May 5, 2008

New Goings On At Victoria Gastro Pub

Via email and on the site.

Monday is being billed as "Beer Club" night at the Pub.

"Try new beers, reach new heights - we will issue you a beer diary to track the different beers you've tasted. At various plateaus, from 25 beers all the way to 500 beers, you will earn prizes that increase in value"

"Monday is your night - each and every Monday, beginning at 5:00, we will have something special for members. One night it may be a special Belgian only available to members. The next it may be free glassware from a brewery, or a visit from a brewmaster."

"The chance of the year - Each year, through a random drawing, we will give away a trip for two to one lucky Beer Club Member. This year it will be a vacation to Germany that includes the tour of a local brewery. Members only!"

Membership is $50/annually.

UPDATE: So despite the initial stages of being under the weather and this being Cinco De Mayo (stay off the roads!), I trekked down to Victoria tonight. Alex and Ryan were behind the bar and helped explain the whole Beer Club deal.

Best I can understand it - and Victoria management/employees, feel free to email and clarify - you give them $50 and the following happens:

Your first 20 oz draft pour is free (great!)

They take your name, phone number, address etc. to establish a database on your purchases

Tiers are established for number of different beers bought. After 50 beers, you earn a $10 credit, after I think 100 a $20 credit, etc. all the way up to 500 beers. At the 500 beer level, you automatically get a gratis "beer dinner" for four at the restaurant. One interesting snag is that for draft beers, you must purchase a 20 oz brew to qualify. Exceptions are made for 10 oz pours during happy hour for their "World Beer Tour" selection of beers.

As much time as I spend at Victoria, this club probably won't pay for itself but I like the joint so I put my cash in, good faith effort if you will. I arrived around nine and I don't know when Brian and Alex began their shifts but they said nobody else had signed up for the club yet although some had flirted with the idea. It's the first night and I wouldn't have known about the club if not for self-selecting myself to be on their email list so obviously their ability to increase the Club rolls will take some time.

Anyway, I wasn't feeling all that well and it's a bad night to be and its Monday and ... lots of excuses here. Things were kept low key as the free 20 oz pour went towards something new on the tap list: Chambly Noire. Brian called it a darker beer, but tasting something like a Hoegaarden. He had it half right, as it was more like a Delireum Tremens, but it was superb nonetheless. That's a great addition to the beer list.

I added a 10 oz of the Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball for good measure and called it a night.

Hopefully Victoria doesn't mind, but Baltimore Beer Guy retained a copy of their updated beer list (feel free to email me if you have questions about what's on it) which is a tremendous improvement over what they were offering as recent as two weeks ago. Several beers have been added to the draft list and the bottled beer list appears to have doubled in size with some interesting offerings. Also, they promise to, over time, offer many new beer offerings so as to make that elusive "500 new beers" option possible. In other words, stop by often to see what's new and build towards that free beer dinner for four.

My one complaint is that Victoria's bottle prices are sort of following the model set by wine in restaurants: approximately double the retail price for a bottle. I can find most of their offerings elsewhere in state for far less for individual bottles or six packs, but at the same time it's also nice to see an establishment not named Max's provide this much bottled variety.

Anyway, I'll close by saying Alex behind the bar told me that they've finally expanded the beer options as a member of the management team is a beer guy and they've recently addressed something like this as Victoria moves along in its development (opened Dec. of last year, approximately). This is a good step.


Steve said...

so you gonna do it?

BeerGuy said...

Not feeling my best, but yeh.