Last Revised: 25 August 2023

Ratified: 5 September 2023

Full pdf of approved by-laws with appendices can be found here.

Article I: Our Goals and Activities


Section I. Our Name

The name of this organization shall be the PENINSULA FERMENTATION SOCIETY (hereafter referred to as "PFS").

Section II. Our mission

Our mission is to share knowledge of the craft and science of fermenting, build our skills as brewers and fermenters, and foster camaraderie focused around a shared enthusiasm for fermenting and enjoying fermented beverages.


Section III. What we do

a. Host club meetings at least once per month.

1. Sample, evaluate, and provide constructive feedback on each other’s beer, cider, mead, and/or wine.

2. Host educational presentations relevant to the creation of homemade beer, cider, mead, wine and brewing in general.

3. Plan special events or projects.

4. Attend to other matters of club business.

b. Arrange and participate in group brewing/fermentation prep days.

c. Hold outings and special events for club members.

d. Encourage and coordinate interaction with brewing-related groups and businesses in the local community and beyond, including exploration of our local craft beer, cider, mead, and wine culture.

e. Encourage participation in homemade beer, cider, mead, and wine competitions.


Section IV. Who we are

PFS is organized as a 501(c)(7) social club with voluntary membership. We foster the making, exploration, and enjoyment of fermented beverages and urge individuals to imbibe alcohol responsibly. We request that members and other participants in club meetings be persons who engage in craft brewing or fermentation as a hobby or have an interest in furthering their knowledge of this hobby.


Article II: Our Members


Section I. Non-Discrimination Clause

PFS, its Directors, Officers, and Membership are prohibited to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religion, creed, ancestry, veteran status, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or gender identity as a prerequisite for membership or inclusion in any club activities or events.

Section II. Regular Membership

a. Persons eligible for Membership shall consist of those persons of legal drinking age as determined by the State of Washington, who are engaged in, or interested in learning about the legal production and/or use of fermented beverages at home. Such persons shall be entitled to membership privileges including receipt of the monthly e-mails, access to private membership groups on social media, use of PFS property subject to controls established by the Club Officers, attendance at the membership meetings or other scheduled membership activities, and shall be entitled to one vote in the affairs of PFS.

b. Membership is attained, and maintained, by paying annual club dues which will be prorated by months remaining in the calendar year from the month in which a member joins the club, current month included.

c. Any member who engages in conduct which interferes with the mission or goals of the club or with execution of club activities may have their membership status reviewed by club officers, with revocation of membership possible if determined by officers collectively to be in the club’s best interest.  Remaining prorated dues will be refunded.

Section III. Guest Membership

a. No rights of membership are granted to guest members, and they shall NOT have voting status. Guests may attend up to TWO monthly meetings as non-voting members. Once a non-member has attended two meetings it is requested that they establish a regular membership to continue participation in PFS events.

1. All guests must sign a waiver of liability prior to the start of each meeting or PFS sponsored activity.

2. Spouses and significant others are considered non-voting members unless they have their own active membership, with a signed waiver of liability on file, and are the responsibility of their host member.

3. Current board members of neighboring fermentation-focused clubs may be granted access to PFS events as non-voting guests beyond two months, upon approval by the Executive Committee, on a month by month basis.

Section IV. New Membership

a. New members will be retained on a three month trial period during which time:

1. They may opt out of membership and be eligible for a pro-rated refund of annual dues based on full months remaining in the current calendar year, current month not included.

2. Their suitability for ongoing membership will be reviewed by PFS officers to determine whether an individual satisfies full requirements for membership based on an individual displaying genuine interest in the hobby of home brewing/fermenting and conducting themselves at PFS meetings and events in a manner that is respectful of others and represents the best interests of the club as a whole.

b. PFS officers may decline to accept a request for membership. PFS membership shall not be denied to any individual solely based on the reasons identified in Article II Section I.

c. A moratorium on memberships may be declared by PFS officers if determined to be in the club’s best interests. Members at large will be consulted prior to such a determination.


Section V. Member Rights and Responsibilities

a. All paid members have a right to vote on matters where a general membership vote is taken.

b. With prior approval by PFS officers, members may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses related to PFS activities.

c. All members are expected to contribute in some way each year to the club’s mission.

d. Only voting membership may participate in internal club competitions.  Non-voting members, as identified in Article II Section III, shall not compete in internal competitions; however, they may participate in judging and evaluation of said competitions.


Section VI. Release of Liability

a. Participation in the club and its activities, in all settings, is entirely voluntary for members and guests.

b. Club activities may include the consumption of alcohol. It is hereby acknowledged that alcohol consumption may affect an individual’s perception, judgment, and reaction time.

c. Through their presence at PFS activities members and guests implicitly accept responsibility for their individual choices and conduct and absolve PFS of responsibility for their personal choices and conduct. By virtue of membership in PFS, individuals agree to hold the club collectively and the officers individually harmless with regards to their choice to consume alcohol and any resultant outcomes pertaining to their alcohol consumption.


Article III: Club Dues


Section I. Amount, payment, and use

a. Membership dues are $30.00, payable annually, to be collected in January yearly from members renewing membership.

b. Members will be given a grace period of TWO months after their membership has expired to renew, after which time they will no longer be considered a “voting member” until dues are paid.

c. Dues will be used to underwrite costs of PFS activities, purchase food or beverages to be consumed at PFS meetings or activities, pay annual club liability insurance, purchase competition awards, purchase gifts for general membership, purchase promotional materials, and purchase PFS apparel to retain said apparel for re-purchase by individual members.

d. The dollar amount of dues may be changed up to once annually, as determined by the executive committee, and approved by at least fifty percent of members in good standing.

Article IV: Governance


Section I. Administration

a. All administrative powers shall be given to and controlled by elected PFS officers unless delegated by the Executive Committee to other members of good standing.

b. No PFS Officer or member of the Board shall receive compensation for any service provided to PFS. The Club Officers shall be empowered to provide reasonable compensation, together with reimbursement for reasonably incurred expenses, for offices or positions not afforded voting privileges for purposes of corporate decision-making.

c. Notwithstanding the mandates of this Article, at the discretion of the Club Officers, members may be reimbursed in an amount determined by the Club Officers for expenses reasonably incurred by them in the performance of their duties.

Section II. Executive Committee

a. The Executive Committee will consist of no fewer than three, and no greater than seven elected board members, chosen annually by the voting membership.  Additionally, the two founding members as identified in Appendix 1 are recognized as permanent voting members of the executive committee, whether they hold an elected office or not, until such time they relinquish the duties.

1.  President (Required)

2.  Vice President 

3.  Treasurer (Required)

4.  Secretary (Required)

5.  Grand Hydrometer

6.  Event Coordinator

7.  Communications Director

b. The Board has a right to establish new positions on an as needed basis to assist in future expansion of PFS Operations.

c. The President has the final say in the event of a split committee vote.

Section III. Club Officer Qualifications

a. Each member of the Club Officers must be of legal drinking age as determined by the State of Washington, be a voting member in good standing in PFS and be active in home fermentation science. 

b. With exception to the initial election of officers, candidates must be a current member in good standing for at least 11 months to be eligible to hold office.


Section IV. Officer Selection Procedures, Terms, and Process

a. An officer position may be filled by any PFS member in good standing who indicates willingness to uphold the duties of that office.

b. The term of service for an officer is one calendar year with terms of service beginning January 1st annually. Officers are not limited in the number of terms they may serve.

c. Nominations for officer positions must be made by the member only.  The members must nominate themselves.  Members may nominate themselves for more than one position; however, they must choose only one position to hold if they win multiple. 

d. Nominations will be finalized in November yearly, with voting completed by the end of December. Members running for office must renew their membership for the next year at the time of nomination to be eligible.

e. All members are eligible to vote within the method(s) and forum(s) designated yearly by officers or PFS consensus for determining votes (e.g., membership present at November meeting, by online forum within a designated time frame, etc.).

Section V.  Resignation of Officers

a. A Club Officer may resign at any time by giving written notice, by personal delivery, regular mail or e-mail to the President or Vice-President. The resignation shall take effect upon receipt of notification immediately.

b. Vacancies in officer positions that occur within a yearly term of service may be filled by soliciting members to voluntarily serve and having a vote among membership, if needed, to designate an officer to complete the current term of office.

Section VI. Club Officer Duties and Responsibilities

a. President (Primary Fermenter)

1. Chairman of the Board.

2. Preside at membership and Board meetings.

3. Shall appoint chairs and members of ad hoc committees as needed and established by the Board.

4. Review the financial records of the club on a regular basis.

5. Uphold the By-Laws of the Club.

6. Responsible for planning and preparing an agenda for meetings of the membership and Board of Directors.

7. Call meetings to order and conduct them in an orderly manner.

8. Oversee the conduct and counting of elections.

9. Act as primary club liaison with American Homebrewers Association, Washington Homebrewers Association, and any other related organizations.  Delegate out liaison roles as necessary.

b. Vice President (Secondary Fermenter)

1. Preside at all board and membership meetings in the absence of the President.

2. Assist the President and perform their duties on their behalf if needed.

3. Maintain and update club name badges for active members.

4. Oversee purchase and distribution of club merchandise, club-related apparel, and club-related promotional material.

5. Collaborate with other officers to plan, oversee, and execute club activities and carry out the club mission.

6. Responsible for assisting the president in planning and preparing an agenda for meetings of the membership and Board of Directors.

c. Treasurer (Keeper of Cash)

1. Maintain record of membership, including names and contact information of members.

2. Manage club funds: Collect membership dues, notify members when their dues are delinquent, maintain bank account(s), disburse reimbursements, and provide treasurer’s reports of income, expenditures, and funds status.

3. Oversee club liability insurance available through American Homebrewers Association.

4. Submit reports on the current financial condition of the club at all board meetings and/or upon request. Prepare the annual club budget showing expected revenues and expenditures for the coming year and present it to the board for approval prior to the annual elections meeting, and thereafter to the membership for approval at the annual elections meeting.

5. Ensure the President, founders and Treasurer have check signing authority to disburse funds as approved by the board.

6. Responsible for filing any tax returns or related forms that may be required and maintains the club’s non-profit status.

7. Collaborate with other officers to plan, oversee, and execute club activities and carry out the club mission.

d. Secretary (Scribe)

1. Record and maintain all club meeting minutes; designate another member to record minutes when unable to be present at a meeting.

2. Publish club meeting minutes in a forum available to all members

3. Chair club meetings in the event both the President and Vice President are absent.

4. Collaborate with other officers to plan, oversee, and execute club activities and carry out the club mission.

5. Monitor status of all waiver of liability forms for guests prior to the start of each meeting or PFS sponsored activity. 

 e. Grand Hydrometer

1. Coordinate and host  the monthly Brew-To Style challenges established on the club calendar, conducted during the monthly meetings.

2. Assist the President in coordination of workshops and demonstrations.

3. When possible, align the club’s Brew-To-Style challenges with local breweries willing to brew the winning entry.

f. Events Coordinator

1. Responsible for coordinating the recruitment of volunteers for events that the club supports.  This will include staffing our club booth and/or recruiting members to help pour beer at festivals and/or organizing on-site brewing demos at these or other events.

2. Responsible for coordinating the food for all in and out meetings and at various club events and to manage the Chairs budget ensuring that it will last throughout the entire year.

3. Maintain a record of all property owned by the club and shall supervise its proper use and safekeepingResponsible for maintaining the required inventory of supplies and equipment (canopies, banners, cups, plates, etc).

g. Communications Director

1. Act as primary point of contact for all incoming emails and social media messages, with authority to delegate resulting action items to the appropriate officers or members.

2. Responsible for communicating news to the club; this will be in the forms of the monthly newsletter, monthly meeting announcements, periodic blast emails to the membership, updates posted to social media sites, etc.

Section VII. Committees

a. Authorization and Powers. The Board shall authorize and define the powers and duties of all committees other than the nominating committee.

b. Appointment. The President shall appoint all committees subject to confirmation by the Club Officers.

c. Authorization to Incur or Satisfy Debts. No committee of this body, or any officer or member thereof shall contract any debts in its behalf, which shall in any manner render the association liable for the payment of same, unless the same shall have been approved by the Board, provided however, that a previously authorized committee may direct the Treasurer to make such expenditures as may be necessary to meet current expenses. 

d. Goal of the Committee. The Board and/or President must have a goal for the committee to achieve.

e. Dissolution of Committee. The Board and/or President can dissolve, reappoint or appoint a new member to the chair of said committee.

f. Committee Updates. A committee member must update the club once a month of the progress towards the goal of the committee.

Article V: Quorums

Section I. Voting Quorums

a. A voting quorum at a membership meeting shall be no less than one third of the active membership as reported by the Treasurer at the last Board of Directors meeting previous to the membership meeting where a vote(s) is (are) to be taken. 

b. A quorum at an Executive Committee meeting shall consist of one half of the Executive Committee, plus one.

Article VI: Amendment of bylaws


Section I. Petitioning for and enacting bylaws modification

a. Any member may petition for a modification of bylaws by notifying an officer of a proposed bylaws change or introducing a proposal for change at a club meeting. A proposed change will be voted on at a club meeting and/or via alternate forum(s) available to all members until it is determined whether an alteration or addition to bylaws is favored or rejected by a minimum 80 percent majority of members. 

b. Exceptions to this rule are as follows:

1. Annual updates to the past officers list in Appendix 1 will be completed by the Club Secretary each year in January.

2. Modification to the Release of Liability (Appendix 2) will be made by the Club Officers as needed based upon applicable law changes and will only require concurrence by at least one half of club membership. 

Article VII: Dissolution of Club

Section I: Dissolution of Club

a. A motion for dissolution may be made by any member and affirmed by at least 50 percent of the present membership during a scheduled club meeting. Upon positive affirmation, the executive committee will notify all active members of the impending vote.

b. The vote for dissolution will be conducted at the onset of the next scheduled club meeting. The vote must be conducted in person. There will be no concessions made for members who cannot attend the meeting.

c. The club may only be dissolved upon the affirmation of at least 90 percent of the active membership, or with no more than one dissenter, whichever number is greater. If fewer members of the active membership required for an affirmative vote are not present at that meeting, the vote will be considered as failed.

d. A vote for dissolution shall not be conducted more than one time during any 12 month period.

Section II: Liquidation of Club-Owned Assets and Funds

a. In the event of a favorable vote for dissolution, all club owned assets will be sold off at fair market value as determined by the Executive Committee, and the funds will be consolidated with the rest of PFS’ monetary holdings.

b. After returning prorated dues to members, all remaining monetary holdings in possession of the club will be evenly dispersed among the active membership pool based upon the total number of months of active membership.