I’ve often commented that craft
brewed beer is a regional phenomenon, best enjoyed in the vicinity of the
brewery or brewpub that produced it. Still, we beer enthusiasts love to
enjoy as many different brews as possible, so how do we get hold of all
those precious local beers without mortgaging the house on travel expenses?
For many, beer-by-mail clubs are the answer.
Usually running about $28 a month for twelve beers shipped to your door, beer-of-the month clubs are not only convenient and time-saving, they’re also a lot of fun. There’s just nothing like getting a box from UPS loaded with beers from away that you’ve either never tried or not had in a long time, and often can’t buy in your local market. Though some would say $14 a six-pack is a bit expensive, the true beer lover would counter that that’s a bargain price for beers otherwise unattainable to him or her.
Though local restrictions may prohibit beer clubs in your state, here are a few you may want to check out:
Beer Across America
This is the original beer of the month club. Shipping two six-packs a month, Beer Across America was the first club I belonged to and I was a member of one of their clubs until they ceased shipping into Rhode Island. Towards the end the beers all seemed to be red ales, goldens, ambers, etc. and variety was lacking. Currently shipping to AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, IA, IL, IN, MI, MO, NJ, NY, NC, OH, VA, WI.
Michael Jackson’s Real Beer Tour
This is one of the most exciting beer clubs available. You can spend a formidable sum here on several clubs within clubs. The first was the World Beer Tour, now called the Real Beer Tour. It focuses on rare beers from overseas you may never see on store shelves here in the United Sates, and offers the options of 12 bottles of one type per month for $34.95 or 2 six packs of two different styles shipped bi-monthly for $17.50 per month. Available in AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OH, VA, WA, WI.
The American Brewpub Club is a truly innovative club that ships you beers brewed only at brewpubs and not traditionally sold in bottles, but bottled for the club by special arrangement. You can get a six-pack each of two different beers for $25.95 or three bottles each of four different brews shipped bi-monthly for $13 a month. Available in AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OH, VA, WA, WI.
The Great Beers of Belgium club is very exclusive, allowing only 5000 total members and focusing on very special beers from Belgium. Rather pricey at $45 a month for 12 bottles of one beer or $25 a month for a bi-monthly shipment of 6 each of two different beers, the club promises beers that will be worth every penny. Available in AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, IL, IN, MI, MO, MN, NJ, NM, NY, PA, VA, WI, WA.
The Great American Beer Club
One of the few clubs that still ships into my home state of Rhode Island, the Great American Beer Club sends three different beers, four bottles each, for only $26.95 a month. A good variety of beers are offered, and I like the fact that four bottles give you more than a few of a great beer but also allows you to receive more different brews. No state restrictions that I am aware of.
The Micro Beer Club
Offers beers from the Pacific Northwest and vicinity exclusively. You’ll get two bottles each of six different beers per month for $28.95. A great way to sample some of the wonderful beers being brewed in one of America’s premiere beer regions. There are no state restrictions that I am aware of. I belong to this club, and my most recent shipment included two bottles of Full Sail Pale Ale.
Any of these are great ways to try beers you
normally might not see in your market, beers the likes of Full Sail Pale
Full Sail Pale Ale pours to a deep amber color with a light creamy head formation and a fruity, slightly grassy hop nose. The body is medium in strength, not overpowering by any means, and just a bit malty with a touch of fruit, a hint of aromatic hops, and a slightly bitter finish. This is one of the milder offerings from Full Sail, but it’s still a delicious and quaffable brew perfect for the warm weather.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.