Sunday, September 24, 2017

Clubs of America Beer of the Month Club

Clubs of America Beer of the Month Club Review

Beer Clubs

Product Grade
Report Card Grade
0 Reviews
Best Feature:
Flexible membership with good discounts on reorders
Worst Feature:
Doesn't publicly archive all previous beer selections
Best Uses:
Perfect gift for good friends, employees & clients
Pricing:
$36.95 per 12-bottle shipment (includes S&H)
Manufacturer:
N/A

Where to Buy

Store Name
Price

Overview

Clubs of America was originally founded in 1994 by two brothers who just set out to start a monthly beer club and were so successful that they now run a total of eight different "of the month" clubs. Their Great American Beer Club is one of the longest running craft beer clubs in the country, and it has been featured on TV shows like Good Morning America and in publications like USA Today and Entrepreneur Magazine. The Club has a group of beer experts who scour the country for the best seasonal craft beers from small independent microbreweries, and then it sends a mix of twelve freshly brewed bottles right to their members' doorsteps to try out. Each shipment is guaranteed to contain four different styles of beer from two separate breweries, and the selections will never be repeated within a twelve-month period. In the shipments, you will also receive Beer Expeditions, which is their monthly newsletter detailing the history of the breweries and tasting notes on the beers selected. The newsletter will also include information for reordering any of the beers at a discounted rate by phone. The Great American Beer Club offers one of the most flexible memberships of any beer of the month club in terms of ordering, delivery scheduling and payment options. You can choose any number of shipments between one and twelve or select an ongoing membership that you can cancel at any time. They also offer monthly, bimonthly or quarterly delivery options and allow you to pay for your membership all at once or just for individual shipments as they are sent out.

You can purchase membership to Clubs of America's Great American Beer Club for $38.95 per shipment of 12 craft beer bottles. You will automatically save $25 dollars if you buy 12 shipments for $442.40. Shipping costs are included in the prices listed.

Product Report Card Grade

We give Clubs of America’s Beer of the Month Club an A- because we like that they offer an excellent variety of premium domestic microbrews, a flexible membership with no minimum requirements, a fun and informative newsletter and good discounts on reorders. We deducted a few points because they do not publicly archive previous beer selections.


 
This Product
Most Popular
Honor Roll
Overall Score
77%
79%
71%
Our Awards
Date Reviewed
February 2013
January 2014
August 2012
Pros
Variety of great domestic craft beers; rigorous selection process; flexible membership; no minimum commitment; reordering discount; fun and informative newsletter; club customization program
100% satisfaction guarantee; access to amazing, rare craft beers (domestic & imported); rigorous selection process; club customization program; flexible membership; educational and fun newsletter; archives all beer selections; longstanding reputable business (BBB-accredited)
100% satisfaction guarantee; access to amazing imported craft beer; rigorous selection process; club customization program; flexible membership; educational and fun newsletter; archives all beer selections; longstanding reputable business (BBB-accredited)
Cons
No input into what craft beers you receive; only some previous beer selections archived on website; doesn't ship to AK or HI; gift shipments aren't sent out immediately
No input into what craft beers you receive; doesn't ship to AK or HI; doesn't offer gift notification by traditional mail; no reordering discounts; gift shipments aren't sent out immediately
No input into what craft beers you receive; doesn't ship to AK or HI; doesn't offer gift notification by traditional mail; no reordering discounts; gift shipments aren't sent out immediately
Pricing
$38.95
$46.95 - $88.95
$38.95
Shipping Included
Shipping Included
Shipping Included
Shipping Included
Bottles per Shipment
12 bottles (12oz)
Choice of 2, 4 or 6 bottles (750ml)
12 bottles (12oz)
Business - 20%
Beer - 25%
Membership - 25%
Gifts - 10%
Shipping - 10%
User Feedback - 10%
Business Founded
1994
1994
1994
BBB-Accredited
No
Yes
Yes
Newsletter
Yes, all shipments contain "Beer Expeditions", a monthly newsletter with information on the beer selections and reordering discounts.
Yes, members of the Rare Beer Club will receive the club's monthly newsletter, Brew Harvest Review: Malt of the Earth, in each shipment. The newsletter provides tasting notes and additional background on each of the featured beers.
Yes, U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club members will receive the Brew Harvest Review: Malt of the Earth, in each shipment. The monthly newsletter has tasting notes and additional background on the featured beers.
Reviewing Previously Featured Beers
Clubs of America only lists some of its previous beer selections on the public website.
All previously featured beers from the Rare Beer Club are publicly archived on www.beermonthclub.com.
All previously featured beers from the U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club are publicly archived on www.beermonthclub.com.
Satisfaction Guarrantee
Yes
Yes
Yes
Domestic or International Beers
Domestic
Domestic
International
Domestic
Variety
Shipments include 4 styles of beer (3 bottles of each) from 2 different domestic microbreweries.
Shipments include 2 styles of beer from 2 different microbreweries (US or international)
Shipments include 4 styles of beer (3 bottles of each) from 2 different US microbreweries.
Selection Process
A panel of beer experts conducts taste tests to select featured beers each month.
For each of its beer clubs, MonthlyClubs.com has a panel of beer experts conduct a blind taste test of over 500 beers a year. Less than 20% of beers they taste will be considered for use in the clubs.
For each of its beer clubs, MonthlyClubs.com has a panel of beer experts conduct a blind taste test of over 500 beers a year. Less than 20% of beers they taste will be considered for use in the clubs.
Reordering Your Favorite Beers
Yes (at a discount)
Yes
Yes
Membership Minimum
No minimum
2-shipment minimum
2-shipment minimum
Discount For Buying in Bulk
Yes
Yes
No
Bonus Gifts
No
No
No
Customization
Yes, the "Mix Your Clubs" feature allows members to choose which of the 8 different clubs they want to try during each month of their membership.
Yes, the "Design Your Own Club™" program allows members to combine any of the company's six monthly clubs that they want to try.
Yes, the "Design Your Own Clubâ„¢" program allows members to combine any of the company's six monthly clubs that they want to try.
Gift Notification Options
Email (instantly or on a scheduled day) Printable Card Traditional Mail
Email (instantly or on a scheduled day)
Printable Card
Email (instantly or on a scheduled day)
Printable Card
Shipping Options
Monthly
Bimonthly
Quarterly
Monthly
Bimonthly
Quarterly
Monthly
Bimonthly
Quarterly
Shipping Schedule
Shipments should arrive during the 3rd or 4th week of the month.
Shipments are sent between the 15th and 25th of each month and arrive within 7-10 days.
Shipments are sent between the 15th and 25th of each month and arrive within 7-10 days.
Shipping Restrictions
AK, HI, and UT
AK, HI, and UT
AK, HI, and UT
Approximate Cost Per Bottle
$3.07*
$14.83*
$3.25*

ProductReportCard Editors' In-Depth Review


Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Most flexible membership with no minimum commitment.
  • Good variety of American craft beers
  • Members can re-order past favorites at discounted prices (12 or 24 packs)
  • Informative newsletter

Cons

  • Can't control which beers you receive and no access to international beers
  • Entirety of previous beer selections not available to public on website
  • Doesn't ship to Alaska or Hawaii at all (in addition to dry counties)

Key Features

Products
A panel of beer experts carefully selects a variety of seasonal, freshly brewed craft beers from small microbreweries over the United States.
Quantity
There is no minimum membership requirement. Each shipment will include 12 standard size bottles (12 ounces).
Membership Options
Flexible membership with option of purchasing between 1 - 12 shipments or an indefinite number of shipments. Each shipment of 12 bottles will contain 4 styles of beer from at least 2 different breweries. You can opt to receive deliveries every month, every other month or every three months. You can pay for all of your shipments at once or in installments (your credit card would only be charged for individual shipments during the months they were received).
Cost per Beer
If you order less than 12 shipments, it averages out to about $3.25 per beer, but, if you order 12 shipments, the cost decreases to $3.07 per beer.
Newsletter
As part of your membership, Clubs of America will include their monthly newsletter, Beer Expeditions, in your shipments. The newsletter will include information about each brewery and tasting notes on the beers themselves.
Gift Information
To notify gift recipients, Clubs of America includes a complimentary personalized gift announcement that can be sent by email or traditional mail to you or the recipient. You can also print the gift announcement yourself directly on the website.
Bonus Gifts
None offered
Previously Featured Beers
Abita Brewery in Louisiana (Turbo Dog Lager & IPA), Atlanta Brewery in Georgia (Red Ale & Pale Ale), Sand Creek Brewery in Wisconsin (Woody's Wheat & English Ale), Millstream Brewery in Iowa (White Ale and Oatmeal Stout), etc.
Shipping Schedule
Shipments will arrive during the 3rd or 4th week of the month. As mentioned, you have the option of receiving deliveries on a monthly, bimonthly or quarterly basis.
Satisfaction Guarantee
There is a 100% satisfaction guarantee. The website states that "you have the right to expect that your gift will arrive at its destination on time, in perfect condition, in the months you specified-no surprises." Clubs of America obviously cannot guarantee that every selection will be suited to individual tastes. If you are unhappy with a particular selection, however, you should contact customer service.

Reputation

The Great American Beer Club doesn't any consolidated customers reviews on independent (unbiased) websites, and the individual reviews I saw were positive but few and far between. That said, I think this is a great beer club to join or to give as a gift for a few reasons. First, as one of the more established clubs, you can expect great service. Second, you are guaranteed to get a very good variety of domestic microbrews (at least four styles in every shipment). Third, they offer the most flexible membership of any beer club and will even allow you to further customize your delivery schedule if you just call and ask. Finally, you can call to reorder your favorite beers in 12 or 24 packs at a discounted rate. Depending on what you are looking for, the only other club that might be better is the C&H Gourmet Monthly Club's Original Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club. It has a two-month minimum, but, for the same monthly price, C&H claims to have a more formal selection process, archives all previous beer selections on their website, offers an easy online reordering system (also with discounts) and will allow you to leverage some of their other "of the month" clubs to combine with your membership (ie. beers + cigars). Overall, both clubs sound great, and I don't think you can really go wrong with either one if you want to experience a wide variety of domestic microbrews.


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