I’m looking to start up a brewing group. At the moment it would be pretty small. I’m just looking for some ideas on getting the ball rolling. I’m thinking of a some sort of rotation brew day thing and like setting up dates for other activities and stuff. Any thoughts?
The local club by me just does monthly “meetings” at one of the local bar/restaurants in their back room. Everyone in the club brings a handful of homebrews or a half growler to share and everyone tries everyone’s brews and just talks about brewing and recipies and whatnot. Periodically people will host newbies on a brew day if they are interested in learning, or switching to all grain, etc. They also have a heavy focus on community and charity stuff which is nice. But i do like the idea of having a rotating brew day where several people get together and brew. I enjoy having friends over on brew day.
Yeah that sounds like fun. I’m looking to expand my brewing adventures and figure a small group could take it to the next step. I love brewing and sharing that with people who feel the same would be great.
Check out the AHA. They have assistance in starting clubs and groups like this.
We have a group of ~10 or so that gets together once a month for a beer tasting. Not everyone brews so it’s usually a mix of homebrew and various craft beer, it’s a good time. We take turns hosting.
Once or twice a year we get together for a group brew of 40 gallons split 8 ways, it’s first come first in for the non brewers. We just did it last weekend, 2 back to back 20 gallon batches of Alt on my 20 gallon setup. Everyone brought beer, had some hot scotchies and ordered pizza, it was a long day but a lot of fun.
yeah it really depends on your objective(s) for the group, but I would definitely second checking out AHA’s resources.
I was a member of two clubs when I lived in Baltimore, each was a good bit different.
-on the real simple end, this is somewhere between a ‘beer appreciation’ group, a sensory analysis group, and a bunch of people drinking together. Get together, bring beer, drink beer talk about beer.
-next level up: start having formal discussions/agendas. Maybe an educational topic (BIAB, kettle-souring, yeast management)
-next level up: informal monthly competitions (one of my clubs had this and it was a blast). Have a comp administrator to whom all entries are submitted and who will pour the beers into a nondescript container for circulation around the club. People taste and evaluate, give feedback, after the scoresheets are collected, the brewer reveals him/herself and talks about the beer. Feedback should be direct but positive. This was a lot of fun and great for me as I was prepping for my BJCP.
-you can also incorporate group brew days. We had fun at these and it was definitely cool to taste the beer later that you made together.
-next level up: start hosting events in the community (tastings, charity events, competitions).
Get it done, the more of these that are around, the better!
Great suggestions everyone!
Not sure where you are, but if there are any local clubs, I would encourage you to check them out to see if they are a fit for what you want or at least to give you ideas for starting your own club. Starting and running a club is a lot of work. If there’s one that meets your needs, I would encourage going that route.
I started a club in May 2014. We had 11 people show up at the first meeting and have since grown to 45 paid members. We are still quite a small club, but we grew far faster than I expected, which forced us to get serious about it faster than I planned to.
In addition to the resources provided by the AHA, there are some great Brewing Network podcasts that go into depth on starting a club. I’d also be happy to answer any questions based on my experience.