Brewing is, without a doubt, the world’s best hobby. The satisfaction of enjoying and sharing your own fluid creativity is hard to beat. If you’ve recently started or even if you’re just thinking about brewing, joining your local homebrew club is one of the smartest choices you can make. With a nominal investment of time and annual dues, you can immediately reap the rewards of education, connections, and, of course, beer. There are also a few side benefits to sweeten the deal.
Education is one of the biggest advantages of joining a brew club. Nothing will improve your skills like spending time with other homebrewers. Clubs are full of experienced people who are happy to share their knowledge, give you good constructive criticism of your beer, and help you understand more about the process of brewing. You can partner with others to try out experiments, such as making SMaSH. (single malt and single hops) beers or trying out different yeast strains against the same wort. Even better, you can pick up almost as much from other club members when they share their results, saving you some effort.
Beyond those informal educational perks, many clubs also offer structured activities, such as bringing in guest speakers or setting up BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) study sessions. Brewing is such a big field that you can still learn more from your club long after you’ve shed your beginner status.