In the spring I started thinking about this year’s Great American Beer Festival. I knew I wanted tickets to the Saturday afternoon members-only session, so I pulled up the American Homebrewers Association web page for some information. An individual membership costs $38 for one year; to me it was worth it to pay that amount just to get my GABF tickets, if nothing else. So I made my purchase and also looked into the other benefits that come with it. Many brewpubs and bars offer deals with the AHA card, which is an added bonus. Some offers are pretty meager (10% off food only at Old Chicago, for example), while others are fantastic. Since March, I have probably saved somewhere around $200, less the cost of the membership. That is a-ma-zing. I absolutely love my card. It has far surpassed its original purpose of simply allowing me to get Saturday GABF tickets. It’s one of the best investments I’ve made, and I’d like to tell you about some of the discounts I find most impressive.
- The #1 deal that has saved me the most money: Mellow Mushroom. They offer buy one get one free with your card. You actually have to drink the beers (if you go with a friend and you’re both drinking, it will only count toward your own beers), but I have gotten numerous $6 beers at no cost. What’s better than that?!
- Hops and Pie. You get 15% off all food and pints. And while they do not brew their own beer (yet), they have a large selection of craft beer and damn tasty food too: great pizza, sandwiches, including good vegetarian and vegan options.
- Renegade Brewing. They already have very reasonable prices, but you save an additional 10% off beer and merchandise.
- Strange Brewing. $1 off pints and growler fills.
- Tommyknocker Brewery. Free pint with purchase of appetizer or entree. Nice!
- Wynkoop. Happy Hour prices any time.
- Oskar Blues. 15% off beer and merchandise.
- Left Hand. 10% off beer and merchandise.
- Breckenridge Brewery. 10% off beer and food.
- Great Divide. It says “20% off beer and gear,” but when I tried to use the discount I was told it is only valid for beer to-go. But it’s still a good deal if you want to pick up some beer on your way out.
There are also plenty of other deals on the site worth checking out. If you go out often, you will save big bucks with your AHA membership. Just be sure not to lose your card, like I just did. 2-3 weeks before my new one arrives. Who ever could have foreseen…someone who drinks copious amounts of beer, trying to keep track of a little piece of plastic for a whole year, and fails?! But I’m sure you all will do a better job of that than me. If you want to save lots of money on beer, join the American Homebrewers Association today!