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Problem with club growth in VA

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We have a small homebrew club named the Trainwreck Brewers in Danville, VA.  We were experiencing decent growth with our involvement in the local beer festival, discounts at the local craft beer shops, and a permanent meeting location in a building next door to one of the craft beer shops in town.  The building was also owned by the owner of a craft beer shop and actually had an open entrance into the shop itself, but because of the seperate address, it didn't affect their ABC license.  We had about 15-20 active members and seemed to be getting a new person about every month.  Since that time, the craft beer store has changed owners and the current ownership has other plans for the meeting spot.  We haven't been able to secure a new permanent meeting spot despite interest from many local merchants and businesses in the area. The Virginia ABC has told them it would affect their current ABC license.  Because of this, we meet at different members houses each month.  Active membership has dropped down to about 6-8 and we haven't seen a new member in a long time. I have heard this is a common problem, but I sent out an email to all of the listed homebrew clubs in VA with only 1 response.  I was wondering if anyone had any insight into this issue, especially in VA.

It may help if you just don't bring homebrew to all of your meetings.  You can do every other meeting at a bar and talk/drink beer, and the rest of the time you meet at someone's house and sample homebrew.

The best option for the long term is to work to get the law changed to allow homebrew to be taken to private tastings.

Bruce B:
Looking at the BJCP scheduled competition page I'm seeing two competitions currently scheduled in VA.  One is in Lynchburg which according to Google Maps is about an hour away from Danville.  Here is the web site for the competition -  Since they will need a hall or location of some sorts to host their event I'd suggest reaching out to these guys and ask them how they're handling it. 

One other suggestion - try exploring other types of facilities like banquet halls, community centers, VFW posts, and church halls.  These places might also have the appropriate licensing needed to host your meetings.

Thanks for your responses.

Jimmy K:
Maybe you could find a restaurant without a liquor license to host. I'm assuming that the problem is with bringing unlicensed alcohol into a licensed place, so a place with no license might not need to worry. Granted, those locations might not be "cool" locations for a meeting and they probably aren't common anyway.


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