#beerclub Year in Review

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been doing #beerclub for a year now. When I started this little thing, I had no idea what it would become, and it’s grown in ways I never could have imagined. I’ve met friends, expanded my beer horizons, been to new bars and breweries, and had a lot of fun doing it.

The idea of #beerclub stemmed from public radio host John Moe’s now defunct #candyclub. They met once a week, ate candy and talked about it on twitter. I had participated in #candyclub a few times when inspiration struck me to create a #beerclub. If they could do it with candy bars, why couldn’t we do it with beers? I approached the guys at Blatz Liquor with the idea and they were on board. A week or two later, we were drinking and tweeting.

The first night of #beerclub we drank Point Brewery’s 2012 Black Ale. There weren’t many of us drinking that night, but I could tell that this was going to be something special. Over the next months we grew, slowly gaining attention from across the internet. As of today we’ve had almost 100 participants from all around the country, and sampled some great (and not so great) beers.

As the group got to know each other, we decided that we should meet in person. The first #beerclubfieldtrip happened in June of last year. We had sampled Lakefront Brewery’s Fixed Gear on one of the #beerclub nights and the discussion turned to the fact that several participants had never been to Lakefront for the tour. As an avid Lakefront tour fan, I knew that we had to do the tour as a group. The first field trip was such a huge success, we all knew we had to do it again.

Since that first tour, we’ve had several field trips. We’ve done the tours at Lakefront Brewery, Sprecher Brewery and Milwaukee Brewing. We’ve also met for drinks at the Glendale Oktoberfest, Roman’s Pub, and Sugar Maple. In 2011 we’ve made a point to have one field trip each month. Plans for future field trips range from big day long voyages to Chicago or Madison to gathering at local pubs. Be sure to follow this blog space for details of the future trips. There has even been talk of field trips especially for the South Central Wisconsin drinkers.

Since the demise of Blatz Liquor, I’ve been lucky enough to team up with Joel from The Wine Cellar of Wisconsin to help with selecting beers. Since they are primarily a wine shop we haven’t been able to source every beer we’ve sampled from them, but he has been very helpful in picking beers, and stocking the BOTW when possible. We even have some ideas that we’re kicking around for a future field trip to the shop. With the increased focus on beer at his store Joel has conscripted Dan to start a new BeerCellarofWI account on twitter. Stay tuned to this account for more #beerclub related news.

One of the things I want to emphasize is that #beerclub is more than just me. Without the active participation of you, the members of the club, this would be nothing more than me drinking beer on Monday nights at my house. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I’m no more responsible for the success of #beerclub than you are. Because of that, I am very open to suggestions for how we can improve the club. Be it a beer of the week suggestion, a field trip you’d like to take, a blog post you’d like to write, or a even format change for Monday nights. #beerclub is what we all make of it, so please don’t hesitate to make your suggestion, ask me a question, or heck, just go out and make the changes yourself.

As we enter into the second year of #beerclub, I have some ideas to spur conversations, grow the club, and make it more educational. I don’t want to turn the club into Beer 101 class or take the fun out of drinking, but I do want to see more conversation, more active participation and more experimentation as we go forward. I’ll be posting some of those ideas here on this blog for feedback in the weeks to come. Again, if you have suggestions, or ideas please don’t hesitate to approach me.

I appreciate everyone who has ever joined us on a Monday night, or at a field trip, but I do feel I need to make a special mention of Genevieve and Craig who have been with the club since the very first meeting. Genevieve in particular has the honor of actually managing to make it to more #beerclub meetings than I have (I missed once due to family obligations, and another due to a wicked hangover). Thank you both for helping mold #beerclub into what it has become.

With that, I’ll simply say Cheers! and here’s to many more years of drinking beers with good friends!


PS: don’t forget to join our Flickr group, our Facebook group, and to RSVP for the next #beerclubfieldtrip

4 Thoughts on “#beerclub Year in Review

  1. Vasser40 on March 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm said:

    I do remember the night you missed w a hangover! You Sally. I’m coming tonight, at least to say hi. I really need a beer today anyhow. It’s been a real rough one. Thanks for your inspiration Mitch. Congrats all on one year down. I hope to drink with you all more this year…

  2. Genevieve on March 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm said:

    Lol Sally! Was that the two day hangover incident Mitch? I mean Sally. I mean Murchison…

    • Not the two day hangover incident. The hangover I was referring to was afflicting your husband as well. I’m sure you remember. You dragged us to a brewery while we were hungover. 😉


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