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speter 11-30-2011 07:32 PM

Somerset Homebrew Club
 
There are a couple of us in the Somerville (NJ) area thinking of starting a new homebrew club. Are there any denizens of HBT in the area who would be interested?

Bobby_M 11-30-2011 08:10 PM

To be honest, I think the area is saturated with clubs.

WHALES (Woodbridge)
Ferment The World (New Brunswick)
Brew World Order (Sayreville)
The Pale Ales (Princeton)

I'm the president of Whales and we have people coming in from Hillsborough, Bridgewater, etc.

I guess it depends on what the club's focus really is and if it offers something completely different.

speter 11-30-2011 09:40 PM

I don't like NJ traffic. I prefer something more local, especially if I'm going to taste some homebrew.

Bobby_M 12-01-2011 02:48 PM

It takes me about 20 minutes to get to Woodbridge and then 15 to get home. In the grand scheme of brew clubs, that's pretty darned close to you. How many homebrewers live in Somerville? How big of a club do you hope to have?

speter 12-01-2011 06:49 PM

I've run into at least half a dozen homebrewers here without trying. The size of the club is immaterial to me.

As I said, I don't like driving around here that much, especially at night. Others clearly do.

I don't fully understand your objections. I doubt we'd steal any members from WHALES, and I don't see how an additional club would be a bad thing.

Bobby_M 12-02-2011 03:08 AM

I don't have any objections at all. I'm just making conversation and posing an opinion that it would probably be tough to get a new one off the ground given proximity to nearby established options. Everyone has their own goals though so enjoy yourself and good luck. The more the merrier.

Dgriff 12-02-2011 01:32 PM

I'm in Flemington and prefer to have something closer

Bobby_M 12-02-2011 02:00 PM

LOL, that's basically what I was talking about. With that kind of attitude, every town would have to have it's own brewclub with 4 members.

Devil's advocate, the primary benefit of a club is to have maximum exposure to different perspectives, brews to sample, buying power, etc. There is a threshold of membership numbers that needs to be reached for this to be realized. Short of that, it's more a casual meeting of a couple brewers. Nothing wrong with that either but I'm throwing out a perspective from a larger club.

JustLooking 12-02-2011 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby_M (Post 3535637)
With that kind of attitude, every town would have to have it's own brewclub with 4 members.

That actually sounds like a good idea. Kind of like the local pub in every town of yesterday. And it's something that could compliment the larger clubs if members belonged to both a small local and larger regional club.

Dgriff 12-02-2011 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby_M (Post 3535637)
LOL, that's basically what I was talking about. With that kind of attitude, every town would have to have it's own brewclub with 4 members.

Devil's advocate, the primary benefit of a club is to have maximum exposure to different perspectives, brews to sample, buying power, etc. There is a threshold of membership numbers that needs to be reached for this to be realized. Short of that, it's more a casual meeting of a couple brewers. Nothing wrong with that either but I'm throwing out a perspective from a larger club.

Attitude??? No attitude whatsoever….more of an opinion, which I am sure you are referring to. ;)

You do realize that there a lot of home brewers out there that do not belong to clubs for various reasons? I know several as a matter of fact, who I actively brew and drink with. Reasons….Some due to distance, bad experiences, lack of time or simply social disorders. Distance, in my opinion is the main issue here….especially in NJ, where travel is more difficult than it is in Southern Virginia (for example, where I recently moved from). It does not really benefit me (personally) to drive and hour each way to Woodbridge from the Flemington area to attend a meeting at 7pm on a Monday evening.

Just my opinion but I think NJ’s denser population has more home brewers per square mile than many other areas. Look at California, there are over 80 clubs and growing. A possible reason why I think craft beer is much more popular on the Left Coast and IMO much better breweries out there as well.

What is the problem with growing the hobby? Quality advice, techniques, and camaraderie over a giant club where maybe ½ the participants show at each meeting.


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