The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Is this the end of SOBA?

Rumour has it that SOBA, the Society of Beer Advocates, may be shutting down.

Set up in 2008 to educate, promote, and advocate for the appreciation and responsible consumption of quality beer, a number of issues in recent years have impacted its financial ability to continue operating.

Beer writer Michael Donaldson said a falling membership base, rising admin costs and a lack of volunteers has impacted the organisation and a number of announcements have been made recently on their website, including a pause on memberships.

“Following a productive national committee meeting on Tuesday, July 18th, a decision was made to temporarily pause accepting membership renewals, starting immediately,” said a statement.

“Considering the current financial climate, the committee is actively evaluating the feasibility of running a volunteer-led society. As the committee works through this process, we welcome comments and feedback from our members.”

They have also launched a much simpler website, saying the previous website was identified as the single highest monthly cost to SOBA.

“The ongoing price of this website was simply not sustainable and played a big part in our high operating costs.

“As part of the financial review, it was agreed to end hosting of the previous web service in favour of a more cost effective and modern site.”

No official announcement about the future of SOBA has been announced as of August 28, 2023.

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