While I'll miss Iron Hill mainly due to the fact that its very close to my office, I like having the meeting at Spellbound. Much more space, and the ability to use a PA makes it much easier to hear the announcements. And I love Spellbound IPA. As people adjust to the change, I'm sure over time everyone will start to remember to bring a chair. I didn't stick around for the after-meeting, so maybe this was taken care of, but one thing I would miss is the tasting cups and pitchers of water Iron Hill provided. The water isn't as much a big deal, but tasting cups are essential for sharing beer.
Yes, here is summary of my announcement from last night.
It is still true that we are welcome at Iron Hill and we do plan to keep doing events there such as Big Brew Day. We have a great relationship with Iron Hill and that won't change. However, as our group has moved from a small handful of people to the ~100 person meetings of today; we have outgrown our space. In addition to lack of physical space for members, we have had an increasing number of complaints from patrons about our group. There are a few other factors that went into this change (scheduling being one), but space is the main one.
As to why we chose Spellbound - first and foremost, they have more space. Also, they aren't open to the public during meetings, so we don't have to worry about other customers. After having a test meeting there in March, we had an overwhelming number of members say they loved having the meeting there. True there are no chairs in the brewery, but very little of our meetings is spent sitting down and you are more then welcome to bring a chair with you. Same thing with food. We discussed possible options for food, but its tough to get everyone to agree on a food let alone collect money from a big group.
There are a number of places who have expressed interest in hosting us, Spellbound makes the most sense for a number of reasons. This is not to say that we won't have meetings elsewhere, but for now, we have a new home at Spellbound.
Also to quell any rumors about big brew day. Iron Hill is more than happy to keep hosting Big Brew Day. We encourage everyone to still support IH at all their events, we just won't be having our regular meetings there.
And again, after last night, I heard of number of people say how much they enjoyed the meeting location.