Author Topic: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings  (Read 3586 times)

Offline robg2251

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Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« on: January 25, 2010, 04:44:00 AM »
We have a club up and running, but are struggling to find a location to meet.  We've been meeting at a local bar, that has some great Michigan beer on tap, but everyone really wants to sample homebrew - and in Michigan, we have laws about bringing beer into a bar.    We have had it at a couple members houses, but it's not really a consistent thing.   I want to find a location we could meet at monthly, for tastings, meetings, etc. 

Any ideas for a meeting place?  We kicked around a VFW - but the ones we have all have liquor licenses, and we wouldn't be able to bring beer.   

Anyhow, thanks in advance! 

Offline diybrewing

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Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2010, 08:39:31 PM »
You should see if your LHBS will let you host it there? I do that for our local club and they just meet in my store.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2010, 08:49:51 AM »
we meet at our shop, for sure, but it should do you some good to know that Crispy Frey is working there in MI to get the law changed to allow for homebrew club meetings at a licensed establishment.
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Offline babalu87

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Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2010, 07:00:57 AM »
Lucky for us we have two members with nice basement bars and we hold the meetings there on a rotating basis every month.
Once a year we hold a steering committee meeting at the British Beer Works (upstairs) but no homebrews allowed.......might need to work on that though.

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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2010, 08:50:57 AM »
Our club meetings are at member's houses. There is a sign-up at the beginning of the year where members can volunteer to host a meeting. It seems to work well.

Kai

Offline alikocho

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Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2010, 04:07:04 AM »
FWIW I don't feel that people's houses are great places for club meetings. Firstly, if you rotate then it can get confusing. Secondly, there are issues around people you don't *know* coming to your house to drink beer. On one level it can be intimidating for the first timer, and on another opens up a whole realm of potential problems.

I greatly prefer publicish venues for meetings. Much less problematic.  But just my 0.02.
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2010, 06:05:24 AM »
The AABG has been meeting at member's houses for over 20 years.  The members volunteer their home for a meeting, and the locations are put online at our web site.

There are the issues with "strangers" for some homeowners, but here is the issue that has recently made this not work so well.  The club has recently had a growth spurt, and is now over 100 members.  Meetings at a house can be very crowded, to the point that it is not as relaxed as a few years back. 

Other states have laws that allow club meetings in liscensed establishments, and that is why there are people working on getting that changed in Michigan. 
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Offline deepsouth

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Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2010, 10:49:16 AM »
well, since homebrewing is still illegal, we take turns at peoples houses.  it's getting more difficult as the club is growning.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2010, 11:23:15 AM »
The club has recently had a growth spurt, and is now over 100 members.  Meetings at a house can be very crowded, to the point that it is not as relaxed as a few years back.

We are facing the same issues and this has also sparked a discussion among our members.

Kai

Offline MDixon

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Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2010, 04:05:53 AM »
We meet at a restaurant inside an office building which is closed at night. It works well, but they are very particular about how we leave the place and often we'll move a plant a few inches the wrong way and have to smooth things over. Meeting in an establishment where you are paying for things (food, drinks, service, meeting space, etc.) might be preferable since they can clean up any mess and the group can simply leave.

We are also reaching critical mass for the space we have. About 30-40 is a good crowd, anything larger and you stand a strong chance of not sampling a beer. With the downturn in the economy the number of people coming to the club has increased. The trend has remained the same since I joined in 98. When the economy is down, the homebrewing population experiences growth. For the most part people don't immediately quit homebrewing and the club, they simply stop brewing as much...
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2010, 05:00:34 AM »
With the downturn in the economy the number of people coming to the club has increased. The trend has remained the same since I joined in 98. When the economy is down, the homebrewing population experiences growth. For the most part people don't immediately quit homebrewing and the club, they simply stop brewing as much...
I agree with the popularity in a down economy trend.  Of late there is also the impact of the internet coupled with the hobby becoming popular with the 21-30 aged group.  Without any data to back it up, more of our new members are in that age group (of course the Ann Arbor club is in a big University town). 
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Offline wilypig

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Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2010, 07:50:57 AM »
As a member of my local HB club I have been busy trying to build the membership. We used to hold meetings at only members homes but now we have 4 open/public meetings at a local better beer bar. We all purchase a pint on the way back to the meeting room. A bit of an offering for the management and staff helps as well. We pass around some samples after the evenings business and presentation. As a club we sponsor/host/participate in a variety of events that we use as recruiting tools. I like the mix of venues for meetings as it allows us as a club to have the open meetings that are good for the shy types and the comfortable feeling of a friends house. We have several members that expect to hold the meeting at their house at certain times for special annual events. This is a good mix. YMMV
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Offline darkhorse

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Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2010, 07:11:15 AM »
The BURP meeting are held at the houses of members who volunteer.  We meet monthly on a Saturday.  During the cold months, we meet a recreation center or community center in a member's neighborhood.
Steve

Offline bobby_m

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Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2010, 12:42:09 PM »
I think prior to the internet age, it was a lot more important to have regular meeting locations, dates and times so that potential members (and forgetful current members) know where they are going. Now that every club has a website (right? right?) it should be easy enough to publish next meeting locations.

When you have less than 30 members, with 20 regularly attending, someone's basement is fine. If things go well, you'd outgrow it. My club meets at a brewpub but we've come very close to outgrowing those accommodations several times last year.

How about a VFW hall or Firehouse? Someone has to have a family member who is a member of some kind of social club with a clubhouse. Even if you don't, I bet a firehouse would let you use their hall regularly if you leave a case behind.

Depending on what your real estate market is like, once you get to 80-100 members, it may even be time to start talking about leasing a clubhouse of your own. How cool would that be? Bar, movie screen, pool table, FTW.

Realistically, try finding a restaurant that is BYOB and pick a night when they are normally dead. Approach the manager with the idea and make sure everyone orders food.

Bobby

Offline joelambic

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Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2010, 01:58:02 PM »
Of the three Chicago area clubs I'm familiar with, two meet at a bar/restaurant that permits them to bring in outside beers; one permits some commercial beer along with the homebrew but the other only allows homebrew.  The third club rotates meetings at members' houses.