For Brandon Stanley, owner of New Paradigm Brewing Co., getting a mug club started has been a long time coming.
After “bickering and debating minor details almost to a fault,” Stanley said the bar is putting the finishing touches on its plan to roll out a mug club. As the name suggests, members of the club will have a special, 20-ounce mug kept at the bar just for them.
“Everything is going to cost the same as it currently does,” Stanley said. “You are just going to be getting a significantly larger portion of beer with the mug than you would with pint glasses. And it won’t be limited to our own beers.”
The mug club will have two levels, he explained: the standard, yearly membership that comes with a generic glass mug; and the lifetime membership, giving those members’ special, handmade mugs a permanent spot on New Paradigm’s shelf. Lifetime members will have an annual maintenance fee, Stanley explained.
Stanley’s crew partnered with Indiana pottery artist Jennifer Creighton, who is making the mugs.
“It’s one person and one kiln,” Stanley said. “There are three firings per mug: once to set the material, once to glaze and then a final firing to embed the label. The mugs are dishwasher safe.”
It is Stanley’s hope that a goblet also could be made for lifetime members, not only so those members could have “two vessels,” but also so members could enjoy high-gravity beers.
Color and personalization details are still being finalized, Stanley said, but sample mugs could arrive at the bar as early as next week. As soon as the samples hit the shelf, Stanley will start a pre-sale.
“I want to have something to put in front of people and do this pre-sale to get a good reading,” he said.
In the meantime, Stanley gave Creighton a head’s up to keep the kiln at the ready — he anticipates 200 to 400 orders once the pre-sale begins. He said he might keep the mug club open year-round.
Since mug details are still in the works, Stanley has kept the plan mostly under wraps but said he is excited to roll the club out soon.
“We have been planning this pretty much since day one,” Stanley said. “We finally managed to come together on a decision that I think everyone is going to be really happy with.”