Hop Notes: Constant Spring mug club membership is now open


By: Eric Strader

Eric Strader/Hop Notes

As a pottery and beer enthusiast, I really appreciate breweries and bars that use locally handmade mugs. I make pottery mugs for several breweries and I made the inaugural round of mug club mugs for the Constant Spring.

Since then, at least three other local potters have created mugs for this club and the next round will be made by Dick Lehman.

I just purchased my membership for 2016 and for me, it will truly be a joy to use a Dick Lehman mug at the Spring. Twenty years ago, when my wife and I moved to this area, I had only a few clay classes under my belt. One of the potters was leaving his studio at that same time and Dick hired me as an apprentice. It was a far better education than any art school could have provided me, and most of what I learned and still use in my studio today was learned during my time at Dick Lehman Pottery.

Dick first started making pots in 1974 and became a full-time potter in 1981. He established his studio at Goshen’s Old Bag Factory, employing many beginning potters through the years. Today, he makes pots at his home studio and has been instrumental in establishing the Michiana Pottery Tour. The Michiana pottery community would not be what it is today without him and I, along with fellow local potters, are indeed grateful to him.

Last week, I stopped by Dick’s studio to chat over a beer as I am lucky to do. He had a couple of finished prototypes and was just beginning to throw the first round. I even got a chance to be the first person (except for maybe Constant Spring owner Aaron Nafziger) to enjoy a beer out of a 2016 Constant Spring Mug Club mug. When finished, the mugs will have the Constant Spring logo and personal names.

If you live near Goshen and frequent the Spring as I do, you are a lucky person. If you have yet to discover the Constant Spring, you are missing out. The Spring has 18 taps (usually all but one tap is craft beer) and one of the best mug clubs around that I am aware of. For $50, you get a personalized mug with the name or nickname of your choice and a monthly $5 token toward beer. And when there is a higher gravity beer that the general public gets only a 10 ounce pour, mug clubbers get a full mug pour!

The best membership perk, however, is the sense of community. I’m sure I’ve never met all 200 members but on each visit, I get a chance to chat with several members at the bar. I have been a member since the club’s inception and my mugs have been well used. My previous mugs sit proudly on my shelf at home, next to all of my other favorite drinkware.

In addition to a great tap list, the Spring often hosts single brewery tap takeovers and is on the short list for many limited releases including Founders KBS and Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. Aaron Nafziger is a hop head himself, but he is not afraid to take on other styles, including more unusual beers that are not found elsewhere in Michiana.

Aaron told me it is fun to work with and support local artists for the mug club. His favorite aspect of the club is also community.

“It is a neat sense of community for mug clubbers who in return support a local business that they really like,” he said.

To purchase your 2016 mug club membership, visit the Constant Spring website.

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