Yesterday at their 2nd Annual Artists and Artisans Holiday Extravaganza3 Stars Brewing Company announced the launch of the area's first beer membership program, The Illuminati Reserve Society.

What is a beer membership program you ask? The general model is that fans of a brewery pay a flat fee and receive all kinds of benefits throughout the year, including a variety of rare or one-off beers. 

The Illuminati Reserve Society (not to be confused with the IRS that, you know, audits people, or the kind of IRS that winds up overpopulating Top 50 beer lists) plans to open up registration on January 1 UPDATED: January 2 at 11am and will have a very limited number of spots, according to 3 Stars President Dave Coleman.

For the $100 membership fee, the Reserve Society guarantees members access to:


What beers are included in the "special growler fills"? Allocations will vary based on 3 Stars' production levels, but Reserve members will be typically guaranteed the ability to purchase the brewery's exclusive and hard to find beers via special release as they go on sale throughout the year. This is in addition to the five guaranteed beers that iRS members will receive.

In a press release, 3 Stars notes that, "The Illuminati Reserve Society is ideal for people who want to ensure they can get access to our specialty and one off releases. The $100 membership pays for itself as it easily covers the cost of the 5 special releases and any other exclusive merchandise that may be offered to members in 2014."

Membership begins on January 1st, 2014 and ends December 31st, 2014. More details about registration will be released here once the purchase site goes live.

Via email, the 3 Stars team added this about their new program:

Our intent for 2014 is to introduce DC and the surrounding areas to our beers through our large format bottling production. These beers are going to be small batch, specialty, and highly sought after beers, the majority of which will be exclusively available to our Illuminati Reserve Society members, especially in bottle format. We will structure our production schedule with the goal of producing enough beer to satisfy the demand of our exclusive members. Since this is our first year of bottling, and we haven’t any sales history to work from, we will be limiting the number of members that we accept this year. We hope this is a reasonable balance of your expectations and our business needs.

Need to know more? Check out the FAQ below. Otherwise stay tuned for more on the first beer membership program in the District!

FAQ’s For the Illuminati Reserve Society:

When will I receive my beers?

An initial allocation will be available for pickup at 3 Stars Brewing Company each quarter of 2014, with an ultra limited additional 5th release late in the 4th quarter.  We will communicate when we expect to release beers with all Illuminati members via private correspondence, occasionally though, some barrel releases may be delayed due to the aging process and blending.  We apologize in advance for any delays that you may experience during the year.

Will 3 Stars ship my allocation?  

No, at this time we are unable to ship beers, so members will have to stop by the brewery for their releases or send someone in their stead after making prior arrangements with the brewery to authorize said pickup.

Are the Illuminati Reserve Society beers exclusive to members?

The majority of the beers that will be offered to Illuminati members will be exclusives, though, sometimes due to production schedules we will occasionally offer these products to the market in general after the Illuminati members have already received their allocations.

Can I return or substitute any of the 5 allocations available in 2014:


No, we plan our brewing and release schedules for these specialty offerings based on membership numbers and participation. Due to this, the 5 releases in 2014 will be predetermined by our brewing and barrel aging schedule in the beginning of the year.

How do I find out about the releases and pickups etc.?

All Illuminati members will receive private correspondence from the brewery indicating upcoming releases and special exclusive details surrounding the releases.