An alert Beer at 6512 reader left a comment a while back asking if Durango's four breweries and Farmington's Three Rivers Brewery were putting the kibosh on the Mug Club.
Not exactly. Mug club is "going through a transformation," said Bill Graham, co-founder of Ska Brewing Co., via e-mail.
Essentially, a plastic card will replace the actual mug. Your bartender will swipe the card when you purchase the beer, giving you a buck off. It costs $40 to join, so you'll have to drink at least 40 locally brewed beers in a year to make it worthwhile
Here's the relevant portion of Graham's e-mail:
We are hoping to have it all set for re-upping in November. This will be the gig: A Mug Clubber will be issued a card, like our gift card ... you know, credit card-looking thing. Upon ordering a beer at any one of the five places, you give your card to the beertender and then she swipes it at the register. The deal is you get a buck off every beer all the time. So no mug, no hauling crap around, just the card in your wallet. On Wednesdays (Mug Club night), you get $2 off every beer. It’s never been done before but the Aloha person says it can be done.
Anyway, on Wednesday there will be a lottery. Take all five places electronically, the thing is tracking all of the beers sold, and the 100th beer or 50th or whatever is the winner of the lottery, you get a shirt or hat or something from the place you happen to be sitting at. We hope it will be random enough that lottery winners are evenly split between the five places. Additionally, the thing will print out whatever on the chit; we’ll offer 10 percent off food at your next visit, discounted ski tickets, a half-price board tune from Bubba’s - whatever we can come up with in the future. But for the start up phase, it will just be the buck off thing. The other cool thing is instead of a re-up period, your card is good for a year from the time of purchase. The thing is smart enough that your card will not work one minute past a year from the time you bought it, and it tells the person at the register. So now, if you buy your card in May or June, the thing is good until the following May or June, which is cool. You activate your card by using it, but for those that choose, they can register on-line and also get bonuses sent to their e-mail.
With the caveat that the details are not yet finalized, this seems to me like a good idea in the making. The chief barrier to joining the Mug Club always has been the mug itself. Who wants to lug around a mug every time they want a draft beer?
It'll be interesting to see if the club keeps its name. "Point-of-Sale Club" doesn't quite have the same ring to it.
More details will be forthcoming. It took a few days, but the Beer at 6512 investigative team always gets results. :)