This is easily one of our favorite standard beer club subscriptions. They include canned beer unlike a few other clubs with a weird fixation for bottles only. The selection is decent, and the variety can be customized as well. The only minor negative to me is their website looks outdated dated; albeit easy to order.
It’s time to get more traditional. You may have read our recent Tavour review, which brings a few creative aspects to beer delivery; however there are some big downfalls… one of them being price. On the other hand, The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club offers great selections by easily customizing your subscriptions. The Original Craft Beer Club (this review) is the perfect middle solution for having a nice selection of craft beers delivered at a reasonable price.
How it Works
What you get: Every Craft Beer Club shipment includes 4 different styles of craft beers from two different independent breweries, adding up to 12 beers total. Craft Beer Club tries to include breweries that are far apart from one another to really give you variety.
When you get it: Upon your first order, you can select “ASAP” for your first shipment which will take between 10-15 days to arrive. After your first delivery, shipments are processed in the middle of the month, typically arriving at your doorstep in the latter-half of the month. Signing up for the subscription service provides a few options for frequency, including monthly, bi-monthly, and quarterly.
Website and Ordering Process
The Craft Beer Club website appears a bit dated and clunky upon first look, however the ordering process is incredibly easy and straight forward. Since there are not different types of subscriptions or boxes to pick from, all you do is select how many you want to sign up for and place the order.
If you need any specific accommodations (if you really hate a specific type of beer; we’ll talk more about this below), you have to actually CALL them to request a beer type exclusion. This is pretty old school, but it gives you a taste of good customer service.
Apart from joining the club yourself, there is also an option for giving a gift of beer. Much like ordering flowers or an edible arrangement, simply pick the number of shipments and send it to their address. This is a great gift option for anniversaries or for a beer-lovers birthday. The gift box includes a message from you, and there’s also an option to add a greeting card within the box for a couple bucks extra.
Since shipments only go out at certain times per month, it may take a few weeks to arrive at the recipients address. If time is of the essence, you can download a free digital gift announcement or select an option to mail a card to their address first letting them know the gift will be arriving soon and to look out for it.
Craft Beer Club costs $42 for 12 beers. This includes free shipping and a free subscription to Beer Connoisseur. That’s just $3.50 per beer. In my opinion, this is a great price for beer delivered to your door. When I tested out Tavour, I picked some of the cheapest beers available, and my order amounted to over $80 for 12 beers.
They also offer a few free gifts if you sign up for a longer subscription, as shown here:
- 3 shipments: free opener
- 6 shipments: free opener and coasters
- 12 shipments: $25 off + all gifts
- Hamburg Hoppenstance Double IPA
- Hamburg Oatmeal Milk Stout
- O’So Hop Dinger Pale Ale
- O’So Rusty Red Ale
While I usually try adding a healthy mix of beer types to my repertoire, I often find myself purchasing mainly IPAs. I was happy to see not only two hop-heavy beers in this box, but one of them was even an 8% double IPA! Even though I love IPAs and was happy to see them in the box, at the end of the day, I can’t expect them every week because that defeats the purpose of this subscription box which is to introduce you to all sorts of new beers. However, if you really dislike a certain type of beer, Craft Beer Club will gladly accommodate special requests to make sure you do not receive them. We won’t list them all because there’s too many, but you can find the full list of beer types that The Original Craft Beer Club offers on their website.
One of the biggest reasons we love this company is because they include craft beer cans instead of just bottles. This is an often debated topic among beer enthusiasts, and there are those who prefer bottles only, so Craft Beer Club will accommodate this request as well. I personally side with cans as being the ideal packaging solution. Here’s why:
- Cans are air tight and do not let in light, preventing early skunkification.
- Studies have shown cans do not negatively impact flavor; in fact, blind taste tests actually preferred it
- Easier shipping and storage
- No need for a bottle opener!
Overall we absolutely love the service offered by Craft Beer Club. They are an affordable option to expanding your beer preferences and experiencing brews from across the country. The website and service is pretty old-school; making any modifications to your beer preferences are done over the phone, but you also get that old-school customer service. Each box also contains information on the beers in your shipment and even gives you two recipes that pair well with the beer. My wife and I have had a lot of fun with this aspect!