Iron Hill Revamps Mug Club, Launches "King of the Hill" Loyalty Program

Iron Hill Revamps Mug Club, Launches

It’s a rarity, but sometimes you can fight the law and the law will lose. In this instance, it’s not as dramatic as diminutive David hurling a cut fastball dead center into Goliath’s unibrow, but a win’s a win, and for Iron Hill Brewery, it means not having to shut down the Mug Club loyalty program.

Back in July, an apologetic email was sent from Iron Hill president Kevin Finn regarding a PLCB crackdown on the Mug Club. According to the PLCB, the frequent eater/drinker program was not only encouraging drinking, but the free beer that was included in the annual membership fee was going untaxed. The last line of the first sentence was disheartening:

“…the Mug Club as we know it must end.”

Members read on to learn that a moratorium was placed on new membership; there would be no more free beer; and the point-per-dollar system that netted a $25 gift card after 300 points no longer applied to alcohol purchases, which, judging by our own personal receipts, constituted over half the money spent at our local Iron Hill.

If we needed a reason to drink, the PLCB gave us a few. Thankfully, instead of laying down their guns, the Iron Hill team spent the past few months conducting surveys and crunching numbers to figure out a way to keep both customers and the authorities happy.

Starting October 27, a new Mug Club will debut. Dubbed “King of the Hill,” it will offer a reduced annual membership fee of $25, and since points can no longer be earned for buying booze, the $25 gift card will now be awarded at 250 points. In addition, members will automatically receive points for stopping in, be it for a beer or a bite. The new program officially launches October 27.

For Iron Hill Brewery and its legions of Mug Club members (numbering over 10,000), the spoils of victory may not be an exact replica of what once was, but we are happy to report the new system should still accomplish what the old one set out to do: provide a loyalty program that totally doesn’t suck.

Photos by Danya Henninger

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