Review: Unboxing Craft Beer Club

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Craft Beer Club delivers a monthly crate of craft brews from indie labels across the country. To help us kick off our Oktoberfest festivities (AKA: our two-month-long beer binge), the kind folks behind this subscription service let us sample a box of their finest brews. Now that the beer buzz has subsided, I’m sharing my thoughts.

Obligatory Wall-o-Text Disclaimer: The product featured in this post was provided to us by Craft Beer Club for review purposes. Rest assured that my love cannot be bought, and all opinions (and gleeful declarations of adoration) are genuine and my own. This post also contains affiliate links (double whammy, right?), which you can read more about here!

You know what I love about beer flights? They let you circumvent that whole existential crisis / “who even am I and what am I doing with my life?!” moment that occurs when you glance up at a craft brewery’s chalkboard menu of creatively-named offerings and realize that you literally have no idea what to order. And there’s the beer flight, smiling from the bottom of the menu, as if to say, “Don’t panic. You don’t have to make any major decisions. You don’t have to phone a friend or pray for divine insight. Just order me and you can have it all!

You know what I don’t love about beer flights? When you do sit down to sample that smorgasbord of brews, you will inevitably realize that 2 oz is nowhere near enough beer to accurately assemble a tasting profile. In fact, it’s barely enough to wet your whistle and go through the whole sniff-sip-mull-sip-pontificate routine. You don’t buy a flight when you want to savor the flavor of a nice craft brew, or leave the bar with the ripe, hoppy aroma of beer wafting from your moustache dainty lady lip hairs.

The beer flight conundrum is this: you can have options, or you can be satisfied. You can’t have it both ways.

…or can you?

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The best way to describe Craft Beer Club is to liken it to a super-sized beer flight. Each month, this subscription service lets you sample four selections from craft breweries across the country. And unlike a traditional flight, your taste-test doesn’t end after two sips. You get three bottles of each beer to really help you make up your mind.

Our box included a sampling of brews from two midwest breweries: small-town Minnesota’s Brau Brothers Brewing Co., and Indianapolis-based Flat12 Bierwerks.

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In addition to twelve bottles of craft-brewed magic, Craft Beer Club also tops off each shipment with a newsletter profiling the featured breweries, as well as some fun beer-related goodies (we scored a set of coasters and a bottle opener).

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After huffing and puffing these bad boys to the wine fridge and letting them chill for a bit, I was ready to dive right in.

Bottoms up…

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Flat12 Walkabout Pale Ale (American Pale Ale) | Description: “Single hop Pale Ale featuring a strong passion fruit nose that predominates with accompanying citrus flavors of grapefruit, pine resin and wood, which linger on the palate. Golden in color with a creamy, off-white head and clinging lacing.” ABV: 5.3%, IBU: 40

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Flat12 Rogue’s Run Porter (Porter) | Description: “This traditional Porter is robust and flavor filled. It utilizes a mixture of caramel and chocolate malts that provide a rich, dark brew with roasty chocolate and coffee character that is as heavy as it is flavorful.” ABV: 5.5%, IBU: 34

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Brau Brothers Moo Joos (Oatmeal Milk Stout) | Description: “Blends the body and sweetness of a Milk Stout with the satin mouthfeel of a classic Oatmeal Stout. Notes of dark stone fruit permeate the nose, along with cocoa, dark chocolate and caramel, with some hints of creamy coffee thrown in for good measure.” ABV: 5.8%, IBU: 24

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Brau Brothers Bancreägie Peated Scotch Ale (Scotch Ale) | Description: “Peat and cheery wood-smoked malts dominate this Ale. The authentic Scottish ingredients (Golden Promise malt and Edinburgh yeast) make this a classic treat. Pear and apple are present on the nose as well as slight cedar and tobacco overtones.” ABV: 7.8%, IBU: 20

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Pricing: The box we sampled is priced at $42 (free shipping within continental US), putting each beer right at $3.50/bottle. Subscriptions are available monthly, every other month, or quarterly.

What I Liked: True to their name, Craft Beer Club’s selections are sourced from local indie breweries around the country. These aren’t major-label brands with nation-wide distribution deals, and these aren’t brews that you can find hanging out next to the Miller Lite at your local grocery store. Craft Beer Club gives you the chance to sample breweries that might otherwise be a road trip away.

What I Didn’t Like: I usually stick to light-colored beers (lagers, pale ales, pilsners) and between the porter, the scotch ale and the milk stout, our selection ventured a lot further into ‘dark beer’ territory than I would usually go. Obviously part of Craft Beer Club’s appeal is trying new brews, but I would have liked to see a bit more balance between light and dark options.

Final Thoughts: I love a good craft beer, and I love trying new brews… so this subscription club checked both boxes for me. It’s also a great way to keep my fridge stocked with beers I might not otherwise pick up (which is especially great if we’re having guests over!)

Give it a Try! Ready to try Craft Beer Club out for yourself? You can save $5 off your first shipment when you click here to order with our handy dandy affiliate link!

 

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About Accidental Suburbanites

Just a couple of kids turning a house into a home, one Pinterest fail at a time.
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