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Craft beer lovers know that there is seemingly no end to the different varieties of craft beer available for tasting. In fact, craft breweries are popping up in record numbers all across the country. The best way to find out what’s out there is by joining a beer subscription service.
There are a number of craft beer membership companies, so it can be hard to choose. We have reviewed a few beer clubs on this website previously.
But when it comes to selecting the right beer-club, look at all the details so you can choose the best beer subscription for you. Here is our Original Craft Beer Club review for 2020.
Table of Contents
What is The Original Craft Beer Club?
The Original Craft Beer Club is a monthly beer membership service that searches for the best selection of craft beer from more than 8,000 microbreweries and brew pubs in the United States.
Once the beers are chosen, they are sampled and then they will deliver their favorites in a craft beer subscription box to your door for however long you choose.
The varieties are so vast that they try not to repeat the same brewery for at least two years. But if the same brewery is chosen again, a different type and style of beer will be shipped.
Who is the Club For?
Well, first and foremost, this club is for beer drinkers! And not just any beer drinker, but those who like to try new things. If you constantly peruse your beer store, checking out something new every now and then, this is the beer subscription service for you.
This is the opportunity to try something you may never have heard of before, and certainly couldn’t get in your local store.
However, if you are happy with your big brewery lager and rarely try anything else, then this is not for you. Also, if you are a fan of European beer, this is probably not the right club for you.
A craft beer gift pack is also a great beer delivery gift for a friend or someone else who is also a beer enthusiast.
What Does the Membership Include?
Each craft beer subscription box contains the following:
- Twelve beers. This is broken down to four different styles, and three of each style. You could also choose the 24 craft beer membership, which is the same out of styles but a six pack of each. The beers come in cans or bottles, depending on the distributor.
- A monthly newsletter. This contains tasting notes, information about the breweries featured in that shipment, recommended and food pairings, and more.
- Free gifts! If you choose the three-month plan you get a free bottle opener as your beer club gift. If you choose the six-month plan, you get the opener plus free beer Koozies.
If you go the full year, you also get 30% off the price of the membership as an additional beer club gift. There are other free gifts and discounts listed on their website.
What is the Beer Selection Process?
Beers are chosen by quality first and foremost. They also select different styles of beer, so there is always a variety each month. Each month generally includes two different types of beer from each brewery.
First, you need to select how often you wish to receive your order. You can choose monthly, every other month, or quarterly. You can choose a finite amount of orders, or leave it open ended.
If you choose to receive your beers as soon as possible, the first order will arrive 10-15 days after your payment is processed. If you choose a specific start month, your order will arrive 10-15 days into that month. Otherwise, all monthly orders arrive in the second half of each month.
Since this order contains alcohol you or someone aged 21 or older will have to sign for the package, with proof of age on an officially recognized identification card. So you cannot become a subscriber if you are under 21, and you also cannot give a beer subscription gift to someone under 21 as well.
If you miss your delivery, don’t worry: another attempt will be made the next day. However, only three consecutive attempts will be made before the package is returned.
The price is currently $43.00 a month for the 12 beers. However, you can get a 30% discount if you pre-pay for 12 orders. This price includes free shipping (except Alaska and Hawaii), which is rare among similar beer clubs that charge up to $15 a month for shipping.
How to Order
Choose if you want 12 or 24 beers and then decide if you want one shipment or 12 shipments, or something in between.
There is no commitment for future orders and you can cancel your membership at any time.
The Original Craft Beer Club Pros
There are definitely benefits to joining a beer club:
- Wide variety of craft beers from just about every state in the U.S.
- Introduces you to beer you may have never heard of or tried before
- Makes a great beer gift for a beer lover
- Flexibility in purchase options and no commitment
The Original Craft Beer Club Cons
And there are certainly some things to think about too:
- More expensive than purchasing beer in a store
- No guarantee that you will enjoy what you receive
- Domestic only, so if you want beers from around the world, you should check out other clubs that offer international selections
Things to Know Before Joining
Outside of the pros and cons listed above, there are other things you should consider as well.
If there is one type of beer you particularly don’t like (for me its Porter) you can request that it not be in your orders. However, you can only do that with one type so if you are a particular about your beer, you may not like all the choices you receive.
But not knowing what beer you are getting until you open the box is what makes a beer of the month club so cool.
If you only prefer to drink your beer from only a bottle or only a can, the monthly shipments will sometimes include a mixture of both cans and bottles. Just be aware that cans will be included in at least 3 shipments a year.
Recent Beer Selections
Members of this craft beer subscription box received the following beers:
- Atlanta Milk/Sweet Stout
- Atlanta Pilsner
- Alamo American Pale Ale
- Alamo Cream Ale
- O’Fallon India Pale Ale
- O’Fallon American Amber/Red Lager
- Aleworks Brown Ale
- Aleworks Pale Ale
- Sierra Blanca California Common/Steam Beer
- Sierra Blanca American Brown Ale
- Mason Ale Hazy IPA
- Mason Ale Mexican-Style Lager
How it Compares to Other Beer Clubs
The Original Beer of the Month Club is actually a bit cheaper than most other clubs. Although it may seem more expensive just by looking at the monthly price, but most other clubs charge shipping and handling fees of $15.00 or more.
The variety of this club is that it includes many different styles and a wide range of beers, including lightly distributed selections. The only beer this club doesn’t feature is beer from outside the United States.
Ready to Join The Club?
Determining which club offers the best beer subscription is highly subjective, but the variety of the Original Craft Beer Club makes it worth checking out.
It offers a wide range of craft brews from domestic microbrews, and the quality of beer is consistently good. It’s also a great craft beer gift pack for friends, perfect as a holiday or a birthday gift.
P.S. If you want to join a beer club, but would like to have more hoppy beer selections or see what the international brewing scene is like, check out our review page of the 5 other individual beer clubs.