In the past 10 to 15 years handmade craft style beer has gained popularity across the country. This phenomenon has left me asking one question. What took so long? : ) Us beer enthusiasts have been waiting years for the to catch on. Now it seems like there are new pubs, local breweries, and small mom and pop brewing businesses popping up all over the place. This is great news for those of us who enjoy trying new recipes and love to venture out of our comfort zones.
With so many different small town places to go, how do you try all of these drinks? Better yet, how do you even hear about some of these places? These are the two questions that I get asked the most from the new readers of my blog and it’s a fair question. How can you try new and interesting beers on a regular basis?
Well, if you are anything like me, you like to travel. In fact, I plan road trips around finding new breweries and pubs. Ok well this might sound a little extreme for you. Don’t worry there’s an even easier way to enjoy tons of new beers regularly without even leaving your living room. Just join a Beer of the Month Club! The brew will get delivered right to your door.
There are many different clubs to choose from. I have been a member of each or at least researched the details of each club and have narrowed my recommendation down to the best two monthly beer clubs that are out there.
- 1 The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club
- 2 The Original Craft Beer Club
- 3 Other Popular Clubs
- 4 Amazing Clubs
- 5 Clubs of America
- 6 International Club
- 7 US And International
- 8 Rare Beer Club
- 9 Clubs Galore
- 10 IPA Beer Club
- 11 Micro Beer Club
- 12 Don’t See One You Like? Design Your Own!
- 13 Design Your Own Club
- 14 Best Beer Club as a Gift
- 15 Best Monthly Beer Club for Value
- 16 Best Beer of the Month Club for Variety
- 17 What is a Beer of the Month Club?
- 18 Benefits of Joining a Beer of the Month Club
- 19 What to look for in a Monthly Beer Club
The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club
The Microbrewed Beer Company is great for anyone looking to try new brews. They have been in business since 1994 and specialize in tasting and hand picking great tasting beer. This company is one of the most respected in the beer community because of their commitment to quality, freshness, and variety in each month’s selection. They have several different clubs that you can sign up for. Each has a different theme and offers a slightly different selection.
Their US Microbrewed club sends members twelve, 12-oz. beers from two different domestic micro-breweries. These 12 beers include three bottles of four different brew styles. Each month they will also sent you a monthly newsletter that explains that month’s selection, brewery information, staff taste notes, and food pairing suggestions.
The International club is great for people who want to get a taste of beer crafted outside the US. The 12 beers shipped to members each month originate from Germany, England, Belgium, and a few other countries. Each member gets two beers of six different styles each month along with the newsletter.
They also offer a US International Variety club that mixes the best of both of the first two clubs. This is their most popular club and is great for any beginner or veteran beer drinker with a taste for variety.
The last club that Microbrewed Co. offers is the Rare Beer Club. The Rare Club was original founded by Michael Jackson to be one of the world’s most creative and exceptional clubs offering bold U.S. and imported Farmhouse Ales, Russian Imperial Stouts, Barley Wines, Belgian Abbey Ales, Strong Ale and cask-aged ales. This is one of the most expansive clubs and can give you tastes from around the world for price that will fit your budget.
The Original Craft Beer Club
The Craft Beer Club is for people who want to explore all the tastes and greatness of American craft brewers. In the 1970s there were only about 50-100 small town brewers in the US. Today, there are an estimated 2,300 craft breweries in the United States. Each one of these 2,300 has their own unique history and taste. It’s obvious that there is no way you can possibly know about and try all of these. That’s what the Original Craft Beer Club does for you. Their crew samples hundreds of beers each year and pick out the best to give to their members.
Each month’s shipment includes three bottles of four different styles including American Amber / Red Ale, American Amber / Red Lager, American Barleywine, American Blonde Ale, American Brown Ale, American Dark Wheat Ale, American Double / Imperial IPA, American Double / Imperial Pilsner, American Double / Imperial Stout, American IPA, American Pale Ale, and many others. With this near limitless selection, you will always be trying new and different crafts from around the country. Each month you will also get a newsletter talking about the history of each brewery, the styles, and tasting tips.
The Craft Beer Club is a better choice for people who want to start exploring different domestic craft beers and want to learn a little bit more about the microbrew culture. Their prices are a little cheaper than Microbrews and include a few more bottles each month. This way you can test out more beers without having to pay a premium price.
This club is a great for beginners or people who want to try the best craft brews America has to offer.
Other Popular Clubs
Don’t See One You Like? Design Your Own!
Design Your Own Club
Best Beer Club as a Gift
If you’ve got a family member or friend that is absolutely obsessed with beer or just enjoys trying new craft beers, this is seriously the perfect gift. I’ll try and help you understand why.
As a beer lover myself, I am limited to what they sell at the local grocery and liquor stores. Although I may find a store that has an awesome selection of craft brews, it is still only a ridiculously small fraction of what is actually available. To put this into perspective, there are over 3,000 different breweries in the United States alone and over 12,000 breweries worldwide. Let’s say that each of these breweries was to brew 10 different beers over the course of a year. That would be a total 120,000 different beers. WOW! Now head down to your local market and count how many different craft beers they have on their shelf. 10? 20? 100? Nothing compared to 120,000. The only way to actually gain access to the vast variety and selection of all the different breweries without spending a lifetime jumping on an airplane or driving a million miles worth road trips is to join a Beer of the Month Club.
Buying your beer-loving friend, family member or significant other a six-pack at the local market will leave them satisfied, but purchasing them a 12-pack of nearly impossible to get rare craft beers will leave them blown away. Trust me, I know from experience! If you’re considering it, you’re in the right place.
Although you’ll most likely be more than happy with any of these Beer of the Month Clubs we have hand selected, I would say the Craft Beer Club takes the cake. They have decided to incorporate a ‘Gift announcement’ that allows for several different options. This customizable gift announcement is sent prior to their shipment and contains a personal message, information about their new beer membership as well as the delivery schedule. If you’re looking for a last minute gift idea, this information can also be printed off immediately and put right into a card. If you aren’t a procrastinator and want to purchase a gift ahead of time, they give the option to choose which month you would like to start the shipment.
Best Monthly Beer Club for Value
Not everyone is going to want the same thing from their beer club membership. Some may want the rarest beers they can get their hands on, some may be in it for the adventurous taste of international beers, but some may just be looking to get some great beers for a great price. If that is you, than you’re in the right place!
The best beer of the month club for value that I have found is the The Original Craft Beer Club.
But what makes the Craft Beer Club such an amazing value, Justin? Thought you’d never ask! The Craft Beer Club actually does well in nearly every category we review beer clubs. This includes the variety of beers, the selection process, the way the beer is shipped to your doorstep and last but not least, customer service. The Craft Beer Club does all this without costing you an arm and a leg. Impressive? I think so.
Variety: 12 beers total, four different beers from two different microbreweries. You’ll never receive the same beer twice.
Selection Process: Each months selection is chosen by a panel of beer experts based on the overall taste, smell, color and the limited availability of the beer. You’ll only receive premium selections.
Community: The membership does not include a great community experience like some of the other beer clubs offer. However, they do include a newsletter that contains information on that month’s selection.
Shipping: Each shipment is carefully packed and guaranteed that it will arrive in perfect condition or your money back.
Customer Service: These guys have been in the biz for over 12 years and have served over 1 million customers and still earned a 99% customer satisfaction rate.
If you’re looking for a beer membership that gets an A+ in value, grab yourself membership and you certainly won’t be disappointed!
Best Beer of the Month Club for Variety
When deciding on exactly which beer club you should be a member of, you must first decide which category is most important to you. That will help you narrow the search down to a specific club that best fits you! If you’re reading this paragraph, you most likely already decided that variety is most important to your taste buds and I don’t blame you. Personally, I find variety to be the most important and exciting category to have in a beer membership.
The best beer of the month club for variety is the US & International Variety Beer Club by Microbrewed.
The US & International Beer Club boasts a near A+ in every single category we review beer clubs in and by far the best when it comes to variety. This club categorizes their beer variety by country, brewery and style and guarantees you’ll get awesome variety that will never leave your taste buds bored!
Each shipment contains 12 beers that are specifically chosen by Microbrewed’s highly respected panel of judges. These shipments will contain 12 beers from two different breweries, one international and one from the US. Each brewery will send you three of their top two best tasting beers, which will give you 6 beers from each brewery. Most beer clubs do offer pretty close to the same variety as this beer club, but since they’re throwing in a mix of international and US beers it changes the game.
If you’re on the lookout for a membership that delivers incredible variety and still does a killer job in every review category, pick up a US & International Variety Beer Club membership from Microbrewed!
What is a Beer of the Month Club?
A monthly beer club is similar to any mail order service. I’m sure we all remember the monthly CD and DVD memberships that were popular in the 1990s. Trust me a beer club is nothing like these. Well, the concept is the same, but it’s not lame and you actually get to try new things that want.
The way a basic monthly beer membership works is you sign up as a member and the company delivers a case of select beers each month. These can be beers that you pick out from their vast selection or what I like to do is have them send me a variety pack of the specials that month. This way you get 6 to 12 new types and brands of brew that you have never tried or even heard of each month.
If you try one that you like, you can go ahead and order more of it. This is the great part about a club; it exposes you to new drinks that you would never have even heard of. Some clubs even learn your tastes based on which brews you tend to pick and they suggest new ones for you to try each month. This is by far the best way to experience a new selection and really branch out with your tastes.
So how do you sign up for one of these? Well, first let’s talk about what you should look for in a club before you sign up for one. There is nothing worse than signing up for something that isn’t going to work for you. I’ve come up with a few criteria that I use to judge how good a club is.
Benefits of Joining a Beer of the Month Club
There are so many benefits to joining a monthly beer club that it’s kind of difficult to touch on all of them. Obviously, the main benefit is to widen your current selection of tastes, selections, and customs. We all are used to the few things that we like and honestly we tend to get stuck in a rut. I know I do. Without someone making me trying something new, I will tend to keep drinking the same group of beers in my favorites collection.
A monthly club will help you find new brews that you like and even introduce you to some that you never would have thought you would like. My tastes have matured and I like tons of different stouts now that I would never have even tried ten years ago. I think joining a club will help you branch out of your comfort zone and help you find even more great brews that you would never have even heard of if you hadn’t joined.
Another obvious benefit is that you don’t have to do any research or even leave your house. They will pick out different featured brews and mail them right to your door. There’s no going to the store or even traveling hours to go to the next local brewery. You just have to wait until the next package arrives.
With that being said, the cost of a club is much more affordable than trying to travel to these small breweries and purchase the beer yourself. Remember most of these places don’t sell their brews to the public online. You can only get them through dealers or go to the brewery yourself. Joining a club is much cheaper and affordable than doing either of these things.
What to look for in a Monthly Beer Club
I’ve been a member of a variety of different brew clubs over the years and I know what makes one worth joining and why some are worth staying away from. I want you to find the club that fits your tastes and something that will work for you. For instance, if you primarily like domestic beers and really have no interest in trying imports, it would be pointless for you to sign up for something with selection that includes 90 percent imports.
Based on my experience, I’ve narrowed down the criteria that I look for in a brew of the month club to five main topics. I think that if a club can pass these five main areas, it will not only be a great club to join but you will have a lot of fun being a member. If you are anything like me, you will wait in anticipation for the next month’s shipment to come because you enjoyed the last one so much.
Here’s what I have come up with:
Monthly Selection Process
I think the first thing that I always look at when evaluating any type of brew club is the types of beer they offer as well as the total number of different options to choose from. After all it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to join something that doesn’t have much more selection than your average small town liquor store.
I typically evaluate the selection based on the amount of imports and domestics as well as the variety of homemade crafts. I enjoy just about all-different types of drafts, so I’m not to worried about whether they offer ale, porters, wheat beers, or stouts. I simply look to make sure there are a consistent variety of different brands, makes, styles, origins, and ages.
Most companies have a directory of different brands they offer too. I like to skim through the list and make sure there are a few that I know I like and a bunch that I have never heard of. This means I’ll be in for a treat because I’ll be trying something new!
The variety of beer is obviously one of the most important parts of joining a club. If they don’t have a good selection, why would join one? But how do they actually pick the brews that they send you on a monthly basis? This is the second most important question. They can have the best selection in the whole world, but if they always send you something that you don’t want, it doesn’t do you a lot of good.
I recommend reviewing how they pick the beers that you actually get in the mail. Most clubs have a variety of different options you can choice from. You can go through their list of different beers and pick a case of your own. I like doing this occasionally if there is something I really want to have again.
Or the more adventuresome option, you can let them pick the selection that month. Typically, the owners of the club handpick a bunch of different ones randomly for you to try. This is kind can be a little hit and miss because you never know what they are going to pick, but isn’t that part of the fun of joining a beer club—trying new stuff?
Lastly, most clubs offer an option to have their featured beers sent to your house. They usually have a few different beers featured each month for a variety of reasons. Some might be new while others are popular season brews. Either way, you can look at the list of these ahead of time, so you can decide whether this option is right for you.
The main thing is to look at how the club picks out the drinks each month. You don’t want to get stuck with a few cases of drinks you will never want because they keep picking out beers you don’t like.
This might sound like a strange thing to be concerned about with a mail order club, but the community of a beer club is one of the most important parts to me. Drinking beer is just as much about the experience and community as it is about the taste itself. What is a good beer if you have no one to enjoy it with?
Most clubs have online forums and ways to interact with other members. This is really helpful because you can talk about the different options and give suggestions to people based on what they liked versus what you tried in the past. Believe me. This concept of an online community seemed a little strange to me at first too, but it is, in my opinion, one of the most important parts of any club. Being about to talk and email other members will really allow you to enjoy your membership much more than if you were just receiving shipments without any interaction with members. I know I’ve had a lot of fun interacting with other enthusiasts online. I’m sure you will too.
With any mail order service, shipping and handle is always a big concern especially when you are talking about shipping glass bottles. Pretty much all monthly beer clubs package their shipment well, so there isn’t really anything to worry about as far as the packages actually getting to you.
The main thing that you have to be concerned about is costs. Not all clubs include the shipping costs in the price of the membership. If you are in a remote area, it might be somewhat costly to have monthly shipments sent to you. I would suggest looking into the distribution centers of the different clubs I recommend and figuring out a shipping option that will work for you.
I think customer service is important to everyone no matter what product or service you are buying. A monthly beer club is no exception. I like to read reviews and ask around for the customer feedback about any club I am thinking about joining.
It only makes sense that if you are ordering bottles of beer in the mail that you want a friendly and helpful staff of people who are ready to help you if there is a problem with your shipment or something arrives broken. The clubs that I recommend have amazing customer service with quick response times.
If a shipment arrives broken or damages, they ship another one out the next day without even asking a question. This not only makes the user experience better, but it also allows you to focus on the next beers that you want to try rather than focusing on whether or not the next order will arrive in one piece.