Time for the latest installment in the not-yet-award-winning Five Questions With… series. Today, I bring you Oklahoma’s newest homebrewing club, Red Earth Brewers. Answering our questions is club director of communications Wes Glinsmann.
1. The Thirsty Beagle: It looks like you guys are a pretty new club – am I right? When did you get started?
Wes Glinsmann: Yeah, we’re the new kids in town. We had our first meeting in late October and just had our first tasting (last) week. So we’re still learning as we go.
2. TTB: Why start up the club? Did you feel like there was a need in the central Oklahoma area for such a club?
WG: Really it was mostly about location. There are a couple of homebrew clubs that meet down at the Learn to Brew store in Moore. But it just really wasn’t convenient for those of us in Yukon, Piedmont, Edmond, etc. So Gail (the owner of The Brew Shop at 36th and Penn) and a group of us decided that we wanted to have a club a little more accessible to people on the north side.
3. TTB: How many members do you have? Is the club growing as word gets out?
WG: I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how quickly it’s taken off in less than two months. We’ve got about 70 people on our mailing list, and a little more than that following us on Twitter and Facebook. We’ve averaged 30-40 attendees at our meetings so far. And that’s all been pretty much just through word of mouth. We he hope that as word continues to spread about our group, we’ll continue to grow.
4. TTB: What are some benefits/reasons for the average homebrewer to join a club?
WG: First I would say the people. Homebrewers come from all kinds of backgrounds and all walks of life. But we all have that common interest in homebrewing, craft beers and beer culture. So it’s a great way to meet some neat people with whom you already have a lot in common. Second, I would say it’s a great learning experience. Our members range all the way from people who have never brewed their own beer but are interested in learning to those who have been brewing for decades and are certified national-level beer judges. So there’s a wealth of knowledge in our group. Additionally, we plan to do tastings of our homebrews every other month. So it will be a great opportunity to sample other people’s beers to see what you like as well as get some constructive feedback on your own brews. If you’re already a homebrewer and want to learn some new tricks or if you’ve never brewed your own beer but are interested in learning, joining a homebrew club is a great way to get plugged in.
5. TTB: If someone wants to get involved, how can they go about doing that?
WG: We have a lot of ways to track us down. To get on our e-mail list, they can either send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by The Brew Shop and sign up. We also post all our meeting notices on our blog, our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Very nice Wes, and thanks for taking part! As a north-sider myself, I can certainly appreciate some super-local beer fanfare.