A killer craft beer club - amazing value, excellent beer and great packaging!
The Craft Beer Club is exactly what its title says it is: a club that serves to expand your craft beer experience by delivering delicious brews from locations all over the United States.
They only have one beer club that comes in two sizes—12 beers and 24 beers—but what they lack in customization options they make up for in their selection. Every craft beer in the box has been hand-picked for its quality, out of many other contenders, by the staff at Craft Beer Club.Excellent Craft Beer Club for Beer Lovers!
- It will stretch your beer tastes—in a good way! The limited selection means that you pretty much have to take what you can get, but you’ll get the best of everything.
- Average price for a beer club, but with what looks to be excellent service.
- Gets you beers from places you would never otherwise get beers from.
- No membership or cancellation fees.
- Options for more or less frequent delivery.
- If you don’t like the beer of the month, you don’t get a substitute.
- No options to customize (which, as we mentioned above, could be a good thing).
This company has been around since 1992, and bills itself as the original beer club. With 16 years of experience, odds are good that they know what they’re doing. Unlike some clubs, this one doesn’t offer wine—or any other services, really: they present a straightforward, variety-oriented beer club without any distractions. The simplicity of their approach is one of the most appealing things about The Craft Beer Club—if they can run everything based on just the one product, it’s probably a good product.
Every package includes four different varieties of beer from two different breweries, with three of each beer in the 12-pack and six in the 24-pack. While they do not have set customization options, you can simply call or e-mail them if you would like not to receive certain kinds of beer and they’ll make a note of it. However, if any shipments do include the kind of beer you specify, they won’t ship you that month at all. They will simply give you another month at the end if you have a limited subscription or skip the month and not bill you if it’s an ongoing one.
Also included in your shipment will be a newsletter with information about the breweries and beers in the package, a recipe that goes well with the beers, and some trivia. You can find an archive of these on their site—it’s a great way to get an idea of what the company is like.
As of September 2014, you’ll pay $39.00 for a 12-pack shipment and $74.11 for a 24-pack shipment—the costs include shipping—which is a little pricey compared to buying your own, but having the curation and shipping included makes it worth the investment. It works out to around three dollars per beer, which is still cheaper than bar prices and offers you the advantage of knowing that the craft you get will be a quality one.
You can get the shipments on a monthly basis, or, if you prefer to spread it out a little, you can also specify that you only want them delivered every other month or quarterly—perhaps a good option for the budget-minded and beer-conscious among us! If you buy an ongoing (they come until you cancel), subscription, or more than a three or six-shipment subscription, you’ll get free gifts with your first package: a bottle opener for three shipments, and tasting glasses for six—both if you choose six shipments or make them ongoing.
The website is informative and easy-to-use: they provide plenty of information about what they do and why they do it, and even help you understand a little about beer itself—its history, how to pair it with food, etc. They even have a collection of recipes that go well with the various beers they ship. I would recommend looking through some of their archived newsletters to get a good idea of what they’re about and what you can expect when you sign up.
If you visit their FAQ section, you’ll see that The Craft Beer Club includes cans in their shipments because, as they say, they are airtight, lightproof, portable, and eco-friendly. However, they won’t push cans on you if you don’t want them; just let them know and they won’t send you shipments that include the cylindrical aluminum beer-vessels. .
In the event that you’re not satisfied with the quality of the beer or anything else about The Craft Beer Club, they do not charge cancellation fees. If you are an ongoing member and you cancel within three shipments, they will charge an extra $19.90, though, to cover the free gifts that came with the first shipment. If the product is damaged or is the wrong item, Craft Beer Club will replace it free of charge. On the other hand, if you really enjoyed a particular beer you have the option to reorder it by phone if they still have available inventory.
The Craft Beer Club is a good option for just about anyone who likes beer—if you’re a high-end craft enthusiast, you may want a bit more precision in your selection, but the guarantee of quality that comes with the limited options is a mark in this company’s favor. If you’re just looking to try some new beers, this is definitely the place for you—they will give you top-notch variety brews from all over the states, including further-away places whose local beverages you might not otherwise get to sample. People with an eye towards their wallet will probably want to choose to get deliveries every other month or quarterly. True connoisseurs of the beer experience will likely want to give it a try and see if it suits their tastes; the beers here will probably not be rare or exotic, but they will be high-quality examples of the craft.
Here are a few examples of what they’ve featured in the past. As you can see, the variety is impressive—you’ll usually find something to suit any taste.
- Fordham Brewing Company, DE
- Rosie Parks Oyster Stout
- Spiced Harvest Ale
- Blackstone Brewing Company, TN
- Chaser Pale Kolsch
- Nut Brown English Brown Ale
- Big Bend Brewing Company, TX
- Big Bend Hefweizen
- Number 22 American Porter
- Aspen Brewing Company, CO
- Independence Pass India Pale Ale
- This Season’s Blonde English Pale Ale
- Rahr and Sons Brewing Company, TX
- Iron Thistle Scottish Ale
- Rahr’s Blond Munich Helles Lager
- The Duck-Rabbit Brewery, NC
- Duck Rabbit American Amber/Red Ale
- Duck Rabbit Milk Stout
- Crazy Mountain Brewing Company, CO
- Crazy Mountain Amber Ale
- Mountain Livin’ Pale Ale
- North County Brewing, PA
- Paleo IPA British Style India Pale Ale
- Station 33 Firehouse Red Irish Ale
- Blue Pants Brewery, AL
- Blue Pants Knickerbocker American Amber/Red Ale
- Blue Pants Workman Common Lager
- Ellicottville Brewing Company, NY
- Ellicottville American Pale Ale
- Ellicottville Blueberry Wheat
So they may not be the most flexible or customizable craft beer club out there, but they certainly give the impression that they are friendly and accommodating, and, above all, dedicated to fantastic beer. If you visit them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest, you’ll see that they have a lively social media presence that makes them accessible and fun. Their inclusion of beers from all over the country is another positive, as different regions tend to have different expertise and characters—a tour of America for your taste buds! They have been recommended by Good Morning America, the Colbert Report, and Parade Magazine, so The Craft Beer Club comes with some good names behind it. And if you don’t agree with the crowd, there is no membership or cancellation fee, so you can stop your membership anytime. If you’re in the market for beer clubs, though, you should at least give this one a try.
The Craft Beer Club delivers to the following states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming