I’m sure you’ve noticed, as we have, that just about every week there is a new brewery popping up on a downtown city street corner, but how in the world can you get access to all of these beers without traveling far and wide seeking out small-town breweries?
Fear not; because there’s actually a number of ways you can get access to hundreds of one of a kind craft beers and have them delivered right to your doorstep.
What is a Beer of the Month Club?
- 1 What is a Beer of the Month Club?
- 2 Click Below To Compare 2018’s Top 5 Best Beer of the Month Clubs and Monthly Brew Clubs:
- 3 What to Look For in a Beer Club
- 4 Benefits of a Brew Club Membership
- 5 The Microbrew Process
- 6 My Vote for the best club to Join
The concept behind beer clubs has been around for some time, and they’ve proved to be very successful in the last 20 years or so. The basic idea is that you pay a monthly fee to become a member of a beer club that selects a monthly brew to distribute among its members. You may remember companies offering similar services to this with books, cds, tapes, etc. The business model that Netflix has today owes much of its success to this basic idea.
And just as services like Netflix put you in touch with movies or documentaries you would never be able to find at Best Buy or Walmart, a monthly craft beer club puts you in touch with hundreds of custom beers that you would never find at your local bar or tavern. These clubs can expand your knowledge of beers exponentially for just a few dollars every month.
Let’s take a look at a few of the more popular beer clubs out there, the benefits of each one, and what you should generally look for in a club.
Click Below To Compare 2018’s Top 5 Best Beer of the Month Clubs and Monthly Brew Clubs:
Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club: The Rare Beer Club
The Rare Beer Club is the most exclusive of the beer club’s that is available by the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club. As such you do will pay a little bit of a premium as compared to some of the other package deals out there, but, believe me, it’s worth the couple extra dollars. The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club has been around for 20 years and has an incredibly trusted name in the beer community as a supplier of the finest limited-release, celebratory, and artisanal beers.
The Rare Beer Club has three different packages (seen below) that are available for purchase. The first package comes with two 750ml bottles per month, one of each featured beer. The second comes with two of each beer, and the third comes with three of each beer. In my opinion the best deal is the second package, which includes four 750ml bottles per month. This gives you just enough to really taste the beers while still keeping the price down for those who are on a budget.
The Original Craft Beer Club
The Craft Beer Club is for those among us who want to explore all the riches that American craft brewers have to offer. There are an estimated 2,300 craft breweries in the United States, all with the own unique history and taste. Now obviously not all craft brews are created the same. Some of duds, and others are rock stars. The crew over at Craft Beer Club, for this reason, samples hundreds of beers each year to bring you nothing but the best.
The Craft Beer Club is a better choice for those just looking to get into the craft beer game and looking to learn a little bit more about the microbrew culture. Their packages are a little cheaper and come with a little more quantity. That way you can test out more beers for less, while still getting some of the best craft brews America has to offer.
What to Look For in a Beer Club
Selecting a club to be a member of is just like picking out a car to buy or a restaurant that you can call your “go to place.” You need to make sure that the club fits your personality, your tastes, and your preferences in beer selection. For example, if you’re not a fan of IPAs you probably won’t want to be a member of and IPA club. If you want to expand your knowledge of domestic beers you probably don’t want to join a club specializing in imported beers.
But what about the nuts and bolts of joining a beer club? What are some general questions and concerns you should raise while looking for a club to call your own? Here are a few of the most important items you’ll want to keep in mind.
1. Beer Selection in Your Club
One of the primary things you need to take into account when looking to join a stein club is the selection of beers that the club makes available to its members. Some clubs have a limited selection of beers where their monthly picks come from, whereas other clubs literally have thousands of beers that they sort through in order to provide you with not only the best of the best but also unique one a kind beers.
As we said above, picking a beer club for you largely comes down to what it is you want to get out of your experience. Some people are more adventurous and are willing to try just about any beer on the market, while other people know what types of beers they do and do not like and only operate within those limits.
2. Monthly Beer Selection Process
This all sounds well and great, but the bottom lines comes down to what beers you will be getting every single month. So the question you need to ask yourself is how are these beers of the month chosen? Or to be more frank, who is choosing these beer of the months? This largely depends on the club itself. Sometimes the owners of a club will choose the monthly beer personally while others will have a panel of expert beer judges who hand select the beers from virtually thousands of beers that they are presented with every single month. Doing a little bit of background research into your particular club’s selection process can pay off big dividends in the future because there’s nothing worse than getting someone who doesn’t know beer picking the beer of the month.
3. Shipping and Distribution
Another important consideration to keep in mind while selection your monthly beer club is to take a look at their distribution channels and shipping costs. If you live in a highly rural area of the country, shipping costs for some clubs can be very cost prohibitive and even be several times the cost of the monthly membership itself. This is just another thing to keep in mind when you are looking at monthly costs for your brew club.
A monthly beer club is just like any other membership club, just like a yacht club, a golf club, or the rotary club. It’s a diverse group of people who have all united and come together under a common cause or idea. In the case of a beer club, people are all interested in trying new and exotic beers. But just like any of the other clubs that we mentioned, you want to make sure that you vibe with the other members of the club. Just because your main focus is beer and getting the best beer possible, some others in the club might be irritating.
5. Customer Service
In this same vein you want to make sure that the club management offers timely and friendly customer service. Sometimes shipments can occasionally come in damaged with bottles broken, so having a quick response time is something that is vitally important.
Benefits of a Brew Club Membership
It’s hard to understate the benefits of joining a club. The investment is so small for the time and energy that you are saving in getting monthly beer picks sent directly to your doorstep. You will save countless hours driving and thousands of dollars in travel costs while still being able to enjoy unique beers from all over the country—or even the world. Becoming a member really is a no brainer. And depending on your club’s membership rewards, just by being a member you can get discount at participating breweries, so if you do find yourself traveling and you stumble across a breweries that participates in the program, you can get discounts on specialty craft brews.
The Microbrew Process
It’s important to understand the culture behind the microbrew process and have a bit of background knowledge of phenomenon that is micro-brewing when choosing your club to belong to. Micro-brewing is a movement that reflects a sort of alternative attitude in the beer community. It started in England sometime during the 1970s and quickly spread across the UK, later moving to the United States and other countries across the globe and has since developed its own ethos.
The end goal of the microbrewery is obviously still the same as that of the large corporate producer, but the emphasis is different for the microbrewer. Large-scale breweries generally focus on offering low-priced drinks and heavily advertise to attract a customer base for their products. Microbreweries are generally independently owned, local operations that focus largely on technique, quality, and diversity. Given their different approaches to brewing and their smaller scale of operations, microbreweries are oftentimes much more expensive and rely on building relationships with customers and being active members in the community.
My Vote for the best club to Join
As I’ve said a few times on this post, joining one club over the other is, to a large degree, a matter of personal preference. But I do have two main picks that I think stand out above the rest and I think would be a solid choice for anyone looking to get into the beer game.
|Rare Beer Club||*****||***||*****||*****|
|Craft Beer Club||***||****||****||***|