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Dues for Home Brew Club

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We have been charging $20/yr for individuals for years.  We recently started providing commercial examples of the beer style of the month that are sampled at our monthly meeting.  So now attending the monthly meetings is a way to enjoy the fruits of their dues.  Its a win-win for everyone.  The club shows a definite benefit for membership and membership grows and the meetings tend to get more members there and the activity grows. 

This is the same thing that my old club in Tallahassee does.

Bruce B:
How much are they? - Mostly a quickly copy from our web site - The Beer Barons of Milwaukee is open to anyone 21 years of age or older. Annual dues are $20.00 ($30 family), which are mainly used to cover the cost of producing the clubs newsletter (equipment, insurance, PO Box, etc). In addition, we normally charge a $5.00 or $10.00 fee at each meeting attended to cover the cost of the featured beer style we taste that evening. However, additional fees may be required to cover the cost of higher priced beers such as Belgian Ales or special events such as the annual party in December.
Is it mandatory? - Yes after a 3 month trial.
Do you have an option for those who don’t want to pay dues but want to participate occasionally in club events? Such as paying per meeting or activity. - Officially no.
What do you do if someone who was a paying member doesn't pay after a few reminders? - We keep 'reminding them'.  Eventually they sign up or fade away.
What if they end up showing up at your meetings or events, are they asked to leave? - Officially yes, but realistically no.  They still get their pink wrist band and are 'reminded' that they should officially renew.

Here is a link to the Barons payments page if you'd like to see how we break it down -

It's important to note that our membership does get us discounts at local homebrew shops, brew pubs, and a CO2 gas vendor.

The Falcons are $25 / year and for that you get discounts at the area's homebrew shops and a few liquor stores and some restaurants.

They're payable throughout the year and we try and handle as much as possible via our online store, but we still have the wonderful paper option.

We don't enforce any sort of mandatory "join" period, mostly because we're too lazy to enforce it and most everyone joins us.

We use the dues to fund: our parties, special projects, a commercial beer tasting every month, etc.

Thanks for asking this question, Lager.  Our club also recently started collecting dues.  I will admit that it was a bit of a culture shock for me. That said, the $3/month seemed very reasonable when taking into account our very active web forums, the frequent giveaways [including three free TAPNY beer festival tickets valued at $70 a piece], and the amount of homebrew you get to sample at each meeting.  Plus, we have recently implemented our own version of a "Brewfessor" series.  In speaking with many homebrew club officers at NHC this year, the one major take away I had was that including a brew-centric educational component in each meeting should help keep us a BREW club as opposed to a DRINKING club - which quickly became a problem at another club I'm in.

I also want to give a quick shout out to Bruce B.  Your seminar was a lot of fun at NHC.  I stole your idea and stuffed about 200 brew kits with flyers for our homebrew club at one of the local HBS's earlier this month.  Hopefully, a beginning brewer will open one of these shiny new kits and come play with us if they need some help or company!  I thought it was a great idea and I'll be keeping track of how many new members this brings in to make sure it was worth the time and ~$80 in photocopying fees...   ;D

Bruce B:
No problem.  I hope it helped and goes well for you guys.  The first time I did that our class was in late January and we got about 20 to 25 attendees.


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