Bringing the beer

Steve Bartlett
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Club helping locals explore the world of suds

Mike Buhler is involved in a new club which plans on bringing in different beers from around the globe. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

There’s something brewing for beer drinkers in the province.    

 A beer of the month club is up and running, and has placed its first order.

The goal is simply to provide access to different artisan and craft beers that normally wouldn’t be stocked on local shelves.

Mike Buhler is one of the guys behind it. His motivation: he likes good and interesting beers, and he wants to be able to get them here.

“In my lifetime, I’ve probably tried in the neighbourhood of 3,000 different beers,” he says with pride. “It’s a bit of a hobby. Obviously, a bit of a passion.”

The club’s first offering includes four beers from Dieu du Ciel of Saint Jerome, a micro-brewery just north of Montreal.

On the list are an American Indian pale ale, a blond abbey-style beer, an imperial coffee stout, and a wheat beer that gets a rose colour from hibiscus flowers.

Almost 340 six-packs from that quartet were ordered.

“I think that’s pretty good,” Buhler says.

Joining the club involves adding your address to an email list.

The latest offering arrives in your in-box, and to order, a person has to respond to the email, specifying their choices and to which Newfoundland Liquor Corporation (NLC) store they’d like their order sent.

The NLC will send an email notice once the beer arrives, stating it’s available to be purchased and picked up.

People have three weeks to do so.

Buhler, who is working on his beer sommelier certification, called the cicerone, says the world of beer is huge, and most people have no idea how vast it is.

His thirst to bring bottles of the world to the province came during a visit to a beer bar in New York.

He was impressed with what was available and wanted to gets some of the flavours home.

Back in St. John’s, he spoke to Tom Beckett — who’s involved in the Belbin’s cheese club, the Opimian wine club, and other such endeavours — about bringing craft beers in.

Beckett suggested a beer of the month club, and the idea started fermenting.

The first order is expected to arrive in late October, and Buhler says they are working on future offerings.

That involves tapping beers from breweries that are on the NLC’s distribution routes to keep transportation costs down.

Buhler notes neither he or Beckett are profiting from the club.

“We’re not making any money. It’s not about making money at all. It’s about getting good beer. That’s the whole focus,” he says.

Buhler says they ordered some extras from the first list, and he plans on doing some beer tastings.

Over 120 people have signed up for the email so far. To get added

to the list, email Buhler at or Beckett at

Twitter: @SteveBartlett_

Organizations: Newfoundland Liquor

Geographic location: New York.He

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Recent comments

  • Frank M
    October 08, 2012 - 20:37

    "Club helping locals explore the world of suds" Why isn't the NLC helping locals explore the world of suds? They certainly are helping the locals explore the world of wine. The NLC is deliberately making the personal import of beer difficult. We still cannot get ONE IPA at the NLC.

    • david
      October 12, 2012 - 11:41

      Why should NLLC try hard and give you great service when they have people come up and lick their boots, begging them to please take your money? Having to go through the NLLC 'wetting their beak' in this beer club is downright pathetic, right out of 'The Godfather'....wake up, folks.

  • Mike S
    October 07, 2012 - 15:06

    About friggin time...right on. There are soooo many types of beers out there to enjoy. I was given the best fathers day gift a few years ago and it involved beer. I enjoyed a five course meal along with five different beers to go with each course. One that was excellent was a chocolate beer with dessert. Who needs wine?? Its time for people to explore different and awesome styles of beer. Cheers and i wish this club all the best.