The Definitive Guide to Central Texas Mug Clubs
Mug Clubs have been an essential part of the craft beer scene in the United States for decades. These clubs are a great way to reward regulars, foster loyalty to tap rooms, and help small breweries make money. Almost a third of Central Texas breweries have some sort of rewards or membership program. Many others have clubs under development. Some bars have even gotten in on the fun, including Austin mainstays Easy Tiger and Banger’s.
Not all mug clubs are created equal. Some are as simple as a points-per-dollar-spent reward, while others bestow lifetime discounts. North Austin’s Black Star Co-Op’s membership plan even includes an ownership stake in the brewery itself. Some clubs use a common love of beer to organize volunteers. Dusty Smith, co-owner of Marble Falls’ Double Horn Brewing, finds that his brewery’s mug club has become a source of pride for participants. “It’s a fun little community. When we sell the memberships, people will get in line early to get a low number mug as a status symbol.”
Central Texas Mug Clubs
12 Fox: Two-tiered membership program. $250 annual membership with one free beer per visit (Limited to 100 people) or a $1000 lifetime membership with one free beer per visit (limited to 50 people). Corporate sponsorship options are also available. Additional details and sign-up here.
4th Tap: Planning to announce a mug club soon.
5 Stones: Planning to announce a mug club soon.
5th Element: Similar to 12 Fox, 5th Element has two membership levels. The Elemental Club level includes 45 memberships priced at $250 per year. Members receive a glass and shirt each year, invitations to special events and new releases, as well as a 15% discount on all purchases. There will also be a welcome party, a free birthday pint, a flight night with the brewers, and access to a 12-punch card for crowlers with the 13th crowler free. The brewery also plans to have a Mug Club with 100 memberships priced at $75 per year. That group will also receive a shirt, invitations to special events and releases and a free birthday pint. Mug Club members will also receive 10% off all purchases.
Acopon: $100 annual Society membership. Includes a special glass at the tasting room with your name on it. $1 off every beer and a free pour of any new releases or pilot batch during the release week. Also includes Wednesday happy hour specials, a members-only party, the potential to help design a beer, priority admission to special events including the Founder’s Day party, and the ability to purchase kegs to go.
ABGB: Hell Yes Project. Volunteers work with Austin non-profits such as Austin Pets Alive!, the Sims Foundation, AIDS Services of Austin, Habitat for Humanity, HAAM, Foundation Communities, and the Central Texas Food Bank. More information here.
Barking Armadillo: VIP Lifetime membership for $999 and $799 for a companion membership. Includes VIP edition growler with a free first fill, one free beer per visit for life, a t-shirt, 10% off all purchases, priority invitation for special events, as well as access to exclusive events and samplings. Additional details here.
Beerburg: Book Club with a tasting journal and invitation to year-end appreciation party. If you try 33 unique Beerburg beers as a club member you will also receive a specialty mug at the appreciation party. Information and photos here.
Bell Springs: Monthly Beer Club membership. $30 per month for a minimum of 3 months. 15% off all beer including pints and growlers. Discount valid at all locations, including Sidecar in downtown Dripping Springs.
Black Star: $150 lifetime membership for an individual, $300 for a couple or a co-op or non-profit organization (long-term payment plans are available with a $40 initial investment per individual or $80 per group). Includes right to vote on Board of Directors, approval on Ends policies (long-term goals). Also includes an invitation to member appreciation events, one free beer on your membership birthday, and a potential patronage refund once the Co-op is profitable enough. Co-Op bylaws and additional information here.
Blue Owl: $125 each Local Love Club glass comes with a membership punch card containing 30 complimentary beers, some sweet extra discounts, and your name on their member wall.
Bluebonnet: Annual Mug club with a limit of 250 members. Membership starts at $300 in January and is available for a prorated price if you join later in the year. 20oz numbered custom mug, free first pour every visit, and 16oz pour price for 20oz mug fills. Also includes early entry to special events, early access to seasonal releases, experimental, and one-off beers, as well as an end-of-year party with a group photo. More information here.
Bold Republic: $100 annual membership (limit 125 members). Includes package with certificate, a 21oz numbered mug with a unique design each year, 20% off pours, and a special 32 oz growler with $5 fills. 2022 edition will include a shirt in addition and will be available to purchase beginning midnight on Black Friday.
The Brewtorium: Beer for Life Program with a mug and a growler component. Members of the mug club receive a 20 oz specialty mug and get one free pour per day. Members of the growler club receive a custom growler and get one free growler fill per week. Both options are currently closed but the brewery is considering re-opening the program with different terms and benefits.
Bull Creek: Secret Sipper Club with $300 annual membership or $450 Plus One Membership. Includes exclusive 16oz glass with an etched number, 9 free beer tokens per month, on-site locker to store glass and tokens, members-only events, as well as discounted tickets to public events. Additional details here.
Central District: Loyalty program linked to credit card with points per purchase. If you link your email to your card, the brewery will send you a newsletter with early event announcements.
Double Horn: $50 annual membership (limit 150 members). Benefits include 22 oz pours for 16 oz price as well as $2.50 pours on Tuesdays, free beer on the day you purchase the membership, one free beer during your birthday month, a t-shirt, a commemorative mug, and an annual members’ party.
Fitzhugh: Planning to announce a mug club soon.
Frontyard: $1000 lifetime membership includes a free beer every time you visit the tap room as well as a free growler fill each week. Restricted to 40 members, the club is already full.
Ghost Note: Planning to announce a mug club soon.
Hawkins Farmhouse Ales: Planning to announce a mug or bottle club soon.
Hedgehog Brewing: Planning to announce a mug club soon.
HopSquad: Austin FC-themed club. Members purchase a special mug with the Los Verdes logo. Los Verdes fan club members can purchase the mug for $20 while non-members can get it for $25. Members receive a free pour on purchase of the mug and can bring it to the brewery during Major League Soccer and English Premier League games to get $1 off all pours of all beers and $3 refills of the Zapatista Mexican Lager.
Humble Pint: Planning to announce a mug club soon.
Independence Brewing Co.: Grackles Club. Pricing and duration not available at press time, but benefits include $1 off all pours, $2 off flights, a free beer on your birthday, free and discounted merchandise and access to members-only and pre-release beers. Details here.
Jester King Brewery: JK Volunteer Corps—free to join. Group of brewery enthusiasts who volunteer with different local non-profits each month. More information and sign-up here.
La Grange: No beer club at present, but sister business Rohan Meadery has a $50 quarterly membership that includes two free bottles of mead or wine, a free tasting every time you visit the taproom, and 15% off purchases.
Last Stand Brewing Co.: Annual $100 regular club. Includes a mug with 4oz extra, a t-shirt, as well as 10% off beer to-go, food, and merchandise.
Lazarus: $1000 lifetime membership in the Patron Saint Program. Includes a unique glass and one free pour per day for life. Only twelve memberships are sold each year and typically are sold during the 12 days of Christmas.
Llano: Planning to announce a mug club soon.
Middleton: $100 annual membership in Goblet Guild. Benefits include an extra 4oz per pour, a Middleton t-shirt or hat, and 20% off anything to go on Wednesdays.
New Braunfels: Sour Junkie Society. Members receive either four or six allocations of four limited releases and exclusive bottles or a single 750ml bottle each summer (each allocation is $35 to $50). Available for shipping if you are unable to pick up at the brewery. Additional benefits include pre-sale opportunities for all new releases, 25% off purchases online and in-person, as well as free flights of draft and bottle pours for two every time you visit. More details and sign-up here.
Neighbors Kitchen & Yard: No mug club, but rewards system gives you one point per dollar spent, with 250 points equaling $1. Double rewards on Tuesday and half-price growlers Wednesday, as well as a $7 pint during your birthday month.
Nomadic Beerworks: No mug club, but punch card rewards for Little City coffee purchased at the brewery (8th drink is free) and industry discount available.
Old 290: Buy a 15oz mug or a 22oz boot and get 25% off future beer purchases. If you purchase a growler from the brewery, you can then get growler fills of premium beers at the regular beer price.
One Shot: Planning to announce a mug club soon.
Oskar Blues: Planning to announce a mug club soon.
Pecan Street:$50 annual membership in Crowler Club. Includes a free three-pack of crowlers the day you sign up, a t-shirt, a poster, a free birthday pint, and 15% off crowler purchases.
Pinthouse Pizza: Jolly Rogers club. Receive one point per dollar spent with rewards at 750 points and above. Additional information and sign-up here.
Reck ‘Em Right: $1000 lifetime membership in Founder’s Club that can be bequeathed to someone over the age of 21 at the time of purchase. Includes numbered mug, one free beer per month, 20% off all beers and merchandise, free birthday beer, free first growler fill, $3 off all growler fills, early sign-up as well as admission for special events. Details and sign-up here.
RedHorn: No beer club, but there is a coffee club available at both locations.
Rentsch: $300 annual membership. Includes 100 free pours.
San Gabriel River: Wide variety of memberships, including monthly bottle club for $37.89, Lifetime membership for $2000 (payment plan available), annual Mug Club membership for $400, and annual Growler Club membership for $450. Additional details here.
Save the World: True Beerliever loyalty club. Annual membership costs $41 to join with a $38 renewal fee. Benefits include a t-shirt, a personal glass at the taproom, free pour upon becoming a member, free pour on renewal day, free birthday month pour, 15% discount on all beer to go, as well as a newsletter. Information here.
Spirit of Texas: Planning to announce a mug club soon.
St. Elmo: Points-per-dollar spent rewards program as well as Hiking League. Sign-up for Hiking League here
Suds Monkey: Founder’s Club with annual memberships available in July. Information here.
Texas Beer Co.: $250 annual mug club with prorated pricing available each quarter. Members receive an 18oz numbered stein (2oz of extra beer per pour), one free pour per day, invitation with plus one to annual Mug Club Party, early access to new releases, 10% off merchandise, and a leather 6 pack carrier for the first 50 members. More details and sign-up here.
Twisted X: Planning to announce the Armadillo Club in 2022.
Vista: Barrel and Beer Garden Clubs. Barrel Club has a $50 membership that includes a free bottle on signing up, six complimentary flights per year, 20% discount on bottles including quarterly allotment, 10% discount on draft beer, 20% discount on merchandise. Membership also includes access to Vista Library sales, pre-releases, purchasing used barrels, and special event invitations. $300 Year of Beer includes all of these benefits as well as quarterly allotments of six bottles. Beer Garden Club is $180 for six months of membership. Benefits include four crowlers or two 64oz growler fills, $1 off all drafts, weekly insider specials on Member’s Night, a welcome gift, 10% off merchandise, as well as invitations and discounted tickets to special events. Additional information here.
Westcave: No beer club, but there is a wine club. Additional details here.
Whitestone: Lifetime Mason’s Society or annual Pub Club memberships available. Mason’s Society costs $1000 and includes a club-branded, vacuum-insulated growler with $1 off growler fills for life, one free beer per day for life, 15% off keg purchases, a t-shirt, a free brewery tour for you and nine guests, and a member plaque on Whitestone’s Contributor Wall. Pub Club costs $100 and includes 20oz pours for all purchases, $0.50 off full pours, 10% off merchandise and beer-to-go, invitation to the brewery’s Christmas Party, day early access to some new beers, as well as 50% off beers on your birthday. Details here.
Wild Bunch: Planning to announce a club soon.