The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club was founded in 1994 by current President Kris Calef. In addition to beer, monthlyclubs.com also offers wine, cheese, chocolate, cigar, and flower of the month clubs. With their “Design Your Own” option, you can now combine any of these clubs to create the perfect custom gift. Within the Microbrew Club there are 4 levels: US, US/International Variety, and International, as well as the Rare Beer Club (which itself has 3 tiers of membership). Each craft beer is carefully selected from over 100 breweries across the world.
The selection process utilizes a tasting panel comprised of brewing industry professionals and home-brew aficionados alike. Beers are chosen in several ways: through blind tastings which help to eliminate personal biases, and by traveling to beer-producing regions to meet brewers firsthand. During tastings, the beer panel pays specific attention to small-batch, seasonal beers available in limited quantities for short periods of time. You can expect to see an Oktoberfest in the fall and a spiced ale or other seasonal alternative in the winter. This seasonal rotation keeps the beer club relevant. Additionally, importers sometimes choose to launch their beers in the U.S. market by including them in your monthly shipments. Other beers, like the Saint Somewhere’s Cynthiana, are brewed solely for the benefit of club members. Even with all this variety at their fingertips, less that 20% of the beers tasted are ever shipped to club members—so you know you’re receiving a quality product.
This dedication to quality goes beyond the selection process and extends literally to your door. For example, summertime can be a difficult time to safely ship beer because high temperatures increase the chances of spoiling. To combat such issues, the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club chooses to send beers with high hop-acidity (which are less likely to spoil in warm weather) during the summer months. Likewise, if a beer is meant to be consumed immediately, you can rest assured that it hasn’t sat in some warehouse at length. Beers with brief shelf-lives are shipped to customers when they are meant to be consumed. Plus, you can rely on the monthly newsletter to distinguish between which beers to cellar and which to drink soon. Even with these rigorous quality standards in place, the club is 100% satisfaction guaranteed, so you never need to pay for a beer that doesn’t meet your standards—period.
This strict adherence to providing quality craft beer is at the heart of the Monthly Club’s continued success, even amidst a booming industry. Mail order beers have been available in America since the 1950’s but only truly began to surge in popularity in the 1990’s. The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club spearheaded this trend by offering services not available through competitors: Variety (domestic, international, domestic/international, and rare beer options), Honesty (tasting notes from panel discussions are available to all customers, even for the beers that didn’t pass inspection), Custom Orders (combining options, preferred payment plans, and re-ordering are all easy to set-up). Additionally, friendly customer services representatives are available to assist customers Monday through Friday, 7AM-5PM PST. Not an automated system or a call-center abroad, the staff at Monthly Clubs are truly interested in working with customers to provide accessible custom options.
The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club is meant to expand your palette by including beers you wouldn’t generally get to try when shopping at your local store. At this time it isn’t possible to choose which beers you get to taste, but that’s supposed to be part of the fun! On the first week of the every month the beers for that month’s shipment are uploaded to monthlyclubs.com. If there is a beer on the list that you’ve had before, or which to exchange, this can be done on a one-time basis with a simple phone call to customer service. Also on the website you can find suggested pairings and recipes to accompany your brews. All of this information will also be included in the actual shipment when it arrives.
Shipments go between the 15th and 20th and customers can expect to receive them on the last week of the month. Unfortunately, packages going to Massachusetts and Texas can be delayed by 1-2 weeks as they are required to ship from a distribution facility. The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club ships to all states excluding Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. Environmentally friendly biodegradable package, including pulp inserts to keep your purchase safe, are used for every shipment. Bear in mind that an adult over the age of 21 will need to sign for each package.
Memberships are available on a monthly basis, every other month, or quarterly as per request. There is also an option to skip a month when necessary if you expect to be unavailable. With the “Design Your Own” feature, customers can also choose which months they’d like to send or receive parcels. This feature is great for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and other anticipated special occasions. Payments may be made in full up-front or in monthly installments. Gift cards are available for purchase and can be either mailed to the recipient or printed on your printer at home. While gift wrapping is not available, customers may request that monthlyclubs.com send or email a gift card on their behalf.
Monthly Clubs offers Beer, Wine, Cigars, Cheese and Flowers -- all available as "monthly deliveries", a set term, or once.