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History of Mail-Order Beer

Mail-Order Beer Shipment in the Box

Prior to 1994, the phrase "Mail-Order Beer" was generally limited to a handful of eclectic wine and beer shops that occasionally shipped a bottle or two of their rare microbrewed creations.

While there was a "Beer-of-the-month-club" model sending its members a case of beer each month way back in 1950, the Mail-Order Beer industry or Beer of the Month Club concept as many refer to it, exploded in the early 1990s. Since that time, more than 50 beer clubs emerged and quickly disappeared for many of the same reasons that most small businesses fail: under-capitalization, ill-conceived marketing plans, and overzealous sales projections, to name a few. Some of the more colorful club names that came and went include: The Beer Scouts of America, BrewTapp, Microbrew Express, Beers 2 You, The North American Beer Odyssey, The Foggy Bay Beer Club, Mail-Order Beer Express, Ale by Comparison and our personal favorite, simply…"Beer Club"!

Why We've Outlasted the Rest, Providing Outstanding Products and Service Since 1994

From the very moment that our corporate charter to create a Mail-Order Beer Club second to none was drafted, we established our service as one that was truly differentiated.

Quality - We've been conducting our beer panel nights, headed by two of the more widely respected Masterbrewers in the industry, every other Monday at a local brewpub since 1994. Many claim to do the same. We actually do it. And Enjoy it! It truly separates us from the rest, as the beer tasting panel is a tough audience to please. Typically, less than 30 % of all rated beers are approved to be featured in our service. Check out our Sour Notes From the Panel page for some of the more colorful panel commentary of a few of the somewhat less than worthy beers evaluated over the years.

Variety - Many clubs offer the standard format of two 6-packs featuring only two beer styles each month. Some send twelve bottles of the same beer. We always feature two different beer styles from two different breweries, offering four distinct beer styles in each shipment. In addition, we pay great attention to offering variety with respect to where our featured selections are brewed, both within each shipment as well as from month to month.

Freshness - Most microbrews are brewed in accordance to the German Reinhietsgebot Purity Law, allowing only water, barley, hops and yeast as ingredients, which means they aren't pasteurized. They're generally bolder and more flavorful, but more delicate and subject to being compromised than their pasteurized big brothers. It's no secret that offering consistently fresh & flavorful beers has been one of the keys to our success. We do it in a number of ways:

  • Every beer featured is brewed to order for our members just weeks before you receive it.
  • Random samples are evaluated again after we've taken delivery to ensure freshness and that the beer delivered is in fact of the same quality of the samples approved earlier by our panel.
  • We focus on beers with higher hop acidity, higher alcohol by volume percentages and generally more durable styles in the warmer months of the year so they'll travel better.
  • Our packaging nearly encapsulates each beer with environmentally friendly recyclable pulp trays.

Rare, Hard-to-Find Selections - We go out of our way to find undiscovered breweries representing the entire country. Additionally, we focus on seasonal beers such as bocks, Hefeweizens, pumpkin ales and spiced winter ales that are limited production batches, only produced once a year and distributed lightly.

A Fun, Informative Newsletter Second to None - Simply put, our monthly newsletter is unmatched by our competition. Each edition describes the history of each featured brewery, the background of its brewmaster, how each beer is made, and tasting notes detailing what you should look for when trying them! Our highly trained Australian Sheepdog, Murl, has a longstanding column since our inception where he answers tough beer related questions in his own special way. According to our members, "Ask Murl" is, hands down, the highlight of our newsletter!

Although the Mail-Order Beer Industry has changed dramatically over the years, we still offer unmatched quality, variety, and freshness coupled with a partnership attitude in customer service with each and every one of our members. Thank you for visiting our site and taking the time to read about why we think we're the best.

Learn more about the history of mail-order clubs and the other great monthly clubs we offer:

Premium beers, hand selected
by experts throughout the year

The Microbrewed Beer of the
Month Club