Stef Hogan was quite familiar with Flanagan’s Mug Club; she attempted to become a member a handful of times before. She lost her “passport,” as she calls it, twice throughout the years. One time she was at least 25 deep.
If you’re not familiar, Flanagan’s Mug Club, aka The Centurion Club, is not for the faint of liver. In order to join, you must drink more than 100 beers listed in a folded up “passport” that is checked off one beer at a time. Once you complete the 102 spots, you’re given a handmade mug, which holds 19-20 ounces of beer, that you keep at the bar and can adorn with whatever you’d like. This mug will last forever.
So why join the exclusive club? Other than the fact you get a few more ounces for the same price as a pint, the Highlands pub also offers $3 specials for club members throughout the week. Also, it’s a good way to acquaint yourself with all things beer.
“It’s mostly for people who are new to beer,” says bartender Joe Hoben. “Once you finish that list, you’ll be an aficionado.”
Hoben says members number into the 900s, and the quickest anyone ever completed the challenge was four days, by a lady in the Navy who was being deployed.
It was mid October when Hogan, who works in IT, decided to go for the gold. She gave herself seven weeks to complete the beer passport. If her friends wanted to hang out, they knew where to find her. If they didn’t, then she just made friends with strangers — in fact, she’s going to visit a cordial Canadian next year whom she met drinking through the list.
On Dec. 8, via a Facebook post, Hogan proudly proclaimed:
Hogan, 28, estimates it took more than $500 to consume all 102 beers, and she gained about 14 pounds in the process, which she hopes to lose by the end of the month. (She’s an avid biker and bikes to work when weather permits.)
The beers on the list range from $3 (domestics) to $23 (a Belgian Ommegang) and touch on just about every style of beer there is. Hogan says she thought she hated dark beers when she started, but realizes there are some she loves, including Belgian beers and her favorite, Wells Banana Bread Beer, which Flanagan’s serves in a bottle for $6.
“The best thing about it is that you learn so much about beer,” she says. “And I get to drink out of this cool mug forever.”
She suggests downloading an app like UnTappd to chart your way through and note your favorites. She also recommends taking photos of your list from time to time, in case it is lost or stolen.
The Flanagan’s Mug Club is open to anyone over the age of 21 who is up for a challenge. Bartender Hoben says it takes most people at least a year to complete, and that Hogan’s dedication is truly something to behold.
Welcome to the club.