Sarasota Has A Semi-Secret Beer Society!

99 Bottles has a locker club with some great perks!

This story certainly doesn’t start like I thought it would. It begins with me being refused service. But refused in the nicest way possible. 😁

I LOVE having an occasional beer over at 99 Bottles (1445 2nd St. (941) 487-7874). It’s a super casual place. Anyone who has set foot in the door will tell you it has a friendly, knowledgeable, and beer-loving staff. When you add up those elements, it equals A Good Time!

Open for Business. Mark and Christina Tuchman have some experience in the craft brew arena. Just ask anyone who spent more than a casual minute sipping on an IPA at Mr. Beery’s.

Set the clock to 2019. That’s when 99 Bottles would throw open their doors and re-inspire a legion of local beer connoisseurs. It gave local beer appreciators a place to call their own. A place to spend a few minutes sampling and comparing notes with like-minded folks. It’s a comfortable world.

They might be local to us, but they have caught the attention of people who know what’s what. Recently, being named one of The Best Beer Shops in the South by Wine Enthusiast Magazine is a pretty BIG deal! 🏅

99 (my short form) has a LARGE selection. I don’t want to say too large because when it comes to beer, there can never be too many choices (at least IMO). Yes, my friends, there is more to a beer life than Miller Lite, Bud Light, and Stella. These selections (curated by their expert staff) span the width of beerdom. It’s a literal alphabet that runs from Amber Ales to Weissbiers, and everything in between. There is absolutely something for everyone.

🍺 Beer #17 “-this beer is for locker members only-” A mystery, to be sure. And I love a good mystery. What I didn’t realize was that this one would be so tough to crack.

🍺🍺 Beer #17 (again) -The description is a great read. “Dbl. Hazy IPA • 8% • Colorado • DDH with citra, mosaic, & el dorado hops” I wanted a taste of Beer #17. But just wanting something in this case would not be good enough.

🛑 This is where my plan meets reality. Did I mention that 99 has one of the best beer bar staffs in town (I think I did…)? They are so disciplined that when I ask for a sample of #17, I am turned down in the nicest, most pleasant way that I have ever been denied. It was a tribute to their training, to be sure.

Those look like an ordinary lockers from a bowling alley or skating rink. And, in fact, they are. These particular lockers have been repurposed from the old Stardust Roller Rink on 12th Street.

Now, instead of holding street shoes and purses, they hold monthly “drops” of highly sought-after brews from around the planet. Pretty great, right?

99 Bottles Beer Master, (My title. Mark affectionately refers to him as the “Beer Guy”) Dylan Hauri, runs this semi-secret beer society. He carefully selects the beers for the monthly drops and helps to organize member events. Dylan is basically in charge of anything related to the row of lockers that occupy this partially lit hallway and the folks who rent them.

This all sounds so interesting, doesn’t it? 😁

📝 I guess if you’re not a beer buff, you may be less than enthusiastic. But hey, why not take notes for the beer lover in your life?

We’ve got the 10,000-foot view. Now, let’s zoom in on some of the details…

🎯 THE PARTICULARS

THE 99 BOTTLES LOCKER MEMBERSHIP

💰 COST:

• $600 (First year only. Discounted after that)

🔢 TOTAL LOCKERS AVAILABLE:

• 96 (I think 99 would be a better number 😁)

📜 MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS:

• Each new member receives 99 Bottles swag. That includes a 32oz growler, tee shirt, hat, and glassware.

• Members receive a 10% discount on all purchases made at 99 Bottles.

⭐ Exclusive access to Beer #17! (a special tap line that is devoted to carrying limited-release beers that can only be ordered by Locker Members)

• Access to limited seating and closed events throughout the year.

• Monthly “Locker Drops.” The 99 Bottles staff curates a small variety pack of rare and unique release beers, which are placed in each locker for members to enjoy!

• The Annual 99 Bottles Party. It’s just for Locker Members and staff. 🎉 Rumor has it that this is a pretty special event.

Who would have thought? Who would have thought? A secret beer society hiding here in plain sight? Way to go, Sarasota! You seem like such a grown-up beer town. 👨‍🦰

I guess this is what it all boils down to. To get a taste (or a pint) of that elusive Beer #17, we’re going to have to be in the beer loop. I guess membership DOES have its privileges!

For more information on a 99 Bottles Locker Membership, contact them at (941) 487-7874.

🐷 Do You Like BBQ? – 99 Bottles hosts some fantastic Pop-Up Kitchen events. This SUN (1/28) from 5pm to 9pm they’re hosting Chef Bryan Jacobs from LIBERTY SMOKEHOUSE! This will be a deliciously smokey treat you will not want to miss! – MORE INFORMATION

Originally published on Dine Sarasota | Sarasota Bites