Beer Of The Month Clubs – Reviewed

Craft beer lovers have never had it so good.

Whether you’ve exhausted your local supply of craft beers, live in a city without many choices or simply want to find the best beer of the month clubs for the beer lovers in your life – The following comparisons should help you finally pull the trigger.

~Enjoy

 

Benefits of Joining a Beer of the Month Club

One of the best benefits of joining one or more of these beer of the month clubs belongs to those who operate home breweries, either for fun or profit. By receiving regular shipments of various brews, from standard to unique, the home brewer can then taste each beer, and proceed to create new brews or modify their existing ones.

Another benefit of joining one of the following beer of the month clubs is the amount of time you’ll save in the end. In other words, if you were to try to purchase different brews on your own, you’ll find that requires a good amount of time spent searching for brews and researching them with regards to flavor profile, mouthfeel, aroma, color and appearance, before you make your final decision. Not only that, but the selections made for you by the clubs will be delivered to your doorstep automatically, which saves you much time and money in research and travel, if you were to hunt them down on your own. In the end, by joining a beer club, you’ve no selection stress, no travel time wasted scouting for new beers, and receive new brews that have already been tested for quality from expert beer testers.

 

Original Craft Beer Club

The original craft beer club prides itself with bestowing upon its customers both superb customer service along with an exceptional line of unique, crisp and frosty craft beers. When you join their beer of the month club you’ll be the fortunate recipient of some of the best beers in America, all delivered right to your door. All things considered, the original craft beer club is one of the best loved and oldest beer of the month clubs out there. If you’re just starting out on your craft beer adventure, this might be the perfect club to start off with.

What some members really like about this club, is that they just don’t stick with bottled, 12 ounce beers, but offer canned brews as well. With regards to selection, it’s pretty good. Their panel of expert brewmasters spend a good deal of time scouting the various US breweries to find craft beers suitable for the club. They consciously use brewers from different areas of the US which further helps to guarantee variety. Previous breweries and beers include the Argus Brewery of Illinois, the Brau Brothers Brewing Company from Minnesota and Serda Brewing Company located in Alabama.

As for the actual delivery, each shipment that arrives to your door will contain 4 different types of craft beers, each from two different, indie breweries. That means you’ll receive a total of 12 beers per delivery, with each delivery arriving toward the end of the month. Upon membership, you’ll be allowed to customize your subscription, such as selecting a preferred delivery times.

When you visit their website, you’ll find that all the information you need is up front, right where you need it. As for the ordering process, it’s straightforward and simple and the prices are more than fair for the service, timely delivery and variety of US brews you’ll receive. If you have concerns, or would like to omit a certain type of beer, you simply call their office and state your request or concerns.

 

International Beer Club

Receiving twelve, 12 ounce craft beers of exceptional quality delivered straight to your door each month from some of the best international breweries is just what you’ll get from the International Beer Club. With each delivery giving you the opportunity to taste two different styles of beer, with six of each type, in both bottles and cans. While you just get two different styles versus the four you get in other clubs, you make it up by having 6 of each. This leaves you with plenty to enjoy, or pass around to family and friends. As you can see, it’s the diversity of flavor that makes this beer club such a favorite among enthusiasts.

The flavor and quality of the beer you receive from this club is the result of a careful selection process. Selection is made by a panel of experienced, expert brewmasters who take their position with the International Beer Club seriously, ensuring that you receive craft beers that have a good mouthfeel, embracing aroma, rich flavor and lovely color. Examples of previously delivered international beers include 961, a spiced pale ale from Lebanon, a white IPA from Moa Brewing company in New Zealand, and a rich German pilsner from Familienbrauerei Dinkelacker, Germany. Membership price for this club is pretty competitive. Currently, the cost to become a member of the International Beer Club is $34,95 per month, with $15.00 shipping and handling costs.

 

Tavour Beer Club

Where the Original Craft Beer Club of America supplies members with a healthy selection of exceptional, high quality craft beer, the Tavour Beer Club jumps outside the box a bit by offering you a nice mix of standard, basic craft brews along with some that are a little more adventurous, and that’s just what fans of this club love. Look at it this way, if you happen to be a bonafide brew geek, then there’s little or no chance you’ll be able to pop to the corner store to grab an experimental brew, and that’s just the customer who’ll find the Tavour Beer Club to their liking. Indeed, no more will you have to travel for miles to get a taste of that new brew, because Tavour will drop them right at your doorstep.

Becoming a member of their club is totally free, and since they cater to those on a constant search for the unique, they make sure to send you notifications whenever a new brew becomes available to them via their user-friendly app. Once a member, you can expect to get two or three notification emails per day, that’s how serious they are. Once you get the notifications, you can decide whether or not you’ll like to add that beer to your shipment. If so, it’s conveniently placed in your “cellar”. The cellar is the section on the app where you store your order for the type of beer, amount and shipping date. The app even keeps a history of your purchase and the date it shipped on.

When it comes down to pricing, you can’t go wrong with Tavour. As the brews available are often rare or unusual, some can be quite expensive, but Tavour keeps them at an affordable, reasonable price. As for the actual shipment, you can expect to get your shipment within around 2 weeks from your chosen shipping date. You’ll receive a notification on your app complete with tracking number, stating that your beer left the warehouse on the specified date, and that it’s on it’s way to your local carrier.

In order to maximize freshness, Tavour does not keep a large inventory of beer in their warehouse. Generally, soon after the notification for a beer goes out to members, it is soon sold out. This protects you from receiving old, stale brews. As for the brews themselves, we think you’ll really like the variety Tavour offers you. While they do specialize in the more unique and hard to find beers, they’ll also send you notifications for the more standard fare such as pilsners, lagers, and ales. Their objective is to offer you the best variety possible, and this is where they succeed. In the end, the Tavour Beer of the Month Club is the perfect place to acquire newer beers that aren’t available in your local establishments.

 

Hops Head IPA Beer Club

Hops Head IPA Beer Club has been designed specifically for those who are in love with the rich, flavorful taste of IPA beers. Here, you’ll be the recipient of some of the best, and hoppiness IPAs in America, which means that you’ll have access to brews not available in your area. If you consider yourself a hop head, then Hops Head IPA Beer of the Month Club is for you. This is one of the latest beer clubs to be added at Monthly Clubs, so if you happen to be familiar with any of their other beer clubs, such as their International Beer Club,, then you know the high quality beers you’ll receive as well as excellent delivery and customer service.

For those of you new to IPA, and would like to experiment, know that an IPA has an alcohol range from 3 to 14 percent. with colors starting at pale wheat to a rich, deep amber. If you’re concerned about variety, don’t be as you’ll find everything IPA including black, English, session, specialty, browns, and reds. As for styles, there’s nitro, Belgian, white, sours, brett, triple/quadruple, East coast, and wheat. Hop Heads IPA Beer Club promises the hop heads out there, that they’ll receive as diverse a selection possible.

So, if you think that joining a club that only caters to hop heads may get a little dull, then let us assure you, that will not be the case. Their selection is quite diverse, each one with a variety of hoppiness ranging from spicy and fruity to earthy and minty. Shipments are delivered as expected, with 3 different beers from 2 different indie breweries, 4 bottles each. You’ll also receive a newsletter from the club called the “Malt of the Earth”, where you’ll learn about the various indie breweries in the US, along with some information about the beers you’ve received.

So for the hop head enthusiast, this club has a lot to offer, especially if you don’t live in an area with establishments which stock craft beer. Overall, this is a great gift to give that special hop head in your life. If you’re not into hoppy brews, then consider the Original Craft Beer Club or Travour instead.

 

Rare Beer Club

Craft beer enthusiasts who are yearning to locate a beer club that will supply them with hard to find craft beers, beers that they’d not be able to find themselves, will most certainly appreciate Michael Jackson’s Rare Beer Club. The variety of rare beers offered by this beer club is enough to satisfy even the most seasoned craft beer enthusiast. In fact, if you visit their web page, you’ll be able to get a good idea of the varieties available, as they post their past selections online–from 1996!

Each shipment left on your doorstep contains a newsletter entitled “The Rare Beer Club”. Here, you’ll find some interesting tidbits regarding the various craft beers and their corresponding indie breweries. So, even if you’re a newbie to the refined art of beer-tasting, these facts will definitely assist you in knowing just what to look for in a good beer, as well as what foods taste best with what beer. Every day, you’ll receive a notification in your email box that is designed to give you the option to save a particular beer in your box. When shipping time rolls around, all the beers in your box will be shipped out to you.

As a member of the Rare Beer Club, you’ll be able to relish so many different flavor profiles from well-respected independent breweries. It also saves you from having to make your own selections from individual breweries online, of which there are thousands. If there is a drawback to this club, it’s that you don’t have the same type of control over the beers you sample as you may in other clubs such as Tavour. There are also no discounts available to you if you’d like to do some bulk orders. Finally, if your taste leans to standard, basic brews, then this isn’t the club for you. Instead, go and take a look to see what the Original Craft Beer Club has to offer.

 

US International Variety Beer Club

The US International Variety Beer Club is made for those craft beer enthusiasts which crave extensive variety in their brews. Here, you’ll receive a diverse grouping of both foreign and domestic craft beers. Once a month, you’ll receive a shipment of 12 craft beers, divided into 4 different styles from both international craft breweries and US craft breweries. Examples of past selections include WhooHa’s English Porter from Scotland, a crisp English pale ale from Moorland Brewing in England, and a rich Baltic Porter by Browar Witnica Brewery in Poland.

All of the beers you receive are carefully curated by a panel of brewmasters who themselves visit the individual breweries across the globe, creating long-lasting relationships with these breweries to ensure you always receive the very best they have to offer. Not only are you receiving a variety of beers from breweries all over the world, but you also are given options to customize your shipment. The US International Variety Beer Club allows you to select how many shipments you’d like to have delivered, along with how often you’d like them delivered and the month you’d like your membership to start. Unlike some other clubs, however, shipping is not free and costs $15.

Not only do you benefit from their professional selection process, but you also receive a newsletter with each shipment. This newsletter contains useful information concerning the beer you’ve ordered, brewery history, along with food pairing and tasting notes. You’ll also find the payment options quite handy, as you can choose to pay for it all at once, or elect to pay as you go, which helps to make the US International Variety Beer Club and affordable gift for that beer enthusiast in your life.

 

Great Clubs Beer of The Month Club

When you land on their website, you’ll notice their “Happiness Guarantee” right smack on their front page, stating that they stand behind their club 100 percent, and that shipping is always free. Indeed, the Associated Press summed it all quite nicely: “Clubs of America discovered the key to a person’s heart is by offering the gifts that keep on giving”. Since 1994, Great Clubs have been offering its patrons flavorful, high quality, fresh tasting craft beers from some of the best small, micro breweries in America.

Just so you are aware, Great Clubs Beer of the Month Club offers its members a great deal more than just beer. By providing members with the option for deliveries of cigars, chocolate, flowers and coffee, it solidifies its reputation as one of the best beer clubs around. Once per month, they select and delivery delicious craft beer from 2 or 3 hand-picked breweries. This means you’ll get twelve, 12 ounce unique craft beers, 4 different styles, within each delivery.

Beer styles can include anything from hop rich IPA’s, stouts, lagers, porters, ales and more.

Your shipment also comes with their “Beer Expeditions” newsletter. This newsletter is handy for both the newbie and seasoned beer enthusiast alike, as it offers you detailed information on the beer in the shipment, the indie breweries which crafted them, and finally interesting tips to feed the beer-geek in each one of you. If that’s not enough, Great Clubs Beer of the Month Club allows you to customize your shipments as well. They present you with the option for 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12 month subscriptions form which to choose. As for payment, they simplify that as well, by giving you the option to pay in full, or pay as you go.

Know that when you sign up for your membership, you’ll only receive beers crafted from the finest ingredients, and totally void of unnatural chemicals and preservatives. They also do not limit their selection to bottled beers. 5 times per year they send out beer in 12 ounce cans as well. Their customer service is superb and their Beer Club Blog is a great place to gather some great information about the unique brews they select from around America. With over 5 million shipments made throughout their 20 plus years in business, their reputation stands on it’s own.

 

Flying Noodle Beer of The Month Club

The Flying Noodle Beer of the Month Club is one of the many gift of the month clubs offered by Amazing Clubs. Amazing Clubs not only offers its patrons a fabulous beer of the month club, but also caters to those interested in wine clubs, pasta clubs and chocolate clubs, just to name a few. Knowing how skilled they are at creating and maintaining such a variety of gift clubs, it’s understandable why their beer club is such a success: They know what the customer wants, and go to great lengths to ensure that they deliver as promised.

When you sign up for the Flying Noodle Beer of the Month Club, you’ll be the recipient of twelve, full-sized bottled brews, each one unique, and each one hard to find. Each of the beers you receive have been hand-picked by experts in their field, and all limited to small batches by indie breweries throughout the country. Each monthly shipment comes with 4 different styles of beer, along with their newsletter, “The Frosted Mug”. This newsletter brings with it information about the beers you’ve received, along with some educational and interesting beef facts and trivia.

As for the membership, you can select from 3, 6 or 12 month subscriptions, or choose their seasonal option. With the Beer of the Season Club, new brews are sent to your each season: Fall, winter, spring and summer. When you sign up with the Flying Noodle Beer of the Month Club, know that you will only be receiving premium micro brewed beers from the best indie brewers in the country. Indeed, Flying Noodle is proud of the fact that many of their chosen selections have received awards at various high level beer festivals and competitions. Seriously, this is a terrific gift for that hard to please beer lover in your life, or even just for you. After all, it truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Shipping is free, and each shipment comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

 

 

 

CraftBeerClub.com


Craft-Beer-Club-Logo

CraftBeerClub has a great pool of small & micro breweries they select beer from for their Monthly Beer Club Plans. They are also one of the only clubs on this list to offer additional incentives for longer term subscriptions. (see below for details)

Like a lot of similar beer clubs out there – It does leave a bit to be desired in terms of customizing your delivery.

Available Plans:

#What's Included?PriceShippingTotal Cost Per Month
1*12 Craft Beers
*4 Different Styles of Beer
$39.00
Free!

$39.00
2*24 Craft Beers
*4 Different Styles of Beer
$79.00
Free!

$79.00

Shipping Restrictions:
“Excludes Alaska & Hawaii”

Bonus Gifts!

  • Bottle Opener – 3 Months+ Subscription
  • 4 Tasting Glasses – 6 Months+ Subscription
  • $25.00 Off – 12 Months+ Subscription

Pros

  • Fair Pricing
  • Free Shipping
  • Bonus Gifts

Cons

  • Only 2 plan options

CraftBeerClub Discount Codes!

Get $5.00 bucks of any of the CraftBeerClub.com Beer Of The Month Club Subscription Plans!

  • Pintfor5  = $5 off first month of ongoing memberships, or $5 off 3 to 12 month prepaid gift memberships
  • Pintfor5 = Ongoing memberships receive $5 off first month plus Bottle opener and set of 4 tasting glasses in the first shipment
  • Pintfor5  = 3, 4 and 5 month prepaid gift memberships receive $5 off plus bottle opener in first shipment
  • Pintfor5  = 6,7,8,9,10,11, month prepaid gift memberships receive $5 off plus bottle opener and tasting Glasses in first shipment
  • Pintfor512 month prepaid gift memberships receive $5 off plus bottle opener, tasting Glasses off in first shipment plus additional $25 off total

 

BeerMonthClub.com


Beer-month-club-logoWith a great selection of monthly plans to choose from, BeerMonthClub.com has something for everybody. Whether you are partial to the American style lagers, IPA’s & stouts or you are looking to change things up by checking out one of their international or Rare beer plans.

The Beer Advocate forums are full of people who praise their Rare Beer Club for their ability to consistently deliver unique brews and simultaneously allow you to customize future deliveries to suite your palette. That being said – You pay for what you get, as they are a bit pricey!

Available Plans:

#What's Included?PriceShippingTotal Cost Per Month
1U.S. MicroBrewed Club
*Includes 12 different craft beers
*4 different varieties per month
$24.95
$15.00

$39.95
2U.S. & International Beer Club
*Includes 12 different craft beers
*4 different varieties per month
$30.95
$15.00

$45.95
3The International Beer Club
*Includes 12 different craft beers
*4 different varieties per month
$33.95
$15.00
$48.95
4The Rare Beer Club - 2 Bottles
*Includes 2 750ml Bottles
*2 different varieties per month
$34.95
$14.00
$48.95
5The Rare Beer Club - 4 Bottles
*Includes 4 750ml Bottles
*2 different varieties per month
$52.95
$16.00
$68.95
6The Rare Beer Club - 6 Bottles
*Includes 6 750ml Bottles
*2 different varieties per month
$69.95
$19.00
$89.95

Shipping Restrictions:
“We ship our Wine and Beer clubs to all states except Utah, Alaska, and Hawaii.” It should also be noted that people have experienced a number of issues with Beer Clubs shipping to Pennsylvania due to local state laws.

Pros

  • Fair Pricing
  • Large Variety of Plan Options
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Rare Beer Club affords you the option of customizing your brews

Cons

  • Rare Beer Club Plans are a tad pricey

 

GreatClubs.com


Great-Clubs-logoGreatClubs.com specializes in delivering unique gifts, and their beer club is no exception. While they lack the ability to customize your orders and only have 1 plan to choose from – Their beer club can make a great gift for the beer lovers in your life.

My only real concern here is, That with only 1 plan option you have little control of what gets shipped to your front door.

Available Plans:

#What's Included?PriceShippingTotal Cost Per Month
1*12 MicroBrewed Beers
*4 Different Varities
$38.95
Free!

$38.95

Shipping Restrictions:
“Not available in AK, HI, or UT”

Pros

  • Fair Pricing
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Free Beer Expeditions monthly newsletter subscription

Cons

  • Only 1 Plan option
  • Unable to Customize Orders

 

AmazingBeerClub.com


amazing-beer-club-logoAmazingBeerClub.com is essentially the same deal as above – Huge company, with great support – but few options to customize your craft beer experience.

Available Plans:

#What's Included?PriceShippingTotal Cost Per Month
1*12 great micro-brews from award-winning breweries!
*4 Different Varities
$35.95(On Sale Now)
Free!

$35.95(On Sale Now)

Shipping Restrictions:
“We cannot ship beer clubs to AK, HI, UT”

Pros

  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Free Shipping
  • Cheapest Plan! (currently on sale)

Cons

  • Only 1 Plan option
  • Unable to Customize Orders
  • No monthly Plan options

 

HalfTimeBeverage.com


Half-Time-Beverage-Logo

HalfTimeBeverage.com offers a number of taste-specific monthly beer club options to ensure that you are only getting your favorite types of beer delivered to your door every month.

For whatever reason, It seems that they are a little limited in which states they currently deliver to – Make sure to check the shipping restrictions below first!

Available Plans:

#What's Included?PriceShippingTotal Cost Per Month
1Variety Beer Club
*Includes 12 craft micro-brewed beers!
*2 bottles each - 6 different brews
$131.97 For 3 Months
$251.94 For 6 Months
$467.88 For 12 Months
Free!

$43.99 For 3 Months
$41.99 For 6 Months
$38.99 For 12 Months
2East Coast Beer Club
*Includes 12 craft micro-brewed beers!
*2 bottles each - 6 different brews
$131.97 For 3 Months
$251.94 For 6 Months
$467.88 For 12 Months
Free!
$43.99 For 3 Months
$41.99 For 6 Months
$38.99 For 12 Months
3German Beer Club
*Includes 12 craft micro-brewed beers!
*2 bottles each - 6 different brews
$131.97 For 3 Months
$251.94 For 6 Months
$467.88 For 12 Months
Free!
$43.99 For 3 Months
$41.99 For 6 Months
$38.99 For 12 Months
4IPA Hop Head Beer Club
*Includes 12 craft micro-brewed beers!
*2 bottles each - 6 different brews
$131.97 For 3 Months
$251.94 For 6 Months
$467.88 For 12 Months
Free!
$43.99 For 3 Months
$41.99 For 6 Months
$38.99 For 12 Months
5Ports & Stouts Beer Club
*Includes 12 craft micro-brewed beers!
*2 bottles each - 6 different brews
$131.97 For 3 Months
$251.94 For 6 Months
$467.88 For 12 Months
Free!
$43.99 For 3 Months
$41.99 For 6 Months
$38.99 For 12 Months
6Around The World Beer Club
*Includes 12 craft micro-brewed beers!
*2 bottles each - 6 different brews
$131.97 For 3 Months
$251.94 For 6 Months
$467.88 For 12 Months
Free!
$43.99 For 3 Months
$41.99 For 6 Months
$38.99 For 12 Months

Shipping Restrictions:
“We currently only ship beer to the following states: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MD, MI, NE, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OR, SC, VA, WA”

**They also have an awesome selection of Beer Gift Baskets!

Pros

  • Great Variety
  • Lots of Plan Options
  • Tasting Notes & Food Pairing for each beer!

Cons

  • Pricing is a little expensive

 

MicroBeerOfTheMonthClubs.com


micro-beer-of-the-month-clubsThis is a great alternative to the more expensive “Rare Beer Club” mentioned above – They claim to offer unique beers that no other beer club is willing to. If you are the adventerous type – I’d give these guys a shot!

With their “cancel anytime” guarantee, and 26% discount for your first order – What do you have to lose?

Available Plans:

#What's Included?PriceShippingTotal Cost Per Month
Big Bomber Beer Club
*Includes 6 Bombers (22oz) of craft micro-brewed beers!
*6 bottles each - 3 different brews
$52.00
Free!

$52.00
Original Bomber - 4 Pack of Great Beers
*Includes 4 Bombers (22oz) of craft micro-brewed beers!
*4 unique brews!
$39.00
Free!
$39.00

Shipping Restrictions:
“Excludes Alaska, Hawaii & Utah”

 

Pros

  • Risk Free Guarantee
  • Truly Unique Beer Selection
  • Fair Prices

Cons

  • Only 2 Plans

 

CraftBeerConnect.com


craft-beer-connect-logoFor anyone that is looking for some great Micro brews at a reasonable price – CraftBeerConnect.com is my personal favorite in this list. If you aren’t ready to fully commit – They have a reasonably priced sampler pack and if you aren’t 100% satisfied you can cancel your order at anytime.

They also offer you the chance to customize EVERY order. Or if you would prefer – They’ll pick them out for you based on your previous preferences!

Available Plans:

#What's Included?PriceShippingTotal Cost Per Month
1Sampler Pack
*Includes 2 Bombers (22oz) of craft micro-brewed beers!
*2 bottles - Assorted Tiers & Styles
$18.00
Free!

$18.00
2Teir 1 - Classicss
*Includes 6 Bombers (22oz) of craft micro-brewed beers!
*Pick any 3 Teir 1 Beers - They'll ship you 2 of each!
$33.00
Free!
$33.00
3Teir 2 - Premuims
*Includes 6 Bombers (22oz) of craft micro-brewed beers!
*Pick any 3 Teir 1 or 2 Beers - They'll ship you 2 of each!
$48.00
Free!
$48.00
4Teir 3 - Specialties
*Includes 6 Bombers (22oz) of craft micro-brewed beers!
*Pick any 3 Teir 1,2 or 3 Beers - They'll ship you 2 of each!
$63.00
Free!
$63.00
5Teir 4 - 12oz Beers
*12 - 12oz Bottles
*Pick Any 4 12oz bottles - They'll ship you 3 of each!
$38.00
Free!
$38.00

Shipping Restrictions:
“States that we cannot ship beer to: Hawaii, Alaska, Utah, MN, and Kentucky”

Pros

  • Great Variety
  • Lots of Plan Options
  • Tasting Notes & Food Pairing for each beer!

Cons

  • ?

Site Is Currently Down

The CraftBeerConnect.com website has been down for me a few months now – It would seem that they are no longer in business, except their social media pages are still plenty active. I sent them a tweet today (8/5/15) looking for a status update. I will keep everyone posted here 🙂

 

Craftshack.com


CraftShack-order-craft-beer-onlineWhile CraftShack.com isn’t exactly a beer club, They are the only place I was able to find online that will allow you pick out exactly what you are ordering and ship it straight to your front door. With over 1,800 beers in stock – CraftShack makes it easy to navigate the site, track down hard to find beers and click order. If you’ve exhausted your local supply of craft beers, and don’t mind paying a small premium for shipping, CraftShack is your online pipeline for finding new brews.

Shipping Restrictions:
None Listed.

Pros

  • Over 1,800 different beers stocked.
  • Always Sale items available.
  • Website is very easy to navigate.

Cons

  • $35.00 Order Minimum

 

Beer of the Month Club Frequently Asked Questions


 

Regarding the Original Craft Beer Club, how much power do I have over the choice of beer I get in each shipment?

With the Original Craft Beer Club, you can ask them to leave out a certain style, such as an ale or IPA, but only if you’ve signed up for an ongoing subscription, with no declared end date.

 

I’m new to this, so what makes craft beer styles so different, it seems they would be the same to me.

All of the above clubs only select craft beer from indie breweries. This means that each style is made in small batches, not mass produced. When you receive an IPA from a brewer in Germany, Poland or New York, know that each will have their own unique flavor profile. This is due to the fact that each indie brewer creates their own recipe, as it were, for each original beer they brew. An IPA from a California Brewery may have a more hoppy taste, whereas one from a German brewer may have a more fruity taste, yet they are both IPA’s.

 

Regarding delivery, are adult signatures all you can accept?

Yes, each and every one of the above mentioned beer of the month clubs demand this, as it is a requirement of law. Beer is an alcoholic beverage, so must comply with the laws governing beer usage and delivery. You can also have the beer left with a neighbor, or delivered to your workplace.

 

What if I don’t want the membership for myself, but to send as a gift?

That’s easy. Each of the beer of the month clubs above have their own way of doing things, but it’s basically the same. They will provide you with a free gift announcement card, or one which you can print out at home to present. In fact, it’s a nice touch to print the gift announcement out yourself on quality paper, purchase an inexpensive frame, and gift it to your recipient. They will then proceed to direct all shipments to the recipient’s address.

 

What if my order arrives broken or damaged?

All of the beer clubs listed above are proud of their service, and back that up with exceptional customer service. While each club may have their own way of handling things, all will do their best to remedy the situation. It is advised that you take a photo of the damaged goods immediately upon arrival, as that will not only help customer service assess the situation, but also help them see where there might be some packing flaws.

 

Shipping Restrictions

As beer is an alcoholic beverage, there are some restrictions on shipping. Most clubs will ship beer to residents of all states except for the following:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Utah

Also, some states have rural areas where deliveries in general are difficult, these clubs are unable to get the beer to the customer. However, in case you have a question regarding your location and deliverability, when you sign up for your membership, clubs will tell you immediately whether or not they can delivery to your location.

Another shipping concern regards the age of the receiver of the package. These clubs require that the individual that signs for the beer be 21 years of age or older, and often require an ID before the carrier leaves it. Beer clubs are considerate and use discrete packaging methods, so if you need to, you can have your shipment sent to your place of work.

 

How to Judge a Good Craft Beer

While experienced craft beer enthusiasts have little trouble distinguishing and excellent craft beer, those new to the art may need a bit of an assist. Evaluating a good beer can be considered both an art form and science. We may know what we like when we taste it, but how can we judge it? How can we truly describe it? After all, a good beer is often evaluated on various factors, such as aroma, color, mouthfeel, etc. However, with a little help for the BJCP, or Beer Judge Certification Program, we can get a first hand look at just what it is the experts look for. This is not only good information for the casual beer drinker, but also for the home brewer looking to create their own signature brew.

Smell
The first item on the BJCP’s scoresheet will be aroma. The reason it is examined first, is that once the can is cracked or the top popped off, the aroma will flee quickly. Not only that, but a sudden change in temperature can alter the aroma, as well as how long the beer has been opened. To evaluate the aroma and bouquet correctly, it’s necessary to inhale several times. Next, describe what it is you smell. If you go to some of the beer ranking pages, you’ll see how everyday people evaluate the new craft beers they try. They’ll describe the aroma as fruity, earthy, minty, and so on.

Sight
When it comes to judging a good beer, sight isn’t high on the list. In fact the BJCP only gives appearance a measly 6 percent on their score sheet. That being said, people still enjoy describing the overall look of a well-favored beer. So, when evaluating your own, you can observe the head size, color, clarity and sediment. Let’s face it, a tall, frosty mug of beer is a beautiful thing, and even if the judges don’t count much for appearance, the average beer drinker definitely does.

Taste
Before we begin, lets go over the difference between taste and flavor when it comes to evaluating a good beer. Flavor is the true measure, and includes the following:

  • Taste
  • Smell
  • Appearance
  • Mouthfeel

If you were to glance at the BJCP’s scoring sheet, you’ll see that they grant a full 40 percent of the overall score to flavor. In order to test the flavor, one tablespoon will do nicely. Gently move the beer in your mouth so it comes in contact with your tongue and palate. Next, you are to take four sips. The first sip is where you judge its character. The second sip is where you denote any sweet, salty, bitter or sour tastes. The third sip is where you detect the mouthfeel, and the fourth is where you try to detect the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel
If you’ve read the above and are wondering just what mouthfeel is, you’re not alone. To sum up, mouthfeel refers to the body, the texture of the beer, how it feels in your mouth. For instance, is it crisp, smooth, robust, thin or dry?

Pleasure
This is the last section on the BJCP score sheet, and denotes the overall pleasure the tester receives from the beer. Basically, did it feel good? Did you enjoy it? Would you purchase a case of it, or never again put your lips on another bottle? It’s the overall impression, the delight, enjoyment or disgust you feel for that particular brew.

 

 

My Personal Recommendations:


Beer has a rich and diverse history. In fact, some enthusiasts believe that it is one of the oldest, or oldest recipes in the world, with some of the earliest recorded beer recipes being found on Egyptian papyrus from around 5000 B.C. Although beer has always been with us, the advent of the craft beer has created a sort of creative, Renaissance for our favorite beverage. With thousands upon thousands of small breweries opening up every year, plus the rapidly growing hobby of home brewing, one can only anticipate what new flavors and varieties will greet us in the upcoming years. We hope you enjoyed our overview of some of the best beer clubs today, and consider signing up for one or perhaps giving one as a much appreciated gift to someone you love.

Below are my personal recommendations for the best beer of the month clubs. These are based entirely off of my personal preferences and values.

Best Value Club:
If are looking to get your monies worth – I highly recommend the following 2 clubs.

  1. CraftBeerClub.com
  2. AmazingBeerClub.com

The craft beer club has a solid lineup of local & micro breweries they source all their deliveries with, and I hate to admit it – but I really like the idea of the added incentives for long term subs. AmazingBeerClub.com gets the number 2 spot purely for being the best value for the money. (at least while their discount is running!)

 

Best Beer Clubs!:
The following 2 choices would be my go 2 personal favorites for the range of options, quality & pricing.

  1. MicroBeerOfTheMonthClub.com
  2. CraftBeerConnect.com

I really like the idea behind the Micro Beer Club – It seems they pride themselves on delivering a high quality and unique beer each month for their members. And Craft Beer Connect goes the extra mile by allowing you to completely customize your orders. You really can’t go wrong with choosing either.

Straight 2 The Pint