Wineries Have Clubs, So Why Not Breweries?

All right, I know that I may be giving away the farm in this blog post, but remember who told you first—and hire me to run your new beer club for your brewery (because I can do it and make you money). Don't forget who told you first. I'm serious.

I have always been good at finding gaps, seeing where something could be made better or where something lacks. Portland has got the best beer culture in America, but it is missing something the wine industry has been doing for years: Clubs. Not only are these clubs bringing a lot of people into the wine community, but even better, making a butt-load of money from doing it.

Wineries have wine clubs. They're successful for wineries. They work so well that many wineries survive completely off the membership dues from their wine clubs. People pay to have exclusive rights to reserve wines, member only events, early purchasing rights, and so much more. So, why aren't breweries doing this?

Well, there are a few across the country. I won't tell you who because I don't want you to have too much information, but suffice to say they are doing well and making money and building a whole new way to experience the beer community. During my research, I found one brewery that had 1350 members paying $300 a year. Uh, carry the one, add a few zeros and that comes out to...$405,000. Booty booty bam booty! What!?! Now, that brewery changed their format a little and the membership is less expensive, but they were bringing in extra money from beer specifically brewed and aged for their members, experimenting with new brew recipes, and making a whole lot of people super duper happy. All of the financial responsibility was almost entirely covered by the membership dues and they still turned a profit.

What the heck are you getting at, you ask? I think it is almost self explanatory, but I will break it down.

What

A Community Supported Brewery or Beer Club is similar to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program for farms or a wine club for wineries, where a brewery provides specific amounts of beer once a week, bi-weekly, or monthly to prepaid subscribers.

Why

A brewery gets paid in advance to produce subscribers’ beer. This provides the brew master an opportunity to experiment with the beer making process, producing new, unique, and rare beers, and receive the capital for production up front. Therefore, the brewery limits its financial investment and produces fine quality beers for its beer subscribers in small quantities.

The subscriber gets:

  • Limited releases of locally produced beer that the general public cannot.
  • A personal relationship with their brewer.
  • To support the local economy by investing in their local brewery. This ensures their local brewery has the necessary funds to produce amazing and unique beers, and keeps local dollars in their community.
  • Exposure to beers that may only be produced internationally or nationally in large quantities. Drinks freshly made or well aged beers in small batches, made just for them, right in their hometown without having it transported thousands of miles. This decreases the use of fossil fuels necessary to transport beer all over the country and world.

How

You have to contact me to get this part. I can't give away too much.

Other Potential Benefits to Subscribers:

  • Invites to subscriber only events (e.g. tastings, parties, brew days, etc.)
  • Beer share delivered by bike
  • Discounts for other brewery purchases (e.g. apparel, beer, food, etc.)
  • Newsletter/Blog updates

There you go Portland. As you can see this ain't no mug-of-the-month club. I gave it to you first. Remember me when you need someone to run your club. Now, get your club started because I want to join it.