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Thread: How Does One Go About Starting A Homebrew Club?

  1. #1

    Default How Does One Go About Starting A Homebrew Club?

    My dilemma:

    I'm the only person I know in this area who makes his own stuff. This cannot be the case in reality, I'm sure. There are no local groups that I know of (local being a relative term -- if I have to travel a long way I'm sure not going to want to sample too many home crafted beverages at get-togethers -- and others would probably feel the same). An additional problem in this immediate area (southern Navajo county, AZ) is that it's a very religious place, Mormon and fundamentalist Christian mostly, where drinking of any kind is considered sinful (even coffee). This is not a dry county, by any means -- the local economy, until very recently, was dominated by the cattle industry, and cowboys are well known for their drinking skills -- but many people here who might have been inclined to pick up a fermenter in years past would have felt social pressure to pursue some other hobby. Consequently, tastes in beer and wine (we won't even mention mead, since, to most people hereabouts, it doesn't exist) are basic; Bud Lite and Carlo Rossi appear to be the two most popular names in the hooch aisles -- along with a wide assortment of "fine malt liquors" in the convenient 40 oz. size.

    Ideas that have sprung to mind:
    1.) Put ads in the local papers.
    2.) Put out feelers on AZ homebrew websites.
    3.) Mention it to the people I already know, whether or not they have any apparent interest themselves (they could mention it to others, after all).

    Any other thoughts? Church groups and most established local organized social gatherings (Elks Club, etc.) are out for the previously stated reasons. Many people on this board belong to homebrew clubs, so any suggestions would be appreciated.

    -David

  2. Default Re: How Does One Go About Starting A Homebrew Club?

    Bronx, I applaud you to have the courage to go against the grain and not give in to social pressure. People like you are what give the world a boost in the right direction! There are way, way too many people on the opposite side of the spectrum, but it sounds like you already know that!

    Do you have a brewshop in your area, or do you have to order? I ask because I'm lucky enough to live down the street from More Beer, a great brewshop, that hosts alot of Beer, Wine, and Mead gatherings and even starts it's own clubs.

    If you have a brewshop, maybe you can convince them to follow along those lines.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How Does One Go About Starting A Homebrew Club?

    Hey David,

    Thats a tough one, starting any kind of social club is/can be.

    Putting flier's on the corkboard at the market or laundro-mat is the only other thing I can think of right now.

    Other then roping friends into it (thats how I got started).

    Friend came over for dinner one night, hauld all this stuff in from his truck. 6 gal. carboy, 5 gal. plastic primary, racking cane, tubing, 15 lb. of honey a bunch of other stuff. Says heres a belated christmas gift. He guided me through making that batch. After dinner he thanked my girl for dinner and left me with 5 gal. of must and a mess in the kitchen.

    Anthony.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: How Does One Go About Starting A Homebrew Club?

    David,

    Fortunately not all conservative Christians are still steeped in the prohibitionist over-reacction to the over-indulgences of the roaring 20's.

    I live in a very conservative area, and yet have found that many people I come into contact with (even in conservative churches) are open to responsible consumption. In our area it's the 30-something crowd who are acknowledging and embracing responsible consumption.

    I've found that home wine making to be more socially "acceptable" than home brewing.

    As to how to reach out to them, well I'd guess that ads and fliers might be a good start. Exposure then education. What is home brewing/vinting, and how do you get started?

    Considering your area culturally, you can probably expect a very slow start. Give it time though, and you may find that you've created something that's going to be more fun and more time consuming than you'd ever imagined

    David
    David Baldwin
    Michigan Meadery LLC

    www.michiganmeadery.com

  5. #5

    Default Re: How Does One Go About Starting A Homebrew Club?

    Quote Originally Posted by Norskersword
    Bronx, I applaud you to have the courage to go against the grain and not give in to social pressure. People like you are what give the world a boost in the right direction! There are way, way too many people on the opposite side of the spectrum, but it sounds like you already know that!

    Do you have a brewshop in your area, or do you have to order? I ask because I'm lucky enough to live down the street from More Beer, a great brewshop, that hosts alot of Beer, Wine, and Mead gatherings and even starts it's own clubs.

    If you have a brewshop, maybe you can convince them to follow along those lines.
    Norsker,

    I deeply thank you for the props, but I'm a transplant to this area, having been born and bred in the Northeast. It's a heck of a lot easier to go up against established thought when it seems inherantly alien to begin with.

    The nearest LHBS is about 100 miles away, in Flagstaff. It's not a bad place, either, but way too far for my purposes. I get most everything through mail-order.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dmntd
    Hey David,

    Putting flier's on the corkboard at the market or laundro-mat is the only other thing I can think of right now.

    Anthony.
    Anthony,

    Fliers are a good idea! All the stores hereabouts have a board you can put up notices on.



    Quote Originally Posted by David Baldwin
    David,

    Fortunately not all conservative Christians are still steeped in the prohibitionist over-reacction to the over-indulgences of the roaring 20's. Considering your area culturally, you can probably expect a very slow start. Give it time though, and you may find that you've created something that's going to be more fun and more time consuming than you'd ever imagined

    David
    David,

    I don't have a problem with the local views on alcohol -- I mean these people were here long before I was, and they're doing just fine, so who am I to say anything? By the same token, I'd like the same courtesy in return.

    I guess I'm less interested in a formal homebrew group right now than I am in simply making contact with people who share this passion. I know that a lot of moonshiners are around here, because Johnny Law has been cracking down on them lately (these are the real-deal 'shiners, who make it to sell -- mostly on the Navajo reservation, a bit north of here, which is especially sad since alcoholism is at epidemic proportions there).

    I'll just take this a little at a time, and see where it goes, I think.

    Thanks all!

    -David

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Boulder County, CO
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: How Does One Go About Starting A Homebrew Club?

    David,

    I thought I remembered you mentioning that you lived in Flagstaff, and after a quick search found <a href="http://www.homebrewers.com/">Homebrewers Outpost</a>. I see you've since responded and you're a good ways from Flagstaff. I live in big city and have a big homebrew club (<a href="http://www.foamrangers.com/">The Foam Rangers</a>) so I realize my circumstances are very different. However, I've made friends with the proprietor of my LHBS (which is also where we hold our meetings - every homebrew club in town has "its own" LHBS it seems). All the folks that work there are great sources of information. I suggest you utilize them. They are probably more familiar with the brewing "geography" of your area than you and will probably be happy to help and may have ideas and suggestions for your search. At the least, I'd bet they'd be willing to post your flyer!

    Best of luck,
    Kirk

  7. #7

    Default Re: How Does One Go About Starting A Homebrew Club?

    David,

    I do know what it is not to have brewing friends. Everybody thinks it's great I homebrew - nobody else does it. (Same thing for my soapmaking. ) My beekeeper friend might be willing to get a few people together towards fall. These are people living on his moshav (agricultural/industrial community). It seems that brewing is more common in rural settings than in cities.

    I wish you luck. Let us know how your project goes.

    Miriam
    Miriam the Mead Bubeh
    Israeli Kitchen www.mimi54.wordpress.com

  8. Default Re: How Does One Go About Starting A Homebrew Club?

    It's discussions like these that make me realize just how lucky I am...

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