page at least weekly, and more frequent visits are highly recommended. members, announcements/hints/tips, impromptu guild gatherings and the ongoing interaction and camaraderie that sets this guild apart from many other home brew groups. The private page may be also used for official polling and decision-making. Members will be given a week to respond to official polls/votes, after which time anyone not voting will be considered to have abstained or cast a default vote, as specified in the original post. “Events” will be created on the private Facebook page to advertise (to members) and coordinate guild activities (face-to-face or electronic meetings, field trips, brew days, etc.) and to centralize discussion pertaining to the activity. The “event” will be created by whichever committee is organizing or coordinating the activity.
Email messages sent from the email@example.com account will only reflect the official view of the guild. Messages will be signed by the member sending the email and "On behalf of Suncoast Barley Mashers" will appear on the line under the member's name. The member will also indicate any title/function within the group, if appropriate. A copy of sent and received email will remain in the account for at least six months if considered short-term and non-controversial (Example: coordination emails for an event or a thank-you email to a guild supporter), or indefinitely if related to ongoing guild business or "controversial" topics (example: complaint from a member or outside party). Although the Communication & Documents Committee monitors the email account and forwards messages to the appropriate committees or individuals, the committees/individuals are responsible for following through with communication relating to their areas of responsibility.
Modification of guild charter requires a 75% majority vote of current members. Members will be notified of the suggested modifications, with the notification specifying all details of what is being added, removed or modified. Notification will take place both on the Facebook private page and with email sent to each member via the email address on file with the guild. Members will have a minimum of three weeks to cast their vote. Lack of response by the member within the specified time will be counted as a YES vote. Appendix documents are considered to be working documents that can be modified by the guild without a formal vote.
In the event the Suncoast Barley Mashers guild disbands as an organization: