Should You Join the Whiskey Barrel Society?
Did you know that September is National Bourbon Heritage Month? Kyle Dynes does. And he should. He’s started and brought a brand new drinkers club to our fair city, and its introduction couldn’t come at a better time.
Kyle Dynes is the founder of the Whiskey Barrel Society, “an organization focused on creating community through the shared passion of Oak-Aged Spirits.” It’s only a few months old, but with 10 chapters already around the country, it’s poised to redefine how we interact with the brown stuff.
Dynes grew up drinking whiskey, his summers in Ontario spent stealing sips from his grandfather’s stash. After meeting his wife, a bourbon enthusiast, he found a renewed vigor for the art of making and enjoying America’s native spirit.
He tried to find a society of like-minded individuals, but his search yielded two discoveries: groups like this seemed to only exist in Kentucky, and all those groups were snobs – and not in the good way.
So, what else is a whiskey drinker who doesn’t like to drink alone to do? Start his own organization, of course. And this body would not only occasionally get drunk together, but learn with and from each other as well.
“We want everybody who wants to be a part of this to feel like they can be,” shares Dynes. “We’re not all novices, but we can always learn more. I want to be able to have tastings, hold social events, classes, get to know fellow whiskey lovers in the city”
Starting a society such as this isn’t an easy task. It takes time, patience, and lots of good connections, all of which, thankfully, Dynes has. He came up with the plan, then executed it step by step till his dream was realized.
He started with the name. He intentionally avoided limiting the group to just bourbon (like many others had) or to just one city. His interest was in every spirit that could be made in an oak barrel, including vodkas and beers, and thus, Whiskey Barrel Society was formed.
In a matter of months, the logo was designed by a close friend, the mission statement written and rewritten, the website built, and on social media, the number of followers jumped from 30 to 5,700.
There are three levels of membership in the Whiskey Barrel Society, each with its own perks and benefits, including event tastings, distillery tours, and access to private label and limited release bottles.
With each member ID number, affiliates can log on for underground communication within the group, as well as with other chapters around the country. Soon, membership cards will be issued that will bring its own set of privileges and specials.
The Whiskey Barrel Society is also about giving back, and making charitable donations is par for the course. Dynes is partnering with sustainable companies, like A&R Development Group, to plan events that are socially altruistic in addition to being fun and educational.
There is a free whiskey tasting to be held at Ethyl & Tank, 19 East 13th Avenue, on Tuesday, September 9th, that’s open to the public, as well as a Four Roses Bourbon Dinner at The Kitchen, 231 East Livingston Avenue, on Wednesday, September 24th, that’s a ticketed event.
So, should you join the Whiskey Barrel Society? Well, it’s ultimately a group interested in bringing community together, opening forums for discussions, and gaining a more acute awareness of who we are through a shared passion for whiskey. Does that sound like you?
“This grew because I didn’t just want to stop at what was already out there,” adds Dynes. “When I find something I like, I tend to go overboard. Way overboard. And I’m really excited about this. The response has been overwhelming, but overall, positive. I couldn’t be happier.”
If the Whiskey Barrel Society is right up your snifter, then log on and join today for access to events and chapter and membership information: www.whiskeybarrelsociety.com.
Photo by Ayana Wilson.
Columbus Underground is Celebrating Sprits & Wine Week from September 1st to 7th, brought to you by Ohio Wines. Visit www.ohiowinesvip.com to learn more about Ohio’s fruit of the vine.