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Before You join a Beer of the Month program or Beer Club...

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The theory of the beer of the month club sounds pretty good. You get to try lots of different kinds of beer, group buying often leads to good deals and it's always fun to have beer shipped straight to your front door. But there are so many beer clubs out there, how do you choose the right one? Here's a comparison of some of the more popular programs.

Clubs of America

  • Cost per beer: $3.08 includes S&H
  • Beer styles: 4 varieties of "microbrewed beer"
  • Ship to: Continental US
From the club's website: "The Great American Beer Club is one of America's longest-running monthly beer clubs. Since 1994 it's been our pleasure to share the finest, freshest brews in the land with tens of thousands of people just like you—folks who can appreciate the best that America's small breweries have to offer."

BeerGifts.com

  • Cost per beer: $3.06 plus S&H
  • Beer styles: "Award winning American microbrews"
  • Ship to: US except Alaska, Hawaii, Maine or Utah
This beer club is actually designed to be a gift. BeerGifts.com offers three to twelve months at a time at $36.67/month plus shipping. The description doesn't say what beers they will ship nor what they've shipped recently. The beers are four each of three different selections.

The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club - Original

This is the first of four programs offered from the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club:
  • Cost per beer: $2.91 plus S&H
  • Beer styles: "Lightly distributed U.S. microbreweries"
  • Ship to: US except Alaska, Hawaii, Maine or Utah
This program promises three different styles, four bottles each, from two US breweries. Payment is flexible - monthly or in packages ranging from two to twelve months - however there is no benefit to paying ahead. The site offers a list of current and past selections. A quick overview seems to demonstrate a nice diversity and selection of beers shipped.

The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club - International and Domestic

  • Cost per beer: $3.58 plus S&H
  • Beer styles: "Lightly distributed U.S. and two different international breweries"
  • Ship to: US except Alaska, Hawaii, Maine or Utah
This program promises monthly shipments of three bottles of two different domestic beers and three bottles of two different international beers. Payment is flexible - monthly or in packages ranging from two to twelve months - however there is no benefit to paying ahead. The site offers a list of current and past selections. A quick overview seems to demonstrate a nice diversity and selection of beers shipped.

The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club - International

  • Cost per beer: $3.91 plus S&H
  • Beer styles: "Two different international breweries"
  • Ship to: US except Alaska, Hawaii, Maine or Utah
With this program you will receive one six pack each from two different international brewers. Payment is flexible - monthly or in packages ranging from two to twelve months - however there is no benefit to paying ahead. The site offers a list of current and past selections. A quick overview seems to demonstrate a nice diversity and selection of beers shipped.

The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club - Rare

  • Cost per beer: $22.48 to $14.49 per 750 ML bottle plus S&H
  • Beer styles: Rare and specialty releases, domestic and international
  • Ship to: US except Alaska, Hawaii, Maine or Utah
This program offers special and rare beers packaged in 750 ML bottles. Buyers can select between 2, 4 or 6 bottles per month with a significant saving for choosing the most amount of bottles. Flexible payment options and an impressive selection of fine beers make this a tempting - and expensive - program.

Amazing Clubs

  • Cost per beer: $2.83 to $2.66
  • Beer styles: "Premium, hard-to-find microbrews from boutique breweries nationwide"
  • Ship to: US except Alaska and Hawaii
This beer club promises 12 bottles divided among 4 different beer styles each month. This is no guaranteed distinction about the breweries so it is possible that all 12 selections could be from the same brewer in a given month. The program offers 3, 6 and 12 month options with a declining cost for increased time. There is also a "Beer of the Season" option that ships quarterly.
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