The German American Club, Gesangverein Inc, a non-profit charged with promoting German culture in Louisville, KY, decided to offer a way for members to store their own glassware on-site. This addition is being implemented at the club to improve experience and encourage engagement. A concept similar to mug clubs found at micro-breweries, this program would enable members to drink from their own glassware during events at Gesangverein.
The club looked to the world’s most famous beer hall, the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus München, and its affiliate in northern Kentucky, the Hofbräuhaus Newport, for inspiration. These facilities offer a similar program, one where patrons pay a fee to store their beer glass/mug in a special rack. Their racks are open wrought iron structures, enabling all patrons to view the mugs (ceramic glassware known in German as a Steinkrug or Masskrug). While the Louisville club wanted to replicate this design, a major difference in operating models makes it unworkable.
“Our club is an all-volunteer organization and we rent our hall to members and non-members alike for private events,” said club president Bill Willinger. “We needed a way to secure members’ mugs during non-member rental events. We were worried an open rack could lead to dirty or damaged mugs.”
Fabricated Metals was founded in 1955 by a third-generation German immigrant. Through their Strong Hold division, Vice President of Engineering, Kirk Chambers, and his team came up with a solution. They measured space available in the club hall and designed a system of two 18-guage steel cabinets. Both cabinets are equipped with 27 bins with individual see-through doors. Placed side by side, these units will enable 54 members to securely store their unique glassware. They can access it via a padlock anytime they wish, a requirement to further reduce the need for volunteer support.
“The club will charge a nominal fee for members who wish to utilize this on-site storage system.” Says Willinger, “We hope this mug rack will encourage our members to attend more events and to utilize the unique glassware they’ve collected. We couldn’t be more pleased with this solution from Strong Hold. Prosit!”