If you are a homebrewer in Wake Forest, then you’ve had a lot to be excited about. Not only has White Street Brewing Company recently opened it’s doors in downtown Wake Forest, but now a new homebrew club is in the makings! If you are interested in being part of the club, then I would encourage you to head out to White Street Brewing Co. at 7pm on December 3rd for their inaugural meeting.
Club Name: White Street Brewer’s Guild (Tentative until voted upon at second meeting)
Meeting dates/times: First Monday of every month at 7pm
Meeting location: White Street Brewing Company (Tasting Room)
To get the low-down on the club and what is in store, I got in touch with Will Draper. You may remember Will as the guy behind Small Batch Brew, which sponsored a giveawaya few months ago. Will is obviously an avid homebrewer (who makes delicious beer, if I do say so myself) who lives in Wake Forest and is a driving force behind the new Wake Forest Homebrew club.
CC: Why start a homebrew club in Wake Forest? There are already local clubs in Raleigh/Cary/Apex and Durham. Are there enough homebrewers in Wake Forest to support a club?
WD: That is an interesting and common question a lot of people would ask. If the past few years have taught us anything, it is that the craft beer movement in North Carolina has exploded! The community and passion for craft beer has been a beautiful thing to follow and be a part of in NC. I feel there has also been a movement to not only drink local, but eat local food. These two things go hand in hand with homebrewing, thus a surge in interested people that want to give it a try or hone their craft.
Even though there are 2 local homebrew clubs, there is not one centrally located to the Wake Forest or North Raleigh area. Each club, much like each brewery has it’s own house flavor, feel, attitude and crowd. I think starting a new club from scratch will help us develop something organically that takes on the flavor of the Wake Forest area and it’s people. On that note, there has been quite a few people interested in being a part of a club in this area, so we will see how the initial meeting goes on December 3rd.
CC: What are your goals with the homebrew club? What sorts of things will you be doing at your meetings?
WD: Our goals are too develop a group of people who are passionate about craft beer, homebrewing, and the community that surrounds them. We want to promote the art, hobby, and science of homebrewing. We want to share knowledge, techniques, and advice to grow our brewing skills, understanding, and expertise. And of course we want to further educate ourselves on the proper way to evaluate, enjoy, and identify components of craft beer and homebrew. At our meetings we will loosely follow an agenda that first covers official business, then take part in some sort of Brewing trivia/game/competition (First up is name that hop! Everyone gets a look and smell at a jar of hops, the winner gets a special prize from the brewery!). After that activity we plan to have a focused technical brewing discussion and discuss the “Style of the Month” by going over its’ history, profile, and the best part of all…tastings!
CC: Who can join and how much does it cost? And what is the benefit of joining?
WD: Any person that is of legal drinking age may join, as long as they share a common interest in craft beer and homebrewing. We plan to offer 2 levels of membership: Regular and Associate. Regular members will pay dues in the amount of $20 for the first year and $15 per year after that. They can participate in all guild/club events, competitions, will have voting rights, and will be given a guild/club t-shirt. Associate members are not required to pay dues and they may attend the meetings, but they will not be able to vote on guild/club business, participate in guild only sponsored competitions/contests, and will not receive a shirt. We wanted to offer 2 different types of membership, so those that do not wish to commit to joining the Guild as a regular member can still benefit from the educational programs we will offer at the meetings free of charge.
CC: Any plans for some big club-sponsored events in the future?
WD: I am sure we will get into that in the not so distant future, but we really need to see where the club members want to focus their time and energy before deciding what type of event to do. We will be hosting some guild/club only competitions along the way and would like to host a larger homebrew competition, but that requires a lot of planning…we might be at a point to do that in about a year.
CC: Will the club be doing much interaction with White Street Brewing Company, or are they just letting you use their space for the meetings?
WD: This is what I think is going to set this homebrew club apart from any others in our area. We have been given a great unique opportunity by White Street Brewing Company (WSBC) as they will be our official “sponsor.” Not only will we be able to use their tasting room for all club business, but they will be providing guild shirts to Regular Members; and we will be able to directly correspond with their brewer’s who will help with our Technical Information and Style portions of our meetings. There has been talk of yeast and wort sharing with club members; club only competitions where the winner may get to help in the brewhouse for a day or help design a recipe; and much more! I don’t want to give away too much, because I want folks to come check it out, but let’s just say it is going to be one awesome opportunity thanks to WSBC!
CC: What are you most excited about with this club?
WD: I think the opportunity to be sponsored by WSBC, the intangibles that brings to the plate and creating this homebrew/craft beer community from the ground up is what most excites me. The community of people that will come together to make this club will really drive where it goes, what we do, and how we engage the community. We want to be a visible part of Wake Forest and the surrounding areas. We want to learn from the community and of course find ways to give back to the community that brought us together. Homebrewing is such a wonderful freedom, we want to share it with anyone and everyone who wants to learn!