Emp-Bro's column for July 1997

Well, here we are at the half-way point in my reign as Emperor, and I think that it's time that we take a look back to see where we've been, as well as a look ahead to see where it is we're going. Feel free to disagree with what I say, but it's what I think that we look like right now...

I once wrote an article titled "What means beerclub, anyway?" It wasn't well received by the good folks at the AHA, but then they wouldn't know a good idea if it ran over them with a truck. It was my attempt to describe why folks would want to join a club dedicated to the premise that zymology is actually a social science. Face it: if you do all of your drinking alone and at home, you're an alcoholic. If you can instead go to a friends house, and drink their beer, then you may be a cheap alcoholic, but at least you're a sociable one! So why join a beerclub anyway? Remember these words?

Why should I have to pay twenty bucks a year so that I can go to a friends house to drink beer?

A most legitimate question. The simple truth for many of us is that if we didn't pay for the privilege, most of us wouldn't have friends whose house we could go to to drink beer at. (maybe you don't think that this applies to you, but you may be wrong...)

After much soul searching over the years, the Brews Brothers has settled into a very comfortable groove of existence, it's charter best described in a recent exchange of E-mail as "a little drinking club, with grain." Is this enough of a raison d'être for continued existence, as well as your continued support? Well, members vote with their feet, er, checkbooks, and membership has fluctuated over the years.

How many of you have been a Brews Brethren for as long as I have? I know that some of you have been in a lot longer, but a lot more people WERE in, and are no more.

Ah yes, the joys of recycled verbiage. Who was that guy anyway? We don't pay our scribes enough...

In any case, the point is that clubs in general, and this club in particular, exist only at the whim of those members who participate in the activities of the organization. Sure, a club could exist as a newsletter mailing list, but why would you want to be a member of such a club? Perhaps the newsletter would be particularly informative or entertaining to read, but if you don't socialize in a social club, it seems like you're missing the parade.

I find I'm rambling again. Let me circle back and sneak up on my point. The Brews Brothers (tm) is the premier brewing club in the region, bar none. We have professional brewers, authors, and awards like nobody's business. Yet the club is dying. I want to claim that it's not my fault, but perhaps it is. As long as I'm the declared Emperor, then I've got to throw out this democratic tradition and do things my way. As long as the only impediments to becoming a member is the willingness to shell out twenty bucks, then I'm going to do what I can to get more people exposed to the Brews Brothers, and therefore interested in joining. That means that we will continue to be a social club, but we're gonna be a bit more *~@# social in the future, got it? That means that I'm going to invite people from other clubs to our meetings. I'm going to invite officers from other clubs and other interested parties to our picnic. We're going to have a trip to Portland (tentatively scheduled for October) that other people are going to be invited to. And we're going to have Novembeerfest (in November, naturally) where we will have beer judges not associated with the Brothers in attendance. We're going to play nice. I don't want to hear from other people out side of the club that those Brews Brothers are sooooooo snotty. I want to hear about what a friendly group of people we are. If anybody wants to take a snotty position in this club, it has to come through and from me as the official representative of the organization. We're going to be friendly, even if it kills us, and I know it will at least pain some of you. Try it on though. It might not be so bad after all...

Copyright 1997 by Rich Webb, aka The Outsider, Emperor of the Brews Brothers

This page is authored and maintained by Rich Webb. You can send E-mail to me by following this link to the contact page. And feel free to contact me if you have any comments, criticisms, or suggestions. I remain, however, perfectly capable of ignoring your useless opinion... 

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This document was placed here on June 30, 1997, and has been viewed countless times.