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Freeloaders

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by ElPadrone, Dec 18, 2012.

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  1. ElPadrone

    ElPadrone Aficionado (105) Texas Oct 20, 2009

    My Buddy and I have been brewing for some time now and have been inviting people to come and learn to brew on our system. We have a single tier dual pump RIMS system with 4 tap kegerator. Well we have noticed that when people come over and "learn" to brew all they end up doing is pulling beers off the tap and never clean shit. I love teaching and getting people interested in this great hobby but what I dont like is freeloaders knowing if they show up they get free craft brew. We are not a club yet but thinking about starting an official one. We are thinking about asking for $10 from people that wanna come over, drink beer and learn how to brew. Do others have any ideas about this and do others ever get the free loading beer drinkers over on brew day.
  2. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Savant (380) New Mexico Jan 13, 2006

    I make them do all the work, and I have a pretty strict rule that no beer gets poured until the wort is in the fermentor. If you want to learn that's fine, if you just want to show up and drink bring your own beer stay out of the way.
    brooklynbrews and Eriktheipaman like this.
  3. This, but I don't pull the first one until the clean up is all done and all is put away.
  4. ElPadrone

    ElPadrone Aficionado (105) Texas Oct 20, 2009

    Well cleaning is a must for newbies but I have to say I am one of the few that do have a few pints during the brew day. I know its probably not the best practice but I just cant control myself while I am brewing. I am just tired of people asking to come over and watch us brew on our system and they sit there and do nothing and drink all day. I have had to ask a few people to leave or help. I am just trying to see if its acceptable to ask for $10 if you wanna join the brew day.
  5. telejunkie

    telejunkie Savant (305) Vermont Sep 14, 2007

    yeah that shit wouldn't fly...either they help out in a legit way or they're not invited back. Simple as that.
    I'm also one who will have a few during brewing, usually because it's a weekend evening practice. If you want to make them pay for the beer, then yeah, a contribution to the brewday fund would be all good in my book. I have friends who want to contribute even though they are helping as well.
  6. bgjohnston

    bgjohnston Savant (350) Connecticut Jan 14, 2009

    While I will share beer while I am demonstrating how I do things, when I'm brewing I'm not hosting a party. I like to focus on following best practices, and I simply won't have anybody over who is just there to hang out.

    That said, it is probably eventually going to happen that somebody wants to just hang out and drink. It will happen once and once only for that person.
  7. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Savant (380) New Mexico Jan 13, 2006

    Cleanup is much more enjoyable with a pint in hand.
    inchrisin likes this.
  8. premierpro

    premierpro Savant (290) Michigan Mar 21, 2009

    Only the wind blows for free!
  9. mattbk

    mattbk Savant (390) New York Dec 12, 2011

    maybe im alone here - but i think brewing is fun, drinking a few beers is fun, and anyone that wants to do a little of both with me is pretty fun too. if youre trying to make a business out of it though - i guess thats a different story.
    NiceFly and kscaldef like this.
  10. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Savant (380) New Mexico Jan 13, 2006

    For me it's a safety issue. I've got 12 gallons of boiling syrup on a stand about waist high, hoses and electric cords on the floor so I'm going to be sober and intact when I finish brewing. I don't need the distraction of people asking where the glasses are, what kind of beer is this etc. If you want to learn brewing learn brewing and later we'll relax and have a beer. And also I don't really like people very much so my brewing time is a period of solitude and peacefulness, I don't want a bunch of drunken jabbering going on.
    hopfenunmaltz likes this.
  11. ElPadrone

    ElPadrone Aficionado (105) Texas Oct 20, 2009

    I agree with you, brewing and drinking your hard work is fun, however when we brew 3 times a month and have spent more than 5K on equipment and ingredients it gets tuff to just give it away. Think of it like this, 4-6 guys "brewing" and I use that term loosely and our normal brew day from start to finish is about 9 hours and those 4-6 people are steadily drinking, you can go through 2 kegs in no time. At that pace I cannot brew fast enough and all that money is coming out of my pocket, and again this is my house and brewery and I enjoy to have a few cold ones on my days off. I am not trying to be selfish or anal I am just trying to weed out the people that only wanna come over for the beer. I am like the rest of the guys on here who love to brew and love to share that brew but I wanna be able to afford to continue that process. After reading the great comments on here my fellow brewer and I have decided to charge a $10 fee for anyone wanting to come over and brew. I guess its like paying dues. Thanks for the advice Forum members
  12. mattbk

    mattbk Savant (390) New York Dec 12, 2011

    Agreed. If you don't like people, why have them around you for the things you like to do most!

    Agreed, drinking for 9 hours is not the same as brewing. Another thing you can do is limit their consumption: small 3 oz tastes of a few different beers, or anything beyond ask them to bring their own. All the times I've brewed with others we will enjoy maybe 3 beers tops, not more than about 2 people at a time, and the focus is on the beer and brewing. Best of luck.
  13. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    You can't sell homebrew. It's illegal.
  14. bgjohnston

    bgjohnston Savant (350) Connecticut Jan 14, 2009

    The $10 is for the brewing lesson, if I follow his intentions correctly.

    He can still have people over for free beer at other times, when he is not brewing.
  15. I don't have any expectations of, nor do i place any demands on anybody I invite into my home. The faucets are open to everybody. Particularly when I invited them over for a beer themed event (brewing qualifies). That said, common courtesy dictates that they help out. Those who don't will likely get kicked off my list eventually. $10??? Wouldn't think of it. I'm sure there are enough people who already think I'm an a$$hole. No need to prove it.
  16. bgjohnston

    bgjohnston Savant (350) Connecticut Jan 14, 2009

    Personally, this is how I would deal with it myself. An invited guest is an invited guest, and if I have beer to share I share it freely. But if I feel the hospitality is abused, repeat invitations are not forthcoming.
  17. I have a good assortment of small glasses, maybe 4-6 oz, collected from various festivals over the years. These are the glasses that are usually out during 'serve your own' events at my house. Someone who thinks nothing of pouring himself four pints might be disinclined to pour himself 16 small glasses, lest he begin to feel like a freeloader.
  18. ElPadrone

    ElPadrone Aficionado (105) Texas Oct 20, 2009

    My brew days tend to be large social gatherings where not everyone is there to actually brew. Most are, but there are friends, neighbors and the like. And I am not saying we all drink for 9 hours or for the whole brew day but lets just say a fair amount of cold pops get drunk. Not interested in selling it just trying to watch my cost and have people over who enjoy the hobby! I think its interesting how different people brew and do things in so many different ways. I dont wanna have to watch everyones intake cause that means it would take away from the time I am brewing.
  19. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    I believe you would have a very hard time convincing the authorities that recovering costs of homebrewing by collecting money from people who drink it is not selling. I'm not saying it wouldn't be ethically fair to do it, just that it would be illegal.

    Excerpt from United States Code of Federal Regulations Title 27, Part 25, Subpart L, Section 25.205...
    "§ 25.205 Production.
    (a) Any adult may produce beer, without payment of tax, for personal or family use and not for sale."
  20. sarcastro

    sarcastro Savant (405) Michigan Sep 20, 2006

    He isnt selling homebrew, he is selling an experience, or whatever else he can make up to get people to pay him to drink his beer.
  21. ElPadrone

    ElPadrone Aficionado (105) Texas Oct 20, 2009

    I guess people have gotten confused by my post, and when reading back it does sound like I am trying to recoop the lost money on beer I have already purchased. One post said it would be like collecting dues for a club which is what it would be. You get to work on a crazy nice system and drink some homebrew and learn about the hobby. We just dont have an official club yet or any bylaws written. FWIW I just dont like people coming over who I dont know drinking all my HB and not pitching in. All my brew buddies who come over a few times a month will certainly understand in paying their"dues" to be a part of the club. I can be overly nice especially when it comes to inviting new people to join us and giving out good home brew however I guess from now on we need to be more careful of who we invite over.
  22. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    Okay, explain it to the authorities just like that, and you'll be fine.

    Disclaimer: No, I don't really think you will. But good luck.
    sarcastro likes this.
  23. cmannes

    cmannes Savant (375) Minnesota Mar 15, 2009

    So... Do you ask them to help? Did you hand someone something and say "would you wash this for me?"

    If I came over, and watched you brew on this super cool system, and then I had a beer or two. And you never said anything about it being a problem, I would do the same thing again. People can't read your mind, and most people would prefer some honesty.
    afrokaze likes this.
  24. sarcastro

    sarcastro Savant (405) Michigan Sep 20, 2006

    Then don't invite them over.
    MarkF150 and MMAJYK like this.
  25. yinzer

    yinzer Savant (385) Pennsylvania Nov 24, 2006

    I agree. If the authorities show up too to see if money is being exchanged, that's all that they care about. Now it might be possible that in the end it might be determined that beer wasn't actually sold. But it's an argument that only a lawyer could win.

    Edit: Will money change hands at the site and day of brewing?

    I'm sure that there are rules as to how money is exchanged at clubs. I think that they even extend to what bank account the money is deposited into. Possibly the club could buy you malt, but I'm not sure about the rules.
  26. ElPadrone

    ElPadrone Aficionado (105) Texas Oct 20, 2009

    We give everyone an invite who wants to join and learn but if they abuse it they are not asked back.
  27. ElPadrone

    ElPadrone Aficionado (105) Texas Oct 20, 2009

    No one is paying for beer nor or we selling anything. Just call it Dues or donations. People can twist some shit on this forum I tell you! I am on here to have fun and get feedback , not get into pissing contest with people who wanna pick apart every word that is typed.
  28. yinzer

    yinzer Savant (385) Pennsylvania Nov 24, 2006

    I know. I was trying to address how the dues were handled.
  29. ElPadrone

    ElPadrone Aficionado (105) Texas Oct 20, 2009

    Sorry Yinzer, that wasnt meant to be directed at you!! I find it hard sometimes to post on here without it being deconstructed into something thats not anywhere close to the original comment posting. Very frustrating
  30. yinzer

    yinzer Savant (385) Pennsylvania Nov 24, 2006

    No problem. I feel for your situation.
  31. lotsaswigs

    lotsaswigs Aficionado (230) Indiana Jan 24, 2006

    My advice: I personally can't imagine a brew day with basically a party taking place at the same time. Perhaps with very few of my closest friends, but I'm much too anal when brewing to have to deal with that situation.

    But the point I'd like to make is this. So say you do end up collecting $10 or whatever from people who basically want to show up and drink. Sure you may recoup some of your expense, but at the same time you'd be basically giving them license to drink even more than before and perhaps become even more of a hindrance to what you're wanting to do. As far as the legality, I forgot who said it's our responsibility to break unjust laws, but I'd say this definitely falls into that category.

    On a side note, it blows my mind every time drinking while brewing is brought up the number of people-usually around 80% of responders-who say they don't drink any brews while brewing.(anyone know if a poll has ever been done on this on here?) For me it's a standard part of the experience that I really enjoy. A couple of home brews doesn't impair my judgment in a way that inhibits my brewing, but I guess everyone is different.
  32. ElPadrone

    ElPadrone Aficionado (105) Texas Oct 20, 2009

    I agree, we usually will drink during the brew day. However its not drinking like we would be doing watching a Cowboys game (weve needed beer to watch them lately) we are usually to busy to constantly be pulling from the taps but as I can remember it always seem that kegs are cashed during a brew day. And on the $10 note, that is more to have the funds to prepare for the next kit that is ordered for the following brew day. We were also talking about having someone purchase the kit for that brew day when its their turn.
  33. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (695) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    RE: Freeloaders. Simple solutions to this one. Don't invite them. Don't let them drink. Ask them to help.

    RE: Drinking while brewing. I usually stick to coffee. I'm an early riser. If I'm brewing, I'm probably heating my strike water up before breakfast. I wonder if you would have a freeloader problem if your brewdays started at sunrise.
    rocdoc1 and ElPadrone like this.
  34. ElPadrone

    ElPadrone Aficionado (105) Texas Oct 20, 2009

    Most of the time I start around 7 or so and people start coming by an hour or so after. As you said those are generally not the times I have the problems. Its when people ask to come by or learn to brew and we arrange an afternoon brew day. But I like your idea of starting early on a big day to keep away the "Freeloaders"
  35. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    That was Martin Luther King Jr. I forget the exact context, but it probably wasn't homebrewing.
    Hatzilla, mattbk and pweis909 like this.
  36. I'm pretty sure MLK was a least alluding to homebrewing.
  37. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    Heh. He was also willing to go to jail for his cause.
  38. Please tell me you aren't comparing homebrewing laws to the civil rights movement...

    Anyway, to the OP... My general rule is anyone is allowed to come hang out while I brew and drink while they're there, but they're expected to help. If they want to take a portion of the batch that they helped brew, they're more than welcome to it, but I expect them to cover the expenses of what they take (i.e. if a batch cost $30 to make and they want to take half, they owe me $15 for cost of ingredients and such). Aside from that, I give my homebrew away freely. The way I see it, most of the time people drink my homebrew it's because they've come to my house, or I've come to theirs. I'd be buying beer to serve/bring for either of those occasions anyway, so it isn't really an additional expensive. In fact, it's probably cheaper than lugging around most craft beers.
  39. sarcastro

    sarcastro Savant (405) Michigan Sep 20, 2006

    If that is the case it shouldt be a problem, and you just want people to help recoup your costs. I am not saying it is wrong, but if the problem people dont get invited back, then they arent a problem. If you start charging, it sounds like a business to me.
  40. lotsaswigs

    lotsaswigs Aficionado (230) Indiana Jan 24, 2006

    Man some of you guys need to lighten up. I actually didn't remember where that quote came from, and if I did I wouldn't have used it. I just mean fuck the man you squares.
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