Craft Beer Club Subscription Box Review – January 2016
The Craft Beer Club sends craft brews from around the country. Each month, they send a selection of different beers and information about the breweries behind them.
If you sign up for an ongoing subscription (as opposed to a single month), you’ll receive a bottle opener and tasting glasses with your first box. Hop over to my first Craft Beer Club box review for details on these welcome gifts.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: The Craft Beer Club
The Cost: $39 per month for 12 bottles or $74.11 for 24 bottles.
The Products: Craft beers from breweries around the US. Each shipment contains 4 different styles (3 or 6 of each kind, depending on the subscription).
Ships to: US. Shipping is free, except for orders to HI and AK.
The Craft Beer Club includes flyers that provide information about the brewing companies and beers featured in the month’s box. This month’s box includes beers from Brewer’s Alley, Monocracy Brewing Co., and Real Ale Brewing Company.
On the reverse, the flyers always include “Food for your Brew” recipes and some fun trivia.
Brewer’s Alley Kolsch 5% ABV
I was a little confused when I first opened up this shipment because Craft Beer Club usually features two different breweries in every box, and, this month, they’ve included three. Reading through the flyers, though, I realized that it’s not really a departure at all. It turns out that Brewer’s Alley and Monocracy Brewing Co. are sister breweries with the same owner. With a focus on classic European-style ales, Brewer’s Alley is the more traditional label, so it’s no surprise that their offering is a kolsch. Kolsch is a light German ale that was first brewed near Cologne, and this one “has a mild bitterness and delicate hop aroma with complex, clean flavors of crisp maltiness and just a slight fruitiness.” For me, it has a great balance of flavor and drinkability. I could easily drink several of these in one sitting!
H.L. Rex 3.7% ABV
The second beer featured this month is from Monocracy Brewing Co., the sister label that focuses on making modern American craft brews. H.L. Rex is an ode to hops, and the beer gets its name from the scientific name for hops, Humulus Lupulus. It has “refreshing, citrus, and light biscuity flavors” that are countered with “mild pine, grainy, and floral qualities.” I’m not always a fan of super hoppy beers, but I love this one. It has a nice flowery lemon flavor and just a touch of bitterness. It also smells incredible- like an herbal lemonade.
Brewers’ Cut Helles 4.5% ABV
These next two beers are both from Real Ale Brewing Company, a brewery based in Blanco, Texas. Helles is a traditional German lager that’s popular in Munich and other parts of southern Germany. It’s also one of my favorite beers of all time! “In the Brewers’ Cut Helles, German pilsner malt gives subtle malt sweetness while Hallertau Tradition hops provide the enticing aroma of this classic style.” I couldn’t be happier to see a helles in this box, and the flavor is spot on.
Fireman’s #4 Blonde Ale 5.1% ABV
Fireman’s #4 is Real Ale’s most popular beer, and, man, I can see why. Holy cow, this beer is good. From Craft Beer Club: “A delicious balance of smooth malt and zesty hops makes this refreshing Blonde Ale perfect on a hot day or paired with spicy food.” I’d love to try this ale alongside some spicy homemade curry, but, frankly, I might drink them all before I have the chance to make some!
Verdict: The Craft Beer Club has been knocking it out of the park for me lately! I loved seeing some seasonal beers featured in the past couple of boxes, and I really enjoyed the traditional brews featured in this month’s box! I’m also thrilled that this box introduced me to Real Ale Brewing Co. I loved both their Helles and Blonde Ale, and I’m definitely going to try and seek out some of their other beers. (I’d love to try Devil’s Backbone, their Belgian-style tripel.) When it comes to value, the cost of each Craft Beer Club box breaks down to just over $3 per beer. While that’s not exactly a bargain, I think the price is fair. I love the convenience of having craft beers sent directly to my door, and it’s so much fun learning about new American craft breweries every month!
Have you tried any of the beers featured in this month’s The Craft Beer Club?