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Old 09-24-2008, 03:41 PM   #1
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Default Starting a University Homebrew Club

I'm wondering if anyone has had experience with setting up a homebrew club at their college or university?

I know a few professors that brew, in fact they are the ones that got me into this hobby(addiction). I've heard there are other students as well that are into brewing.

I'm hoping by the time I graduate the club can become a "recognized student organization" (which means club finding). However one issue I'm rather unsure of is underage members.

Does anyone have any suggestions? The closest school I've found that has a homebrew club seems to be UIUC - https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/ro/www/Bon...rgicalZealots/

Of note, I'm a student at Missouri S&T(formerly University of Missouri: Rolla, formerly Missouri School of Mines).

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Old 09-24-2008, 03:51 PM   #2
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I started an official university homebrew club at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee my senior year. I didn't have much time and it never developed past a few gatherings and a group of guys brewing together, but the ground work was laid. I called it the Amateur Collegiate Brewers at UWM. My plan was to try and spread the club to other universities to promote the hobby and the beer industry in general.

My idea was to bring all disciplines into the club. For example, business model competitions, marketing plans, art work (labels), and of course brew science and engineering for equipment. I drafted a waiver that all members had to sign to join stating their age with their driver's license number and a copy of their driver's license as proof of age. We allowed underagers to participate in all non-brewing activities but strictly enforced our bylaws concerning alcohol to avoid serious legal problems.

My student senate was totally behind me and even approved $15,000 of school resources to build an on site student brewery. However, before I got the check, our legal dept. got wind and stepped in. Risk management disapproved and I was mired in a legal debate with the school. I was not able to resolve the issues before I graduated and the club has since died.

If you start this as a Junior or at least have a full year to devote to building the club infrastructure this could become a legitimate nation wide thing, which would be awesome! I contacted all my local brewers and they were all very inthusiastic to help in any way they could. I would suggest trying that.

I will send you any info I can find tonight at home. I may still have some of my proposals and whatnot. I know I have my logo and artwork, which were pretty sweet.

Good luck, and PM me if you ever have any questions.

Cheers,
Justin

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Old 09-24-2008, 03:53 PM   #3
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Ohh, that's going to be a real tuffy. Not saying it can't be done, but just reminding you that you are up against a lot. It's not like a horseshoe or debate club . You may always have to operate under a non-official flag. I could (and hopefully am) be wrong.

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Old 09-24-2008, 04:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Alcohol Policy: Recognized Student Organizations

Alcoholic beverages: Recognized student organizations shall comply with all state and federal laws and local ordinances regulating the sale, possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages. It is a violation of Missouri law for any person under the age of 21 to purchase, attempt to purchase, or have in their possession any alcoholic beverages. It is also a violation of Missouri law to sell alcoholic beverages without the appropriate licenses. It is a violation of University regulations to use, sell, purchase, or serve alcoholic beverages on University property unless specifically approved by the Chancellor.

The possession, use, and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages by University-recognized clubs and organizations (RSO's) and at campus events, must conform with policies established by the Board of Curators, the Missouri University of Science and Technology, local ordinances, and state law. (This includes clubs, organizations, and campus events that include but are not limited to, professional societies, academic honoraries, athletic teams, service, departmental, and social organizations, and booster club and alumni events.)

Consumption and purchase of alcoholic beverages by minors (people under the age of 21) and selling or giving alcoholic beverages to minors is prohibited by law.

Alcohol shall not be a part of new membership recruitment programs.

A risk management seminar (e.g. discussion of alcohol policy, alcohol education, low-risk partying, confrontation and intervention skills, referral resources, and liability issues) will be provided by the University. Representatives of recognized student organizations that have events which include alcoholic beverages will attend these semi-annually. Faculty advisors will be encouraged to attend. Other RSO's and their advisors must sign a form stating they are exempt from this requirement and return it to the Department of Student Life at the beginning of each semester.

Alcoholic beverages may not be provided as awards.

This is your Alcohol Policy for Student Organizations.

Given that your org. will be about alcohol, I would expect some negative or harsh feedback. I would contact several of your faculty members that are interested in homebrewing and the scientists that study areas related to homebrewing. I have met a microbiologist that loved the science behind fermentation. Support like that will help you go along ways as they have more "merit' on campus than students.

I have bolded the regulations that would/could give you problems. First, I would schedule a meeting with the Chancellor and present your idea with written proposals, guidelines, internal regulations, and a rough draft of your org's mission statement. Also provide a signed letter from each faculty member that is willing to support your group.

The second bolded line is too vague and could be interepreted as "membership is strongly related to alcohol". Would this mean that prior understanding or experience would prohibit membership? I would probably petition that this line be more clearly defined.


Finally, I think this is an AWESOME idea and should be strongly pursued.


Good luck
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:09 PM   #5
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I'm thinking that second line has something to do with our St. Pat's organization that used to not be a recognized student organization. I should ask for clarification on that to be sure it is just an anti-hazing regulation.

Thanks for finding that so quickly, our campus is dry so I figured any meetings where people will bring in brews to sample were going to have to occur off-campus.

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Secondary 3 - Malkore's Not So Ancient Orange Mead(2.5 gal)
Secondary 4 -
Gallon Fermentor - Joe's Ancient Orange, Joe's Quick Grape Mead, Pomegranate Mead
Bottled/aging - Sunshine Wheat Clone, Fat Tire Clone, Hard Cider, Scotch Ale, Orange Blossom Sweet Mead
Coming soon... - Weizenbock, Belgian Wit, Apfelwein
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:30 PM   #6
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Yeah, pretty much all colleges are like that. I am 100% positive that a local brewery or brewpub will donate space for your group. My local brewery donated for us, and the head brewer even offered to do seminars for us. I never got that far, but that info was very impressive to the pencil pushing types at the University.

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Old 10-11-2010, 11:21 PM   #7
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Dear Justin,

Your story was great too bad you could really never get the club to kick off as you really hoped. So I must say I am interested in attempting at starting an unofficial club at my university that is revolved around home brewing. I have some experience in the field, but I know it is a daunting task. I would expect that contacting local breweries would be a great way to start. But since you have had some experience with this, I was wondering if you could just give me some pointers or suggestions. I know this will take a lot of behind the scenes work and I am willing to put forth that effort, but since you have already gone through this maybe you could give me some guidelines. Thanks for the help.

Garrett

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Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
I started an official university homebrew club at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee my senior year. I didn't have much time and it never developed past a few gatherings and a group of guys brewing together, but the ground work was laid. I called it the Amateur Collegiate Brewers at UWM. My plan was to try and spread the club to other universities to promote the hobby and the beer industry in general.

My idea was to bring all disciplines into the club. For example, business model competitions, marketing plans, art work (labels), and of course brew science and engineering for equipment. I drafted a waiver that all members had to sign to join stating their age with their driver's license number and a copy of their driver's license as proof of age. We allowed underagers to participate in all non-brewing activities but strictly enforced our bylaws concerning alcohol to avoid serious legal problems.

My student senate was totally behind me and even approved $15,000 of school resources to build an on site student brewery. However, before I got the check, our legal dept. got wind and stepped in. Risk management disapproved and I was mired in a legal debate with the school. I was not able to resolve the issues before I graduated and the club has since died.

If you start this as a Junior or at least have a full year to devote to building the club infrastructure this could become a legitimate nation wide thing, which would be awesome! I contacted all my local brewers and they were all very inthusiastic to help in any way they could. I would suggest trying that.

I will send you any info I can find tonight at home. I may still have some of my proposals and whatnot. I know I have my logo and artwork, which were pretty sweet.

Good luck, and PM me if you ever have any questions.

Cheers,
Justin
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:20 AM   #8
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I would love to help in any way I can. The real key is to make a professional and "grown up" presentation. The old nervous types in the U will think you just want to make hooch and get drunk. You have to sell it as a legitimate activity of responsible people.

Get some legitimate people to advocate for you. Local brewers, marketing people (if you want to bring that aspect into it), faculty, etc. Dress nice to meetings, and write your forms out well.

I can help with writeups etc. if you want. PM me and we can swap email addresses.

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Old 10-12-2010, 02:37 AM   #9
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Get support from the biology department. My wife thinks this is like an over blown high school science fair project. I have to admit, that is some of the appeal....

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Old 10-12-2010, 02:57 AM   #10
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There is a guy on here that started one at Ohio University. Not sure on the username.

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