Beer of the Month Clubs in Depth
Beer of the month clubs have been growing in popularity over the past decade with the explosion of the craft beer scene. Today there are tons of clubs which can make choosing the right one difficult. Every person can know which beer of the month club is right for them (if any) by understanding what they are and knowing which are the best ones in the market. Thus, I’m going to tell you in detail exactly what they are and their positive and negative aspects. I’ll then finish off with which ones I think are the best value so you can have an idea where to look.
If you haven’t bought beer online before, you’ll definitely want to check out my guide to Buying Beer Online.
So What Are Beer of the Month Clubs?
The standard beer of the month club will ship to you a dozen 12 ounce beers from various craft breweries each month. The 12 beers will be broken down into 4 different styles. Each month, they’ll change which styles of beer you get.
Some options include getting beers only from international breweries, or only from US microbreweries. Others will have rare beer clubs which give you two 750ml bottles of very rare beer each month.
Why Join a Beer of the Month Club?
One of the main reasons people enjoy beer of the month clubs is that they want to explore the best beers without having to search for them in the store. Plus, it is definitely easier to leave the decision making process up to those who know beer. In addition, you’ll try styles of beers that you normally wouldn’t buy or have tried before.
If the selection of beers in your area is especially limited, beer of the month clubs can be a great way to access the various craft beer styles. It’s also very convenient to have them shipped right to your door each month instead of having to go to the store to buy them.
Things to watch out for
Beer of the month clubs are fairly expensive. They usually start around 25 dollars per month with another 10 to 15 dollars for shipping. 40 dollars for a 12 pack of beer is a lot of money, so going to a store yourself would be a cheaper alternative.
Some states like Pennsylvania have strict alcohol taxation laws which prohibit beer of the month clubs from shipping to those locations. You’ll want to check out the list of accepting states.
Some of the shadier beer of the month clubs will send beers that aren’t fresh and are sometimes near their best by date. If you are going to pay the extra expense for a beer of the month club, you’re going to want to make sure that you are getting the best quality service.
Tips when choosing a Club
- Try finding beer of the month clubs that ship you local beers from area. These will most likely be fresher, which will make the beers a lot more enjoyable. Nobody likes a stale beer.
- Check out your local beer stores for their varieties. If they are plentiful, you can just check the current list of beers on a beer of month club site and use that as a purchasing guide.
- The Rare beer clubs are known for giving great beer that you otherwise can’t buy, even if you have a large beer store in your area. Many beer enthusiasts enjoy this club the best.
- Look for open memberships. They’ll send you the next month’s list of beers in advance and give you the option to select which beers you want to try. You can even opt out of that month’s selection at no charge.
If you are beer enthusiast and really want to make sure you get the best quality for your money, I would go with the Rare Beer club. You won’t normally find these beers in a store and you’ll get to experience some truly flavorful and unique beers.
If you are looking to get into beer and want to explore the various styles, I would suggest going with the original Craft Beer Club. They have free shipping and also include some additional bonus gifts with your shipment.