Is @olicanabrew working ? a pondering….

I’m not sure about posting this but as it’s been bouncing around in my head for a while now and hasn’t worked itself out !   I feel that I need to say something out loud, even if I run the risk of causing a ruckus… and particularly as I get so much out of the contact with the other homebrewclub members!!!

I have been pondering the @olicanabrew club  and come to the conclusion it is faltering !  Things  need to change if it is to continue and flourish.  It is currently run soley at the whim of one person and this shows! No meetings for months or meetings cancelled at the last minute.. If this is truly a collective we need more than one person calling the shots!

We need a point of contact for competitions, a web manager(publicist), a treasurer and a social event manager for  group socials (brewery visits, BBQ’s etc…), all working as one team, so that thing don’t build up and overwhelm the individual or the group just stops and fails to function if one of us becomes Ill or otherwise incapacitated… We need the olicanbrew web domain name registering and a formal web presence, a definitive source rather than the hap hazard random tweets and the odd Facebook post which don’t tally with each other,  and occasionally appear to be advertising in nature…….

We should publish a regular monthly meeting place or possibly alternate monthly venues. The current setup also doesn’t foster chit chat and swapping of ideas ! Some members use twitter only, some use Facebook only or dip in every few days, but I’m sure a proper club setup with a forum or mailing lists would work !  Some of the members have taken to using a whatsapp group for chit chat… IM …almost a mini BBS for those that remember it  , it’s been particularly useful for Brommo’s back yard Beer fest and has led to a feeling of inclusion and participation, the whole group could do with being on it…. !

One idea to emerge  from a few of the  members is to try and rent a place that several of us can register with HMRC (if possible but none of us have even looked at the idiosyncricies of dealing with the HMRC as a group of individuals let alone a club!…) this would be so we can produce brews for events and sell it under our own individual registered names but from one club premises ….  One idea might be that we can rent a room in a social club or another in a local business unit,  or thats where we need a local altruistic benefactor with room to spare to host the group and the groups brewing equipment  and a treasurer to deal with any rent or bills, competition prizes etc. etc


Meeting on the 27th of May was a rather weird one… it turned out that Several other members were not happy, so  we elected several of the group to formal roles of treasurer , chairman, secretary etc.. etc..  after disquiet that Nick wasn’t quite in top of things and that the load associated with running the group should be shared. We needed better communication of events, facebook messages didn’t tie up with twitter messages , we needed a formal website !  Rob and I became webmaster… ,we agreed meetings should be scheduled well in advance and set to rove between 3 places along the Wharedale Line so that at least they would go ahead instead of  meetings being  cancelled at the last minute on the whim of one member…

The next day Nick refused to step down as leader…  this led to several of the group bowing out and leaving, myself included. It was a democratic process and things in the group needed to change. The next meeting had been set for July 1st and in all the fall out communications over the next few days out came a message from Nick that the group had been invited to do a commercial brew with Wharfebank Brewery!  Waaay too much of a carrot  for my liking..

The breakaway members have kept in touch via whatsApp, We seem to have had more tips and informal chatter passed between us in a month than 2 years of Oilcana meetings….

we’re even organising a social! we’re going to have a  BBQ…