Beer Hound brings membership to eateries
Criminal justice junior Jordan Ascione, right, catches up with Grand Ledge resident Marydawn Sullivan Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013, during lunch at Harrison Roadhouse, 720 Michigan Ave. Harrison Roadhouse is one of the restaurants and bars in the Beer Hound Membership Card program, a loyalty card system that works mostly in Michigan. Justin Wan/The State News
Bar lovers all across Michigan have something new to cheer for.
Paul Starr of I’m a Beer Hound, a Michigan beer news website for beer related topics, created and launched the Beer Hound Membership Card.
The $20 card offers discounts to more than 50 breweries and beer bars in Michigan, many of which in the Lansing area, and a one-year membership to I’m a Beer Hound.
Having launched this week, Starr has sold more than 50 memberships so far.
One of the card’s participating locations is East Lansing’s own, What Up Dawg?, 317 M.A.C. Ave.
General manager Bill Schramm is excited about the card’s potential.
“The (customers) can get out and experience more and experiment with different bars,” Schramm said. “Instead of being restricted on which bars I can go to, I can go to any bar I want and get a discount there.”
According to Schramm, no one has used the card yet, but he believes that will change soon.
“Most beer drinking occurs later on in the evenings … even if nobody comes the first week, first two weeks, it’s not like I’m going to feel put out, because they’re going to come.”
Dartanion Thomas, on-Premise Sales Representative for MillerCoors, has high hopes for the Beer Hound Membership card.
Although Thomas is excited for the card, he hopes the public gives it a chance to see the cards value.
“People are afraid of new things and kill it before it starts, you’ve got to give it a chance,” he said.
Thomas believes the card not only would bring more people to the participating establishments, but also help the economy and local business.
Both Schramm and Thomas believe there isn’t a down side to the card’s existence.
“What could be a down side? When you get more people to come out to enjoy local food, local drink … you’re going out and supporting local businesses. I’m not seeing a downfall,” said Thomas.
Thomas said as long as people use the card responsibly, then there is no downside.
Schramm and Thomas think the next move for Starr should be to make the card member’s name available for the participating venues.
Thomas believes allowing bar owners to interact with cardholders and inform them of events “would be kind of a cool layer to add to it.”
Starr hopes to expand participations to Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and the Upper Peninsula. His goal is to have more than 100 participating locations by 2014.