The Beer Connoisseur Club

BCClubLogoIt’s about time someone recognized the need for a club of beer aficionados.  The folks at The Beer Connoisseur® have been in the beer scene for about five years now – publishing a great magazine, keeping us up-to-date on the industry, and telling us of beer events around the country.

Their latest venture – The Beer Connoisseur® Club, is an extension of that passion for beer in that they want to, in their words, “…become the world’s most common place where people meet, share, learn, and organize around beer!”  It will be a national club, complete with membership cards and magazine subscriptions.

Membership is only $35 per year and the membership benefits, should you choose to take advantage (and you should), can save you more than the membership fee in discounts on brewery apparel, dining, homebrew equipment, event tickets, other club memberships, beer tours, and more.  There will be members-only events and brewery tours, and even a concierge service you can employ as a member when you travel to arrange for VIP treatment at some of the club’s global partners!

The Beer Connoisseur® Global Network of Partners includes Allagash Brewing Company (ME), Red Brick Brewing Co (GA), Breckenridge Brewery (CO), Asheville Brewery Tours, and many others.

So why not?

Right now the club is trying to raise the initial funds to cover “…the fulfillment of the member’s magazine issues and membership cards, and to support the club staff and start-up costs for live events around the country.”  There currently is a Kickstarter project to do just that, and you can help by backing the project.  Here’s what you can get by

Pledging $1 or more:

They’ll raise a glass to you and nod their heads as a “Thank You!”

Pledging $35 or more (Founding Member):

You’ll become a founding member and receive a one-year membership in The Beer Connoisseur Club, 12 months of FULL ACCESS to the new BeerConnoisseur.com, including Beer School!  You’ll get special recognition in the Fall 2015 edition of the magazine – your name will be printed (you can opt out of this)!

Pledging $60 or more (Founding Connoisseur):

Same as the $35 level, but doubled!  Two years of membership and magazine subscriptions, plus the founding member perks!

$100 or more (Founding Sponsor):

Five-year magazine subscription and membership!

$315 (Group Level):

Ten one-year magazine subscriptions and Website access, membership cards for everyone, and lots of street cred for giving the gift of membership to at least nine people!

Right now (June 24, 2015), there are 166 backers who have pledged a total of $10,594 toward the goal of $35,000.  So c’mon – let’s see more card-carrying card carriers!

Read more about the club and the Kickstarter project here.

Ben on Beer Episode 13 – Indio Is a No Go

In this episode, we taste test a beer that was sent to Ben. It was Indio. Sorry to say, it didn’t meet our standards and we had to drink something else to get a good taste out of our mouths!  Please note we wrapped up this run of the Ben on Beer show with this 13th episode.  We want to thank Continue reading

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Props to Boston Beer Company

I checked in on Untappd a few weeks ago to Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale.  I was disappointed in the taste and spoke of it being “…Sour. Astringent. Warm. Disappointing.”  It also went flat pretty quickly, so I tried to update my Untappd check-in with this information.  Seeing that I couldn’t, I took to Twitter and posted an update on my experience.  Sam Adams replied, leading me to a consumer complaint page (stay with me – I have a point).

I filled out the complaint page with my opinion of the beer (it seemed like they were in a hurry to get it to the market) and replied to Sam Adams that I had logged the incident.  “No worries,” I thought.  I was just letting them know, you know?

I got an e-mail the following day from some outsourced customer service company saying

I see from the details that you provided that we do not need any addition information to proceed with our tracking and investigation of your issue. I appreciate the cooperation and effort to provide the facts that we need and I have moved forward with a refund for the Samuel Adams HarvestPumpkin Ale that you purchased.

We are a small company, so please allow 2-3 weeks for a refund check to arrive…

I was taken aback at what I’d read – the company was going to simply reimburse me for a beer.  One beer from a 12-pack seasonal collection.  Also, they were not answering my question; I wrote back:

I understand that things like this happen.  I wasn’t expecting a refund though. I’d like to know what the brewmasters think about what I said, and whether they agree that the beer wasn’t supposed to taste that way. Is this a quality control issue or was the beer intended to be just what it was?

 

As a true believer in American Craft Beer and a connoisseur, I just want to know what happened. Refunding my money isn’t, in my opinion, a solution.
Thanks,
Ben Rehberg
Ben on Beer
I got absolutely no reply.  Today I received a check in the mail with a letter from Jim Koch:
It’s not every day you get a letter personally signed by the founder of this country’s largest craft brewery.  The check (for $10) also had an original signature.  The letter explains how there are sometimes mishandling incidents that occur and other variables outside of their control that can spoil the taste of the beer.  I understand that, and now it makes sense that the Hazel Brown Ale (from the same 12-pack) didn’t taste right either.  perhaps if I find another sampler at a different retailer I’ll give it another go.
In the mean time, I’d like to mention that this kind of personal contact would not occur with any larger beer company.  Try complaining to Anheuser-Busch about something – I guarantee you won’t get a check and a letter from the CEO.
This is what I love about craft beer – it’s made by people.  People you can actually get to know.  I have become less and less a fan of Samuel Adams over the years because of their far reach and obvious propensity to flood the market, but this experience has reeled me back in to liking the company a whole lot more.  Cheers to Jim Koch and the Boston Beer Company.

Ben on Beer Episode 6 – Victory Brewing Company

In this episode, Donovan and I continue to get comfortable with the new setup as we discuss the awesomeness of Victory Brewing Company and the friendly culture of craft beer and home brewing.  Cheers!

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Ben on Beer Episode 3

In this episode we introduce the brewery of the month for August, Oskar Blues Brewing of Lyons, Colorado.  I also divulge everything I have learned recently about hops, the wonderful plant that gives craft beer its bitterness.

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