Beer Group Brewing Up Membership Growth With New App

A new app from the American Homebrewers Association not only helps people find the best local breweries but also gives them a reason to become an AHA member.

The American Homebrewers Association released a new app that, beyond creating convenience, could drive member recruitment and retention.

AHA’s Brew Guru app lets users find nearby breweries and suppliers, access AHA content, redeem member deals at participating locations, and manage their profiles.

“With Brew Guru, we’re helping beer lovers and amateur brewers do beer better. Users’ palates and wallets will benefit greatly from the app,” AHA Director Gary Glass said in a release. “Brew Guru allows you to get more beer while spending less money, wherever you’re located. What’s better than that?”

The app is free and available to nonmembers, but they will only have access to the mapping function and about a third of the available content, which includes recipes and brewing resources. However, nonmembers can sign up for a free 15-day trial, during which they will be able to use member deals, access member-only content, and read the digital edition of AHA’s Zymurgy magazine.

“It’s our feeling that we offer great value with our membership,” Glass told Associations Now. “And then for people who have not been members before, maybe are not familiar with all they get, [the app is] a great opportunity for them to experience membership.”

When the trial period ends, nonmembers can sign up for membership directly through the app or on AHA’s website to maintain their access status. If they decide not to join AHA, they will only be able to use the app’s basic capabilities.

But the app won’t just help with recruitment. Glass said Brew Guru was also developed to boost retention by helping current members realize and take advantage of all their benefits and offers.

For example, AHA members get discounts and special offers from more than 1,400 breweries, pubs, restaurants, and homebrew supply shops partnered with its parent organization, the Brewers Association. The deals can even make up the cost of membership dues, Glass said. But members weren’t using them because they didn’t know what locations were included or weren’t carrying their membership cards, which are required to redeem the deals.

To allow members to more easily take advantage of these offers, the app sends users push notifications about nearby member deals and includes a digital member card—eliminating the need to have one in their wallet. The digital card also ensures only members with valid cards are able to redeem the deals.

“With the app, if you’re anybody who has a smartphone and is a member of the American Homebrewers Association, they can access their benefits more readily,” Glass said. “So a big part of it was retention, even more so than member recruitment.”

A number of individuals have already signed up for the free trial, Glass said, but a full 15-day period hasn’t passed since the app release, so AHA can’t yet determine how well it will draw new members.


Alex Beall

By Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. MORE

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