When Abe Furth of Woodman’s Bar and Grill in Orono floated the idea of the Woodman’s Beer Society past me I only had one thing to say, “I’m in” and in another conversation when he told me he had over 90 members before the first event I was blown away. The idea is pretty basic, members of the beer society attend tasting events and then vote on their favorite beers, the two beers with the most votes will go on tap at Woodman’s, Abe has given his consumers a voice and is listening to what we have to say.
The first tasting event was today (Sunday March 24, 2013) at 1pm, Sean Connell of Craft Beer Guild Distributing was on hand to pour samples and talk about the beers. He had 8 beers with him for the tasting; Sixpoint Crisp, Sixpoint Sweet Action, Lagunitas IPA, Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Green Flash Hop Head Red, Crabbies Ginger Beer, and Breckenridge Vanilla Porter. Members paid $5 at the door and received a sheet with the name and description of all the beers being poured, this sheet was the voting sheet. I saw members taking notes and rating each beer they sampled and after tasting all 8 the sheets were turned in for tallying. Woodman’s provided snacks for members to enjoy during the tasting; veggie platter, chips and salsa, fried onion, bread and water. This was a really laid back event, members would step up and get a sample then move away to sip and analyze then go back up for the next sample. There were more than 60 members in the room, a really nice turnout for a first time event, it was fun to stand in the crowd and listen to the beer conversations around me.
Zeth and Asa from the Central Street Farmhouse were on hand sampling beers but also as guest speakers. They talked briefly about the store, Homebrewing and the basic process of brewing. They discussed the different ingredients used in brewing and how each item affects the final product. It sound like Abe is going to try to have a guest speaker at each event; I look forward to seeing who he brings in.
The two beers as decided by popular vote that will be going on tap at Woodman’s are Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ and Green Flash Hop Head Red. If being part of a Woodman’s Beer Society tasting every few months is something that interests you, you can contact Abe through the Woodman’s Website, members have to be on the Beer Society mailing list and going forward events will be by RSVP. I look forward to attending many more successful Beer Society events, in my experience craft beer fans want to try new things and talk about it, Abe is providing an opportunity to do just that.