For at least two years now, possibly longer, a few of the Thirsties have been flashing around their SOBA cards, and bartenders have squinted at me across the bar asking “Are you a SOBA member?…are you a SOBA member?” They would shake their heads as week after week I would fail to produce a SOBA card.
SOBA is the Society Of Beer Advocates, “an independent, non-profit society whose main aim is promoting a wider availability of better quality beer.” Their slogan is “beer for all the right reasons”. As is often said, membership has its benefits and these vary from place to place, region to region. For example, depending on what establishment you are drinking at and what day of the week it is, you can get between 10% and 25% off your purchases of tap beers on presentation of your card. SOBA publish a magazine called The Pursuit of Hoppiness offering beer related news, reviews, articles and other stuff you’d expect to see from a serious society. They even have t-shirts, caps and glassware…
Anyway, I (and one or two others) finally decided to apply for SOBA membership. I put in my application and within a few days I received in the mail a membership card, a letter and even a cockadoody badge! I have since saved a few dollars, (membership will pay for itself very quickly) and I feel like I am taking on the pursuit of hoppiness with greater purpose in what beer scribe Martin Craig describes as the “Golden age of craft beer in New Zealand”. Why did I (we) wait so long? I canvassed the SOBA members and non-members around the table and we came up with the following Seven reasons why some of us didn’t get a SOBA card sooner, and why some of us probably won’t get a SOBA card ever…
1.We ‘re not cool enough
2.We’re not cheap
3.We have more money than brains
4.SOBA used to have the reputation of taking months to get the card to you (they don’t)
6.We have too many damn cards in our wallets already…Snapper card, Life Pharmacy card; Coffee card; Mini Coopers card; Farmers Beauty card; Unity Bookstore card; A (dead) Real Groovy Records Card….
Click this link to see the recently announced Society of Beer Advocates Award Winners 2013