You should try and check out a CRAFT meeting*. We're based out of Cap n Cork so the majority of the people there were from our club. We are actually having our next meeting at Sherwood Brewing Company about 1 mile from there on Monday 5/13 at 7pm. You would probably recognize some people from the brew day and could get to know them more. Always nice to meet fellow brewers in the area and in talking with them you always learn new things... I know I'm always still learning. The club does require a $25 yearly membership fee (which gets you a discount at Cap n Cork), though currently the fee is only $13 because the year is half over... People are always welcome to come to one of our meetings for free, we just ask that if you like it and come to a 2nd that you join the club. The funds are used to purchase things like the portable bars, food, etc that was present at the brew day.
Other than that feel free to ask me any questions you might have. Yeah I got the oak barrel back when Adventures in Homebrewing was getting them from Balcones in TX. Currently has a Flanders Red in it.
*Disclaimer lol.... I am the Vice President of CRAFT.