Sunday, April 23, 2017

MonthlyClubs.com Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club

MonthlyClubs.com Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club Review

Beer Clubs

Product Grade
Report Card Grade
0 Reviews
Best Feature:
Design Your Own Club™ and 100% satisfaction guarantee
Worst Feature:
Requires a 2-shipment minimum
Best Uses:
Gift to impress boss/clients or share w/ friends
Pricing:
$36.95 - $86.95 per shipment (includes S&H)
Manufacturer:
N/A

Where to Buy

Store Name
Price

Overview

Since its establishment in 1994, MonthlyClubs.com's Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club has worked to distinguish itself from competitors in the beer club industry. MonthlyClubs.com (formerly known as C&H Clubs) claims to have the most formal selection process of any beer club and only approves less than 30% of the beers they test (~1000 breweries). Its panel of brew masters and beer experts are committed to offering the best variety of premium craft beers, and, unlike other beer clubs, MonthlyClubs.com has been so proud of its selections each month that they have all been archived on the club's website since 1995.

MonthlyClubs.com offers four different membership options based on whether you'd like a selection of all domestically-produced craft beers, all imported ones, a combination of the two, or a mix of rare microbrews from US and international breweries. Under the first three membership options, each shipment you receive will contain a total of twelve standard size bottles (twelve ounces) with two or four different styles of beer from two separate breweries. Members of the Rare Beer Club will receive shipments of two, four or six 750-ml bottles with at least two different styles of beer from two different regions. A copy of the beer club's newsletter, Brew Harvest Review, is also included in every shipment. The newsletter's main purpose is to provide some background on each of the breweries, tasting notes on the different beers and suggestions for food pairings, but it also has some other fun tidbits we've detailed in the section below.

All of the memberships feature very flexible ordering, delivery scheduling and payment options. While the minimum commitment is two months, you can order up to twelve shipments (in one shipment intervals) or leave your membership open-ended with the ability to cancel at any time. Then, you can specify whether you want to receive deliveries on a monthly, bimonthly or quarterly basis. Finally, you can pay for your entire membership in one installment or you can arrange for your credit card to be charged just before your shipments are sent. MonthlyClubs.com also makes it easy for customers to reorder any of their favorite beers at a discounted rate right on their website. Finally, MonthlyClubs.com also allows customers to leverage its other club offerings and pair their beer club orders with wine, cigars, cheese, chocolate and flowers.

You can purchase membership to any of the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Clubs online and costs will vary according to your membership level and the number of shipments you order. The Original Monthly Beer Club costs $22.95 per shipment (plus $14 for S&H); the International & Domestic Variety Beer Club costs $28.95 per shipment (plus $14 for S&H); and the International Beer of the Month Club is $32.95 per shipment (plus $14 for S&H). The Rare Beer Club has three different price points per shipment: a two-bottle shipment costs $31.95 (plus $13 for S&H), a four-bottle shipment costs $51.95 (plus $15 for S&H) and a six-bottle shipment costs $68.95 (plus $18 for S&H).

Product Report Card Grade

We give MonthlyClubs.com’s Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club an A- because it features a great selection of domestic, imported and rare beers, its newsletter is fun and informative, it publicly archives all previous beer selections, and it offers its members a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We also love the Design Your Own Club™ program where you can customize your membership and combine it with any of MonthlyClubs.com’s other clubs (wine, cigars, cheese, chocolate, and flowers). We deducted just a few points because they require a 2-shipment membership minimum.


 
This Product
Most Popular
Honor Roll
Overall Score
71%
79%
77%
Our Awards
Date Reviewed
August 2012
January 2014
February 2013
Pros
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)
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)
Variety of great domestic craft beers; rigorous selection process; flexible membership; no minimum commitment; reordering discount; fun and informative newsletter; club customization program
Cons
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
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
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
Yes
Yes
No
Newsletter
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.
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, all shipments contain "Beer Expeditions", a monthly newsletter with information on the beer selections and reordering discounts.
Reviewing Previously Featured Beers
All previously featured beers from the U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club are publicly archived on www.beermonthclub.com.
All previously featured beers from the Rare Beer Club are publicly archived on www.beermonthclub.com.
Clubs of America only lists some of its previous beer selections on the public website.
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 US 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 domestic microbreweries.
Selection Process
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.
A panel of beer experts conducts taste tests to select featured beers each month.
Reordering Your Favorite Beers
Yes
Yes
Yes (at a discount)
Membership Minimum
2-shipment minimum
2-shipment minimum
No minimum
Discount For Buying in Bulk
No
Yes
Yes
Bonus Gifts
No
No
No
Customization
Yes, the "Design Your Own Clubâ„¢" program allows members to combine any of the company's six monthly clubs that they want to try.
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 "Mix Your Clubs" feature allows members to choose which of the 8 different clubs they want to try during each month of their membership.
Gift Notification Options
Email (instantly or on a scheduled day)
Printable Card
Email (instantly or on a scheduled day)
Printable Card
Email (instantly or on a scheduled day) Printable Card Traditional Mail
Shipping Options
Monthly
Bimonthly
Quarterly
Monthly
Bimonthly
Quarterly
Monthly
Bimonthly
Quarterly
Shipping Schedule
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.
Shipments should arrive during the 3rd or 4th week of the month.
Shipping Restrictions
AK, HI, and UT
AK, HI, and UT
AK, HI, and UT
Approximate Cost Per Bottle
$3.25*
$14.83*
$3.07*

ProductReportCard Editors' In-Depth Review


Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Great variety of high quality craft beers from US and international breweries
  • Multiple types of memberships to choose from (including rare and international options)
  • Ability to order more beer that you like at a discounted rate
  • Flexible ordering, payment and delivery schedule
  • Educational and fun newsletter
  • You can review all of their past beer selections on their website (1995 - present)

Cons

  • Limited control over what craft beers are sent
  • Gift notification isn't automated
  • Cannot ship outside of the US or to Alaska, Hawaii or Utah. Also cannot ship to PO boxes, FPO or APO boxes since an adult signature is required.

Key Features

Products
A panel of master brewers and beer experts carefully select a wide variety of domestic and/or international microbrews from award winning breweries.
Quantity
The minimum membership requirement is 2 shipments. Rare Beer Club members will have the option of receiving individual shipments of 2, 4 or 6 750-ml bottles, while other club members will just receive 12 longneck bottles in each shipment.
Membership Options
All customers will choose between 2 - 12 shipments or an open-ended membership and whether they want to receive deliveries on a monthly, bimonthly or quarterly basis. The four membership levels are detailed below:
  • Original Monthly Beer Club - shipments will include 4 styles of beer (3 of each) from two domestic breweries.
  • International & Domestic Variety Beer Club - shipments will also include 4 styles of beer (3 of each), but 2 of the styles will come from US breweries and 2 will come from non-US breweries. (This is the most popular membership.)
  • International Beer of the Month Club - shipments will include 2 different styles of beer (6 of each) from 2 international breweries.
  • The Rare Beer Club - shipments will include 2 different styles of beer that are typically from breweries in different regions as well.
    • Michael Jackson, the world's leading beer critic according to the Wall Street Journal, established this club when he was head of the MonthlyClubs.com' tasting panel. To ensure that all of the beers selected really did have superior depth, texture, and nuance, Jackson mandated a blind taste test for the panelists, so they would not be swayed by any outside influences. These hard-to-find, limited-release beers are truly exceptional examples of the passion, creativity and skill within this industry around the world.
Cost per Beer
After you factor in shipping costs, the Original Monthly Beer Club is $3.09 per beer, the International & Domestic Variety Beer Club is $3.58 per beer, and the International Beer of the Month Club is $3.91 per beer. These costs are fixed, and there is no discount to incentivize customers to buy longer memberships. The Rare Beer Club, however, does offer an incentive to buy in higher quantities. The 2-bottle option averages out to $22.48/bottle, the 4-bottle option averages out to $16.74/bottle, and the 6-bottle option averages out to $14.49/bottle.
Newsletter
As part of your membership, MonthlyClubs.com will include their monthly newsletter, Brew Harvest Review: Malt of the Earth, in each shipment. In addition to providing information on the breweries and beer selections, the newsletter will also include festival listings, reviews on brewpubs and microbreweries, fun beer trivia, and interesting articles submitted by beer industry writers.
Gift Information
All gift purchases will include a free customized gift notification that you can have emailed to the recipient on a specific day or that you can print and give to them yourself. Please note that you have to manually generate this notification on the website. It is not automatically generated for orders placed online.
Shipping Schedule
Shipments are sent out between the 15th and 25th and can take 7-10 days for delivery. As mentioned, you can opt to receive shipments every month, every other month or every three months.
Satisfaction Guarantee
MonthlyClubs.com offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are unhappy with the products in any way, MonthlyClubs.com will replace them or refund your money.

Reputation

While the MonthlyClubs.com beer clubs don't have any consolidated customers reviews on independent (unbiased) websites, I did read a few very positive individual reviews on the club, and MonthlyClubs.com (formerly C&H) itself appears to be a reputable company that has maintained an A+ rating with the BBB since 1994. The multiple membership levels with domestic and imported options, along with the flexible ordering, payment and delivery schedule make this beer club an excellent gift to give yourself or another beer lover in your life. We would suggest purchasing a few months of the International & Domestic Variety Beer Club membership. This club has the broadest and most exciting variety of microbrews to taste. The Rare Beer Club membership carries a certain cachet, but it is definitely more for the beer connoisseur. While one individual review I saw was pretty negative, the editors at DrinkCraftBeer.com were more impressed with some of the selections in this club- "While I'm not one for ranking beers, I can definitely see why Porter Baltique won "World's Best Baltic Porter" at the World Beer Awards. This thing is phenomenal!" The editor goes on to say that he wouldn't want to drink a lot of it but that he enjoyed the little taste he had. Overall, it sounds like selections are pretty unique/amazing, but the flavors may be a bit too overwhelming for the casual beer drinkers.


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