• The Knights of the Mashing Fork (herein “knights”, “club”, "guild" or "KotMF") is a group of homebrewers who are passionate about making and enjoying beer. The knights are a modern day incarnation of the first brewer’s guild founded by Gambrinus, the patron saint of beer.
• KotMF is governed by democratic rule and there will be no head of the guild. Posts may be created to designate certain responsibilities such as Public Contact or Webmaster.
• In general, these codes outline how the club should function. Often, we deviate from the rules and are flexible. However, we have learned from past experience that written rules should be outlined in case there is ever any disagreement among members.
• Required Dues must be paid (See Guild Funds)
• Members will not be excluded based on age*, sex, race, class, brewing experience, or style of brewing (extract or all-grain). *Members must be at least 21 years of age, or otherwise allowed to manufacture and consume alcohol according to US federal law and the laws of the state of Connecticut.
• All members must actively homebrew and make at least one batch a year that is not a guild or other group-brewed beer. All members must remain reasonably active in the guild.
• Resignation: Members may voluntarily leave the guild at any time by telling the Club Contact Person or Webmaster. Members who resigned voluntarily must relinquish any property or funds belonging to the guild and can keep their e-mail address. They will not retain access to any secure information on the website.
• Termination: Members may have their membership terminated for any reason by a majority vote of the current KotS members. Members who were voted out of the guild are not eligible to reapply for membership and must relinquish all property and funds belonging to the guild. Terminated members will not retain their e-mail address or access to any secure information on the website.
• There will be three tiers of membership:
§ Knights are allowed to attend or participate in all club functions and represent themselves as KotMF. This includes: Club Brews, Club Grain Buys, Pub Crawls, Meetings/Events, Competitions, etc...
§ Knights are not guaranteed wort from club brews nor have ownership rights to the club brew system. See the Club Brew section for reserving wort.
§ Members will receive access to a Knights-only section on the forum.
§ A new member will be given a guild nickname beginning with ‘Sir’, and appropriate website access.
2. Keepers of the System (KotS)
§ Due to the brew system size, KotS membership is limited to eight members.
§ The system buy-in is required (See Guild Funds). This guarantees reserved wort up to a week before the brew. See the Club Brew section.
§ Members must live within a 50 mile radius of Hartford, CT
§ Members must maintain a high level of personal brewing and club participation. Those who cannot may be dropped to the ‘Knight’ membership level.
§ Membership is granted by invitation only through unanimous approval by the current KotS members.
3. Honorary Members: Are determined as needed by KotS. This may include former members, brewers not in the local area, or other people. Honorary members do not have to pay dues and are not given any special rights. They can be invited to events as appropriate.
• Knights and KotS will pay annual membership dues. Dues are collected annually after the yearly planning meeting. The amount will vary depending on the determinations made at the meeting (typically $20-40)
• Members who are overdue on membership dues can be barred from guild events until their account is in good standing.
• Dues are not pro-rated and are not refundable.
• Keepers of the System buy-in:
o An additional one-time, non-refundable system buy-in of $150 is required. (This can be split into 2 payments over 2 years)
o This money goes towards the upkeep, operation, and upgrade of the club brew system.
• Club funds can be used for:
o Brew system repairs and upgrades.
o Promotional items. (Banners, business cards, resale items)
o Website hosting and domain fees.
o Subsidies for educational sessions. (Max $20 per event)
o To help defray costs for club-sponsored public events. (Max $60 per event)
• Non-critical issues can be brought up and decided on via the club's online forum by all membership levels.
• Modification to these codes, monetary issues, or items pertaining to the brew system are made by a majority vote of KotS Members.
• KotS level membership changes will be made by unanimous vote of KotS Members.
• Members who are not present during a vote may state their position in the two weeks prior to the vote. If a current member does not vote by the date the vote is held (provided proper notification was given), their vote will not be counted.
• Members-only meetings (Knights and KotS) will be held on the first Thursday of every month to conduct guild business or as social events. Members can meet any time prior to, but cannot conduct official business before, 6:00 pm EST. Guests can be invited as appropriate.
• The November meeting will be a yearly status meeting attended by members only and will include planning the next year's calendar. That will be the only event with mandatory attendance for members (with reasonable exceptions for work and family obligations).
• Monthly Club Events: are held once a month on the weekend. These include the club brews or other events. Venue and any topics will be decided on the forum.
• When possible, it's expected that members will bring their own homebrew to events to share and get feedback.
• Grain buys should be held at least once a year (usually March and September). People MUST be Knights to participate in the grain buys.
• All KotS members must own a share of the system. New KotS members will buy in to the system as outlines in "Guild Funds."
• KotS members leaving the club or downgrading their status will not get this buy-in money refunded to them.
• The system is open for use by all guild members outside of club functions as long as it is scheduled with the person currently in possession of the system. In this situation, members must completely fund all expendables including propane, cleaners, and ingredients. Any items damaged during a private brew must be replaced by that member (unless it was in a progressive state of deterioration as determined by the KotS members) and it must be cleaned and left in better condition than which it was found. A KotS member must be present for the entire duration of the brew day.
• KotS members will take turns running each club brew, often pairing up.
• Brews will be run as outlined on the forum with consideration given to capacity and pricing.
• Brews conducted on the system should be made so that all KotS members can take home 5 gallons of wort (40Gals if 8 members). Wort will be claimed in the following manner:
1. Attending KotS members (1st ferm) (Can reserve wort at any point)
2. Attending Knights (1st ferm) (Can reserve wort, if remaining, the week prior to the brew.)
3. Participating Guest (1st ferm)
4. Absentee KotS (1st ferm)
5. Absentee Knights (1st ferm)
6. Attending Guests (1st ferm)
7. Extra KotS
8. Extra Absentee
9. Extra Guests
• Non-Club Competitions: Members may enter their beers into homebrew competitions under any guild/club/group they are affiliated with, or no group at all, except for Guild brews. Any brew that was made at a guild event (even on another system) or brewed on a guild system must be entered with the “Knights of the Mashing Fork” as the club and the host(s) and entrant as the brewers. The person(s) who pays for the entry of the beer will retain the ribbon and prizes.
• Club Competitions: are no longer anonymous. Members are expect to judge the beers on their own merit without regard for who brewed them.
• Chivalry: All members will respect each other’s opinions even when they disagree with each other. No one shall personally attack another. Every member, when representing the guild, will conduct themselves in a reasonably civilized manner. This is especially so when dealing with people in other homebrew clubs, brewing organizations, and beer competitions. Each member will, to sensible extents, protect the honor and safety of other members. This includes, but is not limited to; making sure everyone is able to drive home safely.