Author Topic: How to deter two things at my meetings  (Read 1812 times)

Offline hypobrew

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How to deter two things at my meetings
« on: August 24, 2017, 03:24:52 AM »
One of my clubs is very laid back.  There are also only about 10 people that show up to a meeting.  We meet at a local bar with a great selection of beer and pretty good food. 

Issue 1: As of late a few members (who don't usually bring in homebrew) have been bringing commercial beers to the meetings.  Most of the times they are beer that are not rarities.  This is most certainly could cause a problem with our hosts' liquor license.

Issue 2: There are folks that seem to be in a hurry to go through our tasting list then leave the meeting when we're done. In another word: Moochers.

Our club does not collect dues and has a very loose structure, with three members kind of in charge.  Do you have any ideas on how we can curb this type of thing?


Offline dmtaylor

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Re: How to deter two things at my meetings
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2017, 04:34:49 AM »
Develop structure, like President and Treasurer at minimum.  Charge dues of like $20 to $25 for anyone coming to more than 2 meetings, otherwise pester them relentlessly to pay dues.  And make a rule that no commercial beers are allowed.  My club does this for the first 90 minutes anyway, homebrew only for 90 minutes.  The majority of members will need to agree to make these changes.... But the only members who get to vote are the ones who agree to pay dues!

Problems solved.  :)
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Offline ethinson

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Re: How to deter two things at my meetings
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2017, 04:54:52 AM »
Is there anything else to the meeting besides the "tasting list"? I think you may have mis-typed when you said "they leave when we're done"... is the meeting over at that point? What I'm saying is are their reasons for someone to be there besides drinking beer? Is there an education topic, guest speakers, local brewers etc? Give people a reason to be there.  Obviously, tasting each others beer and giving feedback is awesome, but then what do you do with that feedback? What if someone tells you about an off flavor you don't know about? That's where the education side kicks in. 

I would talk to the people at your host bar about the others bringing beer.  If that's going to mess with their license you should have no qualms about asking them to either not bring it in or leave. Maybe next time it happens have an employee of the bar come over and tell them they can't bring that in there.  If they give an excuse about being with the club or at the meeting then you can enforce a "Homebrew only" rule. The rules of the host are non-negotiable.

Unfortunately there will probably always be people that will "abuse the system" so to speak, but if you focus the club more on homebrewing, and education, and just the club itself in general, those people will drift away as they get less and less interested.  There will be ebbs and flows of membership, the club will grow and then shrink and then grow.. it happens.
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Offline The Beerery

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Re: How to deter two things at my meetings
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2017, 05:43:41 AM »
In our club, that I founded in 2010, we have a Structure and that helps, but we collect a sample fee if you are going to sample. The club buys the cups, so if you want to sample you pay a $1 sample fee that goes back to the club. You also have to be a PAID member to participate in sampling.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: How to deter two things at my meetings
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2017, 07:49:02 AM »
Whoever leads the meetings should have a conversation with these people and tell them if they do not abide by the rules they will not be allowed to continue attending meetings.

Setting up a formal organization and collecting dues is fine if the club intends to more formally organize. Ten people hanging out at a bar talking about homebrew probably gets stifled under a more formal approach.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: How to deter two things at my meetings
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2017, 09:49:10 AM »
The clubs I'm in, when at a retail eatablishment, typically encourage people to buy at least one beer from the host  and to tip the staff by announcing so during the business portion of the meeting.  I think that folks bringing in beer from the outside would  generally not be a license issue, but licensing varies by state and sometimes by county or municipality.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: How to deter two things at my meetings
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2017, 04:54:20 PM »
Tell them it is a homebrewing club, not a drinking club.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: How to deter two things at my meetings
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2017, 05:09:49 AM »
An educational feature that I implemented at my club was to have a short presentation, discussion, and sampling of specific beer styles. This idea came from my old club, North Florida Brewers League and I understand that they got it from KC Biermeisters.

The club purchases and serves a couple of commercial examples at the meeting and our club dues support that purchase. No other commercial beers are allowed since we meet at a local brewery and want our members to buy a beer from them. We encourage homebrewers to share their examples of beers in the style of the meeting, but we also allow any other styles of homebrew to be shared so that they can get feedback.

Conducting our meeting in a relatively quiet location enables the presenters and homebrewers to discuss the beer they share and for the audience to ask questions and comment on the beers. A private or semi-private room is a great asset. 
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: How to deter two things at my meetings
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2017, 03:06:58 PM »
Tell them it is a homebrewing club, not a drinking club.

+1.  Ran into this issue with my local club. One reason why I stopped going to meetings.

Offline 1beerbaron

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Re: How to deter two things at my meetings
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2017, 08:33:42 AM »
So we were running in to this issue in our club.  I was president this year.  I tried to work past it by implementing some structure to the club (we had a board) by adding a few committees and have a structure in the meeting.  In our meetings, any club business is done first, then whatever the meeting topic was, then tasting.  Tasting is always last.  Basically we started forcing people to treat it as a homebrew club rather than a drinking club.  All of the members that homebrew even remotely regularly really wanted that, but didn't know how to go about it.  The members that treated as a drinking club, well they don't have enough commitment to stop the changes.  They just stopped coming.

We charge $25/year.  We had 16-17 paid members this year.  I think you should charge $20-$25.  It doesn't have to be much, but some sort of charge makes people at least a little committed.  This also means that you can only allow paid members to have voting privileges.  Then you end up with at least a bit of money to spend on things.  Most of ours has gone to some commercial beer for style showcases.  We're still working out the kinks, but we're definitely moving in the right direction now.  Most of the homebrewers just need someone to show them that it can work.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: How to deter two things at my meetings
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2017, 09:44:50 AM »
In our meetings, any club business is done first, then whatever the meeting topic was, then tasting.  Tasting is always last.  Basically we started forcing people to treat it as a homebrew club rather than a drinking club.

Hmm, that might be a little hard to take. While I agree that actual business should be done early while all are composed, I'm leery of taking away the fun. Fun or satisfaction is what keeps members coming back. Our clubs do involve the production and enjoyment of fermented beverages, so I wouldn't be too strict in limiting that.

It drives me crazy at my club's meetings when the presenter doesn't serve something early on. While I want to hear what they have to say, I prefer to enjoy a beverage while they're talking!!!!!!

One thing that all of our clubs need to stress is that we MUST act and imbibe responsibly. If attendees are getting sloshed at our events, a leader needs to pull them aside and point out that the club could be destroyed by that behavior. Any of us might occassionally overdo something, but it certainly shouldn't be a goal.
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