A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Tedo -

My question with these things is how are they shipped? I mean the last thing you want is your beer sitting in the back of the UPS truck getting baked before they arrive at your door.

Alan -

That would seem to be key. That being said, I had beer FedEx'ed from our sponsor the Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam (this is not an ad, this is a fact) and it worked fine. In a former life I was a wholesale cut flower shipper and we used ice packs to move irises and tulips around in summer. So it can be done but it all comes down to the packing.

ag -

i would like to reccomend this blog about beer

blork -

Does this work for Canadians? You know how those customs people are -- I can imagine getting my monthly $2.34 USD beer along with an invoice from Canada Customs for $40.

(It's happened before -- I've had to pay duty for free things for pete's sake!)

blork -

D'oh! I just saw #11 in the FAQ:

11. Can you ship outside the United States?
We apologize but due to the perishable nature of some of our gourmet items, we can only ship within the continental 48 United States.

Alan -

I think you have to take that into account, too. I am happy to pay my customs duties when I do beer runs (35% usually) so this would be the same.

Skippy -

This Cracked Kettle deal seems sweet. They'll ship to Canada no problem? Can someone steer me towards other sites that will safely and reliably ship to this beer wasteland I call Canada?

Great blog BTW. Alan, I don't know how you do it!

Email would be appreciated...thanks!

Alan -

No problem? You will have to check with Customs about any proposed shipment to Canada. Mine was tiny (but lovely) but I may get a bill in the mail as it was opened by them. I always pay my Customs guards full freight on any shipments and am happy to do so.

Skippy -

Well, I emailed them and they assured me they ship to Canada with few problems. But I was interested in something more substantial (6-8 bottles of liquid gold).

How can I go about notifying Customs if this company sends directly to me? Will Customs just send me a bill? I'm willing to pay whatever charges there are, but I'm not sure how it works, exactly. Do you have any idea what kind of charge I'd get on a 40 Euro order or so?

Alan -

I am unsure. I have only paid at the border or when books or CDs are delivered to the post office paid there. I have never dealt with FedEx and how that works. Maybe give your local office a call and let us know what they say.

At the border, for Ontario, the 4 fees (PST, GST, excise and LCBO markup generally equal 37% more). As my shipment only had 3 bottles they may not bother sending me a bill in the mail but they certainly opened and repacked the box.

Let us know as I am very excited about the Cracked Kettle service and happy to hear you want to try it as well.

Teresa Sheller -


Beer Hund -

I have been a member of Amazing Clubs domestic beer of the month for over a year and have not been impressed. Although the beer selection is fair, they have a cheap rag of a newsletter that comes with the beer. It is only one page, printed on cheap paper, the ink smears, the back is all advertising for other clubs, and the reviews are cut and pasted from the brewerys' self-assesment. The one I was a member of a few years before was much more professional. I don't recall the company name though. I just remember Beer of the Month.

Mike -

I was given a 6-month Beer of the Month club membership for Xmas; the selection was only decent. The first month in particular was awful, it was a bunch of very weak Pocono lager from Lions Head. That's a very cheap, mediocre-at-best beer. And considering I'm less than 90 minutes from that brewery, it wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I read I'd be receiving micro-brews.

Some of the selections were decent, even above average (last month's Maibock was great), but I agree with Beer Hund about the quality of the newsletters. And with my membership expiring in June, they have been emailing me 2x a week trying to get me to extend it.

I appreciate beer being delivered to my door, but the selection wasn't good enough to warrant me continuing the membership. I'm glad I didn't pay for it.

Hoppy Hal -

I don't know how long they've been around, but there is a beer of the month club in Canada (MonthlyClubs.ca), but it looks like they only ship in Ontario. There's also BeerClub.ca, but it doesn't appear to be operational as their email doesn't work and their order page results in a 404 error.

Beer Me -

Has anyone tried Clubs of America or Gourmet Monthly Clubs (which I think is the same company as Microbrewed Beer of the Month with C&H Clubs USA as their parent company)? I'm looking for a great gift, and with the plethora of beer clubs out there, it's hard to know which ones are good. I know now not to go with Amazing Clubs.

@Mike - which company was your Beer of the Month? I'll have to steer clear of that one too.

Shelly -

Yes, I received a Beer of the Month from Clubs of America www.greatclubs.com last year and I'm still in their Beer Club. Its really good quality brews, very small breweries. all the brews are super fresh. i guess they are one of the original Beer Clubs and are family operated according to the website. The service has been very good thru them.

Just the two of us : Me and Brew -

does anyone know of a good INTERNATIONAL brew club? Any suggestions?

Beer 4 You -

I did Amazing Clubs - Beer of the Month Club. The customer service was not up to par. They wouldn't let me get my full refund for their mistake (twice). I called to ask if it was domestic AND international the gal said yes. I ordered. I got the order it did not sa international which I thought was odd. I called back and she said no domestic only. Wow, ok irritating but the gal was real nice on the phone and said not a problem we will cancel your order. I said great and of course it was never canceled. I talked to the gal and she not once said sorry for their mistakes (plural). She tried to blame me and said are you sure you did not call the worng company? Wow. She charged me for the first month and still in the end was never kind about it. I will NEVER use this club. On a brighter note I went with beermonthclub.com in the end and my brother has loved it so far! The shipment came fast, the customer service is superb and they always do their best to ensure satisfaction. He loved the variety on his virst shipment!

Memphis beers -

Don't use amazing clubs for your beer, the beers that are left on the shelves in there warehouse goes to new customers. That fresh premium beer they advertise could be lying around for months under different heat conditions before you receive, this is a fact as I called their shipping office in new York and the guy explained this is what happens to old stock. I only new this because my package was different to my brothers.

Baconator -

www.MonthlyClubs.ca ships to Canadians. www.AmazingClubs.ca does as well, but I think it is only to Ontario. I can't comment on the customer service states-side, but I have been more than pleased with my correspondence with www.AmazingClubs.ca. Their CS is top notch, and I am very particular about that sort of thing. I can't stand poor CS on web-based companies. I black flag them right away!

Denise -

I've been using monthlyclubs.ca for shipment to Canada for two years and it's been fine but for the past three months when I had shipping problems I found out their customer service is awful, they don't even bother to call you back.