How These U.S. Beer Clubs Are Changing the Brewery Experience | Wine Enthusiast
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How These U.S. Beer Clubs Are Changing the Brewery Experience

With more than 9,000 breweries in the United States, the opportunity to drink local has never been better—and competition never stiffer. Brewers are looking to expand their reach beyond taprooms and store shelves, and many have begun to appeal to the überfan by offering club memberships that deliver special beers and other exclusive items on a regular basis. Some provide early releases and limited, special allocations for their members. For the discerning beer drinker, these clubs offer insight into a brewer’s mind and process while guaranteeing something different to open at the next bottle share.

Aleson Brewing & Blending

Eugene, OR

The brewery’s Blender’s Circle offers exclusive beers that are never available to the general public. It also includes tastings and parties at the brewery’s taproom and discounts on other beer and merchandise.

Atlas Brew Works

Washington, D.C.

The Atlas Beer Club offers a variety pack every three months that includes core beers as well as membership-only exclusives. Plus, the cost of membership includes a complimentary pint on pickup days.

Cigar City Brewing

Tampa, FL

The El Catador Club is the brewery’s much sought-after rare bottle club that has offered exquisite barley wines, imperial stouts and other strong wood-aged beers. Established in 2013, the membership includes 14 releases throughout the year.

Firestone Walker

Paso Robles, CA

Now in its second year, the Brewmaster’s Collective offers six boxes throughout the year, comprising 31 individual small-batch beers and 17 exclusive offerings. Tasting glasses and information on food pairings are also included. Annual sign-ups begin in November.

Orpheus Brewing

Atlanta, GA

The Stacks is an annual signup club that offers special bottles of single barrel beers that highlight particularly special barrels or explore unusual adjuncts along with monthly sessions with the brewmaster. The brewery, which is known for its wood aging, never disappoints with its selection.

Fair Isle Brewing

Seattle, WA

The Knitting Circle is the brewery’s annual membership with openings each December. The brewers say the beers offered are “not necessarily about finding the best barrel or using the most obscure and expensive ingredients,” but instead show brewery ethos and intent.

This article originally appeared in the November 2022 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!

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