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The 12 days of Christmas beer giving: Local mug clubs

Where can you get a free meal on your birthday?  OK, nothing is actually free, but a birthday meal is included in your mug club membership at New Paradigm Brewing Company in Elkhart.  Even though they are not yet brewing their own beer, they always have an awesome beer list.  

One of owner Brandon Stanley’s favorites — Duchesse Du Bourgogne (flanders red ale, 6.2% ABV) — is a consistent tap. The rest of the 16 taps rotate and often include some of the only taps in Elkhart County featuring 18th Street Brewing Company.

Here are the details for the New Paradigm Brewing Company mug club: it is $75 for the first year, which includes a hand crafted mug getting you an extra 4 ounces with each visit, $.50 off snifters (8-10 ounce pours) of higher alcohol volume beers, and of course, that free meal on your birthday. Each successive year’s membership is $25.

New Paradigm is located at 600 S. Main St., Elkhart. If interested in its mug club, you can contact the bar at 574-295-8882.

If you live closer to Goshen, or just want to buy two mug club memberships for someone you know, here are the details of the Constant Spring mug club: every year (or about that long) new mugs are made by a local potter for the new year’s club. To this point, three potters — including myself — have been featured.  

A yearly membership at Constant Spring costs $40 and entitles you to your own mug with the name or nickname of your choice and $5 off a beer each month ($60 total). You get a few ounces more in your cup than a regular pint glass, but the best part is just being a part of the club. Others at the bar drinking out of regular glass will look at you with respect and admiration.  OK, well, it does feel really cool to be a regular.

Recently when Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (bourbon barrel aged imperial stout, 14.4% ABV) was tapped at the Spring, I expected to get served in a smaller snifter because of the rarity and higher alcohol volume. However, owner Aaron Nafziger told me, “It’s part of your membership. It’s not about me making lots of money off this beer, but instead members and others enjoying the rare opportunity to enjoy this beer.

In fact, Constant Spring is on the short list for many breweries that send out limited distribution kegs. Greenbush Brewing Company just recently sent two barrels of Delusion (Imperial Cream Stout aged in barrels from Journeyman Distillery, 11.7% ABV) to Indiana and the Spring was hand picked by the brewery to get one of those.  

Constant Spring is located at 219 S. Main St., Goshen.  You can order memberships online on its website. 

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