Author Topic: Interesting things for the membership  (Read 6057 times)

Offline dbeechum

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Interesting things for the membership
« on: June 22, 2011, 09:35:30 AM »
What do you guys do to keep the membership interested, involved and entertained?

I was thinking of taking a cue from the BJCP reception rescue from near disaster and see if we couldn't do a Skype speaker at one of our meetings.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Interesting things for the membership
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2011, 09:49:44 AM »
Beer and BBQ of course. One of our local clubs is hosting a Beer and BBQ this coming weekend. Everyone brings their favorite recipes.

A match made in heaven.  ;)  8)
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Offline roxanne

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Re: Interesting things for the membership
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2011, 04:34:55 PM »
We have a variety of activities - some that are standard/repeating, others have a run of a couple of years, and still others are one-time (or once every 5+ years ;)) types of things.  For example:

Our all-keg competition & party (every year for MANY years) and our club only competition.
Brewing challenges like fixed recipe and Iron Brewer (can do for 2-3 years before people burn out).
Technical talks & style nights
Equipment nights (making, showing, swapping are all options)
Name that beer
Anything involving beer & food & families
Brewouts & campouts (complete with secret ceremony)
Mead meetings (disucssion or making a mead, followed by tasting of everything that members bring - designated driver strongly recommended)
Bottle exchange at holiday parties (usually pot luck - AND - a few vertical tasting generally pop up).
Barrel filling get togethers.

I can provide details of any of these for folks who are interested.
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Offline jefflouella

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Re: Interesting things for the membership
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2011, 12:12:09 PM »
We are constantly making our meetings fun, entertaining, and educational. Here are somethings we do.

* We try to get local pro brewers come to our meetings. We have had about 10-12 head brewers come out. They discuss how they started, the brewery process, and things like that. We try to get a brewers beer on tap for the night so we can talk about that beer.
* Hold internal competitions. We hold 3-4 internal competitions a year. Our biggest is our Iron Brewer comp. We also work with the same local brewery's. They give us yeast or a base wort and we have a comp on what we can do with it.
* Have our own members discuss their brew days, equipment, stuff like that.
* Beer Reps. We find it easy to get local Beer reps to come to a meeting. We have about 50 people show up for our meetings. Beer reps love that.
* We have had a rep from White Labs and East Coast Yeast to give up Yeast presentations.
* Beer Trivia

Even with all this, we do hit lulls. It's tough keeping the club fresh and exciting. We are only 3 years old and are hitting these issues. I am sure the older clubs may hit these issues to a larger extent.

Offline denny

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Re: Interesting things for the membership
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2011, 12:19:39 PM »
One of the things that's gone really well for our club meetings is the occasional "Tech Trivia" night.  Formatted like the old GE College Bowl (c'mon, somebody besides me has got to be old enough to remember that!).  Start with a tossup question.  Each team buzzes in (I bring and old synthesizer with sound FX) and whoever buzzes first gets a chance to answer the question.  If they get it right, they get to try to answer 3 more questions.  If they're wrong, the other team gets a shot.   
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Offline olllllo

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Re: Interesting things for the membership
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2011, 12:33:33 PM »
Pro brewer guests have always been a double edged sword.
Sometimes the presentation skills aren't there.
Sometimes their process is un-relatable or the information given is just flat out wrong (mostly the science, not the technique).
Even when the guest is compelling and the information is spot-on, we sometimes hear from the members that we should do more homebrewing presentations. We're a homebrewer club not a craft beer club.

We've set a goal to always have some technical homebrew or style presentation regardless of the guest we bring in. We try to keep the format predictable although we've had some recent challenges in getting this done.
We try to present club business and then always have a link back on our website to continue the conversation or get more information.
We began writing a synopsis of each meeting for the website.

Offline udubdawg

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Re: Interesting things for the membership
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 12:29:17 PM »
Good questions.

My club is a previous AHA Homebrew Club of the Year, but everyone from that time period appears to have moved on.  It devolved slowly and by the beginning of this year seems to have been a drinking club with Saturday meetings scheduled at people's houses at the last minute. 
The experience level seems to be drastically reduced and we even have a sizeable number of people who keep coming to meetings but haven't pulled the trigger and made their first batch yet.
A local soon-to-be-opened brewpub has reached out and seems to offer some hope for the future of the club.  Meanwhile I've tried to add a little structure and have started leading technical/style discussions and have started a small internal competition and tried to get interest in entering AHA club-only competitions.  However there are a lot of people content to stroll in any time during the first hour of the meeting, and drink and share and talk loudly while I'm trying to talk...and while I enjoy the social aspect to some extent, if that's what the club becomes it's not for me.  *shrug*

anyway, there's some good ideas on this thread and I hope to see more!

cheers--
--Michael

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Interesting things for the membership
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2011, 02:40:07 PM »
Drew, you can talk to Crispy about this, but we have done some "Brewolas"

This is where the club will coordinate an ingredient buy for a recipe.  The ingredients are all made into kits for a standard recipe.  The variables are the tap water, procedures, and equipement.  The beers are then tasted, sometimes judged.  The one where we judged in a competition/BJCP type style had about a 20 point swing from top to bottom.  That reinforced that other things besides a list of hops and malt is all you need to make a beer! 
Jeff Rankert
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Offline roxanne

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Re: Interesting things for the membership
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2011, 05:20:00 PM »
Michael - a couple of thoughts.

Schedule some brew days - where people bring their equipment to someone's house and everyone brews together.  Not necessarily the same recipe - but something to encourage the 'brewing' part. You might also be able to do this in the parking lot of your homebrew shop or other places (just like national homebrew day).

We had a time when we had a group of people who were less interested in the topics, and it would be hard for the people who wanted to hear the talk actually hear the speaker.  We just addressed that head on.  Our solution at the time was that we started with club business (mostly announcement - since the real business is usually done at the board meetings) - and everyone listened to that.  When the presentation time came - those who weren't interested in that topic were asked to go to a different part of the room so that those who wanted to listen could hear and ask questions.  The solution worked well (and - most people are now listening to the technical topics :D).  We also have some meetings with technical topics and others where people specifically CAN talk and taste (style nights, etc.) - so we have a good balance of topics.
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Roxanne Westendorf
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Offline bobby_m

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Re: Interesting things for the membership
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2011, 10:42:13 AM »
One of the things our club has done in the last year or so has been to spend some of our dues-generated funds on a club brewing system. In the past when we wanted to do some 60 gallon brewing project, it would be broken into 5-6 distinct systems so there was a built in variation even if it would be bulk fermented or barrel aged. Now we mash and boil in big vessels and we get to play pro brewer for a day.

Offline realbeerguy

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Re: Interesting things for the membership
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2011, 08:14:33 PM »
One of the things that's gone really well for our club meetings is the occasional "Tech Trivia" night.  Formatted like the old GE College Bowl (c'mon, somebody besides me has got to be old enough to remember that!).  Start with a tossup question.  Each team buzzes in (I bring and old synthesizer with sound FX) and whoever buzzes first gets a chance to answer the question.  If they get it right, they get to try to answer 3 more questions.  If they're wrong, the other team gets a shot.   

OK Oregon State for 10 points, who was the host of the College Bowl?
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Offline denny

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Re: Interesting things for the membership
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2011, 09:22:22 AM »
One of the things that's gone really well for our club meetings is the occasional "Tech Trivia" night.  Formatted like the old GE College Bowl (c'mon, somebody besides me has got to be old enough to remember that!).  Start with a tossup question.  Each team buzzes in (I bring and old synthesizer with sound FX) and whoever buzzes first gets a chance to answer the question.  If they get it right, they get to try to answer 3 more questions.  If they're wrong, the other team gets a shot.   

OK Oregon State for 10 points, who was the host of the College Bowl?

Maybe Allen Ludden?
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