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The Beer Lover’s Guide to Choosing a Beer Club

A closer look at value, access, and discovering new beers to love

Best Beer Club Award-Winner!

Best Beer of the Month Clubs

The Rare Beer Club
by Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club

Beer Club Rating: This Beer Club is rated 5 stars

The king of premium beer clubs—offering elite, hard-to-find beers from the best American craft brewers and leading international breweries.

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Best Beer Club Award-Winner!

Best Beer of the Month Club Gifts

Craft Beer Club
by The Original Craft Beer Club

Beer Club Rating: This Beer Club is rated 5 stars

The best beer club gift around. Great beers and free bonus gifts all for an exceptional value.

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If you’re wondering if beer of the month clubs are a good value then be sure to read this article.

Article overview:

  • How to tell when a beer club isn’t a good value
  • Why we think beer clubs are worth every penny

Published: 3/8/13

Let me begin by saying that we started because we think getting beer in the mail every month is the bee’s knees and wanted to help others find the best beer clubs out there either for themselves or to give as a gift. As you’d expect, not all beer clubs are created equal. The best clubs hunt down hard-to-find beers and little-known craft breweries and offer exceptional value. Other clubs leave you wishing you had just walked down to the corner store for a six-pack and saved yourself the cost of shipping. So let’s dive into understanding how to figure out which beers clubs are worthy of your hard-earned dollar and which ones don’t deliver the goods.

How to tell when a beer club is NOT a good value

First, the bad news. As in all industries, some beer clubs are merely preying on unsuspecting consumers with disposable income who are prone to not reading the fine print or doing the math before making purchases. But you’re not one of those consumers because you’re here, reading this article trying to research the value of beer clubs.

Here are two easy ways to determine whether or not you’ll get good value from a beer club:

  1. Nothing to Hide
    Our favorite beer clubs take pride in their selection process and make an effort to share information with customers. For example, Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club keeps an archive of past beer selections, Craft Beer Club lets you access previous selections and newsletters, and Craft Beer Connect shares detailed information about their beers including ratings from Beer Advocate and Rate Beer so you can see what others in the beer community think about the selections. The preceding list is not comprehensive but gives you an idea of the type of the transparency and information sharing that defines the most reputable and trustworthy beer clubs. The elite beer clubs put a lot of work into finding and choosing their beers and they want you to be able to evaluate them based on their past efforts. In contrast, you can imagine how easy it would be for a shady beer club to claim to send “world class beers” but then give you the old bait-and-switch by sending you mediocre beers after you sign up.
  2. High Ratings
    We give high ratings to clubs that provide superior value. The BeerClubGift Rating System rewards clubs that ship high quality beers, have competitive prices, and have performed consistently well over time. Our 4-Star Beer Clubs are great and our 5-Star Beer Clubs are the cream of the crop. If we have given a club a 3-star rating, then we don’t believe they’re providing consumers a good deal.

Why we think beer clubs are worth every penny

  • Expert Tasting Panels Choose your Beer
    As a general rule beer clubs taste hundreds of beers each month and select the best of the best to send out in shipments. The beer experts for these clubs have a pretty cool job—they taste hundreds of beers so that you receive only the very best brews. Think of it as them putting on the beer gut with crummy beer so that your round mound is full only of the tastiest brews around. Take a peak at the Overall Best Beer Clubs.
  • Hard-to-Find Beers
    Most local beer shops don’t have a broad selection of American and World beers which makes it harder for you to discover new beers. While beer distribution continues to improve throughout the US there are still places that have limited options and where a curated selection of beers being shipped straight to your door provides a reliable and enjoyable way to discover new beers. Take your pick between supporting local craft brewers and their American Beer Clubs and taking an international adventure with our World Beer Clubs.
  • Retail Stores are Expensive
    Most local beer stores charge consumers full retail. That’s never a deal. Some higher-end beer shops charge a mark-up above the suggested retail price. Before you buy beer from your local beer store, do a quick internet search with your mobile phone and see what other local stores are charging. Take a look at the Best Cheap Beer Club for a real steal.
  • Online Beer Shopping is also Expensive
    When you poke around online beer shops you’ll quickly realize the cost of shipping beer can make shopping for beer online prohibitively expensive. Read through our guide How to figure out the Real Cost of Shipping Beer to get a better appreciation for the cost of shipping beer and why beer clubs are a good deal.
  • Money-back Guarantee
    Very few local beer stores offer a money back guarantee for beers you didn’t like. This is something we love about many beer clubs, they offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Didn’t like a beer they sent? No problem, call them up, let them know, and they’ll promptly send you something you’ll hopefully like more. This reduces your risk to almost zero and increases the value of any beer club subscription with this kind of service. Want a 100% guarantee? Try any of the clubs offered by Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club.
  • Beer Club Purchasing Power
    Most beer clubs purchase in much higher quantities than local beer stores. A local beer shop might order a few cases, but most beer clubs order dozens of cases. This enables the clubs to negotiate the price of the beer down, and then usually pass that savings along to members in the form of discounted monthly prices. Check out our Beer Clubs Under $40 for options with accessible per shipment prices.
  • Reorder Discounts
    When you like a beer that you bought at your local beer shop it’s unlikely they’ll offer you a discount when you go back for more, unless you’re ordering a whole lot of beer! Some beer clubs, however, offer their members reorder discounts from the original club shipments. Liked that IPA and want to have some on hand? No problem, swing by the website and enjoy the discounts bestowed upon you by appreciative beer clubs. Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club offers reorder discounts to club-members. This is added value, plain and simple.

If this article hasn’t convinced you that beer clubs can be a good deal, please drop us a line and tell us what we missed!

Or, start shopping for your next beer club!

Because some states restrict beer shipments a good place to start is choosing the state you’re shipping from the list below:

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