A Beer of the Month Club SOUNDS like an amazing idea, right? But, like so many ideas that seem really good in theory — sock suspenders, keeping a bear as a pet — it’s actually not that great, in practice.
Sock suspenders will irritate your calves, a pet bear will destroy your home, and your Beer of the Month Club will probably send you a bunch of bottles and cans you don’t even want.
Plus, many have monthly subscription fees, charge for initial membership, and don’t tell you what’s coming until it arrives. At least with sock suspenders you know what to expect.
So, what is a craft beer fan to do when they want to explore the rugged beer frontier? Fortunately, today’s brave new world of advanced brew acquisition provides a host of other options. Let’s take a look!
The Brewery Bottle Club!
Why it’s awesome: Exclusive access to new brews from your favorite brewery!
The ‘buts’: No schedule, Locals only.
Any way you look at it, brewery bottle clubs are pretty cool. For example, if you live in Virginia, you can join Adroit Theory’s Black Heart Society and get access to 4 members-only beers, plus invitations to private parties and tasting events!
And that’s awesome, especially when you realize that Adroit makes some of the best and booziest limited-edition Imperial Stouts in the country!
But, what if you’re in California? You can always join The Rare Barrel’s Ambassadors of Sour for access to 4 exclusive, barrel-aged tart treats each year. You’ll also get early access to other limited brews, the opportunity to pick up some sweet brewery swag, and a 15% discount!
Discounts AND beer that no one else gets? Why WOULDN’T you join? (Although members-only beers from several breweries do occasionally show up on Tavour. More on that later.)
However, most brewery clubs have limited membership, and they’re often so sought-after that spots are hard to get. Plus, they’re usually in-state only.
If there’s a great brewery near you with their own bottle club, by all means join! It’s a fantastic way to support local, and the perks are well worth it. But unless you happen to have a residence in every state from Alabama to Vermont, you can’t join them all.
Anyway, on to the next option!
The Local Shop!
Why it’s awesome: You can take it or leave it, last minute swap outs.
The ‘buts’: STILL locals only, you might have to drive.
Some of the better bottle shops across the country offer curated collections made available on a specific schedule, and they can be pretty convenient. If you have a good shop in your area, it might be worth checking out.
There are a ton of independent stores, and the details vary, but basically it goes something like this:
When your local bottle shop gets a new shipment, they’ll set aside bottles and cans for subscribers BEFORE they hit the shelves. So, when they get 10 cases of Pseudo Sue from Toppling Goliath, you don’t have to worry about this intensely sought-after Hoppy Pale selling out before you have a chance at it.
Plus, you can curate your box hands-on style! If you head down to your shop and find that the new release from Jester King isn’t quite what you thought, you can swap it out for something from Casey Brewing and Blending.
Not that you would ever do that. You’d obviously keep the Jester King bottle — because everything they make is straight fire — and ADD the bottle from Casey, who are also spectacular. Honestly, they’re two of the best Sour Ale specialists in the country!
But, like a dog sled pulled by corgis, this system tends to have limited range. While bottle shops get plenty of beers from across the country, they usually only get the really limited stuff from their home region, which will limit your options.
Also, you’ll likely have to actually go down to the store to pick it up, and if you wanted that you could just forget the club and go shopping. If only there were an option that included the best elements from all these options. Hmmmmm.
The Best of All Worlds!
Why it’s awesome: Tons of choices, door to door delivery, access to hyper-limited beers.
The ‘buts: Might have to invest in a second fridge.
Spoiler Alert! It’s Tavour!
C’mon, you knew this was coming. You’re on our website! Plus, we really do have the hookup. Becoming a Tavour member is almost as good as forging a fake distributors license so you can order directly from breweries.
Which we do NOT condone, by the way.
Besides, why risk the legal repercussions when we’re happy to share all the brews from the 700+ breweries we work with? And, because we have personal relationships with all of those breweries, we can get hyper-limited brews that normally don’t leave the taproom. Even the occasional ‘members only’ beer brewed specifically for the brewery’s biggest fans!
And, unlike many traditional Beer of the Month Clubs, there are no monthly fees, and it’s completely free to join.
From beloved powerhouses like Colorado’s WeldWerks, to brand new, local spots you’ve probably never heard of like Fair Isle (who opened right before Quarantine hit and STILL took Seattle’s craft scene by storm) we’ve got everything you're looking for. And with the Tavour App, you can access it all with a few taps on your phone.
That means, you can browse burly brews while you wait in line at the DMV, and order up super succulent Sours as you rewatch The Office.
And, if you want a subscription model, we can do that, too! Only better, because you can see what’s headed your way, and if it’s not what you’re looking for, you can skip it at no charge! That means no boring brews cluttering up the back of your fridge, because you only get what you actually want.
Forget Beer of the Month Clubs. Tavour is your ‘Multiple new beers everyday, flat-rate beer delivery, choose what you want, subscription if you want, no fees, free to join Beer Club.’
Now doesn’t that sound better?