Saturday, January 9, 2010

Are you a member of a local homebrew club?

Yes (One) - 48%
No (Not Interested) - 29%
No (None in my area) - 16%
Yes (Multiple) - 4%

The results of the poll are pretty evenly split between the Yes's and the No's.  I'm not in love with the idea of homebrew clubs in general, but I think they can be very helpful, particularly for new brewers. They are great places to meet like-minded people, especially if you don't have enough friends willing to come over and drink your beer.  Sharing your beers at a homebrew club is also a great way to get feedback on them, although in general people seem to be much kinder to beers in person than they are when judging a competition (so don't expect a completely honest evaluation). 

I am in the small group of brewers who are members of more than one club.  I am a member of BURP (Brewers United for Real Potables), the big/old/established DC area club, as well as DC Homebrewers one of the newer homebrewing clubs in the country (founded just two years ago).  I enjoy being a member of both of the clubs, but for different reasons.  BURP has some fantastic brewers, and a huge wealth of experience (that said most of the members are pretty style obsessed, and many of the members are a bit slow to warm up).  DC Homebrewers on the other hand has a lot of people just getting into the hobby, there is a lot more creativity and a much more open/social/accepting environment at the meetings (that said since there are so many new brewers the overall quality of the beers is not as good, but seems to be steadily improving).  It is interesting to be in both clubs, getting to take advantage of the effort that has gone into building BURP over the last 30 years, while getting to participate in DC Homebrewers as it takes shape.

If anyone would like to chime in on their favorite aspects of their hoembrew club (particularly how competitions are run because I am going to be the co-chair of the competition committee).  I'd also enjoy hearing from anyone who answered "Not Interested" that has something specific that turned you off to homebrew clubs.

15 comments:

abe said...

i thought this survey left out my own position. i am not a member of a homebrew club but i AM interested. i just have not gotten around to joining one yet. i would think that there are some other people out there in my position. i wish there was a denver homebrew club that met in a more central location...

James Weber said...

Abe- I was actually going to post the exact some comment. I'm hoping to try out 5280 Fermentation club, which meets at Wynkoop on the 3rd Mondays. That's probably as central as you can get.

abe said...

James - do you know where i can find more info about the 5280 Fermentation club? googling it didn't get me anywhere and i'd love to know more.

The Blow Leprechaun said...

I've thought about joining BURP, but really I just don't make enough money to pay dues to a homebrew club. It's hard enough convincing my SO to let me spend money on ingredients.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

DC Homebrewers is free, come to a meeting some time.

HolzBrew said...

I like the idea of a brew club. The problem is my weekends are a little crazy and I brew when I can, not exactly scheduled. That being said I'd like to come out to a BURP or DC Homebrewers meeting sometime in the near future.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

For better or worse most/all of the DC Homebrewers meetings are held on weeknights.

Suburban Brew said...

To Blow Leprechaun, The dues to BURP are cheap. 20.00 for the year. Can't beat that. Hell, you spend more than that with a single trip to the beer store.

Christopher Pepe said...

I am now a member of a 2nd brew club and we'll see if some benefit comes if it. The main club I'm a member of has low dues, only monthly tasting meetings, and 10% off at the brew shop which more than covers the dues. Feedback is pretty generous and not really useful but I pick up some interesting tips and tricks from time to time.

The Blow Leprechaun said...

Hrm, I thought BURP was $20 a month, I guess I misread something somewhere. $20 a year, I can justify.

Although maybe I'll check out DC Homebrewers first as it sounds a little more up my alley.

I finally joined the AHA this year, although not exactly yet... My brother bought me a gift membership for Christmas, and it hasn't come through the mail yet.

Beer Diary... said...

I find that being involved in a homebrew club is very valuable. The feedback is what I look for from the other members but it's true, I do have to prod them a bit to get the honesty. Here's what I said about it awhile back:

http://backyardbrewer.blogspot.com/2009/04/value-of-homebrewing-club.html

mark

what we’re drinking said...

I brewed for several years before I joined a local club--I was initially quite skeptical, but it's been interesting and quite helpful to have actual people to discuss brewing any of my brewing questions and concerns. Knowing what I know now, I should have done it earlier.

Matt said...

Hey Michael, are you coming to the meeting tonight?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I am planning on going tonight.

Mama Moroe said...

Hey all... just wanted to let you know there is a new Homebrew Club in town - with the stated goal of being an anti-homebrew club homebrew club! Just had our first meeting this week -- please check us out. We just all want to get together and talk about our beer, and then drink it. That's the goal. None of the other silly stuff: http://denverhomebrew.wordpress.com/
Like I said - just had our first meeting this week. We'll meet the 2nd Wednesday of every month.

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