7 Beer Subscriptions That Go Well With Football Season
After spending a recent (indulgent) weekend amid breweries in Asheville, N.C., beer has been on my brain. During football season, this classic beverage seems to be found at every game, tailgate, and watch party, and thanks to companies like Original Craft Beer Club and Beer of the Month Club, you can have a consistent supply of diverse and flavorful beers delivered right to your door this fall.
If you tend to get bored drinking the same beer time and time again, beer subscription boxes help keep things interesting. It's a way to treat your taste buds while cheering your team to victory. With options like lagers and ales, stouts, sours, and more, beer subscription boxes offer a little something for every palate, exposing you to new varieties with each delivery. Enjoy America's favorite pastime in style with a well-stocked fridge and a quality beer in your hand.
Best Beer Subscription Boxes:
Types of Beer
I am in no way a cicerone (beer's version of a sommelier), but I do know that there are two main styles of beer—lagers and ales. The difference here depends on the yeast used in the fermentation process. Lagers are made with yeast that stays in the bottom of the beer and ferments under cooler temperatures. These have a lighter taste and can be a good entry point for those who want to try beer for the first time. Ale, on the other hand, uses yeast that stays at the top of the beer during fermentation, which occurs with warmer temperatures.
Within those categories, there are many subcategories. For example, ale includes pale ales, India Pale Ale (better known as IPAs), stouts and porters, among others. Pilsner is a popular type of pale lager, but if you prefer a more malty beer, Vienna lagers (medium amber to brown) and dark lagers (think Dunkel and Schwarzbier) will do the trick. Then there are sours, which are arguably in their own category. Sours essentially allow wild bacteria to party-crash the fermentation process, which creates a highly tart taste. This flavor is often balanced by incorporating fruit accents rather than traditional grains. No matter the type of beer you prefer, beer subscription boxes have such a wide variety of options, you're sure to find a favorite—and maybe even expand your horizons a bit.
Best Craft Beer: Original Craft Beer Club
If you love craft beer, you should have the Original Craft Beer Club on your radar this fall. With 12 beers per subscription box (and the option to increase to 24), you'll have enough for everyone at your game day watch party.
Original Craft Beer Club takes pride in providing a variety of unique craft beers. Each beer subscription box highlights two breweries from regions around the U.S., and includes two beer styles from each brewery (four styles total and three beers for each style). The featured regions change monthly, allowing you to discover flavors from areas of the country you may not have tried before. Each box also includes information about the breweries, tasting notes, recipes to pair the beers with, and some fun trivia to share during commercial breaks. As an added bonus, you'll receive three surprise gifts in your first box!
You can choose the number of prepaid shipments you'd like or sign up for an ongoing membership. For added convenience, there's an option to change the beer box delivery frequency to monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly to accommodate both your schedule and budget. Free shipping is available for the 48 contiguous states. The Original Craft Beer Club subscription can also be gifted to the beer fan in your life. One subscriber wrote, "Just a note to compliment Craft Beer Club on the recent selections. They were all excellent. My only problem was how quickly I finished them."
Best Microbrewed Beer: The U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club
For those who love a variety of small batch beers and prefer their beer to be unique from brands peppering grocery store aisles, the U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club is your new best friend. Out of all the clubs and memberships offered through Beer of the Month Club, this one has been around the longest (it started in 1994, a year before my beloved Jaguars officially joined the NFL).
Upon signing up for this membership, you'll receive 12 beers each month from two different microbreweries across the U.S. Each shipment comes with four styles and three beers of each, with past inclusions such as IPAs, stouts, lagers, and ales. Your membership also comes with a monthly newsletter that includes detailed profiles of each beer, histories of the featured breweries, and tasting notes. The beers selected go through a rigorous sampling process by a Brewmasters tasting panel—aka a group of beer experts who sort through more than 500 beers annually to find hidden gems.
The U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club is completely customizable, offering single-time shipment options (ranging from two to 12 boxes) or an ongoing membership. All shipping is $15. You can choose what month you want the membership to start (which helps you plan ahead for gifting subscriptions), pay the total cost up front or per shipment, and select the frequency of your deliveries (monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly). Out of 372 reviews, customers were most pleased with the variety of beers and price of the club membership. One happy gifter wrote, "I bought this for my Dad's birthday and he absolutely loved it! Delivered right to his house, hassle free!"
For full offerings, navigate to the U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club page at beermonthlyclub.com.
Best International Beer: The International Beer Club
For beer selections that reach across the pond, look no further than The International Beer Club—the global offering through Beer of the Month Club. This beer subscription box will deliver 12 beers from renowned breweries around the world right to your door every month. Included are two different beer styles with six beers of each. Among its offerings are German pilsners, Black lagers, Belgian pale ale, English dark ale, and Baltic porter as well as many other exotic finds.
The beer club allows you to explore the best beer regions far and wide, all from the comfort of your couch. It also focuses on seasonal and limited-edition beers, such as Bavarian Hefeweizens and spiced winter ales. Though these beers are plucked from the four corners of the Earth, you can reorder your favorites any time (or while supplies last for limited-edition beers).
The International Beer Club offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, meaning if you don't love your order, you can let its customer service team know and they will make it right. Similar to all Beer of the Month clubs, you're able to customize your membership, opting for a recurring subscription or paying by the shipment with choices for delivery frequency, number of shipments, and more. For orders of three or more shipments, you'll also receive a free bartender-grade bottle opener.
For full offerings, navigate to the International Beer Club page at beermonthlyclub.com.
Best IPA Beer: The Hop-Heads Beer Club
While hoppy beer may sound like a rabbit's favorite beverage, it actually refers to the hops content in each brew. Hops are little flowers that contain a substance called lupulin, which creates a distinct scent and bitter flavor in beer. Essentially, the more hoppy a beer is, the more bitter it tends to be. So, for all you hoppy fans out there, The Hop-Heads Beer Club from Beer of the Month was made for you.
The club sends you 12 beers each month from an assortment of national and international breweries. Each shipment comes with three styles of hoppy beer (mostly IPAs), with four bottles or cans of each. As with all Beer of the Month clubs, The Hop-Heads Beer Club comes with tasting notes and information about the history of each featured brewery and beer, which makes it a great gift for true beer lovers. Customization surrounding delivery frequency, number of shipments, and payment method are all available through this club.
For full offerings, navigate to the Hop-Heads Beer Club page at beermonthlyclub.com.
Best Rare Beer: The Rare Beer Club
By joining The Rare Beer Club, you'll have access to a selection of artisanal beers, many of which are made exclusively for this special Beer of the Month club. In each beer subscription box, you can order two bottles for $38, four bottles for $57, or six bottles for $74. These will include two different beer styles, and one, two, or three 750 milliliter bottles of each. Like other Beer of the Month clubs, you can customize your membership and choose the specific number of shipments, delivery frequency, and more. Shipping and handling is $15, $19, or $24, depending on your bottle quantity.
This specific club comes with its own newsletter as well as history and notes about each beer selection, pairings, and beer aging recommendations. Examples of rare beers that have been included in this club before are tart farmhouse ale, hoppy cedar-aged ale, strawberry pineapple sour ale, coffee cake imperial porter, and barley-wine style ale with coconut.
Customers say they love the variety and quality of the beers offered. One reviewer wrote, "I got a three-month subscription for my dad. HE LOVES IT. Has people over to sample it out, even bought a special beer drinking game to enjoy the selections. He ended up extending his subscription because he loves it so much."
For full offerings, navigate to the Rare Beer Club page at beermonthlyclub.com.
Best American Beer: Beer Across America
If you're watching America's favorite pastime, then you should be drinking America's best beers. Beer Across America offers a membership for the ultimate beer lover, delivering 12 craft beers to your door every month. Like other beer subscription boxes, you can tailor your order to your specific needs, with options for three to 12 shipments and monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly deliveries. You can pay in full or per shipment and have the flexibility to cancel future orders at any time.
This beer subscription is an ideal gift because, beginning with the second shipment (so as not to spoil the surprise), the recipient will receive an email with that month's beer selections. If they're not interested in one or more of the beers listed, they can choose to skip that month's delivery. The subscription also comes with an informative newsletter and a personalized bottle opener. Out of more than 7,000 reviews, Beer Across America has a 4.7 out of 5-star rating. One reviewer wrote, "I absolutely loved my Beer Across America shipment! As a beer enthusiast, I loved all the variety that came in this package—a different type of beer for every taste!"
Best Personalized Beer: Beer Drop
Beer Drop is a personalized beer subscription, perfect for those who want more control over their monthly beer selections. To begin, you pick which types of beer you'd prefer to receive from the following options: top picks, hoppy, sour, dark, lagers, Belgian, malty, and fruity. Once you've narrowed it down to five (you can choose the same type more than once), there are three membership plans available: Beer Drop ($40), Beer Drop Plus ($50), and Beer Drop Ultimate ($65). Each plan charges an additional flat fee of $5 for shipping and handling.
Beer Drop includes 10 cans of beer from five microbreweries (two from each location) based on personalized recommendations. If you upgrade to the Beer Drop Plus or Beer Drop Ultimate plans, you can swap out any of the personalized beer selections with your own picks from Beer Drop's collection. In the upgraded plans, you'll also receive some special release and taproom-only beers for a more exclusive experience. Among reviewers' favorite things about the service are the personalized selections, customer service team, great price, and access to new flavor profiles.