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Old 07-14-2010, 05:36 PM   #1
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Default Should I start or join a brew club?

Let me read the disclaimer before the discussion starts. I enjoy brewing quite a bit. I also enjoy the company of other brewers plenty enough. However, I am unsure what the benefits of actually joining a club are. Plus, I don't know that I would be able and willing to commit to one night a month for a club.

I recently found out that there are at least 5 different people homebrewing in my small town. I'm sure that if I included the nearby town(s), we could have enough people interested in brewing to consider creating a club.

I'm just not sure if it would be practical for me. I get tons of info here, and I can interact with members on my own schedule, and from far away places.

But I also feel the desire to help out other who may be beginning, and to learn other techniques first-hand, and to work with others to create community brews. Also, I hear that clubs often get together and share beer and discuss it's qualities (or lack thereof..)

So what's it like being in a club?

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Old 07-14-2010, 05:40 PM   #2
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I share your thoughts exactly. I have often wondered the same thing.
If you lived closer, we could start our own "should we start/join a club" club.

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Old 07-14-2010, 05:41 PM   #3
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Actually being able to hand someone who cares as much about the hobby as you do is wonderful. You'll get good criticism and suggestions, not just 'I like it!' The group brews are fun too (steinbier like a mother****er). Group buys are a possibility, and also I just like getting together once a month and hanging out with like-minded individuals. Maybe you have enough friends already. I'm shy.

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Old 07-14-2010, 05:52 PM   #4
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I would suggest attending a meeting of the existing clubs and see what you think of it.

I went to one "real" club meeting shortly after moving to NC and it really just wasn't for me. Too much structure, dues to pay, etc. I even managed to piss someone off by making a comment about the smell of his beer (a vanilla stout) reminding me of my grandfather's pipe tobacco.

I never went back. There seemed to be some large and fragile egos in the room.

Anyway, we've sort of started a very unofficial club here now, mainly foxused on hanging out, brewing together, teaming up for group buys, sharing brews and soliciting feedback, and just having a good time.

No dues. No commitments. No egos.

That system works much better for me and I can't imagine that there is anything the "real" clubs are doing that we can't do with the GRABASS crew.

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Old 07-14-2010, 05:53 PM   #5
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A favorite of mine are group brew days. Everyone gets together on a nice day and brews, drinks, and cooks out.

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Old 07-14-2010, 05:59 PM   #6
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I enjoy the club. Our club has some great brewers and judges. I think it's important to get feedback on your beer from other brewers. It's also great to taste all the great beers that other people have made. Lastly our club has special events and parties that are lotsa fun.

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Old 07-14-2010, 06:24 PM   #7
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I went to the local club for a visit during a group brew around here. Didn't really 'click' with the group and didn't feel they were very friendly. The club culture was very anti-automation. They had 10 or so brews going on only 1 march pump among them. My triple PID stainless Brutus would have been frowned upon.

I've hosted some group brews here and had an awesome time. Not sure if becoming an official club would be any advantage. I'd like to set up a way to communicate better with local brewers around here. I though the NorCal group on HBT would be great, but it's deader than fried yeast.

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Old 07-14-2010, 06:31 PM   #8
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I've been in many clubs over a wide variety of things, and I guess to answer your question it really depends on A. The type of club B. Who's running it C. What rules have been set in place. What I mean by that is some clubs are free, others you pay a fee, and some can be by invite only. by who's running it I mean I've been in clubs where I had to meet a few times a week, help with an event, etc, and sometimes the president of the club was cool if I couldn't do everything and other presidents, not so much. C. Again each club may or may not have rules that you have to follow.

I would say best thing to do is ask, go check them out, and ask questions. The nice thing with technology and the internet is even you can start a club, use FB, twitter, etc, and this way you could dictate the rules and all that. Just my .02

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Old 07-14-2010, 06:31 PM   #9
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A group brew would be a good place to start. I belong to two relatively large clubs, both a long drive away. I don't get to both every month, but I've never been to a meeting I didn't enjoy. Even the time I learned that my van cannot back up a gravel slope without several large homebrewers as ballast.

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Old 07-14-2010, 06:55 PM   #10
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Don't get too down on dues on principle. Maybe they're silly, yeah, but our treasury pays for food for picnics, ingredients for demo brews on Big Brew Day, etc.

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