If you’re a beer connoisseur, you’re willing to go to sometimes absurd lengths to get your hands on a rare microbrew. You’ll attend craft beer festivals, scour the back of the fridge at out of the way country stores in Tennessee and maybe take a week off from your job in DC to travel to California just to stand in line for hours to try and snag a bottle of Pliny the Younger. “Surely,” you thought when the guy announced the PtY was sold out and you realized you’d have to go home once again empty-handed, “there has to be a better way!” Well, there finally is; and its name is Tavour.
Tavour is an online beer club with a bit of a difference. Whereas the vast majority of such online communities send subscribers a monthly selection of rare and extraordinary brews picked by their in-house panels Tavour leaves the selecting up to you. They tell you what they have, and then you make the selections and await delivery. For many, this is a better, more thoughtful way of running this type of enterprise. And the success Tavour has enjoyed in the relatively short time since their launch seems to beer that out (so to speak).
Beer Variety at Tavour
There is no doubt that the Tavour beer experts go to extraordinary lengths to provide you with a dizzying array of choices month after month. They aren’t one of those clubs that concentrate on IPAs or IPLs. Instead, they scour the craft beer landscape for anything that looks interesting and then makes it available to their subscribers on a first-come, first-serve basis. Their typical lineup of beer includes everything from pilsners, lagers, red ales, pale ales and witbiers to dessert stouts, sours and more. It’s nothing short of a beer lover’s nocturnal emission, and it’s why so many are sold on Tavour after their first encounter. Here is an example of just some of the beers they featured during a recent month:
- Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA, Smuttynose Brewing Co, NH
- Barrel Aged Old Ruffian, Great Divide Brewing, Denver, CO
- Louie’s Resurrection, Milwaukee Brewing, Milwaukee, WI
- Frontman IPA, Black Shirt Brewing, Denver, CO
- Green Flash Palate Wrecker, Green Flash Brewing, CA
- Raspberry Sour, Lucky Envelope Brewing, Seattle, WA
- Reefstorm, Three Magnets Brewing, Olympia, WA
- Avery Uncle Jacob’s Stout, Avery Brewing Company, CO
- Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, Breckenridge Brewery, CO
- Red Headed Stranger, Brasserie Saint James, Reno, NV
- Bell’s Two Hearted, Bell’s Brewing Company, MI
- Little Brett, Allagash Brewing, Portland, ME
- Gigantic IPA, Gigantic Brewing Company, OR
- Lover’s Greed, AleWerks Brewing, Williamsburg, VA
As most Tavour reviews note these guys go the extra mile to find the unusual and the exotic and there doesn’t seem to be any limit on their resourcefulness when it comes to locating and obtaining some of the most obscure and desirable beers.
If we have a bone to pick as far as Tavour goes, it’s over their quizzical reluctance to embrace 21st-century technology. Although they do have an app, they nonetheless seem to rely pretty heavily on your parent’s favorite social media app: email. They send you an email a day and encourage you to make your selections from those presented therein. It’s a little odd, but due to the outstanding nature of their selection and otherwise good to excellent customer service we’ll chalk it up to growing pains and let it go.
Monthly Beer Selection Process
As we’ve already mentioned in this Tavour review, it’s not one of those online beer clubs that do the choosing for you. Instead, they simply grant you access to the Tavour beer vault and let you pick for yourself. You can make your selections via their app or by reserving one of the brews that come to your attention through those daily emails. While the duality of the subscription service can sometimes create a bit of confusion, in the end, you’re going to get the microbrews you want and that’s all that really matters.
The Tavour beer loving community tends to be Facebook-centric although that’s pretty much SOP these days for what are predominantly online ventures. They do hit it out of the park once a year though with their annual Customer Appreciation Party/Holiday Beer Bash at their Seattle HQ. If you have the time and the inclination you should join the hundreds of other beer-loving Tavour subscribers who make the pilgrimage. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.
For more great beer communities, make sure to check out these other beer clubs. These clubs are some of the best out there.
Tavour lets your selections accumulate for about a month before gathering them together and shipping them to you. Be aware they’ll need an adult signature when they arrive, or they’re going back on the delivery truck. If you want to change your appointed shipping date, you can do so on your account page. You also have the option of picking up your brews in person by dropping by their Seattle warehouse. An option they actively encourage.
Tavour customer service is generally good to excellent. You’re not likely to get put on hold and subjected to a muzak assault for 3 hours and the folks answering the phone seem to know just about everything about just about every type of beer known to man. They respond to email queries promptly – i.e., usually within a couple of business days – and regardless of how you communicate with them they’re not going to play games with you or try and baffle you with bs like many customer service departments do. They listen to your gripe or request and respond in a generally reasonable, responsible manner. Isn’t that what you want from customer service?
Tavour Review: The Final Verdict
This concludes our Tavour review. If you love craft beer, if you’re into being the first on your block to discover a new microbrew, if you like the idea of selecting new and compelling beers to sample yourself rather than having someone do it for you, you owe it to yourself to check the Tavour beer sampling subscription service. It’s a pretty safe bet there will be at least one thing dropped off at your home every month that you look forward to.