When I first started brewing beer at home I heard through the local homebrew store that a homebrewers group existed in the area. I'm not much of a joiner and tend to
be suspicious of the idea that groups of people are able to collectively accomplish anything of value. I tend to be of the opinion that the larger and more urgent the group, the more adverse the impact on the rest of us. So of course I didn't see the point in participating at the time. I'm not sure what compelled me to go to that first meeting, it most likely was cautious curiosity. Whatever the reason, I showed up and let down my guard.
Other important incentives to joining a homebrew club are:
- the occasional opportunities to exchange equipment and materials. The grain mill I use today is one I got from another member for $20. It took a little renovation, but works like a charm.
- having a resource for qualified and valued opinions about your beer. Several of the member of Zymurgeeks are competition judges.
- a place to give back to the homebrewing community by helping others. Regularly, different members will volunteer to make the long journey to the wholesaler for group buys.
- staying informed about brewing events and competitions
- challenging your personal limitations in a group of supportive peers.
- learning from others experiences to keep from making the same mistakes.
- getting to check out other brewers gadgets and beer making do-dads.
- participating in pub crawls and brewery tours. If you work it right, you won't have to drive, freeing you up to indulge.
I'm sure I haven't covered all the reason for being in a brew group but these are enough for me to participate despite my reservations about groups.
Please add to the list of reasons in the comment section.