Category Archives: Beerclub

General Beerclub information

Barley’s Angels

For the past year, Thursdays have been my solace. It is my weekly date with one of my closest friends. We go to a bar, where no one knows our names, and decompress over drinks. Mostly Riverwest Steins. Occasionally a social event pops up and we do that instead. This last Thursday night was one of those times.

We had the pleasure of attending the inaugural meeting of the Milwaukee chapter of Barley’s Angels. There was such an awesome variety of women there- women in the industry, home brewers, non home brewers, displaced Suds Club members and, like, one other twitter user. The one common thread was craft beer, and from the sounds of this informational meeting, we have plenty of craft beer fun in our future. Tastings, brewery tours, cheese and beer pairings and social hours are in store along with plenty of learning and meeting new friends.

Meetings are the first Thursday of the month. If you are a female and interested in craft beer, I encourage you to join us. A good sized group of women were there for the first meeting and I only see this growing into something super awesome.

Also, Happy International Beer Day!

Happy #IPAday!

EinleyAnyone who knows me knows that I drink an IPA almost every day.

Today is #IPAday, a day created to crack open a new or familiar IPA and share via social media the wonders of craft beer. Why was IPA the chosen beer? I am not sure. Will there be Saison day? I don’t know. What I do know is that I love that #IPAday exists, for a few reasons:

1. I love that it is a social media driven event. I’m a social media junkie.

2. Anything that gives me an excuse to yammer about craft beer is cool with me.

3. Any reason for breweries to pimp their beer, have events, and promote craft beer is plain awesome in my book.

4. It’s my favorite style of beer, and from my experience, the most misunderstood.

This last reason may be my favorite reason. I have been told by many people that they cannot stand IPAs. They protest that the beer is too hoppy, too strong, too heavy, too this, too that. And then they hit just the right one and fall in love. Not everyone will love IPAs, I get that. I’m pretty sure I will never fall in love with a barleywine, but I’ll keep tasting them in the meantime. So I love that #IPAday may give someone who normally wouldn’t drink an IPA an excuse to drink one, and just maybe, become a fan.

Milwaukee Brewery – Hop Happy IPA

There has been a small amount of brouhaha over #IPAday. People getting pissy that they don’t need a special day to drink an IPA. People getting pissy that this will snowball into “holidays” for all types of beer. People getting pissy for the sake of getting pissy.

When it comes to beer, and life, I’m pretty chill. I’m cool with Miller existing and people drinking it. A friend once told me that sometimes it’s just nice to have a Bud Light with lunch. I think he’s come around since then, but honestly, it’s not a big deal. I’ve been known to slam down a shandy or two, and even enjoy it. But the fact is, that in my heart I’m a beer snob and love to convert people over to craft beer. So if someone wants to institute a day for IPAs, a day for Saisons, a day for Porters, a day for Sours or even a day for Barleywine, I’m down. Stout day already exists, so maybe that snowball is already rolling.

I’ll be enjoying #IPAday at the first Milwaukee Barley’s Angels meeting, so if you’re a gal and you want to join in, come to Sugar Maple!

#beerclub BOTW – Sierra Nevada/Russian River Collaboration – BRUX

What do you get when two breweries who are consistently rated as some of the best brewers in the world pair up for a collaboration beer? In this case you get Brux Domesticated Wild Ale.

I could discuss this more, but why not let the guys behind it do it for me.

Brux Domesticated Wild Ale

Drink with us next Monday August 6th, 8:00 PM on twitter at hashtag #beerclub. Join us for the #beerclub afterparty on Google Plus.

Can’t get the beer? No problem, #beerclub is all about learning, and discussing beer. We often have participants who are drinking different beers, or even water, or wine.

#beerclub’s Favorites

A few weeks ago during the weekly #beerclub chat, the topic of the American Homebrewer’s Association2012 Best Beers in America” came up. There was some discussion about if it was too west coast focused, or if they focused too much on rare beers. That’s a discussion perhaps for another post in the future, but I decided that #beerclub should give the list thing a go. We have a lot of knowledgeable beer drinkers in our ranks, there’s no reason we couldn’t come up with a list that we could call our own.

So, I’m asking for you to fill out a survey. Give me a list of your favorite beer related things and I’ll compile them for a future blog post and discussion. I’ll use your answers to compile the list. I’ll also compile a list of #beerclub’s favorite bars, Wisconsin beers, breweries, and other relevant information.

In addition to listing your favorite things, I am also giving you the opportunity to give me some feedback about #beerclub. I’m working on revitalizing the blog with the Beer 101 series I’ve started, and I have some other ideas for future posts that you should keep an eye out for. I’m putting more effort into the #beerclub, but this group is more than just me. We need your input for the group to live up to its fullest potential. This survey is your opportunity to give me feedback that will make the club a better group for everyone.

As a thanks for your assistance, I’m offering a prize. If you include your twitter handle in the survey, I’ll do a drawing for this set of Lakefront Brewery pint glasses.

That’s it. Go forth and answer some beer related questions. It might take you some time to come up with your answers, so I recommend you have a beer within reach before you start.

#beerclub’s favorites survey 

I’ll leave the survey open until August 6th. Please fill it out and have some fun doing so.

#BCFT to Milwaukee Brewing Company

This site has been inactive for a while, but that doesn’t mean that #beerclub is done for. We’re still going strong, and each week we’re still drinking a new beer. In the last year, we’ve had field trips to different bars, beer fests, and brewery tours. With the new year, we have no plans of slowing down.

With that in mind, we’re planning an exciting field trip for January. One of our more popular field trips in 2011 was to Milwaukee Brewing Company for their tour. It was so popular that we’re doing it again.

Brewery tours are a facet of the industry that I just can’t get enough of. A mix of entertainment and education that is uniquely beer. Wineries often open their doors to the public, but usually through a tasting room. The drinker isn’t able to get the full experience and see behind the curtain and into the of the soul of the producer. Many times the breweries have such a small staff that you’ll be taking your tour with one of the head brewers or people who are working the line and know the business better than anyone.

Join us on January 28th for what promises to be a special field trip, worry of the history books. We will be meeting at the brewery at 1:00 for a special #beerclub private tour. This tour is before the doors open to the public, so we’ll have our run of the place. The tour will be as good as you can get from any brewery tour anywhere. Count on it.

If the tour wasn’t enough to grab your attention, there’s an extra special surprise in store for us. As many of you know, Milwaukee Brewing Co. is undergoing a rebranding. As a part of this rebranding, they are rolling out a completely revamped, and very cool new website. One special feature of this site is a place for #beerclub to chime in on their beers. After our tour, we’ve been invited to a special #beerclub only tasting session where we can add our thoughts to their website. It will be an event not to miss!

We’ll most likely head over to a bar after the tour, so if you’re not able to make it early enough to do the tour, feel free to tweet us to see where we end up.


RSVP and find more information here:

Take it in the Can?

I love beer from cans. There are so many advantages to the canned beer that I find it hard to believe that more breweries aren’t installing canning lines. There is still a common perception that craft beer must come in bottles. Because of this I wanted to investigate the differences myself.

Louie's Demise Immort-Ale

There are several advantages to beer in cans:

  • Light Protection: Beer does not like light. Dark brown bottles do a decent job of keeping light out, but aluminium cans do a better job. One just needs to look at a glass bottle and a can to know why.
  • Oxygen Protection: Cans get a tighter seal and keep oxygen out of the beer than a bottle cap can.
  • Cans are cheaper for the brewery to produce. Bottles usually have two labels applied to them One on the neck and one on the main bottle. Cans are painted at the factory and come pre labeled, saving the brewery the costs of attaching the labels. In addition
  • Cans don’t break as easily. It is possible to damage a can to the point that a hole can form in the packaging, but it takes a lot more force than a glass bottle to break.
  • Cans are stackable. It’s tough to stack a longneck bottle, but cans are designed to be stacked.
  • Cans take up less space. Comparing a 12 oz bottle with a 16 oz pint can it’s easy to see that the can takes up a much smaller space while still managing to hold more beer.
  • More fit in the fridge. Since they take up less space, and are easily stackable, they fit in your fridge at home better. This is good news, not only for you, but also for liquor stores who can fit more product into their coolers. Distributors can fit more cans in their trucks which should also keep prices lower.
  • Cans are more portable. Because of their higher tolerance for abuse, their smaller space, and restrictions on glass at certain venues, cans are a better option to take with you when you’re drinking out and about.
  • Cans cool down quicker. Aluminum is a better conductor of heat than glass, therefore a caned beverage will chill quicker than a bottled one.
  • Cans are more environmentally friendly. Aluminium is easier to recycle than glass, and the small plastic pieces used to hold the cans together is much smaller than the box used to keep a six back of bottles together.

Why Bottles?

If there are so many advantages to cans, why do most craft breweries still bottle their beer? The answer here is easy. Most small breweries don’t have a huge amount of cash available to them when they start out, and they buy used packaging equipment. There are more used bottling lines on the market than there are canning lines, so the equipment for bottling is much cheaper.

As cans take hold of the market in a bigger way, I expect to see more breweries follow in the footsteps of Oskar Blues, Surly and other breweries that only sell their beer in cans.

Testing, Testing, 1.2.3.

In an effort to determine the differences between canned and bottled beers for myself, I purchased some cans and bottles of Louie’s Demise from Milwaukee Brewing Company. They offer a few different beers in both cans and bottles, which makes for a good test bed so I can compare apples to apples.

I started out looking at the packages themselves. First the bottle:

Louie's Demise Ale Bottle

As you can see, the bottle has a very attractive drawing on the label. Other details on the packaging are sparse. The neck label includes the brewery’s name, a barcode, and the states where there is a deposit available for recycling. The main label lists the size of the bottle, the name of the beer, the URL for Milwaukee Brewing’s website, and the Government Warning about not drinking while pregnant, or driving a car. There isn’t room for a description of the beer, or any other information on the bottle’s labels.

The can has drastically different packaging however.

Louie's Demise Ale Can

The beer’s name is far more prevalent on the front of the can. In fact, on the back of the can, the beer’s logo is reproduced and this reproduction is only slightly smaller than the logo was on the bottle. It appears that there are some color limitations with the painting process because the background around the name, and the clouds in the drawings are very pixelated in order to reproduce the color variations present in the original drawing. Unfortunately the gravestone drawing was reduced in size and due to the paint limitations, I found it very difficult to even make out what it was supposed to be a picture of. If I didn’t have a bottle here for comparison, I wouldn’t have been able to point out that it’s a gravestone with a glass of beer and a rose on it.

However, as you turn the can around and look at the back, this is where the packaging shines. Because of the increased area for printing, they were able to reprint the logo, a description of the beer, and a suggestion to pour the beer into a glass before drinking.

Can Details

Apart from the color limitations on the front of the can, I find the cans packaging to be much more attractive than the bottle. I only wish they were able to better reproduce the gravestone drawing from the bottle because I really like that imagery.


The blind taste test
Because I wanted to keep this a blind taste test, I asked my wife to pour the two beers into identical glasses. After she poured I came over to investigate, and I found the appearance to be very similar. The glass she had poured second had a slightly larger head, but it quickly receded and both glasses became nearly indistinguishable. The beer in glass number 2 (which was later revealed to be from the bottle) was slightly darker in color, but this may have been a trick of the lighting since I can’t see evidence of it in the pictures.

Which is which?

The taste

There is a common belief that beer from a can tastes more metallic than the beer from a bottle. Modern packaging techniques include applying a coating to the inside of a can to remove any possibility of the metallic flavors intruding the beer, but does it work? Let’s face it, if there is a significant flavor difference between the two packaging options, then the argument is settled.

The results of the taste test actually surprised me a little. At first I couldn’t taste any differences between the two glasses. I let the beer warm a little and sampled again, and I still couldn’t taste any differences. When I was almost finished with both beers, I made a guess. I guessed that the contents of glass number two was the can. I thought I detected a slight metallic flavor that although it was hidden in the background, seemed to be just noticeable. I told Angie my guess and she was glad to tell me that I was wrong.

Since I’ve checked the bottle and there was no signs of a chunk of metal inside, I can only say that I’m pretty sure the metallic flavor was due to my own psychological expectations of tasting something slightly off in one of the two beers. In the end however, I’m confident to say that the flavor was not adversely effected by the canning process.

In this experiment I was able to prove my suspicions that there is no difference between the flavor of a canned beer. I will continue advocating for craft beer in cans, and I’ll continue drinking beer from a can (in a glass of course). Next time you’re in the liquor store and you’re deciding what to drink, I encourage you to take your next beer in the can.

*** EDIT***

Shortly after posting this article originally, I was told that I missed a crucial point. During the packaging process the beer is exposed to Oxygen. This is bad for beer, and should be minimized. Bottling lines have either a snifter or a knocker to help reduce the amount of oxygen in the bottle before it is sealed.  A snifter injects the bottle with water, and a knocker, well it knocks the bottle. As the beer is bottled, these tools help cause a foaming of the beer (fobbing) and that drives out excess oxygen from the bottle.

A canning line can’t do either of those steps to cause the beer to foam, so the brewer must use undercover gassing to prevent air exposure. This is the process of injecting a blanket of CO2 into the can before the package is sealed at the seam. Many cheaper canning lines don’t include this undercover gassing equipment, and therefore beer canned in one of these lines is exposed to more oxygen during the canning process.

Minimizing oxygen exposure is crucial to the quality of the beer, and an additional argument in favor of the bottling process.

Yellow, Fizzy, and Tasteless: Further Analysis of the Brewing War

I’ve received lots of responses to my previous post Wisconsin Craft Brewers Under Attack and decided I should post a follow-up to answer some questions and clarify some other aspects of my original post.

Aren’t They Exempt?

Ale Asylum Bedlam

Ale Asylum Bedlam

One question I’ve heard a lot is “I’ve seen talk about breweries with production levels of under 300,000 barrels a year are exempt, isn’t this true?” From my interpretation (I am not a lawyer) it appears that there is one provision of the motion that allows for self distribution for those breweries under 300,000 bbls. However, as outlined in the proposal on page 4 near the bottom, in order to self distribute the brewer must:

[comply] with the requirements of laws governing restrictions on dealings between brewers brewpubs, wholesalers and relatilser and laws governing distribution restrictions on wholesalers, brewers, brewpubs, and out-of-state shippers, including those imposed on wholesalers.

This seems to say that the brewery must abide by the same requirements as a wholesaler in order to self distribute. That seems fair, until you take into account existing laws and other provisions outlined in this motion that govern wholesalers.

For example, this bill mandates that new wholesalers must establish “at least 25 retail licenses or to other wholesalers that do not have any direct or indirect interest in each other or in the wholesaler” before they can legally obtain a wholesalers license. The wording of the self-distribution provision doesn’t clarify if a brewery must also have 25 customers lined up before they are allowed to self distribute, but it’s a fair reading of the bill to assume that they would.

New Glarus Enigma

New Glarus Enigma

In addition, these self distribution provisions seem to mean that a brewery can opt to distribute their own beer while foregoing the wholesaler option in a territory. Currently breweries can maintain a relationship with a wholesaler in a territory, and do some limited self distribution when it makes sense. This allows the brewery to send most of their beer to market through the wholesaler but to self distribute as necessary. To self distribute under these proposed regulations, the brewery must wrestle away distribution rights from the current distributor, and behave like a wholesaler. This makes the barriers to self distribution too high for small breweries to actually take advantage.

Double Speak

The motion has a lot of double speak in it, there is a whole section devoted to making it look like the provisions will benefit small breweries, but in fact the section does the exact opposite.

On page six we can see this language:

Repeal the following current law provisions:

  • A brewer that, together with its brewer group, manufactures not more than 50,000 barrels of beer in a calendar year in any location may be issued a wholesalere’s license for wholesale premises located on brewery premises.
  • A  brewer that together with its brewer group…

The key word in this language is repeal this is a list of rights that breweries currently have, that will be removed with passage of this motion. It’s easy to gloss over that one word, but that word is absolutely crucial to a correct understanding of the adverse effects laid forth in this motion.

Later in the document, page 7 paragraph 3 section c states:

“Instead, provide and an exemption from these provisions for small brewer sales to retailers and restaurants operated by a brewer.”

This language needs to be clarified. In its current syntax, it’s easy to say there’s an exemption here. However, nothing in this document explains/defines/clarifies what this exemption is. All we have is an indefinite article, “an exemption,” which tells us little. Also, one could easily interpret the sentence to mean the exemption only allows small brewers to sell to retailers and restaurants operated by a brewer. In other words, small brewers are not allowed to sell to establishments (retailers and restaurants) not operated by a brewer, basically, the majority of the marketplace.

Legislators Response

Upon sending an email to my representative, I got this response:


We have recently gotten a few e-mails on this issue and here is what I know. I think that there may be some mis-information floating around but these are the facts.

GOP Sen. Glenn Grothman and Dem Sen. Bob Jauch were the only two members to vote against the motion that you reference that makes changes regarding the wholesale distribution of beer.

Among other things, the motion regarding three-tiered beer laws gives licensing authority over wholesalers for the sale of beer from premises to the state Department of Revenue. Currently, municipalities can issue the permits. Under the motion, people holding unexpired municipal wholesaler’s licenses prior to Jan. 1 must be treated as wholesalers holding valid licenses until Jan. 1, 2013, whereupon all municipal licenses will be voided.

The motion deletes a current provision that prohibits the consumption of beer on a wholesaler’s premises. The motion specifies that a wholesaler’s permit may not be issued to a person who holds a brewers permit. It also eliminates a grandfather provision that allows a person to hold a wholesaler’s license, a retail beer permit or license, an industrial beer permit, or a brewpub permit.

It also eliminates a provision that allows a brewer to hold a wholesaler’s license and a Class “B” license for on- or off-premises sales of beer. While a wholesaler is prohibited from holding a retail license, a wholesaler is allowed to sell or give beer to its employees under the motion.

Any wholesaler issued a retail license prior to Jan. 1, 2011 may continue to sell the beer at retails as permitted under the retail license. The motion eliminates the current fee for a municipal wholesaler’s license, but instead requires DOR to determine a beer wholesaler’s permit fee in an amount sufficient to fund one special agent position dedicated to alcohol and tobacco enforcement in an amount not to exceed $2,500 per year.

The motion also specifies that a wholesaler may not hold an ownership interest in any brewer unless that interest was established prior to the effective date of the bill.

Something to keep in mind also is that this legislation does not affect breweries that produce less than 300,000 barrels a year and, for to put this into perspective, New Glarus produced 92,000 in 2010. This legislation just keeps Anheuser-Busch from monopolizing the beer market in Wisconsin.

This motion passed 12-2 and I am not aware of nor do I anticipate any detrimental impact on small businesses but please let me know if you have a specific concern.

Hope this helps,


It’s clear that Rep. Kapenga is missing the true effects this legislation will have on small breweries. As I outlined in my previous post, and further explained in this one, there are very real consequences for these small brewers, and I haven’t covered every aspect of the motion.

For a more complete rundown of the effects of this proposed legislation, check out this post on the Madison Beer Review, or this letter from Stacey McGinnis at Tyranena.

The Time is Now

We don’t have much time to fight back. The budget along with this motion is being pushed through at breakneck speeds, and we need your help to stop it. Keep up the pressure and please take action if you haven’t already. Again here are the steps you can take to support these small businesses:

  1. Ask your favorite bars and restaurants to take down their MillerCoors taps.
  2. Call or write your state legislators and tell them to stand up for Wisconsin brewers by opposing changes to Chapter 125.
  3. Call MillerCoors at 1-800-645-5376 and tell them to stop supporting this provision.
  4. Join the Wisconsin Brewer’s Guild as a Wisconsin Beer Lover.

These proposals, much like the beer produced by MillerCoors show the true nature of the international conglomerate brewer. One of the most special things about the craft beer industry is the spirit of collaboration that it enjoys. These little breweries, even though they are in competition with each other, also celebrate victories, and join forces for the good of the beer, and the beer drinker. The big brewers share no such comradeship and are out to be as vicious as possible to this new competition.

These provisions are evidence of MillerCoors’ fear of the rise of craft beer. They are doing anything they can to make competition more difficult for the little breweries and hiding behind campaign donations to influence the laws and drive small businesses out of their market. Everything about this MillerCoors legislation leaves a bad taste in my mouth, just like their beer.


Mitch Jurisch

I had help with interpreting the legislation and writing this post from a representative of a local brewery who chose to remain nameless to prevent a possible reprisal.

#beerclub gives back

When I started #beerclub I wasn’t sure what it would become. I had visions of trying a new beer each week, but the friendships forged over the virtual bar are what really make the club what it is. We’ve sampled beers from several breweries, been on brewery tours and been to a bunch of great beer bars. It’s been fun, but I’d like to take this club to a place we haven’t been before.

It’s time that #beerclub gave back to the community at large. Most of you in the Milwaukee area know Julie Larsen. She’s not much of a beer drinker, but she is a friend of #beerclub and she’s sat in on a few meetings. She’s putting together a huge fundraiser for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network called PurpleStride Milwaukee.

PurpleStride is a two mile walk along our beautiful lakefront. Participants can make donations themselves, or get their friends and family to sponsor them.

Not only am I doing this walk because of Julie’s commitment, but I have a very personal connection to pancreatic cancer. My father-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July of 2006. I didn’t know much about that particular kind of cancer at the time but I did learn pretty quickly that it was one of the worst types of cancer out there.

We were lucky and his tumor was blocking his liver and he had symptoms far before most pancreatic cancer victims. It was caught early and he put up an amazing fight. He eventually succumbed and died in December of 2008.

Gary would have loved #beerclub even if he couldn’t partake. He was a member of AA for many years though the second A didn’t mean much to him personally. He was a very generous man who fought hard to help as many alcoholics as he could. He spent every Friday night that he could, going to detox in Minneapolis and talking to the inmates. He was always helping alcoholics and fighting alcoholism in any way he could.

Despite this alcoholic past and his personal crusade against alcoholism he was at peace with that part of his life. He loved going to the liquor store and seeing all the new flavors that were coming out. If the family was having a party or other get together he would be the one supplying the beverages. I will never forget him distributing drink tickets at our wedding. Lets just say that the bridal party had enough to drink that night and they had Gary to thank for it. As long as you were being responsible, Gary was glad to get you another drink.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a great organization helping people who really need it. They provide funding to research, offer assistance and answers to families who are struggling to come to grips with this awful disease, and probably most importantly they provide hope to patients.

This is why it’s so fitting that we’ve created a #beerclub team for the PurpleStride walk. Raising money for the fight against Pancreatic Cancer and combining it with beer is perfect.

I want to personally challenge everyone who can to join in and support this cause. The day of the walk promises to be fun and you’ll feel great knowing that your efforts will be helping people who really need it. We’ve created a #beerclub team and would love to have you join in.

#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

Happy Anniversary!

I am not even going to pretend that I remember how this all came about. This is what I know to be true. I saw Joe from Blatz liquor tweeting about a beer club.  I schlepped the kids into the now deceased Blatz Liquor store (pour some out for our homie) to buy beer including the beer of the week. I followed Mitch on twitter and attended the very first #beerclub.  Anything else I remember probably isn’t true.

I have been present at each and every beer club since – whether the kids or I were sick, whether I was at home or not and I think once I didn’t even have the beer of the week but still participated. By (not my) popular demand, the beer club time was changed and since then it has been a challenge for me to be present, but I always try to at least stop in and say hi.

This is what else I know to be true.  I have had great conversations, learned a thing or two, and made life-long friends through #beerclub. I am so grateful for this group that gathers on twitter every Monday night and shares a beer.  I look forward to it every week and I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for us.  I imagine some more great (and not so great) beer, more friends and more field trips!

I am hoping we have a great turn out of old friends (@vasser40 I am looking at you) and new friends to celebrate the one year anniversary of #beerclub! See you at 8pm this Monday night!

A special shout out thank you to Mitch! Without you, none of this would have happened and I so appreciate you!