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.
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.
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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