What Kind of Beers Can I Expect to Receive in a Beer of the Month Club?
Beer of the month clubs are exciting. Each month you have a shipment to look forward to and you anticipate the types of beers and breweries you will be exposed to. Whether you are a rare beer collector or you just have a love of the foam, these clubs are here to expose you to as many beer types as possible – including some you may have never tried.
You may wonder what types of beers you will find in your monthly beer shipments and every club is different. Before signing up, you may be able to preview lists of previously shipped beers so that you can get a better idea of the types of beers that they ship out.
Ales and Lagers
There are two basic beer categories: ales and lagers. Ales are beers that are made using top-fermenting yeast. Lagers are made from bottom-fermenting yeast. These different types of yeast provide different colors, taste and characteristics.
The Kinds of Ales
There are three different kinds of ales, which include:
- Brown Ale – This features a copper color and has a mild flavor.
- Porter Ale – These are also mild tasting and often have a similar taste to that of chocolate. But, they are darker in color than brown ales.
- Stout Ale – These feature a very rich, dark color that almost appears black. The flavor is very intense in barley and has a strong hop aftertaste.
The Kinds of Lagers
Beer clubs will vary on the types of lagers they send, but there are four kinds of lagers you may see in your shipments:
- American Style or Pale Lager – This is a more mass-produced style of beer that features a light color with excellent flavor.
- Pilsner Lager – Pilsners are not as bitter, but have a much stronger taste than American style lagers.
- Light Lager – These beers have less barley and hops, which makes them light in calories and even feature a lower alcohol content.
- Dark Lagers – A dark lager features a color so deep and rich that it almost looks black. The taste is full and it gets its color and flavor from roasted barley and hops during the brewing stage.
The Categories of Beer Selections in Beer of the Month Clubs
Depending on the type of membership you sign up with and the type of club you join, you will typically see three categories of beer selections. These categories will then comprise of lagers and ales. The three categories beer of the month clubs put their beers into include:
Basic Beer of the Month Club Selections
- These beers often feature more mass-produced varieties that are usually always domestic (meaning from the United States). These are plain beers that do not have much in terms of specialty brewing or extra flavors added during the beer process. It is still an ideal club membership though – and you get an opportunity to taste brews from breweries in the U.S. that you may not get access to locally.
- This is a club that is ideal if you like beers on tap or bottled beers you find locally. This is also the most affordable type of beer club membership. Clubs of America's Beer of the Month Club fits into this category as well as the Clubs Galore Beer of the Month membership.
Domestic or Foreign Brews
- These beers are craft beers created by microbreweries in the United States and around the world. This type of beer selection definitely lets you try new things, but is often more expensive. The good news is, however, you may get specialty or seasonal beers you cannot find locally. Also, this category of beers will typically have more full-bodied flavor and unique additives to their beers that make them extraordinary.
- The Craft Beer Club's 12 and 24 bottle memberships fit into this category, though they only offer domestic varieties of beer. The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club's International Beer Club and U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club offer beers in this category.
Rare Beer Clubs
- These beers are designed for the true connoisseurs of beer drinking. They feature limited production, rare beers that aren't easily found around the world. The flavor and craftsmanship behind these beers is truly unique and the varieties you find remarkable. This is definitely a club for those that enjoy unique, rare beers – and it is also one of the more expensive.
- Clubs with rare beer options like these typically send out less beers per package and you pay anywhere from $40 to $80 per month or per shipment. Sometimes these clubs will make up for the higher price and less bottles by offering 22 ounce beers instead of 12 ounce options.
- The Micro Beer Club offers a High-End Beer Club that would easily fit into this category and The Bruery Society Membership's Preservation Society level also offers rare, exclusive beers. Also, the Rare Beer Club by the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club offers some unique finds from around the world.
The best way to pick a beer of the month club for yourself or someone you love is by signing up for a short-term or month-to-month contract. With these options you can try different memberships at different clubs and see what styles of beers and quality you are exposed to for the price.