Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Best Beer of the Month Club?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Hanzo, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Hanzo

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Posts:
    4,795
    Likes Received:
    13,125
    Location:
    Virginia
    I tried searching and didn't see a thread. I am very interested in joining a beer of the month club. Any of you guys in one? If so how much is it and do you consider it a decent deal?

    I was looking at beeronthewall but they don't ship to my state (VA).

    Thanks!
     
    RyanCave likes this.
  2. drtth

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Posts:
    8,985
    Likes Received:
    14,826
    Location:
    Pennsylvania

    This one:

    http://www.beermonthclub.com/the-rare-beer-club.htm

    Most all of the rest can be spotty in their selections and all are a bit pricy for what you get. I tried a different one for a few months until I found that the reason many won't ship to PA was a certain lack of clarity in PA law that created the possibility I was breaking the law by receiving out of state beer shipments that nobody was paying state tax on. Also in the 3 months of membership I found that there was about a 50% chance that I'd never have bought the beer for myself even if I had had acess to it in PA.
     
    donspublic, Ranbot and DSlim71 like this.
  3. Hanzo

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Posts:
    4,795
    Likes Received:
    13,125
    Location:
    Virginia
    $44.95 a month for two 750ml bottles seems high to me, Is the value of what they send you really that high?
     
  4. ShanePB

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Posts:
    2,534
    Likes Received:
    3,336
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Some months it's worth it, other months it's not. It really depends upon your distribution, too. Join with an "open membership" and you'll get options each month. You will see the beer selections ahead of time and can decide if you want to: skip that month, add more bottles, switch out bottles, etc. It's very flexible and, in my opinion, worth keeping open to see what the bottles are each month.
     
  5. Hanzo

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Posts:
    4,795
    Likes Received:
    13,125
    Location:
    Virginia
    Oh, I had no idea you could actually see what was available and pick and choose what months to take delivery. That's excellent.

    I thought you just signed up and was sent whatever they want without you know until you opened the box.
     
  6. ShanePB

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Posts:
    2,534
    Likes Received:
    3,336
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Not if you join with an open monthly membership. The first month you join, however, you'll get whatever they're sending out. Then, you'll get an e-mail at the end of the month with the selections for the next month, and have about a week to respond/decide what you'd like to do. It's an online form in the e-mail. Works really smoothly and their customer support is excellent.
     
  7. ShanePB

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Posts:
    2,534
    Likes Received:
    3,336
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Right.

    On a related note, the selections sometimes are ones that you'll receive a month or more ahead of time before it hits distribution. For example, Anchorage Galaxy White IPA was a selection last month in February that was sent to the beer club, but is only hitting distribution this month (or later this month?). Other beers are ones brewed specifically for the Rare Beer Club, like January's selection by Saint Somewhere: Cynthiana.

    They also have exclusive offers sometimes. Currently, there is an offer from Jester King to purchase 4 different of their "Farmhouse" beers - Black Metal Farmhouse, Mad Meg Farmhouse, Noble King Farmhouse and Farmhouse Wytchmaker Rye IPA I believe. Completely optional, but as a member you have the choice. Since I don't think anyone outside of Texas gets Jester King (maybe limited in CA?), that is a pretty cool one to get.
     
    MHorridge and Billclinton167 like this.
  8. Hanzo

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Posts:
    4,795
    Likes Received:
    13,125
    Location:
    Virginia
    I see. Well the ability to get stuff that isn't normally distributed in my area is a pretty good draw.
     
  9. ant880

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Posts:
    790
    Likes Received:
    2,598
    Location:
    New York
    I was given two memberships at different points through the years and drtth mentioned, the selections can be spotty. I was never able to pull the trigger on the Rare because of the price, but if you have the extra cash that would be the way to go. Also, France44 (online purveyors of Surly :) among others) has something called the Rathskeller Club that I have been meaning to look into. Not sure of price but you can email them.

    http://www.france44.com/page.cfm/RATHSKELLER_CLUB.html
     
    Bitterbill likes this.
  10. ChrisKramer

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've had a membership at http://www.craftbeerclub.com for nearly a year now, and love it. It's about $38 a month for a half case, with 2 selections from 2 different breweries from all around the country. Shipping adds about $13. So, it's not the cheapest way to buy beer, but you get a great selection, in depth information on each Brewery, and you get some freebies if you sign up for a year long membership.
     
  11. jesskidden

    Subscriber

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Posts:
    7,775
    Likes Received:
    17,995
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Is there any other good reason to buy one of these memberships for one's self? (As opposed to graciously accepting a gift of one - what the hell, free beer.)
     
  12. UCLABrewN84

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Posts:
    7,936
    Likes Received:
    7,933
    Location:
    California
    It says right on that page it's $19.95 per month plus S+H.
     
  13. ant880

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Posts:
    790
    Likes Received:
    2,598
    Location:
    New York
    Oops...so it does! I had this link saved and a note to check price. Guess I meant to email about shipping costs.
     
  14. ThisWangsChung

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Posts:
    1,036
    Likes Received:
    3,494
    Location:
    Maryland
    This thread is why I hate living in MD.
     
  15. OneBeertoRTA

    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Posts:
    2,029
    Likes Received:
    3,470
    Location:
    California
    What are some of the gems you received in the past? this looks great I think I will sign up.

    Cheers-
     
    RyanCave likes this.
  16. Bitterbill

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2002
    Posts:
    5,547
    Likes Received:
    14,742
    Location:
    Wyoming
    If I were to go the Beer of The Month Club again, it would be with either Beer On The Wall or France 44.
     
  17. RoamingGnome

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    Posts:
    665
    Likes Received:
    12,419
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    My wife got me a membership in the Rare Beer of the Month Club. I concur with the previous posts about the flexibility, and I would say the selection for the most part has been satisfactory.
     
  18. DSlim71

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Posts:
    526
    Likes Received:
    526
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I'm in the MJ Rare Beer Club that has been mentioned. I feel like you have to get at least 4 bottles to make it worth it. 2 for 44.95 or 4 for around $66, this way after shipping, it comes to about $16 per bottle. And you have an extra to cellar or trade. Like others have said, the slection is usually pretty solid, and having the option to preview before buying is definitely one of the things that makes it great.

    Here's a list of the last year of brews: http://rarebeerclub.beveragebistro.com/rare_selection.html
     
  19. stupac2

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Posts:
    4,179
    Likes Received:
    4,107
    Location:
    California
    Wait, you seriously searched and didn't find anything? Did you google?

    I have been incredibly unimpressed with the beers shipped in the Rare club. All but I think two I've been able to get on the shelf, and very few of them have been beers I would call "good". Probably because it seems to be half saisons and I don't like saisons (and am too lazy to change my orders beforehand). I also seem to have not gotten last month's, which is kind of strange, I don't think my subscription is up.

    My mom signed me up for the normal craft beer one, and that one sucks. First off, they sent Mendocino brewing to someone who lives in the bay area. Yeah, thanks for that. Second, they use this shitty-ass carrier who can't be assed to walk to my apt's complex, instead deciding to call me every goddamn month for the gate code, which then won't do anything because they won't leave the package AND I have to sign for it. It's like they think fucking everyone is unemployed. I should ask for my mom's money back, just because I am never going to get another package from them.
     
  20. BeerBuyerBill

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Posts:
    229
    Likes Received:
    350
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Sorry everyone, The Monthly Beer Club (Beer Society/Rathskeller) at France44 is ending. We are not taking any new members.
     
  21. billmbeer

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I'm a major beer geek and I tried all the beer of the month clubs out there. The best of the bunch is - www.greatclubs.com and www.rarebeerclub.com All the others are junk. Its a cool gift I give to my friends time to time.
     
  22. SurferSam

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California
    Lots of these beer clubs are the same. There are one or two shippers that ship for 90% of everyone. The best I've found is www.amazingbeerclub.com. I've been a member for almost two years and it's been good. I'm 99% sure they're the biggest which means good pricing. I also met one of their employees last year at the Great American Beer Festival who was there scouting new beers for the club. Thought it was pretty cool that they were there and he seemed like he knew his stuff. He said they were working on higher-end specialized club as well. No idea when that might happen.
     
  23. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor
    Staff Member Subscriber Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Posts:
    1,837
    Likes Received:
    1,243
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I think the best is the Rare Beer Club (formerly the Michael Jackson one) - definitely some of the more hard to get, unusual, and interesting beers.
     
    Ranbot and beerepiphany like this.
  24. beerepiphany

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Posts:
    216
    Likes Received:
    70
    Location:
    Illinois
    I just heard about this one, the High-End Beer Club. http://www.microbeerclub.com/beer-club/

    I have been in contact with their CSR today and sounds like they have a solid line-up each month. I am a member of the Rare Beer Club as well, and wouldnt consider cancelling that membership, but I think I will give High-End a try as well. Only con is they dont send out the current month's line-up prior to billing, so if you don't email ahead of time and request it you might get beers you wouldnt have normally paid for.

    Anyone use them?
     
  25. Crack2000

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2010
    Posts:
    106
    Likes Received:
    109
    Location:
    Texas
    I've been very pleased with the Rare Beer Club. Went in with two other friends as 6 bottles seemed to be the magic number to get the best bang for your buck.
     
    beerepiphany likes this.
  26. ZEB89

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Posts:
    32
    Likes Received:
    50
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
  27. dobe12

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Posts:
    9
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    New Jersey
    These always seemed like a major rip off to me.... but after reading through the thread and checking out all the sites mentioned, I really want to join. Just the idea of getting a box of random beers in the mail excites me! Now, which family member can I con into purchasing a membership as a gift?
     
    beerepiphany likes this.
  28. Texachris

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Texas
    Is it too hard to understand why someone who hasn't joined a beer club before might come to a place like this to get advice?
     
    beerepiphany likes this.
  29. Jhansengranger

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I received a subscription to craftbeerclub.com almost a year ago now (just about to run out!) and it's been fun, but not the way to go if you want really interesting, rare beers. I'd say that 1 out of every 8 beers or so are really impressive or interesting, everything else just seems to be the generic crowd pleasers of different breweries across the US. I do like that they include a pamphlet that gives the background and description of each brewery that you receive beers from, but I personally probably wouldn't spend the money to resubscribe for myself. Unless you live in a really secluded town, I'm sure you could go out and buy better beers for a cheaper price off the shelf than what you receive from craftbeerclub.com.

    That all said, I wouldn't turn down another subscription as a gift, it's really fun to receive a big box of beer every month!
     
  30. sgulner

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Posts:
    281
    Likes Received:
    836
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I know here in MA, where we have some funky laws on the books, a lot of the good Craft Brew Stores are making there own BOTM club. Personally, my store has one with some different options (US only, Int only, both, beer geek....) and I have never been disappointed in the selection. This month included a nice bottle of DFH 75min which wasn't even put on the shelves for others. SO, try calling around to your good beer stores and see what they offer..you may be surprised...
     
  31. Ranbot

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2006
    Posts:
    2,099
    Likes Received:
    3,538
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    @Hanzo, I also recommend the Rare Beer Club. I've been in the club for a few months and I'm impressed with what they've sent me. They get really unique stuff. Some brewers even produce one-time beers exclusively for the Rare Beer Club, which I doubt many other beer clubs can claim. Even the beers I could get on shelves locally I might not have thought of buying myself, or they might have had crazy mark-ups worse than the club's shipping costs. As mentioned by others, the club gives you a chance to review what they are sending and swap out selections if know you don't like a beer/style. If you REALLY like a beer they send you, they also give you the option to buy more of it through them, and/or swap out one of next month's beers for it.

    FWIW, I was always skeptical of beer of the month clubs, but I think I'm going to renew this one when my initial 6-month period runs out.
     
  32. RyD213

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Posts:
    74
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Came across this thread while searching on Google and figured you guys may have an answer. Is there anyway around having to be home and sign for the beer? I work during the day and if they come anytime before 6pm i won't be there. Have you guys run into this issue at all?
     
  33. tommyguz

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Posts:
    2,299
    Likes Received:
    5,386
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Other than making good with the UPS driver and leaving a signed note, they sometimes will let it slide.....but otherwise no.
     
  34. Lucular

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Posts:
    649
    Likes Received:
    842
    Location:
    Maryland
    You can have the box shipped to a UPS store and then pick it up there. Probably will have to pay a $5 or $10 fee however. I didn't feel like doing that so I had the boxes shipped to my work but I realize that's not an option for many people.
     
  35. jhavs

    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Posts:
    972
    Likes Received:
    8,376
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I received a Beer of the Month club subscription as a gift. Found it really difficult to be home for the deliveries and that was required by UPS. They said I could have it delivered to a UPS store, but that is about an hour drive. If the beer was great it would be worth it, but most of it was less than stellar and not particularly fresh.

    If you can get it delivered to your place of work it would solve the problem, or if you live near a UPS store or office it should work.
     
  36. Ranbot

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2006
    Posts:
    2,099
    Likes Received:
    3,538
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    This is what I do. Besides, I would rather a box of beer sit in the company mail room than be exposed to weather at my front door.
     
  37. swenny916

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Posts:
    24
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Illinois
    What I did was contact UPS after they tried to deliver it the first time and ask to have it held at the UPS Store. Maybe someone else has had different luck, but they wouldn't hold it for me until they had attempted to deliver it once.

    If you don't live near a store, this option probably isn't the best...
     
  38. donspublic

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Posts:
    1,500
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    Location:
    Texas
    My wife gave this to me for my birthday, due to this fact, she has the bottles shipped to her work, as she is always there and signs for all UPS/FedEx shipments. If this is an issue see if you can find someone who is around that will sign for you and ship it to them. Other option is to work with the shipper FedEx/UPS and sign on to their site and manager your shipment. i.e. only deliver on Saturday, etc.
     
  39. SurferSam

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California
    Oops. Wrong thread. I just started a membership with www.beeramerica.com. I'll update when it arrives.
     
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe