I joined Plainfield Ale and Lager Enthusiasts (P.A.L.E. or just PALE) some 10 months ago. Since it has been my go to homebrew club. Compared to the club that I came from, the 100 or so members is enormous. My take on a brew club is a place that ideas of home brewing should be shared: techniques, new equipment, recipes, and more. PALE has done a good job to this point.
The club’s meetings have been based at Limestone Brewing Company. This also allowed for Limestone Brewmaster, Ken McMullen, and Steve Woertendyke, the assistant to Ken and the Brewmaster of the yet to open Misfit Craft Brewery, to be part of the club. Of course they were bombarded by my questions and my willingness to help out in any fashion. Another member, Brando, recently opened Chicago Brew Werks a home brew shop right behind Limestone. These guys bring a sense of professionalism to the group, creating an atmosphere that is possible to take the hobby to the next level.
Back in January Limestone almost closed because of an issue with the landlord. Now, as of March 24th, 2012, they are closed and moving to the Fox Valley Area. Not because they wanted to but nasty issues with the landlord. This left our April meeting up in the air. Fortunately Bollingbrook Golf Course supplied the hospitality of a conference room, free of charge. The club lives on.
Our meeting place issue is not solved. The golf course, if it is to be our normal meeting place, is further away from the people west, like myself, than Limestone. But, when Limestone reopens, although closer to me, will alienate people if we go back there for our meetings that are opposite me in location. Finding a place that suits everyone is going to be difficult at best. The reason many people are part of the club is location; closeness is important.
The club will go on and hopefully prosper. The location of a permanent meeting grounds will be interesting. If you home brew, are thinking about it, or just want to be around some home brew nerds, stop by a meeting or three. Enjoy!
Useless Fact: One million stray dogs and 500,000 stray cats live in New York City metropolitan area. There are about 100 million dogs and cats in the United States. Americans spend more than 5.5 billion on their pets each year. Every hour, 12,500 puppies are born in the US.