ACB, please move if this is the incorrect place, couldn't work out where to put this one.
How do other clubs run their clubs/meetings?
TooSOBA currently do a monthly meeting on a saturday afternoon at the library for 3 hours. We spend 30 to 60 minutes on club admin, business, and we try to get someone to do a presentation on some brewing topic they're intrested in each month. We then have 2 hours for tasting and critiquing each other's beers.
Roughly 3 times a year, we do a commercial tasting (typically to a BJCP style), and then 3 months later we'll do a mini comp on that style. We do a reduced club tasting after these due to time limits and not wanting to get too pissed and upset our venue.
We're doing a yearly club brew, last year's was barleywine and this year is RIS.
We currently have 14 full members, 1 probationary member (about to become a full member), and there are around 3 or 4 new guys hanging around the fringes. We genearlly get anywhere between 8 to 12 people at a meeting. From experience, 10 has been a good number as you can get around everyone's beer, have a decent discussion about it, talk about a few other brewing things, and it's generally a relaxed feel.
More than this though, i.e. when everyone turns up, I'm noticing it's getting a little rushed and a bit harder to spend time on each beer, ask questions, get feedback etc. It also leaves us no time in between to discuss other brewing topics, or just hang around and chat.
Just interested to see how other bigger clubs manage this transition and how you run your meetings. It's been suggested that we could only taste a certain number of beers each meeting, based on who really wants feedback on something, and maybe have a quota system to ensure this gets spread around over the year. The downside of this though is not everyone attends every meeting, so this potentially hard to manage.
For BABBS, we regularly have 50+ people at our club nights (sometimes around 70ish) so it isn't practical to taste everyone's beers and provide feedback. We all share beer, talk about systems and recipes and get feedback but it is more informal and social.
We also host 6 min-comps per year for select styles so we can get/provide more formal feedback. For these nights, we split the group into tables and each table will get 3-5 beers to judge depending on how many are entered.
Our nights start at 7pm at a hall above a bowls club where members share beer with the people around them. We then start formal announcements at 7.30 for about 20 mins before the mini-comp, education night or social night. We finish up the nights around 11ish. Luckily we don't have to worry about offending the venue being too drunk.
We also have a committee where all of the formal business is conducted. We don't bother our members with the specific of club business aside from our AGM (which includes the financials etc. of the club). This saves a fair bit of time on club nights.
I would say when you start getting too people to sit and formally taste each beer, your meeting will have to become less formal and rely on your mini-comps for formal feedback.
If your in Brisbane, feel free to come along to one of our meetings (4th Thursday of the month) and see how we do things.
Hope that helps mate. Happy to give you more detail if you need.
Bayside Brewers Club (Melbourne) is about the same size as BABBS, as per the post by nickxb above.
We have traditionally held our meetings on the first Wednesday of the month, at a members home. With the growth in the club over the last couple of years, this is becoming impractical. Fortunately we have a number of sponsors or members with factories so will often use these larger spaces.
We run 3 club competitions per year and do collaborative, but blind, tastings. When the numbers of entrants gets above around 15 it can become a very long night.
We also try to run a number of education nights per year focussing on different aspects of brewing, tasting or sanitation procedures. This is in line with our club charter. The balance of the meetings are usually just called "social nights" with an opportunity to catch up and ad-hoc tastings of peoples beers.
Our committee meets probably 4 or 5 times a year, mostly to organise upcoming events. We have adopted the Vic Model Rules for an incorporated association as it sets out responsibilities without being too costly to administer.
Happy to give any additional information where I can.