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The projects described here are not official club sanctioned activities but they occur with such regularity that some general guidelines are being published to help keep expectations consistent. The benefit to having such a large pool of members is the opportunity to get small groups of people together for special brewing projects that no single brewer would dare take on themselves. By far the most common project involves individual shares/batches of beer, mead or cider that are mixed together in oak barrels for moderate to long term aging. This activity sometimes produces an exceptional product but always solidifies the camaraderie of its participants.
If any member would like to suggest a brewing project, they should make the president aware of your intent before you propose it to the club. For the most part, those proposing a project are expected to coordinate the whole project from soliciting members, collecting joint money, purchasing special ingredients and tracking down/hosting a barrel if applicable. Of course, members are free to partner up and split the administrative duty. Long term projects require a commitment and the participants prefer people they can trust to coordinate them.
The project should include a planned recipe, general timeline/schedule for brewing and racking, and estimated cost of entry. The coordinator may solicit commitments on a paper signup sheet at the meeting, or via the website (a courtesy blanket email is appreciated by those who do not check the site regularly). Members understand that space is usually limited and projects are a first come, first served activity. The project coordinator may alternately pull names in a lottery to select shareholders when interest is very high.
In an effort to create a fair division of labor, it is highly recommended that the project coordinator determine a brew date prior to taking reservations for shares in order to avoid having a poor turnout on brew day. Members should only commit to a share if they anticipate being able to put at least a half a day of labor into the project on brew day. If a shareholder determines they cannot participate in the brew day, they should solicite a partner on the project or sell off their spot at cost.
When a project involves the acquisition of a barrel, the cost of that barrel will be split between all committed shareholders. Due to that expense, shareholders of a project that contributed to the cost of the equipment involved have first opportunity at any subsequent rollover projects that make use of the same barrel. If none of the previous shareholders arrange for a new project at racking time, the previous host of the barrel may dispose of it as they see fit. After the 3rd use of a barrel, it should be considered fully depreciated.
If the host of a long term barrel project needs to end the project early for unforeseen circumstances, they must notify all shareholders of an early racking date and offer the barrel up to the remaining shareholders. Shareholders that must relocate or lose interest in brewing prior to the completion of a project may sell their share to another member at cost.