Recently a reader asked me if they should get their husband a beer subscription. Then I thought I would sign up for a paid review service to see what came my way - and low and behold the first review I was sent was for the "Beer of the Month Club" by a website called "Amazing Clubs" of Stamford, CT. So let's see what we have - so I can buy something for 50 bucks USD I get for this review.
Am I amazed? First, for $27.95 per month for a year you get 12 micro brews sent to you. Under $2.34 USD a beer and that includes shipping. And what beers do you get? I am informed that certain Connecticut citizens promise as follows:
We feature only premium, hard-to-find microbrews from boutique breweries nationwide. Previous selections of the Beer of the Month Club have originated from microbreweries in Oregon, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, Ohio, Illinois and dozens of other states. All of our beers are selected by our panel of beer experts for their flavor, color and limited availability and nearly all of our featured breweries have been awarded multiple honors at competitive tasting festivals.That is a decently decent idea - especially if you are sitting in a place where there isn't a good beer shop within, say, an hour's drive, where you cannot get to something new and interesting. Second, what if there isn't any thing you like coming through the door? Check #6 - they give full refund...if you trust that they will.
So what's the down side? You do not trust the idea. Fair enough. I have not sampled anything and am, frankly, looking at picking up 50 bucks to write this which means 24 Thousand Island Pale Ales and a few other things for the stash when I hit the border next. But it is because I can reach that thing my beer shop, I am not signing up. Why? Well, as I suggested to the nice lady who emailed me, if you (like me) do have a shop nearby...ok, two hours...28 bucks in the US gets you from half-again to twice the variety - but will they be from Ohio or Florida? Mmmm: Ohio. So if you can trust and they earn your trust and, especially, if you are stuck someplace like Houlton, Maine or...ok, no where is like Houlton, Maine but you take my point. This may be the break you need to get those beers of Ohio.
Like anything this is about trust. Who knows? It is an idea and an idea you can try out. As the shipping rules relax over time in the beer trade maybe these will get more popular - who knows? Not for me. But if you want to try, you could try. Have any of you tried this sort of service?