"beer. it's the best damn drink in the world."
-jack nicholson



Constitution of the Joliet Brewers Guild


***Submitted to guild for ratification 01/11/2017***


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Article One

Section 1. Name

The name of this organization shall be the JOLIET BREWERS GUILD, hereinafter to be referred to in this document as “the Guild.”

Section 2. Purpose

The purpose of the Guild shall be to encourage all members to:

Increase their skills and knowledge as brewers and beer enthusiasts;

Promote the dissemination of knowledge in the art of brewing;

Encourage and reward individuals dedicated to the brewing arts;

Educate the beer connoisseur in identifying the components of beers;

Foster the responsible use of the products of our craft; and

Celebrate the fruits of our labors.

Section 3. Membership

The membership of the Guild shall be open to any person of legal drinking age who enjoys fine beers, either by making their own or by enjoying the work of others.  Full membership is granted to persons paying the requisite yearly fee as described in our By-Laws.

Section 4. Headquarters

The headquarters of the Guild shall be the Chicago Street Pub, 75 North Chicago Street, Joliet, IL 60432.

Article Two


Section 1. Supreme Law

All legislative and executive powers shall be given to and controlled by the Inner Circle, which consists of all of the elected officers of the Guild, as described below, and shall serve as the board of directors.

Section 2. Elected Officers

The elected officers of the Guild shall be: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Technology Director, Competition Director and Sergeant-At-Arms.

Section 3. Term of Office

Each officer’s title, position and responsibilities shall be held for one year, commencing upon completion of the March elections, terminating at the completion of the March elections the following year, unless said officer wins their office by vote or by acclamation.  Each officer’s position has term limits, as described below:

  1. No President shall hold the office for longer than two consecutive years.

  2. No Vice-President shall hold the office for longer than three consecutive years.

  3. No Secretary shall hold the office for longer than two consecutive years.

  4. No Treasurer shall hold the office for longer than five consecutive years.

  5. No Technology Director shall hold the office for longer than three consecutive years.

  6. No Competition Director shall hold the office for longer than three consecutive years.

  7. No Sergeant-At-Arms shall hold the office for longer than four consecutive years.

Section 4. Removal from Office

Any officer, as determined by a majority of the Inner Circle, found not performing his/her duties, may be removed from office, subject to the approval by a majority vote of the membership at the next membership meeting following a report from the Inner Circle to the membership.

Section 5. Vacancy of Office

Any interim vacancy on the Inner Circle shall be filled by appointment by a majority of the Inner Circle.

Section 6. Returning of Guild Property

All elected officers and any members, upon completion of their term in office or assignment, shall return to the Guild any and all papers, documents, pertinent passwords, account information and property deemed to be important to the operation and history of, and belonging to the Guild. Failure to comply may result in expulsion from the Guild and civil action if deemed necessary.

Article Three

Duties of Elected Officers

Section 1. President

The duties of the President shall be as follows:

  1. To uphold the Constitution and By-Laws of the Guild.

  2. To set the theme and agenda for the meetings.

  3. To call meetings to order and conduct them in an orderly manner.

  4. To call for special meetings when necessary.

  5. To form committees when necessary.

  6. Shall be an ex officio member of all committees.

  7. Shall have no vote on motions made at membership meetings and/or Inner Circle meetings, except to break a tie.

  8. To issue memberships cards.

Section 2. Vice-President

The duties of the Vice-President shall be as follows:

  1. To assist the President with his or her duties.

  2. To maintain a current roster of active and former Guild members.

  3. To present certificates of achievement.

  4. To arrange to have occasional guest speakers and/or demonstrations at membership meetings.

  5. If the President is absent from a meeting, the Vice-President shall assume the President's power for that meeting.

Section 3. Secretary

The duties of the Secretary shall be as follows:

  1. To take the minutes of Inner Circle meetings and membership meetings.

  2. To maintain a file of all minutes.

  3. To submit minutes for publication.

  4. If the President and Vice-President are both absent from a meeting, then the Secretary shall chair the meeting.

Section 4. Treasurer

The duties of the Treasurer shall be as follows:

  1. To administer the Guild’s finances.

  2. To collect and document monies owed to the Guild.

  3. To manage the Guild’s financial accounts and arrange to have the President and the Treasurer to have check signing authority.

  4. To reimburse expenses incurred by members on behalf of the Guild.

  5. To submit a report to the Inner Circle on a quarterly basis, or when requested by the President.

Section 5. Technology Director

The duties of the Technology Director shall be as follows:

  1. Research, design and maintain the club’s online presence. The site shall contain news and scheduling information, archives of recipes, photos, newsletters and other items deemed pertinent.

  2. To promote the Guild to the media and the public at large.

  3. To maintain a digital scrapbook of the Guild's history and events.

  4. To assist in Guild publications, including, but not limited to, the Guild’s website, monthly emails, newsletters, posters, flyers, etc.

Section 6. Competition Director

The duties of the Competition Director shall be as follows:

  1. To arrange and organize the Guild competitions.

  2. To oversee the competition prizes that the Guild may offer for our competitions.

  3. To notify the Guild of upcoming outside competitions which have been deemed relevant to the Guild’s interests.

  4. To promote and assist Guild members to become BJCP-certified judges.

Section 7. Sergeant-At-Arms

The duties of the Sergeant-At-Arms shall be as follows:

  1. To ensure that the Guild headquarters is set up appropriately before the meetings and cleaned up at the end of the meetings.

  2. To organize membership drives.

  3. To proctor nominations and elections.

  4. To maintain the inventory and disperse of club gear, e.g. t-shirts, hats, glasses and more.

Section 8. Chief(s) of Staff

The unelected and optional position of Chief of Staff is designated for member(s) approved by the Inner Circle who are needed to actively participate in / assist with the governance of the club. They shall have no official authority or duties except those prescribed to them by the majority of the Inner Circle.

Article Four


Section 1.

A voting quorum at a membership meeting shall be no less than twenty percent (20%) of the membership in good standing as reported by the Vice-President at the last Inner Circle meeting previous to the membership meeting where a vote(s) is (are) to be taken. A quorum at an Inner Circle meeting shall consist of one half of the Inner Circle plus one.

Article Five

Election of Officers

Section 1. Eligibility

Any person who is a member in good standing with this Guild may run for an elected office.

Section 2. Nominations

Nominations will open at the February membership meeting and will close at the same meeting before balloting commences. The method of collecting nominees' names shall be done at the discretion of the President or whoever is chairperson at the February meeting.  Each potential nominee must be seconded by another Guild member in good standing.  If no other candidates are presented for each position at the February meeting, then the singular candidate for that given position wins the office position by acclamation and is thus sworn in to their respective office at the March meeting.  If no one is nominated for an open position, the Inner Circle shall declare a Vacancy of Office and will appoint a member in good standing at the March meeting.

Section 3. Balloting

A secret ballot election shall be held at the March membership meeting if necessary. Only members in good standing may vote. Absentee ballots will be emailed to all members in good standing within one (1) week after the February meeting and will be accepted in person by the Sergeant-At-Arms or via email to the Sergeant-At-Arms preceding the election, but these votes will only be tallied if the vote count is close enough that the number of absentee ballots could change the election results.

Section 4. Tally

The President shall form a committee of three members not running for office to tally the ballots. After tabulating the results, the committee shall submit a report to the President immediately thereafter. The new officer(s) for each office shall be that person(s) with a plurality of the votes for that office. In the event of a tie, a game of “rock, paper, scissors” (best three out of five matches) will be played between the tied candidates and the winner of that game will be declared the winner.  A candidate may request an official recount of the ballots, and if a recount is requested, then the Sergeant-At-Arms will form a committee of three different members not running for office to tally the ballots.

Article Six

Installation of Officers

Section 1. New Officers

After the yearly election, outgoing officers will begin a one month outgoing transition.

Section 2. Officers Filling Vacancies

Any officer filling a vacancy shall be installed at the meeting at which the membership voted its approval.

Section 3. Oath of Office

All officers must take their respective Oaths of Office as they are elected.  The respective Oaths are as described below:

  1. Office of the President: “I, [name of elected President], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution and By-Laws of the Joliet Brewers Guild against all other homebrew clubs, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation and currently possessing a reasonable amount of sober judgment; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me Charlie Papazian.”

  2. Office of the Vice-President: “I, [name of elected Vice-President], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of Vice-President of the Joliet Brewers Guild, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and By-Laws of the Guild, while keeping the complaints about our current President to a minimum.  So help me Charlie Papazian.”

  3. Office of the Secretary: “I, [name of elected Secretary], do occasionally swear, but not around children if I can help it, but anyway, yes, I will faithfully execute the Office of Secretary of the Joliet Brewers Guild, and vow to take good notes of all meetings and will do my best to make it sound like we’re not a bunch of drunken sots.  And I will not get the President his coffee.  I’m not that kind of secretary.  So help me Charlie Papazian.”

  4. Office of the Treasurer: “I, [name of elected Treasurer], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of Treasurer of the Joliet Brewers Guild, and will keep careful track of all inlays and expenses, and will not take the Guild’s money and blow it on blackjack at the casino.  Or roulette either.  Or craps or that other weird card game with the long wooden paddle.  So help me Charlie Papazian.

  5. Office of the Technology Director: “I, [name of elected Technology Director], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of Technology Director of the Joliet Brewers Guild, and will protect our website and emails against all hackers, foreign and domestic, and will keep all of our passwords safe and written down on a post-it note tacked onto my computer monitor at home.  No, that was a test to see if you would say that.  Stop repeating what I say.  That was a test too.  So help me Charlie Papazian.”

  6. Office of the Competition Director: “I, [name of elected Competition Director], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of Competition Director, and will do my best to ensure unbiased in-house competitions and will put the fear of the Joliet Brewers Guild into any homebrew club that dares to have a competition in these parts.  So help me Charlie Papazian.

  7. Office of the Sergeant-At-Arms: “I, [name of elected Sergeant-At-Arms], ah blah blah blah blah, Constitution and By-Laws, yadda yadda yadda.  Charlie Papazian.”

Section 4. Certificate for Outgoing Officers

All outgoing officers shall be awarded a Certificate of Achievement in appreciation of their terms in office at

the December meeting following their departure from office.

Article Seven


Section 1. Membership Meetings

Membership meetings shall be held on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00pm at the Guild’s headquarters, unless otherwise specified by the President. The exceptions being the months there is a festival or other special event. All members are encouraged to attend these events and meetings.

Section 2. Inner Circle Meetings

Inner Circle meetings shall be at a time and place called by the President. All officers are required to attend and submit a report pertinent to their office.

Article Eight


Section 1. Resolutions

From time to time it may be necessary to modify this Constitution and/or By-Laws. The procedure shall be as


  1. Any guild member in good standing, or committee, or the Inner Circle may write a resolution to modify this Constitution and/or By-Laws. It shall include the reason for the change, the article, the section, the paragraph, etc., where the change will occur, and what the change will be.

  2. If an individual member has drafted a resolution, he/she may present it to the Inner Circle for presentation to the membership or bring it to a membership meeting for presentation to the membership.

  3. After presentation the membership shall vote on whether or not to accept the resolution for consideration.

  4. The resolution shall be posted in the monthly email newsletter after the initial membership approval.

  5. At the next membership meeting, the resolution will be voted on by the paid membership.

  6. A 2/3 majority is required for the resolution to be adopted if it is a change to the Constitution.  

  7. A majority is required for the resolution to be adopted if it is a change to the By-Laws.

By-Laws of the Joliet Brewers Guild


Article One


Section 1. Terms of Membership

Membership lasts one year unless membership is revoked.

Section 2. Dues

Dues of all kinds (membership fees, no-beer taxes) shall be determined by the Inner Circle and approved by a majority of the membership each April meeting if the amounts change from the previous year. Members shall receive a membership card, a neck lanyard ID card, access to the Guild’s emails when published, and will be entitled to any other benefits that come along with membership in the Guild.

Section 3. First-time Members

First-time members may be charged a different due rate for their first year’s membership. The fee shall be determined by the Inner Circle.

Section 4. Returning Members

After one year of membership, dues will be required to continue as a member. Officers of the Guild are not required to pay yearly dues.  All renewals will be counted from the member’s original starting month. Returning members who do not renew shall be placed on an inactive list. If a returning member has not renewed for a period of two years, his/her name shall be dropped from the list.

Section 5. Honorary Membership

The Inner Circle may elect to designate any person an Honorary Member of the Guild for a time period determined by the Inner Circle. Honorary Membership entitles such person to any benefits as determined by the Inner Circle. Honorary membership may be revoked at any time by the Inner Circle.

Section 6. Membership Agreement

The Inner Circle shall codify a membership agreement that is required for all members. The agreement shall outline acceptable behavior and risks assumed by members.

Section 7. Membership Cards

The Guild shall provide to each member a set of cards designating them as a member of the Guild. Each card shall be minimally provided with name and a method to determine the member’s expiration date and member number.

Section 8. Removal of Membership

A member may be suspended or expelled from the Guild for violating the membership agreement.  A majority of Inner Circle members must agree to the suspension or expulsion of any member.  A suspension or expulsion hearing can only be called by an officer and must take place within forty-five (45) days of knowledge of a violation.


Guild Disbursement of Funds

Section 1.

All disbursements of funds exceeding $25 requires approval of the majority of the Inner Circle.  Disbursements of funds of $25 or less may be issued by either the President or Treasurer without the approval of the majority of the Inner Circle at a frequency not exceeding twice per month.  All disbursements of funds must be reported to all members of the Inner Circle by the next Inner Circle meeting or forty-five (45) days, whichever is less.  All purchases must be accompanied by a receipt saved into the financial books or else the disbursement may be denied.  All receipts must be maintained by the Treasurer for a period not less than ten (10) years.

Article Three

Monthly Emails

Section 1. Responsibility

The President shall be responsible for ensuring that the monthly emails are distributed to all members in good standing.

Section 2. Contents

The emails shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Minutes of Inner Circle meetings and membership meetings. Summaries of these meetings will be acceptable.

  2. Articles submitted by members of appropriate length and subject matter, as determined by the Technology Director.

  3. A calendar of upcoming events.

  4. Information about upcoming competitions.

  5. Merchandise news.

  6. Any other beer or brewing related information as deemed appropriate by the President.

Cut-off date for submissions to the monthly email shall be determined by the President.

Section 4. Frequency of Publication

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the President will make every effort to ensure that the monthly email is sent out

no later than seven (7) days before the monthly membership meeting.

Article Four


Section 1. Number of Yearly Competitions

There will be at least three (3) Guild-sponsored competitions per year, one associated with St. Patrick’s Day, one

associated with Oktoberfest and one associated with Christmas / End-of-Year. These competitions may at the discretion of the Inner Circle, may be open to other clubs and may be sanctioned by the BJCP/AHA. Sanctioning of these competitions shall not be a requirement for holding them. Other Guild-sponsored competitions will be prescribed by the Competitions Director.

Section 2. Rules and Awards

The rules and awards for competitions shall be determined on a per-competition basis by the Competition Director (the required monetary amount of each award needing approval from the majority of the Inner Circle) and will be published in the newsletter at least three (3) months prior to the competition.

Article Five

Effective Date

Section 1.

Let it be fair warning on this day, [month] the [day] in the year [year] that at least two-thirds of the members in good standing of the JOLIET BREWERS GUILD have ratified this Constitution and By-Laws and have set forth to rule over all other homebrew clubs in the Chicagoland area with an iron fist. May Charlie Papazian have mercy on their souls.


The Committee Members of the Guild Constitutional Convention

Joel Rakoski

Chris Montgomery

Paul Bidne

Shawn Wonnell

Jason Janes

Doug Cowan

Michael Strle

Don Zelenak

Matt Streibich