Wednesday, August 24, 2005

 

AHA Membership Drive a Success

Need a lot of coffee this morning, as I stayed at Iron Hill until 10:00 last night! Had a lot of great beers and met a lot of nice people at the event. I'll try to recap what went on, before I forget!

First of all, the event was held at The Iron Hill Brewpub on the riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware. We were out on the upstairs deck overlooking the Christina River and the weather was perfect! The deck was already crowded as I arrived at 7:05 carrying a large bucket of ice. I immediately spotted several members of the First State Brewers. John and Cindy Cook were at a table enjoying a meal and some beers, while Jerry Carney, Marty Drinan and Garrett Sever were in line to meet the AHA rep and get an armband. I spotted John Biggins off to the right in line for a beer.

As Garrett said in his earlier post, he was a little uptight. I think he was expecting for us to have a boot setup for our club so we could greet people and serve beers. I told him to relax and have a beer; we'd meet everyone before the night was over. Garrett said he wasn't drinking, but he didn't say why. Too bad!

Shortly there after, Louis Glick arrived with his wife and infant daughter. Louis had been very active in the club many years ago and then fell off the face of the Earth! He surprised us a couple months ago when he showed up to a meeting at Marty's house! It's good to see him getting back involved.

Eric Dolbow was also there when I arrived. I believe I mentioned everyone from the club.

Marty brought 3 kegs of homebrew. Initially, he didn't know where we were supposed to put them, so he left them behind the beer tent. I initially left my keg of British IPA in my car, until things got rolling. At some point, however, Mark Edelson brought Marty's kegs out and set them in front of a small table that we commandeered, signaling that it was OK for us to serve! I quickly went to my car and fetched my keg to add to the array of homebrew!

At the event, I met with Terry & Doug of the SANDALS homebrew club from lower Delaware. They spoke of an event they're organizing at the new Fordham brewery in Dover and invited our club to join them. Terry said he would contact me with more details.

Speaking of the Fordham Brewing Company, I also met Walter Trifari, the head brewer there. He invited us to hold meetings there on occasions, if we would like. That sounds like a great idea!

I met Ric Hoffman of the Stewart's brewpub. Ric extended the invitation to our club to meet there, as well. Later in the evening, I spoke with Al Stewart. He gave me a handful of t-shirts to give away, with I did!

I met with Jay White, an AHA sanctioned beer judge in Delaware. Jay offered to help organized beer judge testing for members of our club. That also sounds very interesting! I'll pass along more details when I have them.

At one point in the evening, Mark Edelson of Iron Hill, stood on a chair and addressed the crowd. He thanked everyone for coming and announced that the $1/beer proceeds from the commercial beers that Dogfish, Iron Hill, Fordham, and Stewards served are being split amongst the homebrew clubs that participated. That was a very generous and unexpected surprise! However, I forgot and left with out the check! I'll have to send Mark an email! :)

That's about all I can remember at the moment. I'll add to this if I think of anything I forgot!

Cheers,
Scott


Comments:
I wasn't drinking for several reasons:

* I thought it important that we had one dry representative for unforseen reasons. I was also there to represent the FSB, not to get a buzz.
* I had a day of non-stop meetings with important folks on Wed. Being hung over in any fashion would not only have been inconvenient, but an extremely poor reflection on me to those in the meetings.
* I closely watch driving after drinking, particularly when the source is a restaurant or bar.
* My night vision isn't so great, and trying to navigate around downtown wilmington (especially the riverfront) is hellish.
* I wanted to be able to go home, spend some quality time with the wife, maybe have enough energy to do a yeast starter


There are a few others. All put together, drinking at the event was just not part of my intentions.

The main source of my being uptight evening came from the fact that when we showed up we had no table, and despite the fact that it was supposedly a "Homebrew" event, the homebrew clubs were treated like an afterthought. IT was all about the commercial breweries and the AHA getting new (*cough*INCOME*cough*)members, NOT about the homebrew or the clubs. The picture that the organizer presented in her e-mails was VASTLY different than the reality when we showed up, and it ticked me off. I took time to make up flyers, to get them printed, and gave them to the AHA representative - And he stuck them on the back of the table in the furthest corner where no one could even get to them. What kind of message does that send??

Fortunately John Biggins salvaged the event for us by getting the table in the middle of the action - Up to that point all our other members seemed content just to sit off to the side. I was seconds from walking out the door when he grabbed me and showed me he had done something about it (I was annoyed enough to just leave by then). Kudos to John... he deserves them.

It was all about expectations, Scott, and mine were obviously set too high. Fortunately some good did come out of the event despite my complaints and bad attitude, and our club will benefit from it.

It certainly didn't look like it would from the first 30 minutes.

Peace. I'll stop now since I'm sure no one cares.
 
Why is the little smiley guy green? Are you nauseous?
 
Cindy and I were a little ticked off, too. We decided to go early for a little dinner, then join the party. I was disappointed in the little space they set aside for the event. And, those tables didn't really qualify as tables. We intended to give up our table when we were finished eating (to let the server continue his business), but I'm glad we didn't - Iron Hill should have known better. Too bad for the server, but maybe he bitched to his manager - I hope.

I know it was a membership drive, and I hope it was successful. But, I will never be confused a social person, and I just naturally wouldn't think of doing the stuff John B. did. My thanx also.

I guess I am social enuf to have had a good time. It is always good seeing our club friends.
 
Post a Comment

<< Home