Sunday, March 29, 2009

Start a Beer Club!

For several months last year, about every other Friday, I'd bring in a bomber or 6-pack to share with coworkers. Fridays are pretty laid back at work, and several people bring in beer to drink while we socialize and wrap up our administrative weekly tasks. After a couple of months, people would stop by my desk to see what the beer was and to sample a bit. I couldn't keep to a regular schedule, though, and wanted to get more people involved.

A while back, I read about how to start a beer club and thought I might try to get one together, trading beer once a month. I mentioned my thoughts to John one morning; he suggested we pick one style from the BJCP style guide and use that as the basis for our monthly trades. The group uses both the BJCP site as well as the style list on

February was our first month. We picked American Pale Ale as our style, as it's easy to find and a good starting point. It turned out to be a great adventure, as several people found out post-purchase that they'd picked up an English pale ale made by an American brewery! I came home with a Schalfly, O'Dell 5 Barrel, Tommyknocker Pick Axe, and 2 Flying Dogs. I was surprised no one picked up Sierra Nevada.

This month was a lot of fun - the group wanted to do "something Irish" for the trade, so we split the group in half. Three people bought Irish Reds and three bought Irish Stouts. What a great time! I came home with Sam Adams Irish Red, Murphy's Red, Blvd Irish Ale, Guinness, Beamish, and Schlafly Stout (Irish Style!). We're trying to decide on our next pick. While I imagine most months we'll do seasonals, we're thinking of doing German-style hefeweizens or American IPAs (inclusive of double & imperial styles).

It's been a lot of fun trying to find something that others probably won't bring and talking about each of our finds when we do the trade. It's also been a learning experience for most of the group, requiring a little research and planning prior to making the trip to the liquor store.

Go start your own beer club! It's a great excuse to hang out with other people who love beer, and probably the most enjoyable way to come home with a "build your own six-pack".


  1. I like that Boulevard Irish. I thought I didn't like Irish reds until I tried that. I need to see if I can still get some here in Austin.

  2. Yeah, that one's one of my favorite Boulevards. That & Bully! Porter. And Lunar. And Single-Wide is growing on me.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Sam Adams Irish Red as well. I'm looking forward to the Schlafly stout as I haven't had it yet.

  3. Awesome idea!And I have to admit that I was enjoying BLVD's Irish before I even knew there was a style/color difference in "irish ales." :)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.


Tasting Notes