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Old 10-18-2010, 03:28 PM   #1
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Default Underground beer dinners

Hey all

Just feeling something out here, wondering if you think there's enough interest. You may have heard about "underground restaurants" popping up across the US. From Wikipedia:

Quote:
Also known as a supper club, is an eating establishment operated out of someone's home, generally (though not invariably) bypassing local zoning and health-code regulations. They are, in effect, paying dinner parties. They are usually advertised by word of mouth or guerilla advertising, often on Facebook, and may require references to make a reservation.
I was thinking of getting something going in my apartment, but with homebrew as the main beverage to pair/cook with. Normally these "underground" restaurants are catering more to the "foodies" than beer geeks, but I think there might be a niche for this. What do you think, would you go to a beer dinner hosted by someone you don't directly know in a place you've never been, and pay money for it?


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Old 10-18-2010, 03:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRLynch View Post
Hey all

Just feeling something out here, wondering if you think there's enough interest. You may have heard about "underground restaurants" popping up across the US. From Wikipedia:



I was thinking of getting something going in my apartment, but with homebrew as the main beverage to pair/cook with. Normally these "underground" restaurants are catering more to the "foodies" than beer geeks, but I think there might be a niche for this. What do you think, would you go to a beer dinner hosted by someone you don't directly know in a place you've never been, and pay money for it?
Your asking for all sorts of trouble, i would not attend becouse i would not eat anything from someone i dont know that is not inspected/licensed. You throw beer into that mix and you've set yourself up for all sorts of federal violations.


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Old 10-18-2010, 03:41 PM   #3
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I would not say anything about this on the largest home brew forum. This is like asking a policeman how good your bag of pot smells...
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:50 PM   #4
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I would do this with friends, but not strangers.

In fact, we had a great dinner party with some friends this past weekend. Not homebrew, though I did bring a pre-bottled sample of my Belgian Golden Strong to pass around. We did have about eight different beers and they all went well with the food served.

But no, I wouldn't go this route with a stranger. ESPECIALLY if you're going to CHARGE someone to come and drink HOMEBREW. What is this, 1928?
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:01 PM   #5
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Charging for food out of an unlicensed kitchen is asking for health code violations, but trying to charge for home-brew is breaking federal law.

On the other hand there's nothing stopping you from inviting a few people to your house and putting out a tip jar
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:05 PM   #6
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Yeah I agree I would not attend something like this. I wouldn't attend it for food either with all the whackos that are in the world.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:31 PM   #7
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Hmm, wow, seems like you guys are a little skittish

As far as being busted for health violations or alcohol, it's extreamly rare. Many chief health inspectors are aware of these "restaurants," but unless there's a complaint about someone getting sick, they don't waste their time.

The money thing is handled in a "suggested donation" format, kind of like club dues. Essentially, this would be a "private" dinner club, with the members being made up of people who either know me, or one of my friends. It may expand farther than that eventually. Some of the bigger underground places have 4000 people on a mailing list, waiting for a spot to open up at 14 person dinners.

I'm not a terrible cook, and I have some friends who work in restaurants that could give me a hand. This would be like a mix between opening up a tiny cafe/brewpub and a speakeasy. C'mon, none of you beer guys are adventurous? Personally I wouldn't mind shelling out $30 for a 4 course meal with beer pairings.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:54 PM   #8
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seems like a cool idea, but wouldnt advertise it of course.

i have been to a underground restaurant once, main corse was shanghai crab, which is banned in the US (there are exceptions). it was a great experience and would have been legendary if there was homebrew.

as far as federal laws, i see it no different than going to a friends house to smoke weed (which i would say almost every college student does).

im not saying to go ahead with your plan, but i like the idea.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:57 PM   #9
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I've heard of groups like this. My opinion in the matter is this:

If it's a for profit group then it's wrong. Now if you and some friends have a weekly meal to disscuss food/beer and everyone pitches in either time or money as it's seen fit then that is your choice. If people invite others and you wish to expand that's your choice.

If your looking to open a restaurant in your house and sell homebrew then it doesn't belong on a forum like this.

Look at I like poker games. If you and your buddies get together every week and play no one is going to come knock on your door. If random strNgers start shoeing up and you start charging a rake then you run the risk of the police showing up as soon as someone gets pissed off.


Either way I would do more research, but by not putting yourself out on the line by asking questions as yeah health inspectors might not care but the police and state and Feds might care if they find out someone is selling homebrew and they are not getting their cut of it
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:57 PM   #10
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Seems like there is always someone on here posting some crazy way to get around the law and charge for their homebrew.

I don't think its a good idea.


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