2021 Beer Memberships: Adding, Keeping or Dropping?

Discussion in 'US - West' started by wolf13, Dec 9, 2020.

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  1. wolf13

    wolf13 Dec 11, 2014 California
    Trader

    With a spate of new brewery memberships starting and more established memberships starting renewal season, I figured it would be a good time to start a new thread to see what memberships people are planning on keeping, adding, and/or dropping for 2021.

    Keeping:
    MT - Theory
    Private Press Brewing
    Barclay - Dimensions of Time

    Debating keeping/dropping:
    Honeypot - Order of the Honeycomb

    Dropping:
    Horus
     
    mhucker28 likes this.
  2. SDReaper

    SDReaper Aug 15, 2013 California
    Trader

    Keeping:
    MT - Theory
    SARA Cellar
    Lost Abbey Sinners & Saints
    Lost Cause Coveters

    Failed at getting into Antidoot (lolz 90 spots for over 2k applicants)

    Dropping:
    None
     
    mhucker28 likes this.
  3. Xul

    Xul May 18, 2008 California
    Trader

    Keeping:
    Modern Times Theory
    Highland Park Bottle Friends
    Lost Abbey Saints & Sinners

    Dropped:
    Horus Convocation

    Adding:
    None
     
    mhucker28 likes this.
  4. UnknownKoger

    UnknownKoger Jul 9, 2010 California

    I'm debating whether or not to keep Bottle Friends...I probably will but a fair portion of the releases this year were stouts with ingredients I don't care for (coconut, cinnamon, chilis, etc.). I'll probably keep it for the discounts (and assuming bottle friend pours) and events

    Adding/Re-joining
    Modern Times maybe...I finally worked through all of my past bottles lol

    maybe the hivemind can help out. What's a solid membership with barrel aged stouts that aren't too crazy on the adjuncts and good sours?
     
  5. Hype_Train

    Hype_Train Feb 8, 2017 California

    Unsure: HPB Bottle Friends (although the cost is worth it, having two kids now, covid, etc my expenses buying beer from them has been literally almost 0 and it's only been for allocation pickups)

    Want: CASA. Does anybody have any good/bad reviews as membership goes? They seem similar to hpb in a way.
     
  6. annakarina

    annakarina Jul 29, 2016 California

    Keeping: Highland Park Brewery
    Adding: Modern Times
    Contemplating: CASA
     
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  7. NicIsAwesome

    NicIsAwesome Jun 30, 2014 California
    Trader

    Just because you mentioned MTs, most of their member released stouts have adjuncts. Without combing through my emails, i wanna estimate they do a barrel only stout/bw/malty beer about once a month, maybe once every 1.5 months and theyre usually very limited. The reason for the small bottle counts is because they usually only do non adjuncts in special one off barrels they receive whereas the adjunct stouts usually start with a base blend of multiple barrels

    For sours, I do like the amphora aged saisons and their grisettes but most of their sours are too sour, imo. They arent the first brewery i look toward for sours. I usually stick with blendery. Great sours, reasonable price and easy to get/no rush whatsoever.

    Been a member since 2016 and im a total homer but tried to give an honest opinion
     
  8. mhucker28

    mhucker28 Apr 24, 2020 California
    Trader

    Keeping: Modern Times League

    Adding: Cellador

    I might add Highland Park Bottle Friends if membership slots open up, but I'll have to wait and see.
     
    Yabu likes this.
  9. wilymobastardo

    wilymobastardo Jan 12, 2015 California
    Society Trader

    Keeping: MT Theory
    Adding: I guess I drunkenly bought in to a portion of Bruery Hoarders
    Crumpling into a Ball and Firing Directly into the Sun: Wild Barrel, Alpine
     
    Brent212, jwacky, m34josh and 6 others like this.
  10. Yabu

    Yabu Feb 4, 2015 California
    Trader

    Keeping Modern Times, that was an easy re-up! I hope I never get tempted to join another beer membership again!

    Added: Culling. I know there was a lot of hate with them because of the unknown and the disclaimer if you don't max, you won't be invited next year. I'm not worried about re-upping next year, so that doesn't bother me. But for $50, it's worth a shot. I wasted more money for less value. Also the idea of buy as you go...sounds great. Rather than dropping $300 and hope those are good beers.

    Dropping:
    Bruery.
    Honey Pot
     
    Ponzu4u, bret27 and mhucker28 like this.
  11. putonyourwalkingshoes

    putonyourwalkingshoes Jul 31, 2013 California
    Trader


    Question to you guys dropping Horus... Why?? Past years I thought they were an absolute joke but it looks like Kyle got his shit together and dropped a lot of bangers this year.
     
    m34josh likes this.
  12. Swiveln

    Swiveln May 24, 2012 California
    Trader

    Adding:
    Culling Meadery
    Viking Artisan Ales

    Keeping:
    Honeypot Meadery
    Modern Times league
    Private Press
    Sante Adairius

    Dropping:
    Moksa
     
    Supermario79 likes this.
  13. riko

    riko Jan 18, 2008 California
    Trader

    Keeping: Modern Times League

    Dropping: Alpine (will they even do it next year?)

    Adding: None

    Hoping: That all the breweries running these clubs are able to survive the pandemic and stay open.
     
    fegelFatso, Redondo_Terp and Yabu like this.
  14. SDReaper

    SDReaper Aug 15, 2013 California
    Trader

    I actually got an email the other day for a 2021 membership into the 1843 lodge.
     
  15. thuey

    thuey Nov 13, 2015 California
    Society

    Keeping
    Casa Agria Specialty Ales

    Dropping
    Cellador

    What do you want to know? The details of the club are pretty much as described, and for 2021 it's $100 cheaper to boot!
     
    MonkeyBread and Yabu like this.
  16. cquiroga

    cquiroga Oct 14, 2004 California

    Keeping:
    SARA
    MT League
    HPB
    Cellador V
    Lost Abbey
    Horus

    Dropping:
    None

    Adding:
    None


    Running it back one more year with these, largely because all are friends and I want to support them as much as I can.

    Focusing this year on making sure I pick up all of my shit.
     
    nghiem and UnknownKoger like this.
  17. FrogOut69

    FrogOut69 Sep 24, 2013 California
    Trader

    Keeping:
    MT Theory
    Lost Abbey Sinners & Saints
    Order of Anvil (Split)
    Bruery Hoarder (Split)
    Private Press

    Dropping:
    Alpine

    Adding:
    Russian River if selected
     
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  18. fegelFatso

    fegelFatso Jun 23, 2013 California

    Keeping:
    Bruery Hoarders
    MT League

    ...that is all.
     
    bret27 and Yabu like this.
  19. mikehblack

    mikehblack Feb 10, 2010 California
    Trader

    I noticed a lot of people are renewing their Lost Abbey membership. Can someone give a brief description of what they liked about it/beers received this year? Thanks.
     
    UnknownKoger likes this.
  20. SDReaper

    SDReaper Aug 15, 2013 California
    Trader

    I liked it because it is simple, just like how the SARA club is run. When beers are ready, we receive an email with the pickup weekend/options for shipping, ability to purchase more if bottles are available, and during pickup we get little tickets to get free (well now gotta buy a meal) pours usually of everything we are picking up. If it was a smaller batch then just a pour of one of the offerings.

    We don't get a slew of emails throughout the year, although this does seem to be a negative for some members that like to know what is going on.

    I don't have a good list of what we received last year without dissecting all of the pickup emails since they usually only tell us of a few planned releases
    (Ex. "Completely forgot I wanted to share a few of the beers for club next year. We are working with Shaun from Hill Farmstead on a collab, of course the return of our Sinner's Blend that we'll be relying on our club members to help decide what that looks like, Cable Car 2020, and after much investigation from Tomme, the return of Yellow Bus.")

    We also get a discount on the site as well as I think in the tasting room, early access to public sales (Ex. our cyber-monday sale with older DDG and CC occurred that sunday), and occasionally they will put up a vintage bottle on a first-come first-served basis for us.
     
  21. Miruguy

    Miruguy Nov 22, 2010 California

    Dropping: Hoarders (after 10 years)

    Keeping: Cellador

    On the fence: Keep or drop CASA
    Try to get into Russian River (seems expensive for what it is, but I do love their sours)
     
    Yabu likes this.
  22. mikehblack

    mikehblack Feb 10, 2010 California
    Trader

    Awesome, thanks for the explanation. I'm considering joining for next year so this is very helpful. (Looking for a no-nonsense, straight-forward club).
     
  23. swanfungus

    swanfungus Dec 23, 2014 California
    Society Trader

    Keeping:
    Casey
    HPB
    Sour Cellars
    Private Press (will eventually renew but we're still only on q2 of year 1)

    Dropping:
    Bruery Hoarders
    Muckraker (NJ)

    Adding:
    None (unless accepted by Russian River)
     
  24. UnknownKoger

    UnknownKoger Jul 9, 2010 California

    I appreciate the thought out reply. I was a member for a couple of years back in 2016? I split the membership and just got the sours (which I really enjoyed). Seeing all of the positive reviews for Lost Abbey, though, is making me consider joining them
     
  25. walterfredo

    walterfredo Nov 22, 2011 California
    Trader

    Have...
    SARA
    HPB
    Private Press

    Keeping all of mine, adding none.
     
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  26. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Mar 19, 2012 California

    Keeping:
    Mad Fritz

    Possibly Dropping:
    SN Alpha Hops

    I'm a huge fan of SN and have been an Alpha Hop member from Day 1. However, I only enjoyed about half the offering last year (not because of quality, but often style) and I end up with a bunch in my fridge.
     
  27. AlmostDeadly777

    AlmostDeadly777 Apr 29, 2018 California
    Trader

    Adding:
    MT League

    Dropping:
    Bruery Reserve Society after 3 years + 1 as a PS member

    Lucky enough to snag one of the guest invite memberships for MT, otherwise I was probably looking at (somewhat begrudgingly) re-upping Bruery in the hopes that the Anniversary party and/or Black Tuesday would still be a go for 2021.
     
    562Brew likes this.
  28. Xul

    Xul May 18, 2008 California
    Trader

    The membership year ended in June, so I can't speak to any of the beers that have been released since then. I've seen people getting excited about new Dose variants and Coconut Convergence, not sure if those are what you're referring to as far as the recent bangers.

    My friend that I split it with and I were both just not particularly enjoying the beers. There are a few primary issues we had:
    1) Lack of effective barrel aging - we only got a couple of BA stouts in Year Two, but neither displayed much barrel character. Snatcher's Grasp, in particular, had a great adjunct profile but the barrel was completely MIA. If I'd tried it blind, I would've never guessed it had seen the inside of a barrel. Enjoyable enough beer, but if I'm paying a premium for a barrel-aged product, I expect that to be reflected in the aroma and flavor.
    2) Coffee - He uses a premium adjunct in geisha coffee, adding cost, but I've yet to find it worthwhile. The coffee is generally either overshadowed by the base or other adjuncts. If the coffee isn't being showcased effectively, it's pointless to use such an expensive ingredient.
    3) General lack of refinement - This is a bit more amorphous than the other points, but I often didn't find his stouts to be well integrated or possess the refinement of other top-tier pastry stouts. Proper Dose is an obvious exception to this, but with a lot of the Year Two beers, there would be some interesting flavors going on, but they didn't really harmonize or work together. At worst, there were beers that would be cloyingly sweet up front and then finish with a sense of astringency - rather than balancing each other, you just had two elements that weren't terribly pleasant on their own.

    He has his audience that enjoys what he does, and I don't begrudge him that whatsoever. I've just come to realize I'm not part of it, so it didn't make sense to renew.

    @SDReaper mostly covered it, but the key to being happy with the Lost Abbey club is to manage expectations. It is not about constant engagement, frequent releases, or access to beers that will carry high secondary value. If you enjoy Lost Abbey's beers, it's an easy way to get access to everything. Very transactional compared to clubs like Bruery RS/HS and Modern Times League/Theory, but that's not a bad thing in my eyes. I've heard they're not always good about communicating shipping timelines effectively, and will sometimes ship unannounced - which is not ideal - so if you're not local, that's something to be aware of. Other than that, I give them money, they give me beer, and there's a minimum of effort involved.
     
  29. Ponzu4u

    Ponzu4u Jun 19, 2015 California
    Trader

    Keeping:
    MT League

    Dropping:
    Cellador

    Feel bad 'cause I love Kevin and Sara but financially this year's been a bit rough and have to make some sacrifices somewhere.
     
    Yabu likes this.
  30. disco_al

    disco_al Dec 31, 2019 New York

    I'm reading this post and I'm learning that Brewery Memberships is a thing? Very interesting!! I've been treated to a few Beer of the Month clubs before but I never knew of any breweries offering a direct to customer service (at least on an ongoing/subscription basis).

    As I begin looking further into this - can anybody suggest any of these brewery subscriptions that ship to New York State? As I'm having trouble finding any that do so far.

    Cheers!
     
  31. SDReaper

    SDReaper Aug 15, 2013 California
    Trader

    You aren't going to find one from CA (at least from southern CA) that does ship to NY. However, you can always join a membership that allows proxies and then deal with shipping on your own with the proxy.
     
  32. bret27

    bret27 Mar 10, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    Welcome to the 21st century. I’m sure there are New York brewery memberships as well. Cheers.
     
  33. putonyourwalkingshoes

    putonyourwalkingshoes Jul 31, 2013 California
    Trader

    Thanks for the information. Yes granted I've had supposedly pappy BA beers where I was questioning how they managed to ruin such a good barrel on a poor base beer. With Horus I'm thinking "how the heck is this guy producing a WLW BA beer." I see a lot of ratings and it's not a lot so there's some really crazy hype around some of this real low production beers that I'm having trouble discerning how good these really are. Yeah the price thing kills me and seeing the new Alesmith barrel aged collab beer with Alesmith going for $45 is making me roll my eyes pretty damn hard bc I know where that price markup is coming from on an Alesmith beer.

    I haven't been crazy about Horus collabs in the past but then again it's collabs. Anyways I appreciate your input Xul.
     
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  34. drewone

    drewone Sep 18, 2006 California
    Society Trader

    This post makes me realized how much I miss the in-depth Xul MT reviews, ❤️
     
    jwacky, adschal1, MonkeyBread and 6 others like this.
  35. tokimedo

    tokimedo Feb 28, 2015 California
    Trader

    Keeping
    Horus
    MT (split)

    I think ive already dropped everyting else.
     
  36. Antwan83

    Antwan83 Feb 24, 2020 California

    Keeping:
    MT League (never letting this one go)
    DG Keepers
    HPB Bottle Friends
    Perennial (last year for me... bottles are getting too expensive).

    Added:
    Mostra (beer/coffee membership... really curious about this one).
     
  37. CaptainPancakes

    CaptainPancakes Oct 16, 2012 California
    Trader

    Keeping:
    MT League

    Dropping:
    Bruery RS (again)
     
    AlmostDeadly777 likes this.
  38. NicIsAwesome

    NicIsAwesome Jun 30, 2014 California
    Trader

    Shipping alcohol is weird. There are a lot of rules and crossing state lines makes it even more difficult. This being the pacific regional forums, we probably wont have much insight for you but The Bruery ships within california and oddly enough... Washington DC. Theyll hold your bottles for a while (i think a year but youll want to 2x check that) so ypu can wait and pick up in batches.

    Someone else already mentioned proxies. You can sign up for a membership for any beer club that allows proxies, have the proxy pick up the beer and theyll ship it to you. Its customary to give them a few thank you beers for the trouble. Its not 100% legal but its a work around that is very common. If you make a post in the proper area, im sure youll find people willing to help out. Not me though. Im lazy and hate packing, shipping/trading beer.
     
  39. SoCalBeerIdiot

    SoCalBeerIdiot Mar 10, 2013 California
    Trader

    Keeping:
    MT League - seemingly non-stop beer offerings in your face
    HPB Friends - so low maintenance and easy (and cheap)

    Added mid-year:
    Horus (split with 1 other friend) - bad one to split, esp. during a pandemic; lots of Qty 1 or Qty 3 bottles; probably won't go a 2nd year with this one
     
    putonyourwalkingshoes likes this.
  40. mhucker28

    mhucker28 Apr 24, 2020 California
    Trader

    What is this beer/coffee membership you speak of? I love me some Mostra coffee and beers containing it.
     
    Brent212 likes this.
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