Established in 2010, the Original Craft Beer Club has quickly differentiated itself from its competitors to become one of the fastest growing beer clubs in the country. Not only has it earned recognition from industry publications like Draft Magazine and Beer Connoisseur Magazine, it was also featured as one of Rachel Ray's Valentine's Day gift suggestions on Good Morning America. There are almost 2000 craft beer breweries in the United States alone, but it's almost impossible to experience the majority of the unique microbrews produced since they'll never make it to the shelves of your local grocery store. The Craft Beer Club, however, identifies the most exceptional examples of these American craft beers and will ship them directly to your doorstep for you to try out and enjoy. The Craft Beer Club offers one of the most flexible programs of any craft beer club with no minimum membership requirement, the option of 12- or 24-bottles of craft beer in each shipment and monthly, bimonthly or quarterly delivery schedules. Individual shipments will contain four different styles of beer (12 ounces) from two separate breweries in the continental US. Potential breweries are selected after careful consideration of their history, local reputation, variety of beer styles, specialty brews, any awards they have won and their distribution. The Craft Beer Club's tasting experts will then evaluate the microbrews for authenticity to the variety, color, aroma, mouth feel, the first opening taste and the finish after the last sip. The Club prides themselves on providing new, high quality selections for their members each month, and they have archived all of their past newsletters on their website. The Craft Beer Club is also the only beer club to offer three free gifts to new ongoing members in their first shipment.
You can purchase membership to the Original Craft Beer Club online and costs will vary according to the number and size of the shipments you order. One shipment of 12 bottles of beer is $37.75 and you will save $25 dollars if you buy 12 shipments for $428. One shipment of 24 bottles is $71.73, but you can save $135 dollars if you buy 12 shipments for $770.40. Shipping costs are included in the prices listed.
We give the Original Craft Beer Club an A- because we like that they not only feature a great variety of high-quality microbrews but they also offer a very flexible membership, an informative newsletter, great customer service and bonus gifts for new ongoing members. Additionally, we like that they archive all previous beer selections on their website and can send out first beer shipments within 7-10 days of receiving an order. We deducted points because they do not have a 100% satisfaction guarantee and charge $3 to send gift notification by traditional mail.
While the Craft Beer Club doesn't have any consolidated customers reviews on independent (unbiased) websites, I did read a few very positive individual reviews on the club. Overall, it sounds like customers have been very pleased with the service and the quality and variety of the beers they received. My husband actually has a monthly membership for his office and loves it for an in-office happy hour. He said everyone is always really excited to try the new beers each month, and it has been a great way for his team to bond. While the complimentary gifts may seem small, they are especially convenient for an office environment because you get an opener, glasses and some salty snacks all in the first shipment. The only negative I can see about this club is that you aren't able to reorder beers that you like online. However, when we asked the Craft Beer Club team about it, they said they do take reorders by phone and can accommodate any requests depending on the stock at hand. So, if you like any of the beer varieties you receive, just be sure to follow up with them quickly and you can probably secure a few extras.
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